Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Knitting and Winner and Lists - Oh, My!

I had so much fun knitting with Jennifer and Denise today. The cinnamon streusel muffins were a big hit - Nathan says they are the best muffins he's had in a long time, and he would pay big bucks for them at a bakery - and I very much enjoyed the fresh fruit Denise brought, too. Eventually, we got down to knitting. The girls took my advice and went to Yarn Garden Knit Shop in Lawrenceville on Monday and treated themselves to beautiful yarn and bamboo knitting needles. As I explained to them the last time we were together, I don't knit to save money; I knit to feed my spirit, and cheap aluminum needles and cheesy acrylic yarn just don't do it for me. I taught them to cast on and do the knit stitch, all they need to know to complete their garter stitch scarves. Well, except for binding off, but they won't need to know how to do that for a while. I finished the black scarf I told you about last week, so I started a new project, too, using Patons Classic Wool Roving in Pumpkin.

I cast on 18 stitches and am following this pattern.
Row 1: *K2. P2. Rep from * to last 2 sts. K2.
Row 2: *P2. K2. Rep from * to last 2 sts. P2.
Row 3: Knit.
Row 4: Purl.

I plan to make a matching hat, too. I heart knitting.

* * *

The winner of the $10 Amazon gift card from yesterday's drawing is S.M. Carriere. Congratulations, S.M.!

* * *

The more I dig into Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy, the more life-changing I believe it can be. I am becoming much better aligned with my goals and see much more clearly how to go about achieving them - primarily through making written lists.

Mr. Tracy emphasizes the importance of making lists. He claims that if you work from a daily list, you increase your productivity by 25% or more - about two hours a day. TWO HOURS! He suggests making your daily to-do list the night before, giving your subconscious mind time to work on it while you sleep - great idea, right?

But it's not that simple. He says to start the process by making a MASTER LIST of everything you can think of that you want to accomplish at some point in the future. He also recommends MONTHLY, WEEKLY, and DAILY lists - and reminds us to start each day by "eating the biggest, ugliest frog first," because 10-20% of tasks represent 80-90% of results. Continually ask yourself which one project or activity will have the greatest positive consequences in your work or personal life.

Another tip is using the ABCDE method of prioritizing tasks, as follows:

A=very important, must do; rank A-1, A-2, A-3, etc. and do in this order.
B=should do; only mild consequences if not done.
C=nice to do, but no consequence if not done.
D=jobs you can delevate.
E=eliminate - things that might have been important at one time or things that you do primarily out of habit.

Again, he reminds us to START IMMEDIATELY on the A-1 tasks.

The time is going to pass anyway. The only question is how you use it and where you are going to end up at the end of the weeks and months that pass. And where you end up is largely a matter of the amount of consideration you give to the likely consequences of your actions in the short term.
~ Brian Tracy, Eat That Frog!

If you're not sure where you are headed, give yourself thirty seconds to write down the three most important goals in your life. You will be surprised how much clarity you will have with such a severe time restraint. You can then flesh it out by taking a few more minutes to identify your three most important goals in the following areas:
  1. business or career
  2. family or relationship
  3. financial
  4. health
  5. personal and professional development
  6. social and community
  7. problems or concerns

This dovetails beautifully with today's #Trust30 prompt.

One Thing by Colin Wright

Do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself. 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Take a moment, step back from your concerns, and focus on one thing: You have one life to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted. Sounds simple, but when you really focus on it, let it seep into your consciousness, you realize you only have about 100 years to get every single thing you’ve ever wanted to do. No second chances. This is your only shot. Suddenly, this means you should have started yesterday. No more waiting for permission or resources to start. Today is the day you make the rest of your life happen. Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do and how you will achieve that goal. Don’t be afraid to be very specific in how you’ll achieve it: once you start achieving, your goals will get bigger and your capability to meet them will grow.
(Author: Colin Wright)

I encourage you to give some of these exercises a try. And remember: the chief benefit of getting your work life in order is to give you more time with the people and activities you love most. I wish you much success and great joy!


