Kevin Hogan

International Speaker

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Overwhelm? How Are You Living?

purpose in life

“Kev, I just stare at the computer. I want to work and my fingers don’t raise to the keyboard.”

“What happens instead?”

“My brain is foggy. I have no reason to click the keys. “

Purpose is missing. No short or long term reward for current action. No positive feelings associated with continuing. No sense of continuing connection with someone who matters.

These challenges override your daily plan, checklists, and getting things done.

The life experience typically needs to interesting, fascinating, doing something you are good at for at least part of the day, human touch and interaction on a meaningful level, or fun. In short, a reason to click the keys, cut the lawn, get the house cleaned up is critical and precedes the plan.

A plan gets you somewhere. It implies someone will go with you or you will have time with someone, when you are there, which is somewhere.

Once there is purpose, and/or accomplishment, and certainly some moments of satisfaction, all can re-energize the most challenged mind and body.

How? Sounds easy.

People get life energy in a small number of different ways.

Being part of a group, the group, preferably live in person can be really important. For years I’ve seen people in an audience on day one be mentally foggy and by the end of the second day, they are alert, having fun, enjoying life.  This isn’t just true for larger events of course. The small group dynamic is often better than a medium sized group for total energy gain. 

Subject matter does matter. Some things can get you excited today and set you out on a mission that is negative energy after the fact. Other subject matter send you out at the end of the day/week; and you feel better than when you were with the group.

There’s a group for every subject. There’s religion, politics, help groups, similar bond groups, growth groups (like Inner Circle), exercise, retreats. There are many and some leave you in great condition a month in the future. Others leave you emotionally beaten up.  A good group is able to be post meeting valuable for the people. In other words, they are valuable to each other when they go home.

And life is more than just about groups of  10, 100, 1000 people.

In 2023, we know that the vast majority of people report having

Meaning: Communication that Matters

one friend. A human friend who they can confide in that provides support. This number (1) used to be 2.2, the same number of children that was the mean at the time. Going from 2+ friends to 1 friend is a big change that has evolved. Friendship and social connection ITRW (in the real world) are important.

And so is a primary relationship. A person with a valuable partner is in an excellent situation. Partners are easy to find. Good  partners are gold.

My grandmother advised me “it’s 90/10 not 50/50.” I didn’t get it at first. It felt really subjugating. But when you live it, it really does work when both people are 90/10, where your focus is on being valuable to another person and there’s the same for you.

When you have this person in your life, the keys click all the time. Getting to 90/10 has a learning curve. We live in an age when giving and serving often takes a back seat to WII-FM.

When you have found a cool/fun/valuable group (it could be the team you play pool for that meets at the bar on Tuesday, Inner Circle or a Bible Study Group) life can get fun, interesting or something that you can excel at.

Experiment. Life is not instantly helpful in finding any of the things I’ve itemized here. You do want to experiment. Test a group, for example, for 4 or 5 or 6 meetings/events, whatever the context. You don’t have to marry the group forever. You can go, give, get, experience and see the value and/or the feel. You lose almost nothing if you don’t like the people. Most people don’t fit into most groups.  Experiment.

sense of purpose

Once you have experimented, you’ll see that the best group is the one that gives you juice. Maybe it feels “happy” or “productive” or is “stimulating.” Everyone has specific needs but all have one thing in common, and that is a valuable connection place to plug into where you feed others and they feed you. The right group or close a group that resonates with you can help bust through life’s brick walls and give you a sense of purpose.

Just reading about these things reminds me of so many groups I’ve plugged into that were brilliant and even more that weren’t helpful in being alive. They may have had a mission but often, it wasn’t my battle. 

As we transition into part two of this article the quick summary of part one is to be on the look out for a potentially valuable:

  1. Group(s)
  2. Event(s)
  3. Friend(s)
  4. Partner (the person at the core of your working/living for)

Ask yourself right now how you are surviving or living each day?

It’s always ok to be open and honest with your Self.

We all need energy which will come from 1,2,3,4 and some others for another day, but the drains are there as well. 

