I got my copy in 2004

Last Thursday I attended a 2 hour “Getting Things Done” training preview.

“Getting Things Done” is a book written by David Allen in 2001 and he became the “productivity guru” as a result. He has since developed training around the concepts in the book.

I probably got my original paperback copy around 2004. And absolutely loved it.

Even then I didn’t do everything that was suggested in the book. However, it has made a huge difference in how I approach getting my things done and you can see the fingerprints on what I teach and coach.

As part of training preview, we all got a copy of the updated edition of the book (it came out in 2015). I’m looking forward to reading it.

My biggest take away from the training was around the habits of capturing tasks and ideas (and that refreshers are helpful for everyone).

For this week’s Wednesday LIVE with Evie, let’s talk about that.

Check out the Facebook event here.

Update: You can watch this Wednesday LIVE with Evie here.

The path was blocked for a reason

This morning I drove over to the Fox River to go on a walk. The river is very high from all the rain that we (and upriver) has had over the past week or two. It’s at flood stages or past.

Where I go, there are paths on both sides of the river. The path on the west side is several feet higher than the path on the east side.

The park that I’ve been starting from (on the east side) was closed due to the height of the river, as was the park on the other side of the road (same side of the river).

However, there’s a small parking lot on the other side of the river and I generally walk on the west side anyway (there’s no park with bathroom on that side or pavilion). So, I parked there.

After my walk I sat and watched the river, there’s a lot of water and it’s moving very quickly.

As I’m driving away, I notice two bicyclists on the east side of the river. They were lifting up the caution tape blocking the park and bike path entrance and going under. I also notice that the bike path just further down was flooded for a short length, maybe 7 feet. This particular spot is near the bottom of a dam, meaning the water is churning not far from where it’s flooded over the path.

I was worried for them – the path was blocked for a reason. I slowed down and saw them bike through the water safely.

But I wondered if they knew that if they would have taken the sidewalk up about 100 feet and biked through a parking lot they could have safely avoided that water on the path and joined the path about 1/8th of a mile up (seriously, not very far).

And I couldn’t tell, but I wondered if the path was blocked further up because of the height of the river.

I hope that they stayed safe.

And I can’t help but wonder why it was sooo important to bike on that side of the river?

Was there something further up the trail that was their end destination?

Did they not know that there’s a trail that goes north on the other side of the river?

Or did they just have it in their heads that this was the path that they were biking this morning?

And the fact of the matter is, I don’t know their reasons.

But as I was sitting at my desk this morning, wondering what I was going to write you and what this week’s Wednesday LIVE with Evie was going to be, I thought of those bikers.

Now, in your business, you’re probably not going to find yourself in a situation where you’re potentially putting yourself in harm’s way because you’re SOOO focused on something.

But maybe you’ve been sooo focused on a one way of doing something or how you expected something to work out, that you missed that there were other easier options (like the bikers going up the sidewalk and through a parking lot or taking the path on the other side of the river).

So, this week let’s talk about being flexible with our expectations for Wednesday LIVE with Evie. Check out the Facebook event here.

Let me know where you find yourself getting tunnel vision or being overly tied to one way of doing something or a specific expectation.

Update: You can watch this Wednesday LIVE with Evie here.

Our 90-minute trip took 3 hours

Nate (my husband) and I spent yesterday evening at my in-laws. My sister-in-law and oldest nephew arrived yesterday to spend a few days with them AND Friday was my mother-in-law’s birthday.

But the trip home is what I want to share with you.

We left about 9 pm and expected to be home about 10:30. We actually got home about midnight.

Here’s what happened.

The interstate that we normally take is under major construction (2-3 lanes of traffic on a 4-5 lane highway are unavailable). So, they’ve moved one lane of traffic onto the other side of the median, making a kind of “express” lane. It’s completely blocked off and safe.

Nate decided to take that lane and then we slowed to a stop.

NO one is moving, but all the other lanes of traffic are fine, we just can’t get there.

I jokingly say to Nate “You chose badly” (referring to choosing the “express” lane).

I had brought my planning notebook that normally stays at home because I hadn’t planned my week yet. I jokingly say to Nate, I’m going to get this out now and do it because as soon as I do, traffic will move.

I plan my week (in record time with no distractions!) and we didn’t move.

Maybe an hour into our wait, Nate (who had to get up early for a work appointment this morning) apologizes for choosing badly. I’m not upset about it, he had NO way of knowing this would happen.

Over the course of 90 minutes, we moved maybe half a mile.

Then, traffic cleared up and we zipped right along.

I realized later that a few years ago this experience would have gone very differently for me. I would have been upset at the delay, upset with Nate, and annoyed that my Monday morning wasn’t going to go as planned (either sleeping a bit more or tired).

