Are You Sinking or Soaring?

2013-11-10T08:00:00Z Are You Sinking or Soaring?
November 10, 2013 8:00 am

The ability to make high value decisions on how we spend our time helps keep the focus on what matters most in our professional and personal lives.

While advances in technology allow us to be more efficient both at work and at home, they also contribute to wasted time.

Since we are all pretty much accessible 24/7 thanks to technology, the lines between work and our personal lives have blurred more than ever. Many people are in the habit of logging on to their favorite sites regularly for entertainment, social connections or just general browsing. Checking Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, ESPN or Pinterest may soon qualify as the new national pastime. Time spent on social networking sites is fine, but when spending time on those sites, people need to ask themselves if it is taking them away from more important activities and goals. If so, then they may want to evaluate if they are spending their time on what matters most.

When looking at the greatest distractions at work, a survey ranked computers (accessing the Internet for personal reasons), other workers and our personal lives (accessing cell phones to check text messages or monitor social media) at the top of the list. It probably comes as no surprise that two of the three are technology dependent.

With all of life’s distractions, wouldn’t it be great if you could make more selective, high-impact choices about where to invest your valuable time, attention and energy?

“In today’s high-tech world, everyone is looking to be more productive,” Lindsey Wegman, an Indiana-based FranklinCovey Business Partner, said. “We need to be able to consciously sort through and manage all the information that’s coming at us in order to manage time, attention and energy more effectively and lead a more productive life. That’s where our work session, The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity comes in – the choices we make as individual, teams and organizations can lead to extraordinary productivity or leave us feeling buried alive.”

If you constantly feel like you need more time in the day, FranklinCovey’s The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity can provide a methodology to discern all of the ‘incoming’ of the day and execute on the most important things with a few key disciplines of 21st century planning. Check out the video “Buried Alive” at to see if you identify with the featured workers.

“We’ve partnered with the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce to offer FranklinCovey’s one-day work session, The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity, in a convenient northwest Indiana location,” Wegman explained. “Based on the success of previous FranklinCovey events in the area, we are very excited to have a larger meeting space in the Valparaiso University Harre Union, with the hope that we will not need to cut off enrollment, as that has been the case in the past. We’re also looking forward to having J.D. Frailey share his passion for life-changing principles and practices that produce long-term results.”

Affiliated with FranklinCovey since 1996, Frailey earns top ratings for his motivating, entertaining and uplifting workshops. Co-author of In the Spirit of Service with Dr. James Velavas, Frailey frequently works with clients from the frontlines to superintendents and/or CEOs in a variety of industries including manufacturing, education, retail, sales and marketing, transportation, technology, legal and energy. He has also successfully worked with the government at the federal, state and local levels as well as many branches of the military.

“J.D.’s client list includes AT&T, Mohawk, Coca-Cola, Boeing, Express Scripts, the Veterans Administration, BDO, Accenture, DuPont, Honda and Volvo,” Wegman added. “He’s often invited back to organizations because they appreciate his sense of humor and the fact that his workshops produce results.”

Along with the proven strategies for success found in Stephen R. Covey’s original work, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (first published in 1989 and set to be re-released for the 25th anniversary on November 19, 2013), the content in The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity is the next level of learning around time, attention and energy management, aided by the research and neuroscience of 125 new resources, including numerous world renowned thought leaders and experts.

“Just as Stephen Covey compiled The 7 Habits in 1989, after carefully reviewing 200 years of success literature and many of the world’s most effective people, The 5 Choices have been similarly crafted, backed by science and years of experience,” said FranklinCovey Global Director of Public Relations, Debra Lund, who served as Stephen Covey’s personal publicist for 20 years, said. “More importantly, we are hearing great results from our attendees. Once they deliberately pay attention to the most important things amidst the distractions, they can harness the opportunities and technologies available today and soar to creative and innovative heights.”

“As we were developing this work session, we realized that the world, and in particular the workplace, had changed significantly,” FranklinCovey Productivity Practice Leader Kory Kogon added. “The 5 Choices take into account that employees have higher job complexity than ever before, combined with advances in technology. In an era of “do more with less,” this work session meets the needs of a distracted workforce where everyone is making far more decisions than ever before – both at work and at home. But, are they making the right decisions to accomplish the right things, right now?”

So in a world full of demands from your job and a constant barrage of information from e-mails, voicemails, reports, texts, tweets, blog posts and websites, The 5 Choices can help you accomplish what matters most:

1. ACT ON THE IMPORTANT – don’t react to the urgent

Learn how to approach each day with an "importance mindset" and to identify and eliminate those activities that distract you from achieving your most important goals.

2. GO FOR THE EXTRAORDINARY – don’t settle for ordinary

Defining “extraordinary outcomes” for your roles helps you focus your efforts on measureable day-to-day decisions.

3. SCHEDULE THE BIG ROCKS – don’t sort gravel

Consistently planning daily and weekly activities around identified "most important outcomes" creates a pattern of focus and success.

4. RULE YOUR TECHNOLOGY – don’t let it rule you

Building a “reliable personal information system” for contacts, emails, tasks, calendaring and notes that supports achieving important outcomes is essential to the ability to focus.

5. FUEL YOUR FIRE – don’t burn out

Constantly and consistently “renewing yourself” by igniting your body’s mental, physical, emotional and spiritual energy helps keep you focused on important activities throughout the day.

If you’re ready to move from being buried alive to extraordinary productivity, register for The 5 Choices coming up on Wednesday, November 20th from 8:30am to 4:30 pm by calling the Valparaiso Chamber at 219.462.1105. Cost is $399 per person with multiple registration discounts available (5-9 attendees from the same organization $379 each, 10+ $359 each).

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