Typically most of the drains are necessary or important.

fatigue and overwhelm

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the vast number of things that you need to do? It does not matter if we are talking about work or your personal life, too many things left on the planner at the end of the day leaves you in a constant state of being overwhelmed, which ends up pushing your buttons and causing nothing to be achieved as it should be.

Most people live everyday in this constant state of being overwhelmed. Most of these people get almost nothing done and run themselves into all kinds of problems, financial, relationship, job, coworkers, etc.

This happens because your body and brain can’t take in and process all of the information that is being required of it. More so, you are on a constant overload in every activity that you do, which just intensifies the worry, frustration and the lack of concentration that you have.

Once you have 1,2,3,4 or one of them, perhaps two, then what matters is caring for your time.

You could argue that what you have in life to pursue is, ultimately is a form of love, a form of sustenance (money), a form of meaning or purpose.

When you are successful at time management, you are able to maximize use of every hour of the day. This means using each hour of your day to do the right things to accomplish all of the tasks that you need to in the most efficient manner.

Time. There just is not enough of it. That is the first thing that you need to face. There is not enough time in the day to do all of the things that you want to.

Conflicting Priorities

You have to make decisions, and smart ones, about what can be done, what should be done, as well as what there simply is not enough time to do.

Read that as some people and some stuff have to get the ax. And that is a bummer.

And that is 100% necessary if you are going to live without overwhelm for the rest of your life. One day? No problem. One life? Huge problem.

5 Things You Can Do Now to Get on Track…

Your desired outcome has to be to always to work on the most important parts of your energy gains and drains. When you focus mostly on what is important, you can transform the way that you think and relieve a lot of the stresses that you face.

Indeed, focusing your time on the most important aspects to you means that you are making the very best decision for your time. Focus on the most important aspects of your day, and you will always make the very best use of your time when you do so.


Five Things to Do Now

Here are five things to do right now to get the ball rolling.

  1. Make the decision that you can not accomplish everything that you want all at one time. You need patience to be a successful time manager.
  2. Relax your mind. You need to be able to focus on what you need to do and how to accomplish it. When you can relax your mind from its frantic, overwhelmed state, you are better able to see just what it is that is the most important aspect of your time. Or at least be aggressive like a mad dog and then take 20 minute cat naps after completing a major project. Either will work fine depending on your drive and style.
  3. When it comes to deciding what is the most important thing to accomplish at this moment, go with what will have the best long-term implications. If you listen to your gut, you’ll stay in bed.
  4. Make a list. Those that are successful at living life are those who do plan their time in a proven way that works.  People then have a list of things that need to be done. This way, you can see what is in front of you, make decisions about their importance and not feel like there is no end in sight. Include everything you can on that list that you need to accomplish, small and big. Then, invest the time in organizing it by the most important to the least important. Lists are under rated. I have a good memory for facts and figures, but I can’t possibly remember the stuff that needs to be done today. I put a line through everything I get done and I don’t put a line through ANYTHING that I work on that DOES NOT GET DONE.
  5. Get a Project Based Planner and plan your work day. Plan out what you need to accomplish in blocks of time.

time to get what you want in life

I made the decision that I’d create a time system planner and make it available to the world. Pretty much all systems are screwed up and unusable. Most everything is hour based and not project based and people who live on the hour don’t make as much money as people who live by the project. That said you need to allocate some hours for 1,2,3,4 or you won’t have the energy for life!

You need to schedule time to accomplish your desired outcomes and your tasks. When you do this, your mind is less overwhelmed and you are more likely to achieve the desired outcomes that you have, too. This simple step will be the most important aspect to overcoming your frustrations and the overwhelmed feeling you have.

These five things are simple, yes? You can accomplish them right now in a matter of minutes in most cases. Do that and see what your first initial reaction is. You may find yourself in the best position that you have been in over the last few weeks or months.

How the Pareto Principle Factors In..

The Pareto Principle…The 80 to 20 Rule

In a previous issue of Coffee, we learned that in the United States, 62% of the taxes paid to the government come from 5% of the people. 86% of all dollars are paid by 25% of the people.

Sounds insane but it’s The Pareto Principle.

In business, love, life, romance, you name it, you will see a disproportionate amount of results come from a tiny amount of people.

