Archive for August, 2009

Be very, very careful about multi-tasking!

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

CueBallsIn an earlier post in this blog I urged you to be careful about multi-tasking. I pointed out that “multi-tasking” is one of the hot bywords of today, yet studies by the Federal Aviation Administration, University of Michigan, and UCLA show that multi-tasking can be hazardous to your health and that it can lead to numerous physical problems and memory loss.

New studies announced by John Naish in an article on August 11 ( explains how scientists are discovering that today’s mania “for cramming everything in at once is creating a perilous cocktail of brain problems, from severe stress and rage in adults to learning problems and autism-like behavior in children.”

According to Naish’s article, these studies are made by using advances in medical-scanning technology that enable researchers to watch what happens in the brain when people try to perform more than one complex task at a time.

And, as I said previously, the news isn’t good.

What’s especially interesting in the results of the new discoveries is that multi-tasking makes us less efficient (as opposed to what most of us believe).

Naish’s article points out that researchers are discovering “the human brain doesn’t multi-task like an expert juggler. Instead, it switches frantically between tasks like a bad amateur plate-spinner. The constant effort this requires means that doing even just two or three things at once puts far more demand on our brains compared with is we did then one after another.”

And here’s a key point described in the article:

“The real problem occurs when we try to concentrate on the two tasks we are dealing with, because this then causes an overload of the brain’s processing capacity. This is particularly true when we try to perform similar tasks at the same time – such as writing an email and talking on the phone – as they compete to use the same part of the brain. As a result, your brain simply slows down.”

Naish points out that, “Multi-tasking has rapidly taken over our lives, to the point that we look woefully lax if we’re doing just one thing at a time. We think nothing of texting while also watching television, surfing the internet and talking to our family. Indeed, drug companies are busy developing products to enhance our mental efficience so we can do even more.

And, according to Professor Russell Poldrack, a psychologist at the University of California, “Humans are not built to work this way. We’re really built to focus.”

Dr. Alan Keen, a behavior scientist at Australia’s Central Queensland University, believes multi-tasking is a significant reason why we are witnessing epidemics of rage.

The article suggests that, if you must multi-task:

1) Don’t do so in the afternoon. Researchers say that post-lunch fatigue, added to the strain of multi-tasking, often causes overload, 2) Meditate – because research shows that meditation makes brains more efficient at paying attention, so there is brain power to spare when doing two tasks at once, and, 3) Practice multi-taking with simple tasks.

I’m going to add the following 3 suggestions that I made in this blog last March:

1) Prioritize your tasks. (If you prioritize properly, there’s no need to multi-task).
2) Set deadlines for each task – in advance.
3), Multi-task only with low-level activities such as listening to CDs while exercising and watching TV when cooking.

Does this make sense to you? I’d welcome your comments here.

Take care of your #1 Priority!

Posted in Time management/Self-management on August 15, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

TicketThree separate people asked me this week, “If you had just one Self-Management suggestion to make to me, what would your recommendation be?” My answer to all three people was the same:

“Take care of you!”

I’m now making this same recommendation to you:

Take care of you before you do anything else.

It might seem to you as if I’m suggesting that you — and the three people who asked me — be selfish in some way. Selfishness has nothing to do with my suggestion, however.

Instead, I’m saying it’s important to take care of you each and every day because you are your #1 Priority.

Please think with me.

If you aren’t sane and/or healthy, please consider how much more difficult it would be to take care of anyone — or anything — else? I say you want to be certain you are sane and healthy.

To do this:

1) Consider the time of day when you have the most energy. Is it early in the morning, maybe at noon, perhaps late in the afternoon?. Now, please make a note of that time.

2) Decide when you are the most creative. Again, is it early in the morning, at noon, or late in the day? Make a note of that time too.

Now, my thought is this.

Guard those times like they are the gold in Ft. Knox.

You might have to trade those times for your customer, or your associate, or perhaps for your family. That’s OK. What you don’t want to do is trade those times for something as ineffective as simply checking e-mail.

I propose that, when you guard your high-energy time and your creative time, you’re taking care of you.

Next, ask yourself each and every day, “When am I going to have some free time for myself?” Certainly you’ll agree that you’ll make better decisions when you are clear headed. Thus, it’s important to have some time set aside to think, reflect, pray, meditate, and/or develop a creative thought. (This doesn’t have to be a lot of time.) When you do this, you’re helping to take care of you too.

One thing’s for sure: If you haven’t reserved any time for you, you won’t get any. Certainly you’ll agree with that. Too many other things will interfere.

You have a lot to do or you wouldn’t even be reading this blog to learn some time management tips and strategies. Thus, knowing you have so many different things to do, think how essential it is for you to take care of you first.

Never forget that you are your #1 Priority and – for your own sake – I suggest that you take care of you first – each and every day — by following the above suggestions.

Does this make sense to you? Please let me know your comments.

How to save tons of time for entrepreneurs & small business owners!

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

TotalProsperityIn the past three weeks I’ve had the opportunity to speak at two different events, both created and developed by Mind Power, Inc. The first event I’m talking about was in Orlando as part of a program titled “Financial Prosperity,” and this week I spoke in Las Vegas at a program titled “Total Prosperity.” Both of these are exceptional programs.

Here’s why I’m telling you about these events here.

My personal mission, which I believe you know from reading this blog, is to help entrepreneurs and small business professionals make the most of the time in their days and/or in their presentations. (Those are the two subjects I spoke about in Orlando and Las Vegas.)

In Orlando and Las Vegas I wasn’t the only person who helped the audiences save time, however. The entire Total Prosperity and Financial Prosperity programs focused on doing that as well. That amazed me — and it pleased me too!

Before I go on here’s some background.

When reading this blog, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that I stay away from the terms “time management” because you can’t manage time; you can only control your portion of the time you have. And, since time management is more about “management” than it is about time, I prefer to call the subject “Self-Management.” Both audiences loved that because managing themselves successfully is the challenge that entrepreneurs have each and every day, and the audiences interacted magnificently when I delivered my “Get Your Ducks in A Row!” and “Capture the Moment” presentations at the Prosperity Alliance events.

Here’s what also happened, however.

Each key speaker led by Marshall Sylver, a highly successful entrepreneur known as “The Millionaire Maker,” covered time saving subject after time saving subject – in every aspect of the audience’s total business — from finances and legalities to specific entrepreneurial and leadership skills! And the material was exceptional (the best I’ve ever seen and heard) and taught in ways specifically designed to help each entrepreneur and small business owner in the audience (including me) avoid the most common pitfalls that business people make (and have made) when planning and growing their businesses.

The reason I’m talking about all this is that attendee after attendee said they learned more at these two events than they ever thought possible And here’s the point.

If you’re an entrepreneur and/or small business owner, I strongly suggest you check out the Prosperity Alliance programs at You’ll see – just as I discovered as a speaker for this group — that there are hundreds and hundreds of successful entrepreneurs and small business owners who have attended the Prosperity Alliance programs who will tell you that they saved months and even years of time from common mistakes and lack of information that most business owners start out with.

I am also telling you this because I’ve been in the same boat that you and other entrepreneurs are in and, even though I’m a Self-Management speaker who makes a living by teaching others how to save time and get more done, I began to see ways at the Prosperity Alliance programs to save time for my total business. I love that and, thus, I’m sharing this information with you.

Take it from me. You cannot possibly go wrong by checking out the Prosperity Alliance events. Like me (and I’m saying this with a smile), the folks there will help you save tons of time.

Have a comment? Please let me know.