THIS BLOG HAS MOVED!

8 11 2008

Hello, thanks for visting.

This blog has now moved to a hosted server. You can access at www.lifestyleproject.net

If you recieve this post in a feedreader it means that you are subscribed to a very old version of the feed which means that I am very grateful because you one of my original subscribers. However, please could you resubscribe with the main feed – http://feeds.feedburner.com/lifestyleproject

Please head on over to the new site and let me know what you think!

Thanks again,

Chris





How to Get What You Want Out of Life

4 11 2008

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Thanks for taking the time to visit! Chris

Image by Light Knight on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by Light Knight on Flickr via Creative Commons

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” Lawrence J. Peter

How clearly defined are your goals? In order to be as effective as possible in getting what you want out of life, you really need to make sure your goals are clearly defined. This is not as easy as it may sound. Often people have many little goals they want to achieve, but are not sure which objectives to concentrate on in order to achieve their ultimate goals. If you are not clear on the objectives you have for yourself you will not be able to define the required actions you need to turn your dreams in to reality.

How to clearly define your goals

1. Make a list of all the things you want to achieve.
Think long and hard about this. Start by brain-storming ideas then leave the list for a day or two before revisiting it to finish off. Initially, list everything big and small.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • What do you want to do, be, or have?
  • What Lifestyle do you want to lead? How you see yourself in a few years time? (or how you want to see yourself?).

2. Think big.
At this point don’t think about what you could or couldn’t achieve, just think about what you want. If you could have, be or do anything what would that be?

3. Review the list.
Hopefully you now have a list of goals, projects and items you want to achieve. These will probably vary in size from big lifetime goals, to small things or projects that you want to do. Review the list and check that it captures everything important to you.

4. Eliminate.
Here is where it starts to get difficult, but there is a method to follow here. Think ten years ahead  in the future, these are the big goals. Tidying your loft or redoing the patio is probably not on the critical path to the place you want to be in ten years time. Sure they are important to you now in the short term, but you really want to be taking actions that will have the most effect towards achieving your future goals. You’ll probably find  some points you have written down are not that important. Other targets may seem important, but ask yourself “If I didn’t do this, would it mean I couldn’t reach where I want to be?”

5. Simplify
You can’t work effectively on ten goals at a time, probably not even half that amount. If your goals are important to you and you really want to achieve them, they should be something you care about more than anything. Again, this is not easy, but if you find your passion you will understand what is most important to you.Look at your edited goals list. What is the most important goal to you now? I would suggest you pick three large goals, maximum maybe five, and focus on these as your only priorities.

How your goals tie in with your Lifestyle Project
Your Lifestyle Project is the sum of the actions you take to achieve those goals. By definition, a project encompasses all the required activities to achieve defined objectives. The skill to managing your project is maximising the resources available to you to achieve the objectives. Therefore the key is to clearly define for yourself what your goals are. Be in a position where you are able to state what your goals are in life at the moment and to easily say 3-5 sentences stating your objectives.

Stop putting off the important
Some of the items on your list will probably be action points. This means they are probably things that you need to achieve or do in order to take the steps to reach your ultimate goals. DO NOT keep procrastinating activities on this list. Don’t hold up pursuing your dreams by ‘achieving’ mediocre or unimportant tasks or waiting for the right time before starting on the path towards your desired goals. There is never a right time. I very much doubt anyone finds a point in their lives where all conditions are perfect to start a new venture or pursue a new project.

Clarifying your goals for yourself is the first thing to do in your Lifestyle project. I suspect some people will find this very easy, whilst others will find this very difficult to do. However, the main thing to realise that once you understand yourself and what you want to achieve, you will be able to, or at least attempt to, control your own actions so that you are always working towards getting where you want to be.

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Reading around the blogosphere this week:

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12 Step Programme to Turn Your Productivity Addiction in to Actually Getting Things Done

28 10 2008

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Thanks for taking the time to visit! Chris

Image by Chim Chim on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by Chim Chim on Flickr via Creative Commons

The more I read about productivity, the less productive I become.

It seems that no matter how much I try to simplify my productivity system, I am constantly revisiting it. I do know that in the grand scheme of things it is not going to help me, but I enjoy it. I am a productivity hobbyist. And it’s killing my productivity.

Here are just some of the signs that you might be a productivity addict

  1. You spend copious amounts of time reading blogs about GTD implementations.
  2. You search for Microsoft Outlook GTD hacks.
  3. You get excited when someone mentions GTD in a blog post title.
  4. You own a moleskine notebook (and probably several for different lists).
  5. You spent money on a posh inbox.
  6. You miss your weekly review because you are still processing your inbox in to a million sub-folders.
  7. You think about your GTD implementation on a daily basis.

I know these signs, because I have done all of the above and more. Now I am trying to just take action. If you want to achieve you goals, you need to stop thinking and start doing.

What it means to be a Productivity Addict

Being a productivity addict means that you know when you are wasting time therefore you worry about it more. Before you discovered the productivity sub-culture you used to waste less time surfing the internet, and when you did you didn’t worry about it. Now you worry about it. You try and work out more ways to be more productive to overcome this and the cycle continues. The time to stop is now.

