Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Value of Time

The other day while reflecting on things I wanted to do for the next year, I was reminded of simple business improvement calculations that I used in my younger days. The calculation is a simple one. The average person has available 450 minutes of work time in a day of which only 320 minutes is considered productive. This means we all waste about 130 minutes of time each work day; that’s two hours and ten minutes each day of complete and utter waste.

Some of us are more productive than others, others less so. At best, the value of productive time is likely in the neighborhood of 70% of the 320 productive minutes. So this means working really well, I’m only actually producing any value for about 224 minutes or just under four hours a day. So what happens to the remaining 3.5 hours a day? It’s wasted, each and every day for a working career of forty years. That‘s equivalent to less than four years of wasted time.

Thoughts of what to do for the year then turned to ‘how do I stop this blood-letting of wasted time?’ I began to ask myself what I would do with this extra time. Interestingly, working more was not at the top of my list. My revelation is that I’m not a workaholic! I work because I have to work and this saddens me. But, this reality is no reason I can’t ‘live.’

I realized that I can work more intelligently and not waste this time. To start, I looked at the time I spent in meetings. This for me is the biggest time sucking activity anyone could have invented. Seriously, think about it. How many meetings have you been to that have been useful and value added? Likely only ten minutes of a meeting was of value, the remainder complete waste. So reduce both the duration of meetings and the meetings themselves. Seek agendas and negotiate to arrive only when your topic is up. Think of what you could do with an extra four years in your life! I took a simple approach. I began requesting teleconference coordinates for meetings then I would call in, put my phone on mute, and read an online paper. I used this time for me. Slacker you say. On the contrary, I’m doing what you only dream of doing while you‘re suffering sitting around a table full of egocentric idiots. The point is that I focus my attention where it provides the greatest value during the meeting. I request my items at the front end of the meeting, do my spiel then refocus on me.

What are you doing with your time?

Feel free to share your answer in the comments.

Other Time Trading Gurus

Time

Shaun Rosenberg presents Why is Time Management Important? | Shaun Rosenberg posted at Shaun Rosenberg, saying, “This is an article about why time management is important and how you can start managing your time effectively and get more done.”

Nishadha presents 7 Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder posted at Creately Blog | Diagramming Articles and How to Draw Diagram Tips, saying, “Article covering how to avoid distractions and make the best use of your time”

Joe Marshall presents ABC’s Of Time Management posted at The Unlimited Project.

Josanne Anthony presents Time Management-Five Ways To Make More Time In Your Day posted at A Chocolate Bouquet, saying, “Five ways to make more time in your day.”

Flexibility

JJ Semple presents Kundalini and Pop Culture posted at The Kundalini Consortium, saying, “Dedicated to the scientific exploration of human energy potentialities, such as kundalini, Nirvikalpa, neuroplasticity, energy healing. How and why these biological phenomena function, their effect on the individual, and on individual and collective consciousness.”

Tricia Clark presents Health and Astrology posted at Your Chart, Illuminated, saying, “Becoming aware of self through the personal natal chart. Cutting corners to realize bad habits, trends and ruts in relationship, career, hobby, etc.”

Money

Peter Buscemi presents Leverage Marketing, Sales Development, Sales Enablement & Executives to Sell : Four Quadrant posted at Four Quadrant, saying, “Every company has a finite set of resources so it easy to understand why each functional area is usually at or near full capacity with Sales being no exception.Assume the sales pipeline has six primary phases that include: qualified opportunity, forecast, technical win, executive win, contracts and closed won.”

Shane presents Earn Money Online Fast Working Just A Couple Of Hours A Day posted at money-earning-online-income.com, saying, “Many people are looking for an opportunity to earn money online fast. There are actually many ways to do this, and with a little research most people can find something to match their skills and interests.”

Angela Giles presents How To Have YOUR Dream Income posted at Showcasing Women.

Cherry Liu presents 10 Blogs that Feature Tips for Saving Money on Your Heating Bill posted at House Sitting Jobs, saying, “Check out the following 10 blogs to get plenty of money saving tips just like these.”

John Schmoll presents Taking the Plunge: Budgeting and the Entrepreneur posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “Taking the Plunge into running your own business is not one that should be taken lightly. If you’re considering running your own business, make sure you have your budget in place beforehand.”

Denise Young presents 30 Blogs for Frugal Moms posted at Aupaire Saving money becomes even more important in a struggling economic climate than in less troubling times, and managing the expenses of running a household while making sure that everyone has everything they need can be a major challenge, even for thrifty moms.

DREAM Process

Art Of Girliness presents Your new success factors | Art of Girliness posted at Art of Girliness.

