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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Beginning to Answer Rhonda’s question…”About Time”

by Rick Baker
On Oct 26, 2010
Thank you for your question.
The quick answer is, “One must change the way one thinks about time”.
Time is a concept. Time is an underestimated abstraction.
Now, I recognize this sort of theoretical mumbo-jumbo will not be helpful so I will limit it [for now] and only make a few points. First, a century ago, Einstein altered the way Man considers time. The way Man viewed time before Einstein is an example of what I mean by an ’underestimated abstraction’. And, Einstein only scratched the surface of time…granted he made a huge scratch.
Here’s another point, not quite so theoretical: a person’s perception of time is influenced by many things.
Here are a few examples:
  • People facing imminent danger often experience time in slow motion
  • As we get older it seems time moves more quickly
  • When we enjoy experiences time moves quickly
  • When we are in pain time moves slowly
In the same way we can accept situations alter our perception of time, we can also accept our mind, the human brain, is a tool that links each human being to time.
Each of us has a unique personal relationship with time.
So, if we can change the way our brains work then we can change the way we perceive and experience time.
An example: if we accept people perceive time as if it were moving in slow motion when they experience extreme stress such as being robbed at gunpoint then is it possible those same people could create for themselves the same mindset without the extreme stress? The answer must be, Yes – that is possible.
Another point with practical value: I believe a person’s self-esteem influences the way that person experiences and uses time. The higher the person’s self-esteem the more effective the person’s time will be used.
So, the first practical thing one must do is work on maximizing one’s self-esteem.
Some successful people were born with a predisposition to possess high self-esteem. I am sure that has not been proven…but I believe it is true.
Other successful people learned how to maximize their self-esteem either unconsciously or through conscious effort. Again, I doubt this has been proven…but I believe it is true.
Regardless, each of us can work at maximizing our self-esteem.
Two more points:
  • Considering self-esteem, many human factors come into play: personal strengths, confidence, mood, vested interest, etc.
  • Some time-management gurus claim the act of employing personal time management has a very positive impact on one’s ‘mindset’…Brain Tracy, for example. Success at managing how one uses one’s time could tend to increase one’s self-esteem. Even if that isn’t true there are other benefits, which have been catalogued by the time-management gurus. So, Yes, for a number of reasons it is a good idea to commit to personal time management.
Time management is a misnomer. Better to approach this as ‘personal organization’.
Think about Napoleon Hill’s observation…when required to sum it up in one word he said successful men and women were ‘organized’. That is, successful people appeared to live organized lives.
I hope this helps.


Beyond Business | Hero Worship | I'm too busy! - I don't have time!

Sales Tweet #71

by Rick Baker
On Oct 25, 2010
Sales Tweet #71 Free up some time by improving your memory skills. CDs and books provide advice and memory exercises.
The Thinking Behind the Sales Tweet
In response to the Thought Post titled ‘Successful People Have More Time’, I am writing a series of Sales Tweets containing suggestions on how to make better use of that most-precious resource – Our Time. This Sales Tweets series is called “Free up some time”. Each tweet in the series starts with the words Free up some time…so this series of suggestions will stand out in the www.spiritedezine.com website. Note: I have avoided calling these ‘time-management’ suggestions. A more accurate description would be ‘action-management’ suggestions….or ‘thought-management’ suggestions. As the introduction - Free up some time – states, the suggestions are aimed at creating Good Habits that, at the end of the day, allow us to feel ‘WOW - that was a day well spent’. As the series progresses, I will begin to provide CD and book recommendations. A link to the ‘Successful People Have More Time’ Thought Post.


