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Effective Living

Resources for Life – Home

Women at desk with world map in the background.Summary. The Effective Living Resource Group is committed to providing access to timely and progressive resources which can help you more effectively accomplish the goals that serve your mission in life.

“There is a big difference between action and achievement. Many people are very busy doing the wrong action for their success.” ~ Sabin

Quick Fix. For a quick fix to effective living, do the following four things: (1) live small, (2) use a bicycle for commuting and basic transportation, (3) reduce or eliminate television watching, (4) develop an effective schedule.

Resources. Below are some resources for effective living. Some of these resources are on this website, others will go to another website and open in a new window.

About. The pursuit of increased effectiveness in life is a somewhat illusive practice. The very act of working on being “more effective” consumes time and energy that might otherwise be spent on getting “important work” done. For some people, the pursuit of more effective living is a type of debilitating procrastination and/or addictive dependency upon attending the latest seminar and obtaining the latest books, video tapes, and audio teachings. Such people spend an imbalanced amount of time and money every day on the administration of their life – thinking about their long-term plans, short-term plans, goals, projects, to-do lists, schedule, personal mission statement, and the necessary rescheduling of tasks that weren’t done today because the day was spent thinking about effectiveness.

Process. However, when done properly, a few minutes per day spent applying simple methods of effective living will produce great returns. Thinking about effectiveness causes one to think about the framework of life that is often invisible to our conscious mind. The framework consists of our daily practices, habits, paths, tools, methods, thought processes, mental patterns, and emotional cycles. Effective living involves a continual cyclical process of rational and scientific self evaluation by setting measurable markers for improvement and goal achievement. In this way, one’s life can be serving predefined objectives and outcomes that are consistent with one’s dreams, values, principles, and mission. Consider the following progressive and interdependent three phase process:

  • Phase 1 – Purpose, Mission, Dreams, Goals, Principles, Values, Desired Outcomes. Establish and occasionally refine an overall personal mission statement which includes and defines your dreams, goals, principles, values, and desired outcomes. Identify clearly definable goals that serve your mission statement. Goals are smaller achievements and ongoing practices that serve your mission in a meaningful way.
  • Phase 2 – Progress, Growth, Efficiency, and Improvement. Develop methods to continually measure and document your progress, growth and efficiency as you work toward achieving your mission.
    • Growth. Evaluating growth typically involves measuring and tracking measurable quantities such as: vocabulary words learned, muscle mass increased, trees planted, or rainforests expanded. Measuring desired growth over time is the observation of progress.
    • Progress. Measuring progress typically involves defining where you are and where you want to be. Perhaps the goal is to lose a certain amount of weight, attain a certain percentage of body fat, pay off a certain amount of debt, save a particular sum of money, or travel to a destination. Progress toward goals can be represented by drawing a timeline where movement forward in time is illustrated on the chart going from left to right. The distance up and down can represent weight, dollars, miles, or some other measurable quantity. As time goes by (moving from left to right) the measurement should move closer to your goal – typically up or down depending on your goal, unless your goal is a consistent and measurable fluctuation of some kind.
    • Efficiency. An observation of efficiency is attained by evaluating the outcome or results produced from a constant measured expenditure of time, money, energy, or resources. An increase in efficiency is observed when desired outcomes and results produced are increasing. For example, if an hour of studying results in learning 60 new vocabulary words, a more efficient method of study might result in 80 new vocabulary words learned in one hour.
    • Improvement. When a constant and consistent measured expenditure of time, money, energy, or resources produces a greater return or measurably larger desired outcome, this is improvement.
  • Phase 3 – Diligence, Focus, Prioritizing, Persistence, Work. A daily, weekly, and monthly schedule can allow a person to budget in time for regular tasks. These regular tasks should be a goal defined in Phase 1. Maintain mindfulness directed toward “outcomes-based” work, so your work produces positive and desired results. Prioritize tasks and expenditures based on their ability to achieve your goals. Continue to return to Phase 1 and Phase 2 to consider your goals and efficiency.

Practices. By focusing on a few life practices for effective living, one can advance in a few areas of life and climb to a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness. Below are some key areas of emphasis to focus on.

  • Time and Financial Management. Time is spent in the same way that money is spent. One who spends time or money wisely, proactively, and with a purpose, will achieve more with their investment. One who mindfully prioritizes how they spend time or money, will continually spend their time and money on those things which are of highest importance and priority.
  • Youthful Living. Continuing to maintain a youthful outlook on life is essential. Characteristics of youthful living include: high energy, physical fitness, stamina, creativity, optimism, sense of humor, laughter, open mindedness, and willingness to change. A reduction in these positive virtues can seriously impede effectiveness.
  • Balanced Living. Maintaining balance and serving all primary areas of life is essential: faith, health, career, finances, family, outreach, and effectiveness. Click here to visit the Resources for Life Map page for more information.
  • Minimalism and Simple Living. Increase your ability to focus and do more by reducing the clutter of objects, commitments, services, contracts, meetings, and obligations in your life.
  • Walk or Bike to Work. Automotive transportation is costly, time consuming, bad for the environment, and it does little to improve health. For many people, walking or riding a bike to work can save time, save money, and help improve health.
  • Meditation. Taking 20 minutes in the morning and evening to meditate can improve your overall effectiveness dramatically. Meditation is not necessarily religious, spiritual, or intellectual, but simply the functional mechanics and technique of exercising and resting the soul. In the same way that a scale must know ‘what nothing weighs’ (through calibration) before it can tell you what you weigh; our senses are more acute when ‘recalibrated’ through meditation to a state of zero/nothing. This is similar to sensory deprivation. By resting our five physiological senses, we can be more sensitive to our non physiological senses.

Holistic Mindfulness. Perhaps the single most important factor in maximizing one’s effectiveness and efficiency is the practice of holistic living and mindfulness. Through ensuring that each area of one’s life is fulfilled, an individual’s entire life becomes enriched, proactive, and effective.Examine the Resources for Life Map page and consider how you can grow in every area of your life. Click here to learn more about the Holistic Living System.