Quix Tip – Play Your Work as A Ballad

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  1. Pick one thing on your To Do list today
  2. Notice the tempo you usually choose to do that task
  3. Consciously slow down your speed
  4. Play it as a ballad – slow and pretty
  5. Notice what changes when you introduce space, beauty and feeling into the mix

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The Phoebes Flew On Independence Day

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On the morning of July 4th, the baby phoebes were in their nest. I went tubing on the Millers River in the afternoon and when we returned, the nest was empty. They left on Independence Day – their first flight. And they never returned, probably never even looked back, not once. They moved forward with clear vision and no misgivings and doubts into the adventure of their fresh, new life. They made the leap, their hero’s journey into the unknown.

How did they do it? The Persian poet Rumi said, “Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall, and falling, they are given wings.”

Much of my work involves helping people uncover their natural, unique strengths they were born with. These talents can hide in plain sight. One of the telltale signs of a strength is to pay attention to your longings. What do you miss, wish for in your life? Longing can be a map to uncovering and beginning to use a hidden strength.

The phoebe nest sits empty now. A month later I still look at it and feel a now-familiar mixture of sadness that they’re gone and happiness for them that they’re free. The depth of a feeling of loss shows us how much we’ve let ourselves love.

Here’s to you paying attention to a longing that you hold as you move through your days. And here’s to you taking a leap, and falling into the unknown of a new wild and precious life.

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:
At Your Best – Explore how to give your best and play to your strengths for sustained individual success.

 

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Prioritize With Persistence: Effort + Time = Success

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Prioritizing with persistence involves examining your To-do list through the story of your long-term goals. We all can get lost in the weeds of immediate demands if we don’t consciously re-focus on projects that are vital to us but won’t get done in a day, a week, a month, a year or even a decade.

Ask yourself these five questions:

  1. What’s one long-term goal or project that’s really important to me that I’d like to persist a little more with?
  2. Which item on my To-Do list is a step towards taking action on my important long-term goal?
  3. Which item on my To-Do list could be done repeatedly every day for at least thirty days (creating a new synaptic groove in the brain)?
  4. Which item on my To-Do list could be best moved along by application of grit, determination, will, perseverance?
  5. Which item is important enough for me to invest some long-term effort into?

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:
At Your Best – Explore how to give your best and play to your strengths for sustained individual success.

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Prioritize With Purpose: The Point Where You Meet the World

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The world around you needs you.  Let’s start there.  There would be no To-do lists or prioritizing if the world, the people you know, your job, your team, your clients didn’t need you.

Imagine a world where no one cared enough to need you, or anything from you.  It may sound wonderful for a short amount of time, but what about long term?  What a sad, lonely life!
Look at your To Do list through the lens of being of the most use to the world around you. Look for the point where (as Frederich Boechner said), “Your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”

Ask yourself:

  1. What on my To-Do list is most important to me?
  2. What on my To-Do list is most important to the world?
  3. Where do those two items meet?
  4. What would provide the most benefit to the most people?
  5. What would allow me to see and viscerally experience the benefit I provide to the larger world?

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:
At Your Best – Explore how to give your best and play to your strengths for sustained individual success.

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Prioritize With Play: Make Fun Your Priority

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Prioritizing with play involves examining your To-do list through the story of what delights you, what is most pleasurable, fun for you.

Ask yourself:

  1. What on my To-Do list would be most fun to do?
  2. What on my To-Do list is easiest to do?
  3. What on my To-Do list would take the quickest amount of time?
  4. If nothing else mattered than my delight, what’s the first thing I’d do on this list?
  5. Do I have the discipline and courage to include self-care, my happiness and delight as an important factor in prioritizing my To-do list?

Play is your best entry into the rewards of prioritizing. What’s the reward? I’ll give you a hint. It isn’t doing more work (although that’s always an option). It’s to get your most important work done in the shortest amount of time, cut out overwhelmed feelings that lead to procrastination, and allow you to stop working sooner, to have some fun, to take more breaks, and give you the breathing room to do your work at your own rhythm. Play your list and take the extra time to play ‘off the list’.

