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Budget Time For What You Value Most

Recent conversations with coaching clients and colleagues have increasingly focused on energy management, prioritization and adhering to (though not always) effective professional and personal boundaries. This is challenging in the best of times, but these areas have and continue to be a struggle for many of us in our work from home environments. What is most important? How do we effectively and strategically say no? What do optimal boundaries look like? 

This week we explore these and many other questions. There is a range of reading and listening offering thoughtful points of view, as well as a variety of tools and tips to consider as we define and prioritize the greatest value areas of our lives.

Finally, there are a couple of perspectives on the implications of our views. The case against our unhealthy and unhelpful preoccupation with comparing ourselves to others.

As always, happy reading and listening! Please stay safe and look out for your families and your community.


Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time. “…We envision a new and explicit contract that benefits all parties: Organizations invest in their people across all dimensions of their lives to help them build and sustain their value. Individuals respond by bringing all their multidimensional energy wholeheartedly to work every day. Both grow in value as a result.”

There Are 168 Hours in the Week. Are You Spending Them on What Matters? “A former CEO on how to budget time for what you value most.”

Learn When to Say No. “The only way to be sustainably successful is to get really good at saying no in a way that makes people feel respected and to say yes only when your reasoning is sound and you have a clear plan of attack.”

A Triumph of Avoiding the Traps. “When you look at Oprah Winfrey’s multi-decade run through daytime talk most of it at No. 1 it’s easy to be impressed by what she did to make it happen. But her longevity and success…probably has more to do with what she did not do.”

How to Leave Work at Work. “As individuals, we need a mental break to do our best work, and taking time for ourselves — without the distraction of work — can help us become our best selves.”

9 easy ways to set boundaries at work to improve your life. “Setting boundaries enables us to be more productive by saying no to things that waste our time.”

Do You Have a Life Outside of Work? “We live in challenging times to be sure. But our experience is often of our own making. Never in history have we had a greater ability to shape what we do and with whom. Don’t cede this control. If you’ve lost it, take it back. I’ve seen again and again, those that do have the greatest sense of purpose and well-being.”

How to 80/20 Your Life. “Obviously, the 80/20 rule is not necessarily a rigid dictum to live by…But think of it as a tool, a lens to view aspects of your life through. Sit down and think about it, maybe even write it out. You’ll likely be surprised with the realizations you come to.”

TED Talks/Podcasts

No Stupid Questions: How Can You Stop Comparing Yourself With Other People? Plus, additional comments and insights on how we can stop confusing correlation with causation.

68 Ways to Be Better at Life. “The accidental futurist Kevin Kelly on why enthusiasm beats intelligence, how to really listen, and why the solution to bad technology is more technology.”

Blog Posts 

The Daily Stoic: How Much White Space Do You Have? “Being busy is not success. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. Autonomy. White space. The ability to be deliberate, to choose your shots—that’s success. Stillness, that’s where happiness and insight and truth comes from. So make room for it. Prioritize it. Fight for it.”

James Clear: Martha Graham on the Hidden Danger of Comparing Yourself to Others. “Your concern is to do the work, not to judge it. Your concern is to fall in love with the process, not to grade the outcome. Keep your eyes on your own paper.”

Arts, Music & Culture Corner

Bruce Springsteen and the Art of Aging Well. “What the happiest Springsteen album in decades can teach us about Joe Biden, the wisdom of maturity, and the meaning of life.”

See what Wes Anderson sets would look like in real life. “The Instagram sensation ‘Accidentally Wes Anderson’ captures strange and compelling locations around the world, and it’s now available as a book. Wes Anderson wouldn’t have it any other way.”


“Filtering is a superpower. The people you don’t hang around. The opportunities you don’t accept. The distractions you don’t allow. The relationships you don’t have. The news you don’t read. The content you don’t consume. The calls you don’t return. The emails you don’t answer. Saying no turns filtering into action.” – Farnam Street’s Brain Food, 10/11/20

“This is an absolute necessity for anybody today: you must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually wonderful will happen.” – Joseph Campbell

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan is an International Coach Federation-certified executive coach who serves as a strategic advisor, mentor and facilitator to executive leadership teams and private clients to achieve peak performance and agility resulting in sustained engagement and value. Drawing upon a career as a leader and consultant, Kevin is able to work with clients on personal and professional development, relationship optimization and team and leader dynamics. He has deep expertise and experience developing and realizing strategic vision through a relentless focus on optimized business operations. He is also skilled at building sustainable culture and workforce engagement through the power of people and organizational partnership, as well as delivering results and value with high performing teams during periods of intense change.

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