Archive for July, 2009

Here are 2 questions to help you & your team.

Posted in Teamwork, Time management/Self-management on July 30, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

ThumbsupWhen working with ABS in Houston this week, we discussed the differences in generations and the way each generation seems to have a preference for the way they like to communicate.

We agreed that:

  “Matures” like to use Voicemail.

  “Boomers” tend to like E-mail

  “Gen X” like to use Text

  “Gen Y” (Millennials) like to use social media such as FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, and LInkedIn.

These conclusions of course are not “absolute” because there definitely are exceptions, yet even so, we agreed that there are differences in communication preferences based on age group.

Suggestion: if you work with a team that’s made up of different age groups, you’re apt to discover – just as we did — that it’s very helpful to you and your group to ask each other the following two questions:

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

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

When you ask these questions, you are apt to learn that even though you might like Voicemail, your team might prefer Texts. By the same token, you might like E-mall, yet your team might show you how Tweets might be more effective for the group.

The point to all of this is that by asking the above two questions, the answers can help you and the entire team, and — after all – that’s teamwork.

I say that teamwork is time management. Do you agree?

Does this suggestion make sense to you?

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Certain software can help you organize yourself!

Posted in Organize, Stress, Time management/Self-management on July 24, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

SoftwareWhen speaking at the Financial Prosperity Seminar last week, several people in the audience asked me about software that might help them.

Nearly everyone has heard about Outlook, Act, and Entourage for their PCs (and he or she usually knows how to use their favorite one of these) so I won’t waste your time by talking about them here.

I would like for you to know about Evernote. If you have never tried Evernote, go to http://www.Evernote.com. I’ve written about Evernote in this blog before and it’s worth discussing it here again.

When you use Evernote, you can easily transfer the files that you need with you (for reference or for working on) into the Evernote software. You can then link the software with your papers included — through use of a “cloud” — to your phone. When you do this, you are able to work on whatever paper or project you have included whenever you want and wherever you are. This saves you the need to carry the papers in their physical form.

Now suppose that you have put an array of sheets of paper into Evernote. When you need the paper or idea you want, you can find it quickly by clicking your own search word. The paper you want will appear immediately. This can save you all those hours of time that you used to lose when looking for lost things, and it will reduce your stress.

I have told a number of audiences about Evernote and they love it. And, best of all, it’s free. (Note: A “premium” version is offered for sale.) Also, it works perfectly with a Blackberry or an iPhone.

Franklin Covey has a number of items to help you too. Franklin Covey of course is famous for their paper organizers, yet they also have software you might want to consider for use with your PC. You can find their software on the FranklinCovey website which is http://www.franklincovey.com. The website touts their PlanPlus software, which can help you. I’ll leave it up to you to determine if you want it. I find it to be too expensive.

I will tell you that the FranklinCovey ap called FCtasks works very well with the iPhone. It does not link to your computer, however. It does help you keep track of your tasks when you are managing yourself on the move. Best of all, the FCtasks ap has reminder badges that show up on the iPhone screen which remind you of tasks you want to handle.

Speaking about the iPhone, you might want to check out the Toodledo ap. It is simple to set up and use and you can purchase a version that enables you to link to your computer. This software is very easy to use. The drawback that I’ve found is that it doesn’t have reminder badges on your phone that help remind you of unfinished tasks.

The best organizing software I’ve found for a Mac is called “Things.” This software is very easy to set up and it can help you keep track of tasks for today, tomorrow, anytime. It also helps you track your projects. You can find “Things” at www. culturedcode.com.

One of the best things about “Things” for the Mac is that it has a companion ap for the iPhone that links (through a “cloud”) to the Things software on your Mac. The software then puts sensible reminders on your iPhone which call your attention to any unfinished tasks.

There are many, many software items that are being offered today. The ones I’ve listed here are the ones I’ve discovered that work best and I hope this helps you.

Do you have any comments? How about software suggestions you’ve found which help you organize your tasks and/or your papers when you’re moving from place to place? Please let me hear from you.

When traveling, have a back up plan.

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

SuitcaseSitting in an airport waiting for a flight that’s been delayed for a long time, I’m reminded how important it is to have items with you to work on — or enjoy – so you get back what could easily be called “lost time.”