S.M. Carrière said...

Oh! Yay! I won something! That's awesome, Pam! Thanks ever so much!

Also, this book you're reading sounds intriguing. I should take a look at it sometime.

Cinthia Hamer said...

Hey Pam...I didn't know you knit! How cool. I knit...sort of...but I'm a handspinner. Love going to Yarn Garden, but my wallet winces a bit--as does my hubby, but I feel the same as you...I do it to feed my spirit. I find spinning to be very meditative.

Carol Kilgore said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today :)

My aunt tried to teach me how to knit. I'm hopeless.

But I am a natural-born listmaker. My husband is not. They do nothing but make him crazy, but I cannot function without them. I agree with everything 'Mr. Frog' says. You'll know soon enough if listmaking works for you.

Denise said...

Mr. Frog reminds me a bit of Ben Franklin. He was a list maker and prioritizer and the Franklin Planner is based on his philosophy. Of course, I've been through the FP training and owned the planner but am not following it now. Just too overwhelmed.'ll get better. I would like to read the frog book. Maybe it'll bring me back to my center.

BTW...Shirley at the Yarn Garden was amazing. I exercised EXTREME self control and got out for less then $25.00 but can totally see myself getting into big trouble there. The alpaca, wow. The colors, amazing. I wanted one of everything in the store.

Julee J. Adams said...

Love "Eat That Frog!" but only watched the video when we were working on a time management class. I did make a list and will share it on my blog soon, promise.

I took a step toward something I've always wanted and bought 12 skeins of the most beautiful yarn. It was almost $50, on clearance (!), but I so want one of my local friends to crochet or knit an afghan for me for Christmas. AND I ate a huge bowl of the cherries I bought the other day last night! Life IS good. Keep positive!

Pam Asberry said...

Congrats, S.M.! All I need is your email address and your gift certificate will be on its way! If you have problems with procrastination, I HIGHLY recommend "Eat That Frog." It has helped me tremendously!

Pam Asberry said...

Hey Cinthia! I'm not an advanced knitter - I'm more of an experienced beginner, really - but I have been knitting for years and I truly love it. I am going to attempt a sweater this summer. I found some gorgeous purple cotton/linen yarn. Of course, I will keep you posted on my progress! Spinning is something I would never attempt but truly appreciate. I can see how it would be very meditative. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

Pam Asberry said...

Carol, nobody is hopeless. I wish you could join our little knitting circle; I bet we would have you knitting a scarf in no time! I think it's easier when your teacher is a non-family member, LOL! I already know listmaking works for me; my problem is figuring out how to prioritize. I have been doing the less important things first, but no more! Thank you so much for visiting today!

Pam Asberry said...

Read the frog book, Denise! You won't be sorry! Then you will find more free time for knitting, and your business will be so successful that you can buy all the delicious yarn your heart desires! Cheers!

Pam Asberry said...

Julee, I would probably enjoy the video, too. It never hurts to have a little bit of visual and auditory reinforcement, right? I hope you will post a picture of your new yarn on your blog - how lucky that you found it on clearance! And those cherries sound delicious; I just might have to get some the next time I go to the grocery store. That's one of my favorite things about summertime - all the yummy fresh produce!

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Never learned to knit very well. Don't even know that I remember how, but I can crochet like crazy!

Lists? Yeah, I can do those and do with frequency. Can't say I break them down, but that would probably help more with productivity. I'm willing to give it a shot. :)

eric said...

I wish Donna would make me some of those muffins. They look yummy!

Pam Asberry said...

Ooh, Carol, I want to learn to crochet, too! Matter of fact, making a granny square afghan is on my bucket list. But I don't think it's going to happen this year. As for the rest of my lists, I'm going to work on them tonight!

Pam Asberry said...

Well, Eric, if she ever read my blog... ;-)