Tag Archives: time-management

Get Your Product Out The Door

When you’ve been an entrepreneur long enough, one thing is for sure:  you have to ship or die. Whatever product or service you offer, as long as there’s a viable market for it, you’re in business.

You stay in business as long as you keep producing or serving to meet the demand that identifies your particular market, whether it’s left-handed scissors, specialty wax seals, or antique car detailing. And if you truly are fully engaged with these things, and get to make a living out of that engagement, then more power to you.

There is a caveat, though.

“Follow your passion,” overlooks the goal of your work.
It’s easy to overlook that the root word of ‘passion‘ comes from the Latin for ‘suffering.’ Following your passion is easy to say; it’s just three words anyway, but the sentence doesn’t cover  what happens after, and that’s where many people stumble. Pipe dreams die easily when you apply hard logic to them, and for many who prefer the dream, they can come unprepared for the hard work of making it into a reality.

See, the hard part is that some parts of the dream won’t make it, so you need to let them go.

“Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.” – Erica Jong, author

 

Now, let’s take about productivity, and how it ties in to “ship or die.”

One idea  you have to learn to relinquish is the thought of a perfect product. If you have trouble releasing a product to face the public, have you ever really tried to answer the question, “When will it be good enough?” definitively? Do you have a protocol for bug fixes and releases, but have a habit of  being slow on the actual launching? Continue reading Get Your Product Out The Door

How Do You Track Your Progress?

12 April 2013, by A. Cedilla

Do you have the appropriate apps on your smartphone? Maybe you got one of those little doohickeys that track your steps, or signed up for a service that sends you reminders throughout the day. Perhaps you do it old-school, with pen, paper and a big wall-calendar, those of the month-at-a-glance types.

Whatever method you use, it’s obvious then that you have a system in place to help keep you on your toes and (mostly) in charge of your days. You’re a busy person, with things that need to be done and goals to meet, and you do what’s needful to see that happen.

Tracking progress has the following side-effects:

  • It makes you pay attention – Time-tracking software and browser extensions came into being for a reason. We are usually poor guesstimators when it comes to determining our productivity, and the real-time monitoring these things do help give us an accurate picture of where and when we spend the bulk of our time when we say we’re working. The shock may be enough to get you to work on yourself
  • It keeps you motivated to do one better – You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
  • It engenders a feeling of satisfaction at the progress you’re making – Admit it. There’s a sneaking glee in earning a gold star and rewarding yourself. Not to mention you’re getting to know you’re capable of getting better.

Continue reading How Do You Track Your Progress?

How Do You Look At Your Time?

05 April 2013, by A. Cedilla

Anyone with any experience at all in project management and calendar-fu knows the importance of having short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. That’s how you get things done. By breaking things down into their smallest action units, you make the work-load lighter, especially when it’s spread out over time. It also greatly simplifies your thinking process when you see your action items, time-line and priorities laid out in black and white.

But have you every really though about how you look at your time, and not just the way you use it? How long is your short-term? What about your mid-term? What does long-term mean for you?

The issue here is perspective — time perspective. That’s how far you project into the future when you decide what you are going to do or not do today. As you think, so you act –and move–in time.

  • If you think you have all the time in the world to do something, you can bet you’d take your sweet time doing it.
  • If you believe you only have this much time to finish something before the opportunity to use it is gone forever, you’d act a lot differently.

Continue reading How Do You Look At Your Time?

Technostress: Rise Against The Machines

06 January 2013 by A.Cedilla

  • Advancements in computing have reinterpreted human limits of “just how much work you are supposed to do in a day” (productivity) and have increasingly infringed on our basic health requirement to be protected from constant overestimation brought about by connectivity.
  • Communication technology developments in the past 20 years have relentlessly pushed us to become more adept in navigating the world using these technologies — which touches on our adaptability, familiarity and mastery.

Technological advances gave us speed and power, but our biological hard-wiring is stressed out because we are not equipped to handle the exponential speed that these tools supposedly put into our control. What was intended to enhance our communication often renders us mostly disconnected from our deepest selves and from each other.

And we’re not machines. Unstructured or ‘off’ time is important because that’s when we rest and let our ideas percolate without ego, pressure or limits. The open spaces in our lives are are where — and when — new things can come into being unhindered. Things like reconnection, reflection, replenishment and rest. The problem is that the very things that were meant to make our lives run on an easier and more orderly level have basically taken over.

  • How long can you disconnect before you feel panicked that you’ll fall too far behind?
  • How long can you work offline when everything makes it so easy to stay on in the first place?

Continue reading Technostress: Rise Against The Machines

Defining Your Territory

17 November 2012, by A. Cedilla

People have more things to deal with today that they have in the past. We also communicate faster, and that comes with a whole set of issues that have put increasing stress on our physical and mental limits.

  • We get pinged and messaged and alerted and beeped, cutting into our crucial concentration.
  • We can get updates on a minute-by-minute basis. Even if we don’t need it.
  • We can get connected everywhere we can get a signal. Unless you plan for it, you can’t be alone with your thoughts.

