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Steffen, Steffen and Associates
Aligned Thinking Institute

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Aligned Thinking

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Aligned Thinking: Make
      Every Moment Count
      Sample Chapters

Facing Professional Services Burnout?

Too much to do! Not enough accomplished!

by Dr. R. James Steffen, SSA International

Too many interruptions!

Not enough time with the family!

I have so little control over my life!

Life doesn’t seem to have much meaning anymore.

Sound familiar? Skipping lunch and working late seems to be the norm for many professional service executives today. With all the anxiety, self-doubt starts to creep in and thoughts of “I can’t get it all done. My life is out of control” to become the mantra.

A Free 24/7 Virtual Personal Coach

Need help to align your thinking? Create a plan, refine it, and then twice a week support to implement it.

The first 20 people who register receive a 1 year’s subscription to a virtual Personal Coach This $119 value is free to the first twenty people that sign up at

Friends and family are sometimes there to help as they listen to our daily recital of ‘things gone wrong.’ But, they have their own issues and problems and don’t always have the time or patience to listen. They too have had a ‘rough day at the office’ and often feel overwhelmed by the rush of life.

Real people with real challenges directly relate to how you manage your time and your life. This column will help you align your professional services life with your personal goals, using simple, proven tools and techniques to help you:

  • Optimize and balance your business and personal life

  • Get in touch with your own MAGNIFICENCE

  • Celebrate Life This and Each Moment

How goals change

Most professional service executives initially set goals to optimize business accomplishments and satisfaction. But it quickly becomes apparent that more is needed. After all, you don’t stop being human when you arrive at the office. To optimize achievement, you need to balance your business and personal life.

Where do you start?

We don’t control time. We can’t save it. We can’t make it go faster or slower. We can’t give it away or buy it. Success comes not by trying to manage time, but by managing what is under your control.

What Do You Control?

Ask yourself: “What do I really control?” Since the past is gone and the future is not here yet, the only thing you really control is your actions in-the-here-and-now. Managing your actions calls for a new approach—Aligned Thinking.

What is Aligned Thinking?

Aligned Thinking is the process whereby WHAT YOU REALLY WANT from life and work drives every action. And your every action takes you back to WHAT YOU REALLY WANT. Aligned Thinking helps you get on track, stay on track and get more out of life. Certainly, no small challenge, but very doable.

Challenge Yourself

If you want to align every action to WHAT YOU REALLY WANT, you have three challenges only you can answer. Ask yourself:

  1. What do I REALLY WANT from life and work?

  2. How do I stay focused on WHAT I REALLY WANT?

  3. How do I get the most from the only thing I can control— my action now?

In the issues to come, we’ll give you tips to make it easier to answer these critical questions.

Get started with a simple three-step process

Here is a simple two to ten minute tool to start the process.

  1. Each day, give yourself a short focus time.

    Make it a regular practice at a specific time each day to maximize the benefit of the exercise.

  2. Write your business, and personal priorities for the day to come.

    When you focus on all the things you would like to accomplish for the day, like most people, you probably list too much. Focus on the things closest to WHAT YOU REALLY WANT from life and work and you will accomplish more by doing so.

  3. Estimate the time you’ll need for each activity.

    A mistake many people make is not estimating how long each activity will take. As a result, they plan to do fourteen hours of work in an eight-hour day. This leads to frustration and disappointment. By estimating the amount of time you will need and making the appropriate adjustments before you begin, you will have a much greater chance of getting it all done by day’s end.

Many people set daily priorities, but they live with the Business Priorities Only Virus (BPOV). Keep in mind that if you want to balance and optimize your business and personal life, you have to treat your personal priorities as equal to business.

Dr. Steffen founded SSA International 28 years ago. He has worked with 140 Fortune 500 companies whose employees have participated in creating and refining the Aligned Thinking™ Process. He is also the author of the Successful Partnering™ Process, how to increase client and employee loyalty. His new book is Celebrate Life This Moment: How to align every action to WHAT YOUR REALLY WANT. He is available for keynote addresses, seminar/workshops and consulting to create Aligned Thinking™ or Successful Partnering™ Cultures. Call 203-740-8400 or e-mail


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