Monday, October 20, 2014

Scheduling Success... a difficult decision ?

Scheduling Success... a difficult decision?

Here's another sneak preview from my book, "Quiet Determination...unlocking the gates to unlimited success !"  As usual each chapter begins with a short story from the life of the  hero of the book, Emmanuel  followed by a take away.

Before we know it, young Emmanuel has grown into a young man, just starting his a freshman year in high school. It's a new and exciting world to him. He’s meeting people from different parts of his city, and making lots of new friends as well.

Besides mandatory attendance at school,there were so many different opportunities to participate in, both in school and outside of school. Being a typical enthusiastic teenager, Emmanuel decided that he wanted do them everything he could possibly do.

His mother had always said to him,
"Emmanuel, you can’t dance at all of the weddings!"

Here's is a list of the choices open to Emmanuel.

School Related Activities:
1. school varsity teams (football,hockey,basketball,baseball,wrestling,soccer,track & field,gymnastics)
2. school clubs (chess,photography,art,French,computer, fitness )
3. homework
4. studying for tests & exams
5. Music (Jazz band,orchestra,glee club,choir)
6. student prefect
7. student council
8.getting ready for school each morning
9.peer tutoring

Personal Activities:
1.piano lessons
2.his part time job at Mr. Wilson's outdoor store
3 playing for his rep hockey team
4. chuming around with his friends
5. time for his girl friend
6. household chores
7. attending church
8. volunteering at the community centre
9. piano practice
10. rest and relaxation
11. winter/summer vacations
12. family time
13. playing with his rock band

On top of all of these activities, Emmanuel had to fit in time to eat properly and get plenty of sleep, so he would have enough energy to undertake his daily activities successfully.  He anguished over the situation he was in So many things to do. So little time to do them. He needed an eight day week. The answer came to him in a flash. 

At that very moment he recalled what his piano teacher told him one time about organizing his work load. It was last year, during a music lessons with Mr. Clegg his new teacher at the time.

"Mr. Clegg, now that I'm an advanced music student, I've got so many things to practice in order to get prepared for my weekly lessons with you. I just don't seem to have enough time practice my scales, do my finger exercises, work on my ear training,do my theory homework,and rehearse the music for the spring recital, play the music I like to play for my own amusement, prepare the rest of my repertoire for you to listen, let alone my school work and my other sport activities.        I just don’t have enough time to accomplish everything I need too. I’m simply just so over-whelmed !"
Mr. Clegg beamed knowing smile, that only comes from a lifetime of experience.
" Don't worry son, that's a very common problem that you share with a great many other successful people. Up 'till the last few years, you've spent most of your life going from day to day. Your parents told you to do this, somebody else told you to do that, and still another person in authority says, 'Emmanuel,…don't do that'. 

All your activities and responsibilities were more or less out of your control, because you were considered to be only a child who needed lots of guidance from adults.
Now that you’re a young man the world no longer considers you to be a helpless child, who must be guided every step of the way. You're  expected to start making your own decisions, taking on your own responsibilities, building you own life.  With this new freedom comes the privilege of having a world of so many different choices open up to you. Your biggest responsibility now is to choose wisely. Here's something that will help you to do just that."

Mr. Clegg reached over to his desk, took out a pencil and a pad of paper, and handed them to Emmanuel.
"We're going to do a little experiment. I want  you to write down 10 things you want to do this coming week."
Mr. Clegg waited for Emmanuel to finish his list.

"Now, he continued, “I want you to rank each item as to it's value, from most valuable, (that's number 1) to the least valuable (number  10).  The value of an activity is determined by asking yourself this question.  'What  impact will this activity have on the ultimate success of goals? '

It took Emmanuel about ten minutes before he settled on an order that the was happy with.

"Now,  beside each activity, write down the number of hours you think you need to spend on it."

Emmanuel  took a few minutes to complete this task. He realized that the most important activities required the most amount of time.

Mr. Clegg, handed Emmanuel a blank timetable.

" I want to to fill in this schedule, starting with the most valuable activity first, ending with the least important. This is the hardest, most crucial part of this whole exercise Emmanuel. I'm telling you right now before you even begin. There will never be enough time to accomplish all the things you would like to. Some things on your list will have to be left out, or postponed until  another time in your life. Are you tough enough to do that? "

Since that time,Emmanuel had applied Mr. Clegg's advice many times in the organization of his life. He knew from experience that a few well chosen goals far outshines the mediocre results gained by attempting to crowd everything in at once.

Typical of Emmanuel,he took ownership of Mr. Clegg's suggestions made some changes to fit his own personality. Instead of making a list on a single sheet of paper, he wrote each of his potential activities on its' own  slip of paper, so he could rank them by physically shuffling them around on the table top. Being a visual person, this gave Emmanuel a tool that allowed him to experiment with different rankings, and see the results of his decisions instantly!

The Take Away

According to the University of Scranton's "Journal of Clinical Psychology", people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.

In his book "What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School", Mark McCormack asks this question.
' Why Do 3% of Harvard MBAs Make Ten Times as Much as the Other 97% Combined ?'

Here's Mark's answer.
In 1979, interviewers asked new graduates from the Harvard’s MBA Program this question:
“Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”
 Here are the results to that question.
• 84% had no specific goals at all
• 13% had goals but they were not committed to paper
• 3% had clear, written goals and plans on how to accomplish them

Ten years later those same graduates of that 1979 class were interviewed again.
Now can you guess the answer to Mark's original question, ' Why Do 3% of Harvard MBAs Make Ten Times as Much as the Other 97% Combined ?'
•The 13% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all.
•The three percent who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.

Emmanuel had a powerful tool in the scheduling of his goals. By spending some time now, figuring out how to effectively use his time, he will be able to carry out his day-to-day activities, easily, quickly, and efficiently, accomplishing many more things, in less time. Gone is the hassle, the frustration and waste of  time trying to accomplish too many things all at once. Gone is the the classic "Jack of all trades, master of none, syndrome.
His goals dictated the activities that lead to his success.

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