Monthly Archives: Jul 2014

Everything Should Work – But Does It?

Everything works

This could easily be a post about ‘testing’. It isn’t.

It’s about expectations. Or even about how much we tend to take for granted.



Reflection in mirror

I gazed at my face in the mirror.

The graying hair no longer was limited to a few stray streaks, but stood out in harder to ignore strands. The skin was a little more pitted and wrinkled than before; it even sagged a wee bit.

Then I came to the eyes. And stopped. Stared for 10 full seconds.

Looking back at me steadily, the reflection was the same. Calm, warm and passionate. Just like it had always been.

Nothing had changed.

Nothing that really mattered.

Snippets of conversation from yesterday’s wedding reception popped into my mind.

“Why don’t you dye your hair black?”

“Isn’t she using too much make-up?”

“Do you like my wig? My hair’s falling out!”

And I thought about how, just like my face, my focus and attention had shifted to the trivial, the incidental, the peripheral.

The stuff that didn’t really matter.

If the “eyes are the windows to the soul”, then dreams are the windows to one’s goals!

And I had let them drift. From what was important to me, to what seemed important to others.

It’s time to work on alignment.

To put my dreams back on track.

The operative phrase is: MY dreams.

For you, it will be YOUR dreams.

It doesn’t matter if they are great dreams or small dreams, noble dreams or mundane dreams, profound dreams or silly dreams.

They are YOUR dreams.

That’s why they matter.

You can make them happen. No, scratch that… you can MUST make them happen.

Because the biggest tragedy would be to die with your music still in you, with your song unsung.

Bring it all into alignment. That’s what I’ll be doing this weekend. Join me.


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Free Time Management Games

Test Your Skills & Learn How To Handle Time Efficiently By Playing Free Time Management Games Online


Free time management games are creative ways to mix online gaming with coaching modules that simulate regular daily life, imparting valuable time managing skills while you have fun.


Free time management games take conventional activities that make up your day to day routine – such as cooking meals, or caring for a pet – and turn them into fun games that engage and entertain while training you to manage time better.

Some of these games are more complex and imaginative, like ones that put you in charge of an air control tower, or let you manage a business, or even construct a neighborhood or entire city!

Caring For Pets

The simplest free time management games are built around caring for a pet. Each game has its favorite. Some give you a new born puppy, others may saddle you with a fish, cat, or other animals of your choice. Your task is to take care of the animal’s needs and keep them satisfied.

Playing with your pets, training them to perform tricks, cleaning up after them and feeding them from time to time are all facets of these games. Some let you play games with the animal. Fitting all this into the constraints of your limited time is excellent practice for real life time management.

In addition to helping you learn how to manage time better, these games also teach soft skills like responsibility for taking care of pets, efficiently tackling a project with myriad tasks, and assigning resources appropriately to get work done.

What Are The Best Free Time Management Games?

Web based versions of free time management games require no downloads, and can be easily bookmarked to return to. There are games available for a variety of devices, and are among the most popular applications for the iPhone and iTouch.

Below is a short list of some of the most popular free time management games for the iPhone and iTouch.

Diner Dash Lite


The free version of this online time management game has over 4,000 reviews and many 5 star ratings in the app store. The challenge it presents you with is to seat and serve customers to your restaurant – and do it as efficiently and quickly as possible.

Cooking Dash Lite

In this time management game, your role is to help Flo and her grandmother manage five hotels and serve customers. A nice twist is the integration of this game with Facebook, letting you share your results in a mouse-click.

Wedding Dash Lite


This game replaces a restaurant with a wedding reception, where your role as a player is to help couples pick a cake, bouquet and other items for the wedding.

SpongeBob Diner Dash Lite

For SpongeBob fans comes a free time management game similar to Diner Dash, but one where you can play with SpongeBob.

Supermarket Mania Lite


Another variation of time management games challenges you to help Nikki keep your shelves in a supermarket stocked all the time, even while customers enter the store and go shopping.

Chocolate Shop Frenzy Free

Emma chooses to set up a chocolate shop – and your role as a gamer is to help make the new business a success. Customer care is the watchword, and efficient time management is the secret weapon for success.

Jane’s Hotel Free


In this game, you’ll help Jane (your character) build a 5 star hotel out of a run down 2 star place. Catering to customers and upgrading rooms while enhancing your reputation gains you a promotion to higher levels.

Supermarket Management Free

You become a store manager trying hard to streamline all activity in the shop and putting systems in place to ensure future growth and higher profits.

Ada’s Hospital Lite

As a medical school graduate, you manage a clinic in this free time management game. The goal is to generate enough income every day in order to survive to the next level.

Sally’s Spa Lite

Managing a virtual spa was never easier – and the game environment is relaxing. You care for your members who purchase services like face masks, saunas and massages, all of which you are charged with running smoothly.

