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9 steps to help you work less and do more


work less do more(   )  

Okay, so who doesn't want to work less and do more? Unless you're doing what you love every single day (and, seriously, how many people have the luxury of that?), you probably would like to work less and do more with your life. I know I would! So I was thrilled when I recently was asked to review Stever Robbins' book 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More. When I saw the request for a review come up in my email in-box I thought to myself, "Sounds perfect! I'm all about productivity and this book seems like it's right up that alley." And, no surprise, it really turned out to be a great book about how to get more done so that you will have more time to do what it is that you truly want to be doing. 

According to the book's back cover, the book "will help you break the bad habits slowing you down and holding you back. Work less and do more -- your free time is waiting!" And those words ring so true. Life is short and we all want to be living the best life we can be. With the help of Robbins' advice, I found that there are so many ways to be working more efficiently so that I can have time to do what I love to do. Below are the nine steps featured in the book -- a little taste of the influential content you'll find if you pick up a copy of the book. 


The Nine Steps

Step 1: Live and work on purpose

If you're anything like me, a lot of what you call work has very little to do with getting anything important done in life. Like when I compulsively check my social media sites every hour. That kind of thing must go.

Step 2: Stop procrastinating

What is procrastinating except the very art of not doing the very stuff you know is most important? We'll cover how to nip this in the bud, or at least arrange for someone to kick you into action when you're delaying. And just in case you're someone who claims being kicked into action doesn't work for you, we'll get out an Ostrich feather and tickle you into action instead.

Step 3: Conquer your technology

Our supposed savior, technology, is for many of us, the greatest obstacle we have to being truly productive. You'll learn how to use your technology to help you focus, instead of   hey, hang on a second. There's an instant message coming in.

Step 4: Cultivate focus

Do you have any idea how much time is wasted multi-tasking? A lot. If you keep yourself focused and eliminate distractions, you can toss yourself into the kind of flow where the results come fast and easy. And you'll do it entirely without the use of pharmaceutical supplements.

Step 5: Stay organized

When you have a place for everything and everything in its place, it's no work at all to find what you need, when you need it. I'm not just talking about physical clutter; this is also about organizing your thinking, your projects, and your processes. Reclaim all that time you otherwise spend hunting for the next step, the next paper, or the next person by knowing exactly where to go and what to do when you need it.

Step 6: Don't waste time

Sometimes you appear to be doing exactly, precisely what you should be doing, but are actually wasting time that could be spent doing something more meaningful, like eating bon-bons and sipping fruit flavored beverages in a hammock strung between your computer and your doorframe.

Step 7: Optimize!

As I mentioned before, doing things twice bores me silly. Especially when it comes to making mistakes. In Optimize, you'll learn how to do things once or twice, streamline them to the point where the task is completely brainless, and   Let's just say that I'll leave you to connect the dots. Think, "brain-eating Zombies." The implications will jump right out.

Step 8: Build stronger relationships.

You can't get there alone; you need someone to program the GPS while you're trying to read street signs. Relationships are, ultimately, how everything gets done. Together, we can do far, far more than we can alone. For example, one of us can measure while the other mixes, and then we can both eat the cookies when they're ready. You'll learn some excellent ways to create and deepen the relationships that matter most.

Step 9: Leverage!

The ultimate in Doing More, our final destination of leverage will give you several ways to make sure when you do get results, you get better, stronger, and faster than you'd ever dreamed possible.

As anyone with a busy schedule knows, it can be hard to find time to get all of your work done and still have any time (or energy!) left over for doing the things you love. If you got value out of the 9 steps listed here (and I know I sure did!), you should check out Robbins' book and get some more great advice on how to make the most of your time so that you, like Robbins, can work less and do more. If you want more advice, pick up a copy of the book, check out this interview with Robbins, or check out some audio samples from the book. You won't be disappointed with the great, entertaining content that will certainly help you to work less and do more. 


