February 2020 – Power – Produce – Progress

Where have the years gone?!  We are back to recharge and grow!

Hamstring length and strength
Ensure your foundation and core are ready for action when you need to spring into action.   Hamstrings are the unsung hero of locomotion. Sitting all day does them no justice.
I found this stretch to be less painful than expected!

Before tasks requiring brain-storming or creative work, Take a brain break (5-10-15 mins) to play an observation / recognition puzzle. Prepping your subconscious to fire up the pattern detection hardware will make any work session more effective!

Hygge – The Danish / Norwegian recipe for happiness: Get Cozy
This cultural tradition focuses on enjoying simple comforts to find contentment. Especially useful during dreary, soggy winter months!
Collecting more for next month!

February 2018 – Power – Produce – Progress

After a long hiatus, the sun is back and so is Power Produce Progress!


Nap-accino!  When your early afternoon eye-droop hits.

In Daniel Pink’s new book, When, he describes the coffee+power nap combo!



Picture your success!

Your brain loves images. Rather than a to-do list, try a photo timeline of your immediate goals.  This could be hand-drawn or images on printed page.  Either way, your picture list will be worth thousands of “to-do” words…


And now, an installment from our new contributor, Keith Martin, P.Eng

A notebook for your frame of mind!

Writing things down makes an idea, a task, or an emotion that much more clear to me. To help me do this I use several notebooks to organize my thoughts and my plans without having to carry them all in my head.

First, I use a paper agenda to schedule my appointments and to-do’s. Not only is it an effective way to organize my calendar and make notes, it also provides the opportunity to look back at an entire year and take stock of accomplishments, challenges, and special moments.

In addition, I keep a journal to express emotions and thoughts in a private way – something just for me to know and to share. This helps me sort out the thoughts in my mind and remember items I want to discuss with my partner, my therapist, or family.

I also keep a “five-minute journal,” a gift I received from my psychologist cousin. In the morning, I write down a) 3 things I am grateful for, b) 3 things that would make today great, and c) a daily affirmation. I then repeat these aloud to myself, to let them sink in. In the evening, I write down 3 amazing things that happened in the day, and 2 things that would have made it go even better. It is a simple way to bring more positivity into my life.

Lastly, I have another journal where I keep track of ideas, learnings, and inspiration. Entries could be notes from a leadership book I am reading, wisdom from a meeting with a mentor, or personal inspiration. It helps to write them down.

So, I encourage you to take up writing in a notebook for yourself – and see where it takes you!


Until next month…

October 2016 – Power – Produce – Progress

Brrr… October is here!


Be a Meeting Hero

Chair effective meetings: right attendees, preparation, stated objectives, discussion, review actions, schedule follow up!

Amazon/ Meeting Hero by Tom LaForce


Turn off the unread email count badge!

When you begin to feel daunted by a staggering pile of unreads, sometimes ignorance is bliss.  You will feel recharged and motivated to take scheduled bites out of your inbox.  http://www.howtogeek.com/181734/how-to-disable-the-number-on-the-mail-icon-for-ipad-iphone/.


Sleep-in once in a while.

Schedule ahead of time with co-workers, supervisor, clients, etc for a late start some morning.  Catch-up on a home project or non-critical appointments. Visit a friend for coffee.  Recharge.  Especially useful on one of those upcoming winter mornings.

September 2016 – Power – Produce – Progress

Hello Team,

September! What?!?  I took August off from posting. Laziness! Now we’re back, busier than ever. Fittingly, a few topics came to attention:


Battle demotivation!

Illustrate your big-picture plan.  List and check-off your achievements from past steps. Listing and check-boxing future steps will help focus attention and bring new opportunities to light!


Deep Work

Record and monitor the duration of undisrupted practice, planning or work that you are able to achieve  during a week.  For knowledge workers, Cal Newport suggests optimal time split is 50% undisrupted, 50% collaborative.  Are you giving yourself the space to succeed?


Reward to reinforce.

To reinforce habits, set out a reward with each goal. Ensure the reward will reinforce the habit.  This was described by Gretchen Rubin in a recent summit with Michael Hyatt.  Gretchen has authored: Happy at Home, Better than before, The Happiness Project and hosts a podcast: http://gretchenrubin.com/podcast/

Pumpkin Spice Latte Season is just around the corner, start setting those rewards…


July 2016 – Power – Produce – Progress

Power – Facts and Science Part 1
4 in-4 out -2 hold.

BREATHE Rhythmically, Evenly And Through the Heart Everyday.  BREATHE. Check out around 9mins 30 seconds in this Tedx video:

Follow up – consistently

This applies in all cases: if the plan changes, when a task is completed, if you need more info, in sales.  An active sales/service person I’ve dealt with includes a quote with his email signature, “90% of business is lost because of indifference”

Progress – Facts and Science Part 2

If you haven’t already, start observing your heart rate when you are content or when you become agitated.  Practice noticing a difference when you change your breathing pattern, smooth vs halting or rushed.  Around Minute 17ish of the same video.

June 2016 – Power – Produce – Progress


Mastermind your own success

Napoleon Hill used this term in his book “Think and Grow Rich”.  If you don’t already have a group, go recruit a few friends for practice.  Once you have the hang of it, recruit a few all-stars to heighten your game.



Stand up to get more done – the science is in from a Texas A&M study.




Summer time bonus time – early wake-up

With brighter June mornings it is easier than ever to get up a bit early.  Try subtracting 15 minutes from your normal alarm during the next week.  Apply this bonus time to drawings, playing music, stretching, thinking deep thoughts (and writing them down).  You might just get hooked!

As always, have fun!

May 2016 Power – Produce – Progress

This month I would appreciate some mentoring feedback: what has worked for you in the past, what was a great mentoring memory for you?  I started mentoring several individuals in related sphere’s of profession and performance. Tips are much appreciated!  Send ideas to the email address at the bottom of this post.


Compete – at an individual event.  Pushing yourself against competition will expand your own limits for performance.  Get in there and feel the adrenaline!


Set aside a place to record your commitments to others.   Write down, dictaphone, or draw the actions you have to deliver: update for your supervisor, draft report for co-worker, be on-time for meeting family member, pay Visa.


Eat some quality chocolate! or bit of your favourite snack when you’ve had a really good day.  Train that brain to work smarter!



April 2016 – Power – Produce – Progress

A year has flown by since my first post!

This month, some excitement for the Introverts!


Speak-up.  Look for opportunities to challenge your social conditioning: Offer a complement, a word of encouragement, help someone.  Build your experience-bank for taking action.


Bullet Journal – become a better note taker. http://bulletjournal.com/


GO fishing!  Learn to light a fire… Find a place and practice primal survival skills to briefly reconnect with nature.

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March 2016 – Power – Produce – Progress

Spring 2016 is almost here!


Seasonal rhythm – pursue goals for the season.

I heard this mentioned in an interview with Todd Henry, about his book “The Accidental Creative”.   Spring is great to start project, summer for creating relationships, fall and winter for focusing on maintaining.


When you hit a mental impasse, step away, engage in conversation, and seek the bigger picture.

That was my take-away after reading “Your brain at work” by David Rock.

His description of the real-time “aha moment” viewed through fMRI was pretty cool. Like a reverse-motion film of a water droplet hitting a pond. Waves of thought subside briefly before the moment of insight erupts!


Another borrowed from Todd Henry: Creativity – take time to think deep thoughts, build strategy. Reserve at least 1 hour per week, ideally in the morning. If you want to think deeply, read the works of those who think deeply.

Until next month, keep testing and sharing great ideas!


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