Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Reframe Your SELF

For over two millennia at least, authentic ancient traditions have been telling us that as individuals we're frequently making a very subtle yet devastating mistake in our lives...

We're incorrectly identifying our SELF!  Yes, it sounds counter-intuitive, but in fact it's not.  In the modern Western world, especially, we're taught from infancy to identify our SELF with our brain, our thoughts and our emotions.  That's right, Descartes has won - we're all taught to believe his maxim, "I think, therefore I am".  

In fact, though, your true "self", your deepest "essence" is none of these things.  It's not your brain, nor is it the mindstream of endless thought running through your head, nor is it the emotions attached to those thoughts or welling up from deep within.  You HAVE a brain, thoughts and emotions, but you are not any one of them, nor any combination of them.

If you believe your brain, thoughts and emotions constitute your personal identity, then you automatically reduce your body to the role of a simple transportation system, a "biological golf cart" if you will.  And this unleashes a host of obstacles in your life and will suck your RESILIENCE dry:

  • You will live in your head
  • Therefore you will reduce the role of the body to that of a transportation system
  • This will induce a pattern of chest breathing, which in turn will push energy higher into your torso and head, leaving you increasingly vulnerable to negative emotional states
  • This disrupts the entire human energy system and leads to emotional imbalance
  • Chest breathing also has physical consequences, in that it fails to detoxify the major organs as abdominal breathing does 
  • It also leads to emotional incompetence - the tendency to either repress emotion or act it out.  Both tendencies leave you as the slave of your emotional world.
  • Until you "get back in your body", you'll never master your emotions 
The only way out of this sad state of affairs is to engage in a meditative process.  This allows you to observe the mindstream and realize by your own experience that neither your thoughts nor your emotions are the REAL you.  It also puts your consciousness back inside your body where it belongs instead of letting it wander aimlessly in the world of the senses looking for something to ease the pain.  And there is nothing more painful than repressing emotion.

If you're making this fundamental "anthropological" mistake of identifying your Self with your brain, what you're really doing is reducing who you are to a bunch of acquired, observable characteristics, to the conditioning you've inherited from your society.  You are SO much more than that.

Now here I could get all poetic on you and tell you you're in the image and likeness of God, you're the Buddha nature or you're a being of light.  All of these are true, in that your real capacities exceed anything you've likely experienced.  But in the end, you have to discover all this for yourself or it has no value, it's just more useless information.

So the first step to recovering your personal resilience is to take your consciousness within, where you'll discover the real YOU over time and free yourself from bondage to your mindstream and emotions.  You'll stop living in a past you can't change or a future that's not here yet and discover the joy of being "present" to the "now".

And once you've done that, you're ready for the next step in your healing...

~Dr. Symeon Rodger

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Phenomenal Insight into the Mind-Body Connection... from an MD!

Just got back from a whirlwind four days in Toronto at the 13th annual Energy Psychology Conference, an event that brings together some incredibly gifted healers from across North America and around the world.

Aside from putting on a workshop on Advanced Bodywork at the conference, I was also privileged to share the stage as one of the three keynote speakers, along with Dr. Gabor Maté and Lynn McTaggart.  While circumstances prevented me from attending Lynn's talk, I did get to Gabor's and it was SUPER. 

(My own keynote was called Hacking Perfection: 7 Secrets for Making Yourself and Your Clients Healthier, Happier and Hardier Than You Ever Thought Possible.  I'll be sharing its contents with you later.  The good news is that it was a big hit.  Now, though, I'd like to focus on Dr. Maté's keynote...)

If you're unfamiliar with the work of Dr. Gabor Maté, you might want to take a look at it - he has some valuable insights for you in the realm of human resilience...

You can watch an interview with him here:

I read one of his books a few years ago, called When the Body Says No!.  It's a great book demonstrating not simply the undeniable link between mind and body, but specifically how repressed emotion manifests as malignancy.  Not great news for a culture that chronically suppresses emotion ;-)

(Note: this is the cover for the US edition.  The Canadian cover differs.)

