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Welcome to ProcessImprovement.Me.  Each week we will post between one and three blog posts on change, how to improve at something in life or business, or learning something new.  Please join us and participate in the comments.  We would really like to hear your thoughts.  You cannot post a comment on the home page (just the way they set up the site.) All the other pages do afford the ability to post comments. We recommend you use the Blog Page for this.

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Protocols

It’s another day, and my list of things to do is growing, and growing, and growing. I was explaining to a good friend yesterday a portion of what I was trying to do. The conversation helped me to realize how much I’m trying to accomplish and made me ask the question, “Am I actually accomplishing something, or am I just continuing to add to the heap?”

Often, I feel like I am trying to level a mountain, and it just keeps growing under me. How does this come to be? Not being able to say no very well. Wanting to do many things. And the biggest of all not having a robust set of procedures to help manage my personal and professional life.

Most successful people have some plan to help ensure good self-care. Good self-care helps to ensure you are ready to do good for yourself and others.  They start with a set of protocols for self-care. They have a process and a time for preparing and going to sleep. They have a set of actions and a time for getting up in the morning and know what they’re going to do to prepare for the day. These protocols may be identified as morning rituals, standard operating procedures, processes, or something else. It doesn’t matter what they’re called the only real question is whether or not they work. Protocols only work if they are used.

If you don’t have protocols for self-care, it is never too late. You set your mind to the fact that you will try something and stick with it.

You can set a time to go to bed, and prepare for that time by curtailing the use of interactive electronics about an hour before then. You could choose to write or read instead of playing computer games. Sleeping in a cool room without much light gives you better rest.

Plan when you will wake up in the morning and what you’re going to do. What do you need to do to feel good at the start of the day? Take a shower? Shave something? Exercise? Grab caffeine or something to eat? Go over your plans for the day?

You can do many things to improve life and make it work in your favor. Only you know what is best for you. You are the one that will know for sure. I can tell you that a little planning and commitment can go a long way in helping.

Mind Control

I find myself slacking sometimes. Not because I am not working, because I get sidetracked and am working on things that I really don’t need to do at that point. And I need to find a better way to manage what I do and how I do it.

I am a person who can be pulled off point by an annoyance of the computer not doing what it’s supposed to, or some other technical problem. When I hit a real time crunch, the television streaming services launch the latest season of a binge-worthy show which I have followed for the last six years. Or when I think everything is running well, we get a thunderstorm or hail, and I am asked to leave my office to provide comfort and protection to those in the house.

I am only a mere mortal, and I need to remember that when I am striving to develop books and courses and hoping that they will be the best thing since baked Alaska, I must give them my time. My problem is I come up with intriguing ideas, and I would like to have them done yesterday. I need to learn that anything worth doing is worth doing well. And I also must remember that time is an essential ingredient.

At my wedding reception, my father-in-law spoke of the heart containing a series of rooms. One For each person you love. As people come into your life, other rooms are formed. My father-in-law was very poetic, and his thoughts were very accurate.

Just as the heart makes rooms for people, when we work on multiple projects, and most of us do work on numerous projects between work, and home, and self, we end up with rooms in our mind for each project. Each room has positives and negatives. And each room must fit into the overall timeline of the mind. Not fitting into the minds timeline, will develop a very messy room because of neglect.

The trick is to only keep the projects and their rooms that you can successfully maintain. The rest of the projects should be delegated to others or discussed with superiors to maintain balance.  Keeping balance is akin to sanity.

Thank you for reading today. I hope to have another post out tomorrow.

 

 

Positive Growth

We had a pleasant rain in the middle of the night. Not very hard. Just a touch of hail but it was minimal, and although it was a thunder and lightning storm, even that was very quiet. When I first went to the Azores, it only rained at night. I thought, “what a wonderful idea. How do they get the weather to cooperate like that?”

Actually, later, when I move there with my family, I learned I was just lucky the first time. This thought brings up another good question. How often do we see a rare occurrence when we are someplace new, and just think that that’s normal for the place we are? This is a fair question, which grows based on assumptions.  The question also works both ways. How often when visiting another area do we see something that’s normal for them, and consider the occurrence rare?

Both questions are based on what we know at the time. And, both thoughts could have right or wrong answers depending on whether or not we have all the facts. And to have all the information, we have to engage with others.

When you engage with others, you will open yourself up. When you open yourself up, you can share and learn, learning more and growing. Often this positive effort is hindered by fear.

When we open ourselves up, we have to trust in others. We fear they may think we are uneducated, unknowing, or nosy. What we may fail to understand is they probably have the same worries. Yet, if we are willing to take a chance, and they are also willing to take a chance, there could be a profound mutual benefit and positive growth on both sides.

I guess the question here is, do we want to live a negative life of fear, or a positive life of engagement? I think only our egos know for sure.  Yet I can speak from experience, there usually is more positive than negative in life if you look for it.

Have a positive day.

 

Where Are the Answers

It is not that I’m a doubtful soul. It’s just sometimes I look at some of the news that is run, and I begin to wonder why? And, what are they trying to hide? Something happened a year ago, and it was taped, why wasn’t it brought up then? Especially if it was devastating are degrading to a large group of people.