12 Steps to Overcome Productivity Addiction

  1. Admit you have a problem (leave a comment to share this).
  2. Do not talk about productivity (just be productive).
  3. Realised that there is only so much that you can tweak your system before you just go back to using pen and paper anyway.
  4. Next time you hear about a new productivity programme, DO NOT sign up to the beta.
  5. Admit the nature of your wrong doing (tell us about your addiction in the comments).
  6. Make a list of 3 things you must do today. Do not do anything else until you have done these.
  7. DO NOT talk about productivity club.
  8. Do absolutely nothing related to productivity at least one day per week, just go with the flow.
  9. Those things you keep moving from one context, list or file to another. Just do them now, or eliminate them. Stop organising them, and start doing them.
  10. Realise that being productive means doing the things that you need to do in a timely fashion. It does not mean doing more things.
  11. Consume only the information you need to do the single task you are concentrating on now. No more.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, try to carry this message to productivity addicts and to practice these principles in all your affairs (modified from AA step 12)

Are you a Productivity Addict?

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Reading around the web:

http://zenhabits.net/2008/10/laser-sharp-focus-get-more-done/

http://lateralaction.com/articles/foolish-productivity/

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I hope you enjoyed my post. I’d love to hear your comments below or get a Digg or Stumble!

Also be sure to check out my other blog Lists for Life.





Anti-Procrastination

22 10 2008

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Image by γαλώ /* [offline] on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by γαλώ on Flickr via Creative Commons

Today I’ve got a guest post over on the Saavy Entrepreneur Blog. Please do check it out. Cristina runs an Anti-Procrastination month each October to get back on track with work and stop putting things off. It’s a great idea.

How do you procrastinate?
Think about it, what do you do to procrastinate? I spend loads of time researching various topics on the internet, finding lots information which leads to more information. Then more and more. I’ll make a long list of things to do related to this, more websites to look at, and the spiral continues. This gives me a list of things to do, which is just another way to procrastinate actually doing the important things that I was looking at information about in the first place. Nuts I know.

Celebrating the new Poll feature in WordPress, I’ve set up a quick poll below. Please vote now!

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I hope you enjoyed my post. I’d love to hear your comments below or get a Digg or Stumble!

Also be sure to check out my other blog Lists for Life.





11 Things I’ve Learnt about Blogging (so far)

20 10 2008

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Thanks for taking the time to visit! Chris

Image by adactio on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by adactio on Flickr via Creative Commons

“I blog, therefore I am” (by loads of people)

I’ve been blogging for six months now, albeit haphazardly. As I prepare to re-launch my blog and take it to the next level I am reflecting on what I have learned in the last 6 months.

  1. Your most popular post may surprise you
    My most popular post is “Top 10 ways to Implement GTD Simply”. I knew that GTD was a big topic of interest for my target audience but a stumble here and a back link there certainly made a big difference in my traffic volumes. As did being on the front of wordpress.com with it.
  2. Comments breed comments
    Your first comment is the hardest to get when you are new. I notice that once some has left the first comment other people will comment. This rule isn’t true for bigger blogs where people compete to be the first to leave comments.
  3. There are a lot of brilliant blogs out there
    There are so many well written, orientated and focused blogs out there that you can often find yourself quickly de-motivated about your own blogging skills. I have had a lot of ideas for blog posts which have been done before many times over. You have to see through this and just knuckle down to it and focus on generating your content.
  4. Writing good content isn’t easy
    Well for me it isn’t anyway. I have a short term personal goal to significantly improve my content generation. I would ideally like to posts 2-3 times per week. I think that posting everyday can prove to be information overload.
  5. Quality over quantity
    A well written short post is better than a rambling long post. Most people skim through the web anyway so you need to deliver the hard hitting messages in a concise way.
  6. Readers are nice
    The vast majority of people in the blogosphere are very nice. Most comments are positive and rather than being in competition with each other, bloggers are keen to go out of their way to help each other. This online community is something that is great to be a part of.
  7. There is a lot of information out there about blogging.
    I have spend a lot of time reading about how to blog, monetizing blogs, SEO, design and more. Then I realised that it would be far more beneficial for my blog if I stopped reading about blogging and actual took action and blogged. I now take a pull approach to getting information about “how to” blog. This means that I seek the information when I need it, rather than having it pushed at to me causing information overload and a never ending list of things to do with my blog. Really all you need is two action points: 1) Write good content 2) promote your blog.
  8. People like memes
    My “What’s your Lifestyle Project?” page has been very successful.  I really want to create a good meme with this, any ideas on how to achieve it?
  9. Hitting publish feels nice
    Too nice. Sometimes it is too easy to want to get something published and out there rather than spending those extra ten minutes re-reading and checking your writing flows correctly.
  10. Inspiration is everywhere
    I have ideas for posts all of the time and have a list longer than my arm of draft post titles. I could be driving in my car, reading a book, doing a particular task or reading another blog. If blogging was just about coming up with ideas for posts I think I’d have it made. I always make sure that I’ve got something to capture these ideas wherever I go.

