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Mindconnection eNL, 2003-08-06

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In this issue:

  1. Brainpower tip
  2. Time tip
  3. Finance tip
  4. Security tips
  5. Health tip/Fitness tip
  6. Thought for the day


1. Brainpower tip

Don't work at any one task too long. Instead, break tasks down into blocks of time. Work a block, and take a break. Then, do the next block. That break can consist of doing a block of another task. This approach keeps your attention level at its peak. Try this, the next time you compose a letter. Do some other activity between edits, and you will be amazed at how much better the letter turns out.

You can apply this philosophy to almost any set of tasks. Rather than multitask and get a lower total speed and quality, use this multithreading approach instead. 


2. Time tip

If you find you have more work than day to accommodate it, try this proven technique. Carry a small notebook around. For whatever it is you are doing, jot down the start time, a description, the end time, and a grade A - F of how you felt that made use of your time. By day's end, you'll have a list of timewasters. You know know where to start. If this is too burdensome, use the trigger approach. That is, take notes only when certain events trigger you to do so. Those events are notorious time-wasters, such as the following:

  • Meetings

  • Television

  • Phone calls

  • Business lunches

  • Trips

  • Low-value activities

  • Things you hate doing

  • Things you just aren't good at doing but are saddled with

We offer an effective meetings course, if you want to tackle meetings so they don't make you yearn for a root canal as an excuse to get out of them. If you hate doing something or aren't good at it, why are you doing it? Think that through, very carefully and try to change the scenario so you are happier and more effective. For phone calls, make a list of what you want to discuss before you call--if someone calls you, set a time limit. Plan your trips so they are efficient and enjoyable--combine them whenever possible.


3. Finance tip

The pundits are saying the economy is now in great shape. Such a condition has not been true in my lifetime. The economy has structural problems that are going to be with us for the foreseeable future. Yes, there will be high stock market valuations again. Yes, it will feel like the economy is strong again. But, the economy will not be strong for quite some time.

To put yourself in a financially sound position as we navigate the rough rapids of the economy in the years ahead, you have to forego the American fascination with becoming deeply indebted. Martin Luther King, Jr., referred to financial debt for the purpose of the bigger house or fancier car as a form of self-imposed slavery. Don't put those shackles on.

To be in good financial shape, you need to work on:

  • Increasing your income, and/or

  • Decreasing your expenses, and

  • Investing in yourself and in your relationships.

You can increase your income by voting against tax increases in your city, state, county, country, etc. Keep in mind that taxes produce a poor return on investment. "More taxes" does not equate to "more services" or more of anything for the taxpayer. That is not to say you shouldn't pay taxes. It does take some money to provide for the common good, and folks who feel they should not pay any taxes are deluded. The problem is the taxes are far higher than they should be and increasing them for any reason will simply bring you back to the same poor level of service you have come to expect from your bloated government which will then ask you for yet another tax increase. As we were advised on another addiction, just say no.

You can also increase your income by evaluating how you can provide more value to your employer or client, and then doing that. Manage your career actively, always aiming to build your résumé through accomplishment and good customer service. It may not pay off with a given employer, but it will make you a more attractive employee to someone else.

You can decrease your expenses by refusing to put soft drinks and other poison in your shopping cart. Not only will you save on purchases, but you will save big time on medical expenses. Take a look at other expenses you don't need to incur. Can you scale them back, or replace them with less costly alternatives? 

You should always invest in yourself. Mindconnection has a slew of courses for this purpose. And, of course, you must nurture those around you. Friends and family are priceless (though divorce can be very costly).



4. Security tip

If you have a cell phone, make sure you have the phone number of your County Sheriff programmed into it. You
an call this number in an emergency, and they'll patch you through. If using the 911 system, you must verbally give
your location and declare you are calling from a cell phone. The reason is the tower from which your call goes to
the 911 system isn't likely to be anywhere near where you are.

Have an emergency gathering place pre-agreed to for your family. This way, everyone reports to that spot in the
event of a hurricane, tornado, fire, IRS audit, earthquake, or other natural disaster--and rescue workers don't have
to try to figure out where people are.

Each adult in your home should be proficient with whatever firearms you are using for home defense. In many
homes, only the woman is proficient because she has taken the necessary training for her own defense and the
man is assumed to be proficient. This assumption can leave the man defenseless.

Ensure everyone in your home knows how to use a fire extinguisher. People often buy extinguishers, stick them in
a closet, and forget how to use them or even where they are. When there's a fire, they find the extinguisher in the
fourth place they look, struggle to pull the pin (twist it), and then proceed toward the fire with an extinguisher that
has nearly discharged from age (these things leak). Next, they shoot a blast across the top of the flames,
spreading the fire. The correct technique is to shoot at the base of the fire. Contact your local fire department if
you want training. You can cheaply conduct your own by using a real extinguisher in a real way once a year, and
then making sure you have a fully charged one (or two) by the end of the day.


5. Health tip/Fitness tips

Last month, my body fat was at 9.5%--a bit higher than where I normally like it (8%). I decided to buy Conjugated Linoleic Acid, which is touted as very effective for fat loss. That touting is an understatement. I was down to 6.5% as of yesterday, after using CLA for less than a month. It's not a fatburner per se, so you're not going to get hot or get the shakes from it. You need to try it. You can find it in just about any health food store.

7. Thought for the Day

There's a reason why Boy Scouts are always prepared. What possible reason can there be for not being prepared?


Wishing you the best,
Mark Lamendola


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