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5/18/09

Moth or Miracle?

God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.

I heard a story about a passenger train traveling at high speed through a dangerous mountain pass. In the night darkness the engineer was mysteriously waved to a stop by a reappearing ghostly figure. Upon stopping, the conductor became weak in the knees as he realized the bridge was out and hundreds of lives were saved.

The mysterious stranger could not be found.

As society is in wanting to know cause and effect, great study was done to determine the origin of the phantom ghost. After much examination a dead moth was found plastered to the train’s headlight. When an alert crime scene investigator wet the moth and flickered the spotlight to simulate a rumbling train, the moth appeared to be a person jumping up and down, flailing his arms.

The mystery of the ghostly figure was solved by a reasonable explanation. It was only a coincidence.

Upon hearing the conclusion, Queen Victoria said, “The moth landing on the headlight at the right time and flapping its wings before death, was no mere accident, it was God’s way of protecting us.”

Cleddie Keith says “There is no such thing as a coincident; it is a Godcident.”

God uses natural phonenon to produce supernatural events. He uses ordinary things to bring about extra-ordinary circumstances. He uses frail people to bring about faithful conclusions.

Become sensitive to the mysterious working of God in your life. Allow him to use ordinary you to bring to pass a miracle in someone’s life.

5/14/09

More on Being Effective and Efficient

Here are more helpful suggestions to make the most of your organization and time management. And a wonderful by-product is reduced stress and more life enjoyment.

16. Set limits on how long a task will take. Murphy’s law of work expanding to the allotted time is true. Be realistic in the time assigned, but do set a limit.

17. Learn the joy of a job well done. Give up the stress of perfectionism; it stifles fun and creativity.

18. TNT – today not tomorrow.

19. Do it right the first time. We lie to ourselves with the promise to do it over and better later. Anytime you are expending energy on a project, do it with excellence and be done with it. If it is not up to your standards, promise yourself to learn from your mistakes and make every effort to do better the next time.

20. Cooperate with others. Work together. Get your family involved, from the youngest to the oldest, including your mate.

21. Know the limits of “your job”. Are you taking on too much by trying to do yours and everyone else’s job also?

22. Determine the difference between urgent and important. What would happen if you don’t do this?

23. Focus on priorities - daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Get in touch and stay in touch.

24. Trust others. Do not become involved in problems others can handle without your input. Determine who owns the problem and let him/her work it out for himself/herself.

25. Make a commitment to someone else of what you are going to do. Let him/her share in your accomplishment. This is a great way of holding yourself accountable to your goals.

26. The best minute spent is the one invested in people. People are our greatest assets. Never lose sight of the importance of relationships.

27. The value of relationship. Since people are our greatest assets, see family members, customers and fellow workers as investments, not as time wasters.

28. Carpe Diem – Seize the moment.

29. Seconds count. Know that seconds are attached to minutes, minutes are attached to hours, hours are attached to days, days are attached to weeks, weeks are attached to years, years are attached to a lifetime, a lifetime is attached to eternity.

Time is important. Manage it well. May this paraphrase of Scriptures speak to your spirit.

Wake up! Live life, and Christ will make the day to dawn upon you and give you light.
Watch your step; walk in wisdom and not foolishness.
Redeem the time – make the most of each second - for the days
are evil and fast approaching the end. So do not be unwise
(waste your time and energy pursuing things that do not count)
but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:14-17 MD paraphrase
Soon I will revisit these topics and write more extensively on each one. Let me hear from you regarding any topic you would like to see addressed. mdunkin@flash.net

Being Efficient and Effective

In the Time Management game, here are a few more ideas for becoming more efficient and effective.

1. Find the freedom of a schedule. “Finding” time produces anxiety and guilt; making time results in success, relaxation and fulfillment. What is important is scheduled. What is scheduled gets done.

2. Keep a calendar. The faintest ink is better than the most retentive memory. Check your calendar each night before leaving the office and again first thing in the morning.

3. At the end of each day, schedule out tomorrow’s activities and six high priority items you need to accomplish. First thing in the AM, start with priority #1, proceed to 2, etc., stopping only for the scheduled activity such as an appointment. Proceed until all six items are checked off. If anything is left over, transfer to tomorrow’s list and begin again.

