Friday, November 23, 2012

PROGNOSTICATION (Learn from TenaliRama)

When the Commander-in-chief of Vijaynagar State got a son, he invited the king, Maharaja Krishnadevrai and his entourage for a gala feast. The King readily accepted the invitation and promised to come at the appointed time.

Next day along with Tenalirama and other courtiers, the king reached the Commander's house. When they saw the baby the king opined: 'A very sweet baby! May he become as vigilant and brave as his father is!' Seeing the baby Tenali said: 'The boy is really very fortunate. When he grows up he would definitely outshine his father in every sphere!'

Tenali's this prognostication made the king ask him: 'How can you say with such certainty now, Tenali? Tenali: 'Maharaj! The promising children appear so even in the cradle. One can always prognosticate looking at one's basic property!'

Although the remark made by Tenali was forgotten by the king, the jealous courtiers again tried to pollute the king's mind against Tenali. They told the king in private: 'your majesty! We very much doubt the prognostication made by Tenali when he saw the commander's son. His remark made out of an attempt to flatter the commander. He is becoming a sycophant and loosing his intelligence!' 'But how can you say,' the king asked, 'That Tenali made that remark out of flattery. He is a sharp man and can visualises future much better than any of you can hope to visualise. He has a very keen insight!' 'That is what we wish to test, Your Majesty! He can't predict anything merely by observation.' The courtiers insisted.

'But how you propose to conduct the test?' the king again asked. Although he had faith in Tenali's intelligence and foresight, yet he also wanted further confirmation of this fact. Moreover, he thought to have some enjoyable past-time!

Then a courtier suggested: 'I have thought of a devise. Kindly have two small gold pitchers made. One of them should be hollow and other solid. But outwardly they must appear identical!'

'Then', the king again asked. 'Then, Your Majesty! Get those two pitchers hanged at some distance from Tenali- then Tenali should be asked to identify the solid and the hollow pitchers merely by looking at it. He should not be allowed to touch them at all!'

'Well,' said the king visibly pleased: 'It is a nice way of testing him. But together with this test I'd also attach a condition and then I would see how smart he is!'

Next day the pitchers were made ready. The king had them hanged quite far and high!

Then the king summoned Tenali and asked: 'Tenali! Do you still maintain the assertion you made the other day that merely by observation a things basic property or a child's promising qualities can be prognosticated correctly?'

'Yes, My Lord', said Tenali.

The Maharaja then showed him the two identical pitchers hanging from quite a distance. Don't you see them, Tenali! These I've got specially made to test your intelligence,' 'yes, Your Honor! I see them', replied Tenali!

'One of the pitcher is solid and the other is hollow! Go and look at them and identify which is which', ordered the king and added: 'If you Identify then correctly then you'd get these gold pitchers as the award and should you fail, then you've to give equal amount of gold as used in making the pitchers! Agreed?'

'Agreed, sir,' said Tenalirama and went ahead to identify them.

Tenali reached near the pitcher and began to observe them minutely. He also heaved a long sigh to make the onlookers believe that he is facing a really ticklish problem. Tenali looked nervous apparently, and the jealous courtiers were greatly enjoying the discomfiture suffered by Tenaliram. Many of them were passing derogatory remarks at Tenali's intelligence. But undaunted by their disturbing remarks, Tenali continued to observe the pitchers and heave long sighs. After some time, Tenali declared: 'Maharaj! The pitcher on the right is the hollow one and on the left is solid!'

The king was delighted to find Tenali's observation unerring. But he still asked: 'Tenali, how could you identify?' 'It was not difficult, Your Majesty, explained Tenali, 'if you want you can get the veracity of my observation confirmed.'

'Yes Tenali! You have identified correctly. But, would you spell out how you could identify them?'

