Hi Everyone and welcome back to the Hockey Journey Podcast, episode number 73, Ever Wish You Could be more Productive? Presented to you by Online Hockey Training dot com. I'm your host Coach Lance Pitlick. If you're new here, please make sure you subscribe, so you won't miss out on any future episodes.
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Have you ever had a day, where you had the best intentions to get a bunch of stuff accomplished, but before your head hits the pillow that evening, you realize that you were busy all day, but none of your most important agenda items were touched? It used to happen to me all the time until I started to investigate techniques on how to become more productive.
We live in a very distracting world, and when you reflect back on let's say the last 30 days, for me, a lot of times I ponder and say to myself, "the last 30 days were a blurr, I had goals I wanted to accomplish, but I was so busy, I can barely remember any of the days. The needle wasn't moved much in the direction I'd hoped for and once again, my most important objective or want in life stays as a wish because there is no consistent action attached to it.
I'd like to share with you some quotes from some books that helped me learn strategies on how to become more productive and get more of the important things done each day. I'm a much improved individual, but not an expert in the field. But, there are many that have made the topic their life's work and I'd like to share with you some of their most important and impactful findings, with the hope that you'll learn how to more easily accomplish your most important and crazy goals!
For the following books I'm going to reference, know that I'm only scratching the surface of all the learning nuggets in each of the titles. If something resonates with you from a certain book, by the end of this episode, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of your own and read it in its entirety. I'll put the links to each of the titles in the description. Ready to get productive? Let's begin.
Book Number One
The ONE Thing
The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
By Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
“When you want the absolute best chance to succeed at anything you want, yourapproach should always be the same. Go small. “Going small” is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do. It’s recognizing that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most. It’s a tighter way to connect what you do with what you want. It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus. The way to get the most out of your work and your life is to go as small as possible... When you go as small as possible, you’ll be staring at one thing. And that’s the point.” (End Quote)
THE DOMINO EFFECT
“When one thing, the right thing, is set in motion, it can topple many things. And that’s not all. In 1983, Lorne Whitehead wrote in the American Journal of Physics that he’d discovered that domino falls could not only topple many things, they could topple bigger things. He described how a single domino is capable of bringing down another domino that is actually 50 percent larger.” “The key is over time. Success is built sequentially. It’s one thing at a time.” (End Quote)
TO DO LIST —> SUCCESS LIST
“Long hours spent checking off a to-do list and ending the day with a full trash can and a clean desk are not virtuous and have nothing to do with success. Instead of a to-do list, you need a success list—a list that is purposefully created around extraordinary results. To-do lists tend to be long; success lists are short. One pulls you in all directions; the other aims you in a specific direction. One is a disorganized directory and the other is an organized directive. If a list isn’t built around success, then that’s not where it takes you. If your to-do list contains everything, then it’s probably taking you everywhere but where you really want to go.” (End Quote)
“Pareto proves everything I’m telling you—but there’s a catch. He doesn’t go far enough. I want you to go further. I want you to take Pareto’s Principle to an extreme. I want you to go small by identifying the 20 percent, and then I want you to go even smaller by finding the vital few of the vital few. The 80/20 rule is the first word, but not the last, about success. What Pareto started, you’ve got to finish. Success requires that you follow the 80/20 Principle, but you don’t have tostop there. Keep going. You can actually take 20 percent of the 20 percent of the 20 percent and continue until you get to the single most important thing! No matter the task, mission, or goal. Big or small. Start with as large a list as you want, but develop the mindset that you will whittle your way from there to the critical few and not stop until you end with the essential ONE. The imperative ONE. The ONE Thing.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #5
DISCIPLINE + HABIT FORMATION
“Discipline and habit. Honestly, most people never really want to talk about these. And who can blame them? I don’t either. The images these words conjure in our heads are of something hard and unpleasant. Just reading the words is exhausting. But there’s good news. The right discipline goes a long way, and habits are hard only in the beginning. Over time, the habit you’re after becomes easier and easier to sustain. It’s true. Habits require much less energy and effort to maintain than to begin. Put up with the discipline long enough to turn it into a habit, and the journey feels different. Lock in one habit so it becomes part of your life, and you can effectively ride the routine with less wear and tear on yourself. The hard stuff becomes habit, and habit makes the hard stuff easy.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #6
