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     The Tortoise, the Hare, and the 3 Bears

The Integram: an Integral Enneagram of Consciousness;  a model of consciousness, including all aspects, for designing practical paths of personal development and evolution.

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Several Workshops scheduled in November for companies in the SF Bay Area (both full and half day.)  These are internal workshops, so not open to the public. Depending upon time availability and demand, we may attempt to schedule a public workshop in December. If your company would like to discuss a workshop or a talk, please visit the menu page and/or contact me for details. 


The Tortoise, the Hare, and the 3 Bears
(click for podcast)

Let’s lay out an action plan for increased productivity and less stress; more substantial, quality work done in less time. We try lots of strategies to this end; some more effective than others. One of the least effective and most used is Multitasking.  My book, “Kind Ambition” devoted a whole chapter to this. Despite the studies proving the ineffectiveness of multitasking, the emotional “sense” of busyness is a kind of soothing drug that lulls us into believing we’re getting more done.  We’re not.

Although it might seem as though we’re doing several things simultaneously, the brain actually flips back and forth through each thing, and requires time to gear up and gear down between each task. That gearing up and gearing down may happen quickly, but all those shifts cumulatively add up to a significant amount of time wasted by the end of the day.

To visualize this, look at your open hand.  Each finger tip is a task. Although you think you’re addressing five things simultaneously, in fact your brain runs up the side of a finger to the task, touches it, then runs down that finger and up the next to that task, and so on.  If you add up the time between fingers, that’s what we waste at the end of the day. To make matters worse, multitasking stimulates a stress response in our brain, which exhausts us, and increases our error rate. Lose, lose, lose.

Another common unsuccessful strategy is what I call “marathoning.” This is where we summon our self discipline and sacrifice, and just keep slamming away at something, hoping to finish it before moving on. Experience show us that we rarely finish in that block of time, we leave other things unfinished, we get burnt out, our effectiveness wanes, and we make mistakes.

Do You Want to Do It the Hard Way or the Easy Way?
What these strategies have in common is they both rely on our willpower, self-discipline, and lots of energy. Pushing ourselves is always a temporary tactic. We can only do it so long before we get exhausted or bored. Our bodies just aren’t designed for prolonged stress. It eats us alive on a physical level, and disables our ability to think our way out of the stressful state.

Even when we’re partially successful in pushing ourselves like this, we’re still forcing our physiology into a fight or flight state. This is counter to what we’re trying to achieve. We want to think more clearly and effectively, so we can solve problems better and more quickly. When we’re pushing ourselves past our limits, stress literally reduces our IQ, so it takes longer to solve problems, and we make more mistakes.

It becomes a vicious cycle that can so absorb our attention, we don’t realize our own role. Our bodies adapt to what’s demanded of them. In a real fight or flight situation, we don’t really need to think, so much as react, primarily with our limbs. Stress triggers increased heart rate, glucose release, and blood flow to the skeletal muscles. This is perfect for flight or fight, but terrible for problem solving and concentration.

Fabled Truths
What we need is a strategy that uses our natural strengths so we don’t have to push ourselves into overly strenuous states. The Tortoise and the Hare’s simplified moral of “slow and steady wins the race” is a powerful strategy.  “Slow” is a little misleading, and “steady” is a little ambiguous, so to update, I’m going to re-word it as “methodical and consistent wins the race.”

Now for the Three Bears. Goldilocks keeps having the experience of something being too far in one direction, too far in the other, and the third choice being just right. We can look at multitasking as being too superficial and disengaged. Marathoning would be going too deep and overly engaged in one task.  We want that third alternative that’s just right.

Enter what I call “nibbling and grazing.” We have a certain amount of time where we can thoroughly concentrate and do our best work, before we start to lose effectiveness. This is like a power band for an engine’s r.p.m. Revving too low (as in multitasking) doesn’t give us enough power, and pushing too high (marathoning) gives us diminishing returns.

