Posts belonging to Category Time Management Tips

Time is Not Free –

time machine

Time is Free – really???

A comment was made recently on social media that “time is free”.  I was stunned!  It shocked my brain!  Time is free!  How would anyone come to that conclusion?

I’ve been wondering why so many people are quite nonchalant about time management.  It dawned on me it’s likely because time is simply not valued – the prevalent thinking out there is that “time is free” – an attitude which may explain many things about people’s lives.

It’s perhaps why so many people live lives of quiet desperation or lack consciousness about their lives because a fundamental principle is missing – time is your life – are you not valuing your life?

Your life is not free either.  Every single second you spend either enhances your life or doesn’t and it’s costing the earth a lot – the food you consume, society’s resources to grow that food, the oxygen you breath, the space you consume, the raw resources used to provide clothing and transportation, etc – being alive is expensive to the earth and society!

Time is Money

Let’s put time into terms that most people will understand – earned money!  Let’s see, Stephen J. Hemsley of United Health Group earned $101.96 million plus owns $111.4 million.  How much tv do you think he watched climbing to that height of earning power?  That’s around $8.5 million per month,  $4,408.70  per working hour (based on 1928 hours of work, $73.48 per minute.  How do you think he looks at time?  Do you think he believes that “time is free”?  Of course not!  Time is extremely valuable.

Most wealthy people understand that time is money – literally – every second they spend in their work is “managed” for the greatest return on investment.

They invest their time into activities which afford them the greatest return – that’s money.  What activities do you think that might be?  Do you think it might involve watching tv every night or playing video games?

Time is Relationships

Okay, so money is not your bag.  Let’s think about people who are family oriented – they value family and their world consists of being totally and absolutely involved with family members.  What are they earning?  Love, caring, support – a whole host of important factors in that persons life.  They are involved in order to get what they want from the relationships they value.  They earn enough money to care for their families well but the majority of the time is spent working on the relationships.  Is time free?  Again, it has a price.

What if they said they said their most valuable asset was family but they spent all their time working?  Would that make sense? Would they get the return they claim they desire?

Tangible or not, time has a price.

What are your actions and words saying about your attitude towards time?

Without timeapple pie, there is nothing – a void – nothing exists.  Like Carl Sagan said –  to bake an apple pie, you need to create a universe first – think about it.  If the universe didn’t exist, the earth wouldn’t exist.  If the earth didn’t exist, then there would be no animals or plants or rain or people – there would be nothing with which to bake an apple pie and no one to figure it out.

How are you building your universe?

Time is not free – it’s a resource, a tool, for which you pay a dear price if you don’t use it to achieve your goals.  For instance, if you have always wanted to be president of the company but you spend as much time away from work as possible, you don’t network, you won’t get the degrees needed in your particular company or don’t do the type of work which may get you the top job, then your time is costing you a great deal – you’re missing out on the multi-million dollar salary and benefit package of being president!  In accounting it’s called a loss – you’re in the red until you get to be president – in Stephen Helmsley’s case, you’d be losing $73.48 every minute of every working day (less what you’re making now, of  course – how much is that?)!

Think about how your attitude towards time – it may just surprise you!

Lorraine Arams
coming soon – program to set you on course!



Why Do Most People Hate Time Management?

whyWhat Exists

There are thousands of pages written about time management – books, reports, articles, and now, of course, time management is on video.  There are hundreds of people giving time management workshops every year and yet . . .  people generally avoid the whole idea of even implementing the slightest technique into their world.


Because like going to the dentist, you know you should but you don’t want to and you don’t like it.  You don’t want to feel restricted and likely don’t want to change either.



Is There Anyone Who Doesn’t See It That Way?

Yes.  Many.

People who are inclined to very precise work such as accountants, researchers, organizers, certain types of managers, military, teachers, etc.  There are many, many people who will take time management courses and apply the principles to the letter.  That’s the way they are.  But, the majority of the people don’t think that way and time management seems like drudgery than a solution.

There’s a second reason – the particular time management system they’ve adopted fits.  It fits what they do, their lives.

