Why Vision Is More Important Than Strategy

Vision and strategy are both important. But there is a priority to them. Vision always comes first. Always. If you have a clear vision, you will eventually attract the right strategy. If you don’t have a clear vision, no strategy will save you.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/MAEK123, Image #2813602

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/MAEK123

I have seen this over and over again in my professional and personal life. Once I got clear on what I wanted, the how almost took care of itself. Let me give you an example.

How to Get Out of That Funk

Recently, I was preparing to deliver a speech and found myself in a funk. I was experiencing an unusual amount of distraction and self-doubt. Fortunately, I had about four hours before I was to go on stage. So, I decided to call my wife, Gail.

Young Woman Running at the Beach - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/EricHood, Image #14052355

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/EricHood

She instantly knew I wasn’t in a good place. (This is one of the many benefits of long-term marriage. My wife can read me like a book.) After listening to me whine for a few minutes she said, “Okay, I want you to hang up and go for a run. Call me when you are done.”

5 Ways to Make More Time to Read

This is a guest post by Robert Bruce, a full-time web writer for Dave Ramsey and a book blogger at 101 Books, where he is currently blogging through Time magazine’s Top 100 English-Speaking Novels. You can follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

“I don’t have time to read.”

When I tell people about my blog, that’s one of the comments I usually hear in response. The implication—or at least the way my possibly oversensitive mind takes it—“You must not have any life to read that many books … loser.”

Young Man Reading on His Bed - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Neustockimages, Image #14518282

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Neustockimages

Of course, I exaggerate. But, really, it’s a tension a lot of people in our overworked and overstressed society deal with. They understand that reading is important—after all, their second grade teacher made that clear. But nobody has the time to read a Dr. Seuss book, much less To Kill A Mockingbird or (gasp!) Infinite Jest.

5 Steps to Developing More Discipline

I have been thinking a lot about discipline lately. Everyone knows you can’t succeed without it, yet few people seem to possess it.

Young Man Doing Push Ups - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Neustockimages, Image #14595763

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Neustockimages

My friend, Andy Andrews asks this question:

Can you make yourself do something you don’t want to do in order to get a result you really want?

iPhone 4s: Should You Upgrade or Not?

Apple released the iOS5 upgrade for iPhone and iPad last week. It is a major upgrade and is free. I downloaded it immediately. It has some great new features, not the least of which is the the ability to sync your mobile devices without connecting to your desktop first (via iCloud).

However, I was reluctant to upgrade the phone itself. I already had an iPhone 4. Why did I need a 4s? I just wasn’t sure it was worth the investment, especially since I got most of the new bells and whistles with the iOS5 upgrade.

Do You Have a Not To-Do List?

Everyone’s heard of the “To-Do List.” Whether you use Outlook, Gmail, a dedicated task manager like Nozbe (which I use), or the back of a paper napkin, the idea is the same: you list in priority order the items you want to get done. Simple. Elegant. Powerful.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/EricHood, Image #7206932

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/EricHood

Until you have more items that you can physically get done.

A Handy Index to All My Evernote Posts

I have been writing for a while now about Evernote, the software that turns your computer into a digital brain. It allows you to remember everything. Literally.

Yesterday, someone asked me if I had a list of all my blog posts I’d written on this topic. Sadly, I had to admit that I didn’t. The best I could do was point them to my blog’s search engine.

How to Get Your Kindle Highlights into Evernote

When I read anything, I mark it up. Margin notes, circles, and, most of all, highlights. In fact, I buy highlighters by the box. Or at least I did, until I started reading so much on my Kindle.

Amazon Kindle for Mac

Amazon Kindle for Mac, Displaying Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

Now I use the Highlighter feature of the Kindle to mark passages. I also occasionally use the Notes feature to record my thoughts about a passage. (This is actually pretty cumbersome on the Kindle itself. I usually only do this if I am reading on my Mac. Then I can use my keyboard.)

The Unproductive Writer’s Guide to Success

Martyn Chamberlin is a copywriter and web designer from Two Hour Blogger. Following him on Twitter may be the easiest thing you do today. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

There is something about the word productivity that makes every blogger blush deeply.

You turn on your computer, check your email and Facebook, and forget why you logged on. Forty minutes later you walk away feeling guilty and unproductive. It happens to you every single day.

A Writer's Desk - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/MiquelMunill, Image #4792809

The Internet is inherently unproductive. Every aspect tries to consume your attention. Your friends want you to read their updates. Apple wants you to check out their latest gadget. Google wants you to click on as many search results as you can.

Are You Tired of Feeling Overwhelmed?

Over the last few months, people have asked how I am doing since leaving my CEO post at Thomas Nelson. For the most part, great. I am really enjoying this new phase of my life.

A Frustrated, Over-worked Manager - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/OtmarW, Image #15900242

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/OtmarW

But last week, I was feeling overwhelmed. It seemed that I was spending all day, every day mired in administrative detail—responding to emails, making travel plans, and filling out expense reports. Ugh.

5 Reasons Why You Need to Get Better at Saying “No”

I have a hard time saying “no.” Perhaps you do, too. I think it is more common than we think, especially for those who are empathetic or nurturing. We just hate the thought of hurting someone else’s feelings.

Red marker writing the word

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/WendellandCarolyn

I didn’t really notice this problem in myself, because for most of my career I have had an assistant who said “no” for me. If someone had a request, they had to get through her first.