I understand that sensationalism is often saved until the book is ready to debut. And sometimes, national news is the greatest advertising one can obtain, not to mention that it’s free. Yet, how truly meaningful and caring is the writer if they sit on the knowledge of wrong-doing until the book is written and they can make a buck off of it.

I canot entirely blame the writer. After all, money is money, and without income, it’s hard to buy the groceries. What really bothers me is professional news organizations with limited airtime, choosing to sensationalize tell-all books when there is news which goes unreported. It almost starts to feel like the standard government plan of ancient Rome. Keep the people entertained and fed.

Truthfully, I cannot even blame the news people. So many viewers watch shows where people are invited to discuss their personal problems. When two or three are on stage the screaming, cursing, and name-calling commence. If the audience is lucky somebody throws a punch or chair. Then the host opens an envelope to reveal a paternity test, or drug test, or the results of the lie detector. Then, the show is over with a few lives better and most lives even more devastated. It makes me wonder, is this the modern-day video Coliseum, although I’m told people watch these shows so they can feel that there are people worse than they are.

Do we want to make our decisions based on the fact that there are people that are worse than we are? Or, do we want to make our decisions based on something good that we can strive for? It is up to each of us, and the answers are not within mass distribution. The answers are within ourselves. If others won’t turn off the conspiracies, the hatred, and the false entertainment. Maybe it’s up to us to turn off the sensationalism and find something better to do.

Mondays

Thank goodness, it’s Monday again.

Have I ever explained to you how vital Monday is? Monday is the most important day of the week. If there were no Mondays, there would be no Fridays. Without a Friday, there would be no weekend. I am sure you see where I am going with this.

Actually, days and times became important as the railroads developed routes and started transporting goods and people. You needed to know when your train was going to be at the station so you can get on. You Needed to have your crop to market and in a boxcar on a specific day and time. And, you needed to know where all the other trains were, so you didn’t run into one.

The truth is if you don’t have a job that requires things to happen on certain days, or don’t watch network television where you need to know exactly what day it is, so you could watch your favorite show at a particular time, the day and time doesn’t matter as much.

Day and time are actually relative concepts. Most of the time zones are measured in relation to Greenwich, England. Why there? Because in 1675 the English were trying to map the world. Naval explorers needed to the exact time to know where they were in the world in relation to Greenwich, England.  The time and a sextant could give them both the latitude and longitude of where they were.  It still took until 1880 for Parliament to officially acknowledge Greenwich time.

Today with people working independently and streaming online, the knowledge of time day to day and minute to minute is still good to know, just not as vital as it used to be.  That is unless you are a pilot or an astronomer.

I am still thankful for Mondays.  They give me hope for the weekend.

Enjoy Your Life

I learned something new yesterday. Something that I had been told before in many ways and something I know we all often hear. It took a visual look to understand. Just because we grow old does not automatically mean we fall apart.

We don’t keep from falling apart by not being active, not going out, and not doing anything that would stress the body. For that’s the surest way to fall apart and to deteriorate. I realize that what I need to do is stay as active and engaged in life as possible.

I take my cues on this from people that I have seen throughout my life. Some friends, some family, and some actors who were old when I was young. What I have learned is that barring major health concerns, you have the big ability to stay active, stay engaged, and do the majority of whatever you want to do as long as…

We can be ourselves as long as we remain active. You don’t have to take up mountain climbing, or skydiving unless that’s what you do now. You want to stay engaged though, with friends and activities you either want to do or have always wanted to try.

When you fade down into yourself, start using the television more than the front door, and start finding that you can count your friends on one thumb, it’s time to get up and do something.

I am working on talking to old friends, learning new skills, taking care of the house and helping my wife. I write blogs and books, design and publish training courses, and am studying to become a Neuro Linguistic Program (NLP) life coach.  I also have to take good care of my body to eat correctly, use the sunblock, and take care of the skin.

I encourage everybody to keep going as long as you can. Laugh a little, and it goes even better. Share something with friends and you both gain from experience. And don’t forget to breathe.

And please don’t forget, have a great day.

Owed?

I have noticed that more and more people want more and more things for themselves, and they feel as though the things they want are owed to them.

I quite often ask the question, ‘Why?’ In this case, the why question is ‘Why do you feel it’s owed to you?’ This question followed by, ‘And what have you done to deserve it?’

Many people have gone over and above to earn the things they would like.  And yet, the questions above are still relevant.  Why, and What. Are you a mover and a shaker? Or are you the person who waits and then does most of what you’re told?  You showed up for work every day? That’s great. Isn’t that part of what the paycheck compensates you for?

 Did you lead a team or work personally to do something which caused revenue to grow within the company? Did you cut costs or overhead, or save the company significant amounts of money in some other way? Did you do something else that positively affected the bottom line? 

The question is what did you give to the company or others that makes you deserve the big-ticket item?

If you can’t point to something special you did, you can’t really grumble. Most people who want to earn the bonuses and rewards start off by first ensuring that the company they work for offers rewards and bonuses for excellent work.  Then find out what the criteria are for earning awards. And finally, make a plan and do what it takes.

Saying and thinking you deserve a bonus or reward and actually doing the work to earn it are two different actions. If you really want the glory, do the work.