'when I watched them closely,' said Tenali, 'I concentrated on the chains the pitchers were hanging by whose support. Then I could know which was heavy and which was light. The chain from which the solid pitcher was hanging was taut owing to the weight, while the other chain was not as taut. Moreover, my exhalations couldn't make any effect on the solid one while the chain of the hollow one did vibrate a little by my sighs. And thus I could know I could easily identify them!'

'Oh---very well done, Tenali' exclaimed the king and gave the two gold pitchers to Tenali as the award. Then bowing in respect to the king, Tenali went out happily with two valuable and costly pitchers in his each hand. The jealous courtiers were drawing a long face at yet another victory of Tenalirama!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Great Rules for Easy Living

If you open it, close it.
If you turn it on, turn it off.
If you unlock it, lock it up.
If you break it, admit it.
If you can’t fix it, call in someone who can.
If you borrow it, return it.
If you value it, take care of it.
If you make a mess, clean it up.
If you move it, put it back.
If it belongs to someone else and you want to use, get permission.
If you don’t know how to operate it, leave it alone.
If it’s none of your business, don’t ask questions.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
If it will brighten someone’s day, say it.
If it will tarnish someone’s reputation, keep it to yourself.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012



Let's think about this question for a moment. Without marketing you would not have prospects or leads to follow up with, but yet without a good sales technique and strategy your closing rate may depress you.

Marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects. The sales process is everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract. Both are necessities to the success of a business. You cannot do without either process. By strategically combining both efforts you will experience a successful amount of business growth. However, by the same token if the efforts are unbalanced it can detour your growth.

Your marketing will consist of the measures you use to reach and persuade your prospects that you are the company for them. It's the message that prepares the prospect for the sales. It consists of advertising, public relations, brand marketing, viral marketing, and direct mail.

The sales process consists of interpersonal interaction. It is often done by a one-on-one meeting, cold calls, and networking. It's anything that engages you with the prospect or customer on a personal level rather than at a distance.

Your marketing efforts begin the process of the eight contacts that studies show it takes to move a prospect or potential client to the close of the sale. If marketing is done effectively you can begin to move that prospect from a cold to a warm lead. When the prospect hits the 'warm' level it's much easier for the sales professional to close the sale.

Do you see the cycle?

As you see in my explanation above it takes multiple contacts using both sales and marketing to move the prospect from one level to the next. That is why it is import that you develop a process that combines both sales and marketing. This will enable you to reach prospects at all three levels; cold, warm, and hot. It's all about balance.

Are you unsure of how to integrate your marketing and sales?

Try this. Take a few moments and divide your prospect lists and database into categories of cold, warm, and hot leads. Then sit down and identify a strategy on how to proceed with each individual group.

For example you could try the following methods of contact:
·         Cold Lead Strategy - Send out a direct mailing or offer them a special promotion
·         Warm Lead Strategy - Try a follow-up call, send out a sales letter, or schedule a special seminar or  
           training session to get all of your warm leads together.

Once you've moved your prospect to the 'warm' level it's time to proceed in closing the sale. This will be easier to do if you somehow engage the prospect. You can do this by conducting a one-on-one call, make a presentation, or present a proposal, estimate, or contract.

What if you are uncomfortable with the sales or marketing process?

An alternative that often proves successful is to partner with someone that possesses the talents that you feel you lack in. You can do this by creating a partnership, subcontracting, or hiring in that talent.

Remember the key to success in marketing and in sales is balance!


This is a common question, and a lot of people confuse these various terms. First of all, marketing encompasses a wide range of both analysis and tactics. For example, marketing involves doing customer analysis, including market segmentation, market perceptions, market sizing, but also competitive analysis and reactions, target segment selection, positioning, branding, advertising, sales, promotions, channel of distribution arrangement and management, product line decisions, sales force management, and more. You can see, marketing involves a number of activities.

Advertising, however, is a tactic in marketing. It involves a number of activities to be sure, but it really focuses on communicating a message to the market (which it partly shares with Public Relations).