Lena Ameri presents How To Love Your Job…Even If You Hate It posted at Liveit! Magazine, saying, “Does your workweek drag on? Do you dread Mondays? Life shouldn’t be about living for the weekend. Here are 10 ideas to help make your job more enjoyable.”

Bachmozartium presents Success Essentials This New Year (1) posted at welcome to bachmozartium, saying, “Essential Success Tips this new year”

Rodney Maley presents 8 Little Ways to Add Variety to Your Life posted at Life-fficient.

Kathryn Johnson presents Make Small Commitments. Get Big Changes posted at Dig It!, saying, “43 life-changing tips for Taking Care of You, Your Outlook, Your Relationships and Your Life by Michael Dalton Johnson.”

What Does Money Mean?

We need money. We need money to pay bills and to buy things to live. However, most often we live beyond our means. If you can believe it, some 40-50% of American families are in this predicament. Money has become too easy to get. Yes, I said money is too easy to get. You can literally go into any bank, fill out a credit card application, and voila, you have an instant plastic ATM in your hands. I haven’t even mentioned the myriad of other credit cards available in the marketplace. This proliferation of cash availability has resulted in some dramatic cultural shifts since the 1900s. More often than not people overextend themselves while at the same time limiting all their money from one source, effectively putting all their eggs in one basket. As all good investors know, you must diversify your portfolio if you’re to mitigate the risk of return.

This is important for several reasons:

  1. If you lose your job, your income will be lower rather than eliminated.
  2. You’ll achieve your time trading dreams faster.
  3. You’ll gain greater flexibility and leverage in your life, as no one income stream will dictate your outcomes.

We, too, should treat our source of lively income generation no differently. We should diversify our income generation portfolio. Of course, most of us will have a primary source of income–our day job. However, it’s important to also establish other sources of revenue to support your revenue generation capacity. I’m not suggesting that people take on a second job. The last thing people need is more work to stress them out; rather, to establish self-generating income vehicles. This can include investments that pay a return to services and products that pay royalties. The key is to invest once in setting up a vehicle then letting the vehicle self-manage. Any income stream, no matter how small, is income! This can include things like drop shipping on ebay, become website affiliates, selling authored works, and so on. Don’t be fooled into believing that you need to put in place an income stream equal to your primary stream; this is not the goal. Change your perspective and you’ll realize that little things add up to a lot.

By generating multiple revenue streams, you’re able to make connections beyond your normal nine to five. You spread out your risk of lost revenue, but the key is to also live within your means, not fill the revenue stream void with expenditures. This diversity allows you to mentally change focus on “having” to work to “wanting” to work.

Are you ready to set up alternative revenue streams?

Feel free to share your answer in the comments.

Also, please visit Other Gurus to see what others are saying about their pursuits.

Reframing Flexibility

Who says you have to work nine to five? Who says you have to work five days a week? You can change these notions to mold your life’s experiences. Pull yourself out of your current reality. I know it’s hard, but the only way to accept new things is to challenge the way you’re being conditioned. Our work world is completely built around a nine to five work schedule with hoards of employees locked in their cubicles like barn yard animals in pens.

Getting off the work treadmill isn’t some faraway notion; it’s a reachable reality even as companies basically take from you as much as, and more, than you’re willing to give them. Even though, Amercians work more hours a year compared to most countries, Mexico, more so, and Canada, working slightly less, it’s still possible to change your approach. The life-balance varies from country to country, but it’s clear that we’re overworked. I don’t think anyone would disagree. What we can do is to learn from the cultural influences of such countries as the Netherlands, which seems to have found, against all pressure to change them, a recipe for balance that seems to be working.

It is indeed possible to change your normal. A book by Jacob Vossestein, Dealing with the Dutch, details how the Dutch have done just that. He explains that people in the Netherlands are highly sceptical of the hierarchical work environment and don’t envy those who climb its rank like Americans, Canadians, or Brits would, whose self-esteem is closely tied to work.

Incredibly, the Netherlands passed legislation that gives employees the right to modify their working hours. Organizations can only refuse based on the grounds of sound business reasons. What’s really cool is that this has resulted in some significant social changes that North Americans can only dream of. Survey after survey have shown that employee satisfaction has increased and companies, in turn, have increased their ability to attract and retain employees.

The funny thing is that as more people work part-time or reduced hours in the United States or Canada, eyes immediately turn to the economy and the naysayers begin to propagate lost full-time jobs and the failure of fiscal policy. We automatically equate this to external factors beyond the control of employees. Yet, in countries like the Netherlands, it’s seen as a conscious choice to seek a more balanced life. Sadly, we’ve become so engrained with the notion of the nine to five life that we instinctively accept the status quo.

If a country can change the notion of what’s considered normal, then surely we can change the notion of what ‘work’ means to us and how we want to achieve it.

Are you ready to embrace flexibility?

Feel free to share your answer in the comments.