What advice would you add for working less and doing more?
Do you have any great work-less-do-more resources?  

the vision board: envisioning who you want to be

dani letters


“A vision is not just a picture of what could be;
 it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.”

Rosebeth Moss Kanter

Above is a picture of my "vision letters," a version of a vision board that I created about a year ago. Many of you have probably heard about a vision board, but if you're not familiar with the concept, it's basically a board you create and post images and words that you want in your life. The underlying purpose of this board is to use the Law of Attraction (the belief that you can attract things to you in your life if you focus your thoughts on them) to bring the things you want in your life to you. Over the past few years, the vision board, and the concept behind the Law of Attraction, has been brought to popular media lately by the book The Secret and its been featured on shows like Oprah

I'm still not certain where I stand when it comes to the Law of Attraction, but I can't deny that the more positive things I focus on in my life, the more positive things seem to come my way. Shortly after I created my vision letters last year, I moved. When I arrived in my new place and hung the letters up, they fell down one by one. Irritated by them (and not entirely sure I even wanted them hanging on my wall), I tucked them into a box beneath the bed and pretty much forgot about them until I came across this beautiful picture that my boyfriend took last year. 

I'd been meaning to write about the vision letters about a year ago and I'd asked him to take some great pictures of them outside so I could use them on the blog. However, I started writing about other tops and one post lead to another and, before I knew it, the vision letters post had been forgotten. When I came across the picture the other day, I decided to pull the letters out and see if, even though I'd been ignoring them and had rudely shoved them beneath the bed, any of the things I'd wanted so badly in my life a year ago had come to fruition... 

Since it's a little hard to see the details on the picture, beautiful as it is, I've written out the words and images that I placed on those four letters so you can see what I was focused on in my life at that time. These are the things I wanted to have, in one form or another, and after writing them down for you, it's going to be very interesting to see whether or not I really was able to attract these things to my life (even with the letters under the bed in hiding). 



 dream, sunshine, luck, hope, health, fall leaves, sprinkles, fun, happy, Christmas lights, camera, yes-I-can-thinking, opportunities, kisses, hearts, wonderland, California, "live life to create," Oprah show, shine, travel around the world, birthday candles, full moon, guitar playing, clouds, money, music, hand holding, make someone smile, love letter, adorable dog, palm trees, Oscar statue  


 stars, now!, give thanks, girl writing, rainbow, freedom, pencil, hand writing, bathing suit, fireworks, painting, four leaf clover, look at the stars, butterfly, smile, money, cupcakes, inspiration, comfortable shoes, drawing, fall leaves, love, an intensely passionate kiss, sex, silver lining, mindful, freedom, health, "ban self-doubt," my name on the cover of a book   

 love, peace, "summer state of mind," laughter, sparkly things, "long live happy," writing, collaged artwork, a huge stack of books, heart, happy, killer high heels, "feel that you're contributing positively," $$$, sprinkles, "dreaming wide awake," palm trees, silliness, glitter, a picture of a dog from Guardians of Being (symbolizing how my dog keeps me present), "look back--and learn," Real Simple, a deep sleep, "dream in colors," paint, kissing, confidence, peace symbol, bright colors, "it is what it is," friendship  


 peace love music symbol, sandy toes, snowflakes, a wrapped present, happy, kisses, energetic, blue sky, colorful designs, bright sun, clock, sunglasses, modern art, relaxed woman, luxury, hearts, growth, suitcase, "be," a dog's nose, shining star, brilliant friends, stronger, "if you think positively, it will happen"


Hmmm... Wow. When I look back on the words and images I've placed on those letters two things happen: (1) I realize that some of my visions are consistent with those of a four-year-old little girl, and (2) I see that a lot -- in fact, most! -- of those things actually happened to me since I made those letters. While I didn't make it onto Oprah to discuss my best-selling novel or clutch happily at the Oscar I won for writing an amazing screenplay, I did find an amazing love filled with kisses and love notes and starry skies. I found a way to love someone else wholeheartedly and love myself at the same time. I've made positive choices and really believe that I'm making a positive difference in the world. Over the past year, I've grown stronger, happier, and more at peace with myself. I believe in myself more and I believe more in the opportunities that are all around me. 