Sales is also a tactic of marketing. This is typically what the sales force does. But it is marketing's job to focus the entire marketing effort (of which the sales force is one part) towards providing what customers want and gaining a sustainable strategic advantage.

Value Everything

Value your health. Take good care of yourself because many people pray just to be healthy like you. Health is wealth.

Value your life, don't lose it. Don't even think of suicide because many people wished they had enough time to accomplish their dreams. You still have a chance to do that so why give up?

Value your freedom because so many people are willing to spend all they have to buy their freedom. If you doubt this, go to the prisons.

Value your parents irrespective of their status, whether rich or poor. If you think I'm wrong then go to orphanages and see how the kids wish they had someone they could call mother or father, no matter how bad they are.

Value your friends because they are not easy to come by. Be a good friend too. Be left alone on an island for a year and see if you will not contemplate suicide.

Value the food you eat, no matter how cheap because so many people have enough money to buy it but can't eat it because of their health.

Value your job because so many jobless people out there envy your job and wish to have it.

Value what you have because you might not have a chance to get it again. They say a bird in hand is worth 10,000 in the bush.

Value the little things you are given because they have the tendency to attract bigger ones.

Value yourself, value people and value the things around you, no matter how little. That's the best way to live and enjoy life.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


This clarion call of Vivekananda is essentially a mantra for the modern man. Vivekananda placed great emphasis on “awakening”; so what exactly does this awakening constitute? The fact that you are reading this article indicates that you are awake, right? Nay, that is being awake at the physical level. Real awakening is when one wakes up to the beauties of one’s own inner self. It is the realization that one’s body is a temporary “shell” and the real self, the “inner you,” is Atman [soul].

To attain self realization, one has to awaken to truth—higher levels of wakefulness. There are four such levels. The first is the apparent wakeful attentiveness with which we move about and busy ourselves everyday. We are very much like others, alert and aware, when thus awake. But Vedanta reveals four categories of wakefulness:

the fully awake
the wakefulness of the mind only (as while dreaming)
the wakefulness of the self alone (as in deep sleep) and
the illumination of the self (awakening into the Over-self).
These are named as Sthoola, Sookshma, Kaarana, and Mahakaarana [The Gross, The Subtle, The Causal, and the Super-cause].

The Upanishads say, “Get up, arise, awake”; time is fleeting fast. Use the moment while it is available, for the best of uses, the awareness of the Divine in all. When you die, you must not die like a tree or a beast or a worm, but like a man who has realized that he is Maadhava [God]. This realization is the consummation of all the years you spend in the human frame.

In the mirage of modern life, when one is forced to fulfill never-ending obligations and when responsibilities and burdens weigh on man with all force, how can one even think of realizing the indwelling spirit? The answer lies in realizing the fleeting nature (temporariness) of worldly objects. When man realizes that all he does is perishable and will not lead to real happiness, the burdens will cease to hold weight any further.

There is a beautiful illustration: There was once a man traveling by train. While seated in the train, in the foolish assumption that the responsibility of carrying the luggage was on him, he placed the luggage on his own head. Would it have mattered if he had put the luggage on the train’s floor? The train was already bearing the burden of the man and his luggage. Modern man can be likened to such a traveler. While traveling through the journey of life, he places all worldly burdens on his own head. While in reality God is carrying both man and his burdens, he assumes all burdens on himself and invites worries and unhappiness.

It is man’s incessant desire to run after worldly objects that has caused the burdens to increase in the first place. When desires are controlled and work is done in a spirit of dedication to God, work then becomes worship and burdens lighten automatically. When God blesses man with a Volkswagen, he wants a Lexus. When he gets a Lexus, he wants a BMW. These desires are endless and with the progressive fulfillment of every desire, man unknowingly increases burdens. At first, man makes objects, such as cars, work for him, but when he has acquired them, these objects start making a man work (for their upkeep).