Dr. Maté made three main points about contemporary Western medicine:

1. It separates the mind from the body

2. It separates the person from his/her environment, including relationships

3. It doesn't recognize the body's innate healing capacity

He went on to say that because we evaluate people by their behavior, appearance and circumstances, we tend to identify our SELF as the combination of these things or, to put it another way, we tend to identify our SELF with our personality.  However, the personality is an "imposter", in his words, and the real task of any true healer is simply to help people to see themselves clearly and accurately.

With many years of experience in the medical field, Dr. Maté asserts that cancers and many other serious illnesses, as well as addictions, are usually attempts to avoid feeling the uncomfortable.  This existential stance of refusing to face uncomfortable emotional energies puts your whole being in a defensive mode; however, the cells of the body cannot be in growth mode and defensive mode at the same time.  The former promotes life, the latter death.

Since our personality is so busy trying to avoid reality, it ends up refusing to see the truth and plunging the whole organism into dysfunction and illness.  The real task of the healer is to hold a space of compassion that will allow the client to face his/her inner world so as to transform it.  All of this, he said, is not particularly easy in a society that blocks healthy aggression and persistently sends us the message that maintaining our relationships requires us to betray our own authenticity.

The title of his address, The Archeology of Silence, underlines how essential it is for the healer to pay attention to and perceive the client's non-verbal communications because they contain vital clues about what's really going on. 

While I don't claim this summary does justice to his presentation, I do believe that all of us can benefit enormously from Dr. Maté's work.  So put this guy on your reading list ;-)

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger 

Friday, 7 October 2011

Join Me at This Year's Energy Psychology Conference!

Just two short weeks from today the 13th annual Energy Psychology Conference begins in Toronto, Canada!

Along with numerous other top experts I'll be there, presenting a two-hour workshop on Friday October 21 called Advanced Bodywork for Emotional Balance and Mind-Body Reintegration.

This workshop contains lots of material I've never presented before - it's the shape of things to come in mind-body integration, a real "how-to" guide to becoming authentically human, mastering your emotions and improving your health.  You don't have to continue living in the "mind-body divorce" of Western culture that's messing you up on every plane of your existence.  There IS a better way!

You can get all the info on the conference and register here:

Why Come to the Energy Psychology Conference?

First, you get to meet many of the top healers in the world today and learn cutting edge methods you can use in your own life, in the lives of your loved ones and, if you're a practitioner, with your clients.

There are amazing keynote addresses, great workshops, plenty of time to make new friends and a well-stocked bookstore - it's paradise ;-)

Among this year's presenters is Lynn McTaggart, the famous author of the now classic bestseller, The Field: the Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe.  Lynn is one of the world's top authorities on energy healing and cutting edge biology. 

Lynn McTaggart

So have a look at the EPC site using this link.  If you can possibly come to this amazing conference I would encourage you to do so because it's an incomparable learning opportunity!

Hope to see you there!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Amazing Demo of Personality Types

Recently I had the privilege of attending a talk by Dr. Robert Rohm, probably the foremost exponent of the DISC personality assessment today.  I wasn't expecting anything special since I was already extensively familiar with DISC, but was I in for a surprise!  This was one of the most dynamic and engaging presentations I've ever seen...

"If you would describe yourself as an outgoing person," said Dr. Rohm, "I'd like you to go and stand at that end of the room.  But if you'd describe yourself as a more reserved person, then please stand at the opposite end.  Just go with whatever your inclination is now - this isn't cast in stone."

So we all headed to our respective ends of the room, as he continued... "Now, within each of your groups, some of you will be more 'task oriented' while others are more naturally 'people oriented'.  If you believe you're more people oriented, please stand on the window side of the room and if you're more task oriented, I'd like you to stand over on the door side of the room.  Do all this while staying at your respective ends of the room."

