Here’s your most important investment advice

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Planning, Self-management, Time management, Time management/Self-management on August 25, 2014 by Chuc Barnes

BillfoldWhen consulting with a client this morning, he said, “Chuc, you keep talking about time as if it’s an investment. Why do you do that?”

My response is that you only have four things you can invest every single day: time, money, energy, and creativity. All four of these are important, yet if you only invest money, you won’t have much of a life. If you only invest your energy, you’re going to get worn out. And, if you only invest your creativity, you’ll keep creating and never get anything done.

When you think of time as an investment, you’ll realize it’s your most precious asset. And when invested in your priorities, time is the one commodity that will help you get a return on the other three and thereby make all your Minutes Count.

Does this ring true to you? Leave your thoughts and comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

How To Hire Someone To Help You Save Time and Get More Done!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 16, 2014 by Chuc Barnes

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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.

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.

You won’t find time. You need to make time.

Posted in Balance, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Time management, Time management/Self-management on March 16, 2014 by Chuc Barnes

CalendarWhen speaking at the University of Maryland (UMBC) for a truly great audience, by the way, several listeners 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 finalize my third book (which is now almost complete). That is a priority for me so I’ve got to make time to complete the 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?

Take time to smell the flowers.

Posted in Balance, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Time management, Time management/Self-management on February 25, 2014 by Chuc Barnes

FlowersI met a terrific man this week. While working on the job, he is being treated for cancer.

I wrote my new friend to tell him I enjoyed meeting him and he just sent me the following e-mail that I’m sharing here because of the helpful, sensible observation he makes:

“Some people think it is odd when I tell them that the cancer was a great gift. It forced me to stop and look at life and make a determination on what is important and what isn’t. Some people go through their entire life never doing this. I was forced to do it at 51 and while you would never wish cancer on anyone I do wish more people understood how many things in life are petty and unimportant and how lucky they are to receive the chance to live each day.”

My new friend is absolutely right. Being a cancer survivor myself, I don’t want anyone to get cancer. I do think it’s important for all of us – just as my friend says so articulately — to stop and think about how lucky we are to live each day.

Make sense to you?

Doublecheck your New Year’s Resolution

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Time management, Time management/Self-management on January 7, 2014 by Chuc Barnes

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It’s now early January when most people notice they broke the resolution they made for 2014 and they say “Well, I broke the resolution, so I’ll wait until 2015 to try this resolution again.”

Suggestion: If you’ve broken the resolution you made for 2014 (or perhaps you’ve been thinking about breaking it), change your timing. In other words, instead of waiting until 2015 to declare the 2014 resolution again, make your resolution for next Week. Thus, one week from now you can see how you’re doing again and, if need be, you can then adjust your resolution for the following Week.

You’ll find you’re better off setting weekly goals than yearly resolutions because you’ll then have 52 new weeks to readjust rather than only one New Years day.

This change in thinking will help you and it makes sense doesn’t it?