Trust is a time-saver and distrust is a time-waster!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 12, 2016 by Chuc Barnes


Think about this for a moment.

The dictionary defines “Trust” as;
1. Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
2. Confident expectation of something; hope.
3. A person on whom or thing on which one relies: God is my trust.
4. The condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.

In the above definition note that, “reliance, confidence, surety, and hope” are words used to describe trust.

Now realize how fortunate you are to be able to trust a partner, associate, teammate, service provider, friend, or family member. Notice how people you can trust actually save your time.

Now think about how you feel when you deal with people who can’t be trusted. For example, when someone says they’ll show up at specified time, and then they show up late. Is that trust? No, it’s a violation of trust and the violation wastes your time.

Perhaps you work with someone who tells you they will have a file ready for you on Monday, but they don’t have it for you on Monday. Doesn’t that lack of commitment on their part break trust and waste your time?

You don’t want that, do you?

I value TRUST very highly and I think most people do.

Here are two suggestions:

1) If you can’t arrive at the time you agreed, call before the agreed on time and tell the person when they can expect you. This will help change the expectation and it will help the other person make full use of their time.

2) If you can’t have a file or project ready when agreed, tell the other person in advance so a new time can be agreed on.

Life of course  would be so very nice if everything always worked out perfectly. Life isn’t perfect, though. Changes occur constantly. That’s why it’s essential to respect other people by keeping commitments and letting them know–in advance–if you need to change a commitment. This then helps everyone get full use of his or her time.
As I said, I like dealing with people I know I can trust, and I’ll bet you feel the same way.

Do you trust me with this?

Please put your comments here.

Here’s an idea to help you make your minutes count!

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Time management, Time management/Self-management on December 18, 2015 by Chuc Barnes


When looking through this blog, you’ll quickly notice that I love to visit The Grand Canyon. I also like to talk about The Grand Canyon when I’m speaking for different audiences.

After speaking for an audience this week, a lady asked me, “What do you mean when you say ‘there’s a Grand Canyon inside you?'” I loved that question because I’m absolutely convinced that there is indeed a Grand Canyon inside you and a Grand Canyon inside me.

Here’s what I mean.

First, please picture the Grand Canyon itself. (If you’ve never seen The Grand Canyon in person, you can get a good idea of how vast and awesome it is by visiting the following web site where you’ll find beautiful photos and excellent videos.) (You’ll also find this in the “blog roll” on the right of this page.)

Now notice how big and spectacular The Grand Canyon is. Take a moment to check out the different colorings and formations and realize they are always changing. Next, please consider all of the unexplored territory that is in the canyon itself — so much so that, even if you start exploring it today, you will never finish being able to closely examine each nook, cranny, plant, waterfall, animal, trail, stone, water hole, and formation, even if you float down the Colorado River itself.

The Grand Canyon is simply too big for you to see it all.

Now please think about your own mind. Consider all of the unexplored ideas, plans, dreams, thoughts, possibilities and creative breakthroughs that are waiting inside you. I suggest that you and I have a vast assortment of fresh, new memories and experiences waiting inside our minds for us to enjoy and to act on if we take the time to examine the ideas and create the possibilities.

(Sadly, I notice that most people today are racing so fast, and dealing with so many interruptions and clogged schedules that they miss out on the gift of time.)

I furthermore suggest that when you invest a few minutes to create a good memory or experience for your family, your friend, you boss, your customer, and even for yourself, you then are making your minutes count. I also propose that you and I are capable of creating scores of positive memories and/or experiences that live in our minds — and the minds of others — for years and years just like The Grand Canyon has continued to live on our planet.

Does this make sense to you? Please leave your comments here

Here are suggestions to help you get your lost time back.

Posted in Uncategorized on August 16, 2015 by Chuc Barnes

AA020053If you are normal (You are, aren’t you?) you lose from 2 to 3 hours a day due to interruptions and schedule changes. Let’s get some of that lost time back.

