September 05, 2008

Schedule Your Priorities The way to make sure that you do the things that are really impactful is to put them on your calendar. Steven Covey is the famous author of The 7 Habits Series of books and he makes this point succinctly in the quote above. When you are scheduled for the things that are really important and let the less important thing take only the 'extra' time you have, you are on the road to feeling in control, productive, and being successful. The opposite of scheduling your priorities is letting other people take your time, reacting to the emergency of the moment (found when you checked your email no doubt), and losing site of what you're responsible to do. This usually is accompanied by stress, overwhelm, and working overtime. Kim has an appointment with her assistant every morning at 8:15am without fail. They look at the day ahead and coordinate the things that should be done and must be done. They look at the days ahead and begin preparation for meetings and projects due soon. By scheduling this appointment every morning Kim & Allen (the assistant) stay on top of everything and are usually calm, cool, and collected. Back in my days at Hewlett-Packard a department head, Tom, would take time at the end of the week to write a quick list of accomplishments. He had his List Making on his calendar and rarely missed those 15 minutes with his career planning. That list allowed him to sell himself into a number of positions that advanced his career quickly. His priority to keep his career front & center by making an appointment with himself paid big dividends. What are you allowing to take over your schedule? What would you schedule and protect to reach the ends your have as goals?
Stop Junk Mail #3 Do you get more solicitations for donations than you can stand? Are trees felled to simply support charitable organizations' solicitation initiative which means junk mail to you? I have to say I admire how thoroughly many not-for-profits understand direct marketing – they know how many times to mail to you per month, what to say in those letters, when to include a self-addressed-stamped envelope or comment that your stamp will help support finding a cure for (fill in the blank) and a whole barrel of other things to get money into their bank account for their worthy causes. And, enough is enough. As many of you readers know, my Dad passed away early this year. Putting a change of address at his post office has resulting in more solicitations per week than I used to get per year. I am the most persistent junk-mail reductionist you'll ever meet. And I've found a new step to take. First a reminder: Step 1 to stop junk mail is Opt-Out and the Direct Marketing association website. Here's the first article on that here at the PCafe: Stop Junk Mail. To stop the stuff coming to Dad I have a two action approach. #1 – Open the solicitation. Cut out the portion of the letter that contains his (your) address. Put a bright post-it on requesting that this address be removed from the charity's lists – all lists – and that you are Opting Out. Use the enclosed envelope (even if you have to put your own stamp on it) and send in your request. #2 – Go to the charity's website. Today I did the Alzheimer's Association. Find the 'contact us' button and click on it. At the bottom of the page find the privacy policy link. Click on it. Read until you find the section on mailing to you. At Alzheimer's Association it said the following: Your choice We respect your privacy and recognize that you may wish to limit the ways in which we contact you. Simply send an e-mail to with the following information: To remove your name from mailing lists shared with other organizations, please provide your full name, mailing address and a sentence requesting removal. To remove your name from the Alzheimer's Association postal mailing list, please provide your full name, mailing address and a sentence requesting suppression of your personal information in our files. To review...

Susan Sabo

I am a tool-loving productivity specialist who gets things done so I can travel the world, bicycle our country, spoil my friends & colleagues, and show you how to do the same.

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