Over the past year, I've spent hours and hours bathing suit-clad in the sunshine (some of those hours surrounded by palm trees!), I've looked up at a sky filled with falling stars, and I've watched the fall leaves float slowly down to the ground. I've strung Christmas lights and stared out the window at a snow-filled world. I've started really working on making my dreams a reality, striving to make what I want into what is. Since I created those letters, I've upheld strong bonds with my friends. I took a visit, in my own way, to Wonderland. I have been grateful, and I have given thanks for what I have been given. 

After creating those letters, I've had sunshine and luck, hope and health. I've had fun (especially with the camera I bought this year). I've felt passionate and lucky, looking for opportunities and opening my heart to a great new love. I've celebrated with birthday candles and tilted my head up to look in wonder a full moon. I've sat in the audience on more than one occasion, watching a band perform and soaking up their music. I've heard great songs and made someone smile. I've cuddled and played with my dog. I've seen rainbows and words that I've written. I've navigated my eyes through the pages of books and pulled over on the side of the road to watch unexpected fireworks. I've seen butterflies flitting from flower to flower and bit into delicious treats covered in sprinkles. I've laughed so hard tears have come to my eyes and I've found someone that I can be hilariously silly with. I've dreamt and slept deeply, waking to realize that so many of my dreams have already come true. I've thought positively and smiled up into brilliantly blue skies. I've pushed painted toes into high heels and slid sock-covered feet into comfortable tennis shoes. I've been creative and artistic; I've been energetic and confidently relaxed; I've been mindful and I've been strong. 

I have, above all else, become more me. Maybe that is what a vision board is all about -- finding more of yourself. Though the letters have been tucked away, deep down I've always known what I wanted out of my life -- to love, to write, to be happy. The letters, inspiring as they were when I created them, aren't necessary. Vision boards are inspiring, sure, but we don't need them to create the lives we want to be living. What we need is to have an understanding of who we are, who we want to be, and how we plan to get what we want. 

Whether or not you choose to make a vision board, know this: every day is a chance to envision what you want and go after it. You might not realize it, but the more you focus on what you want, the more likely you'll be to get it. I'm still not sure if I can say the Law of Attraction is all that its believers say it is, but it's hard not to have a little faith in it when I look back and see what I wanted and how I eventually got many of those things. Not every single "vision" I had became a reality, but so many of them did. And, hey, who knows -- maybe someday I will be holding that Oscar or smiling at you from the pages of Oprah's magazine... 

Have you ever created a vision board? Did you think it worked for you?
What do you envision for yourself and your life? How do you plan to attract those things to you? 

words to live by: days like this

happy days (  )



Days like this you look up at the sky above you.

Days like this you think about the ones that love you.


And all I wanna do is live my life honestly.

I just wanna wake up and see your face next to me.

Every regret I have will go set free.

It will be good for me. 



Days like this you think about the ones that went before you.

Days like this...have you ever seen the sky such a clear blue? 


And all I wanna do is live my life honestly.

I just wanna wake up and see your face next to me.

Every regret I have will go set free.

It will be good for me.

It will be good for me.  



And all I wanna do is live my life honestly.

I just wanna wake up and see your face next to me.

Every regret I have will go set free.

It will be good for me.

It will be good for...



Days like this you think about the ones that love you.

Days like this... have you ever seen the sky such a clear blue?



"Days Like This"
 Kim Taylor




"Words To Live By" is a segment on Positively Present that features my favorite quote or lyrics from the week. Every Sunday I post a quote or lyrics that have inspired me with the hope that they'll inspire you too. Comments will be closed on these posts, but feel free to tweet the post if you enjoy it or contact me via Twitter