I'm too busy! - I don't have time! | Thought Tweets

Procrastinate For Success

by Rick Baker
On Oct 21, 2010
The first two, equally-important, Rules of Procrastination For Success are:
  • You must minimize, with a view to totally eliminating, the annoyance factor
    • for others and
    • for yourself
  • You must set aside the common wisdom of the time-management gurus and give yourself a fair 60-day trial period [including the time you feel you need to cover your procrastination].
Why these Rules of Procrastination For Success?
To Procrastinate For Success
  • You must not over-promise and under-deliver...that's poor form...that annoys other people and, because you have pride in your performance, it causes you to annoy yourself with anxiety or worry.
  • You can not stress yourself because that reduces your ability to be effective...you are a procrastinator or else you wouldn't be reading this. So, procrastination aligns with the natural state of your character and your talents. Don't fight procrastination. Make the most of it.
How does one go about Procrastinating For Success?
Action Steps to Procrastinate For Success
  1. First, spend some time every day telling yourself you Procrastinate For Success. Make that a daily affirmation...write it on a mirror, repeat it at least twice a day, say it, sing it with emotion, scream it from an open window - I procrastinate for success, I procrastinate for success, I procrastinate for success…
  2. Next, tell other people you procrastinate for success....tell your boss, tell your co-workers, tell your Clients...and explain to them how your acceptance of this fact will benefit one and all.
  3. Once you have completed those first 2 set-up-for-action steps Take Action. Take Action as follows:
    • First, immediately, drop every thing you are doing and finalize your To Do List:
      • Ensure your To Do List is complete
      • Force-rank your Most-Important work items: as you do the force-ranking consider the urgency of the work, consider the time required for each item, and set the limit for your total available time at 8 hours/week. This step creates your work plan.
    • Next, immediately following the setting of your work plan – Do Absolutely No Work…do nothing. This is a critical step. This is the procrastination step.
    • Then, when you hit the point where you must do the work under your procrastination plan, do that work at lightning speed, with laser-like focus, and with genius-like concentration.
Benefits of Procrastinating For Success
  1. It builds trust. And, trust is right up there with time - a truly precious commodity. Trust begins to build immediately because you will no longer feel the need to tell fibs about getting stuff done under unrealistic time lines.  Since you will be comfortable talking with others about your procrastination, your over-promising will stop, your on-time delivery will increase, and trust will build all around you.
  2. You will be aligned with rather than fight against (Pareto's) 80/20 Rule. Knowing and accepting 80% of your production must happen in 20% of your time, you will stop wasting the remaining 80% of your time thinking about, worrying about, and fighting the natural laws of the human condition, i.e., you will not struggle with procrastination. You will be a comfortable procrastinator and you will make the most of it.
  3. You will free up a huge amount of time. Embracing (Pareto’s) 80/20 Rule you will free up 32 hours of prime time per week. And, this freed-up time will be devoid of the problems linked to having to be productive.
  4. You will never complain about being too busy to do this or to do that because:
    • 80% of the time you will not be busy at all and everyone will know it so you will be very reluctant to claim otherwise
    • the other 20% of the time you will be far too busy to complain and everyone will know it so they will not lay trivial requests on you
On top of this, you will reduce your overall stress and, all else being equal, that will prolong your life so you will have even more time to Procrastinate For Success.


80/20 Rule | I'm too busy! - I don't have time! | Optimism & Pessimism | Solutions & Opportunities

For Fully-Productive Meetings

by Rick Baker
On Oct 20, 2010
From time to time it is good to check out expert advice for holding productive meetings.
Expert advice reminds us of the importance of controlling the meeting process and helps us set better meeting guidelines….this is about clarifying what you mean by Good Habits for Meetings.
To maximize meeting results, here’s what Brian Tracy recommends in his book, ‘Time Power”
7 Ways to Make Meetings More Efficient
  1. Is the meeting necessary, if not then don't have it. Consider alternatives to holding a meeting. Who should attend? - Only invite those people. And ask - is it necessary for me to attend?
  2. Have a written agenda for the meeting. Write out the purpose of the meeting. Send the agenda to participants at least 24 hours ahead.
  3. Start and stop on time. Don't wait for latecomers. Perhaps, lock the door from the inside so latecomers can not get in…this helps them develop self-discipline.
  4. Cover important items first. That way you ensure they get done.
  5. Summarize each conclusion.
  6. Assign specific responsibility for next action steps. Include deadlines for their completion.
  7. Send out meeting minutes shortly after the meeting.  This will confirm what action will be taken, who agreed to be responsible for taking that action, and when that action will be completed.