So do we need to throw away all our work and sit in laze? We should work

with love and perform with a selfless motive
and not seek any reward for our deeds
In a spirit of dedication to God.

A beautiful story comes to mind: One night a man had a dream. He dreamt that he was walking with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to him, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there were only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’ll walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there are only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you the most, you would leave me.”

The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

The story illustrates God’s infinite compassion. Let us from this day make a commitment to ourselves. We will perform all our actions as if they were for God; let us spend our time in performing sadhana [spiritual exercises]; let us arise from our present states; awake to the beauties of our inner selves; and tirelessly march toward God until we achieve the GOAL (self realization).

A Droplet And A Ripple........

It was there, clinging on to the edge of the leaf and was about to fall, fall into the little puddle of water below… The Droplet.

Yes, the droplet was ready to give up and surrender its existence to the little puddle below but something made it cling on, a little longer; perhaps a desire to stay that fraction of a second more in the company of the green leaf, the same green leaf that held it, nurtured it and was now ready to offer it to the little society of droplets underneath.

What was it? Just a droplet! Where did I come from? No one knows. Perhaps a fog, a dew, an overnight drizzle perhaps from nowhere but it was now here. It existed and existed with a distinct identity, an identity that was now to be submerged into the flow of millions - to be lost.

Reluctantly, the droplet left the shelter of the leaf. All the time it went down, it pointed towards its once safe, soft and sure shelter. And then with a little 'whimp' it dropped into the puddle.

Don't know what strength the droplet had in its heart or what amount of agony or what purpose it set itself to make it so heavy.

As it fell, it created a huge ripple all around it. Yes, it was the sign of revolution. It said that it was here to make changes, to transform the society of droplets into the way it learnt intuitively from the soul of the world, to live with a distinct identity.

But, something else happened. The ripple it sent around gradually died out and with time, silently the pool of droplets engulfed it. And its existence was lost.

But yes, the water in the puddle never remained the same again because the droplet fell, the ripple was created, the mud was churned, and the color of the society of droplets changed forever.

We may be a droplet in the ocean of people but it requires only one, to churn what lies within us, to change the course of destiny.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How to Get Instant Energy

How to Get Instant Energy

Your body creates energy from nutrients, oxygen and invigorating stimuli, such as fragrance. Natural mood, beauty and body boosters such as these suit our increasingly busy lives because they provide an instant lift and are so simple to do each day.

Breathe Fire! - Sitting for long periods causes carbon dioxide to build up in your blood, which in turn makes you sleepy. The ‘breath of fire’ is a traditional yoga exercise that helps clear the lungs completely. First, breathe in deeply through your nose, and then exhale using 15–20 short, sharp bursts, clenching your stomach muscles to really push out each burst. Repeat three times.

Massage your Ears - According to traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating acupressure points on your ears increases blood circulation, and thus energy. Vigorously rub your ears all over for about a minute. They should start to feel hot and, almost immediately, you should feel more alert. Start at the lobe and massage up to the top of the ear.

Take a Power Shower - Sprinkle eucalyptus oil on the floor of your shower before stepping in. Stand under steaming hot water and rub your body with a loofah. The eucalyptus scent stimulates your brain, while the hot water and the rub-down increase blood flow, sending oxygen to your cells where it’s transformed into energy.

Wake up with a Break - Your body can only handle about 45 minutes of sitting without becoming fatigued. Get up and march around briskly for 3 to 5 minutes, or do some quick stretches or squats.

Make a Splash - Dip a face washer in cold water and wet both the front and back of your neck. Then gargle with cold water for a couple of seconds. Your neck and throat are rich with sensitive nerves, and by stimulating them with the cold water you shock them into the ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction, which temporarily shifts more blood towards your brain. 

