Tips for running a tight ship
As NSA members, we’ve been encouraged by our president John Molidor, Ph.D, CSP, to embrace the concepts and practice of big ideas, big brain,
big heart and bigger business. This may
inspire some of us to be more creative,
go deeper in our topic research, and
even make big changes that enhance
our health or stamina. But there’s
virtue in the small stuff, too; that’s how
we get to the big stuff.
In running our businesses, many of
us complain about not having enough
time to do everything that needs to be
done in a given day. Phone calls and
texts, client record keeping and speech
preparation, research and casual reading, exercise and health maintenance
are just a few of the routine activities
begging to be done. Add time for relaxing and enjoying your family, and you
have a lengthy daily to-do list.
Well, don’t wait for that mythical,
magical period of uninterrupted time to
do it all, because it’s not going to happen. You can do far more than you
think in 10-minute increments. If you
need convincing, figure out how many
hours accrue in one year from investing
only 10 minutes a day.
Walk. Take a 10-minute walk, even
indoors. You can rock ‘n roll (about
1,000 steps) or simply stroll (650 to
700). Pump with your arms and you go
from a light to moderate pace. Have a
lengthy phone call to make? Walk as you
talk. I logged 1,500 steps on Christmas
Eve on two long personal calls.
Exercise. Do a short workout cycle
(crunches, push ups, weights, planks,
stairs, hula hoop, Swiss ball, etc.),
depending on your conditioning and
Clean up. Spend 10 minutes dumping
old emails, clearing your computer
desktop (or actual desk) if you’re the
File. Take 10 minutes for filing (
electronic files, paper, or both). You might
even end up doing a little more.
Connect. Buy some note cards. Write
short handwritten notes to those who
matter. A 10-minute note that gets written and sent is far more precious than a
mere thought or electronic message.
Read. Depending on your speed,
you might cover anywhere between
7 and 12 pages in ten minutes, depending on the subject.
Relax. Set a timer. Sit, shut your eyes;
breathe in and out slowly, let go. If you
get distracted, go back to your breath.
If this makes you restless or itching to
be “productive,” it’s a sign that relaxing
is foreign to your body and you need to
do more of it.
Write. Take 10 minutes to write down
that idea you’ve been contemplating.
Begin that article or book you’re pondering. It took only 10 minutes to write
the first 300 words of this article.
Take breaks. If you’re involved in an
intense project, take 10 minutes to
shake off the tension, fire up new mental synapses and boost your creativity.
Attend. Give complete attention to
someone you love for a full 10 minutes.
You might be surprised how seldom this
Time is yours for the taking. Compile your own list of 10-minute tasks
and find out firsthand what a difference
it can make for you.
C. Leslie Charles, CSP,
was twice elected to the
NSA board, serving for six
years. She has presented
numerous NSA breakout
sessions and one main-stage keynote.
If taking walks in your home sounds
implausible, it isn’t. Charles lives in a
605-square-foot cottage on a small lake;
even indoors, she keeps her Fitbit happy.
It’s About Time