So there we were, neatly divided into four groups:

  • Outgoing and task oriented
  • Outgoing and people oriented
  • Reserved and people oriented
  • Reserved and task oriented
 Dr. Rohm described each of the above groups in order, explaining, "We call these groups respectively D, I, S and C.  You D types are dominant; you like to be in control and take charge, telling others what to do.  You want to run the show.

"You I types are inspiring, the life of the party.  You want to be in the limelight and you think you ARE the show.

"You S types are supportive and sensitive.  You're always there for others, you're great team players and your only concern is that the show should go well for everyone.

"You C types are cautious and careful.  You do things thoroughly and methodically, always pursuing excellence.  You'll plan the show so nothing goes wrong."

Looking around the room and knowing a lot of the other attendees personally, I could see he had pretty well hit the nail on the head.  The irony was that since the group was composed heavily of entrepreneurs, the D and I types were over-represented in terms of the general population.  

The Punch Line

"You D types," he went on, "...the happiest day of your parents' life was the day you left home and stopped telling them how to raise you.  As for you I- types, the saddest day in your parents' life was the day you left home, because all the fun left with you.  You S types never did leave home because you're so happy where you are.  And you C types have bought your parents' home and are now leasing it back to them!"

"Now understand that these types are complimentary and no one type is 'better' than another.  It's just how you're wired.  But there's more to it: all of us contain all four types within us.  It's just that one or two of the types will dominate while the others have much less influence on your behavior.  So if you couldn't be in the quadrant you're standing in now, point to the one that you feel would describe next best how you're wired."

We all pointed.  I'm a high C / high S blend, so I pointed to the S quadrant folks standing at the back of the room on the window side.  

"Notice that almost all of you pointed to your left or right and that only a couple of you pointed directly across the room.  Typically the quadrant across the room is the lowest one on your chart and the one you understand the least.

"Also, there's normally a third quadrant that you 'live in' some of the time.  It may not describe your deepest wiring but you're capable of stretching yourself to go there when needed.  What is that quadrant for you?"

I pointed to the D quadrant.  I don't usually feel a huge compulsion to be in charge, but if I'm on a team with a common task to accomplish and I see that the leadership is absent or ineffective, I will automatically take over and start directing things.  

In short, we had a blast at Dr. Rohm's presentation.  It was superb.  Here's a short video of him telling a funny story of his encounter with a high-C type...

The DISC system, represented by the graphic up above, is a fantastic resilience tool for understanding yourself and others.   In the business world, it's a very effective tool for building highly productive teams or for diagnosing and eliminating the tensions and conflicts within a team.  

And I'm delighted to announce that from this moment forward, Global Resilience Solutions will be offering DISC training for teams!  Does your team need help?  If so, give us a call at 888-532-9504. 

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger 

*Please note the "quotations" from Dr. Rohm's presentation are simply paraphrased and may not represent his actual wording.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Amazing Low-Tech Stress Relief

"Now just lie back on your mats and place the two balls under the very top of your trapezius muscles.  That's right.... Now slowly push up from your feet, lifting your pelvis off the mat..."

It all sounded so easy as Amanda, our Yoga instructor, gave the directions.  Easy until the pain set in!  

"Holy s_ _ _ that hurts!" was all I could think.  Just like having a massage therapist's magic fingers dig right in.  Fortunately, I could use my body to control the level of discomfort.

That's the genius of Yoga Tune-Up technology - using Yoga balls to mimic a great massage up and down your back or pretty well anywhere else you need it.  And it's a lot cheaper than massage therapy, that's for sure!

The yoga balls are basically small rubber balls the size of a tennis ball.  If you squeeze them, there's certainly some "give" to them, but they do have a definite firmness.

I sure found a lot of knots to work out of my muscles - hence the pain factor for me.  Of course, it didn't help that I'd done my weight routine just before Yoga class either - I'm sure that contributed a few knots!  