THE FOCUSING QUESTION
“Most people are familiar with the Chinese Proverb “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” They just never stop to fully appreciate that if this is true, then the wrong first step begins a journey that could end as far as two thousand miles from where they want to be. The Focusing Question helps keep your first step from being a misstep.” “What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #7
GOAL SETTING TO THE NOW
“Goal Setting to the Now will get you there. By thinking through the filter of Goal Setting to the Now, you set a future goal and then methodically drill down to what you should be doing right now. It can be a little like a Russian matryoshka doll in that your ONE Thing “right now” is nested inside your ONE Thing today, which is nested inside your ONE Thing this week, which is nested inside your ONE Thing this month. . . . It’s how a small thing can actually build up to a big one. You’re lining up your dominoes.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #8
TIME BLOCKING = PRODUCTIVITY’S GREATEST POWER TOOL
“Most people think there’s never enough time to be successful, but there is when you block it. Time blocking is a very results-oriented way of viewing and using time. It’s a way of making sure that what has to be done gets done. Alexander Graham Bell said, “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” Time blocking harnesses your energy and centers it on your most important work. It’s productivity’s greatest power tool.” : “If disproportionate results come from one activity, then you must give that one activity disproportionate time. Each and every day, ask this Focusing Question for your blocked time: “Today, what’s the ONE Thing I can do for my ONE Thing such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” When you find the answer, you’ll be doing the most leveraged activity for your most leveraged work. This is how results become extraordinary.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #9
THE ONE THING
“If you try to do everything, you could wind up with nothing. If you try to do just ONE Thing, the right ONE Thing, you could wind up with everything you ever wanted. The ONE Thing is real. If you put it to work, it will work. So don’t delay. Ask yourself the question, “What’s the ONE Thing I can do right now to start using The ONE Thing in my life such that by doing it everything else will be easier orunnecessary?” And make doing the answer your first ONE Thing!” (End Quote)
Book Number Two
Getting Things Done
The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
By David Allen
“Welcome to a gold mine of insights into strategies for how to have more energy,be more relaxed, and get a lot more accomplished with much less effort. If you’relike me, you like getting things done and doing them well, and yet you also want to savor life in ways that seem increasingly elusive if not downright impossible if you’re working too hard. This doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition. It ispossible to be effectively doing while you are delightfully being, in your ordinaryworkaday world.” (End Quote)
CLEAR HEADS + NEW HABITS
“It’s possible for a person to have an overwhelming number of things to do and still function productively with a clear head and a positive sense of relaxed control. That’s a great way to live and work, at elevated levels of effectiveness and efficiency. It’s also becoming a critical operational style required of successful and high-performing professionals. You already know how to do everything necessary to achieve this high-performance state. If you’re like most people, however, you need to apply these skills in a more timely, complete, and systematic way so you can get on top of it all instead of feeling buried.” (End Quote)
2 KEY OBJECTIVES
“The methods I present here are all based on two key objectives: (1) capturing all the things that need to get done—now, later, someday, big, little, or in between—into a logical and trusted system outside your head and off your mind; and (2) disciplining yourself to make front-end decisions about all of the “inputs” you let into your life so that you will always have a plan for “next actions” that you can implement or renegotiate at any moment.”
As David says, “Most people walk around with their RAM bursting at the seams. They’re constantly distracted, their focus disturbed by their own internal mental overload.”
And again he says: : “What’s the next action? This is the critical question for everything you’ve collected; if you answer it appropriately, you’ll have the key substantive thing to organize. The “next action” is the next physical, visible activity that needs to be engaged in, in order to move the current reality toward completion.” (End Quote)
MIND LIKE WATER
“In karate there is an image that’s used to define the position of perfect readiness: “mind like water.” Imagine throwing a pebble into a still pond. How does the water respond? The answer is, totally and appropriately to the force and mass of the input, then it returns to calm. It doesn’t overreact or underreact. The power of a karate punch comes from speed, not muscle; it comes from a focused “pop” at theend of the whip. That’s why petite people can learn to break boards and bricks with their hands: it doesn’t take calluses or brute strength, just the ability to generate a focused thrust with speed. But a tense muscle is a slow one. So the high levels of training in the martial arts teach and demand balance and relaxation as much as anything else. Clearing the mind and being flexible are key.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #5
MAKE IT UP. MAKE IT HAPPEN.
