Insanity logic?

I have heard the saying that “Insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Many on the internet debate who originated that quote or whether one could legally argue the psychological insanity of an individual based on this quote.  I would rather reflect on this as a metaphor and the all too common belief that things will just get better if we ignore them. While similar, but not related, Newton’s First Law of motion states that an object at rest or in motion will continue unless acted upon by an outside force.  A natural motion whether it is physical of fiscal will continue unless a separate act occurs.

Kahuna happens to exists in the middle of one of the greatest statewide madness debacles known to modern history.  Currently ranked 4th worst in the US for the largest state debt at just over $321 billion, Illinois is the epitome of a fiscal challenge which continues down a path of increasing debt.  Almost daily, every newspaper and TV news anchor in the state is reporting on the growing list of critics to the situation and those that don’t want to change.

Too often we are influenced only by the emotion of an issue, but fail to take a rational look at the situation outside of the emotional elements.  No one honestly wants someone to be out on the streets, to question proper fire or police protection, drive on roads that are dangerous, or our children to receive subpar education.  Unfortunately these forms of misrepresentation are the focus of the media and pundits to bolster their ratings or perception to the public.

Everyone is portrayed as needing assistance, but not wanting to give to help the overall cause.   This isn’t about the worthiness of any one department, group or need, but rather a focus on the merit in the long term choice to try to make a change and expect a change to occur.

I believe in a level of integrity that recognizes responsibility for any outcome, which can and will make a difference to everyone.  We don’t need to blame anyone for our challenges, and this realization should be carried into our public sector.  Making the conscious decision to accept this challenge and begin changing for a new tomorrow is the only chance to expect a different outcome.

A true test of character is not whether an individual takes advantage of a situation, but rather if they were given the opportunity to take advantage of a situation and chose not to do so.  Choosing to not taking advantage of the situation and an honest perspective of where we are, will produce a far better outcome in the future.

 

17 Ways to Beat Procrastination

150309 Procratination_quote_IMG_0392In politics, there is the strategy of “deny, deny, deny” when you get in trouble. Many times, the more overwhelmed I get, I start to “delay, delay, delay”.

I am a world-class procrastinator. I can put things off and delay up until the very last minute. But…when it’s crunch time, I can always deliver.

I think that’s part of my problem. I don’t realize some of the negative effects of procrastination, because I do meet deadlines and deliver quality under pressure. I consider myself a “productive procrastinator”.

So it’s early Monday morning as I write this article. But I’m writing it now, only because I received an email this past weekend as a reminder. (So naturally I’d write about procrastination.)

You can train yourself to beat procrastination. Everybody is a little different. Here are a few ideas that have worked me:

1. Morning ritual

When I’m functioning my best, I am usually very consistent with my morning routine. I’m getting up at the same time everyday, listening to a good book, working out, and eating well. Find a consistent routine and stick with it.

2. Clear your work area

When I get overwhelmed, I procrastinate. And messy or cluttered surroundings tend to give me a sense of overwhelm. I can always tell, the messier my desk, the more I procrastinate and the less productive I get.

3. Have a clear plan

Without a plan, you don’t have direction. You can waste tons of time just fiddling with your schedule or trying to figure out where to start. Have a clear plan on the three big tasks for the day (everyday).

4. Eliminate distractions

Shut off email notifications and silence your phone so you don’t hear new texts coming in or the phone ringing. Close your door and get busy. 

5. Beat the clock

Set a timer. A Pomodoro is 25 minutes but set the clock for just 10 minutes and try to complete a task. Gamify your project. Once you get started the 10 minutes will turn into more.

6. Get some fresh air

Get outside, walk, take some deep breaths. Breaking up the routine may give you a kick start.

7. Get some help

Team up with someone. Not only may they be able to help with the workload or creativity, but they will hold you accountable. 

8. Prepare in advance

Have the necessary materials and information gathered in advance. Before it’s time to actually do the task, do all the preparation work. That way, when the time comes, you are ready to go and don’t find yourself distracted.