How Time Management Games Help


Free time management games train players in the sequence of completing activities that are routine to folks in a particular line of work. It’s your chance to pretend that you are in a career or position – say, a business owner, or entrepreneur, or professional – and are in charge of projects or activities.

You may have to direct the flow of airplanes or trains in your role as controller. Or you may have to decide about planning and manufacturing a line of products to sell in your business. Or you may run a shop, a bakery, a travel agency or any other commercial venture.

All these free time management games have an element of fantasy. In the real world, you wouldn’t expect to plan or build a city all by yourself. But the idea behind giving you that power in a virtual environment is to challenge you to manage limited resources efficiently – and that’s how time management training is imparted.

To win at these time management games and move to progressively higher levels, you must have sound skills needed to efficiently tackle your available time. You are pushed to make hard decisions, allocate resources and deploy teams to help you execute a project or meet a time deadline. And that training is excellent because it teaches you skills which can be applied to real-world projects too.

Combine this with the time management training you’ll get from other sections of this site, and you’ll experience a reduction in stress and increase in satisfaction as you gain efficiency in your work and life. The Ming Vase Time Management series of guides is rooted in a philosophy of managing time based on 3 priorities:

To learn more and receive weekly updates, please sign up for the free “Time Taozine”. Simply fill in the registration form below.

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Imagine me lying on a couch, disappointed, in pain, face swollen like a balloon. A toothache (and surgery to fix it) left me reading a book at home, instead of being at a Seth Godin presentation at Hyderabad.

I was reading LINCHPIN… And had an epiphany.

I have always been hyper-competitive. A work-a-holic. Obsessively driven to be very good. Great. World-class. In just about everything I did.

That attitude has led to some interesting accomplishments over the years.

But somewhere along the line, something changed. Maybe it was the sudden death of my colleague, or the heart surgery of my good friend, or just ‘growing up’. All of a sudden, things that once seemed all-important didn’t seem so much any more.

It opened my eyes. I saw I was on a treadmill, running ever faster to stay in the same place.

So, I hopped off!

That was a scary decision. And unsettling. For an over-achiever, not having things to do, or a map/plan to do it, always is.

I started afresh with a modest goal – to fund one child’s heart surgery, through an untested approach. I created and sold information products, using part of the profits (along with donations) to do it.

The first led to the second, then the fifth, and twentieth. Today, the non-profit Foundation I set up in 2003 has sponsored SEVENTY heart surgeries for under-privileged children born with congenital heart disease.

This year, in 2010, I am well on track to hit my target (as stated in my book, 47 Hearts) of performing 47 operations…

Yet the thrill from this is not a fraction of when I funded the first one!

Something is wrong.

The feelings of lassitude, restlessness, even frustration, had little to do with my toothache. They had been around for much longer. This was my chance to introspect about it.

Lately, I’ve been comparing myself against others, to my disadvantage. Like the guy who did a million dollar promotion. Or the other who builds his list by 400 new subscribers every day. Or the one whose blog gets 8 million visitors every year.

And the conversation in my head goes:

“Hey, look at what he’s doing. You can’t match that!”

“Oh, yeah? Sez who? Sure, I can.”

“Talk’s cheap. Show me.”

“Ok, I will!”

That’s my Type-A personality kicking in, struggling against the shackles to try and hop back onto the treadmill. Except the treadmill is now going faster than it did a few years ago. And the conscious part of my brain now realizes that however fast you run on a treadmill, you ain’t going nowhere!

That’s when a passage in LINCHPIN brought about the epiphany. Seth Godin writes about ‘art’ and ‘gifts’. He says:

“Art is the product of emotional labor. Art is a gift. The design of the iPhone is art. It changes the way some people feel. And there is a gift as well. People who see the iPhone but don’t buy one still receive the gift. An ugly iPhone would cost as much as the beautiful one. The beautiful part is the gift.

And in one of those magical moments of synchronicity, so many things snapped into place in an instant inside my mind.

I realized that the work I did (create and sell infoproducts to fund heart surgery in kids) is “emotional labor”.

And that the ‘gift’ is how this work inspires many others to reach out for their own dreams, and live them.

The flood of comments, emails, testimonials and feedback from hundreds of people has told me how they drew energy and encouragement from seeing my purpose-driven work.

It motivated them to keep going. It made them take heart in their own purpose. It gave them faith in an industry niche that isn’t all sunshine and roses.

Until now, I had ignored that, or hadn’t valued it highly enough. I had taken my eye off the ball, to try and focus on things that were more important – to someone else!

Sure, a multi-million dollar promotion sounds attractive – until I realize that I don’t need one.

To hit even my ambitious stretch goal of funding 500 heart operations every year, I need (500 x $2,250) = $1,125,000 – which is halved with a subsidy from our State Government, leaving me with a funding target of only $560,000.

