Archive for March, 2010

Here’s how to hire someone to help you get more done.

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

If you believe time is money, as most people do, I’m sure you’d also agree that it’s a good idea to save as much time as possible, right? After all, why waste a lot of money?

Ok, now let’s do some math.

Let’s say that you earn $50 an hour (for talking purposes). This means that if you save one hour a day for every day of the work week, you’ll end up saving $250 in the week ($50 an hour times 5 work days in the week), right?

So if you save $250 in one week, it’s also obvious that you’ll be saving $1,000 in one month ($250 a week times 4 weeks in the month), correct?

Good for you. You’ve just saved $1,000.

Now let’s keep the math going.

If you save $1,000 a month, you’ll obviously save $12,000 a year for yourself ($1,000 a month times 12 months), correct?

Ok, you now are either agreeing with what I’m showing you here or you’re not agreeing.

If you are agreeing with me, notice that by saving one hour a day, you’ve just saved enough money to now hire a part time helper who you can pay $1,000 a month to help you get more done. (And, if you earn $100 an hour, you now just saved enough money to hire two people.)

If you are not agreeing with me, please tell me what’s wrong with the math I’m showing you here.

The problem with what I’m showing you here is not with the math. The problem is that time is not money. People say that it’s money, however.

So now let’s now apply common sense.

Time is not money. Time can’t be given to anyone. Time can’t be put in a bank. Time can’t be compounded and you can’t earn interest from time. And one other item: Time sure can’t be won on a game show.

Let’s face it. Time is not money. It’s your most valuable asset, however.

Time is your life.

I suggest that when you stop worrying about time and begin focusing on ways to create positive memories and experiences for your son, your daughter, your husband, your wife, your friend, your neighbor, your co-workers, your customers (and even for you) you’re making your minutes count. And isn’t creating meaningful memories and positive experiences what maximizes life?

Does this ring true to you? Please leave your comments here.

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Be very, very careful of Multitasking!

Posted in Organize, Self-management, Stress, Time management, Time management/Self-management on March 8, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

I’ve written about the dangers and hazards of multitasking several times in this blog. and each time I’ve described research that shows how disruptive and harmful multitasking can be. Several of you have written excellent replies explaining that you agree.

Please now check the article “Does e-mail make you stupid?” in the latest issue of Entrepreneur Magazine at the following url: http://www.entrepreneur.com/templates/magazines/articleMagazine.aspx?id=204980

Joe Robinson, the author of the article, points out that “People may be able to chew gum and walk at the same time, but they can’t do two or more thinking tasks simultaneously.”

Mr. Robinson writes that “Human brains come equipped with two kinds of attention: involuntary and voluntary. Involuntary attention, designed to be on the watch for threats to survival, is triggered by outside stimuli–what grabs you. It’s automatically rattled by the workday cacophony of rings, pings and buzzes that are turning jobs into an electronic game of Whac-a-Mole. Voluntary attention is the ability to concentrate on a chosen task.”

Mr. Robinson goes on to say, “As workers’ attention spans are whipsawed by interruptions, something insidious happens in the brain: Interruptions erode an area called effortful control and with it the ability to regulate attention. In other words, the more you check your messages, the more you feel the need to check them–an urge familiar to BlackBerry or iPhone users.”

This is another way (an excellent one) of describing what you and I been talking about in this blog.

Now the subhead of the article says, “The research is overwhelming. Constant e-mail interruptions make you less productive, less creative and–if you’re e-mailing when you’re doing something else–just plain dumb.”

I mention the subhead because the Entrepreneur Magazine article continues with many more paragraphs containing much more documentation about the dangers we’ve been talking about.

I endorse the article and I suggest you check it out.

Meanwhile, I’m now repeating several different suggestions I’ve made in previous posts on this blog. They are:

1) Prioritize your tasks. (If you prioritize properly, there’s no need to multitask, 2) Set deadlines for each task — in advance, 3) Schedule specific times for checking and returning e-mail, 4) Multitask only with low-level activities such as listening to CDs while exercising and watching TV when cooking.

How do you feel about this? Please leave your comments here.