Take Care and Have a Healthy Day. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Motivational Operations By Brent Filson

There's an inexorable law operating in business. I call it the law of UP — Unfulfilled Potential. One can see aspects of this law working in other areas:

For instance, in neurophysiology, humans are supposed to use only a fraction of our brains' capabilities; in technology, superconductivity is not yet widely available; and in medicine, the harnessing of the body's abilities to fight cancers is only just beginning to be understood and realized.

But the law of UP is particularly dominant in the business world — and especially in operations. Operations is the blocking and tackling of any organization, the fundamentals that create the foundation for consistent success.

It's such an important function that in many companies the Chief Operating Officer is usually the next in line for the job of CEO. If a company is not doing operations well, all of its other functions are diminished.

Having consulted with operations leaders in a variety of top companies for two decades, I've seen that many are unfortunately strict adherents to the law of UP — for one main reason: They've neglected an all-important results-driver, motivation.

Clearly, many factors further operational excellence: capital, cycle time, technological advancements, quality, efficiencies, etc. But motivation is the most fundamental, operational determinant at all, for it drives all the others.

After all, operations is the sum of people doing many jobs; and when skilled people are motivated to accomplish those jobs, great results happen.

But many operations perceive motivation as "soft" — as opposed to the "hard" factors of cycle time, quality control, etc. — and so either ignore it or struggle with actualizing it on a daily basis.

I see motivation, however, as a "hard" determinant of operations that can be a concrete, a practical results-producer.

I'm going to provide four imperatives that you can use right away to achieve consistent increases in operational results. But before I do, I'll offer a working description of motivation. For leaders often fail to motivate others because those leaders misunderstand the concept of motivation.

The best way for me to describe it is to describe what it is not. Motivation is not what people think or feel. It's what people do. Look at the first two letters of the word, "mo." When you see those letters in a word, such as "motor", "motion", "momentum", "mobile", etc., it usually means action of some kind. Look at motivation as action too. If people are not taking action, they are in point of fact not motivated.

Motivation is not something we can do to somebody else. It is always something that that someone else does to themselves. Look back over your career, and you will see that the motivator and the "motivatee" were always the same person. As a leader, you communicate, but the people whom you want to motivate must motivate themselves.

Motivation is not a dispassionate dynamic. It is an "emotional" dynamic. The words "motivation" and "emotion" come from the same Latin root word, which means "to move." When we want to move (motivate) people to take action, or in truth have them motivate themselves, we engage their emotions. Put another way: People will not take action for more results faster continually unless their emotions are engaged.

Finally, the best way to enter into a motivational relationship with people is not by distant communication but the kind of face-to-face speech that has people make the choice to be committed to your cause.

Those are descriptions of what motivation truly is. But descriptions alone won't help you meet the challenges of UP. You must follow clear imperatives to help you transform descriptions into results.

Here are four that will help you cultivate motivational operations.

1. Give leadership talks not presentations. The difference between a presentation and a leadership talk is what Mark Twain said the difference between the almost right word and the right word is. "That is the difference," he said, "between the lightning bug and lightning."

Let's understand the basic difference between the presentation and the leadership talk. Presentations communicate information; but leadership talks have people believe in you, follow you, and, most important of all, want to take leadership for your cause.

My experience has taught me that 95% of all communication in business is accomplished through the presentations. However, if 95% of communication were accomplished through the leadership talk instead, leaders would be far more effective in getting results.

So before you speak to people, and leaders speak 15 to 20 and more times a day, ask yourself if you are simply providing information or are you motivating those people to motivate themselves to take action for results.

2. Create motivational systems. Most operational leaders are good a systemizing quality initiatives, cycle time, efficiencies, etc. But few understand that some of the most important systems they can put into place are systems that help people make the choice for motivation.

A particularly effective motivational system is one that saturates operations with "cause leaders."

Unquestionably, people accomplish a task better if they are not simply doing it but taking leadership of it instead. When we are challenged to take leadership, we raise our performance to much higher levels. With that in mind, create systems that identify cause leaders, challenge them to take specific leadership action, and support those actions through systematized training and resource allocations.

