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January 2010: Special Tips: Planning For The New Year

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Okay, you’ve got a clean slate. Here’s how you can make the most of it.

[dropcap cap=T]he biggest irony of business: Dealing with the urgent and unexpected all day is draining. Dealing with the important is energizing. Dave Allen, the time-management guru and creator of the Getting Things Done system estimates people keep 100 hours of distracting undone stuff in their heads. Allen advocates creating lists and then coming up with “next actions.” The danger with this is you can become so obsessed creating lists you lose focus on that important thing you wanted to devote all your energy to. Our take? Make focusing on one thing at a time your No. 1 philosophy, and use systems like Allen’s GTD to support you. [/dropcap]

[componentheading]REAL RESULTS[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Ring in the changes[/contentheading]

 

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Popular culture loves stories of personal transformation, but in reality it is rare. The little girl who is a worrywart at 3 will invariably be one at 83. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Here are strategies to help, from Alan Deutschman, the author of Change Or Die.

  • Start with big changes, not small ones” – a strategy which is more likely to yield immediate, noticeable benefits that inspire more positive change, Deutschman says.
  • Act like the kind of person you are trying to become. Even if you hit the jogging trail with 30 pounds of flab, think of yourself as the jock you want to be.
  • “Reframe” the situation. Recovering alcoholics, for example, have a higher chance of success if they reframe their sober life as a divorce from a bad love affair with drinking. They can look back at their old life as a romantic adventure, rather than a sinkhole of regret.
  • Go public with your goals and invite feedback from family and friends. Don’t try to go it alone.

QUOTE

“A lot of people who do extraordinary things are not balanced. I’m not even convinced that the idea makes sense [since] there’s a certain neurotic obsession with doing exceptional things.” – Author Jim Collins on the CEOs he studied for his book, Good To Great


TRY THIS

Add a 25th hour to your day

Become that model of super efficiency. Here are a few starters:

  • Each week, eliminate or delegate the least important 20 percent of items on your to-do list.
  • Create filters for inbound e-mail.
  • Keep a running list of books and DVDs you want to buy or rent.
  • Ask for the earliest appointment at the dentist, hairdresser or doctor’s. Less chance of delay.
  • Mail birthday and anniversary cards to your customers at one time in the month – it doesn’t matter if you’re a little early.
  • Invest in a wireless handheld e-mail device (such as a BlackBerry) for those times you’ve got 15 minutes to kill.
  • Sign up automatic bill paying at your bank’s website.
  • Learn to say no.

THE BIGGEST IRONY OF BUSINESS: Dealing with the urgent and unexpected all day is draining. Dealing with the important is energizing. Dave Allen, the time-management guru and creator of the Getting Things Done system estimates people keep 100 hours of distracting undone stuff in their heads. Allen advocates creating lists and then coming up with “next actions.” The danger with this is you can become so obsessed creating lists you lose focus on that important thing you wanted to devote all your energy to. Our take? Make focusing on one thing at a time your No. 1 philosophy, and use systems like Allen’s GTD to support you.

TIPS NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

Check-Up
This year, try an exercise that trainer Scott Ginsberg (the Nametag Guy) uses at his workshops. Take a blank postcard and write the one thing you want to achieve in 2010, why it’s important to you and how you’re going to accomplish it. Then take down an old book from your shelves and slide the card between the pages. Last, make a note in your cell phone’s organizer or your Google calendar to remind you to retrieve it in four months. The purpose of the exercise is to provide a check-up on how you’re progressing with your goals. Sounds simple, but the effect can be profound, says Ginsberg.

Name Equity
Did you name your store Jewelry Central or Gold Mart back when it really was the center of the jewelry universe in your local market 30 years ago? Then 2010 might be the year to consider a change. Yes, we know there’s equity in your name, but it’s not worth much on Google. Marketing guru Seth Godin notes a search for “Jewelry Village” will bring up 15,000 matches on the search engine. A name that generic is not much use when the first thing people now do when considering a jewelry purchase is to turn on their computer.

Waffle-Free
 No more hiding behind waffling words. They are terms that don’t mean anything and are designed only to give you cover. So no more “sort ofs” and cut way back on the “justs.” Instead, just say what you mean, says Godin.

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