4. Write it down! And write it down on your calendar or in your planner, not on scraps of paper to be lost.

5. Record ideas immediately. Thoughts are fleeting. Everything that has ever been accomplished was first an idea. If not written down, it will be forgotten. If not written down, it will not be done.

6. Use "wait time" productively. Book, pad, pencil, calendar – don’t leave home without them.

7. Organize your work area and keep it neat. Have proper equipment and keep it within your reach. Keep things filed or in their place.

8. Handle it once. While it is in your hand, take care of it or place it in an appropriate place to be done as a “batch item” - i.e. mail, orders to fill, errands to run, phone calls to make.

9. Bunch tasks together. Pay bills twice a month. Use one day for correspondence. Go through publications once a month. Run errands once a week. Buy office supplies once a month. Do other shopping once a month.

10. Do one job at a time and give it your full attention. “This one thing I do.”

11. Learn to say “No” and feel good about it. Just because you are good at something, does not mean you have to do it. Never say, “Yes” just to be liked. People like you for your personality, not for your accomplishments.

12. Develop listening skills. Ask pertinent questions. Think about and picture the results.

13. Can you give it fifteen minutes? It is amazing how much stuff you can knock out in 15 minutes of concentrated work. You will not be able to organize the entire office in one fifteen-minute segment, but you can start with one drawer or one file.

14. Use “think” time effectively. Schedule in time for refreshment and reflection.. Genuinely think about your goals, values and decisions. Ask yourself these questions. “Is what I am doing helping or hurting? What can I do to improve the situation?”

15. Work on your dream every day. No exceptions. The longest journey is made one step at a time. What seems like not much today, adds up to the collective whole. “What did you do today to make your dreams come true?”

Begin working on these and let me know your results. mdunkin@flash.net

Time Management Tips

There is no more time to be made. Everyone is allotted 24 hours a day, how we use it is up to us. Effective is doing things in order of priority that results in production and fulfillment.

Efficient is getting the job done without expending undue energy or resources, or engaging in stress. I would like to help you be both effective and efficient. This is done through personal management, not just of time but also of every aspect of your life: physical and emotional, tangible and intangible.

Read the definitions below.

Effective – doing the right things in order of priority which results in production and fulfillment

Efficient – doing things right the first time without expending undue energy or resources

Personal Management – accepting personal responsibility for my personal actions, attitudes and results

Pro-Active – acting before a crises arrives; pre-planning

Values – measure of desire; worthwhile, treasure, important

Planning – what you need to do or want to do to make your life more meaningful Scheduling - when to do the things you have planned

Vision – having a clear sense of what is possible

Commitment – the method of transforming potential into reality

As you learn to be both effective and efficient, remember planning is what and scheduling is when. First determine what. Get a legal pad and divide a page into several sections, i.e. kid’s activities, organizing my home, me-time, my schooling needs, chores, errands, etc. As you go through the day and things come to mind, write down what you want or need to do in each area. Right now all you are doing is writing it down.

Look at the things you have written down and get a calendar and begin to consider when these things will be done. Some are scheduled for you, such as doctor’s appointments or ball games. Other things you need to schedule in between those already mandated. Spread the items on your legal pad over a month.

It is also effective to have a Family Command Center where you can see at a glance the activities provided and plan the ones you can attend. Here's how:

FAMILY COMMAND CENTER

Place a month-at-a-glance appointment calendar in a central location

Train each family member to write in appointments or activities as scheduled

In a convenient location, have a box or basket labeled with each family member’s name. Place mail or found stray-items in the box for the individual to take care of.

Train each individual to audit his box frequently, a minimum of once a day.

Use an initial reward system for compliance. Have a tough-love method of truth or consequences.

In a convenient location, keep an on-going categorized list of items needed or errands to run.

Train each individual to be pro-active to keep a well-stocked pantry by adding to the list when something needs to be purchased or replaced (i.e. the cereal is getting low).
Following these ideas can add hours to your day and enjoyment to your life. Let me know how they are working for you. Also share your time management tricks with me. Let me hear from you. mdunkin@flash.net