Friday, December 11, 2009

Good renewal food for thought- It’s easier to get 10 people to work for you than for you to do the work of 10

Why Your Not-To-Do List Is More Important Than Your To-Do List

Gary Bencivenga  Success Bullets

W e all have the same 24 hours in a day, yet some people accomplish so much more than others. What are their secrets? Here are the best ways to boost productivity from some of the brightest minds on the subject...


Apply the 80/20 rule to everything. Roughly 20% of your daily activities are responsible for 80% of your success, income and personal happiness. These are your "big-payoff" activities.
Conversely, 20% of your activities are causing 80% of your wasted time. These are your "low-payoff" activities.

The best way to multiply your productivity is simple -- always be looking to free up more time for your big-payoff activities by ruthlessly eliminating the dozens of low-payoff ones that you unwittingly tolerate.

Example: One of the most successful executives I know keeps a framed sign over his desk and carries an index card in his shirt pocket with the same message -- Is this leading me to my main goal? He checks that reminder numerous times a day and saves countless hours each week by staying on track -- cutting off quickly from time-wasting phone calls, meetings, gossip, etc., and relentlessly getting back to the big-payoff activities for himself and his company.

Harness your "hour of power." Whatever your highest-payoff activity, rise early and give it the first hour of your day -- what I call your "hour of power." This gets your day off to a highly productive start.

The late Earl Nightingale, a management guru, explained that if you spend this early-morning hour in the study of your chosen field, you'll be a national expert in five years or less.
Gain six to eight extra hours of productivity every day. Your second-most-productive hour is right before you go to sleep. This is a great time to leverage your productivity by arranging for your mighty subconscious mind to solve a problem while you sleep peacefully.

How to do it: Just before going to bed, think about a problem or question that you're working on. Then say to yourself, Great subconscious mind, I don't want to work on this matter too hard, so please just figure this out for me by the morning while I sleep peacefully. Then completely forget about the matter and drift off to sleep.

You'll likely find that during your hour of power the next morning, you will be brimming over with ideas that are perfect for your project. Be aware that your morning ideas are slippery fish. If you don't catch them immediately on getting up, they'll swim away forever. Keep a pad and pen at your bedside to capture your ideas.

Don't carry your "to-do" list in your head. You not only will forget things that are on the list, but an inner voice will perpetually nag that you must be dropping balls somewhere. Use a written to-do list to capture everything you must remember -- every phone call, task and follow-up action. Review the most urgent and important items daily, and all items weekly.
Don't multitask. As Confucius said, "A man who chases two rabbits catches neither." Modern studies show that when you try to accomplish two activities that require focused attention at the same time, both suffer significantly.
Slow down. When focusing on one high-priority item at a time, don't rush through it. You do your best thinking when you are focused and relaxed. As Mae West advised with a wink, "Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly."

Get enough sleep. Research shows that your productivity, clarity, alertness, judgment, creativity, memory, motivation, relaxation, cheerfulness and lots of other wonderful qualities all thrive on adequate sleep and suffer without it. Also consider an afternoon nap -- one of life's most rejuvenating luxuries.

Do what you love. It's much easier to be productive when your work is your play. You will want to give it your full attention and every minute you can -- and you easily will brush off countless distractions that seduce others. So in all of your activities and goals, and especially when deciding which to choose as your highest priorities, remember the words of editor and author Christopher Morley, "There is only one success -- to be able to spend your life in your own way."

Your not-to-do list is even more important than your to-do list. You must work every day to minimize or get rid of those 20% of activities that are wasting 80% of your time -- by maintaining a not-to-do list. Helpful...

Never answer e-mail in the morning. Reserve your precious morning time for your highest-payoff activities. Also, shut off your e-mail program for most of the day so that you won't be interrupted by each new incoming message. Limit reviewing your e-mail to specific periods, perhaps once around noon and again later in the day. Keep replies short with answers such as, "Thanks"... "Look forward to it" ... "Will do"... or "I agree."

Don't answer phones just because they ring. Too often, it is a salesperson, fund-raiser or other pesky soul out to waste your time and ruin your focus. Have an assistant or answering machine screen your calls, or let them go to voice mail. As psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell, MD, author of Crazy Busy, says, "If you don't manage your time, it will be taken from you."

