Archive for March, 2009

Is time really money? (part 2)

Posted in Time management/Self-management on March 27, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

aa020053I promised to comment more about “time is money.” First, please permit me to be as clear as possible.

“Time is money” is an excellent description of a why it’s important to value time in business matters because the sooner a business challenge gets resolved the more money is saved. Sadly, the three words “time is money” get used so much that many people literally define time as being money. And they are incorrect.

Please ask yourself, can time be:

● Saved?
● Invested?
● Compounded?
● Given to anyone?
● Exchanged with anyone?
● Won on a game show?
● Inherited from anyone?

The answer to the above 7 questions of course is “no.” Realizing this, how can time be money?

In fact, if time is money, why would people:

● Help others?
● Play with kids?
● Talk with their spouse?
● Enjoy hobbies?
● Exercise?
● Pray or meditate?
● Teach school?
● Work with alcoholics?
● Help the disadvantaged?

I suggest you’re better off if you forget valuing time as money and begin to value time as LIFE. In other words, if you waste time, you’re wasting your life.

I’ll talk more about this in my next posting, If you have an opinion about this, please leave it here.

Is time really money? (part 1)

Posted in Time management/Self-management on March 22, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

040_s_objectWhen speaking in Indiana yesterday, I asked the audience, “What is time?” Nearly everyone in the audience answered by saying, “Time is Money.”

This of course is a standard reply because, as you know, business people have said, “time is money” for years.

Please think about your own answer. If I ask you what is time, what do you say?

If you say “time is money,” then it’s important to treat time like money. Agree?

In other words, if you earn $100 an hour and you spend a lot of time at your computer checking social networking sites and sending jokes to friends, you’re not treating time as money. Instead, you are de-valuing your time by not treating it at its full dollar value.

And, if you sleep or exercise, you’re not treating time like money. That’s for sure.

By the same token, if you believe “time is money” and you are participating in a meeting where subjects are being covered that are of no help or interest to you, you’re not treating time as money.

My suggestion is that if you consider time as money, you might want to upgrade the value of your time. In other words, if you earn $100 an hour now and you want to earn $200 an hour, you’ll want to do the things that a $200 an hour person does. Correct? You’ll then be treating time as money and you’ll be operating at full time value.

I don’t mean to sound smarty or tricky here. I’m serious.

If time is money, why not treat it that way?

I’ll comment further about this is my next posting. Meanwhile, if you’ve got another view about this, please add your comment here.

It’s essential to arrive on time — or early!

Posted in Time management/Self-management on March 19, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

bu009455Clients keep telling me how much frustration they have with other people who arrive late. They tell me they believe arriving late a sign of disrespect.

You have a right to your own view. And, yes there are a lot of obstacles that get in the way today of arriving on time.

Now think about a job interview. If the candidate you are scheduled to talk with shows up late, would their tardiness be something you’d consider? And suppose you want to purchase new insurance and the agent who says they will talk with you comes late, will that have an effect on your decision?

Now think how you feel when you are at the airport waiting at the gate so you can board your flight. It is time for the plane to board and suddenly, the gate agent tells you that your flight won’t even arrive for another hour. Do you now feel like the airline really cares about you and your schedule?

Entertainers and athletes know how important it is to arrive AHEAD of time. In fact, they say, “If you just show up on time, you are late.”

Suggestion: Whenever you make an appointment, determine not just when you need to arrive, but – more importantly – when you need to LEAVE so you can arrive on time. When you determine the time you need to leave, you’ll anticipate the probable obstacles – in advance. That will help.

Do you have an opinion? If so, please say so here.

A reminder for dealing with “overload” and stress.

Posted in Stress, Time management/Self-management with tags , on March 15, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

200235995-001People keep telling me they are becoming more stressed because they are working longer and longer hours. Realizing this, I’d like to give you — and me — a quick reminder.

No matter what your spiritual path is, you’ll recall that God made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in all of them in six days, but God RESTED on the seventh day.

How long has it been since you rested?

Taking a day to rest each week is good advice. And this advice doesn’t come from me. It comes from a place that’s more insightful than I am.

I’m writing the advice here as a reminder for you – and for me.

I’m now going to quit writing and take the rest of the day to rest, reflect, and appreciate.

Make the most of your time, especially during this economic downturn!

Posted in Time management/Self-management with tags on March 12, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

n1456848986_9582jpgMark LeBlanc, who heads up Small Business Success, works with small business owners and independent professionals who want to grow their businesses. He also is past president of the National Speakers Association.

Mark writes a blog on his web site (http://www.smallbusiness) where he talks about strategies for dealing with today’s economy. I thought his latest posting is so perfect that I’m quoting Mark here:

● “Yes, its a difficult economy. So what?

● Yes, my retirement plan has been hit hard. So what?

● Yes, I am working harder to maintain good numbers. So what?

