Archive for April, 2009

Set time limits for social networking!

Posted in Time management/Self-management on April 24, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

vernmoter1When interviewed by Vern Moter on his “Practical Advisor radio program, Vern asked me about Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the multitude of other interactive sites that are so popular today. I responded by telling him and his audience that I enjoy these social networking sites.

I said it’s smart to stay in touch with friends and associates and it’s fun to participate, yet – if you’re going to join in – it’s important to set time limits for yourself.

Nearly all of the successful people I know tell me that they participate in these social networking sites, yet these same successful people tell me they set limits of 15 to 20 minutes participating time for themselves. They all schedule their social networking time for “downtime” breaks (i.e. early in the morning, after the work day ends, late at night, or perhaps in an airport waiting for a flight).

Without scheduling your social networking time – and without setting daily time limits — you’re apt to be seduced to stay at the social networking site longer and longer and thereby not get your work priorities accomplished.

Does this ring true to you?

Visualize time management as a path.

Posted in Time management/Self-management on April 17, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

vernmoter2Vern Moter is a financial advisor whose mission is to help business owners make more money and work less hours. He sponsors Business School Bootcamp (a program I highly recommend because of the excellent financial strategies Vern teaches). I don’t give financial advice. That’s what Vern does. He is a very successful CPA and financial strategist.

I talk about time management and, when I was doing so at Business School Bootcamp, one of the attendees said he had tried several time management ideas and they didn’t work for him. I loved it when he said that to me because a lot of people feel the same way and it gave me a chance to clear things up.

Let’ talk about this for a moment.

Please realize that time management is not about perfection. It’s about having a set of principles that help you get where you’re going in less time and with less stress.

Please visualize time management principles as a path that goes through the woods.

If you’re new to the time management path, you’re apt to go off course and feel lost in the woods. Most people feel lost at first.

My suggestion is this: If you fall off the path, get back on the path and follow it again. If you fall off the path again, go back. Forget perfection. The path will become easier to follow because each time you get on it you’ll find your wearing down the old habits that ordinarily prevent you from moving forward.

Does this make sense to you? Let me know your thoughts.

Why not set up a family calendar?

Posted in Time management/Self-management on April 12, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

After speaking for a group of families at a nearby school, I was told by several parents that they love my suggestion to hold weekly family meetings where they (the parents and their kids) talk about all key events they plan to take care of in the upcoming week. I proposed that they schedule each family member’s major events on a calendar, which they put on the family refrigerator.

The parents told me they love this idea because it requires everyone in the family to listen to each other and to recognize each other’s priorities. They also said this helps them (the parents) see what kind of school assignments are coming due for their kids.

If you like this idea and perhaps want a good calendar, you can get a good, free, printable calendar of nearly any size at http://www.freeprintable.net/

Seem like a good idea to you? Please let me know.

Kids often learn faster than adults!

Posted in Time management/Self-management on April 8, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

lindasamuelsMy friend, Linda Samuels, asked me to speak for a group of kids in her Billionaire Babies program (a program I most definitely endorse). I enjoyed talking with Linda’s group, which consists of kids from all nationalities who want to realize their potential, and the major point I told the kids is that it’s important for them to clarify their dreams.

I pointed out that most adults get so “busy” and hurried that they react to everything, whereas truly successful people clarify their dreams and focus on the priorities that lead to the fulfillment of their dreams. I pointed out that it’s OK to think big and I encouraged the kids to make their dreams as specific as possible.

The children Linda works with want to learn so I explained that it’s important for them to write down their dreams or else their thoughts and ideas will just be floating around in the air along with millions of other thoughts and ideas that never get accomplished. When you write down your dreams in specific terms, they become a tangible and part of the world.

I also pointed out that nothing great happens when you keep your dreams in your head and that it’s OK to change your dreams, yet you first need to have a specific written dream so you have something tangible to be changed.

If you’d like to learn more about Billionaire Babies, go to http://www.billionairebabies.net/catalog/

Meanwhile, if you have a question or comment, please leave it here.

How much time do you spend in front of “screens”?

Posted in Time management/Self-management on April 7, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

034_s_object2A new study shows that the average adult American spends more than 8 hours a day in front of screens – televisions, computer monitors, cell phones, or other devices.

The study also found that live television in the home continues to attract the greatest amount of viewing time with the average American spending slightly more than five hours a day in front of the tube.

The figure drops to 210 minutes a day of average TV viewing time among 18-24 year olds but rises to 420 minutes a day among those aged 65 and older.

This study was conduced by Ball State University’s Center for Media Design & Sequent Partners for the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence. It was explained that this was not a study about TV or the web or any other medium – it’s about how, where, and how often and how long people are exposed to all media.

The study found that people aged 45 to 54 averaged the most average screen time at just over nine-and-a-half hours. The study did not include anyone under the age of 18.

Among the findings:

● Adults spend an average 142 minutes a day in front of computer screens.

● Adults spend an average 20 minutes a day engaged with mobile devides with the highest usate – 43 minutes a day – amont the 18-24 age group.

● Adults spend an average of 6.5 minutes a day with videogram consoles with the number rising to 26 minutes a day among those aged 18-24.

Not all time spent in front of “screens ” is wasted of course. A lot is necessary and many “screens” help us save time.

Here’s why I’m relaying the above findings, however.

When asked to name what wastes our time, most of us think of traditional time wasters (which we’ve talked about in previous posts). The evolution to “screens” has happened so quickly that it’s important for us to realize how seductive and time-consuming “screens” are. They are so addictive that they encourage us to spend more and more time and they become major time wasting habits:

● “Stay tuned for the news at 10.”

● “I’ve got to take this phone call.”

● “I wonder if my ‘friends’ are looking for me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.”

● “I’ve got to check my e-mail.”

Realizing this, I repeat what I said in a previous post and that’s that it’s important to SCHEDULE time for “screens.” If you don’t schedule time, the “screens” that surround you will seduce you to spend more and more time and you’ll wonder why you didn’t get the priorities done in your day.

How do you feel about this? I’d love to hear from you.

Is time really money? (part 3)

Posted in Time management/Self-management on April 1, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

Continuing my comments about time being life, please permit me to talk about my father for a moment.

Prior to losing my father almost four years ago, dad lived in a retirement home where I was lucky enough to enjoy eating meals with him. When we had those meals together, I noticed that he and the other residents talked about money, were concerned about money, and worried about money and yet none of them ever said, “Time is money.”

Each resident knew – just as my dad did – that time is an opportunity to enjoy another day, another view, or another person.

Realizing this, I repeat: Time is not money. Time is life!

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