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The Single Biggest Waste of Time

time.jpgBigg Success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Today we’ll focus on time.

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There are a lot of ways to waste time. We want to focus on the single biggest one of all time. It might surprise you when you hear what it is.

It’s not reading this post! At least we hope you don’t think that.

It’s not watching TV.

It’s not surfing the internet.

It’s not forwarding silly e-mails to your friends.

It’s not texting.

It’s not social networking.

It’s not useless conversations.

It’s not even inane meetings. 

So what is the single biggest time waster of all time?

It’s doing the wrong thing.

The wrong thing is anything that doesn't move you closer to your dream life.

A lot of the productivity literature focuses on efficiency. That’s great if you’re doing the right thing. So here are 5-steps to moving in the right direction:

Decide on your destination. Where are you going? What’s your bigg dream?

Plot your course. How do you plan to get there? Determine how your journey is expected to progress.

Gather the necessary resources and provisions. Fuel up by getting the knowledge you need. Pick the vehicle that will take you to your destination. Get the help you need – be it a coach, a mentor, a partner, or a virtual assistant.

Go! At some point, you have to take off. You can expect to run into some detours along the way. That’s alright. Keep going. Focus on the road right in front of you.

Don’t forget to rest & replenish.
Take care of your physical self by getting needed sleep, food and exercise. Also feed your mind & soul. We hope Bigg Success is one way you do that every day.

Performing the wrong task, no matter how well you do it, is a complete waste of time. The right tasks move you closer to life on your own terms. That’s bigg success!

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thanks so much for the gift of your time today. Please join us next time when we ask, “Are you the lead wolf or a lone wolf?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00407-060209.mp3

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Are You a Victim of Your Own Success?

stress You’ve made it! You’ve arrived! You’ve reached that next level of success! You’ve achieved your dream!

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But you’re swamped. Now, you have a seemingly endless list of things-to-do. And it all just keeps coming. Minute after minute, day after day, week after week. It’s sheer chaos.

You find yourself busier than ever. You’re more successful than ever. But are you happier than ever?

It seems that you’re a victim of your own success – too much to do, too many clients, too many constituents. So what can you do about it?

Congratulate yourself

Take a deep breath and a little pause. Enjoy it for a bit!

Get away from it all for a day

We know … you’re too busy. But here’s the thing – you’re too busy not to get away because, on your day away, you’re going to contemplate. What’s most important? What’s least important?

After you’ve thought about those two things:

Hire an assistant, outsource, partner, joint venture … you get the idea

Delegate – in some way, shape or form – those things that aren’t most important.

You might be asking, “Can I afford to hire someone?” But you’re asking the wrong question. The question really is, “Can I afford not to?”

Because the most important things – the people who are most important for you to spend time with, the projects that only you can and should do – will get pushed aside by the less important things if you don’t take this step.

Set the expectations for the people in your life

You need to establish boundaries for all your people. You may set certain times when you’re available to employees, vendors, and even customers. We think customers can’t be trained, but even they can. 

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georgeIn one of my early businesses, my second biggest customer was constantly calling with demands for immediate service. Finally, I presented them with an option – they could work within our time frame for the price we negotiated or I could offer them quicker turnaround for a higher price. They chose the better price!

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Finding your model

Now you’re only working on the most important things and you’ve communicated your boundaries to the most important people in your life. You’re ready to do those things you do in the most efficient way possible.

So let’s look for a model. Think about a manufacturer’s assembly line with products coming down it. What are your products?

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marylynnFor us, it is shows to produce. Articles to write. E-mails to return. People to reach out to. Products to create. Services to deliver.

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Your production cycle may flow over an hour, a day, a week, or a month. Think about all of the important things you do – that’s your product – and engineer your processes to move that product down the line in the most efficient manner possible.

Engineer your processes

What is the best way to do it? Think about it logically. Step back and look at it again. Walk yourself through the whole process, step-by-step as it exists today. Now, start looking for ways to save little bits of time.

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georgeOne of the guest speakers for my class became a billionaire by turning his little business into a Fortune 500 company. One of his secrets was finding ways to get more done with the same people. For example, they discovered a way to change how they labeled packages for shipment. It saved them 55 seconds. That’s time they could spend on something else!

