Mar 14, 2009

Find New Time - 7 Tips to Create a Transition Effectiveness Toolbox

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Time management tips can create transition effectiveness, and help you meet tough times with renewed confidence. What makes the difference between challenges you respond to with self-assurance and those that keep you paralyzed or sleepless at night?

Start with your own experience. Recall a transition, initially unwelcome, that led to your developing more competence and renewing your faith in yourself. Perhaps you lost your footing at first. How did you get back on your feet? What new skills did you develop?

Identify the constructive problem solving process. This is worth actively validating, because the benefits extend far beyond the initial challenge you have met. Transitional effectiveness is a lifelong gift. It will invigorate you, enhancing your overall productivity.

Transitional effectiveness is not a gene you either possess or lack. It is simply a set of basic tools you can acquire, practice and add to any time. Here are some of the most versatile tools you can utilize during tough times.

Do not be taken in by their apparent simplicity. Their power derives from consistent use. And you will enjoy the best results by incorporating them into your daily routine.

Your Transitional Tool Chest

Constructive self-talk

You always benefit by encouraging yourself. Become your own favorite coach as you assess and assign priorities, and fire the critic.


Let go of inessentials that drain your energy. Change requires resilience and foresight, so eliminate distractions. Encourage yourself to deal with uncomfortable tasks immediately. The peace of mind this brings translates into more energy for the remainder of your work.

Don't worry. Strategize instead.

Any time you catch yourself worrying, write down the realistic concern and commit to conducting a problem-solving session at a scheduled time. Then fully participate in your current moment. This, too, is an excellent energy recharger.

Cultivate the positive.

These 2 simple exercises provide immediate, dramatic benefits:

The Opening Door:

For every loss, there is a gain. What door opens when a current door closes? The more forward-looking you become, the more quickly you leave fear, self-pity and resentment behind. Write down the potential gains, filing your notes where you can easily access them. Refer to your Opening Door notes often. This helps you survey your options with curiosity, not fear.

The Gratitude Attitude:

Every day, first thing in the morning and before bedtime, list 3 things you are genuinely grateful for. Write them down and look at them. Reflect on which time choices contribute to these gifts.


Change pushes you outside your comfort zone. Rather than become rigid, encourage yourself to try new solutions.

However difficult your current situation, and however profound your losses, celebrate the resilience of your spirit. Your life is change, and always will be. Bring positive energy to transitions. It will always reward you richly.

So ask yourself: How can you start clarifying your priorities right now to find time for what matters the most to you?

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Shower Frequency

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Now, this may sound like a strange topic when you think about your work week ahead, today or tomorrow, your normal hygiene, but we run our lives around our current daily schedule and a shower is normally part of our every day life.

So, the bottom line question is... How Often Do We Really... Need... To Take A Shower...?

Well the answer lies in a self examination or question an answer session as it relates to our daily life...

Take the parts out of this discussion as it relates to you and use or just plain laugh at my experiences with body recognition as I have gone though life.

When I was growing up in the 30's, yes I said the 30's, I was 7 years old when 1940 came along, so I do have a bit of experience, mostly from Mom's ' kind of ' strict voice, "Take Your Bath Before You Go To Bed", god love her, she guided me through my fishing smells, my pulling weeds smells, my mowing the lawn smells, my spearing fish trips to the swamps or my working on every guys bike or car. I wasn't a bad little guy I just wasn't into the body washing routine as a way of life... Since then I've gone through cycles in showering.

I've developed a simple body odor test that works for me... It may work for you also... Instead of the sniff under the arm pit, which never looks too great if someone is watching, walk down a hallway, stop and turn around real quick, the smell you pick up is what YOU left behind...

Course, there can't be any windows open at the ends of the hallway. I thought I was OK for months till I realized I was smelling the good old outdoors, instead of me.

I know you'll be saying, "why not just shower every day" ? Well that's a good question and my only response is... Know how much time in your life you use, just to shower and to wash your hair each day...?

