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Time Management

Get it Done Thought of the Day: Spring into Action

When my mother, Auschwitz survivor was up against adversity she would say, "It's time to spring into action!"

That philosophy led to her and her sisters to escape a death march in January of 1945 and served her the rest of her life.


How to Create More Time

Everyone can use more time. The truth of it is, there is no time. There is only right here and "Now." When you woke up it was "Now." As you read this it is "Now." And in an hour it will still be "Now." In each precious moment of Now many things will ask for your attention. They will not all fit in the here and now. What you choose to allow in your Now quickly becomes your past. Success and fulfillment is making choices in your Now Moments that are based on your highest priorities. To create more time in your life the first step is finding out what you are "saying Yes to" in the Now moment. Because every time you are saying "Yes" to something in the here and now, you are also saying "No" to a whole lot more.

Without knowing your specific situation, I would say one of the two most important action steps that can be taken to be more organized and effective are clarifying values and doing a time log.

Download the complete Time Log PDF article here.

Download a Time Log spreadsheet here.

MyEvent Log, an iPhone app that you can use to do a time log.



Should People Wear Headphones at Work?

I was asked recently, "Should people be 'allowed' to wear headphones at work?"

I saw a study that found the average person in an open office environment gets interrupted every 9 minutes. If they are doing general office work it takes 3 minutes to recover from the interruption. Recover meaning getting back to what you are doing with the same level of focus.

Let's do the math. Every 9 minutes means 6 times an hour, multiplied by 3 minutes to recover means 18 minutes lost. But wait there's more. We haven't factored in the actual interruption. If by some miracle the interruption only lasted 2 minutes then that's 6 interruptions/hour multiplied by 2 minutes, equals 12 minutes. Add that to your 18 minutes recovery and you just lost 30 minutes.

But wait there's more. The 3 minute recovery was only for general office work. Editing complex documents or doing accounting took 30 minutes to get back to the same level of accuracy and focus. Computer programming took 60 minutes.

Some interruptions are actually work related and others are just blurting. Blurting is when people just spontaneously say stuff because it happens to cross their mind.
"Did you see that movie...."

"I gotta tell you this joke..."

So in answer to should people be able to use headphones at work, the answer is it depends on:

1. What they are working on and their primary responsibility. Not for your receptionist.

2. Who are your co-workers. If you sit next to a blurter it's a must.



Preserving Memories Without Clutter

Those of you who receive my e-article series have seen the article on de-cluttering and how it can free your energy and give you back more time. Here is a tip sent in by a reader of how she preserves memories without the clutter. "I read the article on De-Clutter. I was amazed that most of what you suggested I have already been doing through the year's. Before giving anything away that has been of sentimental value or an item that had a special purpose in my life, I take a photograph of the item, let it go and place the photo in an album. Months or year's later visiting the albums, I get much joy looking at "things" that were a part of my life during that period."  Barbara Cumberland, Pinehurst, N.C.

If you do not receive the article series you can subscribe to it here.



What are the top 5 mistakes managers make?

I was recently asked what the top 5 mistakes managers make. I think they all relate to meetings.

I ask you, how much of your time in meetings is really well used given the other priorities. My brother-in-law told me recently he spends the whole Monday in meetings and does absolutely nothing that brings revenue to the company or serves the customer.

So I would say the top 5 mistakes managers make all relate to letting meetings run them, instead of them running meetings.

1- Questioning the necessity of meetings that have been around forever. When people are at a meeting they are not doing a million other things. Time/Benefit of bringing people together must always be questioned.

2- No speaking order at a meeting. You need a speaking order otherwise the assertive personalities will dominate and the passive people drop out. Your eyes see from two different points of view and when your brain puts them together you see there dimensions. To have holographic thinking at a meeting requires everyone's participation.

3- No time limit for speaking at a meeting. A time limit needs to be established for any one moment addressing the group. Two minutes at the most. Otherwise some people will go on and on and on saying what they already said.

4- No visual recording of people's thoughts. Visual means you can see it. Everyone's point when speaking should be recorded on a flip chart or computer hooked up to a monitor. The difference between visual communication and auditory is visual remains over time and you can see totality.

5- No agenda. Everyone needs to know the agenda and each agenda item should tell the participant what is expected of them.

For more on this subscribe to my articles and the first two you will immediately receive are: "The Meeting Magic Process" and "The Art of the Agenda". You can get those here:

Also for tips specifically related to conference calls I refer you here:



To Do or Not to Do

I have some motivational signs posted in my office, mostly to do with focus and belief. I shared the Rule of Acquisition #173 in the last post. Here is another favorite of mine that most visitors to my office seem to gravitate to: