Productivity Lessons Learned From Zombies

9781602391871_p0_v1_s260x420I recently picked up the book, The Zen of Zombie. I will admit I picked it up because it was on the clearance table at Barnes & Noble, because I find zombie lore humorous and because, well, I like business books. As I am sure fellow business people will attest, there is always some business book or another on the bedside table, in the car for reading when you’re waiting for an appointment, or waiting on the e-reader for consumption during lunch or breakfast.

The tongue in cheek (unless you’re a zombie that’s lost its cheek…) wisdom imparted in one of the Habits of Highly Effective Zombies that I related to was Habit 24: Digging a Grave? You’ve Got It Made! The essential wisdom here is to enjoy where you are and what you’re doing. Be in the moment. Live in the moment. In years past I was not a live in the moment kind of person. I could have been involved in some truly enjoyable activity but even in the midst of that I would be continually wondering, “what am I going to do next?” I realize now that I missed a lot of little moments during the course of my life because I didn’t step back and fully embrace where I was right now.

While my life is not defined by being a breast cancer survivor, I certainly did learn lessons that I strive to keep front and center every day. Simple things like stepping away from the computer and eating my lunch rather than multi-tasking while I ate. Now I take a break to eat my lunch; I may take Henrietta for a walk, I might read a book for a half an hour, I may settle in and watch a bit of a television show I’ve recorded while I eat. It may not sound like much, but to me it is. I look forward to my lunch time (and when you work from home getting on a schedule and disciplining yourself to take an actual away from the computer lunch is a learned skill — for me anyway).

What is the lesson from zombies for Habit 24?

  • Know what you want
  • Go in a straight line toward what you want
  • Keep going until you get what you want

As a business owner, how can you put these zombie ideals into practice?

  • Know your company’s mission and vision statement. Know your own personal mission and vision statement if your business doesn’t have one. Do you have a personal mission? Is it to be gainfully self employed? Is it to make scads of money? Is it to help others find and embrace their passions? Once you know what you want then….
  • Make a plan to achieve it. What is your ultimate goal? Write it down. Now write down the steps you will need to take to get yourself there. Eat that elephant one bite at a time. What is the straightest line you can take to get toward your goal? Hint, this means do not let yourself get distracted by bright shiny objects along the way — keep your eyes on the prize.
  • Don’t let others come into your life and be dream stealers. You know, those people who ask, “why are you doing that?” “how do you think you’re going to make a living at that?” “did you know that so-and-so is doing that already?’ You know who these people are. Separate yourself from them. Surround yourself with people who believe in your goal and who can help you achieve it. Find an accountability partner and help each other.

Be as persistent in your goals as a zombie is at pursuing brains (!) and you’re bound to find success. What steps are you taking to achieve your goals or dreams?

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