Successful People Have More Time

by Rick Baker
On Oct 12, 2010
A Sales Tweet* introduced this philosophy a few weeks ago…here it is:
Successful people pick up and return more phone calls. Don’t ignore successful people. Call one today.
Successful people have more time.
I observe many business people, some successful and some not-so-successful. Watching what they do and listening to what they say…it seems to me, successful people have more time.
Of course, that’s misstated: everyone knows each of has only 24 hours per day.
The fact is successful people use their time more efficiently and effectively and this is integral to their success.
So, from the observer’s perspective – it seems successful people have more time.
As examples:
  • Successful people tend to return phone calls far more often than not-so-successful people
  • Successful people tend to respond to email far more often than not-so-successful people
  • Successful people tend to have far more time to volunteer than not-so-successful people
  • Successful people tend to have far more time for diverse activities than not-so-successful people
  • Successful people tend to be far more curious than not-so-successful people
  • Successful people tend to be far more inclined to meet new people than not-so-successful people
And, when I ask successful people for help they tend to help.
So, I am convinced, “successful people have more time”.
In fact, I use this as a filter…my antennae go up when people tell me they are too busy to do this or to do that. It seems to me when a person says “I am too busy” that is a signal the person may have self-management difficulties…and those self-management difficulties could lead to not-so-successful performance.
I keep my eyes and ears open for “I am too busy” when I recruit and when I train people.
I also listen and watch for “I am too busy” when we select business allies.
As I watch and listen, I think successful people have more time.


Beyond Business | I'm too busy! - I don't have time!

CHANGING FOR THE BETTER: Good Habits, Bad Habits, & New Things - #11

by Rick Baker
On Sep 29, 2010
As mentioned in prior blogs, when you boil it down people only do 3 things:
  1. Good Habits,
  2. Bad Habits, &
  3. New Things.
At least, that's a simple way to sort out how our time is spent.
Many people believe they waste time. Many people feel they do not have enough time.
We feel time is precious and we are annoyed when we feel it is lost and wasted.
Many people consume even more time, stewing over the time they know they have wasted.
That means they must be troubled by their Bad Habits or by trying New Things that did not work.
Some expert advice should help reduce this problem.
Brian Tracy wrote a book, 'Time Power', to help people make the best use of their time.
Here are Brian Tracy’s 7 Action Exercises to Improve Your Time Management
  1. Select one area where you would like to improve your time management. Start to work on it immediately.
  2. Think back to a situation where you performed at your best. Replay this in your mind when you face new tasks.
  3. Talk to yourself positively all the time, repeating affirmations such as "I always use my time wisely".
  4. Imagine everyone around you is looking up to you as a role model for personal efficiency.
  5. Think about teaching a time-management course to your friends and colleagues. What would be the most important lessons?
  6. Think about the areas of your work that give you the most satisfaction and resolve to be even more productive in those areas.
  7. Resolve today to act to become one of the most efficient, effective, and productive people in your field. Take action immediately.
NOTE #1: Brian Tracy and other experts, for example Jim Estill, believe Time Management/Leadership is the key place to start to develop the skills a leader must possess to be successful. Brian Tracy states that clearly at the beginning of ‘Time Power’.
NOTE #2: All time management/leadership experts are emphatic about the value of setting clear Goals. I have never read expert advice stating we should not set clear Goals. Experts are saying we need to set clear Time Management/Leadership Goals.
NOTE #3: Experts have differing views on positive affirmations as described by Brian Tracy in Exercise #3 above, which overlaps other Exercises including #2 and #4, probably #5, maybe others. The value of positive affirmations is becoming a contentious topic.
  1. Brian Tracy link – http://www.briantracy.com
  2. Jim Estill link – http://www.jimestill.com

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