But even if that never happens, just having come so far along the path to a crazily impossible goal, to touching 70 little lives (and hundreds of bigger ones) through my ‘art’, suddenly seems so much more fulfilling and satisfying.

Sometimes, a paradigm shifts when we attain new heights, explore new opportunities, pursue new goals.

At other times, it happens when we see better just exactly where we stand.

Thank you for helping me see better, Seth!

And Happy Birthday, too.



5 Tips For Time Management That Deliver Results

Simple & Easy Time Management Training That Helps You Find 3 Extra Hours In Your Busy Day

Armed with these 5 tips for time management you will easily squeeze an additional 3 hours of productivity from your typical work day, and also enjoy the calm, relaxing satisfaction that comes from achieving balance between all important elements of your life.

How often have you got a few tips for time management and tried to put them to use in your daily life – only to find them so difficult and confusing that you gave up in frustration?

Paradoxically, some time management systems take too much time!

That’s why Time Management Tao embraces simplicity. And natural flow. It adapts to what you are inclined to do anyway, taking advantage of your conventional approach to work and play, but inserting some minor tweaks and twists that radically improve your effectiveness.

Tips For Time Management That Actually Work

Here are 5 tips for time management which can create a remarkable impact.

Tip #1 – Prioritize Your Objectives

Every project or goal that you begin should be classified by its priority.

It may seem difficult to rank all the items on your to-do list by relative importance, but here’s a simple method. Take the first item on your list, and compare it against the second.

Is it more important? Or less?

Keep the ‘winner’, and then compare it against the next item on the list – going all the way to the end of your list.

This exercise will help you order items on your list by importance, with the highest priority being on top. Now you can assign enough time to finish the important tasks before beginning less important ones.

But it isn’t enough to just set priorities.

You also need the discipline to stick with your list, and must plan your resources and expenditure to match your goals. The biggest benefit from making your priority list is to focus your mind exclusively on things that will carry you towards your ultimate goals.

Tip #2 – Balance Your Time

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

We’ve all heard this time management quote (or similar ones) ever since we were kids. But we don’t take it to heart. (If we did, we’d be out of the office on time every day, right?)

Work is important. But so are other areas of your life, like

  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Spirituality
  • Relaxation
  • Family

All of these matter. It’s why we use the analogy of precious Ming vases to explain effective time management principles to our students. Imagine yourself juggling 5 Ming vases, none of which you can afford to drop. Ming Vase Time Management teaches tips for time management that help achieve this balance easily.

Tip #3 – Clearly Visualize Your Outcome

Once you’ve put these tips for time management into action and set goals, prioritized your actions, and figured out how to balance them so that none of the important elements of your life are ignored or overlooked, you are well on the path to success.

Next, clearly visualize your arrival at the destination.

  • What do you expect to achieve from each action you plan to take?
  • Why do those results matter to you?
  • How will you feel when the outcome you desire becomes real?
  • Who will benefit, profit or rejoice when you make it happen?

Take time every day to see these results in your mind’s eye.

Imagine yourself as having already achieved your biggest goals, and experience the thrill of accomplishment. And then, feel a sincere, deep-seated gratitude for having received these results which you have visualized.

In a subtle, sub-liminal way, this creates a positive energy that will bear you along the long path to making your dreams come true.

Tip #4 – Measure Your Results

Of all the tips for time management, this is the one often overlooked or treated lightly.

Many of us begin with ambitious plans and goals, deciding to change our lifestyle and work towards a target with determination and focus. But, like New Year resolutions, this well-intentioned action runs out of steam within a few days, weeks, or months.

And that’s because we don’t measure progress towards our goals.

If your goal is to finish writing a book over the next 3 months, and you plan for it to be 250 pages long, then you should be averaging at least 3 pages every day. That’s easy to measure and quantify. When you fall behind, you’ll know early on – and have a chance to take corrective action.

But when you don’t keep constantly evaluating your activities and make changes, you’ll wander way off-track… and then waste a lot of time and energy trying to find your way back.

Tip #5 – Be Flexible. Tweak, Adapt and Repeat

Unless you’re a rare genius (or very, very lucky), you won’t get it right the first time. It’s likely that you’ll make mistakes, learn from them, and modify your approach to effective time management as you go along.

Nothing is cast in stone. Everything is a learning experience. The biggest mistake is to refuse to fine tune.

When you review your performance and progress periodically, you might find that some of your priorities are wrong, or some elements of your life are still out of balance. Take the time to make revisions and changes to fix this.

If your results aren’t all that you expected, alter or modify something – and then measure your results again. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting a different outcome!

You may have to allocate time differently. Your goals and values may need minor (or major) alterations. New objectives, tasks or priorities may intervene. Unexpected changes, new relationships, or an evolution in the marketplace can skew the playing field and force you to adapt. That’s why your time management strategy must be flexible enough to ebb and flow with the tide.