3. See results not as an end but as a motivational process. Clearly, you have to get results. But many operations leaders misunderstand what results are about. I teach leaders the concept of achieving "more results faster continually" — not by speeding up but instead by slowing down and working less, by putting the motivational imperatives into practice. Leaders understand the "more results faster" aspect — but they often stumble when it comes to the "continually" aspect.

We can usually order people to get more results faster. But we can't order people to do it on a continual basis. That's where motivation comes in. Instead of ordering people to go from point A to point B, say, we must have them want to go from A to B. That "want to" is the heart of "continually."

When we understand results this way, understand that we must achieve "more, faster" on a continual basis, then we begin to make motivational operations a way of life.

4. Challenge people to be motivational leaders. The imperatives are powerful when you use them consistently. But they are even more powerful when you have your leaders use them and teach others to use them. After all, you alone can't create motivational operations. You need others to help you do it, especially those mid-level and small-unit leaders. If they are not putting the imperatives into practice every day, your attempts to raise the standards of operations to a consistently high motivational level will falter.

Define the success of your leadership by how well your leaders are leading, and you are well on your way to making motivational operations a reality.

Once you begin to institute motivational operations by applying the four imperatives, the law of Unfulfilled Potential becomes your competitor's worry, not yours.

Friday, August 31, 2012

De-Stress Your Work Day

Career stress? Here's how to simplify your 9 to 5.
1. Get a Head Start
Leave home 30 minutes earlier than normal. Studies find that the less rushed you feel in the morning, the less stressed you'll be for the rest of the day.
2. Bring Snacks
Bring a spill-proof coffee cup filled with your favorite brew to the office, and have a bag of nonperishable snacks on hand (try protein bars, dried fruit and nuts, juice boxes, or pretzels). Going for more than a few hours without a snack can cause your blood sugar levels to drop, and you'll end up exacerbating stress. This way, even if you have to work through back-to-back meetings, you'll be able to grab some fuel.
3. Give Yourself Some Credit
Most of us don’t take enough time to praise ourselves for doing things well. So when you’ve completed an interim or long-term goal, tell yourself—out loud—what a good job you’ve done. You’ll get a burst of confidence that will go a long way towards helping you maintain your cool amid the workplace madness.
4. Schedule 10 Minutes of “Worry Time”
Close your office door or go sit in an empty conference room and think about what's stressing you out. Bring a sheet of paper and divide it into three columns: My Worry; Why It Worries Me; Worst Thing That Could Happen. Once you confront the worst-case scenario, and realize that it probably won't ever happen, you can get back to work with your worry load lightened.
5. Manage Your Email
With about 5.5 trillion emails sent each year, it's no wonder your inbox is overflowing. To keep from stressing out, cut down the amount of time you spend reading and sending emails. Don't waste a message acknowledging receipt of an email, and put responses in the subject when possible so you don't have to compose a new message. Finally, use the “rule of three”: if you’ve gone back and forth on a topic three times and you’re still confused or have questions, pick up the phone.
6. Stretch
This is especially important if you have a sedentary job. Try lifting your legs up and stretching them for 30 seconds. This movement reduces the risk of blood clots that can result from sitting too long in one position. Another useful exercise is to put one arm behind your neck and stretch it by holding on to the elbow with the opposite arm. Switch sides and repeat.
7. Have a “Perspective Reminder”
Stress can overpower you at times, but your troubles are smaller than they seem. To remind yourself of that, keep a picture in your office—the earth taken from space, a starry night or the ocean—and look at it whenever you feel overwhelmed. Amid countless stars and the timeless crashing of waves against the shore, how important is that deadline, really?
8. Plan Ahead
When work is challenging, devote some of your down time, like weekends and evenings, to making a to-do list for the next week. Make a list, place boxes next to each item, and tick off the boxes as you get things done. You’ll avoid forgetting anything, you’ll stay focused on the job, and it’s very satisfying to tick off those boxes.
9. Socialize With Colleagues
Suggest a once-a-week gathering with your co-workers where you can talk about a particular work issue. Use your collective brain to figure out how to do something better, enhance productivity, or improve relationships.
10. Remind Yourself Why
Make a display in your office to remind you of your personal life. Include pictures of your spouse, children, and pet, a photograph of yourself doing something fun, plus a memento that reminds you of a special occasion. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed and stressed out, take five minutes and simply enjoy the display. Recall the day each picture was taken. Hold your memento and return in your memory to the day you got it. Now you’re ready to return to work.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Two Most Important Practices in Life

