Archive for May, 2009

How to “make time” for you (#6):

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

Think-and-Grow-Rich.jpgGet involved in a Master Mind group.

If you’re not in a Master Mind group now, find one.

A Master Mind group helps you save time by stimulating ideas for you and getting feedback from other successful people with minds like yours.

The idea of a Master Mind was first described in 1960 by Napoleon Hill in his book, “Think and Grow Rich” as “The Ninth Step towards Riches.” He defined a Master Mind as coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

Hill said, “A Master Mind group helps you multiply your brainpower,” and “No individual may have great power without availing himself of the ‘Master Mind.’”

Hill pointed out that, “This form of cooperative alliance has been the basis of nearly every great fortune.”

Explaining a Master Mind in greater detail, Hill said,

“Man’s brain may be compared to an electric battery. It is a well-known fact that group of electric batteries will provide more energy than a single battery. It also is a well-known fact that an individual battery will provide energy in proportion to the number and capacity of the cells it contains.”

From a personal standpoint, I can tell you that every single person I have ever known who has participated in a Master Mind group has told me they saved days (and sometimes weeks and months) by getting clear on their direction, preventing missteps, and boosting confidence to reach for their dreams by discussing their plans with other likeminded people.

Master Mind groups have helped people save time for years. A Master Mind group can help you “make time” for you as well.

What’s your opinion? Do you have a comment?

How to “make time” for you (#5):

Posted in Time management/Self-management on May 21, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

BU005300Clear up your work area.

Nearly everyone I know says, “I know exactly where everything is. I have a system.” That’s when I laugh. Here’s why.

It is said reported that the average executive spends 36 minutes a day looking for lost things that are right within their reach.

Now think about yourself. Whether you agree with the “36 minutes” number or not, ask yourself. “How much time do I spend looking for lost things?”

Let’s say for talking purposes that you agree with the “36 minutes” answer. (If you don’t, it’s OK.)

If you are willing to agree for the moment, please now multiply the “36 minutes” of time looking for lost things times “5” (the number of standard work days in the week). You’ll now see that you are actually losing 3 hours a week (36 x 5 = 180 minutes) by looking for lost things.

That’s a lot of time.

OK, maybe you say you don’t lose 36 minutes a day looking for lost things. Maybe it’s a smaller number for you. Whatever number you use is still a lot of lost time, isn’t it?

Here’s the point:

A clear desk and orderly work area helps you find key papers faster. That is time you otherwise would have lost.

And please consider this: Every paper on your desk is a decision. Thus, if you have a lot of papers staring at you, you have a lot of decisions to make and those decisions lead to stress.

Stress is a time waster so now you lose even more time.

You can “make time” and reduce stress by clearing up your work area.

Does this make sense to you?

How to “make time” for you (#4)

Posted in Time management/Self-management on May 16, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

Be aware of generational differences.

When speaking for an audience at Prudential this week, a question came up about generational differences. We discussed the fact that there are four different generations in the workplace today and, no matter where you work or what you do, you can save time and get more done more easily when you are aware of the differences.

“Gen X” people like things done one way. “Gen Y” people like them done even faster. “Boomers” see things a little differently, and and “Matures” have their own methods. (We can talk about specific differences later, if you’d like.)

What counts most now is this: Please don’t stereotype people as to being in certain age categories. That’s a waste of time.

Instead, make sure you are effective in the way you communicate with ALL other people regardless of their generation. That helps you “make time.”

One key way to do this is to ask your team (or the people you communicate with most) two separate questions:

1) What can we do to save time for each other?

2) What’s the best way for us to communicate?

When you ask these questions, you’ll get answers that help you. One person, for example, might want to use E-mail because that’s what they are used to and like best, whereas another person might think it’s best to use a newer method like Twitter or something else.

The answers you get will help you work out communication strategies that help you save time, no matter what the generation differences are.

Not only that, new communication methods are appearing quickly these days and your associates might have discovered something that can help you and the rest of your team communicate more effectively.

Does this ring true to you? Please comment here.

How to “make time” for you (#3):

Posted in Time management/Self-management on May 11, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

Iwersen2.jpgeI suggested earlier that you’d save time by surrounding yourself with positive people. And that of course is true.

Sadly, not all people are positive.

And sometimes you’re in a leadership role where you need to lead people who aren’t very positive. That can be a real time waster.

