Monthly Archives: Jun 2015

Social Media: Our Ugly “Mirror On The Wall”?

mirrorwall

In the childhood classic “Snow White”, the evil Queen asks:

“Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who is the fairest of them all?”

And the looking glass loyally affirms her status as most beautiful in the land – until one day, it doesn’t.

The horrid mirror names her lovely, kind-hearted 16-year old step-daughter usurper to the throne… plunging the queen into chaos and heartbreak!

For many of us, social media is our own “mirror on the wall”.

We fire up our browsers, log on to Facebook or Twitter, WhatsApp or SnapChat, curious to see how our peers fared in the time since we last caught up.

  • Are they happier than us – or not?
  • Did they do cooler stuff than us – or not?
  • Have they been places more interesting – or not?

It’s become a new yardstick to measure our own worth… against an external standard.

Our social network.

We could use the amazing power of human community that’s literally at our fingertips to nurture and extend the “connectedness” which underlies every meaningful accomplishment of mankind (see this amazing presentation, ‘Miserable & Magical’).

Yet we are dragged, against our wills, to focus on contrasts between ‘us’ and ‘them’.

We could use social media as a “networking tool” to boost collaboration, cement unity and harness synergies.

Instead, we deploy it as a “comparison engine” that inevitably draws attention to where we lack or lag behind.

In “Smart, Successful, But Still Not Happy”, Dr.Raj Raghunathan talks of three tenets of happiness – mastery, belongingness and autonomy, and says:

“We attempt to fulfill mastery through seeking superiority over others, which leads us to engage in social comparisons – on talent, wealth, beauty, etc. Comparing oneself with others, findings show, is a recipe for misery.”

Social media makes this easy.

As easy as holding up a mirror!

Here’s the doc’s prescription.  “…there is another approach that doesn’t come in the way of happiness. This approach involves seeking mastery through the pursuit of passion.”

In a narcissistic selfie-driven culture, it seems a logical extension to use social media mirroring to evaluate one’s fame, esteem and influence. Unfortunately, that is also a step further down the path away from true happiness.

So the next time you feel tempted to ask:

“Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who’s the fairest of them all”

Listen for the REAL answer, which is…

You are, my dear. And you don’t need any damn mirror to tell you that!

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Time Management Games

Time Management Games

 

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Time Management Tao

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When Do You Stop?

“It’s my son’s graduation this evening. But I’ve so many patients waiting!”

To see the chairman of a hospital, who healed thousands every year, so despondent and mired in angst over a self-created dilemma was heart-breaking.

For the next five minutes, I was at my persuasive best. I argued that he must stop putting patients always ahead of family. Before I finished, he came to a decision. He picked up the phone and spoke to his secretary.

“Tell everyone they’ll have to wait for a couple of hours.”

And then, he slipped out of hospital through a backdoor.

The next morning, he said: “Thank you for helping me decide to go last night. It was a special moment with my family. I won’t forget it for the rest of my life!”

A favorite blog post, written by my friend Derek Sivers, begins with this story:

Two friends were at a party held at the mansion of a billionaire. One said, “Wow! Look at this place! This guy has everything!” The other said, “Yes, but I have something he’ll never have: ENOUGH.

So… When do we stop? Where do we draw the line?

Take money, for instance. At first, we set out to make some of it. And two things can happen. Either we fail – when we keep trying other ways, until we make it. Or we succeed – when we start thinking of ways to make MORE of it!

With food, it seems easier to know when to stop. After all, our stomachs impose a physical limit on how much can go into it. And even if revelers of Roman debauchery did vomit to free up space to return to the banquet, most of us remain sated… for a while.

But that’s temporary.

A couple of hours later, temptation returns. The craving grows stronger. And pretty soon, we’re back at it.

Getting some more!

It’s the same with other drives as well – sex, work, reading, coffee, drugs, or any other form of seduction.

The desire for more creeps up slowly, grows all-consuming, and drives behavior towards achieving it.

Over and over and over again.

No slowing down.

No pausing to think.

No stopping.

