Off The Hook

I’ve come to find that when mistakes are made in life most people are easier on themselves than they are other people. Several years ago while I was out of town my wife was backing out of the garage and for one reason or another became distracted. I’m sure her technique was flawless, unfortunately she forgot to open the garage door before trying to exit the garage.

Later that night when arriving after a long business trip I noticed the damaged garage door it was pretty obvious what had happened. Sure I was upset, after all, I spend my days traveling around the country trying to get my young business off of the ground and she’s here being careless by damaging both the garage door and the car. After being gone all week the last thing I wanted to do was walk in and have an argument. That’s when I had a revelation… If I would have done the same thing I would have probably said “Oops” and let myself off the hook. So why make a big deal out of it when it could have just as easily happened to me? “After all”, I thought, “I’m sure the act of backing into the garage door was in no way related to the level of respect she had for the work I was doing and my being gone so much probably had something to do with her being distracted since she’s left to take care of everything at home.” The best thing I could do was to let her off the hook just like I would have done for myself.

In our relationships with others applying the “Off The Hook” philosophy can help us pick our battles and potentially save us from creating hurt or hard feelings with our friends and loved ones. If we love ourselves enough to give ourselves grace when we screw up, can’t we show the same amount of forgiveness towards our loved ones and let them off the hook when they make mistakes?

Efficiency Tip – Time Blocks

Hey, we all want to be as efficient as possible and get a ton of things done each day but a lot of time we go home after work feeling like we didn’t get much of anything done. Here’s a great tip on how breaking your time into boxes can really boost your efficiency during the day.

The concept is pretty simple and is done by setting aside a fixed amount of time to work on something and then not working on it beyond the border of your time box. Working in blocks of time like this definitely helps a person recognize that they can only do one thing at a time and that multitasking is an exercise in low productivity. Work on one thing at a time, give it your full attention, then move on to the next task or project.

If you want a specific and more detailed example of time-boxing then spend a little time reading about the Pomodoro Technique. You can start by reading the Wikipedia article here then research more if you find it useful.

The whole idea of this technique is about focus, not getting something finished. The idea is to split your time up among various tasks/projects, keeping track of your time, and prioritizing how you are going to spend your time. If you don’t finish something in the time you blocked out for it then you can create another time block to work on it, maybe after taking a break from it or the next day if the deadline allows for it.

Successful people have learned that if you want to do be effective you have to focus on one thing at a time. This great tool lets you do that.