The Meeting - A day of a pareto DOER

If you didn't read yet, check out the DONTER version of this story.

The Morning

All of the priorities for the day were set in advance. First of all, waking up early and going for a walk - the best way to breathe some fresh air and keep the head cool for the day ahead.

Later, he/she had a healthy breakfast and some 15 minutes of meditating. The notes to the meeting were revised according to their importance: the most crucial ones were seen twice and the whole presentation was rehearsed also twice. He/she thought that by doing this he/she could get his/her mind on the work rather on worrying about it.

The Afternoon

Arrived early at the building where the meeting would take place. But, with the spare time he chose to walk around and talk to some other executives. "A good opportunity to maybe even exchange a card or two" - he thought.

As the meeting begins, he/she had three major concerns: 1) make the executives comprehend the importance of the subject for their business; 2) transmit the key factors which could help them in any way; and 3) make a solid conclusion of the presentation, while showing appreciation for their attention and opening him/herself to eventual questions.

Needless to say, the meeting was a success, since the top 20% priorities set by him/her were taken care of with undivided focus.

The Night

Since the day went quite well for him/her, his/her mood was great and also the time spent with family at home was indeed a quality time.

Sure that his/her professional status had its value increased before the other executives, he/she could be safe to direct himself to new improvements in his/her project and also creating other ones, as he/she felt confident and useful for the market in a major way.

The Meeting - A day of a pareto DONTER

Few things in work life beat the nervousness of an important meeting. It may be a job interview, a presentation of a project or a debating session among different levels staff.

If you do not plan your meetings on a pareto basis (= thinking about what is the most important meetings to have or not to have, the most important subjects, the key staff involved and such things), they most probably will only get harder and less productive. Following is a story that exemplifies that.

The Morning

The preparation for the meeting only begun this day. Few notes were made while multitasking with TV and internet. No rehearsal was done for the presentation, since he/she felt it would come up as not original when presented later.

An interesting fact is that he/she did not set goals and a strategy for the meeting. Also, his notes were all reviewed with no focus on specifics.

The Afternoon

Arriving at the office on time was easy (maybe the easier thing that will happen this day). He/she is there, already reviewed all the lines he/she had written to say at the meeting. The expectations are high, and also the nervousness.

His/her thoughts go like "you are not able to deliver it properly" and he/she even tries to argue with this kind of mental nonsense. Things only get worse, for he/she chose to wait alone (feeding bad thoughts) more than one hour for the meeting in the hall of the building. Maybe a poor choice, since his/her mental state should be a prime concern on this day.

He gets into the office and, stammering, starts the presentation. Confidence drops even more and the other executives feel it. He/she tries to underline at least the most important facts of the presentation prepared, but as he gave all of them the same indistinct attention, he/she knows as few of the low importance things as the high importance ones.

The Night

After the devastating outcome of the meeting, he/she is so sad he feels he/she can't even try anymore. Obviously there is not much choice, but he/she knows (or should know) that next tries probably will be branded by the same kind of bad habits performed this day.

He/she goes to bed thinking of his/her failure not as a lesson, but as a burden. Therefore, he/she doesn't see any kind of opportunity to learn with this day experience.

Texts From Vilfie - 06

"The 4 hour body" by Tim Ferriss - Review

Book/Author overview: Again a review of a Tim Ferriss' book, and may I say, well deserved. "The 4-hour body" brings Ferriss' lessons about health and other skills to a whole new level.

What ideas it brings: The book covers many subjects, from muscle gaining to even habits to increase the longevity. As in his previous works, Ferriss brings to the reader much data about his experiments and also thoughts on the reason of their successes/failures. In this sense, the book helps you to learn more about how the human body works on different situations (sometimes extreme ones).

The practical side of the tips is really the biggest part of the book. Ferriss even explain his methods to have a better night of sleep, better performance with your partner, run faster... and much more!

"The 4-hour body" is divided in many chapters and each one can be read separately or in a sequence suggested by the author.

