Now is your opportunity
Have you ever wondered why a government body has done this thing or that? Why did they do that? What in the world are they thinking? I would not have done that. They should be doing this. They need to represent the people, it only seems they are looking out for themselves or special interest groups.
Wonder no longer. Turn to the legal pages and see the vacancies that are running in the paper. They are not high paying jobs, nor are they glamorous. But they are trying to do something for the community or district they live within.
It’s OK to agree to disagree or even agree with what they are doing. Now it could be your opportunity to be on the other side of the table representing what is in the best interest of the community or district.
Should you get elected you can have a voice in how your elected officials operate and what they are doing. But first things first. Get a petition and make sure you are qualified to run for that position and then go out and get the signatures required and run for that public office.
Don’t sit back. Not only is it a public service to serve in office, it is actually a privilege because there was an election and people thought you would be the best candidate for the job. Then it is your opportunity to do your best and be looking out for you, as well as everyone you represent.
Should you think it to be a big issue, or expense, even if you have the funds, don’t be afraid to take it to the people. Let the patrons know what you are doing and have a say in major expenditures.
Even if you do not get elected or reelected, see how you can still help your community. Now others know you are interested. It is hard to lose, but you can still be a winner by being active even if people decide you should step aside.
So consider a run for public office. You may be surprised.
Productivity principals to guide you through 2019
“Productive, productive! Let’s stop wasting all our time! Let’s get productive instead of writing silly rhymes...” — A line from a poem I wrote prior to my high school graduation called “Productivity Procrastinator.”
January should be known as productivity promotion month. At least it always seems like it’s at the start of each new year that people are looking for new ways to do things, for new methods to accomplish more in less time.
It takes discipline to make yourself a productive member of society. Honestly, left to its own, my brain would rather sit idle or be entertained by mindless videos on YouTube.
A few years ago, I came across the concept of a weekly review. A particular work flow method following this concept that I like was designed by author David Allen who says the discipline of reviewing where you are at least once a week is “critical to making personal organization a vital, dynamic reality.”
1. Sort your loose papers. Gather all scraps of paper – business cards, receipts, miscellaneous notes – and put them into your “in-basket” to process them.
2. Process your notes by reviewing journal entries, meeting notes and random scribblings. Turn them into appropriate action items.
3. Review previous calendar data by looking through the past week’s calendar to see if there are any remaining action items and move those things forward.
4. Write down any new projects, action items, “waiting-for” items and so on.
5. Review project list and evaluate the status of each project, goal and outcome.
6. Review what you need to do next. Check off all completed actions. Look for reminders of further action steps.
7. Browse through work-in-progress materials and update lists of new actions, completions and “waiting-for” items.
8. Review “reminder” lists. Make sure there isn’t anything you haven’t done that you need to do; also make sure there aren’t any checklists you need to review.
9. Review “someday” and “maybe” lists. Look for any projects that may have become active and transfer them to your “projects” list. Remove any dead items.
10. Review “waiting- for” lists. Record appropriate follow-up actions. Check them off as you complete them.
Allen also says to be creative and courageous, adding to your system any new ideas that have occurred to you in the past week.
Here are a couple other productivity tips I’ve adapted from Allen that help keep me on task.
*For frequent travelers, keep duplicates of things you always take – toilet kits, power cords for electronics, etc.
*Keep your email inbox at zero. Discipline yourself to dump as many messages as you can right away, to address immediately any action that will take less than two minutes and put group actions that will take more time into an “action” folder.
This week, join me for coffee Jan. 21 at the Bristol Community Center from 9-10 a.m.
Habits – bad ones are easy to adapt, good ones take time too
Why is it that bad habits are so much easier to start and maintain than good ones? After all, isn’t a habit a habit?
Many mornings, the first thing I do is check in on the games on my phone. It’s usually half an hour or so before I’m finished and ready to have breakfast. By that time I’m running late and don’t take the time to do what needs to be done around the house or even daily devotions.
There’s no telling when this started, but it didn’t take long at all before it became my habit.
A habit I want is to keep the sink clean and shiny. There’s not really that much to it, but after a day or two it’s something that goes by the wayside. Dirty dishes get left there for a couple of hours and before you know it there are enough stains on that thing that it needs to soak in oxyclean.
So how does a person change?
Somehow John and I have both gotten into the habit of making the bed in the morning. It doesn’t matter which one of us gets up last. The bed will be made before we leave the room. If only we could remember how we got that single good habit to stick!
What my plan is, I will continue to get out of bed every morning and just try my best. Do a few little things here and there, hoping that sooner or later there’s another good habit that will stick.
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