Archive for November, 2009

The ultimate time management experience: The Grand Canyon!

Posted in Balance, Management, Organize, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on November 30, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

When meeting with a group of friends this week, they noticed that I have a painting of The Grand Canyon in my living room and they asked why I talk about The Grand Canyon so much. I told them that The Grand Canyon is one of my favorite places and I explained that, when I hike down in the canyon – or ride the rapids on the Colorado River through it — I begin to realize my own insignificance.

Here also are a couple of other reasons.

First, my family and I have noticed that when we think we have a difficult problem, we quickly realize when we hike the canyon that – thanks to the timeless beauty and majestic perspective of the canyon — we don’t actually have the problem we thought we had. The majesty of the canyon simply dwarfs our “problem”.

Also, I like the fact that, when you are at The Grand Canyon, there’s no need to rush or run because the canyon is so huge that wherever you are, you’re already there.

In addition to all of this, I consider hiking to the bottom of The Grand Canyon – or to float on the river through it — to be the ultimate time management experience. What I mean is that to hike or float on the river, you need to plan, prepare, prioritize, schedule, team up with others, and eliminate the things that are unnecessary.

And, best of all, when you focus on your hiking or river riding moments, you see and observe so many inspiring and truly awesome mesas, pinnacles, and other grandiose formations that your powers of concentration become enhanced. And this doesn’t just happen to me. It seems to happen to everyone who steps into the canyon.

Even while not at The Grand Canyon right now, I notice I’m getting more and more excited just by writing about it. This is so amazing to me that I can see right now that I’ll write more about The Grand Canyon experience again this week.

Meanwhile, does this make sense? Please leave your comments here.

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How to deal with procrastination (Part 2)

Posted in Self-management, Stress, Teamwork, Time management on November 19, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

As we said earlier, procrastination is always named as a big time waster and I wrote about ways to deal with procrastination in Part 1. Here are two more strategies that you can use to reduce the likelihood of procrastinating items you really do want to handle.

1) Watch out for putting projects on your To Do list.

Most of us get in such a hurry that we start throwing all kinds of items on our To Do lists, items that actually are projects! Projects of course have multiple steps and, thus, when your subconscious mind sees a project on your list, it reminds you that there are many steps necessary, so you tend to procrastinate it.

Solution: Put the bite size of a project on your to do list, not the entire project.

2) Use action verbs on your To Do list.

Form the habit of writing an action verb to the left of each task you write on your To Do lists.

Example A: If you have “Budget” on your list, are you going to “Think” about the budget, “Plan” the budget, or “Talk” about the budget? Use the verb that describes what you want To Do when you make your note.

Example B: If you have Mom on your list, are you going to “Write” Mom, “Call” Mom, or “Think” about a gift for Mom? Use the verb that best describes what you want to do.

Notice that when you see the verb you wrote (next to the task you want to do), you’ll now looking at a bite size of a task and, thus, you’ll be less inclined to procrastinate the task.

These four strategies (the two here in Part 2 and the two in Part 1 below) are not perfect, but they will help you reduce the likelihood of procrastinating key tasks that you do want to do.

Does this make sense? Please let me know.

How to deal with procrastination (Part 1)

Posted in Organize, Self-management, Stress, Time management on November 16, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

I promised to write about ways to deal with procrastination and then I joked about it by saying I’d do that tomorrow. That’s typical of procrastination. Nearly everyone wants to put things off, particularly tasks that are difficult, challenging, or undesirable.

Here are some strategies you can use to reduce the likelihood of procrastinating items you really do want to handle.

1) Use a To Do list for sure.

Realize that successful days come from pre-determining key priorities so you can maintain focus in the midst of changes and interruptions. Thus, it’s a good idea to form the habit of writing down the things on a To Do list. When you do that, your To Do list will remind you of tasks you want to handle so you don’t forget them and procrastinate them.

2) Consider using more than one To Do list.

Instead of using only one To Do list, consider using five: one for Monday, one for Tuesday, one for Wednesday, one for Thursday, and one for Friday. (If you’re using an electronic organizer, this is a cinch. And, if you’re using a paper organizer, you’ll want to add some pages.)

Now, suppose you’re working on your Monday To Do list and a customer calls and tells you she needs something for Friday. Turn to your Friday To Do list and make the note. Now, suddenly your brother calls and says he needs to talk with you on Wednesday. Go to your Wednesday To Do list and make your note.

When you make your notes on the days you want to remember items, you are Time Activating items to a time when you plan to take care of them and Time Activating helps you overcome procrastination.

These two strategies will help. Consider them now and then I’ll list two more strategies to help you deal with procrastination on Thursday.

Notice how I’m suggesting here that you Time Activate a task on your To Do list for Thursday and, if you do care about doing this, you’ll see your note on your Thursday To Do list and, thus, be less inclined to procrastinate it.

Does this make sense? Please write your comments here.

One of the most common time wasters is procrastination.

Posted in Organize, Self-management, Time management on November 4, 2009 by Chuc Barnes

Whenever I ask an audience to make a list of their top ten time wasters, they inevitably put “procrastination” on their list. Realizing that, let’s plan to talk about procrastination tomorrow.

Sound OK to you?