● Yes, my clients and audiences are a little more challenging. So
what?

● Yes, I would like it to be easier. So what?

● Yes, I would like someone else to fix my problems. So what?

● Yes, I have made some foolish decisions that I am paying for. So what?

● Yes, I am a little more nervous about what is going on in the marketplace. So what?

● So, what is the alternative?

● Do you sit back, worry, and complain to others? No.

What I think you can do is read a book, attend a seminar, work on one skill, attend a networking meeting, call an advocate, donate your time and talents to a worthy cause, and get back to work.

Go find a new prospect and make a commitment to do a better job with your current clients.

Now, more than ever it’s important to focus your time and attention on what really matters.

And say no to the next discretionary purchase you were thinking about buying or delay it 90 days.

You’ll be glad you did.”

Thanks, Mark. This is excellent advice and I endorse it 100%. Not only that, it supports my last posting where I quoted Marshall Sylver who says, “Finding your life less than perfect is a waste of your time.”

Complaining is a time waster!

Posted in Time management/Self-management with tags on March 10, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

sylverWhen speaking at a Financial Prosperity seminar on the weekend, Marshall Sylver, the #1 expert on subconscious reprogramming, said, “Finding life less than perfect is a waste of your time.”

I loved that comment because I hear too many people complaining today.

Let me ask you. What good does complaining do?

Complaining doesn’t help you grow or solve problems. Instead, it:

● locks you in to one spot
● wastes your time
● wastes your thoughts
● wastes your energy

Now I ask you: With the downturn in our economy does it take any special skill to find something to complain about? Of course not, yet that’s what thousands of people are doing.

I say it takes all the skill you can muster to focus on positive steps that help you improve yourself and/or set things right.

Please picture any successful person you can think of. Do they spend their time complaining?

If they’re truly successful, they do discover things that are wrong and need to be changed. And when that happens, they do what they can to offer ideas, suggest changes, and implement steps to make things right.

Good leaders tend to say to themselves:

● So what?
● Now what?

Let’s face it. Time management is more about management than it is about time. And complaining is not a management skill. It is a diversion from personal progress and an enormous time waster.

Do you have an opinion or an idea of your own? Please add it here.

Here’s some software that can help you organize

Posted in Time management/Self-management with tags on March 7, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

bu009500I’ve been having great organizing luck with software called “Evernote.” This easy-to-use, intuitive application helps me:

● jot notes
● clip web pages
● create a to-do list
● record audio notes, and
● quickly search through all these items to find the information I’m looking for.

You might want to try Evernote yourself for your own “organizing” success.

Go to http://www.evernote.com and you’ll find a version of Evernote for:

● Web
● Windows
● Mac, and
● Mobile devices.

I use it on my Mac and my iPhone and they both sync beautifully.

You’ll also find:

● easy-to-follow tips for using Evernote
● tips for locating the information you’ve stored.

With Evernote you can capture all or part of an e-mail or web page. And, best of all, the application is free, yet you can opt to upgrade to the paid version which has more perks, including a feature that automatically recognizes handwriting and shapes.

Let’s get your lost time back!

Posted in Time management/Self-management on March 5, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

aa002733We’ve already discussed the fact that most people lose from 2 to 3 hours a day due to interruptions and schedule changes. If you’re one of those people, 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, that’s a good place to start.

Knowing where your major time leaks are, 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.
3) Rearrange your desk so the natural line of sight is not out the office door.
4) Use caller ID.

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
● Xbox
● computer
● ipod
● television
● wii
● Blackberry
● iPhone
● Gameboy, etc.

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.

How much time are you really losing?

Posted in Time management/Self-management with tags , on March 2, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

bu005290There’s no question about the fact that you’re confronted today with more interruptions and last minutes schedule changes than ever before.

Just think the many interruptions you’re dealing with:

● instant messages
● e-mail
● voice mails
● people who send you an e-mail and then immediately ask you what you thought of their e-mail
● emergency meetings
● people who leave unclear phone messages such as “give me a call”
● social networking
● waiting, etc.

Realizing that these interruptions are taking place, now ask yourself, “How much time am I losing from all of this?”

If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll discover you’re losing from 2 to 3 hours a day from your interruptions and schedule changes.

Now think how much this lost time totals.

Two hours a day times 5 days a week equals 10 hours a week of lost time. Ten hours a week times 4 weeks equals 40 hours a month (a full week). A full week a month times 12 months equals 1/4 of a year of wasted time. That’s a lot of time to be wasted: A full quarter of a year!

Suggestion #1: Compute your own lost time so you’ll realize how much it truly totals and thereby motivate yourself to plug some of these time wasters.

Suggestion #2: Set a personal goal to reduce your lost time by one hour a day. That can be accomplished by setting up strategies to deal with your most common interruptions.

We’ll talk about ways to deal with interruptions in future postings.