Bear in mind that if you’ve made a list of where your time goes, you now have a list of where your time leaks are. If you haven’t made a list of where your time goes, start by making a list.

OK, now you know where your major time leaks are, so let’s now set up some strategies to plug those specific leaks.

Let’s say, for example, that you notice on your time leak list that you lose a lot of time because one of your associates keeps interrupting you on a regular basis. Why not suggest to that associate that you meet with each other every morning from __ to __ to talk over any matters that need to be discussed so you don’t have to keep interrupting each other and thereby losing re-focus time?

By the same token, why not be more assertive with people who interrupt you by saying;

1) “I’m busy now. Can we meet at __”?
2) “I have just a couple of minutes. How can I help you?’” or perhaps
3) “Let’s meet in three hours. Please have a couple of solutions we can discuss.”

Other phrases you might want to consider using are:

1) “I’m in the middle of something”
2) “I have people waiting”, or
3) “I’m working on a job for __. Could we please meet in two hours?”

You might want to consider setting up signals with your associates so you don’t interrupt each other when you signal. Note: all good teams use signals to communicate.

Other ideas that might help you are:

1) Assign certain times of the day to certain tasks.
2) Remove extra chairs from your office (Do this for sure.)
3) Rearrange your desk so the natural line of sight is not out the office door.
4) Use caller ID and, when you see who’s calling, let their message go into voice mail.

And be certain that you clear up your work area so you save the time of looking for lost things, which generally totals 36 minutes a day (That’s a loss of 3 hours a week).

The suggestions described above are for obvious time thieves. What about the sneaky thieves?

Sneaky thieves are all those devices that have a screen on them:

● cell phone
● computer
● ipad
● television
● Blackberry
● Xbox

Set time limits for anything with a screen, particularly television and internet, or else those screens will lure you into giving away more and more of your time!

Remember: Time is your most important asset. It’s worth protecting by using specific time saving strategies like the ones listed above.

Do you have a strategy of your own that helps you get lost time back, one that’s not listed here? If so, please tell us about it here so we all can benefit.

Here’s your most important priority!

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Stress, Time management, Time management/Self-management on May 9, 2015 by Chuc Barnes


When working with a group yesterday, a woman asked me, “If you were to make just one suggestion to me, Chuc, what would it be?

My quick answer was: “Make time for you before you do anything else.” When I said this to the lady, she gave me a puzzled look because she was thinking about everything except herself.

Please realize that YOU are your #1 Priority.

It won’t do you any good to answer e-mail, handle interruptions, make phone calls, and check social networks if you aren’t healthy and sane.” Thus, be sure to schedule time for you – every single day — or you won’t get it. After all, you deserve health and sanity, don’t you?

Here one of the biggest time wasting questions you can ever ask:

Posted in Customer service, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on February 22, 2015 by Chuc Barnes


“Why did you do that?”

Our parents asked the above question so many times that we often use the same question when correcting other people.

I hope you’re not using the same question.

Please realize that the “Why did you do that?” question solicits an answer for something that occurred in the PAST (de-motivating), whereas good motivation is about the future, not the past. Not only that, the question puts the other person on defense.

Picture a basketball team who wants to go to the Final Four. Will they be better off if they work on strategies for next week’s game or last week’s game? Clearly, they’ll be better off investing their time in preparing for next week’s game (the future). You’ll also notice that when the other team is on defense, you have to work even harder and that takes more time.

Here are four timesaving suggestions:

#1: When correcting someone, move your question to the future. Example: “We know what happens when that occurs (the past) so, if it happens again, how would you see yourself handling it? Note that you’re moving the thinking from the past to the future.

#2: When you’re being introspective, do you ask yourself, “Why did I do that” questions? Or, do you ask yourself, “If that happens again what strategies would help me? Clearly, you’ll be better off if you focus on strategies for the future.

#3: Replace “Why?” questions with “What were you accomplishing by ____?” questions. This will help you learn specifics and prevent de-motivating, defensive explanations.

