Saturday, September 20, 2014


Okay, here we go with another bit of musing for you to consider.

I found this list of 8 habits of highly productive people a while ago and rather like it. I especially like Habit 1 and Habit 6 and 7. 

HABIT 1 says Ruthlessly Cut Away The Unimportant. Here we are asked to get rid of all the unimportant stuff in our lives, stuff that is in no way connected to our goals or to anything that matters.

So if we have a bunch of useless stuff around, well, why? What for? To frustrate us, 'cause that's what it sort of does.

Unimportant stuff takes up space, physical space. But even worse, it takes up mental space and then our thinking is impaired. Who wants that? We need all the mental space we can get - so unclutter we must.

What if you tossed out at least half of the useless stuff you have in your life and in your business? Just get rid of half. That's very liberating. You no longer have to look at it that stuff, move that stuff out of the way, or ever think about that stuff again. It's good riddance.

Now, Habit 6 says Optimize Time Pockets. And Habit 7 says Set Timelines. These are similar to another concept I like called TIME BOXING. Think of it as putting a clock in a box.

In Time Boxing, before you start a task or assignment you decide how long you will work on that, the time when you will actually start and the time when you will finish. You set a timer to beep you when you’ve reached the end of the Time Box.

Then the beep sounds you can stop and move onto something else like you intended. Or if need be, you can reset the Time Box and work on the task some more.

The benefit is obvious. You don’t get lost and work on something, maybe struggle with something for hours – then suddenly realize how much time you were engaged in the activity, perhaps to the determent of other things you had planned to do that day.

And even better, you no longer drive home feeling angry at yourself for “wasting” the whole day on something stupid.

So give these habits a try and see what happens.

Feel free to try the others too if you like ‘cause they’re all good.

And finally please remember this Big Fat Truth:

Nobody can go back to the beginning and make a brand new start. But anybody can start today and make a brand new ending.

If you like this Insight & Strategy stuff - and happen to own a small business - perhaps you would enjoy attending one of our monthly Master-Mind Alliance® meetings.

We're all about planning how to make businesses work better.

And in truth, there is never a good reason to avoid talking about making your business work better.

To attend - if you are in or near Eureka in Humboldt County, CA just call me at 707-268-8691. Or if you are in or near Chico in Butte County, CA just call Graham Skinner at 530-343-4012.

We have active programs in both locations - and like it says below, we have space for you to come see what we do.

Monday, September 1, 2014



This is so very true. If you simply repeat doing what does not now give you what you want, you will only keep getting what you are getting already, more of the same, that result you don’t like. In order to get something different, something hopefully better, you must steer your ship into uncharted territory. Might be scary - but how do you do that even though it is scary and even though you don’t know where to go or how to get there? Well, now you have an interesting problem.

You want something you do not have, and you do not know how to get it. So what’s the strategy for that? It cannot be trial and error, shoot a big gun and hope you hit what you want, because that will probably take a lot of time, waste a lot of resources unnecessarily and perhaps never get you what you want.

Here’s what to do. ASK FOR HELP. That’s right. It’s like the guy who spends all afternoon driving around looking for a street he’s not been on before when if he’d just stopped to ask someone for directions he’d have arrived at his destination in a few minutes. But he doesn’t because he’s reluctant to ask for help. What’s wrong with him? What keeps him from asking for help? Is it fear of feeling embarrassed, admitting he’s lost, what?

The answer to this conundrum is irrelevant; it really does not matter why he does not ask. What matters is how long does the guy wish to stay lost? And what if he never gets to his destination, what are the consequences of that outcome? If he really wants to get to his destination, sooner or later he will have to suck it up and ask for help.

It’s the same for each of us. When we are well and truly stuck, do not know what to do, we must ask for help. And helpful input is always out there somewhere. No matter what the issue, someone has faced something like it before and resolved it. Thirty some years of facilitating the Master-Mind Alliance® has proved over and over again to me the truth of this fact. There are very few completely unsolvable business problems.

No matter how weird or strange an issue or how pesky and seemingly unresolvable a problem, when a member presents it to the group for input - input flows - most of it helpful. Why does this work? Simple, the one thing you can never give yourself is clear perspective. That must come from outside the inner loop from people who see things you cannot see. That's how asking for help - and getting it - works.

And embarrassment, I’ve never have a seen a business owner crushed with embarrassment for asking what he or she thought was a silly question.

Everyone gets stuck sometimes. Asking for help from helpful people helps. Offering fresh perspective from outside - this is what the Master-Mind Alliance® is all about.