Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Having Productive Days

I spent the evening watching T.V. and playing poker. This is not unusual. I spent the day coaching a client, a 40 year old owner of a contracting company. One of the main themes that I tried to bring across was the importance of having productive days. I went into great detail about what it meant to have a productive business day and then I described what it meant to have a productive personal day.

I explained to him that a productive business day for him consisted of three main activities. 1-maximizing cash flow/make sure that everything that could be done to bring in money was being done. 2-new business development/getting new deals. 3-training his staff/ working with them on improving their knowledge of their jobs and improving their being or their ability to get done what they know they should be doing. Knowledge training has to do with transferring information. Training in being has to do with honesty, integrity, discipline, sensitivity, and compassion, those things that make you a better person.

I then explained that a productive personal day consisted of doing at least one thing to improve yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. Mental improvement might involve reading, writing, or speaking with real purpose. Physical improvement consisted of conscious eating and exercise. Emotional work might include doing something kind or generous that was out of the ordinary or appreciating something beautiful.

While I was coaching my client I was convinced that what I was saying was definitely true and valuable. As soon as I got home my main focus was to eat something tasty, fix myself a glass of vodka, turn on the television, and start playing poker. I wonder whether or not I am being hypocritical.

I have thought about this quite a bit. In my mind how you spend your time and what you do each day is the measure of a man's life. It does not make sense to judge yourself too harshly or drive yourself too hard. What does make sense is to be a student of life, especially of your own life. What is especially important is to know what it is that makes you happy and observe how you are spending your time in relation to this understanding. To not let days, weeks, months, or years go by without taking stock of what you want and whether or not you are doing what you want. It does not make sense to me to judge or compare. There are a few key rules that are important to follow in order for us to exist with each other in a safe environment. Other than that we should enjoy, experiment, explore, and relax.

I notice many people around me are struggling with many different issues. It seems that this is an especially difficult time. What is difficult is that some of the values that we had accepted as being important and that gave us our identity, such as success, money, retirement, security, control, and belief in our infallibility are being challenged. We are no longer sure that we know what the future holds. We never did. The only thing that we can do is try to live each day as best we can and think, without judgement, what it is that we are doing.

Tomorrow I will try to do better and have a productive day.

1 comment:

  1. This made me laugh. All I picture is you saying....Am I kidding myself??. I am actually trying today to be productive as I have fallen asleep at some aspects of my life and I am determined not to let others deter me as that is what seems to me to be the determining factor for me as to whether I am productive or not. Your words still echo truth in my ears and I thank you for that.