As the class went on, we gradually moved the balls farther down the back, hitting the rhomboids, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, and "the gluts".  At the end, we really did feel very relaxed (and not just because it felt so good to stop!).

The beauty of Yoga balls is also that you don't have to know much at all about traditional Hatha Yoga to benefit from them.  If you need to relieve the physical and psychological tensions built up in your muscles, you can do it right away with just about no training.  

Have a Look at this Excellent Demo:

Here at Global Resilience Solutions, we're always looking for easy-to-use tools to help you improve your health, dissolve your stress and relax you more.  And Yoga Tune-Up's ingenious little balls are a prime example.  No need to wait to see a massage- or phsyio-therapist to get those knots out of your muscles.  You can do it anytime!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger 

Monday, 19 September 2011

Top 10 Benefits to Knowing and Living Your Purpose

Brad Swift has kindly provided a second article for us!  In the unlikely event you don't already know of him, he is a foremost expert on personal life purpose and co-founded Life On Purpose Institute in 1996 so people like you could have more fulfilling and satisfying lives through clarifying their life purpose.  NOTE: I will be interviewing Brad for you this Wednesday night, September 21, at 8pm Eastern.

          The Top 10 Benefits to Knowing &  Living Your Purpose
                                        by W. Bradford Swift

As the founder and director of an organization with a name like Life On
Purpose Institute, I guess it's not surprising to hear me say that I feel
that one of the most important matters that anyone can do for themselves and
the world is to become clear what their true purpose in life is and to then
live true to it. So, I'd like to point out some of the many benefits to
knowing and living your life purpose.

These are some of the benefits most commonly shared by the clients of Life
On Purpose Institute as well as ones that I have personally experienced by
clarifying and living my own life on purpose.

1. Focus

When you clearly know your life purpose, it becomes a truing mechanism
allowing you to focus more clearly on what matters most to you. Many people
report that this has been one of the most valuable benefits to going through
the Purpose Process (TM), especially once they begin to use their life
purpose to make their decisions and choices in where and how they are going
to invest their time, energy, money and talents.

2. Passion

For many people clarifying their life purpose becomes the key to unlocking
their passion for life. The passion becomes the fuel that propels them
forward in expressing their life purpose, often in extraordinary ways beyond
anything they would have considered before they clarified their purpose.

3. Being Unstoppable

People living on purpose become unstoppable, particularly the longer they
live true to their purpose and the more they allow their purpose to shape
their life. People without clarity of purpose often finds themselves stopped
or stuck in life, which isn't surprising because they haven‚t tapped into
their passion so they're like a high powered automobile without any fuel in
their tank.

4. Fulfillment

Living a life in which you are regularly expressing your life purpose and
allowing it to shape your decisions, your thoughts, feelings and actions is
simply a whole lot more fulfilling. A life on purpose is filled with
meaning, and people on purpose realize they are making a difference in the
world simply by being in the world.

5. Living a Value-based Life

You will learn as you delve more deeply into the Purpose Process (TM) that
an integral component of a person's life purpose are their "core values" --
those intangibles of life that mean the most to them. Our core values are at
the heart of all the values we've been taught we "should value." Think of it
like 3 concentric circles. The largest circle is composed of our "should
values," the next circle inside that one is our "chosen values"  -- the
should values that we actually choose to hold onto and live from. The last
circle is our "core values" -- those chosen values that truly matter most to
us. Since these core values are an integral part of your life purpose, when
you are living a life on purpose, you are living a "value-based" life,
rather than a "lifestyle" based life.

6. Fun

Let‚s face it, living on purpose is simply a lot more fun than living a life
based in fear and shoulds. People who know their life purpose and are living
it have a renewed zest for life. They can bring purposeful play to almost
any situation and find or create ways to have each day be a reflection of
their true joy and purpose.

