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Taking Inventory of Time

hourglass.jpgBigg Success is life on your own terms. Today, we want to focus on time – one of the five elements of bigg success.

For bigg goal-getters, there never seems to be enough time in the day. Yet we all have 24 hours … 1,440 minutes … 86,400 seconds in the day.

Sometimes it’s helpful to look at things through a different lens. Let’s make these units of time more tangible by thinking about them as units of inventory.

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Going bananas for time

Think about a grocery store. More specifically, think about the produce area of the grocery store. Can you see the apples, the lettuce, and the broccoli? Oh, and there’s the bananas!

Our grocers have to sell these things before they go bad. Otherwise, they aren’t worth anything. Unlike canned goods, produce has a very limited shelf life.

So it is with our time. We all have 86,400 seconds as an asset at the beginning of every day. But this second is gone. Now this one. The seconds turn into minutes; the minutes into hours.

When you look back on your day, did you get the most out of every hour?

“I don’t have time”

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marylynnOur friend, Lisa Cree, said something profound to me a while back. She said, “’I don't have time’ is a statement of priority, not fact.” If something is important to you, then you make it a priority and you do have time for it.

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georgeWe always hesitate to recommend this, but if you really feel like you don’t have time for those things that are really important to you, keep a journal for a week or maybe even a month. It’s a bit tedious but it will be worthwhile.

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To make the best use of your time, ask yourself these three questions:

Have you set your direction?
You have to know where you’re going to use your time effectively by doing the right things.

Are you working efficiently?
Do you use technology enough (or too much) to get things done expeditiously. Are there tasks you perform yourself which could easily be done by someone else? We have more options for outsourcing, both in our businesses and at home, today than ever before. Are you capitalizing on them?

Are you focused enough?
As a bigg goal-getter, you may like to have a “lot on your plate.” But here’s a really important principle to understand:

If you try to accomplish too much, you risk accomplishing nothing!

Bigg success is life on your own terms. We’ve discussed before that one of the meanings of the word “terms” in our definition is phases. During any term (e.g. a year), focus on two or three major objectives. Break that down into quarters or months. Then you’ll know what you need to accomplish every day and every week.

Here’s another bigg secret: You’ll get where you want to be faster if those two or three objectives work in synergy – the bigg idea behind bigg success – rather than having two or three completely different things.

Focus on doing a few of the right things the right way so you reach bigg success faster!

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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’ll discuss little things that make bigg differences. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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3 Action Items to Increase Your Productivity

In a new study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a group of researchers surveyed 58 random people in a shopping mall. These researchers asked the participants to recall the decisions they had made that day. Then the researchers asked the participants to solve some simple math problems. They found that the more decisions a participants had made, the less likely they were to solve the problems.

 

There appears to be a price to making decisions – we become less productive as we make more decisions. And boy, do we have to make a lot of decisions today!

A six item grocery list
Picture yourself in a grocery store holding a list with six items – orange juice, bagels, Philadelphia cream cheese, Crest toothpaste, Coke, and lettuce.

In 1970, with that list you would have had a choice of 50 items. By 1998, you would need to filter through 250 different products just to get all the items on your list.

This comes from the spectacular book, Simplicity Marketing: End Brand Complexity, Clutter, and Confusion by Steven M. Cristol and Peter Sealey.

Think about it – that was 1998. Do you think it’s any better now?

3 bigg action items to simplify decision making

#1 – Make a list that’s specific.

So specific in fact, that you could send someone else and get exactly what you want. Studies show that people who shop with a list don’t buy as many impulse items so they tend to spend less money.

More importantly, it saves you time and mental fatigue as the studies showed.

#2 – Set a time limit when you’re making a major decision.

Before you begin doing research for a bigg decision, set a time limit. Once you’re satisfied with your findings or once you reach your time limit, make a decision.

As an example, we recently set up the web site for Bigg Studio, a sister company to Bigg Success, for audio production services. We needed to decide on the design for the site. There were an endless number of possibilities. We chose one that fit our criteria and moved on.

Here’s another tip that we love – get out your magic 8 ball. Ask it if you made the right decision. Look at its answer and see how you feel about it. This taps into your intuition about the decision which makes getting to the decision you’re most comfortable easier.

If you like this idea, here are a couple of links you might find helpful:

#3 – Become a partner in stress relief for the important people in your life.
Get to know the preferences of the people who depend on you, like your customers, your co-workers, your boss, and your significant other. Weed through all the options and present them with just a few.

The authors of Simplicity Marketing make the point that

“the next generation of positioning successes will belong to those brands that relieve customer stress.”

