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Quirks that Cost us Time

time.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Today we want to focus on time.

Quirks. Call them peculiarities, idiosyncracies, habits, oddities, eccentricities …

Okay, we’ll end our tour of the Thesaurus!

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We all have quirks which, to some extent, make us who we are. But some of them get in the way of our bigg success. There’s way too many to cover in a short post, so we’ll discuss a few quirks that perfectionists sometimes exhibit.

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georgeAh … perfectionism. I have to admit to falling into this one, but I get it honestly – my Dad was a perfectionist. To this day, I have to fight the urge to get it perfect. It’s too high of a standard for most of the things we do. We’re only human; we need to accept it.

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The Compulsive Cleaning Quirk

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marylynnSomething that goes along with perfectionism is being obsessive about something. For example – the Compulsive Cleaning Quirk. No one could accuse me of this. Maybe the Compulsive Picking Up for the Cleaning Person quirk!

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We’re told from the time we’re kids that cleanliness is next to godliness. So Compulsive Cleaners clean … and clean … and clean. And they pick up … and pick up … and pick up. Obviously, clean and tidy are good things but there are limits. This quirk sweeps away your valuable time.

The Infomaniac Quirk

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georgeThis is a quirk I constantly fight. It’s the need to have all the information before you get started. News flash – it’s impossible! There’s just too much information available. There are too many options these days. This quirk deletes your productive time.

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The Minutiae Quirk

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marylynnPeople who fall into this trap get caught up in all the little details and lose sight of the bigg picture. It’s important not to get mired down in the bits and pieces and lose track of the cohesive whole. This quirk turns your activities into trivial pursuits.

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Perfectionism can hurt our productivity. So when you feel your quirkiness coming out, here are some little things that make a bigg difference:

Strive for excellence, not perfection.

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marylynnPerfectionists aren’t going to settle for anything less than stellar. You will still put out a high quality product or service, but remind yourself that you don’t have to get it perfect.

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georgeEven though my Dad was a perfectionist, he had this saying, “It’s good enough for who it’s for.” Of course, he usually said this when he was working on a project for himself! Remind yourself that sometimes good enough is good enough.

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Know when to say “when”

Give yourself a deadline – be it thirty minutes or thirty days – to accomplish something. This will help you focus on moving ahead without getting caught up in trying to make something perfect.

Make a decision

Take comfort in the amount of information you have. Remind yourself that you can adapt as new information hits your radar.

Remind yourself that “the devil is in the details” but the destination is the direction. Don’t just begin with the end in mind as Stephen Covey taught us; keep the end in mind. Everything should move you closer to your destination.

A law and a question

The law of diminishing returns underlies this whole discussion. You reach a point where it’s just not worth your time to do anymore.

So how do you know when you’ve reached that point? Ask yourself about materiality.

If you press on, what material difference will you make to the finished product?

If it’s material, press on. If not, move on. It’s a key to bigg success.

Have you battled perfectionism? What have you done to get past it? Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG (2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

We think it’s just perfect that you read our post today. Thank you so much!

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Frank Sinatra did it “his way.” Please join us next time when we’ll talk about why Frank wouldn’t make it today. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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This Word Helps You Keep Your Resolutions

no We found a list of the thirteen most popular New Year’s resolutions. It’s a great page full of links to tips on how to keep them.

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The list itself doesn’t contain any real surprises:

  • lose weight
  • manage debt
  • save money
  • get a better job
  • get fit
  • eat right
  • get a better education
  • drink less alcohol
  • quit smoking now
  • reduce stress overall
  • reduce stress at work
  • take a trip
  • volunteer to help others

As we discussed this list, we realized that there is one word that can often make all the difference in keeping our resolutions.

That word is … No!

You can’t keep putting yourself, or your goals, on the back burner and expect anything to change. You have to say, “No!”

Say no to everything that doesn’t help you achieve your goals.