Not every time management system fits everyone.

Is There Another Viewpoint?

Time management is never associated with fun – it’s always associated with getting more out of us rather than giving us something – higher productivity, scheduling, prioritizing, planning, etc. Yuck! Who wants to be caged?  By the time you’re finished planning, prioritizing and scheduling, the day is over and your work is still to be done!

Our resistance is based on our psychological need to be free and our need to have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

Time management is most always presented as restrictive – an invisible jail cell!

Actually, time management can free you to have more fun, more money, greater success in relationships and more “kick the can” type of days.

Why Don’t We Use It at Work?

Because work takes up 8 hours a day not counting the commute.  Whether you’re efficient or not with your time is irrelevant.  You have to stay at work for the prescribed time set by your employer.  So why bother being efficient and effective — if you finish your work early, you still have to sit there until the end of the day.

So, people get into bad habits because time management really doesn’t matter.  They meet the deadlines but stretch the work to meet those deadlines.   Everyone stays at work between such and such hours and that’s it, effective or not.

Your Other Life

But . . . .  you have another life . . . . outside of work.  And this is where time management can really put a “zing” into your life!  You’d love it if you could see the reward – fill your life with satisfaction, fun, and making it count.  If you were effective and efficient in personal life, imagine what you could do.  All you need do is have a conscious view of how to spend your time.  It’ll make you happy where it counts!

So think of time management, not by thinking how much more work you can fit into your day, but how much more fun! jump for joy

Lorraine Arams


To Gossip or Not to Gossip – At Work

The Grapevine

People love to watch other people.  People love to share.

Gossip is one of those moments of sharing – usually about something naughty that someone else has done or some dire news.

They call it the “grapevine”.  One person tells another who tells another and so on.  Of course, we know that the story gets distorted along the way.

“John saw the boss out with someone other than his wife on Saturday night.  Looked pretty cozy.”

“Carol got into a lot of trouble with Joan.  They started to fight in front of the boss and the boss told them they had to both shape up or ship out.  Carol said that she was looking for another job.”

“Did you hear that Bob and Joan are having an affair.  Policy says they shouldn’t but they don’t care.  They are anyway.  I saw them kissing in Bob’s car at lunch.”

“Did you hear that the Jenn’s entire department is getting axed?  I wonder what brought that on.”

Should You or Shouldn’t You Participate in Gossip?

One the one hand, it’s “news”, on the other hand, it’s hearsay.  Sometimes gossip may be true and sometimes it’s totally false.

It could be that the boss was out with his niece from out of town and there was only a small table available.  The kiss Joan gave Bob was on the cheek thanking him for help, and Jenn’s department is being moved to another part of the building to be closer to a team they work closely with.  It could be that Joan and Carol are both spirited and passionate resulting in passionate outbursts – neither are looking for a job.  Carol was talking about something else entirely.

Gossiping is Big Business – Men, Women and Children all do it!

People Magazine and other such magazines have created a huge empire gossiping.  Writers creating “society” columns are gossiping.  Gossip is a great social activity – everyone loves it and everyone does it – everyone.  The moment you utter someone’s name and something they did to another individual, you’re gossiping – men do it – women do it – children do it – it’s part of the social fabric.

BUT  . . . .  at work, it can get you into some very serious trouble. 


Work is the way you earn your money so you can live – shelter, food and clothing.  Gossip can get you fired – at the very least, it can create alienation either for you or someone else.

Don’t do it – it’s not worth it just to feel that you are “being part of the gang”.

What do you do instead?

Listen.  Don’t participate.  Don’t even offer an opinion – no matter what opinion you offer, it will go against you.  And whatever you do, don’t start a thread of gossip either.  Talk about the weather, the latest in sports or about some activity you are involved in – find topics outside of work if you want to network on the inside.

Outside of Workplace

AND whatever you do, do not pass on the gossip outside of work.  You never know who knows who and you could seriously damage a relationship.  For instance, you know Nancy from JVC company.  You’ve known Nancy for some time and meet up often for a drink after work.  You tell Nancy about the latest scandal at work and add your two cents worth to the story.  Little did you know that the person you were gossiping about was her uncle!!!  Oh, no!  She’s offended by what you said – relationship over!