So there’s a significant opportunity in the future for people and companies who are able to simplify things. This applies not just to your company brand, but also to your personal brand.

This is one of the things we try to do here at Bigg Success. We try hard to sort through all the information out there and deliver to you those few things we’ve found to be the most important.

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Touching Others by Adding Your Personal Touch

Sometimes we forget what an impact we can make in the lives of others with our jobs. No matter what that job may be.

Barbara Glanz wrote a wonderful book called CARE Packages for the Workplace – Dozens of Little Things You Can Do to Regenerate Spirit at Work. In this book, she tells the story of a person who attended one of her workshops about putting your own personal mark on your work.

The story is about Johnny, who is a bagger at a grocery store. Johnny took Barbara’s point to heart.

Here’s what Johnny did …

Johnny had an idea for putting his stamp on customer service. He would come up with a thought every day and put it in every customer’s grocery bag. 

He went home that night and asked his dad to teach him how to use the computer. You see, Johnny has Down’s syndrome. His dad helped him develop a three column by three row page.

When he gets home from work each night, Johnny finds a thought for the next day. Sometimes he can’t find a good one, so he makes one up! With his dad’s help, he types it into the computer. They copy it into the other eight sections of the page. Then they print it out.

Johnny cuts up the nine thoughts and then personally signs the back of each one … which means that Johnny signs at least 1,800 thoughts each day.

Here’s what happened as a result …

The store manager noticed that Johnny’s thoughts were in huge demand. He first noticed it when he was walking through the store one day and there was a long line. He immediately called for more lanes to be open.

But the customers didn’t move – they wanted to be in Johnny’s lane so they got his thought for the day! One customer told the store manager that she used to only shop at his store once a week. Now she only comes to his store – because she wants Johnny’s thought for the day! Johnny’s thought has turned shopping into an experience for his customers.

Other employees also noticed what Johnny was doing. The people in the floral department started thinking about how they could put their mark on customer service. Now, when a flower breaks off or isn’t going to be used, they don’t just throw it away like they used to. They find an elderly woman or a young girl and personally pin it on her!

One of the meat packers loves Snoopy. He bought 50,000 Snoopy stickers, which he puts on every piece of meat he packs. Johnny’s thought has made work fun for his co-workers.

So Johnny shows us that every single one of us has the ability to make a significant difference in the world. No matter what our job is.

We applaud Johnny’s bigg success!

Our bigg quote today is by William James, who said,

“Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.”

Sometimes a simple thought, put into action, creates a chain reaction.

Next time, we’ll discuss how to establish credit for the first time. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Pages

Johnny’s Big Thought

By Bigg Success Staff
01-03-08

Success Stories

bag of groceries jpg

Every single one of us has the ability to make a significant difference in the world. That’s the lesson we can learn from this great story from Barbara Glanz’s wonderful book
CARE Packages for the Workplace–Dozens of Little Things You Can Do to Regenerate Spirit at Work.

Johnny is a bagger at a grocery store. He attended a presentation by Glanz about putting your mark on your work. Johnny took it to heart.

Here’s what Johnny did …
Johnny had an idea for putting his stamp on customer service. He would come up with a thought every day and put it in every customer’s grocery bag.

He went home that night and asked his dad to teach him how to use the computer. You see, Johnny has Down’s syndrome. His dad helped him develop a three column by three row page.

When he gets home from work each night, Johnny finds a thought for the next day. Sometimes he can’t find a good one, so he makes one up! With his dad’s help, he types it into the computer. They copy it into the other eight sections of the page. Then they print it out.

Johnny cuts up the nine thoughts and then personally signs the back of each one. With demand being what it is, Johnny signs at least 1,800 thoughts each day.

Here’s what happened as a result …
The store manager has noticed that Johnny’s thoughts are in huge demand. He first noticed it when he was walking through the store one day and there was a long line. He immediately started barking for more lanes to be open.

But the customers didn’t move – they wanted to be in Johnny’s lane so they got his thought for the day! One customer told the store manager that she used to only shop at his store once a week. Now she only comes to his store – because she wants Johnny’s thought for the day! Johnny’s thought has turned shopping into an experience for his customers.

Other employees also noticed what Johnny was doing. The people in the floral department started thinking about how they could put their mark on customer service. Now, when a flower breaks off or isn’t going to be used, they don’t just throw it away like they used to. They find an elderly woman or a young girl and personally pin it on her!

One of the meat packers loves Snoopy. He bought 50,000 Snoopy stickers, which he puts on every piece of meat he packs. Johnny’s thought has made work fun for his co-workers.

We applaud Johnny’s bigg success!

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(Image of grocery bag by yanyanyanyanyan, CC 2.0)