Andrea Novakowski's Coaching Tip of the Week
Andrea Novakowski's Coaching Tip of the Week )
  August 20, 2004 
Contents In This Issue
    Top Ten Things That Work for Me
    by Michael Angier

  • Brought to you by Andrea Novakowski, Master Certified Coach, Business and Personal Coaching for Corporations, Businesses and Individuals


    "The ability to focus attention on important things is a defining characteristic of intelligence."

    -- Robert J. Shiller

    Top Ten Things That Work for Me
    by Michael Angier

    I'm often asked what keeps me focused and on track toward my objectives. People want to know what works. They want to know my "secret weapons" for juggling many projects and priorities. The truth is, there's no one way that works for everyone. We each have our own style and our own strengths and weaknesses. What works for one may not work for another.

    Nonetheless, here are the top ten things that work for ME. When I find myself being less productive than I'd like, I look at which of these things I might not be doing as well or as consistently as I might.

    1. Clear, Written Goals.
    I write my goals down and I keep them in front of me. I pay particular attention to my top three -- the three most important things I'm in the process of accomplishing. Clarity leads to power and having clear, written goals keeps me better focused.

    2. A Projects Book.
    I keep a three-ring binder with a numbered tab for each project. Within each section, I have task lists, notes about resources and ideas on completing these projects.

    I then break my project down into action plans. Most people have to-do lists, and so do I. But I divide my list into critical, imperative and important. I use A, B and C and do my best to put my attention on them in this order. A's must be done and are time-sensitive. B's should be done or must be done but are not so time-critical. C's are nice to do. I'd like to do them, but they just aren't critical or essential.

    As best I can, I schedule the time to work on the A's. I set them up as an appointment and that way there's less chance they'll slip and not get done on time.

    3. Time Away.
    I don't yet practice this as well as I would like, but I know it works when I do. And I'm getting better at it. We need breaks. Extended ones (at least a week or ten days), intermediate ones (long weekends) and short ones (breaks in the day). Remember, it's the space between the notes that makes the music. Be sure to create some spaces in your day, your month, your year and your life.

    Most, if not all, of the great leaders and achievers spent time away -- quiet time, contemplative time, meditation time and renewal time. Without it they would not have been able to accomplish what they did. Why should we be any different?

    4. Master Mind.
    I meet almost every week with my Success Team. Two of them live on the west coast and the other in the Midwest. We meet by conference call and talk about our goals and projects, what's working, what's not working and how we can make better progress. I wouldn't be without this valuable support.

    We meet for an hour and divvy up the time between the members on the call. In addition, we correspond via email as the need arises.

    5. Service First -- Profits Second.
    It's not always easy to do, but it's imperative to put the focus on giving the customer or client what they want. If I'm thinking about what I can do for our members instead of what I can gain, things work. It just goes to prove that you can get anything you want if you help enough other people get what they want.

    By keeping the focus on where it belongs -- creating value -- instead of on what I want to get out of it, I make progress -- and it's progress that lasts.

    6. Keep Peak Times Sacred.
    We all have times of the day when we are at our best. For me, it's the morning. For you, it might be the afternoon or late night. I schedule my most important projects for the AM. For my less-productive times, I schedule tasks that don't require as much creativity, brainpower or motivation.

    7. Journaling.
    I keep my journal on my computer and also in a 3-ring binder so I can punch and add pages as needed. It's a scrapbook as well as a place to record my thoughts and ideas.

    It's insightful and inspiring for me to review my journals from previous years. It's amazing to see the difference in perspective from years past as well as observe the progress that's been made.

    8. Exercise.
    We all need exercise. Our bodies need to be active in order for our minds to work properly. When I skip my workouts, my work suffers. When I do what's good for me, good things happen to me. I now look at the time taken in working out as an investment in my productivity rather than taking time away from my productivity.

    9. Reading Good Books and Listening to Good Tapes.
    My mind, my creativity and my motivation are stimulated by reading inspiring stories, listening to good ideas and learning about why and how great men and women have lived and triumphed.

    I read with a tape recorder or a note pad because I want to chronicle the ideas I discover and what I think about as a result of what I read.

    10. Asking Questions.
    I believe that questions are the answers. When I ask others questions, I learn. When I ask myself questions and I have to think and research, I learn even more. And we can't learn less.

    The quality of our lives is closely related to the quality of our questions.

    AUTHOR'S NOTE: Of course, nothing can take the place of having objectives about which you feel passionate. With strong reasons, compelling beliefs and deep-seated faith, one can accomplish seemingly impossible things.

    Michael Angier can be reached at (c) Copyright Success Networks International, Inc. and Michael Angier.


    Michael has a number of ideas and tactics that make him productive. I especially liked No. 10 -- Asking Questions, being a big question asker myself. This week review Michael's list, which of these methods would you like to add to your repetoire to keep you focused? Are there other actions you take to keep yourself focused? Please share them with me and I will include them in an upcoming Ideas and Information.


    Thinking about giving back by getting on a board?

    The Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston is now accepting applications for the 2004 Business on Board training and board placement program, which begins in September. Now in its third year, Business on Board is a program that trains and places business professionals on arts and cultural boards. Previous board experience is not required, only your skills, experience and desire to make a positive difference in the culture of the Boston area.

    Participation in the Business on Board program is a great leadership development tool and a great way for a company to reward/develop key middle management staff. To learn more about Business on Board, please call Celeste Wilson at 617-570-8346 or email her at


    This Coaching Tip of the Week is brought to you by Andrea Novakowski, Master Certified Coach who provides Business and Personal Coaching to Corporations, Businesses, and Individuals. Andrea is a professional coach who partners with people to set goals and create momentum to produce effective results in their business and/or personal lives.

    Andrea is available for individual coaching. If you are serious about reaching your goals and living with greater fulfillment and satisfaction, consider using a coach. To schedule a COMPLIMENTARY initial consultation, send an e-mail to Andrea at


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