“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” Colin Powell
2015 Reading Challenge
We are now a little more than three weeks into the 2015 Reading Challenge. How are you doing? At the moment I am reading Sycamore Row by John Grisham as my “Book Published This Year” category. In this category I am looking at 2014 as “this year,” because I don’t think anything has come out yet in 2015. That means you can read a new book from 2014 or 2015 for this category.
The Third Section is: A Book that Became a Movie. Here are some ideas: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The De Vinci Code by Dan Brown, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Again, these are just a few suggestions that might begin the thinking process. Remember you can start anywhere in the list of categories and read what you want. The whole idea is that you read more than last year – even one book more is a success! So if you read ten books last year, this year read eleven. Don’t let the number of categories scare you. They are just numbers. And don’t let the over whelming number of books on the book shelves intimidate you. There are 10’s of thousands out there. Even though we may want to read them all (like crazy me), it is impossible. Let me know what you are reading, or share a book that you have read that you think we would enjoy. Read and enjoy!
A couple of blogs ago, I wrote about “Getting Organized in 2015.” I am still thinking about and working on this “little project.” I am following a couple more blogs from “personal” to “writing” organization. I am beginning to see that all the advice is good and may work for somebody, but not every piece of advice is going to work for all of us. For example: one blog has all the charts, graphs and forms that help you organize every minute of every day from the time you get up to the time you go to bed. For those of you who know me, this organizational style is like putting a noose around my neck. It might work for a day, but within 48 hours I will have abandon it and wonder what’s wrong with me — I am more of a free spirit than an organized perfectionist.
We all want to produce something that is tangible. We all want to make a difference in our own lives as well as others. We all want to look back with a sigh of relief that today I completed my To-D0 List! But why organize yourself to the point that you can’t move. However, I was reading yesterday a blog from Eben Pagan (www.getatitude.com). He has a new course (which I am not going to take at this time) called “Wake Up Productive.” One of the organizational tips he gives is “Blocking Time.” I have read about this before but never put it into action.
“Blocking Time” is when you take a specific time each day to do one thing. For example: I am writing a blog twice a week. I often have to do research to get a better understanding or information about a topic – like reading blogs about organization or last week’s Martin Luther King, Jr. blog. I know that my best time to write, study, research is in the morning between 10 AM and 12:30 PM when I stop for lunch.
I also know that I cannot write, study, research for 2 1/2 hours in a row. My brain goes dead; my eyes blur; and I have a headache. But here is the deal: 60-60-30 by Eben Pagan. You break down the time (for me 2 1/2 hours) into smaller pieces. He recommends 55 focus minutes (when you concentrate only on the project that is before you), break for 5 minutes (don’t even think about the project, get up and stretch, stand by the widow and watch traffic go by, etc.); 55 focus minutes (on the same project or change to a different project); then 30 minutes get away from your project(s) and do something else like throw the laundry into the washer, do some dishes, or read a book (Hey, there’s time for the 2015 Reading Challenge).
I know right now some of you are saying “Yeah, right! I am going to take my very busy life and put it into a 60-60-30 format.” I know most of you have “jobs” that may not fit this formula. So how about making it smaller: let’s say 30-30-15. That would be 25 minutes on a project (reports that need to go out that day, or the boss just gave you a new project – 25 minutes to begin and decide what you have to do). Then take 5 minutes to get up away from your desk; then 25 minutes to continue on the same project or a new project; and 15 minutes to get a cup of coffee, water a plant in the office, use the restroom, pick up the mess someone else left in the office, or whatever your little heart desires — no you cannot go home!
For the next month I am going to try the 60-60-30 format and see if I am able to accomplish more than I do now. Then I will report back to you in a month to let you know how I am doing. Go ahead and try it for yourself, or some form of the 60-60-30. Make it your own. There are no hard and fast rules. Let me know how you are doing. Just click on “Comment.”
Today, do something that challenges you, Linda