The two most important practices in life necessitate the proper management of time and the continual development of personal relationships. 
Possessing an elite social status with an abundance of money, a solid education, and even perfect health will seem irrelevant in the face of routine loneliness.  What’s the point in striving for personal success if you don’t have anyone to share your story with, or enough time to enjoy it? 
All too often in the news we read success stories supporting the endeavors of young career professionals that put “their lives” on hold while in pursuit of the prestigious career and job title of their dreams.  I’m not saying it’s wrong, I truly believe you should pursuit your dreams.  Putting all your effort into achieving something you truly desire makes sense… it is basis behind the every person’s dream.  However, there must be a balance.  The time spent on business matters can never be recovered.  If sufficient time is not allocated to fostering new relationships and nurturing current ones, will the end result suitably reflect the original envisioned dream, or will it leave something to be desired?
Remember, you can easily invest your time in exchange for money, status, education, and health; but nothing can buy you more time.  Make sure you spend it wisely, leaving enough time for the people you care about most.


1. Feign sincerity with eye contact and repetition: Make eye contact, echo what the person is saying to you back to them, and nod in understanding (even if you're not).

2. End a conversation with body language: for example, simply standing up (or crossing your arms, or speeding up to a "fast walk") to indicate it's time for that person to go and you're busy.

3. Ask sensitive questions indirectly to skip awkwardness: Use it when the info you need from someone is somewhat sensitive, use the bluff ("the breakup must've been hard, huh?") or blame others ("so has anyone asked about your prison time?") or the indirect inquiry ("what year did you get divorced?")

4. Use silence to win arguments and nail a negotiation: for example, when the other party offers a price, opt for a long pause to indicate hesitation, which might prompt them to go lower. In the case of arguments, prolonged silence may frustrate the other personal but it'll also make you look like the winner.

5. Soften critiques with the sandwich method to soften the blow: start with a compliment, then mention your critique, then end on a positive note.

6. Say "no" gently or say "yes, but....": For example, "I'm in the middle of several projects right now" to "I'm not the right person for that job."

7. Ask questions well

8. De-code office jargon: Client want to "touch base"? Manager want to "get on the same page"? Search Google for "Office Slang".

9. "Pace and lead" an irate person: Instead of remaining calm, match the other party's emotional intensity to show you're empathetic, then lead the complainant to a calmer level of discourse.

10. Become a human lie detector: Note sudden changes in voice pitch, rate of speech, or "ums" and "ahs," a change in eye contact, and body position. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why Are We So Busy?

Leonardo Da Vinci accomplished amazing things. Of course, back then, there were 24 hours in a day. --Anonymous

Abstract: Provides several answers to the question of why we never seem to have any spare time.

The question is often asked why we never have any spare time in modern life, in spite of a glut of "labor-saving" inventions and the growth of production efficiencies. Here are a few thoughts about why we are so busy:

1. Poor Choice Management. Much has been written about proper time management, but sometimes the advice focuses merely on making more efficient use of time: do two tasks at once, get up earlier, delegate everything. Such advice does not really effectively address the problem of too many tasks. In fact, too much emphasis on time management makes one obsessive, always watching the clock and thinking about what task is scheduled next. So perhaps the nervousness over time management should give way to a more thoughtful care about choice management. Manage your life, not your time. Modern society suffers from an unwillingness to say, "No." Faced with too many options and too much pressure, we respond with too many yesses. We are afraid to deny to others or to ourselves the many opportunities, the many options, we face daily. But everything we choose requires Use Time. We buy cable TV, a computer (with an Internet connection!), a model railroad set, a magazine subscription--and all cry out to be used and use requires time. There is an old proverb somewhere that says, "To accomplish more, do less."

