Time Management Expert, Event Speaker: Mark Lamendola

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Time Tips: Finding Hidden Time Tip #10

Not long ago, I was talking with a future blind date on the phone, trying to arrange a time to meet. One of her big time blocks was devoted to her workouts. So, I asked her to tell me about those. I discovered that she's one of the typical gym rats who spends way too much time "working out" and almost no time actually training. Her "workouts" simply did not make sense. They were collections of exercises, but they lacked focus or any specific purpose.

If you spend 20 to 30 minutes properly focused on training a particular muscle group (for example, you do a back and biceps workout), you will get far better results than if you spend an hour "working out." Ditto for 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours--whatever. The difference is the first approach is targeted, while the second one is the shotgun approach.

Any time you approach a task with an attitude of "more is better" rather than deciding exactly what you need to do and doing it, you are poorly investing your time. For one thing, you are going to take longer. And for another, you probably won't get the intended results.

The whole "working out" scene is a classic example. But, there are many other examples. One that amazes me is the corporate "face time" insanity.

There's this whacko idea in the corporate world that people who arrive early and stay late are somehow better employees than those people who manage their time wisely and approach their work efficiently.

So, you can waste 61 of the 65 hours you put in each week to accomplish 4 hours of work and be perceived as more valuable than the person who actually gets 38 hours of solid work in a 40 hour work week. This is the rule, not the exception.

A recent report in the Wall Street Journal revealed that a huge number of Fortune 1000 CEOs got million dollar bonuses despite making stupid mistakes that cost their companies dearly.

Would you say it's insane to reward someone for putting in 70 hours a week to undo or nullify the work of 1,000 coworkers? Of course you would. But this inability to consider results as part of the time equation is an epidemic. Don't let it infect you.

In the electrical world, we see the same "more is better" thing. Proper grounding is essential to power quality. If your grounding's inadequate, you set the stage for power quality problems. But if you fix your grounding inadequacies, most or all of your power quality problems simply go away. This has given rise to the idea that if you invest huge amounts of time and money in overgrounding, you will improve your power quality. That's not true. Once your grounding is adequate, more grounding won't do anything for you.

Most of our readers drive cars. When you park your car, what do you do? Shut off the ignition, put the transmission in gear (if a manual) or park (if an automatic), and set the handbrake or emergency brake. If you're on a hill, you turn the wheels so the car won't roll into traffic. That parks the car.

How many of us would spend additional time setting wheel chocks at each tire? How many of us would remove the tires and put the car up on jack stands whenever we park it? You get the idea. Once you meet the requirements for a task, more is not better. It's simply a waste of time.

Invest some time in assessing your various tasks and activities. Look for where you are wasting time by overdoing things. If you approach this with a sort of brutal honesty, you will be surprised how much additional free time you can "mine" from your present schedule.


Do you want to radically improve how well people in your organization make use of the limited number of hours in each work day?

Contact me to arrange a time when we can talk about a presentation: mark@mindconnection.com. Why arrange a time? So I can give you full attention during the call. There's a really powerful time management tip. Ask me why it works.