If you must gossip, keep your work out of it – totally.  Remember, work is the means by which you earn money to meet your needs and want –  keep the stream of income flowing! Don’t do anything which jeopardizes that income no matter how innocent it may seem at the time!

Lorraine Arams
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How Can Time Management Be Extreme?

Extreme Time Management

– I thought you might be interested in reading this article about time management – some interesting comments and twists.

Look how easy it is to set priorities and support those priorities with action.  This is one of the simplest approaches I have found – with time, waste as little as possible and this quick approach crystallizes quickly what’s most important to get done.

And the tasks – so many of us simply don’t realize that we don’t have to do many tasks we “think” we need to be done or done by us – often, others can do them.  In some cases, there are no ramifications from not doing certain things.

Best of all – honor your time – we most often take time for granted – what do you think?


7 rules of extreme time management



In today’s business world, the old time management techniques are no longer enough. With the increasing pace of change, the pressures of downsizing and the growing expectation of instant communication and fast responsiveness, the tools and practices you used to manage your time are outdated. Here are seven rules for extreme time management that will put you back in control of your time and your life.

I. Know Why You’re Changing

What’s the first step in seizing control of our time? According to Brenda Buratti of Right Now Communications, who helps CEOs achieve “Extreme time management for a 26/7 world,” you first have to know why you’re trying to make the change.

Our time management habits are habits — and habits change only with difficulty. You’ll be much more effective when you have a powerful “why” — say, wanting to see your own kids as they’re growing up — to keep you going.

II. Keep a Time Log – and Analyze It

Once you know why you’re changing, you have to get off of auto-pilot and become “mindful.” Habits are “automatic behaviors” and cost almost nothing in terms of willpower or attention. (That’s why good habits are such allies, and why bad habits are so insidious.) Most of us allocate our time without really noticing it, and we are terrible at accounting for where our time really went. So, “write down everything,” says Brenda. “Every minute counts. Sometimes increasing your efficiency comes from finding five, five-minute segments that you can re-purpose.” You must keep the time log in real-time, as you go through your day. Don’t try to fill it in once every couple of hours based on your memory of what you did — really track where every minute goes.

Once you’ve kept the log for at least a few days, Brenda suggests you look for “unique time wasters” — the most common and wasteful are:

Ineffective Meetings


Low-Value Tasks

Bad Email Discipline (see separate article here)

Executives hate many of their meetings, and no wonder. Too many are poorly run, go too long and result in neither decisions nor actions. (Learn how to make your meetings more effective.)

If your meetings are like this; get out of them or change them.

Interruptions are remarkably destructive of effective work. If you get a five minute interruption, log it. When your log reveals you’re having ten of those a day, you’re starting to see what’s stealing your time.

III. Ask the “Four Vital Questions”

Brenda recommends asking yourself these “Four Vital Questions”:

What are your top priorities? (Often our tasks and time-use habits still support last year’s priorities.)

What’s the best use of your time to support those priorities? (De-prioritize the tasks that support low-priority goals.)

What are your truly vital tasks — the ones that only you can do? (Newly promoted executives are notorious for holding on to old tasks they should no longer be doing.)

What’s changing in your world that affects how you spend your time? (The world is changing faster and faster — and your business has to respond, so you have to respond also. If you ever hear the words “because that’s the way we’ve always done it,” treat it as a red flag.)

Each of your answers reveals previously hidden opportunities to reclaim time.

IV. Eliminate Tasks

One interim CIO of my acquaintance, upon taking a new role, would turn off all reports coming out of the IT department. Then he would selectively turn back on only those reports that someone complained about not getting. Find a way to do something similar with your work.

As Marc Lesser puts it in his book, Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less, you really can eliminate a surprisingly large number of tasks, but you’ll never do it until you challenge yourself and challenge your process. People working on auto-pilot literally cannot do this.

