Systems

Boy, is it tough to work without a system.  I should know because I’m well versed in the process.  Here’s the problem: I’m a digital hoarder.  I just can’t say “no.”  A free ebook?  Yes, please?  Free report on the latest fitness trends?  Of course!  And with Dropbox and Evernote on all my devices, I can have all these resources with me at all times.  I love reading but this is where the rubber hits the road.  I have essentially an endless amount of information, but what am I doing with it?  How am I processing what I read?  What am I creating from what I’m consuming?

What I loved about college was organizing my courses each semester.  I loved getting a brand new three-ring binder, putting that syllabus at the front and loading up on blank sheets, ready to take notes in lecture, collaborate with students in discussion, and eventually finish with a passing grade on all the exams.

evernote and dropbox

I’ve taken that approach to organizing my business endeavors.  Imagine your filing cabinet at home.  Each has a folder, it’s well labeled, and it’s probably in alphabetical order.  Now I probably don’t go in the file cabinet nearly as often as I should, so that is where the system starts to break down.  It needs another component, a glue to make it all work on a daily basis.

Enter Evernote Remindersevernote reminder

I have found that adding a simple reminder to a particular Evernote Note has been a great prompt for me to begin each morning in the right place, with the right note.  From there, the system takes care of itself.  I look over what I’ve done earlier in the week, I look at my goals for the week, and I write this all down in my work log.  I’ve written about Evernote in the past, but I’ve never fully shared how I have mine organized probably because I’ve known that the system wasn’t fully complete.  It’s interesting how when you add more and more responsibility that you are forced to add more and more levels of organization, and in this case a simple reminder to get started on the right foot each morning.

Sorry if this post was a little vague.  As always, I reserve the right to blog about moments in time that are reminders to myself how I’m moving the ball forward.  But I hope that something here today gets you thinking about how productive you are, how reliable your system is.  Collecting information is easy.  Keeping it organized so that you can access it at the drop of a hat is a step towards professionalism.  And when you take all that information and create something meaningful on a regular basis, and you can tell about it, then you’ve become a pro.  For me, that’s the goal.

Three Reasons I Blog

I started blogging in 2006. Wow! That was 13 years ago. I remember walking to the coffee shop and writing that first post. Sure, my writing has changed a lot but I’m happy to report that this initial set of thoughts are still very applicable today.

I wrote about having a game plan, reflecting on life, learning from successes and failures, and growing stronger for the sake of my family. I still have a long way to go, but I appreciate the journey that I’m on.

Today I read a Facebook update from Michael Hyatt asking why we blog.

 

The post inspired me to reflect on why I blog.  Interestingly enough, John Saddington recently tweeted a similar thought:

 

So in this line of thinking, here’s the three reasons I blog.

Process life with words
I’ve always kept a journal. I process so much of my life when I take time to be disciplined in thought and reflect on things that have happened, thoughts or ideas I’ve had, and the results which occurred. I believe being an active thinker and reflected are essential to being successful in life. I don’t think I’ll ever stop blogging for this reason alone.

Telling a great story
People are looking for encouragement, purpose, and connection. I do not have a huge following on social media or my blog, so this is not a humble brag. I believe our story needs to reflect God’s story. I am a part of that story and I want my blog to demonstrate it. I want to help people pursue a healthy and disciplined lifestyle. Those are biblical principles; it’s the narrative God has given me. Blogging helps me tell the story, then I want the story to continue and build after a post goes out, so the process becomes cyclical. I want the posts to become a living narrative and thus a significant source for inspiration to live a great story.

Digital Coaching
I have always coached. I’ve always had a leadership role or mentoring relationships. As I’ve grown my professional life, that coaching has continued and my blog is my home base for this. To be clear, my blog is still evolving and I need to continue to prune away and develop my niche. But part of my thought process in writing on my website is to create a resource of people to help them lead a healthy, active, disciplined life. As I said – people are looking for all kinds of motivation and step-by-step guides. They want a project. Healthy living is my project, and I thoroughly enjoy creating this content for people to consume for themselves and hopefully share with others (hint hint).

Question :::  Have you ever thought about blogging?  

 

Best Week of the Year

What a week! I tweeted a couple times throughout the week how excited I was expecting my most productive week of the year. That’s a big statement, right? But you see I was fully prepared. I am in my third week of a new job. The first couple weeks I was getting my proverbial feet wet. Not too productive, but essential work was being done. I had a couple meetings set up for this week and I had a game plan of some tasks in front of me. Plus I was running high on motivation because I could see a significant part of the project coming together, both in what I was researching and what I was creating. So that felt good. And it ended up being the best week of the year.

So what am I doing? I’m working on the Transform Wisconsin grant where we are putting resources together for 14 school districts in the state to become more active schools. A lot of the resources are already in place, but I think they’ll need to be reworked in significant ways. I’ve been contracted to create a web platform for these resources. Historically they’ve been distributed as pretty dry documents. Asking teachers to do additional work, especially in a discipline outside of their wheelhouse, is a big ask, maybe even a big stretch. But if we can educate them with solid resources and convince them through research and then experience and results that additional physical activity in their classrooms actually improves learning – WIN! That’s my role. And I couldn’t be more excited, more motivated, or better equipped to succeed.
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Published via Pressgram

Ed’s Story

There are life stories and then there are situation stories. What I mean is that sometimes a person’s life is a great story worth telling. And sometimes a person’s situation is a great story, also worth telling. And sometimes the two collide and a great person and a great story are so compelling that is drives us to action. I pray tonight as I write and tomorrow as you read that this post would affect you in significant ways.

Ed Dobson has been a Moody Bible “Pastor of the Year.” He was an advisory editor for Christianity Today and a consulting editor for Leadership magazine. Pastors aren’t in the business for these types of accolades, but when they happen they should be noted and should add some context to this person’s life. I had no idea who Ed was while he was a pastor. But then his situation happened. Earlier I called it a “great” story. It’s not great as in a good thing. It’s great in its magnitude; it’s great in its opportunity. Easy for me to say. Great in this case is ALS. I wonder if Ed would call it great? Having never met the man, I bet he would.eds story couch

Eleven years ago Ed was experiencing twitching in his muscles. Within weeks, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS – you may know it as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. According to Ed: “There is no way to describe the hopeless feeling of knowing that you only have a few years to live, and most of that time will be in the disabled condition.” Eleven years ago he was given two to five years to live. Do the math. God wants Ed around a little longer.

The films that Flannel produce are first class. But there is extra gravity to this series. Some people have a great story to tell. Some people have a great situation that needs to be told. And then there’s Ed’s story. When you see and hear Ed’s story and his commentary on the situation, there’s an undeniable presence of authority, of experience, of knowledge that only comes from God.

I want people to see these films. I want people to help fund these films. They’ve filmed five and don’t have the money to film the last two. Let’s work together, let’s share this post, let’s buy some tickets so others can watch. Today I’m giving away ten free viewings for anyone who wants to watch. No obligation to donate. I just hope you consider and I hope you share. Thanks for reading. Ping me on Facebook, Twitter, or through the blog and I’ll email you a code to watch.

You can watch films one and two today for FREE! Below is called “It Ain’t Over” and after that you can watch “Consider the Birds.”

Consider the Birds can be viewed on Flannel’s website.

For $7 you can have the first FIVE films!

And for a donation of any size, you’ll get the biggest online hi-five I can deliver.  Thanks again for reading.

Ok, still not convinced?!!
One more video:

I’d love to hear in the comments what you think of these firms.