Archive for the Stress Category

Here’s your most important priority!

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Stress, Time management, Time management/Self-management on May 9, 2015 by Chuc Barnes


When working with a group yesterday, a woman asked me, “If you were to make just one suggestion to me, Chuc, what would it be?

My quick answer was: “Make time for you before you do anything else.” When I said this to the lady, she gave me a puzzled look because she was thinking about everything except herself.

Please realize that YOU are your #1 Priority.

It won’t do you any good to answer e-mail, handle interruptions, make phone calls, and check social networks if you aren’t healthy and sane.” Thus, be sure to schedule time for you – every single day — or you won’t get it. After all, you deserve health and sanity, don’t you?

Why don’t people listen today?

Posted in Balance, Customer service, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Presenting, Self-management, Stress, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on November 29, 2014 by Chuc Barnes


Can you remember when your mother spoke to you and said, “Listen to me.” Perhaps your mother even said, “Look at me when I’m talking to you.”

Your mom was not just teaching you a skill to use with her. She was teaching you a crucial skill to help you save time when dealing with other people too.

Karen Anderson is a friend of mine and a mom. She also is a teacher, speaker, and consultant. Karen constantly tells her students and clients that “good leaders LISTEN.”

I agree with Karen–and I agree with your mom. Good leaders listen!

Simply try to imagine how can you effectively lead a group in a meeting or any endeavor if you’re not listening to them and paying attention, not just to their words, but also to their body language?

As a former Marine, I can tell you first hand that a good leader, whether in battle or not, is constantly watching his or her team in order to “listen” to what’s going on. And when in battle, leaders and team members use signals so they can communicate without the enemy knowing what you’re saying.

This also is true in sports. When playing basketball or baseball, isn’t it true that players on a team receive messages from their coach from signals (a method of communicating and LISTENING) in the middle of a game?

OK, forget battle and sports for a moment. Think about yourself. Are you a good listener? Do you pay attention to what other people are thinking and saying?

Do you listen to what your customers are saying?

What about your friends? Do you actually listen to them?

And what about today’s politicians. Do they listen? If so, why do they have such low favorability ratings?

Realize that young people “listen” differently than you do. They communicate with friends by sending messages on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. (Text messages are enormously popular.) They therefore “listen” to words and they look at photos and videos. Thus, they don’t use much body language.

I’m writing this post right now to remind you, as the leader and self-manager that you are, that LISTENING is a crucial skill — a time-saving skill that too many people are overlooking today.

Do you agree with what I’m saying about listening being a time-saver? If you do, great! If you don’t, that’s OK. Either way, I’d like to “listen” to your opinion so please jot your comments here.

Set the plan for your life and enjoy the ride.

Posted in Balance, Management, Planning, Self-management, Stress, Time management, Time management/Self-management on May 22, 2014 by Chuc Barnes

CWBGrandCanyonIn previous posts in this blog I’ve explained that The Grand Canyon has been a big influence on my family and me. When friends notice this, they tell me about their experiences at The Grand Canyon. I love what they tell me, and many people give me ideas to share with you.

My friend, Cathy Newton, told me that she thought about what I’ve said about The Grand Canyon when listening to a speaker (Abraham-Hicks) who talks about the importance of living life so you’re “going with the river that’s moving downstream, rather than trying to fight the river and swim upstream.” Cathy then gave me a CD so I could hear the speaker for myself.

When I heard the  CD, I thought about The Grand Canyon too. I loved the thought and the metaphor.

I can tell you first hand that one thing you quickly notice when you’re riding down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is that the river is moving very, very fast while taking you over rocks, around bends, over falls, and into scores of dips. The energy and adventure of all this is very, very exciting; and it’s a joy and a thrill to move so quickly towards your goal

The ride is so exciting that you don’t want it to end. Please note the above picture and you’ll see what I mean. Energy is all around you.

I’m told that the river moves at 30 miles per hour in some places. Think about that! That’s a very strong current and it would be absolutely silly to try to swim upstream in the Colorado River.

Now please think about your life.

Are you following your life’s vision by setting up a plan that helps you move downstream with energy and a sense of adventure, or are you becoming absorbed so much with everyday activities that you’re getting stressed and worn out from your battle with the river?

