August 23, 2012

Filters

Posted in General, Uncategorized tagged , , , at 9:44 AM by Solutions2Projects, LLC

Last year I took my son to a leadership training program for kids presented by Jim Wiltens.  Jim offers corporate and academic programs (per his website) and we had the opportunity to participate in a four week parent/child program at a local school.  The program was on Wednesday nights from 6:30-8:30 which was pretty tough after a long day at work and I often felt that while there was some good material in the program, that it was a sales pitch for his summer camp for kids in the High Sierras (which appeared to work as my son did attend a two week session this summer).

One of the things he covered during the class had to do with filters.  No, not camera filters or pool filters but the filters through which we observe things that happen and pass us by in life.  Jim encouraged the kids (and parents) to write down all of the things they want to do in their lives, both big and small, and create what one might morbidly call a bucket list.

The reason for this was that when you write something down it becomes more concrete and real.  And by doing so, you start to pay attention to things in life a bit differently.  Where you might not have noticed something before, you now might notice it because you have adjusted your filters.

We’ve all heard the example of when you buy a new car, let’s say a red BMW, all of a sudden you notice all of the red BMWs out on the road.  Or when you are expecting a child, all of a sudden all you see are pregnant women and babies.  This is because your filters have changed.

While my son wrote down his list in a brand new journal as part of his assignment, unfortunately, he hasn’t revisited the list to remind himself of what he wanted to do.  I, on the other hand, have revisited my list to remind myself and keep my filters adjusted.  It is so easy to fall back into complacency and the day to day routine and forget about other things you want to do.

So, give it a try.  Start writing down some of your dreams, no matter how big or small, in a journal or your iPhone.  Revisit the list daily or weekly (without stress or pressure) and see what starts to appear.  Perhaps you notice a posting for a French tutor at a local coffee shop or learn about an apartment in Paris not advertised through normal channels…things you wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t written down a goal to live in Paris for an extended period of time.   Á bientôt!

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January 13, 2012

Making Space

Posted in Project Management tagged , , , , , , at 7:50 AM by Solutions2Projects, LLC

During a project it is quite easy to get so caught up in the details that you lose sight of the overall objective.  Periodically it is essential to step back and get out of the details in order to detach emotionally from the daily drama that generally occurs on a project .  This allows you to more objectively evaluate the project and tasks and clears your mind to more effectively focus on problem solving. 

 This can be done with something as simple as getting out to play a sport or run for an hour, watching a movie, reading a book, or, in my case, flying a helicopter.  I find that anything that requires me to focus 100% (like running, playing soccer, flying) gives my mind a mental ‘reboot’ and clears out clutter leaving me space to think. 

Sometimes what is necessary is perseverance.  Sometimes what is necessary is some space.  If you are spending more time getting space, you are procrastinating.  If you are spinning your wheels on an issue, it’s time to make some space.