However, yesterday, my biggest concern happened once we got moving and it was: how far are we from the oasis so we can stop and use the bathroom?

It made me think of how sometimes we focus on what’s going wrong instead of focusing on what’s going right or even what’s not working.

Let’s talk about that in this week’s Wednesday LIVE with Evie. Check out the Facebook event here.

Update: You can watch this Wednesday LIVE with Evie here.

Are you more productive on shorter weeks?

How was last week for you? Was it a pretty productive week for you?

In my Facebook Group, Productivity for Women Entrepreneurs, it seemed like it was a pretty productive week for people.

A majority of the women accomplished their most important task for the week and got some other things that had been on their list done.

As I was looking at it yesterday, I wondered why that was.

I have a couple of theories.

Theory 1: With the holiday falling on a Tuesday, it was a short week for all of us here in the US or you took the entire week off. This meant that many people were out or probably spending the time in the office getting projects or tasks wrapped up. Both of which lead to having fewer distractions from outside (no one calling you asking for things).

Theory 2: Because you had 3 days to work instead of 5, you were more focused on what needed to be done and the fact that you didn’t have a lot of time to complete it. Two factors that lead to getting a lot done.

Whatever the reason actually was, it seems that it was a good week!

And last week was our first week in July, which means we’re in the second half of the year.

Maybe last week was wonderfully productive, but how about the first six months of the year?

How are you doing on the things that you wanted to accomplish for the year?

Are you on track, ahead of schedule, or maybe a bit behind?

For this week’s Wednesday LIVE with Evie, let’s talk about setting and meeting your goals for the rest of 2017. Check out the Facebook event here.

Update: You can watch this Wednesday LIVE with Evie here.

Decorative walls are hard work

This weekend’s activities included yard work (on our own yard this time) and a 4th of July party at friends.

The party was fun. Our friends are on the parade route in their town, so we got to watch the kids be super excited for the parade (and candy).

The story that I want to tell you more about is around the yard work.

We have two low decorative walls that mark the back edges of our yard. One wall on each side. They were here when we moved in and probably put in before both our neighbors put up their fences. Both walls have fallen over in places.

A friend of ours bought a house in the countryside a couple years ago and is working on landscaping it this summer. So, she wants them.

Nate’s (my husband) plan for Saturday morning is to load them into a small trailer and drive them out.

The process was to load about 8 of the large bricks/stones onto a dolly and take them to the front yard to put in the trailer.

That’s when we realize how many bricks/stones that small wall was made out of.

After 5 trips we’d moved over 40 bricks/stones twice (onto the dolly and then off). And we’re tired.

But there are three problems:

  1. We’ve only removed one wall and the other one is longer and has at least 80 stones to move.
  2. The stones are heavy and Nate’s noticed one of the welds on the bottom of the trailer has loosened.
  3. There are more stones than he anticipated and he’s not sure our friend will want them all.

So, what to do? Nate had anticipated that we’d complete this project on Saturday morning.

Alright, so the decision wasn’t really that hard.

We decided we were done moving stones for the day.

The trailer was able to hold what we had and we dropped it off at our friend’s house. She was thrilled. We asked her what she was going to do with them and she hadn’t quite decided yet, but she wants ALL of the stones that are remaining in our yard (yay for us!).

When she and her husband unload the trailer, we’ll probably spend the following weekend filling it back up for her.

And Nate already has a game plan for how to make that process go smoother.

But you might be wondering, why the heck I’m sharing this story with you?

Have you ever set aside a day in your business to complete a project?

You figure with the whole day dedicated to the ONE project that you’ll easily complete it.

But it quickly becomes apparent that there’s more to do than you anticipated (more stones in that wall to move than you thought)?

So, what do you do?

Often, we push our way through, working a really long day to get as much done as possible.

And that’s not always a bad thing.

However, sometimes, if you take a step back or away from the situation, you might find some alternatives.

In the case of our remaining retaining wall, Nate’s going to borrow a small vehicle that can pull the trailer to the retaining wall (so we’re moving each brick once instead of twice and then he won’t have to push them through the yard either). And he realized a slightly different way we can arrange them in the trailer to balance it better.

In the case of a project for your business, you might need to step away and ask for help or suggestions from someone who’s done something similar.

And sometimes stepping away from something gives us a new perspective on it and we think of a different way to approach it.

As for this week’s Wednesday LIVE with Evie, it’s taking the week off to celebrate the holiday 🙂

However, it will return next week to its normal time of Wednesday at 1pm CT.

If you have any questions or a topic that you’d like to see covered, please hit reply and share it with me!