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Being an avid New York Yankee fan from the time I can remember, after seeing this infographic today I had to share it. (But this isn’t the main point of this post so make sure you read on AFTER the cool graphic)

Chicago and New York – What’s the Difference?

My first visit to the “Big Apple” happened when I was 14. As some of you know, not only did I grow up loving the Yankees, but I also was a pretty dedicated clogger. (Clogging is a dance form similar to tap dance.)

Clogging took me literally all over the world: Missouri, Utah, California, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia; and internationally to Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Chile.

At 14, my clogging duet partner and I entered a talent competition held near Times Square in New York City. We were excited, nervous, and ready to see the famous sites and structures of “the most populous city in the United States“.

Some of the things I remember most about New York City on my first visit were how fast everyone seemed to be moving, the subways (which I don’t believe I’d ever seen before this trip), and homeless people “relieving themselves” right on the sidewalks we walked on.

I’m reading a book right now that has made me aware that there is another side of New York too, one that I’m yet to see in person. The book is called “Conversations with a Moonflower”. It’s written by Christine T. Hall, and it’s one of those books that I can’t put down until I finish it.

The book is only 120 total pages and each page has at most 4 paragraphs, but the concepts it shares about the sub-cultures of New York are really profound. I’m not finished with the book yet, but definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a book that will help take the stress out of your life and help you manage your time while enjoying life’s hidden treasures.

Buy “Conversations with a Moonflower”

What Does a Perfect Day Look Like to You?

Last Thursday I was sitting in a meeting and the thought came to mind, “What would my ‘perfect day’ look like?”

I sent a text to my wife and ask her what she thought.

Then I began mapping it out.

It looked something like this:

  1. 6:00 a.m. – Wake up
  2. 6:05 a.m. – Spiritual study & write in my journal for 30 minutes
  3. 6:35 a.m. – Exercise for 30 minutes
  4. 7:05 a.m. – Shower & shave for 10 minutes
  5. 7:15 a.m. – Ponder & Review Goals & Objectives for the day; Read from a business book for 45 minutes
  6. 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast with the family for 15 minutes
  7. 8:15 a.m. – Help get the kids ready for school and the day
  8. 8:30 a.m. – Begin my work day

The time from 8:30 – 4:30 p.m. would vary a bit depending on my goals, objectives and plan, but I will stick to the morning routine.

The evening routine would look like this:

  1. 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Help by taking care of the kids
  2. 6:15 p.m. – Eat dinner together, clean up dinner
  3. 7:00 p.m. – Play with the kids: soccer, reading, watching a show, board games, etc.
  4. 8:00 p.m. – Get the kids ready for bed, read, etc.
  5. 8:30 p.m. – Read a book
  6. 9:00 p.m. – Watch something together or just talk
  7. 10:00 p.m. – Pray and go to bed

I started this “routine” on Monday, December 6th, 2010. Monday, Tuesday and mostly Wednesday, it went pretty well. Thursday and Friday have been a bit more difficult, mostly because of the time I chose to go to bed.

As I’ve thought about this plan, one specific quote comes to mind:

If you’re bored with life – you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals. – Lou Holtz

So, I guess the question I need to ask myself is: Where am I headed and how am I going to get there?

The Power of Waking Up Early

I’ve come to the conclusion that I really need to make a “contract” on why this is important that I follow my “perfect day” plan.

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin

The Dami Lama said this about waking up early, “Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

I’ve found some other information about early morning routines:

Goal time. Got goals? Well, you should. And there’s no better time to review them and plan for them and do your goal tasks than first thing. You should have one goal that you want to accomplish this week. And every morning, you should decide what one thing you can do today to move yourself further towards that goal. And then, if possible, do that first thing in the morning.

In the article I’m reading about waking up early, it also talks about How to Make the Change to Getting Up Early:

Don’t make drastic changes. Start slowly, by waking just 15-30 minutes earlier than usual. Get used to this for a few days. Then cut back another 15 minutes. Do this gradually until you get to your goal time.

Allow yourself to sleep earlier. You might be used to staying up late, perhaps watching TV or surfing the Internet. But if you continue this habit, while trying to get up earlier, sooner or later one is going to give. And if it is the early rising that gives, then you will crash and sleep late and have to start over. I suggest going to bed earlier, even if you don’t think you’ll sleep, and read while in bed. If you’re really tired, you just might fall asleep much sooner than you think.

Put your alarm clock far from you bed. If it’s right next to your bed, you’ll shut it off or hit snooze. Never hit snooze. If it’s far from your bed, you have to get up out of bed to shut it off. By then, you’re up. Now you just have to stay up.

Do not rationalize. If you allow your brain to talk you out of getting up early, you’ll never do it. Don’t make getting back in bed an option.

Have a good reason. Set something to do early in the morning that’s important. This reason will motivate you to get up. I like to write in the morning, so that’s my reason.

I also read an article titled “The Amazing Power of One” which talks about setting one main goal and working until that goal is an automatic part of your day or until you’ve accomplished it.

