Archive for the Management Category

Here Are Some Ideas That’ll Help You Handle Your #1 Priority

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Time management, Time management/Self-management on November 18, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


Three 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.

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.

Trust Is A Time-saver & Broken Trust is A Time-waster.

Posted in Balance, Customer service, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Stress, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on October 14, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


Think about this for a moment.

The dictionary defines “Trust” as;
1. Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
2. Confident expectation of something; hope.
3. A person on whom or thing on which one relies: God is my trust.
4. The condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.

In the above definition note that “reliance, confidence, surety, and hope” are words used to describe trust.

Now realize how fortunate you are to be able to trust a partner, associate, teammate, service provider, friend, or family member. Notice how people you can trust actually save your time.

Now think about how you feel when you deal with people who can’t be trusted. For example, when someone says they’ll show up at specified time, and then they show up late. Is that trust? No, it’s a violation of trust and the violation wastes your time.

Perhaps you work with someone who tells you they will have a file ready for you on Monday, but they don’t have it for you on Monday. Doesn’t that lack of commitment on their part break trust and waste your time?

You don’t want that, do you?

I value TRUST very highly and I think most people do.

Here are two suggestions:

1) If you can’t arrive at the time you agreed, call before the agreed on time and tell the person when they can expect you. This will help change the expectation and it will help the other person make full use of their time.

2) If you can’t have a file or project ready when agreed, tell the other person in advance so a new time can be agreed on.

Life of course would be so very nice if everything always worked out perfectly. Life isn’t perfect, though. Changes occur constantly. That’s why it’s essential to respect other people by keeping commitments and letting them know–in advance–if you need to change a commitment. This then helps everyone get full use of his or her time.

As I said, I like dealing with people I know I can trust, and I’ll bet you feel the same way.

Do you trust me with this? Please put your comments here.

It’s essential to arrive on time–or early!

Posted in Balance, Customer service, Leadership, Management, Planning, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on September 16, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


Clients keep telling me how much frustration they have with other people who arrive late. They tell me they believe arriving late a sign of disrespect.

You have a right to your own view. And, yes there are a lot of obstacles that get in the way today of arriving on time.

Now think about a job interview. If the candidate you are scheduled to talk with shows up late, would their tardiness be something you’d consider? And suppose you want to purchase new insurance and the agent who says they will talk with you comes late, will that have an effect on your decision?

Now think how you feel when you are at the airport waiting at the gate so you can board your flight. It is time for the plane to board and suddenly, the gate agent tells you that your flight won’t even arrive for another hour. Do you now feel like the airline really cares about you and your schedule?

Entertainers and athletes know how important it is to arrive AHEAD of time. In fact, they say, “If you just show up on time, you are late.”

Suggestion: Whenever you make an appointment, determine not just when you need to arrive, but – more importantly – when you need to LEAVE so you can arrive on time. When you determine the time you need to leave, you’ll anticipate the probable obstacles – in advance. That will help.

Do you have an opinion? If so, please say so here.

It’s essential to “make time” for priorities!

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Time management, Time management/Self-management on August 27, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


When speaking for an excellent audience over the weekend, several people said they were having trouble finding time for key priorities and they asked for suggestions.

I explained that in today’s fast-paced, highly interruptible world, there’s only a glimmer of a chance that anyone can “find time” for anything. I suggested that, instead of trying to “find time, “ it’s important to “make time” for key priorities.

When suggesting this, I wasn’t trying to be cute or flippant (and I’m certainly not trying to do so right now). I’m absolutely serious.

Please permit me to illustrate what I mean by pointing out that I will never find time for my wife, even though I love her dearly. Too many
things will interfere.

My wife is a priority for me so I’ve got to make time for her.

I won’t find time for my kids, even though they are very, very special to me. They are priorities to me. Thus, I’ve got to make time for my kids.

I won’t find time to finish writing my third book (which is almost ready). That is a priority for me so I’ve got to make time to finish that book.

I’m suggesting that “making time” is actually a matter of scheduling time for key priorities, whereas “finding time” becomes an ongoing struggle to squeeze things in (and struggling is time waster and stress producer).

If you agree with me, you can see why it’s essential to – first, and always — know what your key priorities are! When you know what your priorities are (precisely) it becomes easier to schedule time for them.

Does this ring true to you?

Here are two questions that will help you and your team!

Posted in Customer service, Leadership, Management, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on July 7, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


When working with a large group of professionals last 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?

Here’s a simple way to deal with “overload” and stress.

Posted in Balance, Management, Self-management, Stress, Time management, Time management/Self-management on June 16, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


People keep telling me they are becoming more stressed because they are working longer and longer hours. Realizing this, I’d like to give you — and me — a quick reminder.

No matter what your spiritual path is, you’ll recall that God made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in all of them in six days, but God RESTED on the seventh day.

How long has it been since you rested?

Taking a day to rest each week is good advice. And this advice doesn’t come from me. It comes from a place that’s more insightful than I am.

I’m writing the advice here as a reminder for you – and for me.

Schedule your priorities — in advance!

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Time management, Time management/Self-management on May 27, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


When working with an audience today, an attendee said, “I keep prioritizing my schedule, yet new items keep showing up. What can I do to make it easier to squeeze the new items into my days?”