  11. WordPress is great but…
    Sometimes editing the layout of your posts can get pretty frustrating!

There’s a starter for ten of what I’ve learned about blogging so far. I’m sure in six months the list will be rather different, and I hope I am keen to act on what I’ve learnt so far to grow my blog significantly over the coming months.

What are your perspectives on blogging (and how long have you been blogging if at all?). I’d love to know in the comments below. Thanks.

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Also be sure to check out my other blog Lists for Life.





Blog Action Day | The Power of the Internet

15 10 2008

This post is part of the excellent Blog Action Day.

So what’s Blog Action Day?

In summary, Blog Action Day is about raising awareness on a particular topic, this year poverty. The idea of this worldwide blogging event is that each blogger participating posts about poverty within the context their own blogs topic. This way the readers of the blog will be engaged as it is a blog that they normally read and like the style of. I think that the idea and principles of Blog action day are excellent and I am glad to take part.

Poverty is an issue that has been around for a long time (forever), and despite the riches in the world it is still not going away. A significant percentage of the world’s population live below the Poverty Line (on less than $1 per day). Poverty is not something that only effects third world countries, chances are that there are a lot of people in your local community that live below the poverty line.

That leads me to my post. I signed up for Blog Action Day quite a while ago, and aside from checking back at the site a few more times I’ve not thought too much about my post topic. I thought somehow that I would find inspiration from nowhere. I have to admit that I have not found it easy to write outside of my ‘normal’ topic area and will make it a personal goal to focus on my content generating skills a lot more.

Lifestyle Projects

Charities often say that the best gift you can give is time. Whilst this isn’t always possible for a lot of people, giving your time to fundraising, community work or other charity activities could have a profound positive effect on your Life and obviously the lives of those that benefit directly from the Charity. I’ve noticed that a few people defining their Lifestyle Project want to make a difference, or leave a legacy. What better way is their of doing this than making your mark on the charity scene?

Time isn’t easy to make, so I’m looking here at a few quick ways to make a difference.

Help beat Poverty online

Something that interests me greatly is the Internet, so I’ve decided to promote a few sites that help poverty for free just by using the sites whilst sticking with the idea that we are time poor so they are quick and easy ways to make a difference. What could be easier than that? With the credit crunch so widely reported (and in my opinion exaggerated) in the media, people may not have as much money to donate to charity at the moment. Here are some ‘free’ ways to donate to charity.

As Blog Action Day shows the power of the internet to quickly spread memes, I thought I’d keep it online and suggest some other sites that can be utilised in the fight against property.

Agoodcause.com, shopping for a better world.

This site has just launched globally and is a partnership between 700 of the worlds most important NGOs. The site enables online shoppers all over the world to support their favourite charity when they shop online.

Hungersite

This site enables you to donate food to the hungry around the world simply by clicking a link each day. The site works by the sponsors paying for a small advert on the site that fund the food.

Free Rice

Quit procrastinating by reading crappy celebrity news, and expand your mind and vocabulary by using this site. For every word definition you get right you donate 6 grains of rice to charity.

Charity Search engine

This search engine supports charities by donating

There you go, some quick ways to make a difference to poverty. Giving you time to make a difference whilst stilling having time to focus on your Lifestyle Projects.

I’m very interested to hear from anyone in the comments that has a personal goals to spend more time volunteering etc.





Time to Take Action

9 10 2008

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Thanks for taking the time to visit! Chris

Image by amchu on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by amchu on Flickr via Creative Commons

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. Benjamin Disraeli

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about taking action. I have to admit I’m the kind of person who spends hours and hours thinking about, researching, talking about and thinking about again lots and lots of ideas. What truly makes a difference however is taking action. There is only so much you can look in to any given thing, such as how to be the best blogger or how to get fit, before you become saturated with information and just have to take action. I have written before about how you should ‘Just Do It’ and that is really what makes the difference.
Too many people just sit around and do nothing. You’ll probably find these are exactly the kind of people who complain about their job, their circumstances, their weight or whatever it is that they are complaining about. Stop complaining and start doing. My mum always used to say to me “If you put as much energy in to doing something as you did in to complaining about it you would have done it by now!”.

I like to try and turn short / medium term goals in to habits. So I currently have the short term goal of making taking action my number one habit.

Stop thinking. Start doing.

Take a lot at your goals, aspirations and Lifestyle Projects. Do you have the actions in place to achieve them? Yes? Well watch are you waiting for, take action now!

There is never a “right time”
There is a lot going on in the world (mainly in the media) which would suggest that now is not the right time to do a lot of things. You know what? There is never a “right time”. There is never a time when all the conditions are perfect, everything you need is available and all the planets are aligned in some sort of amazing cosmic symmetry which will enable you to move through life seamlessly. Whilst some may argue that there is the wrong time to do things, the fact is that the right time to do what you want, achieve what you want and go for what you want is NOW!

What have you been putting off? Let me know in the comments below the actions you will take now.

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I hope you enjoyed my post. I’d love to hear your comments below or get a Digg or Stumble!

Also be sure to check out my other blog Lists for Life.