#4: Reserve “Why?” questions for information about creative matters (Why are you telling me this, Chuc”).

I’m telling you this because when you focus on the future, you’ll come up with better ideas that help you move forward—and you boost motivation.

Does this make sense? Please write you comments here.

How slowing down helps you improve your perspective!

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on January 4, 2015 by Chuc Barnes


It was early in January on almost the same date as today, and my wife and I were excited about getting to stop and see the Grand Canyon again.

As soon we got out of our car we could sense that something was different.

Looking in the canyon, we were surprised to see that a large cloud had settled inside the canyon itself. That cloud was so large that it blocked the usual “view” of the brilliant colors, unusual formations, numerous trails, and vast size you would ordinarily see. We laughed because that “view” of the cloud in the canyon was one more “view” of the canyon we had never seen.

Looking around us, we heard people say, “I thought the canyon was supposed to be something big and beautiful. How disappointing! Let’s hurry on to Vegas.”

It saddened my wife and me to realize that the people who hurried away left with the impression that the Grand Canyon was only a big hole with a cloud in it.

(And, by the way, the cloud left the canyon a few hours later. What a glorious sight that turned out to be!)

It occurs to me that life is like this. We often get in such a hurry that we draw the wrong conclusions about the remarkable people and experiences that are around us, and we quickly move on to other places and items that are not nearly as important to our life experience.

Wouldn’t it a lot better to slow down and appreciate where we are and what’s around us? I think so. What do you think?

Please leave your comments here.

Why don’t people listen today?

Posted in Balance, Customer service, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Presenting, Self-management, Stress, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on November 29, 2014 by Chuc Barnes


Can you remember when your mother spoke to you and said, “Listen to me.” Perhaps your mother even said, “Look at me when I’m talking to you.”

Your mom was not just teaching you a skill to use with her. She was teaching you a crucial skill to help you save time when dealing with other people too.

Karen Anderson is a friend of mine and a mom. She also is a teacher, speaker, and consultant. Karen constantly tells her students and clients that “good leaders LISTEN.”

I agree with Karen–and I agree with your mom. Good leaders listen!

Simply try to imagine how can you effectively lead a group in a meeting or any endeavor if you’re not listening to them and paying attention, not just to their words, but also to their body language?

As a former Marine, I can tell you first hand that a good leader, whether in battle or not, is constantly watching his or her team in order to “listen” to what’s going on. And when in battle, leaders and team members use signals so they can communicate without the enemy knowing what you’re saying.

This also is true in sports. When playing basketball or baseball, isn’t it true that players on a team receive messages from their coach from signals (a method of communicating and LISTENING) in the middle of a game?

OK, forget battle and sports for a moment. Think about yourself. Are you a good listener? Do you pay attention to what other people are thinking and saying?

Do you listen to what your customers are saying?

What about your friends? Do you actually listen to them?

And what about today’s politicians. Do they listen? If so, why do they have such low favorability ratings?

Realize that young people “listen” differently than you do. They communicate with friends by sending messages on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. (Text messages are enormously popular.) They therefore “listen” to words and they look at photos and videos. Thus, they don’t use much body language.

I’m writing this post right now to remind you, as the leader and self-manager that you are, that LISTENING is a crucial skill — a time-saving skill that too many people are overlooking today.

Do you agree with what I’m saying about listening being a time-saver? If you do, great! If you don’t, that’s OK. Either way, I’d like to “listen” to your opinion so please jot your comments here.

Here’s your most important investment advice

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Planning, Self-management, Time management, Time management/Self-management on August 25, 2014 by Chuc Barnes

BillfoldWhen consulting with a client this morning, he said, “Chuc, you keep talking about time as if it’s an investment. Why do you do that?”

My response is that you only have four things you can invest every single day: time, money, energy, and creativity. All four of these are important, yet if you only invest money, you won’t have much of a life. If you only invest your energy, you’re going to get worn out. And, if you only invest your creativity, you’ll keep creating and never get anything done.

