Some of my favorite memories of growing up are building model airplanes with my dad. I remember him showing me how to assemble, sand, and paint them. I think back on how proud I always was when we finished a project together.
Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/eriktham
On one occasion, I remember struggling to get two parts to fit together. I tried several different angles. Nothing seemed to work. I grew increasingly frustrated.
If you have followed my journey from corporate CEO to full-time writer and speaker, you know I am a big advocate of using virtual assistants. I couldn’t survive without mine.
But I have noticed that many of my fellow entrepreneurs are reluctant to take the plunge. So often they don’t get the help they need because they think hiring a full-time, physical assistant is their only option.
Do you ever feel like you are running out of bandwidth? I do. I am in one of those periods right now. The last several weeks have been crazy.
My new book, Platform, is about to be published. My speaking calendar is full for the next several weeks. And I have a daughter getting married at the end of this month.
We live right next to an elementary school. If I’m going to an appointment, I’ll sometimes see the kids out at recess. Jumping, skipping, laughing—genuinely free.
Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/CEFutcher
Inevitably, the bell rings and the teachers start the impossible task of herding excitable, pint-sized people into the confines of a classroom. I can almost hear them from inside my house, “But I don’t wanna!” Such is life, I guess.
I am a technology enthusiast and love to learn from others. So I thought I would share a list of the programs I launch when my computer starts. This might help you discover a few interesting programs. Hopefully, you will share some you use in the comments below.
Let me begin with a disclaimer. I use a Mac, so all my recommendations are Mac related. If you use Windows you can usually find an equivalent program.
I love to-do lists. Are you a to-do list person? Not sure? Take this one question quiz to find out if you might be an official to-do list person.
Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/SparkleArt
Question: Have you ever completed a task that wasn’t on your to-do list, and then added it on to your to-do list, after you completed the task, just so you could enjoy the twisted satisfaction of crossing that task off of your to-do list?
I have been using task-management software since the late 90s, when I first installed a program developed by Franklin-Covey. Since then, I have tried almost every system available, including Things, Remember the Milk, OmniFocus, Midnight Inbox, iGTD, Wunderlist, and many more.
But the one I have used for more than four years is Nozbe. In my view, nothing else comes close. The company just released a new desktop version (both Windows and Mac), which I have been beta-testing for the past few months.
I am a habitual nap-taker. I take one almost every day and have for years. I used to feel a little guilty about it—like I was slacking off or something. Then Sam Moore, my predecessor at Thomas Nelson, admitted to me he too was a napper.
Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/sturti
“Every day after lunch, I lie down on the sofa in my office,” he recounted. “I hold my car keys in my right hand and let my hand hang toward the floor. When the car keys fall out of my hand, I know I’m done.” (Evidently, the famous artist Salvador Dali had a similar practice.)
Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar. You hear the alarm clock go off in the morning. You just need a couple more minutes of sleep, so you hit the snooze button.
Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/alvarez
Ten minutes later, the alarm clock goes off, but you’re already sound asleep. Thirty minutes later, you wake up in a panic. You just overslept and are going to be late.
You rush out of bed, throw on whatever you can find and head to the bathroom. You look at your toothbrush and tell yourself there’s no time. You gargle, grab whatever is in the fridge for lunch and you’re off.
I often write and speak on workload management. But even I occasionally get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of requests and assignments. I’m in such a state right now.
Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/VallarieE
In the last week I’ve attended board meetings for three different companies. Two were out of town. In addition, I have spoken publicly five times and am right in the middle of reviewing the copy-edited manuscript for my new book.
I left my role as CEO of Thomas Nelson in April 2011. I thought I could get by without an assistant. Boy, was I wrong.
As a result of greater focus on writing, my blog traffic spiked and my comment load doubled. I started getting more email. I had to book my own travel. I soon felt overwhelmed.