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:
At Your Best – Explore how to give your best and play to your strengths for sustained individual success.

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Prioritize With Passion: Let Your Talents Do the Work

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Prioritizing At Your Best with Passion, Play, Purpose and Persistence

Do you wish you were able to prioritize more effectively?  Is your To-do list driving you crazy?  Does it seem like there’s too much to do and too little time to do it?

If any of these questions sounds like your story, here are four new stories to place all the demands of your day in.  Try any of them on that speaks to you and you’ve just become the author of a better story for you, one where you’re prioritizing at your best.

First, let’s prioritize with passion. Prioritizing with passion involves examining your To-do list through the story of your talents.

Ask yourself:

  1. Which item on my To-Do list am I most passionate about?
  2. Which item on my To-Do list would give me the best chance at getting so engaged in doing it that I’d get lost in the activity?
  3. Which item most fully engages my strengths?
  4. Which item has the right level of challenge – not too hard, not too easy, not too short, not too long – for me today?
  5. Which item on my To-Do list would I do first if the only thing that matters is using my natural talents more today?

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:
At Your Best – Explore how to give your best and play to your strengths for sustained individual success.

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Quix Tip: What Keeps You Afloat?

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Some days it feels like we’re adrift on a stormy sea of worry, fear, anxiety, and pressures, whether it’s about work, lack of work, relationships, lack of relationships, the future, the past, and on and on.

  1. What keeps you afloat? What displaces the tough parts of life and keeps you going, engaged, hopeful and able to give?
  2. Tell someone you care about of this “something” that resides in you that keeps you loving life and the world anyway, no matter what gets sent your way.
  3. Find out what keeps them afloat too, and you can encourage each other to spend more time afloat out on your boat.

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:

Resiliency: Five Keys to Success – Leverage the five principles of resiliency – engagement, efficiency, endurance, flexibility, and loving the game – for peak work performance and enjoyment.

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Do The Work, Not The Time (Quix Tip)

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Your value trumps your time – it’s a greater measurement than the time you put in. We know this intuitively – it’s why we get educated, get experience, play to our passion. All of these things increase our value. Yet for the most part, we use the clock as a greater arbiter of work done in a day than the value of the work that gets done.

All people are created equal, but not all time is equal. Some days it can take hours to do what on other days (or moments within a day) it could take minutes. And vice versa.

Value trumps time – focus on your value.

  1. Pick a day this coming week that is least locked in by time – meetings, etc.
  2. Choose one thing of value that you want to get done that day, something that is challenging but important and can be done in less than a day if your focus is relatively undivided.
  3. Do it. Get it done.
  4. Take the rest of the day off.
  5. Notice how uncomfortable it may be to even contemplate that, let alone actually do it. Watch the swirl of, “yeah buts” that crowd in.
  6. Now actually do it and savor all the scary freedom that awaits you when you recognize your value and let it trump your time.

I tell this to teams in many of Quixote Consulting’s training and team building programs, but always in a Virtual Team Quest. People working on their own, away from a home office have the best chance at putting this into play.

But I do believe in every job there’s room for this shift of thought. If you focus on value, you can see that you’ve been effective, something we all long for.

What’s the value you’d like to give and what do you most want to be doing with your time?

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Take a Small Bite After All

(Guest Post by business etiquette expert Laura Herbert)

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One of the keys to better table manners is to take smaller bites. It is awkward to take large mouthfuls of food –and unsightly as well. Taking smaller bites means you’ll be less likely to talk with your mouth full and more likely to sit up straight. Plus it will help you to eat at a slower, healthier pace.

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Lines on Ale by Edgar Allan Poe (Pocket Poem)

Lines on Ale

by Edgar Allan Poe

 

Fill with mingled cream and amber, I will drain that glass again.

Such hilarious visions clamber through the chamber of my brain –

Quaintest thoughts – queerest fancies come to life and fade away;

What care I how time advances: I am drinking ale today.

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