Archive for the ‘Time Management’ Category

The Man Who Chases Two Rabbits Catches None

On the June 18, 2010 edition of The American Entrepreneur radio show, Ron Morris talked with Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh.  One topic of conversation was poker and the parallels that Tony drew between it and business (and life).  This is the gist of Tony’s comments…

In poker: if you never lose a hand it probably means you’re not playing enough hands.  If you only play the safe hands, then yes, you won’t lose a lot, but you also won’t win a lot.

In business (and life): you have to be willing to take risks and make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.

The opposite of these two statements are also true:

In poker: if you play every single hand, you’ll actually, in terms of number of hands, win more than anyone else, but in terms of actual money you make at the end of the night, it’s going to be a lot less and in many cases you’ll end up losing money because you’re playing too many hands.

In business (and life): often times the hardest part is saying no to opportunities, that are still good opportunities, but if you try to do too many things you’re going to end up not doing any of them well.

Ron follows Tony’s comments by mentioning an old Chinese/Russian proverb: the man who chases two rabbits catches none.

What all of this really translates to is how well you manage/spend your time and how focused you are on your goals.  It’s something you’ve all battled with at some point.  What eliminates this problem is a clearly defined vision and a clearly defined focus.  There are a ton of opportunities out there but unless it fits into the life that you want, it’s a waste of your time and energy.  Realize that no matter who you are, you have the same amount of time as everyone else.  That is a resource that is non-renewable.  Can’t get it back.  Won’t get it back.  So you better start doing something meaningful with it.

Take a step back and look at your life from a bird’s-eye view.  Start thinking about your life like a business.  Where do you spend all of your time, energy and resources?  Like a business, you want to get the biggest return on your investment.  Be aware that if you try to do everything, you will likely end up doing everything average.  But also realize that if you don’t do anything, nothing will ever improve and you’ll probably not create any new opportunities in your life.

At some point in your life you will hear someone say that someone got “lucky” or they were at the “right place at the right time” but honestly that’s all a bunch of bullshit coming from someone who probably doesn’t do anything but sleep, go to work and watch television.  Instead, if you focus on doing things right and by maximizing your time, energy and resources you put yourself in the position to be “lucky” or to be at the “right place at the right time”.  Then you’ll realize that it has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with YOU and how good YOU are at choosing what rabbits to chase.

As a side note, Ron and Tony’s talk centered around Tony’s book Delivering Happiness – which I highly recommend you click on that link, buy it right now and then read it in the next week because it is a phenomenal story that everyone should hear.

Happy Wednesday!

(Chad)

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A Special Kind Of Unique

“In my honest opinion, success is about making your life a special version of unique that fits who you are, not what other people want you to be.”

Do you ever think about why you do the things you do?  Is it because you think they will make you more successful?  What does achieving higher levels of financial success really give you in the bigger picture of your life?  What does having a bigger, nicer or more expensive house really do for you?  Does having a new car make you more successful?  What do all these possessions mean?  Do they mean you are more successful?  Who’s standards are all these things being measured against?  Are they yours?  Do these belongings create a special version of unique in your life?

Ultimately, you have the choice to say what success means to you, and what you need to do to achieve it.  At the end of the day, the only person you have to answer to is yourself.  So have you ever asked if you are happy with what you are doing today to become successful?  If you’re not, what do you think you could do differently?  How do you think you could change the path you are on, to lead you to a place where you’re more successful?  Maybe change jobs?  Change cities?  Get rid of material possessions?  Buy more material possessions?  Have more?  Have less?  Have you ever asked yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing?

Mark Cuban is the author of the quote that started this post.  He tells you what his definition of success is: he’s trying to make his life a special version of unique that fits who he is.  How he does that is by asking himself a simple question to determine whether or not he will do something.  That question is, “when I hopefully turn 90, and look back at my life, would I regret having done it, or not having done it?”

Pretty simple.  But it can make your decision-making process much easier when deciding whether something fits into your life’s journey to success.  If you think it’s something you will regret not having done then maybe you should do it.  And if you think you might regret doing it, then you should probably trust that feeling and not do it.  Remember, every decision you make will, in some way, effect where your life takes you.  And also remember that you attract to yourself that which you are.  Keep that in mind when making decisions on your journey to success.  If you choose to take short cuts and try to cheat your way to success you will find yourself with everyone else who took that same path.  And you will realize that road is filled with many empty rewards.  But, if you choose to live a life where you hold high standards and always strive to do your best you will attract to yourself people of the same caliber.  In that respect, you will be given the opportunity to live in a world where everyone around is always doing their best.  Those are the people you want to share your life and success with.  That is the world in which you should want to live.

Today is unique for all of us in that we will never live this day again, so when you’re 90 what will you remember about it?

Happy Wednesday!

(Chad)

If Only You Had More Time…

You, like everyone else, are always trying to find more time.  More time to exercise.  More time to cook healthy food.  More time to relax.  More time to hang out with family and friends.  More time to travel.  More time to read.  More time to try new things.  The problem is there is no more time to find.  You only get 24 hours in a day.  No one can get around this – not even the wealthiest and most successful people in the world can buy more time.  Therefore, what you really need to do is learn how to maximize your time.  You need to learn how to prioritize things in your life so they allow you to live the life you want to lead.  And also, so they allow you to achieve the level of success to which you aspire.

Since I’m always looking for better ways to manage my time, and life, here’s a technique I recently came across for prioritizing your to-do list.  Now this assumes you have a to-do list, which whether you have it written down or not you still have one.  However, it just may be in your head with no formal organization.  Now is the time to get your to-do list out, and if you don’t have one you need to make one, then continue reading…

The following is compliments of John Maxwell.

1. Rate each task on your to-do list in terms of Importance:

Critical = 5 points
Necessary = 4 points
Important = 3 points
Helpful = 2 points
Marginal = 1 point

2. Now determine each task’s Urgency:

This month = 5 points
Next month = 4 points
This quarter = 3 points
Next quarter = 2 points
End of year = 1 point

3. Lastly, multiply the rate of Importance by the rate of Urgency:

Example: 5 (critical) x 4 (next month) = 20.

Now take the score for each task on your to-do list and reorder your list from highest to lowest using that score.  You will see all the things ordered on your list in a much more effective manner as opposed to putting 15 things on a to-do list and then starting at number one with no consideration for importance or urgency of the task.

What you may also find is that some things you are spending your time doing fall to the bottom of the list.  And the things that you have not had any time to do find their way to the top of your list because now you’re giving them the importance they deserve.  With exercises like these you will often notice the following:

  • You’re wasting your time doing things that are not important.
  • You have things on your to-do list that really never need to get done and can be taken off the list altogether.
  • You are ignoring, or putting off doing, the things that could make the biggest positive impact on your life.

This exercise will take ten minutes out of your day but could save you hours of time that are being spent on unimportant tasks.  So don’t let another day drift by without a plan to maximize your time.

Happy Wednesday!

(Chad)