Change is hard. Changing many things at once can be overwhelming. And that’s where most people fail. They become overwhelmed mentally before they even start. A year goes by and their goals remain nothing more than mental laundry continually spinning around in their mind.

The “Rule of One” makes change easier. The “Rule of One” states that you install one new goal at a time. Once that new goal is on auto pilot, only then do you start on your next goal.

I’m excited to implement these changes today and track my progress.

How does having a routine help you succeed?

How Do You Manage Your Time?

This is information I shared yesterday with 40 colleagues.

We talked about time management techniques and how we can better take care of clients, including how to better run an online business.


How would you answer the following questions?

How do I currently manage my time?

What are 3 things I can do better to manage my time?



What will the results be if and when I do these 3 things?

More about Time Management

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the number of things there are to do when building an eCommerce Business? Do you feel like there’s never enough time to get all the things done you want to? Are you devoting the necessary attention to each assignment or are other day to day things getting in the way? Is staying organized difficult for you? If your answers are similar to mine, this article may help. Time management and organizational behavior are crucial to success in any endeavor, especially an eCommerce Business.

Effective organization and time management are primary means to a less stressful life. These practices can help you reduce your stress, see better results and also allow you to have more “free time” too. What’s free time for an entrepreneur?

You probably know that effective time management will help you get more done each day. It has important health benefits, too. By managing your time more wisely, you can minimize stress and improve your quality of life.

How do you get started when organizational skills don’t come naturally? To start, choose one of the following time management tips, try it for two to four weeks and see if it helps. Make sure you record your “small successes” in your Success Journal – it will be fun to go back and look at what you’ve accomplished. As you begin to see positive results, try adding another tip. If you find that the tip you first selected isn’t helping like you’d like, make some adjustments or try a different one.

Here are some suggestions that have helped me:

* Plan each day. Planning your day can help you feel more in control of you life. Write a to-do list, putting the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of your daily activities to minimize conflicts and last-minute rushes.
* Prioritize, Prioritize! Like many people, you may be spending the majority of your time on a small percentage of your tasks. Prioritizing will ensure you spend your time and energy on those that are truly important to you.
* Just Say No! (to nonessential tasks). Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work.
* Delegate. Take a look at your to-do list. Is there something you can do at a later date? What about forming a team and assigning some tasks to someone else?
* Do a quality job. Taking the necessary time to do work right the first time will help you save so much time in the long run. Errors usually result in time spent making corrections, which takes more time overall.
* Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks. Work on them a few minutes at a time until you get them all done. This is something I do when submitting to directories. I’m obviously not going to submit to all the directories in one day. Instead, I’ll chip away at it, set a specific amount of time, and then, when that time is up I stop and move on to other projects.
* Practice the 10-minute rule. Work on a dreaded task for 10 minutes each day. Once you get started, you may find you can finish it. Writing articles and press releases can be this way. Once you get started though, things can really start coming together.
* Evaluate how you’re spending your time. Keep a “Success Journal” of everything you do for three days. Make sure you write down everything you do. This can help you determine how you’re spending your time. Look for time that can be used more wisely. For example, could you take a bus or train to work and use the commute to catch up on reading? If so, you could free up some time to exercise or spend with family or friends. What about that TV time? Is that really helping you make progress with your business? It doesn’t help me but I still seem to waste time doing it.
* Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Improved focus and concentration will help improve your efficiency so that you can complete your work in less time. If you’re like me, late nights can sometimes be productive; but the more rested you are, the better you can think logically and really see things happen with your eCommerce Business.
* Take a time management course. If your employer offers continuing education, take a time management class. If your workplace doesn’t have one, find out if a local community college, university or community education program does.
* Don’t be afraid to take a break. Can you say “Burn Out!” Too much stress can derail your attempts at getting organized. When you need a break, take one. Take a walk. Do some quick stretches at your workstation. Take a day of vacation.

Let’s all commit to actively do one or two of these things. Let’s use this blog post as a journal if we need to to monitor our progress. I look forward to reading results.

Time Management Tips

As we all know, managing our time is crucial to our success in any endeavor we pursue. Here are a few thoughts to help us sharpen the use of our time:

1) Set Goals

  • Write down goals (a goal unwritten is only a wish)
  • A goal has to be useful, measurable and attainable
  • Prioritize goals – ask yourself “What’s most important right now?”
  • Evaluate goals frequently
  • Visualize your goals, think about how to accomplish them, then “JUST DO IT!”

2) Avoid Procrastination

Procrastination is a time waster of which you have complete control. Here are some ideas to keep procrastination under control:

  • slice up tasks into more manageable pieces and start on the easiest ones
  • chart your progress – “Small success leads to big success!” If you write down and track progress, it helps confidence and aids you in seeing progress, even if its only small
  • set a deadline for completing projects

These are just a few ideas I’ve had that, if implemented, have helped me manage my time more effectively. Any other ideas would be appreciated.