Generally the power band for a person is around 60-90 minutes.  Under that time and we don’t really get rolling, and over it, we lose effectiveness and concentration. So the plan of action that’s “just right,” will be to plan your day in these chunks of time, building in some rest, hydration, and nutrition, because you’re human. Figure out what things you need to do every day, and what the longer term activities are.  Break the longer term activities into these 60-90 minute chunks, and project how many chunks you’ll need to meet deadlines.

Even alternating between two activities will net you far better, faster results with less stress. If you ride a bicycle (or remember riding) there’s a power stroke each time you pedal. Just as one foot comes up, which is like the last minutes of one activity, the other foot takes over pushing down, which is like the beginning of the new activity. 

This strategy will keep you consistently at your most efficient level of productivity. You’ll use far less energy, leaving you feeling great at the end of the day. You’ll make far fewer mistakes, saving time and energy. And, you won’t be stressed out, which has hundreds of benefits reaching every part of your life.

Want to learn more about how to become the best you possible?
 Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.

     - Ian J. Blei


Special Offer! -

November's big holiday is all about Gratitude. Gratitude is a state of mind, an action, and something to be given. It changes our neurochemistry and the neurochemistry of those we offer it to.

This month I'm giving away another 3 complimentary coaching sessions to the first 3 people (who haven't already worked with me) who email me this month's not particularly secret word: "Gratitude"

Just put that in the Subject Line of your email, along with your contact info so we can schedule.

“Ian Blei is exceptionally talented at helping people get the utmost out of life. He has an incredible ability to quickly discover key patterns and issues that can either drive or inhibit breakthroughs. Ian is the ultimate bundle of experience, skill, smarts, passion and professionalism." - M.M., - m biz dev

Each session is normally a $187.00 value, and will be worth much more to you in life-changing ways.  Good luck! Click to Schedule.


Resource Links:

The Integram (TM) - the podcast series

Melissa Risdon's Raving Fan Radio Show:
Ian Blei on the
Integram (TM) -understanding ourselves, each other, and our relationships

KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"
Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
Integram (TM)

Kind Ambition - 2nd Edition

Got Blog? c
ome visit the Blog.

Character Driven - Ever want to create characters that were so believable, that people forgot they were characters?



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Welcome to the Integram, where consciousness meets intentional design.   Enjoy!



The Optimizer
Ian Blei,
Director of the
Institute for Integral Enneagram Studies and
President of
Optimized Results



Kind Ambition

Click HERE





Kind Ambition:
Practical Steps
to Achieve Success
 Without Losing Your Soul



Kind Ambition
Fan Page
now on



Kind Ambition is about you having the tools to slide over to the driver’s seat of your own life.  Circumstances will always be changing, seemingly thwarting our plans, but we don’t have to be  thrown around by them. You can be in charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.


Kind Ambition is written for you, as a practical guide you can use right now.  It is a collection of  insights and actions designed to help you move forward and get more out of your life at home and at work.  The chapters hold to a formula of first giving you a new way to look at things, then offering you tangible Action Steps to try them out, and finally some things to notice when you do.





Kind words for “Kind Ambition”


"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."

-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media




“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to achieve real  growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian lives his work!”

-Romanus Wolter - Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
Success Coach Columnist: Entrepreneur Magazine
Radio Host: Syndicated Kick Start Guy Segment




" We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The  good news is: they can be overcome.  The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."

-Margaret Heffernan – Author: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's

 Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters

Syndicated Columnist: Fast Company Magazine




“A scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to making the most of your life.  Ian Blei provides the know-how, the inspiration, the structure and all the tools you need in  this straightforward and inspirational book.”

     -Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past President of SF Coaches
Star of Unapix film, “Dance Me Outside”




" Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward ways.  His work continues to inspire me whenever I feel I'm getting stuck in some area of my life."

-Roy King, III , Senior Partner/Channel Marketing Manager - Skype





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