Archive for January, 2010

A vacation helps you improve your focus!

Posted in Balance, Self-management, Time management, Time management/Self-management on January 25, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

I spoke for the Total Prosperity audience last weekend. The audience was great, very energetic and interactive, and I had a great time. (The Total Prosperity program, by the way, is a two-day program that is part of The Prosperity Alliance.)

While at the Total Prosperity event, I had the opportunity to hear Marshall Sylver, who is often called “The Millionaire Maker” and who is creator of The Prosperity Alliance, talk about a man who came to him for help.

Marshall said the man told him he was so overwhelmed with work that he was spending his entire day putting out fires, and the man said he had been working like this, day after day, for a long time. The man asked Marshall for any advice Marshall could give him as to what might help him rectify his crisis management situation.

I loved what I heard Marshall say he told the man.

Marshall told the man to take a vacation.

Marshall said he suggested that the man make sure his vacation lasts at least one week so the man gets away from all the habits, demands, crises, and “fires” and then returns to his work with a clear mind and a new perspective of his TRUE priorities. (Marshall used the words “let go of” and said the man needs the vacation to “let go of” the patterns of behavior that are getting in his way.)

I loved Marshall’s advice because it’s the same advice I give to clients who want to make their minutes count and the same advice I give to myself. Not only that, authors, writers, and creative people all know they are much more creative and effective when they get away to clear their minds from distractions and ongoing challenges.

Vacations — true vacations away from cell phones, computers, and other attention-getting devices — give you a new perspective.

If you haven’t taken a vacation in a long time, schedule one as soon as you can.

This makes sense, doesn’t it? In fact, it’s so simple and sensible that people constantly overlook the value.

Please leave any comments you have here and, meanwhile, if you’d like more information about The Prosperity Alliance, go to

Here’s a “new” thought about multitasking!

Posted in Management, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on January 4, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

Last February I explained in this blog how important it is for you to minimize multitasking.

I pointed out that studies by the Federal Aviation Administration, University of Michigan, and UCLA show that multitasking can be hazardous to your health and that it can lead to numerous physical problems and memory loss and I offered 3 suggestions. (See post in this blog of February 14, 2009.)

That post drew some attention.

Barry wrote a good comment. He referred to information in Don Tapscott’s book “Grown Up Wired” where Tapscott suspects a change in mental processing ability for the Net Geners. Barry said he personally found that hard to believe since everything he knew about the brain indicates its evolution is a very slow process, yet maybe Tapscott is right.

Scott wrote an interesting comment too. He reported that he worked for a monthly magazine where he always felt he was a “mutlitasker” and he said always used the term with pride, yet that after some thought, he realized that at the end of each deadline he now needs to readjust longer to the real world.

Richard Bernier wrote and said he had just read a fascinating article about how multitasking is a way for the brain to seek novelty. It becomes an addiction and craving and when it starts to lack, our dopamine levels drop and we crave more, thus our productivity suffers as a result. He said wrote about this in his blog and linked to the article.

I’m describing this now because yesterday I was talking with some old timers at church when the subject of multitasking came up. Each one of the old timers said multitasking is nothing new. They pointed out that if you’ve ever worked with crops or raised animals, you must multitask constantly.

Our church is located in Kansas City and yesterday it was 1 degree F. outside with 10 inches of snow on the ground. The old timers pointed to the snow and ice and said that no matter what else you might be working on as a farmer, you must stop that work immediately to get all your cattle inside a barn or else the animals will freeze.

A couple of ladies walked by and asked what we were talking about. The old timers said we were talking about “multitasking” and the women said, “If you’ve never given birth to a child or raised a group of kids, you don’t know what multitasking really is.

We all laughed and the more we all talked about this the more we all began to realize that the term “multitasking” must have become popular when we got all this new fangled technology which makes multitasking seem new.

All of this made me smile and I’m reporting it because the old timers had some good points and I thought this might make you multitask and smile while reading this.

Even though this is funny, I am repeating what I said last February and that’s that studies do show that multitasking can be hazardous to your mental health so be sure to set up strategies to help you deal with it.

Make sense? Please leave your comments here.