7. Integrity

For me, a life on purpose is a life of ultimate integrity. It's a life that
is whole and complete. People who know their purpose and are living it, know
who they are and why they are here. They live true to their core values as
they serve themselves and others through the expression of their life

8. Trust / Faith

As people clarify their life purpose and begin to live true to it,  many of
them report a surprising increase in synchronicity and serendipity in their
lives. It's as though the Universe is rewarding them for the courage to live
true to their purpose. With this comes a deepening in trust and faith for
most of these people, as they realize that indeed there is a greater force
in the Universe than themselves and they are an integral part of that force.

9. Grace

According to the dictionary, grace is "the unmerited divine assistance given
man..." and people living on purpose often report living a grace-filled
life. When you commit to living true to your purpose, something amazing
begins to happen. The Universe lines up with your intention and commitment.
Perhaps this quote says it best:

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always
ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creativity there is
one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and
splendid plans:that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then
providence moves too."

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have
occurred.  A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising ones
favor all manner of assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have
come his way.  I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power
and magic in it." W. H. Murray

10. Flow

And perhaps we can summarize the other 9 benefits under this last one.
People living on purpose live in the flow of the Universal stream of
consciousness. Rather than fighting against the current, they allow the
current of what's wanting to happen to happen. They allow what's wanting to
flow to flow. They know that while they may never completely understand or
comprehend God's divine design and plan for this Universe, they can still be
an integral part in its realization. 

Mark Your Calendar!

I'll be interviewing Brad on Wednesday September 21 at 8pm Eastern :-)
See you there!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Is YOUR Life On Purpose?

This week's guest author is none other than Brad Swift.  In the unlikely event you don't already know of him, he is a foremost expert on personal life purpose and co-founded Life On Purpose Institute in 1996 so people like you could have more fulfilling and satisfying lives through clarifying their life purpose.  NOTE: I will be interviewing Brad for you next Wednesday night, September 21, at 8pm Eastern.

IS YOUR LIFE ON PURPOSE? by W. Bradford Swift

Until thought is linked with purpose, there is no intelligent
accomplishment.  With the majority, the bark of thought is allowed to drift
upon the ocean of life.  A man or woman should conceive of a legitimate
purpose in his heart, and set out to accomplish it.
James Allen

Is you life on purpose?  Does just the question stop you in your tracks as it
does many people?  Have you been so caught up in the frenetic pace of
today’s consumeristic culture that you’ve not dared wonder if your life is
going in the right direction?

Perhaps you feel a little like Alice in Wonderland when she was taken on a
wild ride through the countryside by the Red Queen?  No matter how fast
Alice ran she couldn’t seem to get anywhere.  Finally, breathless from her
efforts, the Queen allowed her to rest long enough for Alice to comment that
"Everything is just as it was!" to which the Queen replied, ", you
see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.  If you
want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"

If this sounds like one of your typical days or weeks, or your whole life
for that matter, then it’s times to jump from the not so merry-go-round and
re-evaluate a few of your priorities.  Responding to the following
statements will give you a good starting point.  Grade yourself on a scale
from 1 to 10.

1. I am crystal clear what my life purpose is.

Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Agree

Of course, to live a life on purpose starts with knowing what your purpose
is.  If you aren’t sure, then that’s where to start.  Don’t feel bad if you
aren’t clear.  According to Cynthia Kersey in her book, Unstoppable
(, when psychologist, William Marsten, asked
3,000 people the question, “What have you to live for?” 94 percent said they
had no definite purpose for their lives -- 94 percent! That leaves only 6
percent of us who know why we’re here. No wonder we’re not a particularly
happy society.

2. The life I lead is a full expression of my life purpose.

Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Agree

Knowing your purpose is really only the start.  About a quarter of the
people who request my services as a life purpose coach feel they know their
purpose but also realize that their life doesn’t reflect it.  In other
words, they aren’t living true to it.

3. I live a values-based life rather than a materialistic-based life.
Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Agree

Many Americans have sold out their values for the Great American Dream
forced down our throats by Madison Avenue advertising.  Luckily, we’re
starting to realize the dream is actually a nightmare, but with hundreds of
exposures to advertising every week, living a value-based life can make you
feel like a salmon swimming up stream.

