Your Time

Thank you for being with me today I don’t know where you are. Here it is beautiful, sunny, with clear skies.

My question today is a simple one, “are you taking care of yourself?”

When we are younger, our parents take care of us. As we grow a little, we find ourselves taking care of our kids. And, as we get a little bit older, we find our kids taking care of us. This must be one of those universal cycles. And, as is true in life, we always look out to help and take care of our family, our neighbor, and those we see who are in need of help. So my question stands, “are we taking time to take care of ourselves?”

I ask this because if we don’t take the time, and we don’t listen to our bodies, the bodies have a way of speaking louder, to a point where we cannot ignore them. It is much easier to take care of a whisper than it is to fix a body when it is screaming at you.

I have been there, and I have done this myself to an extent, so I understand. With everything we have these days and very busy lives, we seem to be continuously running the race for others and saving time by ignoring our needs.

This is just one man’s opinion; however, with all the communication software we have on the market today, we can stay in contact with everyone for very little or no cost. Tie that into calendar systems which will keep track of each of your events, appointments, and meetings. The next thing you know, you have a system of organization.

The next thing you need to do to set up your calendar from the inside out. Start with you, and start with seven hours of sleep minimum, eight hours is even better. Lunchtime is the time to get out from behind The desk or off the construction line. Eat something and look around a little. Taking this respite from work is needed. Your work for the rest of the day will far eclipse anything you could’ve gotten done over lunch.

When you set this up, be sure not to sink the whole program by scheduling your ‘me time,’ at the same time somebody else needs your help whether it is kid’s soccer, your spouse’s ‘me time’ or other events you also need to pay attention to.

This is something each of us has to do for ourselves. And like everything else, it will take time and practice to get it right. The neat thing is it is something everyone can succeed at when we work at it. You succeed for your children, you succeed for your parents, you succeed for your spouse, and now, you can also succeed for you.

Have a great day

Time to Reflect and Plan

Good morning it’s a wonderful overcast, cold wintry day here. The snow is on the ground, the winds are blowing, visibility is under 2 miles, and although not a blizzard, the roads are icy enough to stay home and work out of the home office today.

I’m using today to benchmark how all my plans are going. I also look at ways I should change to make my work more vibrant and meaningful. You may consider this the active laying in the easy chair and stare at the ceiling. I won’t deny that some of that happen, yet actually, there’s more to it than just that. I look over the last six months to see what worked, what did not work, what I could’ve done better.

I do some work with some standard tools such as the affinity chart where I list ideas and concerns on post-its. I then take that affinity chart and move it into a Fishbone diagram also called the cause-and-effect diagram.  Where the fishes head would be, I list the main thing I want to improve and then in the body of the fish I break the Post-Its up into five groups along main bones of the diagram.  I use plans, people, prosperity, procurement, and papa nature.

This diagram allows me to look at all the variables gives me my best options that if I change something, it may improve the overall output from my business or at least from the part of the business that I’m working on right now.

You always need to keep an eye on what’s going on, because change is always inevitable. Changes fast and sometimes ruthless because and taking the path of least resistance change can often run over anything or anyone.

Thank goodness we have days like this where we can take a step back, drink a little hot chocolate while we watch the snow fall, and take the time to ensure I am doing the best I can or what I want to do to change.

Thanks for joining me. Have a good day, and if you would like to have some charts to work with or know more about this, please reply to the blog, and I will send you an email with the charts and how-toes you would need.



We are once again at the end of a week with no idea where the first days went.  This seems to be a ritual with me.  I am not sure why.  I live near the Air Force Academy, and I guess the cadets up there must be rubbing off on me.

At the Academy, the cadets look at a week as a day.  Monday is the new morning, Wednesday is lunchtime and Friday is the end of the day.  For young people who have a lot to do and little free time to waste, I guess this makes sense.

I may have to run my projects by the week and, like the Academy, cadets look at each week as a day.  It might make the week more interesting.  It would help to organize and expedite a project. And it would make each section of the week more memorable.


Just a thought.  Thanks for listening.

Hidden Factories???

Up until now, we’ve talked about systems and habits at home. Most workplaces also have systems in habits. Some of those systems and habits probably work well. Some could always work better with a little improvement.

There is always the formal workplace and the informal workplace. Both are important to the business. One is the direct channel that management uses to set up processes and requirements and to maintain the actions needed for the business to be sustained. The other is the method by which the workers take what management dictates and makes it happen.

As I said, one does not work well without the other. Smart management and smart workers know this. The really smart companies don’t set up new systems and requirements until the management and workers have sat down together and gone over them.

On the other hand, sometimes management sends down new processes that it expects to have implemented within two weeks. The workers who actually do the work day in and day out look at the new processes, find the places where it does not work well, and simply substitutes whatever they feel it takes to complete what they think should be accomplished. When this happens, no one is happy.

Changes always work best with good, logical explanations and positive agreement before implementation.  Without this step, your new systems have just turned into hidden factories.

What is a hidden factory?  Join us Monday for our next blog, and I will tell you all about it.

