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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Book Excerpt: Inspired to Get Things Done by Walt Disney

by Ray Keating
Book Excerpt
December 10, 2019

My favorite quote from Walt Disney is: “I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.” That quote captures my own outlook on much of life, and it served as an impetus for me to put together a to-do list system to help my own productivity and to help others. The following is the Introduction to The Disney Planner 2020: The TO DO List Solution. In this Introduction, I explain why I wrote a Disney planner, and what “The TO DO List Solution” is, how it has helped me and can make a difference for you as well. So, check out the Intro, and I hope you can use and enjoy The Disney Planner 2020.

Introduction: Why Day-to-Day with Disney?

by Ray Keating

The purpose of a planner is to get organized, to make sure things are accomplished, and to set, work toward and achieve goals. In the essay following this one, I’ll make the case as to why the TO DO List Solution is a simple, but ideal tool for making all of this and more happen. But for now, let’s consider another question: Why does it make sense to work with The Disney Planner 2020: The TO DO List Solution – emphasis on the word “Disney”?

First, and most obvious, The Disney Planner 2020 is ideal for the Disney fan. And today, that covers a big chunk of our popular culture, and it’s not surprising given that Disney ranks as one of the largest entertainment companies on the planet. 

So, being a Disney fan can cover a rather breathtaking sweep of entertainment, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and such friends as Donald and Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto. But it also includes animated feature films ranging from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 to Frozen II in 2019. On television, Disney’s television shows have covered, for example, The Mickey Mouse Club, premiering in 1955, to ABC’s Once Upon a Time, running from 2011 to 2018, to The Mandalorian, with its November 2019 debut on the Disney+ streaming service.

Naturally, there are fans of the many Disney princesses, including Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora in early Disney movies, to more recent additions like Rapunzel, Merida and Tiana.

Of course, a major reason to be a Disney fan for millions of people are the theme parks around the world. There are six major locations in the Disney family – Walt Disney World in Florida (featuring the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom), Disneyland in California (featuring Disneyland and California Adventure), Tokyo Disney (featuring Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea), Disneyland Paris (featuring Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park), Hong Kong Disneyland, and Shanghai Disneyland. And within each are lands or events that provide further focus for fans, such as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in both Hollywood Studios and Disneyland, annual festivals (including the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival), Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios, Pandora – The World of Avatar in Animal Kingdom, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Oogie Boogie Bash in Disney California Adventure, and so much more.

Along with the theme parks come assorted hotel resorts that rank as destinations in themselves. In Walt Disney World, for example, such lodgings range from Disney’s Contemporary Resort opened in October 1971, to the currently under construction Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser (The Halcyon), which will offer two-night immersive experiences.

Don’t forget the multiple cruise ships, including the soon-to-launch Disney Wish, and various worldwide excursions through Adventures by Disney. Looking for an island oasis? Try Hawaii’s Aulani Resort.

But wait, there’s still more. If you’re a fan of the Star Wars movies, then you’re a Disney fan (see above and, yes, you must check out Galaxy’s Edge!). If you’re a fan of Indiana Jones, then you’re included as a Disney fan. If you enjoyed Avatar, then you’re a Disney fan. And most notably in recent years given the enormous financial success and pop culture impact, if you are a fan of Marvel movies, comics, video games and/or television shows, then you’re a Disney fan.

For good measure, though we don’t delve into it in the following pages, if you’re a sports fan who enjoys ESPN, well then, you’re technically a Disney fan.

So, you get the idea. There are many ways to be a Disney fan, and if you love all things Disney, or significant parts of the Disney universe, then The Disney Planner 2020 is a fun way to be reminded of and motivated by such fandom each day.

Second, throughout the long and expanding history of all things Disney, the storytelling that lies at the center of this entertainment enterprise serves up characters, tales, quotes and moments that offer inspiration, insights, and humor. Indeed, many people love Disney for this very reason. Therefore, each day in The Disney Planner 2020, you are presented with a Disney character quote and a Disney fact that will, hopefully, provide a moment to reflect, to smile, to laugh, to get focused, to learn, and/or to be encouraged.

Third, The Walt Disney Company started in 1923, and has been a leader in the entertainment industry throughout much of its history. As the company approaches its 100th birthday, there’s a heck of a lot to learn from this enterprise, and from the people who started and ran it, who have worked at Disney, who have studied it, and who are Disney customers. The lessons offered are wide-ranging, including how to start up and run a business; how to improve your career and work experience; how to deal with problems and seize on opportunities that crop up in all aspects of life, from family to career; how to treat others, including customers, employees, and co-workers; and more.

That learning process, of course, starts with Walt Disney, who was a unique entrepreneur in that he excelled at not just starting up and running the Disney Company in its earliest stages, but was at the helm to guide it to becoming a global leader in entertainment. He did so in an assortment of sectors, including film, television, and theme parks. That’s unique in that many entrepreneurs who start up businesses and lead them to a certain point of success, do not necessarily possess the skills to productively guide the firm after it’s reached a certain level of development. Since Walt was able to do so, there’s much people can learn from him no matter where they might be in life, business and career. 

In addition, Walt was a complete human being. I certainly don’t mean that he was perfect or without faults. None of us are. Instead, for all that he achieved in business, it’s clear from much of what he said and did, that Walt Disney understood that life was not just about business, but instead, also very much about family, faith and fun.

So, each day in The Disney Planner 2020 serves up a valuable comment from Walt, other Disney leaders like Bob Iger and Michael Eisner, creators such as Marvel’s Stan Lee and Star Wars’ George Lucas, or assorted people influenced by Disney.