Say no and get fit

For example, assume your resolution is to “Get fit.” Depending on your commute to your preferred fitness center, it will take at least an hour every time you work out.

But it’s really important to you so you’re going to make time to do it.

Then a co-worker or a friend asks you to serve on a committee or join a club that has weekly meetings. Just say No!

Your “No” doesn’t have to be forever. It just has to be for right now while you fit (pun intended) exercise in your daily routine. Once you’ve made it a habit, then you can consider something else.

Say no and get out of debt

Another common resolution is to “Manage debt.” Of course, the first step is to stop getting further in debt.

Since this is really important to you, you’ll find ways to control your spending.

Two common things that hurt our budgets are major purchases and daily decisions. Get in the habit of saying no to things you don’t need so you stop getting further in debt and save money to pay your debt down.

No – it’s a negative word that will positively help you reach your goals!

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Would you like help setting strong, achievable goals? Get our FREE Goal Planning Workbook when you subscribe to our FREE weekly newsletter. That’s something you’ll want to say “Yes” to!

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We really appreciate you checking in on us today. Next week, we’ll look at what’s hot in 2009. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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(Image in today's post by Cieleke)

Get Rid Of Clutter And Save An Hour A Day With These Simple Tips

clock 

According to Newsweek (June 7, 2004), the average American loses 55 minutes EVERY day searching for things they can’t find. We thought that particularly appropriate as we prepare to “spring forward” this weekend, here in the U.S. We’ll “lose” an hour this weekend, but you can get it back every day!

Clutter can cost you more than time. You may have to pay late fees if your bills don’t get paid on time. If you miss appointments, relationships can be damaged. In some places, clutter is so pervasive that people have been injured when they tripped over it!

4 clutter-busters to save you time and money!

#1 – Use it or lose it.
If in doubt, throw it out! Many people do the opposite – they keep it unless they know they won’t use it. Apply the six-month rule. Have you used it in the last six months? Do you KNOW that you’ll use it in the next six months? If the answer is “no” to both of those questions, then lose it!

If it’s a document that you need to maintain, consider scanning it. Electronic storage takes up a lot less space!

#2 – Make a place for everything and keep everything in its place.
After the first tip, you should have a lot less to put away now. Find a place for everything you keep. Once you’ve put it there, keep it there. When you use something, put it back immediately after you’re done with it. Make it a habit.

#3 – Call on a pro.
You may not be the “do-it-yourself” type. Or maybe you just don’t have a knack for organization. Check out the National Association of Professional Organizers. You can search for organizers in your area and find some great tips on hiring a specialist.

#4 – Once you get uncluttered, make sure you don’t re-clutter.
Daily maintenance is the key. Create a system for handling incoming items like your mail, newspapers, and periodicals. For example, you may open your mail over your shredder. Sort any mail you save by action date and file it appropriately. When today’s newspaper is here, yesterday’s is gone. Same with magazines.

Clutter may be a symptom of a bigger problem.
There’s one final note we wanted to make about clutter – clutter may not be the problem. It may be a symptom of this bigger problem …

… You’re TOO busy!

If you find yourself diving right into your next project immediately after finishing your last project because you’re up against yet another tight deadline, you’re too busy!

Start living on human time. Stop expecting too much from yourself.

Slow down so you can catch up!

Being clutter-free is good for your well-being. It helps you think more clearly. It can save you an hour a day! So schedule some time to attack the clutter and prevent it from coming back!

Do you have some de-cluttering tips to share?

Leave us a Comment. We’ll gladly accept your help!

Our bigg quote today comes from educator and author, Dr. Laurence J. Peter:

“If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind,
what is the significance of a clean desk?”

We’d like to come up with a witty comment about our bigg quote, but our mind’s blank!