2. Inefficient Learning. We rush through things, learn them partially, and must repeat the work. Or what was learned gets pushed out by too much other new information. We have yet to accommodate our ideas of education to the information age. With the aggregate of knowledge doubling annually (someone has guessed), we can no longer expect to cover everything. Yet we try. The fabric of learning that is a hundred miles wide and about as deep as a sheet of paper is not going to be useful. Slow down, and learn a few lasting things.

3. Fewer Support Structures. We do more of our own secretarial work, have fewer helpers, less delegation. Sometimes support workers are not as dependable or committed and cannot be relied on to do a good job. People are so busy with their own tasks that they no longer help us with ours.

4. Higher Expectations. Rather than having more leisure time, we have less because we expect to do more and others expect us to do more. We try to match the pace of a fast society. This is related to poor choice management, since we want it all and want to do everything, thus raising our expectations for activity. "Ah, tomorrow is Saturday, a day for leisure. Let's go to the amusement park in the morning, a movie in the afternoon, and to dinner with our friends in the evening. Then we will still have time to see that video, check our mail, and watch the news before bed."

5. The Freeway Effect: We are so overloaded and tired that we get less done. We waste time frittering and procrastinating because we are too tired (mentally, physically, or both) to get ourselves working. When the number of cars passes the optimal that can travel on the freeway efficiently, traffic slows down into a jam and many fewer cars can travel on the freeway. If 6,000 an hour try, 6,000 an hour can travel, but if 10,000 an hour try, only 4,000 an hour can travel. Look at your desk and tell me if I am not right about this.

6. The Smorgasbord Effect. Our choices are like a smorgasbord at a restaurant, so many, that we try to take a little of each and thus overload our plates. We need to return to the restaurant model, where we make a deliberate choice, and then enjoy a fixed amount of food. It has been noted by someone that we are often afraid to make deliberate choices because we realize that every choice precludes others. If we take the mountain road, we cannot drive by the lake along the valley road as well. So some people put off making a decision (like getting married) just to keep their options open. Others simply try to say "Yes" to everything. "Yes, I'll have some of this and some of that and some of that, and, Oh look, I must have some of that, too."

7. Maintenance Time Costs. The products we buy require maintenance time. Computers, cars, DVD's, printers, all need attention. The more items we have, the more time we spend maintaining or taking care of them--not using them. Cars, for example, need petrol, oil, washing, servicing, tyres and batteries. Every nifty computer program or add-on we buy requires substantial time to learn and to use. Want to become a slave? Just buy one of those personal accounting programs that requires you to enter every financial event in your life into the computer.

8. The Change Effect. We live in constant change. The psychological stress of change can be dealt with, but the main effect of change is a time expenditure for a learning curve. New software, a new car, a new DVD, a detour to work, new rules to follow, all require time to learn.

Thanks to Robert Harris

10 Most Important Words

The most selfish 1 letter word "I" Avoid it.

The most satisfying 2-letter word "WE" Use it.

The most poisonous 3-letter word "EGO" Kill it.

The most used 4-letter word
"LOVE" Value it.

The most pleasing 5-letter word "SMILE" Keep it.

The fastest spreading 6-letter word "RUMORS" Ignore it.

The hardest working 7-letter word "SUCCESS" Achieve it.

The most enviable 8-letter word "JEALOUSY" Distance it.

The most powerful 9-letter word "KNOWLEDGE" Acquire it.

The most essential 10-letter word "CONFIDENCE" Trust it.