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So if you find yourself a victim of your own success, start with effectiveness – make sure you’re doing the right things. Then work on efficiency – doing those things the right way.

Doing the right things the right way … before you know it, you’ll be an even bigger success without being victimized by it!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Next time, we ask, “Are you afraid of success?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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Moving Beyond Personal Productivity

personal A bigg salute to Stowe Boyd for his recent post called Overload, Shoverload. He argues that personal productivity isn’t important anymore. It’s the productivity of your network that matters.

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Listen to podcast this blog post! Click PLAY to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast.

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That made us think of Stephen Covey. As he says in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we have to move from independence to interdependence in order to achieve maximum effectiveness.

In the higher order of things, personal productivity is important, but interpersonal productivity is most important.

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marylynn Producing The Bigg Success Show takes a lot of work. We have five deadlines every week. We’ve divided up our duties pretty evenly. But sometimes I get done and George is still working. Sure I could move on to something else I need to do. But in some cases, it’s better if I help him catch up.

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georgeWe’re programmed to think that it’s our individual effort that matters. However, in the end it’s the team that wins or loses – helping your team, by helping your team mate, helps you. Mary-Lynn helps me when I need it, so I help her when she needs it.

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Interdependence leads us to a new business venture

It’s the network, stupid! That’s the paradigm for the 21st century – for us as individuals and for businesses and other organizations. It’s the end result that matters so we must focus on being effective, not just efficient. Our network can produce results that we couldn’t produce on our own.

Recently, we had an idea for a business. We talked a friend whose business is in the market we were targeting. After our conversation, we had a different idea so we started working on it!

Interdependence got us a better idea!

Now, we could do this whole thing ourselves. However, we have another friend who has a business that dovetails nicely with our expertise. We believe that we can grow the business much faster by working with him.

We’re a couple of months away from launching this national business. So far, it’s taken us two meetings and three series of e-mails.

Interdependence got us further faster!

Perhaps even more importantly, we think we’ll make more money by letting him do what he does best and sticking to what we do best.

Interdependence will make us more productive!

Developing a business at that speed couldn’t have happened if the relationship didn’t exist already. Trust has been built up over time and it’s taken a lot of trust to get to the point we are, especially at the speed we’ve been traveling!

If you’re willing to be truly interdependent, you can enjoy the power of interpersonal productivity. That’s what it takes today to be a bigg success!

Next time, we talk with two experts in leadership about engaging your employees. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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Have you ever been to BINPAO?

By Bigg Success Staff
09-04-08

Peak Performance

binpao 

Now that all we have to do to visit another country, or even another planet, is double click our mouse, there’s no stopping us Web surfers. And, it’s time to space out, both literally and figuratively.

Millions of Americans, young and old, have diagnosed or undiagnosed attention deficit issues, leaving them with an inability to concentrate. While this is assuredly a serious issue for those with true attention-related conditions, I cannot help but wonder how much BINPAO humans have manufactured using our own devices. I have coined BINPAO here, not only because it looks cool in writing and sounds cool (especially the pow! part), but because it reflects accurately what happens to me when I begin using the Internet and all its related technologies.

BINPAO causes me to switch topics, jump around from place to place and generally. Oh wait, I lost my train of thought. See, with my browser open in several windows, I am able to compose these sentences while simultaneously checking the weather, the news from Iraq, my e-mail and more. I can switch from screen to screen in a millisecond. I can BINPAO – be in nine places at once.  For me, BINPAO is a fascinating concept. I can multitask in entirely new ways. I can be bored with what I am reading on the screen after just three or four sentences, and I can move on by clicking on a link and opening another box with a cute photo of a puppy. lol.  I can skip the really important information of the day and find out what is going on in Hollywood. omg. 

What I cannot do if I choose to enter the state of BINPAO is really get ANYTHING done—at all. I can start all kinds of stuff, just not finish one lick of it.

And studies are popping up all over on the subject of too much multitasking. CFO Magazine in July 2007 reported on multitasking in the workplace. They cite MIT and UCLA studies where researchers concluded that multitaskers do not always optimal learners or workers make. The studies pointed out that while some interruption and multitasking can bring interest to your job, too much is really that: too much. The MIT study found that one can reach a saturation point. Errors increase. Efficiency decreases. The UCLA researchers found that distracted learners still did the learning, but stored the information in different and perhaps less useful locations in the brain.