This is a typical concern for nearly everyone. If this is a concern for you, my suggestion is this:

Rather than continuing to prioritize your schedules, begin to schedule your priorities (in advance). Weekly schedules are best because you can then be certain that your weekly schedules include personal and professional priorities.

When you schedule priorities in advance (weekly), you’re making commitments to your known priorities by setting aside time to accomplish them. Thus, when new items appear, you can more easily determine the importance of the new items, compared to the importance of the priorities you have scheduled.

If the new items that show up are important to you, schedule them around your already scheduled priorities. If they aren’t as important as the priorities you have scheduled, you can more easily say “no” to them – or perhaps schedule them for a later time — because they conflict with the priorities you’ve already scheduled on your calendar.

Make minutes count in your presentations. Here are two suggestions:

Posted in Leadership, Management, Planning, Presenting, Time management, Time management/Self-management on April 22, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


1. Use stories and examples.

Stories are powerful. Think about the way a child listens with open eyes when you tell a story. The child becomes emotionally involved and pays close attention because he or she wants to know what’s going to happen next. You want the same thing to happen to your listeners, no matter whether they are adults or children.

Realizing this, make sure your entire presentation unfolds like a story. When you do this, you stir up interest for your audience — just like interest gets stirred up for a child. It makes your listeners want to keep listening to what you are saying.

2. Be certain the stories you use have messages or points that link to the ideas you talk about in your presentation.

Telling a story simply for the sake of telling a story detracts from your presentation. Be sure the stories you tell illustrate the points you deliver in your presentation.

For example, if you want to make the point that planning is important, you tell the story of Jack and Jill going up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Following the story, you might say, “Jack and Jill came tumbling down because they were unprepared. We want to prevent that from happening to us by preparing carefully for this project.”

Notice that I just used an example and a story in the above paragraph to encourage you to stay involved and pay attention to the point I’m making.

Many people say, “I can’t tell a story in my presentation because my listeners are business people. They want logic.” I say, “Stories create a sense of involvement for your listeners.”Stories create “movies in the mind” and connect logically and emotionally. Stories also make you — and the points you describe — unique.

Other people say, “Heck, Chuc, I can’t think of a story.” I say, “It’s a good idea to jot down stories when you see them on the job or in your personal life.”

Think with me for a moment. Maybe you see something funny happen at the airport, for example. Write it down. Now suppose something unusual or dramatic happens to you on the job or in your family, write it down.

Notice how I just used another example to keep you involved and deliver the point I’m making.

Professional speakers know that stories are difficult to remember when they are under pressure to create a new presentation, so they keep notebooks of stories. Whenever they see something funny or clever, they write the details in their notebook. Then, when they prepare a new presentation, they check their notebook for a story that helps them convey the point they want to make.

It’s a lot easier to come up with a “perfect” story for your presentation when you can choose from several in your notebook, rather than have to think of a story from scratch when you’re hurrying to create a presentation.

Now think of a presentation you have made to someone sometime in your life. Maybe it was something you told your family. What happened, good or bad? You now have another story. Write it down. Who knows? That story might help you illustrate a point in your next presentation. Then keep watching for stories you can use in your presentations.

In summary, be sure you keep your listeners involved in your presentations by using stories and examples. This will help you make the minutes count in your presentations.

If you want more suggestions, you’ll find 76 tips in my book, “Capture the Moment.”

Why not set up a family calendar?

Posted in Balance, Management, Organize, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on March 11, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


After speaking for a group of families at a nearby school, I was told by several parents that they love my suggestion to hold weekly family meetings where they (the parents and their kids) talk about all key events they plan to take care of in the upcoming week. I proposed that they schedule each family member’s major events on a calendar, which they put on the family refrigerator.

The parents told me they love this idea because it requires everyone in the family to listen to each other and to recognize each other’s priorities. They also said this helps them (the parents) see what kind of school assignments are coming due for their kids.

If you like this idea and perhaps want a good calendar, you can get a good, free, printable calendar of nearly any size at

Seem like a good idea to you? Please let me know.

Here’s a proven way to help you focus and get more done.

Posted in Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Time management, Time management/Self-management on January 28, 2013 by Chuc Barnes

Coffee Cup

Several days ago I met in a coffee shop with Kelly, a successful businesswoman. When we finished our conversation, I asked her where she was going for her next appointment and she said, “I’m staying here in the coffee shop to do some reading and thinking.” She then reached in her briefcase and pulled out several publications that she said she was planning to read.

I admired what Kelly said. Please permit me to explain more.

Several years ago Sam Horn, a professional who helps people with their creative skills, told several other professional speakers and me that we’d be smart to go to a coffee shop to work on any creative projects. She explained we would experience fewer distractions in the coffee shop than we do in our offices. She then pointed out that the world has changed so much that the din of noise in the background at the coffee shop would help us stay concentrated on the work we want to do.

I loved what Sam Horn told us and I began to tell other people.

My friend Kelly was not with me when Sam Horn offered her advice. Kelly simply discovered for herself that she’d be more focused in the coffee shop than in her office.

Now guess what? The opinions of Kelly and Sam Horn have been verified. The latest issues of two different magazines, Fast Company and Inc, have an article explaining that you are smart to work in a coffee shop rather than your office.

You can see the two articles at:

Fast Company:
Inc Magazine:

Suggestion: Take the advice of Kelly, Sam, Fast Company, Inc, and me and go to a coffee shop for your business planning and creative endeavors so you can focus and get more done.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?