Tag Archives: schedule

Are You a Top-Down Thinker?

Are you a top-down thinker?
Are you a bottom-up thinker?

In other words, do you think about the target, goal, or objective before you even start? Training yourself to work from the top-down will help you mitigate the pressure of stress and adversity.

Hint: There WILL be stress and adversity, regardless of what you’re doing.

You need them to:
1) Grow
2) Identify what’s working
3) Identify what requires modifications

Would you build your house first and then create the blueprint? Or, would it make sense to create the blueprint (the outcome) and then reverse engineer the steps? If you would use a blueprint to build a house, aka start from the top-down, why not use this method in every aspect of your life?

This is also the most effective way to problem solve. Too many people catastrophize when they face any type of problem. Instead of focusing on solutions, they spend more time focusing on the problem itself and the worst possible outcomes.

“If I don’t fix this mistake, my boss will fire me and I’ll never work in this industry, again.”

Instead of focusing on the problem, spend at least 90% of your time focusing on the solution. The top-down method can help lower your anxiety because your mind will shift toward the solution and the steps required to get it. Forget about why the mistake happened or who caused it; you can do that later.

In the example I demonstrated how you can learn to compartmentalize things so that you operate more efficiently. If you don’t compartmentalize the steps, the odds of you quitting along your journey will steadily increase. Bottom-up thinking doesn’t allow this because you’re working without a plan. Meaning, you don’t know what’s coming or how to prepare for it.

“I’ll figure out how to fix it, once it happens.” (Reactive)

Here are some examples of things you’ll be up against, along your journey:

  • People will laugh or misunderstand what you’re doing
  • Self-doubt
  • Spending your hard earned money or not having enough money
  • Multi-tasking: your personal and professional responsibilities do not slow down just because you’re focused on something
  • Difficulties in balancing your personal and professional schedules
  • Losing motivation: it has a short life span
  • Two steps forward, one step back: obstacles on your path
  • The fear of being successful: What if I can’t handle it, once I make it?

Remember, your focus is on the outcome, not the steps that scare you or require a ton of work.

Bottom line: Top-down thinking will set you up to win. Does it take practice? Absolutely. But just like everything else, it requires consistency and discipline.

For more tips about how you think, reference my latest book:

You are not a Robot | Train Yourself to Think Outside of the Box

Have you ever stopped and wondered, “Why do some people go through their entire life, working aimlessly like robots?” Is this their personal choice or are they conditioned to be this way? Well, you could make a pretty good argument that both of these reasons are a contributing factor. Obviously, no one wants to be considered a robot. However, people do not realize that our society is slowly training you to be one, at a very early age.

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When you were a child, you were conditioned to wait for a sound or a voice to tell you when to move, start, and finish.

“Don’t touch that.”

“Wait until I tell you to start.”

“Don’t express your opinion, even if you believe you’re right.”

When you were in school, the sound of a bell controlled your actions. The first bell was designed to tell you when to start. As soon as you heard the bell, you were conditioned to get serious and focus on your work. [“Pay attention.”]

The bells after that, indicated it was time to transition to the next class. Once you arrived there, once again–you were required to get serious and focus on the next subject. Your school day would end at the sound of the final bell. [“You can leave, now.”] This was always an indication you could finally relax. That is, until you arrived home or at practice (sport, etc.) We have been using the bell system since the 19th century. For more detailed information about it, visit: http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/-school-bells

Make no mistake, I’m not saying anything negative about the education system. I am simply pointing out the fact that from a very early age, our lives are structured. We are told when to do things, how to do them, how long we can do them, and when to stop doing them.

Your Adult Life

The same concepts apply in the workplace. You rely on a time clock to dertimine when you get serious and when you’re allowed to relax. Even if you dont use a time clock, things called “deadlines” or “suspenses” have the same impact on you.

Don’t clock in 1 minute early and don’t clock out, 1 minute late.

Although you can’t necessarily change or influence the way your employer or organization operates, you can change the way you operate. At some point, you must understand that change starts with you. Going through life like a robot does not serve you or anyone in your circle of influence.

My recommendation: make a schedule or write down your daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly goals. By taking the initiative to write these things down, you will place yourself back in the driver seat of your life. You establish what your day will look like so you can have the day you want, instead of settling for what the day gives you. When you operate like a robot, you’re in the passenger seat or sometimes in the back seat. Meaning, you’re not in change of where you’re going in your life.

Making a schedule is not where it stops, though. You must learn to rediscover your voice. Remember, you were conditioned at a very early age not to speak your mind.

“Don’t say that. Just keep quiet.”

Instead of sitting back in the meeting listening to the wrong information being discussed, you have the courage and professionalism to say, “Mike, the packet actually consists of five documents and not three.” The robot mentality would have kept you quiet and allowed the major mistake to occur. “I’m not speaking up.”

This is called thinking outside of the box. The box is your comfort zone, aka where you were conditioned to stay so you can function like a robot. Thinking outside of the box is how you grow in both your personal and professional life. Therefore, it is incredibly important for you to take control of your life sooner than later. The older you get, the more habits you build. When you’re functioning like a robot, your habits are based on robot principles.

Thinking outside of the box will make you unique.

Something to consider: once you step out of your comfort zone, several things will change. Some people will misunderstand you, roll their eyes at you (negative body language), some may even avoid you, and overall dislike you. Why? Because you no longer function as a robot. Therefore, you’re a threat or an outsider because you’re not part of the norm.