Brenda had a client who was bitterly unhappy with her workload. Her time log revealed lots of trivial, almost clerical tasks. She literally didn’t realize until she saw it in her time log, how much non-management work she had taken on or retained. These were largely five to 15 minute tasks.

Next, the client delegated or just stopped doing these small tasks.

With Brenda’s coaching on this single area, this executive freed up nearly 10 hours a week.

V. Destroy Interruptions

The study of human effectiveness has found that any interruption will break your concentration, lowering your productivity for anywhere from five to 15 minutes. (The conceit of younger workers that they are good at “multi-tasking” is provably false — they’re no better at resisting the productivity-destroying effects of interruptions than their parents or grandparents.)

Brenda suggests: Turn off the email notification chime — that change alone can save you an hour a day.

Identify with the time log the interruptions — and the interruptors, the people — that are most frequently breaking into your concentration. For the people who need a lot of your face time, schedule that face time so they don’t need to interrupt you to get their needs met.

Some people have email chime, telephone calls, a chat window open and people dropping by. This combination of interruptions will chop up your attention and prevent you from gathering focus and being effective.

VI. Schedule Visioning and Strategy Time

Block out at least a half day each week to slow down and think about where you’re going. This is the most powerful time we may spend all week, yet it’s the first time we give up to do low-value high-urgency tasks.

VII. Honor Your Time

Time is the ultimate non-renewable resource. Honor it. Spend it on purpose. Nobody else will respect your time more than you do.

[Listen to my interview with Brenda Buratti here.]

Business consultant and author Tom Cox is a contributing columnist for Oregon Business



Lorraine Arams


Stand Up for Your Brain and Weight Loss

your brainStanding Up in a Sit Down World

I have attended workshops presented by Terry Small.  His focus is the health of the brain and his workshops definitely get the brain churning!  He recently had an article in one of his bulletins,  and I thought you might be interested in what he had to say.  Here is the article:
“Is sitting the new smoking?
The analogy may not be far-fetched. Scientists and medical experts believe that sitting is not great for you and your brain.
So many of us sit for long stretches at work and at school. And when we get home we sit some more. Prolonged sitting is bad for your health.
It’s not alarmist to say that all this sitting may be killing us. Research show that long bouts of sitting causes serious physiological responses related to chronic disease and a shortened life span. The University of Queensland found that people who stood up frequently had lower levels of C-reactive protein (a marker for blood fat). They also had smaller waistlines. It was the frequency of standing not the duration that counted.
One study found that a woman’s risk of developing metabolic syndrome increased 26% for every extra hour of sitting. Prolonged sitting in an upright position can strain your back resulting in chronic pain. Blood clots are another risk of being inactive.  None of this is good for your brain.
Periods of standing throughout the day can improve circulation, muscle tone, and vitality. Standing up benefits the lean and overweight alike. Standing up frequently keeps blood flowing free to your head.
I have been telling people in my live presentations for years that standing up is important for brain health. It is also important for for your heart. Remember….what’s good for your heart is good for your brain.
It seems that when you sit down your body pretty much stops working. You and your brain were meant to move. Consider:
  • Taking more short breaks to stand up and stretch (or to walk). Maybe set a timer.
  • Have your meetings standing up (you will save lots of time on this one).
  • Stand up when talking on the telephone (studies show you will be perceived as having a better attitude).
  • Consider a standing desk (or just raise your old one).
  • Set you office up so things aren’t within arm’s reach.
  • Read standing up (I do a lot of this). Plus, you will remember more.
Standing for just 2 hours during an average workday can burn an extra 280 calories. In a year, that might provide a weight loss of 20 pounds. Standing while you work improves concentration by increasing blood flow to the brain. Many who stand state that their thinking is clearer and they have an increased ability to pay attention and focus.
I think the key here is to be mindful and make standing up a habit. It just becomes who you are.
Congratulations on learning something about your brain today.”
Terry has some important information in here – both for the health of your brain but for your entire body as well – circulation is important to bring nutrients and oxygen to every part of your body.

If you would like to visit Terry’s site, here is the link – click here

Lorraine Arams

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