Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

A Thanksgiving Quote


"Still Life" by Vincent van Gogh, Legion of Honor, San Francisco (photo by Margaret Lukens)


For all that has been, thanks.
For all that will be, yes.

Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish diplomat, first Secretary General of the United Nations (1905-1961)


Worth Repeating – November posts from New Leaf News

From the garden, alstromeria and Sunset Celebration roses. Photo by Margaret Lukens

November is a time for looking back and looking ahead. Gratitude and future plans have been on my mind in Novembers past. Here are a few posts worth revisiting.

Are your meetings short, focused, and productive? Take a tip from Laura van Galen’s jump-start meeting.

Help your 2011 plans take shape. begin with the grand scheme and develop your road map down to the details. Taxonomy Relief shows you how.

I love choosing a quote to share for Thanksgiving, my hands-down favorite holiday. Past favorites include wisdom from the Sufi mystic and poet Rumi and a pair by Cicero and Aesop.

And if you favor science over the words of mystics and fable-writers, there’s plenty of evidence that gratitude is beneficial to our mental and physical health.

Happy November!

How Much Time Should Planning Take?

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable. — Seneca

Once in a while a client avoids planning on the ground that it takes too much time. They’d much rather dive right in and spend that time getting some of their work done, instead of reviewing goals, choosing priorities, and making lists.

"Out of Business" (c) All rights reserved by Lynn Park.

"Out of Business" (c) All rights reserved by Lynn Park.

How much time should planning take? Less time than anything else you do in your work. Like tooth-brushing, planning takes very little time and pays big dividends for the small increments of time and effort invested.

Good planning requires just two percent of your time, divided between two types of plans.

First, one percent of each day will be used to plan the following day. Before finishing work for the day, evaluate the following day. Choose three tasks that contribute to your larger goals, and work on those tasks first thing the next day. That one percent of time (about five minutes of an eight-hour day) spent planning tomorrow’s work will pay off beautifully in real progress on the things that matter most.

Then, devote another one percent to longer-range planning. Arrange a half-day planning retreat every quarter, so that you can weigh your progress and adjust your focus. This will prevent unproductive drifting.

Finally, use another half day (for a total of two and a half days out of a 240-day work year) to make your annual plan.

Remember that frantic activity does not equal productivity; in fact, productivity thrives on calm and considered action. Invest just two percent of your time – just five minutes a day and two and a half days each year – and watch the productivity returns pour in.

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