When you think of time as an investment, you’ll realize it’s your most precious asset. And when invested in your priorities, time is the one commodity that will help you get a return on the other three and thereby make all your Minutes Count.

Does this ring true to you? Leave your thoughts and comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

How To Hire Someone To Help You Save Time and Get More Done!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 16, 2014 by Chuc Barnes


If you believe time is money, as most people do, I’m sure you’d also agree that it’s a good idea to save as much time as possible, right? After all, why waste a lot of money?

Ok, now let’s do some math.

Let’s say that you earn $50 an hour (for talking purposes). This means that if you save one hour a day for every day of the work week, you’ll end up saving $250 in the week ($50 an hour times 5 work days in the week), right?

So if you save $250 in one week, it’s also obvious that you’ll be saving $1,000 in one month ($250 a week times 4 weeks in the month), correct?

Good for you. You’ve just saved $1,000.

Now let’s keep the math going.

If you save $1,000 a month, you’ll obviously save $12,000 a year for yourself ($1,000 a month times 12 months), correct?

Ok, you now are either agreeing with what I’m showing you here or you’re not agreeing.

If you are agreeing with me, notice that by saving one hour a day, you’ve just saved enough money to now hire a part time helper who you can pay $1,000 a month to help you get more done. (And, if you earn $100 an hour, you now just saved enough money to hire two people.)

If you are not agreeing with me, please tell me what’s wrong with the math I’m showing you here.

The problem with what I’m showing you here is not with the math. The problem is that time is not money. People say that it’s money, however.

So now let’s now apply common sense.

Time is not money. Time can’t be given to anyone. Time can’t be put in a bank. Time can’t be compounded and you can’t earn interest from time. And one other item: Time sure can’t be won on a game show.

Let’s face it. Time is not money. It’s your most valuable asset, however.

Time is your life.

I suggest that when you stop worrying about time and begin focusing on ways to create positive memories and experiences for your son, your daughter, your husband, your wife, your friend, your neighbor, your co-workers, your customers (and even for you) you’re making your minutes count. And isn’t creating meaningful memories and positive experiences what maximizes life?

Does this ring true to you? Please leave your comments here.

Set the plan for your life and enjoy the ride.

Posted in Balance, Management, Planning, Self-management, Stress, Time management, Time management/Self-management on May 22, 2014 by Chuc Barnes

CWBGrandCanyonIn previous posts in this blog I’ve explained that The Grand Canyon has been a big influence on my family and me. When friends notice this, they tell me about their experiences at The Grand Canyon. I love what they tell me, and many people give me ideas to share with you.

My friend, Cathy Newton, told me that she thought about what I’ve said about The Grand Canyon when listening to a speaker (Abraham-Hicks) who talks about the importance of living life so you’re “going with the river that’s moving downstream, rather than trying to fight the river and swim upstream.” Cathy then gave me a CD so I could hear the speaker for myself.

When I heard the  CD, I thought about The Grand Canyon too. I loved the thought and the metaphor.

I can tell you first hand that one thing you quickly notice when you’re riding down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is that the river is moving very, very fast while taking you over rocks, around bends, over falls, and into scores of dips. The energy and adventure of all this is very, very exciting; and it’s a joy and a thrill to move so quickly towards your goal

The ride is so exciting that you don’t want it to end. Please note the above picture and you’ll see what I mean. Energy is all around you.

I’m told that the river moves at 30 miles per hour in some places. Think about that! That’s a very strong current and it would be absolutely silly to try to swim upstream in the Colorado River.

Now please think about your life.

Are you following your life’s vision by setting up a plan that helps you move downstream with energy and a sense of adventure, or are you becoming absorbed so much with everyday activities that you’re getting stressed and worn out from your battle with the river?

Your answer of course is up to you, and my answer for me is up to me. I’m deciding to do a better job of going with the flow.

How do you feel about this? Please leave a comment here.