In Defense of Print Books

In fourth grade, my sister’s class had an assignment to count the number of books in their home. She stopped counting at 375. (Second place had 92.)

My parents’ home was filled with books. Every available foot of wall had a bookshelf against it, and the bookshelves were packed. At every birthday and Christmas, they gave each of us at least one book. I never realized how intentional and deliberate that was until recently, when we were discussing Christmas gifts for their grandchildren.

I love digital books. They’re terribly convenient. More and more of my reading takes place on my iPad. But I doubt I’ll ever say goodbye to paper books completely.

©iStockphoto/Shevchuk Boris

Do More by Doing Less

Steve Jobs once said that Apple is as proud of the things they don’t do as the things they do. Some routinely argue that Apple isn’t doing enough, but it’s hard to argue they aren’t doing a lot of things right.

Productivity, both at the corporate and personal levels, is about doing the things you have to do effectively so you can spend more time doing things you want to do and love. The trap is that there’s a real sense of accomplishment that comes from crossing off a task, so we start chasing more tasks to cross off. (Do ALL the things!) Ever write down a task just so you could cross it off? You’re not the only one.

It seems paradoxical at the surface, but you really can get more done by doing less. Here are five ways how.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockPhoto/BrianAJackson

Get Better Results by Saying No

I had to say no last week.

I don’t like saying no. I like saying yes, and being helpful. I want to serve and learn and grow. I want to repay the kindness that has been shown to me countless times.

This would have been an interesting opportunity. I would have enjoyed it, I’m sure. But there are other things I’ve said yes to and they are where I need to spend my time right now, so I had to politely decline.

©iStockPhoto/zwolafasola

©iStockPhoto/zwolafasola

To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Poet, 1803–1882

Why Keeping the End in Mind will Help You Reach Your Goals

Create a strong connection with why you’re doing it

I always find the new year to be an exciting time. New possibilities, new potential, new perspecitves. All because we put up a new wall calendar. It’s also the one time of the year where we open up and discuss how we want to improve ourselves and grow.

Whether you set New Year’s resolutions, set a goal, or create a plan for the year, it’s important to be clear on what you’re setting out to do. Beginning with the end in mind is critical for making the correct decisions along the way, knowing when you’ve achieved the goal, and finding the motivation to keep going when things get tough.

Photo courtesy of @ iStockPhoto/yevgeny