Do you wash your dishes by hand? Or, do you use a dishwasher? Do you take care of dishes and get them into the dishwasher as soon as you use them, daily, or to you wait until you can no longer see the sink and/or most of the counter?

The easiest time to take care of something is before it grows. Handling one or two plates to clean them and/or put them into a dishwasher is easier than looking at the kitchen three days later when you can no longer see the sink. You are also less likely to run out of the utensils you use the most. And, with the kitchen looking better, you feel better.

A House with less clutter helps keep the mind clutter free.

The easiest time to ensure that you have your clothes, shoes, belts, purses, car keys, socks and wallets is to put them all together the night before. Place them in one place where you plan to get dressed so that everything is ready for the next morning. Some of you are saying, ‘Oh yeah that’s the only way to do it.’ Others are saying, ‘That’s a waste of time.’

There are some great advantages to gathering everything the night before. How many times have you gotten dressed and then been unable to leave the house because you can not find the car keys? How often do you spend valuable morning time looking for two socks that match? How many times did you wake to find out that there were no pressed or wrinkle free pants or shirts? It happens.

When you set up everything the night before you save time. Your stress levels are lower, and once you’re dressed in the morning, you feel better. You were prepared.

Is it easy? Never at first, although when you are used to it, you will think it is the only and best way. You will have developed your system for being ready, for having less stress, and you will find you are happier because of it.

Not Good or Bad

After yesterday’s blog, you’re probably scratching your head and wondering, “What type of systems do I need,” and, “What kind of habits do I need to run them”

The answer is easy and one way or another you’re making and using habits right now, for systems that hopefully work for you. Some people run systems and habits that are bad for them also. Look at a couple of these, and we’re not saying that you have good habits or bad habits, good systems or bad systems. It’s up to you to take a look at what you have to use, and figure out what you need to do. I can help you to look and help you with the how.

Do you have to be at work in the morning? Do you have to do things before you go to work? Showing up at work in pajamas and bed hair does make a statement, probably just not the one you want to make. I bet you use an alarm clock. Making sure the alarm clock is set at night and getting up when it goes off in the morning or good habits. They feed the habit of being ready and going to work on time.

Do others count on you? If you have two children, spouse, maybe a pet needs to be walked, shower to take, need to get dressed. And you need to ensure children are dressed and fed before catching the school bus or walking to school, you truly need some pretty good systems. And, everyone has to have the habits to do what is needed in a timely order.

Do you have habits when you bake a cake? Do you put used items in the sink and throw away discards in the trash as needed? You pile everything up and clean up the kitchen when everything is done or while the cake is baking? Do you leave everything where it is with the idea of you baked the cake, and somebody else can clean the kitchen? They are all habits that feed the system of working in the kitchen.

I didn’t say all habits were good. I only said they are habits. If after work you go with everyone to a local pub, as part of a going away party for a working member, it is a one-time thing. If you go to the pub every day after work, it is a habit. One-time actions and habits in themselves are not good or bad. How you use actions and habits can have a positive or negative effect on you.

One of my habits, which is not good for me, is to recline on the couch nightly and watch other people pretend to do things for entertainment. You got it, I watch far too much TV.

Here’s how you know what you need, what you do, and whether it’s good for you. Make a list of those things you must do. Do you have to cut grass? Do you have to get up in the morning? Are you required to ensure that members of your family make it to where they are supposed to be on time, school, appointments, etc.? Do you have to cook? Do you have to go to the grocery store to get things to cook? Do you have to sleep? Do you have to relax? Do you need to be entertained? These are items we require or are required to do as humans. The way we normally handle what we do soon become habits due to repetition. The overall concept of these things and how we handle them are systems.

Tomorrow, we will look at a couple of systems that many people use. On Friday, we will look at ways to develop systems unique to us that work better than leaving things to chance.

How Are Your Systems and Habits?

Systems are important, and the habits that keep us using the systems are vital.

Did you know that glass is not a solid? I saw that this week on the Internet when I was looking up the various unique characteristics of glass. Glass is considered a fourth element. Glass is never found as a solid or gas. Glasses are always in a liquid state. It is just that the way glass is made. The molecules are super-cooled, and the electrons move very slow.

I am not sure that our habits or the systems we use should ever be in a solid or gaseous state either. A gaseous state would mean there would be no coherence there would be nothing to grab onto. If our habits and systems are rock solid, there is no room for error which is good. And yet, there is no room to take care of an anomaly. And there is always an anomaly somewhere that in life or in business you must take care of.

My ideas and systems need to have good habits that can bend to higher needs when the occasion arises. I also believe in systems that are well understood and have the capacity to work well on situations which fall well outside of the norm.

Am I asking for miracles? No. I remember who I work for. I work for my family. And as I have said before, I work for the man upstairs, and he has me working for you. That makes everyone involved very important. I want to make sure I am doing those things that are important to everyone involved.

How are you with the systems you use to get things done and the habits that keep you using the systems? Think of your habits and systems overnight and make a list. And we will talk about this again in the morning.

Thanks for being here with us, I look forward to tomorrow.