Next time, we’ll interview a business networking expert who will share his 3 keys to effective networking. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image by PPDIGITAL, CC 2.0)

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A Way to Listen More Attentively with 3 Tips on How to Do It

By Bigg Success Staff
07-21-08

Life Skills

listening 

Listening attentively is one of the single most important skills you can develop. You’ll build deeper relationships much more quickly. You’ll learn more about a variety of subjects than you can imagine. You’ll also uncover opportunities that help you move onward and upward.

But listening is hard work!

We don’t think of it that way, but it is. Listening is a habit. Like many good habits, it doesn’t happen naturally. 

So here’s a way to develop the habit of listening attentively:

Focus on asking follow-up questions

When you let someone else speak, you make them feel important. When you ask relevant follow-up questions, you make them feel even more important.

You send the message that you really are listening. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to come up with a good question!

You also reinforce that you really are interested in what he or she is saying. Why would you extend the conversation if that weren’t the case?

But focusing on asking follow-up questions serves an even more important role – it forces you to listen attentively.

As we mentioned earlier, you can’t form pertinent questions if you aren’t listening carefully to what is being said.

But we won’t kid you … it’s still a hard habit to develop. So here are 3 tips to make this part of your communication arsenal:

It’s not just about the words

Sure the words being spoken are important. But there are other cues for which you should be alert. For example, if you’re talking to someone in-person, pay attention to body language, facial expressions, and voice inflections. Your question very well may come not from what they said, but how they said it.

Use self-prompts

One of the reasons we don’t listen as well as we should is because our brain is busy thinking about what we’re going to say once the other person quits talking. Get over this by providing yourself a one-word cue for your question. Then all you have to do is “cue” your brain when the other person finishes his or her thought.

For example, assume you're talking to a friend abut his new car. He tells you that he can get into it and start it without keys. He then shows you the sunroof. You've put the word "keys" in cue – repeating it several times in your head – until he stops talking. Then you ask how the key system works.  

Practice, practice, practice

Like any good habit, listening attentively won’t happen overnight. Make it a point to practice your new craft – ask good follow-up questions in every conversation you have for at least the next two weeks. By then, you should be a pro!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Success Building Blocks: Cooperation

By Bigg Success Staff
06-25-08

Timeless Principles

success_pyramid 

John Wooden, arguably the best coach in the history of college basketball, developed the Pyramid of Success. It’s a wonderful tool to succeed bigg in any endeavor you choose.

So far, we’ve looked at three blocks of his Pyramid. We started with his two cornerstones –  Industriousness on the left and Enthusiasm on the right. Now we’re looking at the three stones that fill out the foundation. We began with Friendship, the block that sits next to Industriousness.

Now we’ll look at the block that sits next to Enthusiasm.

Cooperation
It takes a solid foundation to make a building strong. Success must also be built on a solid base if you want it to last.

Cooperation is one of the blocks upon which to build. Cooperation begins on the inside. You must have a spirit of cooperation. Then, that attitude is displayed by your behavior.

One way that you show your willingness to cooperate is to understand the other person’s point-of-view. Try to see what the other person is seeing. Try to feel what the other person is feeling. Then you can think how the other person is thinking and you’ll accomplish more. 

Another part of this is a genuine desire to help people. Wooden talks about cooperating with your co-workers at all levels. If you develop the habit of helping people who need help, you’ll succeed. Whether it’s the CEO or the janitor, do what needs to be done to help your team win!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Don’t Put Off Taking This Test

By Bigg Success Staff
02-22-08

Test Yourself

question_mark 

We all know the old saying, “Don’t do today what you can put off to tomorrow!”

Oops, wait a minute – we got that wrong. Of course, it’s actually, “Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today.”

Ah, procrastination!
All of us do it occasionally. But when it becomes a habit, it is a problem. It often makes accomplishing your task even more difficult. It creates unneeded stress. And it’s one of the hardest habits to break.

The good people at Psychology Today have a test to see how much you procrastinate. It will take you less than 5 minutes to answer the ten questions.

You’ll instantly know if you put things off too much. So check it out now … or later! 

Source: Psychology Today Procrastination Test

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