Tips for Time Management – Only Practice Makes Perfect

Following these 5 tips for time management can boost your productivity and enhance the satisfaction in your personal life.

But like any new habit, these tips take practice to make perfect. I have made it a habit to audit and revise my time expenditure on a weekly basis. This way I know exactly what activities support my long term goals, and which ones are wasteful of my time.

To get started along this path, begin with a high level objective or goal that you want to reach. Then ask yourself this simple (but very powerful) question:

If I could do only one thing today that will take me closer to this objective, what would it be?

The answer will serve as your guide to implementing the 5 tips for time management. Keep practicing, and soon you’ll notice that it becomes a part of your way of life… the Tao of your time management journey!

Ultimately, however, what determines the degree of success you’ll enjoy depends upon your ability to focus without distraction on the important tasks that take you closer to your goals. In our special report, How To Focus, we go deeper into the tested and proven methods that virtually guarantee you will not get sidetracked, and streak ahead to success through the power of focus and concentration.

For more tips that can help you along the path to stress-free time management, sign up to our “Time Taozine” and receive time management tips by email every week – for free. Simply type your name and email address into the form below and click on the ‘Submit’ button. (We’ll even send you a free report on managing time more effectively)

Time management tips | Time Management Tao Home


Why I Enjoyed “The Social Network”

The Social Network poster

Had he paid to have The Social Network produced and marketed, Mark Zuckerberg could consider it a wise and fruitful investment.

In two hours, it altered my perception of a driven and greedy capitalist who stole a great idea while stiffing his best friend en route to billionaredom, and turned it into one of a smart, savvy businessman who trusted his instincts and leveraged his judgment about the inadequacy of his partners as hopeless dreamers, to create a behemoth social network… that has since touched and revolutionized the lives of hundreds of millions of people – in less than a decade!

And if that were all that the movie did, it would still be worth shooting. Except that it does a lot more.

So much more, that I consider “The Social Network” among one of the more enjoyable films I’ve watched this year.

Some favorite scenes.

FaceMash has just been coded, and the first few emails go out to friends. The hero’s dorm mates ask, “How many people are you going to tell?” and he replies:

“The really important question is: How many people will they tell?

That’s how Facebook grew, if you come to think about it. Friends telling friends, who in turn told their friends!

Another one.

They’re seated at a table, with lawyers of both sides trading barbs. The twins burst out, “You stole our idea!”

Deadpan, Jesse Eisenberg who plays the uber-rich plaintiff quips:

“If Facebook was your idea, you’d have built Facebook.”

The final scene is poignant, too. It has the battle-weary CEO endlessly refreshing his Facebook page, seeking confirmation of a ‘friend’ request he sends his ex-girlfriend.

And in that subtle way, the director makes another point… no matter how much money you have, in the end we all crave recognition and affection from THAT special person. Without it, the rest doesn’t seem to matter all that much.

There were portions of the movie that were special to me in a more personal sense.

Watching the role of the maniacally focused young Zuckerberg brought back to mind my own youth – as a teenager, preparing for my pre-medical exams. Where the nerd in the movie stays glued to his computer screen, churning out thousands of lines of code, I would have my nose stuck in my textbooks for as long as 16 hours in a day as I fought to beat out the ‘competition’ for 1,000 medical school seats.

The difference lies only in WHAT we focus on as youngsters. The similarity is in the raw ambition, fierce determination and vast dreams we had about our future.

Surely that part will resonate with you, and everyone who watches the movie.

And finally, “The Social Network” got me to dream again.

Big dreams. Bold dreams. Daring dreams.

Because the undertone throughout is this…

ANYTHING is possible.


The Ten Year Rule

It takes ten years to become GREAT at something.


It doesn’t matter if you’re an artist or writer, actor or doctor, lawyer or engineer, or whatever else. You’ll be great at what you do… in ten years’ time.

Yes, that’s AFTER you acquire the necessary skills and training.

And sure, there’s a variable called ‘talent’ that gets in the way, and speeds up (or slows down) things a little. But it is over-rated. So don’t place too much value on that one.

Just keep at it, until you’re great.

Today marks the 7th year anniversary of the day I started blogging regularly. You can see my very first post published here on June 15th, 2003.

A milestone. It’s special to me. Because, in just three years from now, I’ll be a GREAT blogger!

Oh wait, maybe not. Blogging is my hobby. One of many. And so it may well take longer than ten years before I’m great at it.

Does that scare you?

Don’t let it. It doesn’t me!

Just create your art. Get it out there. Keep doing it better each time.

As long as you love and enjoy what you’re doing, the time will pass quicker than you thought.

And then, you’ll be successful.

Yes, ‘success’ may take a different shape than what you expected it to – but in whichever form it arrives, it’ll taste just as sweet!

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