4. My life is free of unnecessary clutter and complexities and I seldom feel
overwhelmed, rushed or cluttered.

Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Agree

More people give themselves a lower rating with this statement than anywhere
else.  It appears many of other or choking on our own clutter.  If you don’t
believe it, look around your own neighborhood.  How many new self-storage
businesses have opened up in the last five years.  In the small mountain
community where I live there’s been at least two new ones, and their
businesses are flourishing.

5. I regularly take time to nurture myself in ways that feed my soul.

Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Agree

A big issue for many people.  Some of my clients are so driven that the
concept of taking even 15 minutes for themselves to just sit and do nothing
but breath and relax is almost inconceivable.  Taking an entire evening to
just nurture oneself is beyond comprehension for most.

How did you do on the sample test?  Or did you feel you didn’t have the time
to take it right now because you need to get on to more important stuff.
Wake up Alice!  Nothing is more important than identifying your purpose and
living true to it.  It’s just so easy to drift through life like a cork
thrown by the currents of circumstances, back and forth, living what Thoreau
describes as “lives of quiet desperation.”

The good news is that it’s not too late.  It is possible to start living on
purpose immediately, even before you clearly know your purpose.  Because
even asking the questions, “who am I and what is my life for?” begins to
shape your life into a new direction.  It all starts when you ask the
questions.  “Seek and you will find.  Ask and it will be given unto you.”

Start asking today. For a more in depth, FREE evaluation of how on purpose
your life is, take the Life On Purpose Self Test at and earn a complimentary life purpose coaching

Again, remember to join us Wednesday Sept. 21, 2011 as Brad helps you personally get a handle on your own life purpose and how to live it.  The call-in information will follow shortly.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger 

Friday, 9 September 2011

Take Back Control of Your Time EASILY

Time... your top non-renewable resource.  You can always make more money, make new friends and start over in life.  The one thing you can never do is recover lost time.

Has control over your own time (and therefore over your energy) constantly eluded you?  It certainly mystified me for years.  So how do you transition from the "managed chaos" of your life now to:

  • Having full control over how you use your time
  • Being able to accomplish everything that's really important
  • While giving yourself more free time for the things that matter most to you
Let's Talk About the BASICS

If you need to get hold of your time better, you need to SEE your time visually.
  1. Open a new Excel spreadsheet (or use a spreadsheet from Google Docs, as discussed in the previous post).

  2. Across the top, label the columns Sunday to Sunday.  Having the extra day's overlap at the end of the week is something I find visually useful.    Down the side of the spreadsheet, put the time in half hour increments from the time you get up until the time you turn out the lights.
Planning based on a one-week time period is vital for clarity.  Yes, you need to have clarity on your goals for the year, the month, etc.  However, planning concretely on a weekly cycle is the most effective.  

Once you've got your spreadsheet ready, don't start filling it in quite yet.  First you need to jot down the various role you play in your life.  Those could be spouse/parent, technical expert or business owner (or whatever your work is), friend/adviser, volleyball coach, etc.  You should not have more than 7 major roles.

Then decide what your top three objectives will be this week.  Those could be all in one of your roles or spread across two or three.  You should never try to accomplish more than three major objectives per week.  These are the objectives that will give you the greatest satisfaction and contribute the most to your long range plan.  

Here's a screen shot of one of my weekly schedules from June.  I've had to reduce the size to fit it in, so the text is too small to read, but you get the idea.  The color coding refers to my own particular "roles" in life.  

And mine runs Monday to Monday, simply because Kathy, my amazing accountability partner, holds my feet to the fire on Mondays - that's when I have to come clean about my use of time over the previous week! 