“It’s all connected. You can’t really define the right action until you know the outcome, and your outcome is disconnected from reality if you’re not clear about what you need to do physically to make it happen. You can get at it from either direction, and you must, to get things done. As an expert in whole-brained learning and good friend of mine, Steven Snyder, put it, “There are only two problems in life: (1) you know what you want, and you don’t know how to get it; and/or (2) you don’t know what you want.” If that’s true (and I think it is) then there are only two solutions:
• Make it up.
• Make it happen.”
Bonus Quote #6
THE TWO-MINUTE GAME
“If an action will take less than two minutes, it should be done at the moment it is defined.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #7
THE WEEK BEFORE YOUR VACATION
Most people feel best about their work the week before their vacation, but it’s not because of the vacation itself. What do you do the last week before your leave on a big trip? You clean up, close up, clarify, and renegotiate all your agreements with yourself and others. I just suggest that you do that weekly instead of yearly.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #8
ENVISIONING + PLANNING FOR WILD SUCCESS
“You can try it for yourself right now if you like. Choose one project that is new or stuck or that could simply use some improvement. Think of your purpose. Think of what a successful outcome would look like: where would you be physically, financially, in terms of reputation, or whatever? Brainstorm potential steps. Organize your ideas. Decide on next actions. Are you any clearer about where you want to go and how to get there?” (End Quote)
Book Number Three
The Psychology of Optimal Experience
By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
“We have called this state the flow experience, because this is the term many ofthe people we interviewed had used in their descriptions of how it felt to be in top form: ‘It was like floating,’ ‘I was carried on by the flow.’ It is the opposite of psychic entropy… and those who attain it develop a stronger, more confident self, because more of their psychic energy has been invested successfully in goals theythemselves had chosen to pursue.” (End Quote)
CONTENTS OF OUR CONSCIOUSNESS
“A person can make himself happy, or miserable, regardless of what is actually happening ‘outside,’ just by changing the contents of consciousness. We all know individuals who can transform hopeless situations into challenges to be overcome, just through the force of their personalities. This ability to persevere despite obstacles and setbacks is the quality people most admire in others, and justly so; it is probably the most important trait not only for succeeding in life, but for enjoying it as well. To develop this trait, one must find ways to order consciousness so as to be in control of feelings and thoughts. It is best not to expect shortcuts will do the trick.” (End Quote)
BUDDHA, JESUS & YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS
“The knowledge of how to control consciousness must be reformulated every time the cultural context changes. The wisdom of the mystics, of the Sufi, of the great yogis, or of the Zen masters might have been excellent in their own time—and might still be the best, if we lived in those times and in those cultures. But when transplanted to contemporary California those systems lose quite a bit of their original power. They contain elements that are specific to their original contexts, and when these accidental components are not distinguished from what is essential, the path to freedom gets overgrown by brambles of meaningless mumbo jumbo. Ritual form wins over substance, and the seeker is back where he started. Control over consciousness cannot be institutionalized. As soon as it becomes part of a set of social rules and norms, it ceases to be effective in the way it was originally intended to be.”
Per Csikszentmihalyi: “And as Dostoevsky among many others observed, if Christ had returned to preach his message of liberation in the Middle Ages, he would have been crucified again and again by the leaders of that very church whose worldly power was built on his name.” (End Quote)
KNOWING + DOING
“It is not enough to know how to do it; one must do it, consistently, in the same way as athletes or musicians must keep practicing what they know in theory.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #5
ATTENTION AS PSYCHIC ENERGY
“The mark of a person who is in control of consciousness is the ability to focus attention at will, to be oblivious to distractions, to concentrate as long as it takes to achieve a goal, and not longer. And the person who can do this usually enjoys the normal course of everyday life.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #6
BOREDOM, ANXIETY AND FLOW
“In all the activities people in our study reported engaging in, enjoyment comes at a very specific point: whenever the opportunities for action perceived by the individual are equal to his or her capabilities. Playing tennis, for instance, is not enjoyable if the two opponents are mismatched. The less skilled player will feel anxious, and the better player will feel bored. The same is true for every other activity… Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety, whenthe challenges are just balanced with the person’s capacity to act.”
