Mindconnection eNL, 2003-03-17
Please ask your friends to sign up for this eNL!
In this issue:
This issue is dedicated to Don B., who had such high praise for the previous one.
1. Brainpower tip
We do a lot of filtering. We filter coffee to remove the grounds. We filter water to remove chlorine. We filter pool water to remove particulates. We filter the air that our car engines breathe, and we filter the air that comes into our furnaces. We even filter the signals to our stereos so they sound right (well, OK, the manufacturer provides the input filter for you and you never have to mess with it--but it's there).
Oddly enough, many of us fail to filter what comes into our minds.
2. Time tip
The Law of Meetings states, "The meeting will expand to fill the time given it." An unstructured time frame for a list of activities does not engender a sense of urgency. What usually happens is one or two take an exceptionally long time and then you suddenly find you are "out of time" for the rest.
To overcome this, break a time frame down into separate components. For example, allow a block of 30 minutes for answering e-mail. If you are not done in that time, too bad. Any more e-mail must wait until you reach an "overflow" block of time. What happens with such an approach is you quickly become very efficient at whatever you are doing. You stop expanding the activity to fill the time. And suddenly, instead of being out of time, you have a surplus of it to use as you wish.
To really be a time master, check out Mindconnection's Time Management Course. Time is money, so consider this a wise investment. In this case, it's only $11.97 and it may well keep you from time-related stress disorders that can run into thousands of dollars of treatment.
3. Security tip
A simple little thing like putting deadlock bolts on your doors increases your security by a whole tier. Forget those little door chains--the screws that hold them in don't bite onto very much door frame. To make a door secure, contact a door company. Have them evaluate and modify your door frame as needed, and install an insulated metal door. Wooden doors are good choices, only if they are solid and not hallow-cored. If you can kick the door as hard as possible and not break it, then the wooden door is OK. Otherwise, don't trust your life to something you can so easily break. When you are in bed, the purpose of a door is to give you time to put on your safety glasses and ear protection, then aim your "insurance policy" at the intruder until the police can get from the doughnut shop to your house.
OK, I take back that slam on police--my cousin's son is a State Trooper and a wonderful human being. He doesn't do doughnut shops. But, the police have to come from somewhere, and that takes a lot of time. Be prepared--the door is your first line of defense. Take a look at your windows, too.
4. Finance tip
For most Americans, their single biggest expense is payroll tax (it's about half your wages). After that come housing and then transportation. Food is way down the list. Well, until we get a voting populace that stops electing/re-electing government officials based on how much they can spend, our taxes will continue to be about 10 times the size they should be (I have calculated that amount based on what the typical citizen gets in return for such high taxes). Housing is fairly controllable--just don't try to keep up with the Joneses. The same thing applies to transportation and again to clothing and entertainment.
That brings us to food. I am amazed at how much people spend at the grocery store. I want you to think about this very carefully.
5. Computer tip
Can't remember where a file is? If you are on Windows, you can simply open Windows Explorer (the file management system, which should be your primary way of accessing files--don't open them from within an application) and right mouse click. Select "Search." You'll have several options. Use the one that works best for this particular search.
To avoid future problems, open existing files through Explorer, and make sure you tell a given program where to store new files. You can change default settings usually in the Options tab.
You can read more free computer tips at the
free Mindconnection online library:
6. Career tip
In these times of massive layoffs, you may be tempted to join coworkers in venting about the management. Yes, many times layoffs are due to management incompetence. But, that is not always the case. The factors that are responsible for today's layoffs have been in place since LBJ was President. He accelerated things with his "New Deal," which is an unsustainable assault on the businesses that provide our jobs. And his botching of Vietnam created other factors we are still paying for. Today, we are seeing what's called the snowball effect.
More and more, government incompetence is a key player in layoffs--for example, it costs so much to comply with federal regulations of employment that employers are simply throwing in the towel and seeking workers overseas. They must choose between doing that or going under.
Another element we cannot ignore is the world marketplace. This is also a driver, but you can't solely blame it because not every locale is having layoffs. The determining factor is the cost of complying with government regulations.
The point here is grousing about your managers as the cause of the layoffs is more than often an exercise in falsehood. And, it won't help you.
Even if the grousing is justified (it's probably not, given what we've just discussed), it won't help you. What will help you is projecting a positive attitude. Even if you have to fake it. Try complimenting your employer on what it is you like. Your company is your customer. How would you feel if you went to a restaurant and the waiter acted unhappy to serve you? Or suppose you hired a contractor to remodel your home, and you kept hearing him grumble about the "incompetent homeowner" and how you are eroding his margins?
The message here should not need further explanation. If you understand what I just told you, then you have a "layoff edge" over most, if not all, of your coworkers. Nobody owes you a job--you need to make them feel happy to provide it to you.
7. Health tip/Fitness tip
Everyone is capable of having a lean physique, contrary to popular excuses like it's all genetics. In my own case, I come from a fat family but have washboard abs and a litheness that most guys half my age have long since lost. If I can do it, so can you. Here are some tips, which seem timely as summer is approaching:
8. Thought for the Day
I hear a lot of people pontificating about macro issues, such as the looming war in Iraq. When I ask them on what basis they form their opinion, it's invariably a noise source--not an information source. I have to wonder if they are doing this rather than engaging in a useful introspection to deal with their own issues. Something to think about.
Wishing you the best,
AuthorshipThe views expressed in this e-newsletter are generally not shared by criminals, zombies, or brainwashed individuals.
Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.
Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).
The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).
Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader.
To unsubscribe, write to This e-mail link
Let other potential readers know what you think of this e-zine, by rating it at the Cumuli Ezine Finder: http://www.cumuli.com/ezines/ra22225.rate