I hope you never have a delayed flight, but if you do, be sure you have a book or magazine, your phone, and your laptop with you so you can work and/or make the most of your “delayed” time. I’m in the process of writing a third book so I’m using this flight “delayed” time in the airport to do that.

One other thing: If you ever have a delayed flight (and I hope you don’t), keep your fingers crossed in hopes that it’s with Southwest Airlines because they do everything they can to accommodate you and keep you informed. (They are even bringing in snacks and soft drinka to those of us who are delayed today.) I’m sorry to report that other airlines leave you uninformed and/or misinformed. Not only that, most of the other airlines charge you a fee for your suitcases. Incredible how greedy some airlines can be, isn’t it? Southwest doesn’t do that!

The point to all this is not that one airline is better than another, it’ that, if you travel today, it’s important to have back up items with you so you can make the most of your time.

Does this ring true to you?

Take time to smell the flowers.

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

FlowersI met a terrific man this week. While working on the job, he is being treated for cancer.

I wrote my new friend to tell him I enjoyed meeting him and he just sent me the following e-mail that I’m sharing here because of the helpful, sensible observation he makes:

“Some people think it is odd when I tell them that the cancer was a great gift. It forced me to stop and look at life and make a determination on what is important and what isn’t. Some people go through their entire life never doing this. I was forced to do it at 51 and while you would never wish cancer on anyone I do wish more people understood how many things in life are petty and unimportant and how lucky they are to receive the chance to live each day.”

My new friend is absolutely right. Being a cancer survivor myself, I don’t want anyone to get cancer. I do think it’s important for all of us – just as my friend says so articulately — to stop and think about how lucky we are to live each day.

Make sense to you?

How to “make time” for you (#12):

Posted in Time management/Self-management on July 4, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

compassKnow where you’re going!

If you’ve ever used MapQuest or Google Maps, you know how important it is to enter two things in the map-making device: 1) where you’re going 2) where you’re starting. Once you’ve done that, the mapmaking device then lists the steps you need to take to get where you want to go.

The same thing is important for your life. You need to know 1) where you are going and 2) where you are starting. Once you answer both of these questions you can more easily fill in the steps you need to take to get to your desired location.

Sadly, most people who lose time today are unsure of where they’re going and they bounce around from one time-wasting step to another. You don’t want that. You want to know – precisely – where you’re going.

To help you determine where you’re going, consider the following four items 1) Mind, 2) Body, 3) Relationships, 4) Financial. Think about these in detail. For example, what do you want most for your mind (books, thoughts, etc.)? How about your body (appearance, weight, ability), your relationships (who with?) and your financial dream (net worth)?

Next, write down a statement about yourself that incorporates all of your thoughts. A simple way to do this is to start your statement with any of the following expressions: 1) “I am unique because” 2) “I am the only person who” 3) ” I am the best at” 4), “I am known for” 5) “I am recognized as.”

The statement you choose from thinking about this will help you get a picture of where you’re going.

Now think about the one specific person you can picture who best represents your dream and write down their name. (This person now becomes your model so think about what they do, picture how they do it, and this will help you see the steps you want to take.)

Once you’ve determined where you’re going, it’s important to write it down.

If you don’t write down your specific destination, you’ll be working only with an idea and the world is loaded down with millions of ideas that are simply floating around in the universe. When you write down your destination, you’re making it tangible and part of the world.

Nothing great happens when you keep things in your head!

When you write down your ending destination, be sure to write it in the simplest possible terms – no long paragraphs! When you create a simple, easy-to-identify destination, you can remember it not just in your head, but also in your heart.

Once you know where you’re going and where you’re starting from, you then – just like the mapmaking device –can begin to fill in the steps you want to take.

Never, ever worry about taking “perfect” steps. Forget perfect. You want progress, not perfection. Way too many people keep from taking steps towards their destination because they are worried about making a mistake.

If you’ve ever taken a trip, surely you’ve discovered that that every now and then a road you were taking has a detour, which routes you around the road you were on. This is normal.

Mistakes are normal and, if you make one, simply get back on track.We learn from our mistakes and sometimes those very mistakes show us a new point on the trip that we enjoy seeing and never would have known about otherwise.

A clear vision propels you and gives you a sense of purpose. Not only that, a clear vision helps you make time for yourself by anticipating possible roadblocks and eliminating time-wasting routes, diversions, and distractions.

Does this ring true to you?