Say it takes you an hour to do that... 365 hours/year times 75 years equals 27,375 hours that I spent in the shower at my age now....

Divide that by 24 hours/day and it equals 1,141 days.

That's 3 & 1/8 years of my life...!!! Just spent in the shower...!!!

Gees Louise... That's a lot of time wasted in my lifetime, just to wash my body ...!

So, consider this, if I had switched to a:

shower twice a week, that's only 7800 hours or 325 days
shower once a week, that's only 3900 hours or 166 days...
shower once a month, that's only 900 hours or 38 days...

38 Days In a Lifetime Sounds Much Better Than 3 years...!!!

So... The moral of this story is... If You Want More Productive Time In Your Life...

Take Fewer Showers Or Shorter Ones...

Have a Great Future...

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Are You Worth It?

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Central to any appreciation of time management is a sound understanding of how to place a value on time. This is important for any undertaking, but is especially crucial for a small business.

Have you ever asked yourself this simply question - How much is my time worth? And if you do know - do your act upon it?

Without some means to measure, compare and decide between two (or more) ways to spend our time, we would never make any rational decision. In business the universally used means of comparison is of course money - is one activity likely to produce a higher monetary yield than another.

If you are employed the judgment is very straightforward. After adding in time taken in travelling to work and perhaps also "tied" hours, such as lunch breaks which cannot be used freely, the value you place upon that time must be less than the amount you are paid. You work only because you value the reward from doing so more than the time spent at work - otherwise why would you do it?

But it is not as simple as that. Most of us would feel that it would be unhealthy to place a value on all of our activities in this way. It would hardly benefit your relationships with your spouse/partner and children to devote time to them according to some idea of a how it looks in a profit and loss account. Yet in some ways that is not a bad analogy - "profit" (quality of family life) relies upon "investment" (time with family). We forego spending time at home with loved ones in order to earn a living. From this we learn learn something important - the value we place on our time is not a fixed figure - it shifts so that we may be comfortable working say 40 hours each week, but not 50 - even if the extra 10 hours would be paid at a higher rate.

The situation is further complicated if you run a small business. You may undertake a range of activities which reward at different rates and some which produce no income of themselves, but which are required in order to support other income generating activities. Now complicate the matter further and add to the mix the considerations I have explained about the value of work versus family time and it can be seen that placing a value on one's time is not easy for someone who runs a small, perhaps home base, business.

Many small business owners do not attempt this calculation, in fact many do not even know, with any degree of reasonable accuracy, the number of hours they work in their business. Without this data they cannot make any calculation about the value of their time. This calculation is very important for any business.

It is very important for any small business owner to keep an accurate record of the number of hours that is worked in their business, not just in terms of the total number, but also the pattern of the house worked, and on each major activity. By comparing this to net income figures (after deduction of expenses) it is a simple matter to arrive at average weekly, daily and hourly rates of earned income, and also the hourly income derived for each major activity.

Any small business owner should look to keep overheads to a minimum and stop doing what is of no real importance, and the immediate reaction to any suggestion to keep needless records should be resisted - but in this case this need not be costly, and the advantages will far outweigh the cost and effort. There is no need to be put off by this, records can be devised so that they require only a few minutes to each day.

This information should be at the heart of considerations about which activities to expand or drop and which to invest further effort in etc. But without information the temptation is simply to look at the profit and loss account. However these do not give enough detail to determine comparisons between activities in terms of the profit per hour. The small business owner may intuitively know this, but concrete information is more likely to encourage action.

For a larger business, the situation is not always as critical, a profitable activity can be retained whilst finding resources to expand others and then afterwards perhaps shift the focus of the business towards the more profitable. For a small business owner, there may be no option other than to choose between two activities - and may be the only way a business can be sustained or expanded.

In conclusion, in a small business knowing how time is spent and the value to place upon that time in terms of all and each activity is of fundamental importance to its survival and growth. Records to gather and compile this data can be can be maintained at minimal cost - and their value will far outweigh the time and effort to do so.

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