Ah, but what is an easily distractible gal to do?  It’s like putting a variety of raw meats in a circle around a hungry crocodile. Which one to grab first? Solution? Stop the click-throughs until I’m through and grab one at a time. I am an adult and can choose how long my attention span is. I need to take control of my constant clicking and realize the grass isn’t always greener on the other screen. I need to take time to absorb what’s in front of me before I move on. Maybe I’ll start by moving to the state of BIEPAO – be in eight places at once, and see where I go from there?

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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The Respect Reward: Letting Your People Know They Matter Matters

By Bigg Success Staff
06-19-08

Leadership Skills

people

Judy Bardwick wrote an interesting book called One Foot Out the Door: How to Combat the Psychological Recession That is Hurting American Business. In her book, she claimed that as many as two-thirds of America’s workforce feel insecure about their future.

Ineffective leaders reinforce this feeling by scolding employees publicly while being stingy with praise. This results in their troops feeling unappreciated.

Effective leadership calls for the opposite approach.
Let your people know what you expect from them. Set high, yet achievable, goals. Let them know that you realize you’re asking a lot, but you have confidence in their ability to do it.

Then let them do it. Praise them publicly when they do well. Offer constructive criticism privately when they don’t.

The reward for respect
Bardwick says that there’s a direct relationship between leaders who treat their employees like this and positive outcomes. People who are respected and trusted work more efficiently and effectively. They feel like they are part of something bigger. That they matter.

As a leader, letting your people know they matter matters a lot.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 



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Get in the Groove to Succeed Faster

By Bigg Success Staff
05-22-08

Life Skills

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Have you ever walked out to your car to drive to work and realized that you don’t even remember getting ready for work?

Have you ever arrived at work and realized you don’t even remember the drive?

You were in the groove.

Race car drivers know that the groove is the fastest place to be on the track. They want to be in the groove because they will get to the finish line faster.

The two processes listed above are examples of us getting in the groove. The process we use has become so automated that we really don’t even think about it anymore. We’ve done these things so many times that we are incredibly efficient at them.

Our time is the most precious resource we have. So we should strive to refine the things we do over and over again until we get very efficient at them.

There’s a secret to getting in the groove with these things …

Map out the process from beginning to end.

Step 1: Think it through.
Depending on the complexity of the task, speak it out loud or write it down. Think about the order in which you do things. Don’t worry about that order now. Just think about how you actually do it.

Step 2: Do it.
Now perform the task exactly as you thought it out. Don’t try to make any changes at this point. Just perform it and pay attention.

Step 3: Find one way to improve it.
Look for steps that may be out of sequence. Consider shortcuts that don’t diminish the end result. Just look for one way, any way, to do it better.

Step 4: Test it.
Now try that one thing and see if it speeds up the process. If it does, implement it. If not, scrap it. You’re looking for the most efficient way to perform this task. Not every idea for improvement will be a good one.

Step 5: Repeat until you’re in the groove.
Keep going until you feel like you’ve perfected the process. Now you can work on performing each step along the way as efficiently as possible. Then you’ll be in the groove!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Mothers Possess the Single Most Important Leadership Ability

By Bigg Success Staff
05-07-08

Leadership Skills

The single most important leadership skill is the ability to determine what’s most important. Managers focus on doing things right; they are into efficiency. Great leaders focus on doing the right things; they concern themselves with effectiveness.

Because of all the demands on them, mothers learn to prioritize. They quickly separate what’s most important from what’s not important. Then they put all of their energy into what they have determined is essential.

They constantly process new information and responding accordingly. Along the way, they realize that priorities may change. So they adjust – tending to a sick child is more important than cleaning house, demands at work may take precedence over a home-made dinner.

They realize that sometimes some things have to give. So carry-out will allow the family to still be together at dinner without requiring preparation time. That special dinner she was going to make can wait until tomorrow. Being together matters; what’s for dinner tonight doesn’t.

So mothers, like great leaders, set priorities knowing full well they’re priorities will change as they receive new information. When that happens, they’re ready to adjust as necessary to keep working on what’s most important.

By constantly focusing on what’s most pressing and spending all their valuable time working on just those things, moms provide an essential lesson for anyone wanting to be a great leader.

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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