When this happens, you must stay the course. The obstacle is the path. You’re are not a robot. You are a unique person that has value.

For more tips on breaking away from the norm:

Plan | Prepare | Execute | Repeat

Here a quick tip (video) on how to win in the gym and every aspect of your life.

Plan: Identify your goals and a desired outcome.

Prepare: Gather what you’ll need in order to help facilitate your goals or objectives.

Execute: Do what you said you were going to do during the planning and preparation steps. Planning and preparation are a waste of time without execution.

Repeat: Do exactly what you did during the plan, prepare, and execute steps. This will create winning streaks.

https://recognize-your-value.com

https://www.tbvoybook.com

The Best Version of You | My new book is available

I am very excited about finally having this book in my hands. Hard work is always worth it, regardless of how long it takes.

The Best Version of You is a self-help book designed to introduce new skills and concepts for anyone to use when they’re facing adversity, feeling lost and out of focus, wanting to make changes in their lives, or simply wanting to update themselves.

We update our phones, our computers, and our software, but honestly, when was the last time we updated ourselves?

The book is available on Amazon.com and Amazon Kindle:

Xlibris Publishing:

The Best Version of You (Update) | My 3rd Book

I have officially signed with Xlibris Publishing (The same Publisher I used for my 1st book, Crematory.) My new book is called:

The Best Version of You

Although the book is in the (publishing) production phase, it still could be 1-3 months before it is available. This process usually takes some time, due to the attention to detail aspect.

Note: The official cover will be released at a later date.

The Best Version of You is a Self-Help book designed to introduce new skills and concepts for anyone to use when they’re: facing adversity, feeling lost, out of focus, wanting to make changes in their life, or simply wanting to update themselves. We update our phones, our computers, and software but honestly—when is the last time we updated ourselves?

Own your happiness.

Books, currently available:

Take Control of Your Morning

Happy Monday! I can’t even lie, I absolutely love Monday’s! (reference: Happy Monday) This is the first (work) day for you to execute your morning rituals. Do you know that how you start your day will help determine your level of success? Be honest with yourself and answer this question: When you wake up in the morning, do you:

a) check e-mails

b) check text messages

c) check social media

d) focus on your morning goals and rituals

e) none of the above

If you answered a, b, or c, did this answer surprise you? Most people don’t realize it but, this is actually a very habit that you need to try and break as soon as possible.

Is this you?

Why? When you check e-mails, text messages, and social media, first thing in the morning, you switch on your reactive habits instead of your goal oriented habits.

“Oh, Bob sent me an e-mail about the upcoming conference, I better validate that everything is good to go.” Meanwhile, you just missed breakfast.

“I better respond to this text from Ashley, she probably wants to talk about last night’s crazy episode of that show.” Is this an emergency? Meanwhile, you were supposed to leave for the gym at 6:00am and you’re 20 minutes behind schedule.

“I wonder if Ryan posted those pictures from the Ohio State Buckeyes game, last night? He had some amazing seats. I better check Facebook, real quick.” If the pictures are posted, are they going to disappear in the upcoming hours? Remember when you wrote out your schedule for the day? Are those things still important? (reference: Setting Yourself up to Win | Make a Schedule)

I’m not saying that these things are not important. Staying connected with your family, friends, and employer are incredibly important. The problem is, you have to learn how to prioritize how you approach, aka attack, the day. When you start off your day, doing these things, you become reactive by allowing external things to dictate your day. Your schedule is pushed out of the way and these things become the new focus. Would it really hurt you to wait until 9:00 or 10:00am before you checked external things?

I get it though, it’s hard to break these habits because regardless if we like it or not, we’re a instant gratification society. If you want a new product, hop on Amazon and get it in 2 days. If you want to watch a tv show, forget about waiting week-to-week, stream the entire season on Netflix. If want to know what your friends are doing, send them a text and get a response in less than 45 seconds.

This is why so many people are programmed to check their phone (e-mails, text messages, and social media) when they first wake up. They do it because they know that they can get what they want, instantaneously. But consider this: does instant gratification help you reach your goals? I’ll answer for you – no, it does not. Achieving your goals requires:

  1. work
  2. patience
  3. consistent action

Bottom line: Take control of your morning by giving yourself a few hours (example: wait until 9:00 or 10:00am) before you start addressing external things. If you have to, consider this a reward for you taking care of your morning rituals, aka setting yourself up to win. You can do this once you make the commitment and stick with it. Your future is worth it and you are worth it.

Setting Yourself up to Win | Make a Schedule

Part of being an effective leader is understanding how to lead yourself, too. It starts with managing your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule. It is called: setting yourself up to win.

I use the Self Journal to validate my goals, daily and weekly. (13 weeks per Journal)

What are your milestones for the week? This is my way of affirming what I will accomplish.

If you don’t establish an agenda, objectives, and goals – how are you accomplishing them? Meaning, without a target, you’ll miss it every time.

What are your daily activities and habits? These are things that I will do, not just talk about doing.

“How can a man hit a target he cannot see? That’s a pretty good question; here’s another one. How can you hit a target, you do not have?”

– Zig Ziglar

By not setting yourself up to win, you are telling yourself:

  1. I am focused on being reactive, instead of taking initiative.
  2. I don’t make things happen, I wait for them to magically happen, for me.
What did you learn? What did you win? What are you grateful for? Write it down.

You know what to do. But, do you do what you know? Your schedule will tell the truth.

Reference:

Best Self Journal: https://bestself.co/products/self-journal