Your answer of course is up to you, and my answer for me is up to me. I’m deciding to do a better job of going with the flow.

How do you feel about this? Please leave a comment here.

Your life is a lot like the Grand Canyon.

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Stress, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on April 14, 2014 by Chuc Barnes

CWBGrandCanyonI speak for a variety of audiences and last week I told a speaker friend, Marian Madonia, that I like to talk about The Grand Canyon in my keynote presentations because 1) even if people haven’t been to The Grand Canyon, they quickly relate to its enormous size, and 2) I love to hike and float through The Grand Canyon myself (as you know from the things we’ve discussed in this blog).

I told Marian that I enjoy saying to audiences that there’s no need to run at The Grand Canyon because wherever you are at The Grand Canyon, you’re already there.

Marian has a very fast mind and she immediately said, “Chuc, The Grand Canyon is a lot like your life. It’s right there for you to see and experience, but you can’t see it all.”

I loved what Marian said because in my way of thinking Marian is right.

Marian went on to say that lots of people spend lots of time focusing only on the steps they need to take and that, if you only focus on your steps at The Grand Canyon, you miss out on the big picture and the richness of the entire experience.

I loved that comment too because it also is true.

When hiking at The Grand Canyon, it of course is important to watch the steps you take because trails are steep, rocks are apt to be in the way, and you could even step in a hole or fall off the trail. What’s just as important, however, is not just to watch your steps, but to look around to enjoy and appreciate the beauty and vastness of the canyon.

Isn’t this also true of life? I think so.

The Grand Canyon is so beautiful, so awe-inspiring, so vast that you simply can’t see all of it in a moment. Even if you fly over The Grand Canyon, you can’t see the flowers, smell the fragrances, feel the temperature changes, examine the caves and ancient dwellings (See the photo at the top), and you certainly can’t experience the true depth of the canyon. It is simply too big to see it all at one time.

I propose that your life is mighty big too. I suggest that your life (just like mine) is right there in front of you and me to see, experience, and enjoy. And, if you agree with me, wouldn’t you say that it’s a good idea to make a plan for your life so you can follow the trail that takes you where you want to go? Likewise, wouldn’t you say that it seems silly and wasteful to do all the hurrying that everyone is doing? After all, why hurry when hurry makes you miss so much?

Everyone has their own perspective about the way they see The Grand Canyon and the way they see their life. For example, my sons and I were standing on the edge of the South Rim of the canyon and admiring the beautiful colors and formations when a bus full of tourists pulled up. The tourists got out of the bus to look at the canyon and my sons and I laughed when one man looked at the canyon and said, “Boy, that sure is a big hole. Ok, let’s go on to Vegas.”

Pretty funny.

I think planning is important, whether you’re exploring the canyon, traveling to Vegas, or trying to make the most of the minutes in your life. I think teamwork, scheduling steps at the right time, prioritizing and taking breaks are important too.

How about you? Do you have an opinion? If so, please share your thoughts here.

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.

How much time are you really losing?

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

aa020053There’s no question about the fact that you’re confronted today with more interruptions and last minutes schedule changes than ever before.

Just think the many interruptions you’re dealing with:

● text messages
● e-mails
● voice mails
● schedule changes
● emergency meetings
● people who leave unclear phone messages such as “give me a call”
● social networking
● waiting, etc.

Realizing that these interruptions are taking place, now ask yourself, “How much time am I losing from all of this?”

If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll discover you’re losing from 2 to 3 hours a day from your interruptions and schedule changes.

Now think how much this lost time totals.

Two hours a day times 5 days a week equals 10 hours a week of lost time. Ten hours a week times 4 weeks equals 40 hours a month (a full week). A full week a month times 12 months equals 1/4 of a year of wasted time. That’s a lot of time to be wasted: A full quarter of a year!

Suggestion #1: Compute your own lost time so you’ll realize how much it truly totals and thereby motivate yourself to plug some of these time wasters.

Suggestion #2: Set a personal goal to reduce your lost time by one hour a day. That can be accomplished by setting up strategies to deal with your most common interruptions.

We’ll talk about ways to deal with interruptions in future postings.

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.

Here’s a simple way to sleep better tonight and get more done tomorrow!

