Posts belonging to Category Time Management Tips

I’m Busy – You’re Busy – We’re All Busy – Are We?

I’m busy – you’re busy – we’re all busy – are common refrains these days.

Yet, when you really look at how people spend their time, there are gaps in that “story”.

Likely, what is closer to the truth is that people are not consciously thinking about how they spend their time.

Someone recently told me she was incredibly busy and, yet, a few minutes later told me how she watched that program on tv and that other program and another program and another program – how many hours was she spending watching tv every day? When I mentally calculated the number of hours she was watching tv – soaps, news and “fluff programs”, it was amazing. She was convinced, however, that she didn’t have enough time to do what she wanted to do.

How is your time being spent?   Where are you spending time which could be used to do other things you want to do more?  Habit is an odd thing – we get into the habit of using our time in some particular way – like Pavlov’s dog.  It never dawns on us to take that time doing something which is no longer serving our goals and replacing that time with activity which will get us what we want.

Tip:  Take a look at how you’re spending your time.  Are you delegating where you can?  Are you giving up activities which don’t serve you any longer?  Are you doing things because you’ve always done them – can they be replaced with something else?  I don’t know what the right question is for you, but I’m sure you’re getting the idea. 

I’m busy – you’re busy – we’re all busy – are we?  Take a conscious look at how you are using your time.

Lorraine Arams

Is It Time to Change Fundamentally?

Is it time to change fundamentally?  How do you know when that might be?  Should you effect change now or not?  Why are you changing?  What will the costs in time, money and energy?

When life goes sideways, we think we need to make a change.  Often, we have no idea what change we should make or how to go about making that change but we think fundamental change is the answer.  How do we know?

Solution?  Clarify and Understand. 

What’s the problem exactly?  Once the problem is clearly stated, preferably on “paper”, it is time to search.  Clarity leads to focus.  And hopefully, it also leads to open minds using eyes and ears to support an open mind.  And here’s a trick to clarify:

in 60 words or less describe the problem – not more than 60 words – if you can explain an issue in 60 words or less, you understand it and it will be crystal clear what the issue is

Does anything fundamental need to change or is it just a matter of finding a new approach?  Answers don’t always mean change; sometimes, it just means applying what you know in a different way but that’s not the same as change. For example, if you look at sports.  The game is the same.  The rules are the same.  But a new technique of accomplishing the same thing – one hand basketball shot as opposed to a two-handed approach to score – does not fundamentally change the game of basketball – it just adds another method by which a player scores.  The goal is to score and win.

Here is an example of change.  Coca Cola wanted to solve a problem.  What was the problem in the first place – did they know? 

They chose change.  So they brought in a new coke.  It bombed.  Coke lovers around the world wanted their “Classic Coke”, not the “New Coke”.  Obviously, the coke formula was not the problem – they still had plenty of people who drank Coke in the first place.

A fundamental change was not necessary.  

What were they trying to achieve?  Greater market share?  Adding to their line of products?  Retiring old products?  There were many other ways Coke could have achieved what they wanted without changing the fundamental formula of their product – more creative promotional ideas, maybe a new way of  communicating with the marketplace or hundreds of other “answers” as opposed to “change”.  It cost Coke plenty in so many ways to make an unnecessary change.

Fundamental change, therefore, is often unnecessary.  Stats and strategic planning and analysis and . . . . . all the other paraphernalia taught in high-priced universities and colleges cannot replace the ability to achieve clarity based on experience,  imagination and teamwork (education is a place to start, not a set pattern of making the right decisions).

There was someone in the Coca Cola company who was saying it was a bad idea to change fundamentally (there always is), but none of the decision-makers chose to listen to any argument against their “idea” – often that is the case. 

So, when there is a problem to solve:

  •  clarify the problem – know exactly what is to be resolved – it’ll save you a lot of money, energy and time in the long run
  • listen to all ideas – you never know who will be offering the best one
  • make the atmosphere safe to present contradicting opinions and consider every person’s opinion at all levels of the organization as a valid point of view – the one opinion disliked the most could be the key to resolving the issue – there is wisdom in every corner of an organization 
  • keep asking the most important questions of all:  Is fundamental change really necessary or is there something else we should be thinking about?