Focus: The gist is that you can have more control over your health if you spend enough quality time planning your eating habits and exercises. For this, Ferriss uses his famous strategies of teaching through real cases and is able to capture our attention throughout the whole book.

For anyone who wants to get in a better shape, this is a MUST read. Obviously, not everything there is for everybody, so you have to know your limits and your purposes in the physical area. This is a really interesting book.

Check out other reviews at Amazon.

"Outliers" Book Review

Book/Author overview: Malcolm Gladwell's storytelling way of transmitting powerful concepts is really great and makes this book a masterpiece. The main discussion in it is about what high achievers do differently than the rest of the people.

Gladwell brings a very profound analysis of cases in which the "outliers" (the few ones who distinguished themselves by overachieving) were found in less than expected situations.

What ideas it brings: "Outliers" reasons that there is a fine and almost invisible logic between behavior, context and success. What it suggests is that there are many factors that come into place in order to someone achieve any level of success.

For example, the author argues that the situational environment (of the family, the society, the country) where a student is raised can help improve his/her odds of succeeding in any endeavor.

Well, looking at this, we can figure out that maybe even effort is one of the defining factors of success, it can be accelerated by putting oneself in the ideal environment.

Focus: The focus of Malcolm Gladwell in his book is really to convince us that nobody is "self made" in a extremist way, but what successful people do is to make themselves their best in their own situations.

In this sense, opposing to the "self made" culture, Gladwell suggests some kind of "made by many factors" success.

Worth the read, definitely.

Check out other reviews at Amazon.

"The 4-hour Workweek" - Book Review

Book/Author overview: Few authors bring so much practical insight in his books as Tim Ferriss. Also, his style of teaching through storytelling and making connections between totally different subjects are an unique trait of his writing books.

What ideas it brings: "The 4-hour workweek" brings practical advice about how to increase your ability to work less and still achieve more results, and in this sense it takes the Pareto principle in a very serious account.

The author shows us the importance of experimenting and trying new ways to solve the most important problems in our lives. While doing this, he uses a great deal of sense of humor and solid arguments.

The concept of muse is one of the key subjects in the book and is related to having a passive income, which is one of the tips of Ferriss in order to have financial freedom.

Focus: The main focus of the book is about being able to work on what you truly want and in a manner that will not kill you of stress or work overload. Ferriss talks about how happiness is related to our satisfaction in our work life and brings us many important concepts in order to boost it, such as the "muses".

No matter if you are happy with your desk job or you want to switch to a mobile work environment, this book has great insights for you. Again, this is a MUST read.

Check out other reviews at Amazon.

"Living the 80/20 way" - Book Review

Book/Author overview: Richard Koch is a major student and practitioner of the Pareto principle. His lessons cover both personal as professional areas and are simple enough for anybody to grasp it and be able to enrich their lives at once.

Koch's books are very recognized for their depth and the matter of 80/20 thinking is a common subject among them. "Living the 80/20 way" brings us a vantage point that focus on self improvement by using the 80/20 analysis in the various areas of one's life.

What ideas it brings: The book shows a variety of subjects analysed through the pareto way lenses. Personal responsibility is a major theme, as it is understood throughout the book that you make your destiny through your everyday choices and well, if you do them using the pareto principle, the results can be bigger and better.

Maybe we could say that for this book, simplification is the name of the game. You must avoid overcomplicating your life and seek ways to simplify it in order to live less stressed and busy while still getting great results from your actions.

It is important to notice that the pareto law is not pictured in this book as a magical principle, but rather a practical one. And also, only mature and rational planning on your life wishes can yield you the growth of results that is promised by the author.

Focus: The main question in the book is seeking ways of throwing away what doesn't work for you and investing your best time and efforts on what makes up your most valued goals. The thought of "less is more" is somehow related to this concept and represents a paradigm shift for most of us.

What "Living the 80/20 way" proposes is not necessarily easy to do, but is simple and straightforward. Following Koch's teachings can have a great impact on your life both personally and professionally.

So, this is a MUST read.

Check out other reviews at Amazon.