Flex your no muscle. Whenever someone asks you to do something that you would rather not do, remember this simple two-part formula -- (1) "Thanks for asking" (for having confidence that I could do this, etc.), (2) "I can't, because... " (you've just been given a major new assignment or whatever) "so I wouldn't be able to give it the time that it deserves." If the petitioner persists, don't debate the issue. Just keep robotically repeating your reason for declining, and the person soon will let you alone.

Of course, if the person making the request is your boss, remember that he/she is your number-one customer and that it's important to be on the same page about what's important. Sound out whether this new request supersedes your current tasks. In other words, know what is most important at all times, and put your focus there.

Ask two questions of every task: (1) Does this have to be done? (2) If so, does it have to be done by me? In all matters, strive to be not just efficient but effective. Efficient means doing things right, but effective means doing the right things -- which is far more important.
Delegate the kaizen way. If you're a control freak and can't delegate easily, do it the kaizen way. Kaizen is the Japanese approach of continuous improvement with small, nonthreatening, easy-to-take baby steps. Ask someone to do a small task for you. As soon as you're comfortable with one delegation baby-step, take another, and so on. It's easier to get 10 people to work for you than for you to do the work of 10

Hollecrest & Associates Inc   -"Turnaround Consultants" .

Back to Eden communities
Sunridge -261 Oakhill Drive, Brantford
"Building elder peer communities that are cozy,caring and comfortable" -quality 24/7 care

Give a "dream" gift this Christmas

1. Follow Your Dream

Jesus said, "According to your faith let it be to you."1

Walt Disney—certainly a creator and fulfiller of dreams—said, "Somehow I can't believe that there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret—curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable."

Living in Southern California I still like going to Disneyland and appreciate it more today than ever, knowing that Disney went broke six times (I believe it was) and had a nervous breakdown before becoming successful. Walt succeeded because he was a man with a dream of what could be and the determination to make it happen.

As George Bernard Shaw said, "There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?"

And as Edward Everett Hale said, "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do."

For the Christian, while none of us may be "called" to be a Walt Disney, a Robert Kennedy, or a Martin Luther King, God has a purpose for every one of us. Each of us needs to discover what that purpose is, turn it into a dream and, with God's help, work to fulfill it. In so doing we, too, will make an impact on at least one other life, and for many of us, an impact on many lives. And then, when we come to the end of life's journey, we will hear God's welcoming words, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord."2

When our dream is a God-given one, we don't have to dream the impossible dream. For with God all things are possible. Not that fulfilling the dream will come easily. In all probability it will be a life challenging task. But think of the ancient Israelites to whom God gave the Promised Land. God didn't hand it to them on a silver platter. Only where they planted the soles of their feet did it become theirs—and they had to battle for every inch of the way. However, had not God given it to them, it would have been an impossible dream–and even today it would be impossible for them to survive without God's protection. Let's each claim God's dream he has for us.

"Building elder peer communities that are cozy,caring and comfortable" -quality 24/7 care

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Technology to Monitor Health and Safety

New Technology to Monitor Health and Safety
I'm impressed by some new technologies I am seeing and reading about that have the potential to improve the quality of life for people with chronic health problems -- and most particularly for elderly men and women who want to continue to live independently. I'm talking about devices that measure and track data, such as weight and blood pressure, over time, others that nudge people to take medications or perform physical therapy exercises, and yet others that send an alert to a designated recipient if something seems amiss -- for instance, on a morning when the monitored person doesn't get out of bed or there is a precipitous rise or drop in his/her blood pressure. In worst-case scenarios, a call is placed to 911 so that life-saving help comes quickly.
"Chronic health issues are driving this market and the development of these devices," says Susan Ayers Walker, managing director of the SmartSilvers Alliance and the Digital Health Summit at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, the world's largest annual consumer-technology trade show, where such products are typically introduced.
The field itself is new, but the technology isn't, I was told by Jeffrey Kaye, MD, director of the Layton Aging & Alzheimer's Disease Center at Oregon Health & Science University. He said the real breakthroughs are in the adaptations. For example, products like Life Alert -- worn as a pendant or wristwatch -- already enable seniors to call for help if they fall and can't get up or if another emergency occurs. Now a new product from Grandcare uses motion sensors to get the same result without the need to push a button or wear a device. Another product monitors heart failure patients to measure water retention through weight gain. "Now you can instrument a standard bathroom scale to send a signal to a health professional with simple software that charts a patient's weight within certain parameters," he explains.