Lorraine Arams

How do you Cope When Your Head, Heart, Spirit & Stomach Compete for your Time


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Take Your Time and Learn Well

Take your time and learn well.  What do I mean by “take your time and learn well”? 

When you take your time to learn something new well the first time you come across the knowledge you want or need, it’ll save you time in the long run.  We sometimes want to learn things instantaneously because we need the information now. 

However, what happens is that the our eyes or ears may see or hear quickly but our brain needs time to process. 

We all know that we learn best when we are relaxed and focused. 

Today, we feel that because we can access information quickly on the internet, the learning should come quickly too.  It doesn’t.  Humans haven’t changed despite the fact the internet has provided the incredible tool for searching and finding data and other learning opportunities.

The tendency, therefore, is for all of us to rush through the learning process.  We feel frustrated when we can’t seem “to get it” now. 

We need to slow down, calm ourselves and understand that absorbing new knowledge takes time.  We will save ourselves a lot of time by not having to go over the material again and again if we just relax and focus the first time.  If we need a review, it will be just that – a review – not a full re-learn every single time.

So, when we take our time and learn well, we save ourselves time in the long run, reduce our stress, and absorb material much better without full repeated learning sessions. 

A tip:  if you are using the internet to learn a skill, use 2 computer screens – one to watch the skill being demonstrated and the other to take the steps shown as the instructions is presented.  This interactive learning really helps retain the knowledge.

Lorraine Arams

How Sleeping Saves You Time and Money

Sleeping!  Isn’t it great!  But how does sleeping save you time and money?  It’s easy if you think about it.

Imagine a day when you wake up and you’ve had a good night’s sleep.  How do you feel?  Got that feeling?  Okay, imagine it’s 10:30 am now and you’re still full of energy.  Instead of coffee, you go outside and have a short walk.  Feels great, right?  Okay, it’s lunch hour – still feeling peppy?  And then afternoon break . . . what do you feel like doing?

Now imagine a day when you wake up and haven’t had enough sleep.  What do you reach for first?  Coffee – likely – then morning, lunch and afternoon breaks come along – what do you reach for?  Coffee or a power drink or a power bar – anything to give you energy! 

Compare the wide awake day with the sleepy day.  How much money have you spent during the sleepy day trying to stay awake and energized to get everything done?  Now imagine you’re sleep deprived most of the time – how much money are you spending trying to stay alert every week, every year?

Get it?  It takes a lot of money to stay sleep deprived.  Yet . . . sleeping is free!

Now think about something else – during sleep, your body and brain repair and rejuvenate.  What does that do?  It helps your immune system stay strong to prevent illness.  We all know what comes with illness – cost for medicine! 

Another cost which is more tragic is an accident.  Sleep deprived people often fall asleep at the wheel causing accidents.  What does an accident costs you?  You got it – money, time and, if you are injured, medical costs!

Interesting, huh?  I’m sure you can think of a ton of other costs which can be associated with not having enough sleep.  Imagine how much money you are saving every single year by sleeping enough!  Kaching!!!

Time – how does it save you time?  Think about wide awake day and sleepy day again.  How many times a day do you find yourself nodding off or re-reading things on the sleepy days?  Does everything you do take more time?  Of course.  Why?  Because you’re on slow-mo!  Without energy, your body and brain compensate by slowing you down.  You get at least a third to half less done in a day when you are sleep deprived depending on how much sleep you lack and for how long.

Convinced yet?  Are you convinced that it would be better time management to sleep as much as you need to every night rather than not?

Isn’t it easier just to sleep the 7, 8, 9 or more hours necessary?  And it’s free too!    Use a little time management – get to bed early – have a good night’s sleep every night!

And that’s how sleeping saves you time and money! It’s worth it – don’t you think?

Lorraine Arams



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