There are a lot of “free riders” out there….and you’re paying for their ride every week when you look at your check. And that isn’t going to change.

The very best sales people outsell all the others by a wide margin… in every business. Most people are terrible at what they do. The “20%” make it so EVERYONE can get paid.

myth busting with Kevin Hogan

Not long after college, I was an associate manager at a restaurant. We had a staff of about 50 or so. Of those fifty I had Julie, Brenda, Todd and Ken who did roughly the same amount of work as the other 20 people on the shift. Thankfully I didn’t stay in management. My idea was to double their salaries and get rid of 1/2 of the other people.

That of course wasn’t fair, had legal implications, you’d have to collect reams of paperwork on someone before firing them, even if they weren’t productive.

This kind of thinking is utterly insane. You don’t need paperwork to see that someone is 50-100% more productive than the person next to them on the same shift…all the time…

Everyone got a 1-5% raise at the end of the year. But Julie, Brenda, Todd and Ken deserved twice that…and I told them so as I departed.

That’s the Pareto Principle in Real Life Action and Mis-Action.

It is important for you to understand the situation that you are in. How well are you managing your time? For those who study time management, the Pareto Principle applies as well.

So I should be sleeping or resting and eating chicken soup instead of writing the upcoming week’s Coffee today, right? Well, no…because there are thousands of people that want to say hello every week. I won’t let them down. Period. My target is to publish 45 issues of Coffee  over this next year. 45. We’ll see how that emerges!

The Pareto Principle says that in most situations, your unfocused energy is only providing you with a mere 20 percent of the results that you have. That means that the other 80 percent of results that you have are derived from a mere 20 percent of the effort that you are putting in.

Obviously the actual output or productivity or whatever… it is not actually 80/20 exactly, but it is likely that you are putting a lot of work into achieving just very little with that time.

What does this mean for you? In short, you need to direct your attention to the parts of your day or your tasks that can deliver the most return for accomplishment, rather than worrying about all of the smaller things in the meantime and accomplishing very little.

Your goal is to get as much as you can from your time, as much bang for your buck, without sacrificing too much time to accomplish any one task because you are unable to focus on that task. By focusing, you reduce the amount of time necessary to complete the task.

As you can see, there is much to be gained by managing your time appropriately. When you learn how to do that, you can accomplish much more with your time… find yourself in a better position either in your business or in your personal life and even have extra time to be productive. (To create accomplishments as opposed to just keeping up.)

While it sounds too good to be true, it will take some understanding and restructuring, but the end result is likely to deliver for you the type of rewards that you seek. That is, of course, the one thing everyone wants more of but struggles to obtain: Time!

Pay close attention to these two questions:

done is better than perfect

Are you finishing things?
Are you starting things that you’ve decided to do?

A common problem here is that many people can not see the difference between priorities in tasks. For example, you have an important task to complete. You also have an urgent task to complete. Which do you go to first? You should accomplish the important task because it is just that, important!

That’s why writing down a list is so important.

Put it in your computer or on your phone and you are screwed. (Sorry)

You weigh everything out. People who don’t use a list are like shoppers who shop without a list. Go to the store with a list, you buy what’s on the list and you’re out in 30 minutes. Go to the store without a list, you spend 50% more and are out in 45 minutes having spent twice as much money.

Same thing in life and in business. Have a list? You get stuff done. No list, you start falling into the 80% of the people that don’t produce.

Far too many people look towards accomplishing the things that they think are necessary to complete right now, forgo the important task and then need to find a way or a time to balance the ball in their favor.

Here are some common examples of this. Let’s say you are working at your desk and in walks your boss. They need you to handle an important client. The phone rings, it is another employee, struggling to accomplish his task and wants your help. You get back to work. The other employee calls again. They need you. Which task do you do; the important client or the employee that will keep calling until you help?

The task here that you should be completing is that which is most important, the one that needs your full attention and that will get you the most bang for the buck.

Unfortunately, far too many people strive to accomplish that other task because that person has complained, called and got into their head and they now are the loudest voice there telling them what to do.


And if you like we’ll pick this up in the next issue, but only by request…


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