Just keep going!

A friend once told me he wanted to work until he had 10 million rupees in the bank. Another friend has 3 BILLION – and is as driven and excited about making more.

As college students, we’d enter a buffet hall at any conference, determined to at least sample every dish on the huge tables – never mind how stuffed we felt.

An acquaintance of mine remains rapaciously indulgent well into his sixties – his flagging sexual performance boosted by little blue pills!

So WHEN do you stop?

When it begins to damage your health?

Or destroys your relationships?

Or affects your balance?

I see people my age stuff themselves at a restaurant the way I used to as a teenager, and wonder if it isn’t just a heart attack waiting to happen!

I see dads (and now, increasingly, moms) put work or other stuff ahead of family, and wonder if they’ll see their relationships sour and strain to breaking point.

I see folks use the soporific of “Just one more time” to justify their intemperate behavior, and wonder if they’ll eventually con themselves into believing their own lies.  After all, practice makes perfect.

There’s a profound saying in Tamil which goes:

“Alavukku minjinaal amirdhamum nanju”
(When it exceeds a limit, even nectar becomes poison.)

churnocean[In mythology, the devas (Gods) and asuras (Demons) together churned the divine Ocean of Milk using Vasuki, the serpent king, to hold Mount Mandara as the churning pole. After a millenium of intense effort, they obtained amirtham, the nectar of eternal youth and everlasting life.]

Yes, even the magic potion of immortality can be toxic – when you overdose on it!

When do you stop?

When you have ‘enough’.

But… when do you have enough?

Ah, to know that is wisdom – and happiness!

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Why Time And Money Management Are Critical To Your Success

Time and money management are the two skills that can make or break your enterprise or business venture, not to mention having the potential to transform your life and future.

Even if you’ve been struggling to manage your time and get things done, you’ll benefit from some simple but effective changes in the way you plan and schedule your day. Here’s a very powerful time management technique.

Develop your own sense of urgency.

Don’t let your important work stay on the back-burner with the excuse, “I’ll just have to do it tomorrow.”

That’s probably what you say to yourself at the end of a busy, overcrowded and stressful day, when you notice something left undone on your to do list. Maybe that’s what you’ve been accustomed to doing. But change it today. Create a sense of urgency about things on your schedule.

As you gain management wisdom, you’ll realize that by putting it off until tomorrow, you’ll only end up crowding up your calendar for tomorrow – and putting off something important on that next list. It becomes a never-ending cycle of procrastination.

So unless circumstances absolutely prevent completing the task, you should try and do most of your scheduled tasks on time. And by setting time limits to get them done, you’ll create your own sense of urgency – even about mundane tasks that need to be finished.

Many time and money management courses and programs advice you to treat it like a little game. Bet yourself that you’ll do it in less time than you thought it would take. When you win, it feels good. More important, the task gets done!

Another important concept in time and money management is being able to take responsibility for wasting time (your own and others).

On discussion forums and social networks, there are some folks who complain about how the interactions suck up all their time, preventing them from completing any serious work. That never ceases to amaze me. These folks are probably completely ignorant of principles of time and money management.

After all, nobody forces you (or anyone else) to visit forums or Facebook, much less waste your precious time on them! You are the person making this choice.

Unless you own up to being responsible for your own time, you’ll never get around that serious hurdle to time wasting – blaming others for your poor time management.

If a meeting drags on longer than scheduled, it is your fault for staying in it. If you waste time on pointless discussions via email exchanges, you are to blame for keeping it going. If a co-worker drops by uninvited during your peak productivity hours – and chats away merrily, disturbing your concentration and keeping you from working – it’s still YOUR problem… because you put up with it.

By owning up to your own role in time and money management, you will be motivated to take better control of your schedule and avoid time wasting circumstances (or terminate them effectively). You’ll get many more useful tips to handle such situations effortlessly when you sign up for our free email newsletter, the “Time Taozine“.