Posted in Balance, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Stress, Time management, Time management/Self-management on May 9, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


According to a study by the American Psychological Association, 48% of Americans can’t sleep at night and they lie in bed worrying about all the things they have to do. I’m not a physician or a psychologist, but if you’re in the 48% group, I do have a suggestion.

Rather than go to bed with a head full of worries, make a list of the action steps you’re going to take tomorrow to accomplish the priorities that will help you have a successful day. When you make your list, you’ll then be visualizing the actions you’ll take to achieve your goals, rather than worrying about not accomplishing them.

A good plan for tomorrow can be created in 10 minutes or less. That ten-minute time investment will help you see ways to accomplish your goals and just might help you fall asleep more easily. And – just as important — when you wake up, you’ll not only be more refreshed, you’ll know what steps you’re going to take to move yourself forward.

Are you worn out from all the interruptions and distractions?

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Stress, Time management, Time management/Self-management on September 24, 2012 by Chuc Barnes

A few years ago I bought the book, “CrazyBusy” which was written by Edward M. Hallowell, an MD who for years treated young people who had ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). He argues in his book that brain overload has reached the point where our entire society of suffering from culturally induced ADD and he points out that, because of BlackBerries, iPhones, and 24/7 e-mail, longer workdays, escalating demands, and higher expectations at home, we’re all now involved in a state of constant frenzy that is sapping us of creativity, humanity, mental well-being, and the ability to focus on what truly matters. I recommend this book and I want to draw your attention to this paragraph:

“Being too busy, which can seem necessary and unavoidable, can become a habit so entrenched that it leads you to postpone or cut short what really matters to you, making you a slave to a lifestyle you don’t like but can’t escape. You can be so busy,” Dr. Hallowell says, “that you don’t even take the time to decide what actually does matter most to you, let alone make the time to do it.”

I endorse the above paragraph 100%.

This is exactly what audiences and personal clients tell me about the challenges in their days. If you find this to be true for you, please look at Dr. Hallowell’s book and/or refer at the posts I’ve written in this blog. All of the previous posts – and those that follow – are intended to help you (and me) get more value for ourselves in these frantic, chaotic days.

Suggestion from me: Be sure to schedule personal time for you or you won’t get it.

Suggestion #2: Leave room in your schedule because surprises often can be more helpful than what you planned.

Does this make sense to you. Please leave your comments here.

Want help getting better organized?

Posted in Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Stress, Time management, Time management/Self-management on August 5, 2012 by Chuc Barnes

Whenever I speak for audiences about ways to make minutes count, I tell them about “Evernote.” Afterwards, audience members often ask me so many questions about Evernote that I decided to talk about it here in order to help you too.

First, please look around your office and notice what you see.

I’ll bet you see several piles of paper on or near your desk. I’m also willing to wager that you’re holding on to those papers because you consider them to be “priority” piles for you. Right? In other words, you believe in your heart that you are apt to need those papers sometime soon.

Now, please look at those papers again and realize that each one represents a decision for you. Correct? Thus, you’ve actually got piles of decisions near you. Right?

I call that stress. What do you call it?

Please realize that stress is a time waster.

Ok, now please recognize that the papers and piles on or near your desk are looking at you and constantly prioritizing you by saying “Look at me, Take care of me, Don’t forget me.”

That’s even more more stress for you, right?

Ok, I’m talking about all of this stress and distraction stuff because I want you to know you can save time and stress for yourself if you get and use Evernote (

Evernote is software that enables you to store all your notes, papers, and files in a cloud on the internet. It is so easy to use that you can easily sync your laptop, smartphone, Mac, or PC to it, enabling you to quickly get the exact paper you want.

Picture how much time you can save by not having to dig through those piles of paper on your desk. Simply use the “search” feature on your phone or computer and — bingo — you immediately get the paper you need right from Evernote.

Now picture how much better organized you’ll feel when you can get the exact paper you want wherever you are. Just think — you’ll no longer be prisoner of your desk!

I want you to know that I do not work for Evernote and I don’t get paid by Evernote. When I found that I could use Evernote on my Mac and my iPhone (both sync with Evernote beautifully), I began telling everyone about it because it helps me save time, and my mission is to help you make your minutes count too.

Questions or comments? Please put them here.