Spending each day during the year using The Disney Planner 2020: The TO DO List Solution makes sense if you’re a Disney fan, if you want to enjoy valuable and fun quotes and facts from the Disney universe, and if you’re looking for a daily takeaway that will make at least a small difference in your outlook, your work, and your life.

The Case for “The TO DO List Solution”

After establishing why a Disney planner is for you, a question that comes up is: How can the Disney fan get organized in order to make things happen? 

Life seems increasingly hectic, whether one is running a business, advancing a career, building a family, teaching others, juggling multiple tasks, managing retirement, or simply organizing a vacation to Walt Disney World, Disneyland or some other magical destination. It’s a challenge to get everything done on a daily basis, never mind making sure that you’re progressing toward your bigger goals.

Technology, of course, has been a tremendous benefit, but at times it takes something simple to be added to the mix to make a real difference. For me, that was the TO DO list. So, I now offer a helpful planner/tool called “The TO DO List Solution.”

Think for a moment about all of the roles you play in life, or perhaps a better way to put it, the many vocations or callings you have. For example, in no particular order, I’m a husband, father, son, economist, novelist, columnist, publisher/editor of a website, podcaster, reader, nonfiction author, golfer, moviegoer, active Lutheran, teacher, business owner, policy analyst, and marketer. I also would like to do more, including travel, moving, taking up some new hobbies, losing weight, and writing new books. No doubt, you have your own long list. So, how can we better manage the assorted undertakings in life – from the daily routine to special or out-of-the-ordinary endeavors? That is, how do you make it happen?

I’ve become far better organized – though far from perfect – with the TO DO list becoming my main planning, organizing and execution tool. “The TO DO List Solution” provides confidence that everything that needs to happen will be remembered; most (though not necessarily all!) will be accomplished; changes can be factored in (just add the item to the list); and life will be more organized. 

In addition, the act of using “The TO DO List Solution” requires reflection on goals; forces prioritization; allows for being more realistic about time management; and generates serious thought on how to best get things done (for example, such as breaking down projects into manageable steps, and checking each off along the way). And as one checks off each completed item, your sense of success and accomplishment is enhanced, with hope and confidence growing. 

By the way, it also helps to put everything on one TO DO list. That is, while one can limit the use of “The TO DO List Solution” to certain aspects of life – most think of it for “work” – it pays to include much of life in “The TO DO List Solution.” After all, your daily life and long-run goals have work, family and other endeavors and responsibilities intertwined and overlapping to various degrees. “The TO DO List Solution” covers most of life.

Along the way, using TO DO lists led me to think about a more effective TO DO list. For quite some time, my TO DO list process involved periodically making a big TO DO list covering longer term goals; drawing up a weekly TO DO list usually on a Sunday night or early Monday morning; and then breaking that down into daily TO DO lists. I used all kinds of means for making this happen, including the usual planners/datebooks, notebooks, smartphones, et al. While this process proved to be a tremendous benefit, it led me to realize that having the right tool to create and utilize my TO DO lists would be a major plus.

Hence, I created “The TO DO List Solution.” It was driven by meeting a need in my own life, and it followed with the realization that if I benefit from this, others might as well. I hope this becomes a handy tool in your efforts to set and achieve all sorts of goals.

Ways to Use The Disney Planner 2020: The TO DO List Solution

The Disney Planner 2020: The TO DO List Solution can help Disney fans become more productive.

The following are my thoughts on why I organized The Disney Planner 2020: The TO DO List Solution the way I did, and how to best use it:

• First, the arrival of the New Year serves as an excellent moment to assess one’s goals, and to adjust, subtract and add to them, accordingly. So, this book starts out with the annual, big TO DO list. This calendar also is set up so that this big TO DO list can be updated at or near the start of each subsequent month, from checking off accomplishments (Wooo!) to adjusting goals to adding new efforts.

• Second, a TO DO list is established at the start of each week throughout the year. This naturally feeds off of the big, annual TO DO list, as well as encompassing other regular and irregular matters that must be done. Since I argue that most of life’s undertakings – from the smallest to the largest, from work to family life, from daily routine to Disney vacation planning, and so on – be included, the weekly TO DO list is quite lengthy. I offer 55 boxes (with an extra one for whatever else you might need to toss into the mix). To fit on one page, these boxes might be seen as being relatively small. But I find in making my weekly TO DO lists, I tend to abbreviate, and by doing so, it limits my weekly list from being pages long and allows for a helpful one-page review. When each item on this list is accomplished, I put a slash mark through it, and with each slash, a moment of accomplishment is recognized.

• Third, soon after I started using TO DO lists, I came to realize that the weekly list needed to be further broken down into daily lists. Again, I’ve done this here, with each individual day allowing for TO DO items. The left-hand column allows for either numbering the items or assigning times for each. There are days when my TO DO list merely requires a list that I get done in no particular order, while other days require some exact times. This book allows for either option, or a mix. The right hand column allows for checking items off as accomplished – again, always a positive during the day. In addition, a “Key Reminders/Thoughts” box is included for each day to highlight the most important points, needs or objectives.

• Fourth, I appreciate a good thought or quote each day that adds some value to my thinking and outlook. As we’ve already noted, with The Disney Planner 2020: The TO DO List Solution, those quotes and thoughts come from the Disney universe – which adds some extra fun into the daily mix.

Finally, the fact that you set goals, think about how to achieve those goals, and choose to seek out and use tools like The Disney Planner 2020: The TO DO List Solution says something very positive about your outlook on work and life. If I might say, I think Walt would approve.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of The Disney Planner 2020: The TO DO List Solution and the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

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