If this is the case for you, here’s a suggestion.

Get a copy of the new book titled “Chasing Porcupines: How to Lead Prickly People”, which was written by my positive friend, Steven Iwersen.

Steve is a professional speaker who works with groups who want help with leadership issues. He once participated in World Championship Porcupine Races. (I had never heard of such races and enjoyed learning about them in his book.)

Steve says he gained a lot of insights for dealing with “prickly people” in those races and he describes what he learned while offering useful suggestions to help you turn difficult people into winners. He discusses the principle of boundaries, the power of praise, and ways to navigate the negative.

Steve points out that the #1 reason that stops most people (and organizations) from reaching their potential is the influence of negative people.

I agree with Steve. Negative people will waste your time and I don’t want that for you. That’s why I’m talking about Steve’s book here.

If you’d like more information about Steve and his new book, you can get it at: http://steveniwersen.com/

How to “make time” for you (#2):

Posted in Time management/Self-management on May 9, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

SylverSurround yourself with positive people.

My very positive friend, Marshall Sylver, says, “Look to your right. Now look to your left and realize that you’re the average of the people you hang out with.” I always laugh when Marshall says that.

I’m smiling at what Marshall says again because it’s good advice.

Look around you. How many positive people do you see?

Those positive people help, inspire, and give you energy, don’t they? That energy helps you get more done in less time.

Notice any negative people?

Negative people are time wasters. They waste your time and drag you down.

I say that life’s too short to waste even one minute on a negative thought.

Suggestion: Call a positive person right now and get your energy going.This is such an easy way to “make time.”

How to “make time” for you (#1):

Posted in Time management/Self-management on May 6, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

timeclockI promised in my last post to explain how to “make time” for you. Let’s get started.

Please forgive me, but we’re going to do some math here.

Do you agree that there are 365 days in a year? (OK, forget the extra day every four years because of our inaccurate calendar.)

If you agree there are 365 days, write down “365.”

Now, please subtract the number of days most people have off for weekends and holidays and you’ll see that you end up with 250 workdays. Agree?

Please write down “250.”

Now, if you could pick up an hour a day by making small changes in the things you do (by saving 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, 45 minutes there), you’ll have 250 hours, correct? (One hour/day times 250 workdays).

Do you also agree there are 8 hours of work time in a standard business day?

If so, please write down the number “8.”

(Yes, I know, you’re working more hours each day now, but please look at “8” hours as your goal.)

OK, now please divide the 250 workdays you wrote down by the 8 hours and notice the answer you get. (250 divided by 8 = 31.25 days).

Please think about that “31.25” answer because it is showing you that, if you save an hour a day by doing just a few things differently, you’ll end up with a full month. That’s the extra month you’re always wish you had. Right?

Here’s the point.

You either get the extra month or you lose it. It’s all up to you (and to whether or not you’re willing to make small changes in what you do.) In other words, small changes here and there make it possible for you to make time. Agree?

I’ll cover more suggestions for “making time” in my next several posts.

It’s essential to make time for priorities!

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

aa053817When speaking at the University of Maryland (UMBC) for a truly great audience, by the way, several listeners said they were having trouble finding time for key priorities and they asked for suggestions.

I explained that in today’s fast-paced, highly interruptible world, there’s only a glimmer of a chance that anyone can “find time” for anything. I suggested that, instead of trying to “find time, “ it’s important to “make time” for key priorities.

When suggesting this, I wasn’t trying to be cute or flippant (and I’m certainly not trying to do so right now). I’m absolutely serious.

Please permit me to illustrate what I mean by pointing out that I will never find time for my wife, even though I love her dearly. Too many
things will interfere.

My wife is a priority for me so I’ve got to make time for her.

I won’t find time for my kids, even though they are very, very special to me. They are priorities to me. Thus, I’ve got to make time for my kids.

I won’t find time to write my third book (which I’m in the process of writing). That is a priority for me so I’ve got to make time to write that book.

I’m suggesting that “making time” is actually a matter of scheduling time for key priorities, whereas “finding time” becomes an ongoing struggle to squeeze things in (and struggling is time waster and stress producer).

If you agree with me, you can see why it’s essential to – first, and always — know what your key priorities are! When you know what your priorities are (precisely) it becomes easier to schedule time for them.

Does this ring true to you?

In my next several posts I’ll talk about ways to “make time” for you.