Csikszentmihalyi continues: “The optimal state of inner experience is one in which there is order in consciousness. This happens when psychic energy—or attention—is invested in realistic goals, and when skills match the opportunities for action. The pursuit of a goal brings order in awareness because a person must concentrate attention on the task at hand and momentarily forget everything else. These periods of struggling to overcome challenges are what people find to be the most enjoyable of their lives. A person who has achieved control over psychic energy and has invested it in consciously chosen goals cannot help but grow into a more complex being. By stretching skills, by reaching toward higher challenges, such a person becomes an increasingly extraordinary individual.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #7
CULTURE BUILDING FLOW
“Another good example of how a culture can build flow into its life-style is given by the Canadian ethnographer Richard Kool, describing one of the Indian tribes of British Columbia: The Shushwap region was and is considered by the Indian people to be a rich place: rich in salmon and game, rich in below-ground food resources such as tubers and roots—a plentiful land. In this region, the people would live in permanent village sites and exploit the environs for needed resources. They had elaborate technologies for very effectively using the resources of the environment, and perceived their lives as being good and rich. Yet, the elders said, at times the world became too predictable and the challenge began to go out of life. Without challenge, life had no meaning. So the elders, in their wisdom, would decide that the entire village should move, those movesoccurring every 25 to 30 years. The entire population would move to a different part of the Shushwap land and there, they found challenge. There were new streams to figure out, new game trails to learn, new areas where the balsamroot would be plentiful. Now life would regain its meaning and be worth living. Everyone would feel rejuvenated and healthy. Incidentally, it also allowed exploited resources in one area to recover after years of harvesting." (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #8
FLOW AT WORK AND IN LEISURE
“Thus we have a paradoxical situation: On the job people feel skillful and challenged, and therefore feel more happy, strong, creative, and satisfied. In their free time people feel that there is generally not much to do and their skills are not being used, and therefore they tend to feel more sad, weak, dull, and dissatisfied. Yet they would like to work less and spend more time in leisure.”
“Because work is so universal, yet so varied, it makes a tremendous difference to one’s overall contentment whether what one does for a living is enjoyable or not.Thomas Carlyle was not far wrong when he wrote, ‘Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessings.’ Sigmund Freud amplified somewhat on this simple advice. When asked his recipe for happiness, he gave a very short but sensible answer: ‘Work and love.’” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #9
“When adversity threatens to paralyze us, we need to reassert control by finding a new direction in which to invest psychic energy, a direction that lies outside the reach of external forces. When every aspiration is frustrated, a person must seek a meaningful goal around which to organize the self.”
“Of all the virtues we can learn no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life than the ability to transform adversity into an enjoyable challenge.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #10
ACHIEVING INNER HARMONY
“Someone who knows his desires and works with purpose to achieve them is a person whose feelings, thoughts, and actions are congruent with one another, and is therefore a person who has achieved inner harmony.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #11
ONE LESS RASCAL IN THE WORLD
“But no social change can come about until the consciousness of individuals is changed first. When a young man asked Carlyle how he should go about reforming the world, Carlyle answered, ‘Reform yourself. That way there will be one less rascal in the world.’ The advice is still valid. Those who try to make life better for everyone without having learned to control their own lives first usually end up making things worse all around.” (End Quote)
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty inspired right now, how about you? What quote or big idea did you connect with? Lot's to think about as a movie has started playing in my head, seeing if there is something I can get rid of, tweak or add to my daily process to optimize a little more.
Well that concludes another episode of the hockey journey podcast. I can’t thank you enough for stopping by and listening. I hope you enjoyed learning more about how to be more productive. If you think there’s someone in your circle of family and friends that might like this episode as well, please share it with just one person, it will really help me in growing this hockey community.
Again, I appreciate you being here, don’t forget to subscribe, rate or submit a review, I hope to see you back here soon, and do me a favor, make someone close to you smile today. All the best my friends!!