How do you deal with the speed of life?

You don’t have to imagine, you know how fast things can pile up.

Maybe you have a large paper calendar or a whiteboard, with different pen colors for each family member on the wall beside the fridge.

You probably have a shared online calendar to back that up, as well as note-taking apps to remind you what to get at the grocery store. But how do you spread out the priorities that shuffle in each day and the multiple tugs for your attention, ones that pull you in different directions?

Using information demands increased cognition — but getting data is different from understanding it, which is also different from laying it out in a way that can be useful to your goal. It’s not enough to know the price of rice in China, or who the current mayor of London is, or how sugar crystallizes– unless you know how to use that information when you need it.

“But there’s no time, there’s never enough time!”

Then carve out spaces in your day, and make sure to protect their borders. Continue reading Defining Your Territory

Using This Time Of The Year To Start Planning Out The Next

29 October 2012, by A. Cedilla

Well, here we are again, stepping into the dying time of the year –the weather’s turning and work is going on as always.

The supermarkets are pimping out their candy displays, and very early on broke out the costumes for Halloween and trick-or-treat, while in malls retailers are slowly ramping up for the holidays with sales and promotions.

This the last quarter of the year, and we respectfully suggest that you take some dedicated time, a few hours or so, over the course of the next week to look at how much you’ve accomplished this year, and what you want to happen next.

  • What memorable events happened in your life this year?
  • How much of that was by your own design?
  • What else are you planning to finish this year, and how far in are you with those goals? Are you there yet?
  • What are you building on those things for next year?

Your actions today are laying the foundation for the house of your tomorrow. Remember? Stepping stones, rungs up the ladder, steps up the mountain you’re climbing or on the road you’ve chosen. You might have missed a few things getting to where you are now — time enough to take a look and see how important those things are to your future plans. Continue reading Using This Time Of The Year To Start Planning Out The Next

Blogging Basics: Your Blogging Schedule

21 September 2008, by A. Cedilla

2nd of 3 parts

Does the idea of scheduling your blogging seem forced? Uncreative? Posting to your blog shouldn’t happen only when you feel “moved” to create an award-winning post. Blogging needs to be done regularly to provide good content for your readers, to get better at writing and to maximize your profits.

Set yourself up with a schedule to post on your blogs. Take a realistic look at your business and figure out where blogging should be on your list of priorities.

The objective is not to be constantly blogging, forsaking all else, but to bring blogging forward a bit from your low priority pile of things to do. Take a look at your business model and where blogging fits in. If your blogs are currently your only platform for making money, then naturally blogging should be high priority.

Your blogging schedule is up to you and can certainly be changed when your circumstances change. Perhaps you’re going to temporarily blog daily on your internet marketing blog because you’re promoting an affiliate product or you’re just about to launch your new ebook. On a regular week you might consider blogging everyday, but alternating between all your blogs.
Continue reading Blogging Basics: Your Blogging Schedule

Using The Power of Leverage

06 September 2008, by A. Cedilla

Many people have already discovered how to use the Internet to make a lot of money. Aside from some tech savvy, discipline and a solid plan, they have also used the power of leverage.

Leverage is defined as “using given resources in such a way that the potential positive or negative outcome is magnified and/or enhanced.

Internet marketing lets you access a global audience. While you’ve probably read about or heard of people, like Ashley Qualls , who struck it rich from her MySpace themes business, many more people have found Internet marketing to be a frustrating experience.

They know that the money’s out there waiting to be made, but they struggle to make even a modest income, with a majority actually make a loss each month. The sales they do have don’t make up for the money or effort they spend on buying the latest e-books, purchasing private label rights or paying monthly membership fees.
Continue reading Using The Power of Leverage

Tailoring for Performance

26 July 2008, by A. Cedilla

Quick, what kind of suit does James Bond wear?

In his last flick Bond wears Brioni. Presidents and world-shakers, as well as cinematic spooks, wear Brioni , exquisitely tailored to fit the wearer. What you might call bespoke.

But that’s just an example. We”re not talking about suits today, but of tailoring. Tailoring means cutting, forming and shaping something to fit a specific form or figure as accurately as possible.

Tailor your life as much as you can so it fits you. You have to understand this, down to your bones: It’s your life. Your life.

Things are so unpredictable now. Everyone’s on edge, waiting to see where the axe will fall next, or when the next global crisis will rear up and bite us all on our collective ass. People are tired of stressing out over what tomorrow will come up with.

It behooves us not only to find our comfort where and when we can, but to MAKE it as well.

You can do this in many of ways. Some aren’t helpful in the long run: comfort eating, drinking too much, etc. Mostly actions like these are just ways to cover what’s eating you. Over-control, on the other hand, places you as the center of the universe, a frustrated, petty godling who should be able to do this, dammit, never mind the headaches or the hypertension.

How? Continue reading Tailoring for Performance