The Ironclad Rules of Scheduling and Effectiveness

Yes, the rules.  Following RULES is what separates the super-effective "life-hacker" from the rest of the bumbling masses.  You have a choice - either YOU decide what you will do and when, or other peoples' agendas will take over and smother you.  It's up to you.  And it's a lot easier to preserve your independence and safeguard your time if you follow the rules.

1. Take your top 3 priorities and double the amount of time you "hope" it will take you to get them done.  Then insert them into your schedule, as early on the given day as possible.  

NOTE: Insert them where YOU would like them to go.  If you start saying to yourself, "Oh, I can't put it there because I promised Mable I'd talk to her about the bridge club then," your thinking is plain backwards.  Put your priority into that time slot and reschedule with Mable.  The point is that if you allow other peoples' ideas and expectations to get in the way, you're sunk already.  

2. Next, schedule time for the following, using the order below:

  1. Exercise and fitness
  2. Quality time with friends and family
  3. The 1-3 things you would most like to do this week
  4. Admin and household chores
3. Color code your spreadsheet, if you wish, for greater visual clarity

4. Be sure to leave extra time for transit from one location to another, eating and necessary bodily functions.  In other words, avoid the common trap of scheduling things too closely and underestimating the transition time from one task to another.

5. As for all the "urgent" things that typically come up like weeds and choke the time away from those few really important activities that actually matter, this is where you need some care.  Allocate no more than two times per week where you can batch the seemingly "urgent" tasks together and get them done.  It's vital to keep the "urgent" in its place; otherwise you'll always be reacting to the minutiae of life and never have the time to move forward.

6. Work when you say you will.  Use a timer (such as to keep you on track and instill a sense of urgency.  When you work, stay focused and don't allow distractions until you get to the end of your allotted time.  Working in blocks of not more than 60 minutes works best.  

7. STOP working when you said you would stop and play when you said you would play!  This prevents the phenomenon called "bleed" where you say, "Oh, I'll work just a little longer on this," or "I'll just stay and chat with Betsy for a few more minutes."  This will trash your schedule for the whole day.

8. Eliminate Distractions.  First, check email not more than three times during your workday and NEVER before completing work on your top priority in the morning or just before bed.

Also, refuse to attend meetings that have no clear purpose or where no decisions will be made.  And learn to politely refuse interruptions from colleagues who just want to chat.  Ask them to send you a calendar invite to coffee next week.  

9. Go over your schedule the night before and begin your day by visualizing how it will go, feeling wonderful about accomplishing everything.

The Bottom Line

Why go through all this planning?  Why live your life by these abstract rules?  Simple... it works!  You see, the whole idea here is to:

  1. Force you to differentiate what's truly important from what's really not.  This will vastly increase your personal effectiveness.
  2. And to give you much more FREE TIME and FREE ENERGY.
  3. Increase your mental clarity
  4. Put you in a position to accomplish your most important objective each day by noon (and often much earlier)!

Follow these simple procedures and you'll find that your life just got a whole lot easier.  If you're not finding that, there are a few probable causes.

First, you may find yourself thinking, "This weekly schedule thing just doesn't fit MY life very well.  Maybe it won't work for me."  Well, nine times out of ten, that kind of thinking is self-delusion.  It comes from a hesitancy to make the "tough" decision to defy the "priorities" other people have already inflicted on you.  Taking back control of your time means thinking differently, doing things differently and quite possibly annoying others who have unrealistic expectations of you.

Second, it looks great on paper but falls apart on implementation.  The most common cause is that you didn't allow enough time per objective or you're trying to do too much at once.  There's also the issue of your mental habits.  If you schedule something and then, when the time comes to do it, you say "I just don't feel like writing those emails right now," you'll never get anywhere.  You've got to do it.  

Building your personal resilience is never easy, and taking back control of your time is no exception.  Yes, the process is simple and if you do it you'll see great results.  Yet it does require a new way of thinking.

So go build your schedule, put it into action and be sure to share your results with everyone on the blog or email me directly.  We'd love to hear about it!

~Dr. Symeon Rodger