Here are some of the technologies currently in use or being developed...
Home monitoring:
Grandcare systems ( offers a customizable combination of motion sensors, weight monitoring, prescription reminders, general messages from family and more. The system also gives seniors other reasons to want to interact with it... a TV interface can provide users with updates of photos, local weather, news and more.
Prescription monitoring:
For patients taking several medications but who are not sick enough to require full-time care, MedSignals ( monitors up to four prescriptions at a time, records when the pills are taken, and sends information to a designated party (a family member, doctor or other caregiver) to monitor use.
GlowCaps ( are special prescription bottle tops that flash and play music when it's time to take a pill... order refills for you... and send a weekly report on use (caps can monitor when and how often they are opened) to physicians and family members.
Assisted living:
Elite Care (, an assisted-living facility in Oregon, uses monitoring technology to help care for its residents, assuming that the patient has granted permission to be monitored. Behavior and cognitive function are monitored unobtrusively to track changes that can signal decline or the onset of disease.
We're Not There Yet...
These products are available but expensive, and at present, few are covered by insurance. Also, standards for devices still are being developed. Add in concerns about privacy (who gets to see this electronic medical information and what can be done with it)... liability (if the system makes a mistake, who is to blame?)... and physician participation (do doctors have the capability to handle all this data?), and it becomes clear that there are still some kinks to be worked out with these systems.
Even so, their time is surely coming. Major companies, such as Microsoft (, Google (, GE, Philips and Intel, are already hard at work on their own plans and products. Industry standards and design guidelines are being developed (

Jeffrey Kaye, professor of neurology and biomedical engineering, director, NIA - Layton Aging & Alzheimer's Disease Center and NIA-ORCATECH -Oregon Center for Aging & Technology, Oregon Health & Science University and Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Portland.
Susan Ayers Walker, managing director, SmartSilvers,

Back to Eden communities
Sunridge -261 Oakhill Drive, Brantford
"Building elder peer communities that are cozy,caring and comfortable" -quality 24/7 care

Stop the guilt thrower-catcher syndrome in the new year

Guilt-Throwers Vs. Guilt-Catchers

"Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times—speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly—and so become more and more in every way like Christ."1

Another Daily Encounter reader asks, "I'm in my fifties and my mother is still controlling me with guilt. What can I do to stop her?"

Strange as it may seem but this woman is not alone in her situation by any means. Some parents want to control even their adult children until the day they die.

My answer to the woman was, "You can't stop your mother from being a guilt-thrower, but you can stop being a guilt-catcher."

Guilt-throwing and guilt-catching are two sides of the same coin. Guilt-throwers only throw guilt to guilt-catchers … both are involved in "this dance of guilt" (false guilt, that is). You can't have one without the other. Both are equally in need of help. The fact is that nobody can make me feel guilty or anything else without my cooperation and permission.

What the guilt-thrower does is his problem. How I respond is always my responsibility. That is, if I am a guilt-catcher, that's my problem and my responsibility to overcome. And while I can't stop or change the guilt-thrower, I can change myself and stop catching the guilt that others throw in my direction.

To change myself I need to acknowledge my part and admit that I, too, have a problem. I'm a guilt-catcher because I probably learned it in childhood, and am afraid to say no for fear I won't be liked, or because I'm afraid of conflict. But underneath, when I allow myself to be controlled by guilt or anything else, I feel frustrated and angry!

Two things we need to do to stop being a guilt-catcher. One is long-term. The other is short-term. Regarding the long-term, I need to keep working on my own growth so that I develop a healthy self-concept so it doesn't bother me to say no to someone regardless of whether they like me or not. For immediate results, one of the most helpful things to do is to recognize immediately when someone is trying to lay a guilt trip on you and say kindly but firmly to them, "You're not trying to make me feel guilty are you?"

Of course they will deny it, but if you keep responding in this manner, it won't take long before they will stop throwing guilt your way and look for someone else who will catch it.

If you happen to be a guilt-thrower, the same principles for recovery apply. You need to get into a growth program so you can develop a healthy self-concept so you don't need to be in control of every situation in order to feel okay about yourself. Recognize what you are doing and see how harmful this is to yourself and to others and, with God's help, little by little stop doing it.

Hollecrest & Associates Inc   -"Turnaround Consultants" .

Back to Eden communities
Sunridge -261 Oakhill Drive, Brantford
"Building elder peer communities that are cozy,caring and comfortable" -quality 24/7 care