 9. Break it down

If it’s a bigger project, bite off tiny pieces of it. Do these bite size tasks every day.

 10. No TV

I like to work with noise in the background, usually a TV in my office. It may have a DVR show, the news, or CNBC on the screen. But when I’m having trouble, I must shut off the TV.

11. Power nap

The benefits of napping are clearly documented. Seems very counter-productive but a quick power nap in the afternoon and help you finish strong.

 12. Feel the beat

Crank up the music for a few minutes. Your favorite music can change your mood and energy level. And play it loud! (co-workers would appreciate the use of headphones)

 13. Take a drink

Coffee is the standard go-to. But try some tea too. And, for me, I love a good Red Bull every now and then.

14. Eat something

It doesn’t have to be much. Something as simple as chewing gum or a piece of hard candy can do the trick. I like an apple, banana or crackers.

15. Just do it

Easier said than done. But sometimes you just have to suck it up and JUST DO IT!

16. What’s the downside

If you fail to deliver, what are the consequences? Some are motivated by the fear of failure. Will procrastination have negative financial impact? Or will your personal reputation or credibility suffer? Usually the answer is “Yes”.

17. Reward yourself

Lastly, give yourself a big fat prize for overcoming the procrastination. I won’t give myself a new set of golf clubs for delivering this article, but I will turn on the TV and watch a DVR’d show.

There you have 17 ways to beat the procrastination habit. Are they foolproof? Not hardly, but they certainly help me. Procrastination is part of me and something I find even the most productive people struggle with. But look, I just delivered my article on time and feel great about the rest of my day. Good luck.

 

New Appreciation by Andy Peterson

As we have just rung in a new year in 2015, many will face new years with a ton of resolutions and look to make a significant change.  The simple fact is that many will start and few will ever complete whatever goal they may have hoped to achieve.

Focusing on something “new” for this article, I am taking a slightly different perspective.  What if everything we ever needed or wanted was around us and we were just too busy to recognize it?  I have found myself realizing that if I pause for a moment to look around, I have a wealth of abundance around me daily.  While I don’t share the following to brag, I do realize that I have been immensely blessed with an amazing wife who, to date, has endured all of my strengths and weakness for the past 17 years.  I may tell her that it feels like 25 years, but honestly can’t believe where the time has gone.  I am also very blessed to have 2 healthy and incredibly talented children who have their own unique strengths.  I don’t always understand each of their particular nuances, but still appreciate them and love them beyond comprehension.  As much as I have begun to realize this, I haven’t always shared this with them or helped them learn to appreciate all that they have had around them.

Hal Elrod’s book “The Miracle Morning”, reminds us to start each morning with this perspective, and is a fundamental key to his acronym that he uses as the Life S.A.V.E.R.S.  Hal encourages everyone to embrace the Affirmations, or reflect on all of the blessings we have in our life. This could easily become an ego trip for some, but that is not the point.  Many of us don’t take even just a moment to recognize all that we have, and with this provides each of us with a boost of daily energy to keep a sane perspective.

Recently I was listening to a Jay Abraham series, where he was reflecting on what putting things in perspective means using a piece of fine art.   He had purchased several custom paintings that were captivating yet were unable to transform a room without the proper lighting.  The realization is that no matter how good something is, unless you see it, it doesn’t have full potential value.

I wonder if we all don’t have similar experiences that we have each encountered in our daily lives?  We can see all that others may have but also note that they don’t recognize them.  We commonly refer to this as the “grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”  We can see and envy what others have, but fail to appreciate the fine things that we have around us every day.

I am still working on refining my own perspective, but why not try a new perspective this year?  I believe each of us are blessed each and every day, but simply fail to recognize or appreciate them.  Best wishes in 2015 to you, and to everyone you are blessed to encounter each day of the year!

Andy Peterson:  After chasing a childhood dream as a professional pilot, Andy stepped away from aviation to honor a commitment to his family.   He is currently the Director of Business Development for Kahuna Business Solutions.  When not working, Andy enjoys racquetball, providing part time flight instruction, introducing aviation to youth, and spending time with his wife and 2 sons.