For punchy, powerful time and money management advice, you may also find the Ming Vase Time Management series of ebooklets of some value. And by adopting the Tao style of managing time, you’ll transform your level of effectiveness when you learn how to

Time management tips | Time Management Tao Home

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How Time Management Sheets Help Evaluate Your Time

Time management sheets are very helpful tools that guide you to calculate the value of your time. Very few entrepreneurs know the value of their time. Those who do are almost always a success.

The reason is very simple. Successful people have learned how to measure what an hour of their time is worth. Knowing this, they are driven to maximize the value of their time and protect it against useless or ineffective activities.

It’s a vital time management skill to learn. If you know your time is worth $100, and you are faced with a task needing 1 hour to finish – you will have a meaningful scale to measure if you should do it yourself, or find someone else you can pay to do it for you. Time management sheets can be of great help in making this decision.

How to calculate your time value with the aid of time sheets?

First, determine how much you earned last year (or month). You may do this by totting up all your income from various sources by adding them to your time sheet and computing the total.

Then, record the time (number of hours) you worked to earn that money. You must make sure to include all the time involved in generating your income, which includes travel, preparation and research as well as the actual duration invested into your work.

On your time management sheets, you can then divide your total earning by the number of hours spent, that will give you your present dollar value per hour worked.

Then, on a separate column of your time management sheets, work out your desired or target income figure for the coming year and beyond. When you divide this figure by the number of hours you work, you’ll have an estimate of how much your time should be worth. This gives you a fair indication of whether to do things yourself within that time, or delegate it to others.

Using time management worksheets to calculate the value of your time has 2 big benefits.

  • 1. It allows you to plan outsourcing and delegating with a definite logical basis
  • 2. It reveals the importance of your time to yourself, so that you value it higher and guard it against waste and distractions.

Once you’ve tried using such time management aids to calculate these figures, you’ll be surprised at how hesitant you will be in the future to waste your time. It’s difficult once you have figured out the value of it, because you’ll view it as throwing dollar bills into the trash! It’s hard to waste an hour once you know it’s worth $100 or more.

Time management tools | Time Management Tao Home

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Are Time Management Classes Really Necessary?

Why ‘Gaining Control’ Over Time Is a Flawed Paradigm – And Understanding Time Management Will Set You Free!

 

Time management classes teach you how to draw up lists of things to do, prioritize them, and execute efficiently. This creates the illusion of controlling time. But unless you really understand the nature of time and what managing it really means, you’ll never be free of the shackles of “too little time”.

Time is natural. Since pre-historic times, time has been perceived in harmony with nature. The passage of day into night, the cycle of seasons, and the predictable patterns of evolution of time have all been watched, accepted and understood by mankind.

In the modern world, however, the wristwatch (or alarm clock) has shifted this perception and created a different understanding of time. It has become something to manage, control and optimize – because we think that things will spiral out of control otherwise.

Reality? They are spiralling out of control anyway!

So what’s a man (or woman) to do? Well, when you understand what time management really involves, you’ll discover the secret that ancients knew and internalize the concept of natural time – which will set you free from the stress and anxiety of modern time management, and at the same time make you super-effective and hyper-efficient.

Task-Based To Time-Based Living

Things were simpler in the days when people viewed life through a task-based lens. You harvested the land and planted seeds. It didn’t matter how long it took, you completed the task. You hunted prey, cooked it, and ate it. How many hours or minutes you spend doing it hardly mattered.

And then, as the industrial age developed, the factory re-defined your job by the time it took to complete – because more efficient workers added to the productivity of the enterprise. The time-table, time sheet and duty hours gained prominence.

You no longer worked from sunrise to sunset. You work from 9-to-5… and are pressured to get as much as possible done in this time. That’s stressful, and so we needed time management classes to instruct us on doing this well.

To Do Lists, Priorities And Effectiveness

Time management classes focused on teaching managers and employees (as well as CEOs and entrepreneurs) how to squeeze the most efficiency out of their working hours. To do lists gained prominence after the legendary Charles Schwab was advised to draw up a list of his 6 top tasks every day and work his way down them… which he found dramatically enhanced his productivity.

