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Projects - Why are they so hard?

Project Planning and executing.  Why is it so difficult? 
To answer this question I went back to my Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) from the Project Management Institute and looked at the process group interaction diagram.  Wow!  If anyone looked at this they would immediately get discouraged.   Have we made it unnecessarily complicated?  
This week I have been re-reading the updated edition of David Allen's "Getting Things Done".  It is a fantastic book and I would commend it to anyone.  
David Allen’s natural planning model is fairly simple.  It contains 5 steps.   Define purpose and principles Outcome visioningBrainstorming OrganizingIdentifying next actions As I reviewed it again, I started thinking about my own project model.  It took me a few minutes to think through it and capture the essence of it, but here it is, along with a bit of explanation about each step.  
My Simplified Project Model (Answer the questions and then get to work.) 
Why are we doing…
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Why are there no Blue Zones in Utah?

Why isn't there a Blue Zone in Utah? This question has been on my mind for over a year.  Ever since I heard about Blue Zones I have been wondering why some small town in Utah didn't make the list.  But first, what is a blue zone?
Blue Zones is a concept used to identify a demographic and/or geographic area of the world where people live measurably longer lives. The concept grew out of demographic work done by Gianni Pes and Michel Poulin.
The five regions identified and discussed by Buettner in the book The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest: SardiniaItaly (particularly Nuoro province and Ogliastra): one team of demographers found a hot spot of longevity in mountain villages where an amazing proportion of men reach the age of 100 years.The islands of OkinawaJapan: another team examined a group that is among the longest-lived on Earth.Loma Linda, California: researchers studied a group of Seventh-day Adventists who rank among N…

Using Tags in the Gospel Library App

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about using the highlight feature in the gospel library app to differentiate between gospel topics.

Why do we highlight in the first place?  The answer is simple.  It comes from the day when most people used paper scriptures.  They used colors and highlights to help you find scriptures.  Most of us do not have the time or the capacity to memorize the references for hundreds of scriptures so we relied on the our memory to get us close.  For example, the scripture about the natural man being an enemy to God, in my mind is not in Mosiah 3:19, but it is located in the first few chapters of Mosiah on the right hand page in the right column toward the top.  So, to find it I would simply flip through the first few chapters of the Book of Mosiah until I locate the highlights that I made on Mosiah 3:19.   This system served me well until we all started using electronic scriptures.  Now there are no pages or columns.  It is just one long column separated into chap…

Electronic Journals

I am kind of a notebook junkie.  See my blog post on notebooks.
I have been keeping a notebook-based journal for many years, but recently I listened to a pod cast that suggested some ideas for an electronic journal.  While I'm not ready to make the switch completely, I do believe there are some benefits to journaling electronically.

Initially I came up with some ideas that might help make an electronic journal successful.

Create a template that you can replicate on each day.Choose a method that will allow you to add to your journal with your phone, tablet, and desktop computer. Have brief journal sessions throughout the day.  Do it as inspiration strikes you.   
I did a search for some ideas on how to do an electronic journal and there are dozens of ideas out there.  My paper journal was turning into basically a daily log, Occasionally I would put down some thoughts and ideas, but mostly is was a list of the things I did.  I thought that my electronic journal should be something mo…

Burrito de Vegetales

I want an amazing Burrito de Vegetales. Unfortunately after multiple attempts to find one, I am still looking. I have found that there are only two types of veggie burritos.  

1. The food torpedo. Go in any of the fast casual Mexican food places and you can have them wrap up some beans, rice, pico, and perhaps some sautéed veggies in a tortilla with beans and rice.  These are not too bad for a quick lunch, but they are not amazing. 
2. The food blob.  Go to your typically Mexican restaurant and they will take a big flour tortilla fill it with some fajita veggies, throw on some sauce and cheese.  Then add a couple of sides of completely unremarkable rice and re-fried pinto beans and call it a veggie burrito. Basically they no idea what to do when someone orders a veggie burrito other than take the meat out of their fajita burrito and call it a veggie burrito. 

I'm hoping one day I can find a chef that will scrape the mediocre off the plate and create a fantastic veggie burrito.  So …

Take A Name

One of my goals for this quarter is to find and take a name to the temple to do their temple ordinances. Over the past couple of years I have been a bit frustrated because it is getting harder to find people in my family tree who do not have their ordinances done. With so many people in my family working on it, I have found it difficult to find work that needs done. Hence my low goal of simply finding one person who needs ordinances done.
Yesterday I had the thought to try again, so I did a search my family tree using Take a Name .It took the app about most of the day and into the night to search through the 63,494 names in my family tree, but it returned 20 people's names who needed 63 ordinances done. This is fantastic!
We all understand I now need to go in and validate each one of these 20 people to make sure they are not duplicates. There is still much work to do, but I haven't had these kinds of results in quite a while. Most of the time I have seen a couple of n…

"I wish more people wore hats"

Today as I'm sitting on the same bus that I ride to work each day the guy next to me leaned over and told me that he likes the hats that I wear.  I thanked him and answered his question about where I get my Ivy caps.  After a short discussion about my favorite hat shop he said something very interesting, "I wish more people wore hats".   This caused me to pause and consider two things.  Why don't we wear hats anymore? and Why aren't you wearing a hat?

The first question is fairly easy to answer.  When John F. Kennedy was elected as president of the United States he was the first president that didn't wear a hat.  That fashion statement, combined with the fact that in the mid 1950's more people started commuting to work by car and couldn't wear a hat in the car, caused the demise of the men's hat. 

The harder question is if you think people should wear hats, why aren't you wearing one?  This quote by Gandhi immediately popped into my mind.