But even if we make to do lists of 6 (or, as is more popular these days, 10) of your top chores and prioritize them by order to focus on getting each done, it still won’t make you more effective. That’s why time management classes in the mid-1960s shifted emphasis to guiding students to be more effective.

That happened by carefully picking the tasks to focus on, by asking 3 questions:

  • 1. Does this need to be done?
  • 2. Do I have to be the one doing it?
  • 3. Am I wasting someone else’s time doing it?

The immediate results were seductively great, and more people embraced the philosophy of “controlling time” through this approach. But as efficiency grew, people became aware of a disturbing reality. They weren’t any less busy or happier because of their time management systems.

Are Time Management Classes Necessary?

Yes. And they need to teach a different message. One that is rooted in the age-old understanding of time as an ‘internal’ thing, that’s a part of our nature, and something we must work with in harmony with. Time Management Tao is about embracing this inherent naturalness of time, making it a facet of all our efforts, and going with the flow to get more done in less time.

This attitude takes away the stress and anxiety that go with fighting time deadlines and trying to conform to time limits imposed from the ‘outside’. It is certainly important to get things done on schedule, to be at an appointment on time, and to work with specific time frames on projects and targets. But it is also important to do it in a way that resonates with the very nature of time, and that is non-confrontational or stressful.

Our approach with time management classes is to teach a style of time management rooted in balance. We help you find your center – and realize what’s most important for you to get done. We guide you to understand order, so that you won’t fret and worry about trying to rush things ahead of their natural schedule. We show you how to choose the right timing for any task, so that it gets done almost automatically, with the least effort and time.

All of this will be revealed on this website. You can explore sections that will teach you about how to:

Also sign up for our free ‘Time Taozine’ email newsletter, and receive weekly updates and time management classes.

Time management courses | Time Management Tao Home

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Time Management Ideas To Improve Your Efficiency

Time management ideas can be extremely powerful in transforming your success. The right idea, when implemented effectively, can double, triple or even quadruple your efficiency – with just a simple tweak to what you’re already doing. Here are two time management ideas that you’ll find helpful.

Mind Maps On Paper

When beginning a complex project, try to ‘think on paper’. Fill a blank sheet with random notes, often radiating out of a central theme or purpose. As an example, for a project where the central theme is building awareness about a cause and raising funds, the steps to take might include lists of 10 to 12 items for each, and some tasks needed to be broken down into smaller parts.

There may be people to meet and ask for support with spreading the word. A list of promotional activities to carry out, announcements to write, and other trivia will fill up your time sheet. At the end, when the paper is filled with random thoughts, you can spend an hour formulating a sequential plan.

The best time management ideas are of no use without correct implementation. But when you set out to execute a well-thought plan, you exponentially increase the chance of success with it. This simple process will save you hours of time later down the line. If you just plunge in and start, you’ll only get stuck at various stages – and maybe forget to cover a few bases.

Select Off-Peak Times To Get Work Done

Ever been stuck in rush-hour traffic? Or caught in a long queue at the check-out counter at the supermarket? Or waited for your turn at the popular rides in theme parks?

Not fun.

Not fun at all.

Plus, think of the enormous waste of precious time. That’s why you must learn to live your life ‘off-peak’.

Try and drive to work a bit earlier to beat the traffic jams. Encourage your spouse or significant other to do the bulk of your shopping around the middle of the month, when stores are less crowded.

Avoid going to amusement parks on holidays, but instead take time off during regular work hours to enjoy the peaceful, uncrowded entertainment.

There are times when you must try new time management ideas and do things during peak hours. For instance, if your ‘friends’ or partners are known for long-winded drawn out conversations on the phone, try calling them when they are likely to be busiest – so THEY try and cut the conversation short (saving you time!)

By tailoring the timing of what you do, you’ll benefit from the ‘off-peak’ periods in multiple ways. Timing is an important tenet of the Time Management Tao philosophy, which is based on learning to:

For more time management ideas, make sure you sign up for our free email newsletter – the “Time Taozine”.

Time management skills | Time Management Tao Home

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