How You Should Be Managing Time?

“Time is not measured in minutes nor seconds. It’s measured in the things you do with it.”

Time...

In other words, you can have all the minutes and seconds you want, but if you don’t use it to accomplish something, you might as well not have it to begin with.

We go through our days with numerous tasks that require our attention. And we usually deal with them by allocating chunks of time from whatever amount of time we assume we will have in that particular day. I say assume because realistically, you can only guess how many hours you will have to attack these tasks. There is a possibility that you might get into a car accident and you will spend the rest of the day in the hospital. So, we always tell ourselves that we’ll have 15 minutes for this meeting, 30 minutes to write that report, 1 hour for the lunch appointment so on and so forth. We are very good at managing time this way- by allocating tasks to a specific duration of time. This time-for-tasks allocation is a quantitative approach to manage your priorities.

I believe there’s a better way around that. Of course, it would require some un-learning on what we’ve been taught. We may not need to check all that task in the to-do list. After all, many of the things in our life would not need the same quality of attention that we’ve been giving them. Maybe a qualitative approach to the way we spend our precious hours would make more sense. Instead of starting off with how much time to allocate for each projects, how about we figure out first which projects would make give us a better sense of satisfaction and accomplishment? Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to bake apple pies. But as you look at your calendar, you might realize that you barely have time to slot in any 60 minutes baking lessons for the weeks to come. And this is when you should start looking into those menial tasks that is gnawing your time away and possibly replace those slots with baking lessons.

We can always make time for the things that we love to do. But if we don’t remind ourselves the goals that we want to accomplish on a daily basis, it’s very easy to let other parasitic tasks slip into our schedule.

Go ahead and list down all the things you want to accomplish by end of the year, and stick to it. Remember, the goal is to do the things that will make your life more enjoyable.

2017-03-27T04:08:20+00:00 March 27th, 2017|Daily Observations|0 Comments

Entrepreneurs Are Risk-Takers?

Cliffhanger

This pretty much sums up what I’ve always felt about running your own gig. When you’ve decided to stop living on the security of regular paycheck and charting out your own path into unknown, it’s all too easy to let your adrenaline do the planning.

A year or two ago I attended a university symposium on entrepreneurship at which a number of psychologists spoke. Although their papers disagreed on everything else, they all talked of an “entrepreneurial personality,” which was characterized by a “propensity for risk-taking.”

A well-known and successful innovator and entrepreneur who had built a process-based innovation into a substantial worldwide business in the space of twenty-five years was then asked to comment. He said: “I find myself baffled by your papers. I think I know as many successful innovators and entrepreneurs as anyone, beginning with myself. I have never come across an ‘entrepreneurial personality.’ The successful ones I know all have, however, one thing – and only one thing – in common: they are not ‘risk-takers’. They try to define the risks they have to take and to minimize them as much as possible. Otherwise none of us could have succeeded. As for myself, if I had wanted to be a risk-taker, I would have gone into real estate or commodity trading, or I would have become the professional painter my mother wanted me to be.”

This jibes with my own experience. I, too, know a good many successful innovators and entrepreneurs. Not one of them has a “propensity for risk-taking”.

The popular picture of innovators- half pop-psychology, half Hollywood- makes them look like a a cross between Superman and the Knights of the Round Table. Alas, most of them in real life are unromantic figures, and much more likely to spend hours on a cash-flow projection than to dash-off looking for “risks”.

Successful innovators are conservative. They have to be. They are not “risk-focused”; they are “opportunity-focused”.

Extracted from ‘The Essential Drucker’, by Peter F. Drucker

 

 

 

2017-03-27T04:20:05+00:00 March 13th, 2017|Entrepreneurship|0 Comments

The Focus Dilemma

That’s one piece of advice I am sure you have been given many times by successful entrepreneurs and in many business books- stay focus.

I am saying it’s good or bad advice but allow me to elaborate a bit on that advice. Telling someone to focus is like telling someone to work hard. It’s a very vague advice and can potentially do more harm than good. Why is that so?

From the point of the recipient, the well-intended advice of working hard can be interpreted as unless you are willing to work your ass off, there’s no chance you will succeed. Unfortunately, you can be working hard your thus far but you might just not be achieving the results that you want.

Yet, there’s nothing wrong with working hard. Every successful entrepreneurs I personally know truly worked very hard, especially in the beginning phases of their ventures. To put things in context, by successful I mean the venture is making profits and the company’s culture is healthy with a team of great people working together to grow the company. However, the critical difference here is not just working hard but rather what are you working hard on?

You can work hard in ensuring every one in your company washes their hands after using the bathroom but that would hardly create any positive impact in your company’s bottom line.

Therein lies the most important piece of puzzle that you must figure out. You may have the talents, perseverance, discipline and even the passionate drive to succeed. But if you are working on the wrong stuffs, you will only be ‘rewarded’ with the results you don’t want.

Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Slow down or even stop whatever you are doing just to gain clarity. You cannot see very clearly with all that noise that’s constantly seeking your attention 24/7. Re-calibrate your compass and regroup your soldiers.

Speed is important but speed in the wrong direction can sometimes be fatal.

2017-01-18T02:57:49+00:00 January 18th, 2017|Entrepreneurship|0 Comments

Chart of Purpose

Was listening to a podcast on AoC a few days back where the host Jordan Harbinger was Jeff Goins, author of The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do.

In their conversation, I discovered something that could be very useful for that million dollar question, “What should I do with my life?”

Jeff shared with the listeners the following chart which I’ve reproduced it visually here.

What Should You Do with Your Life
The chart is not the ultimatum of your life’s purpose but it’s a very useful tool for anyone to start narrowing down their choices in life. It’s a top-down approach, where you select a few activities in each different circles and see how well each of these activities overlaps each other.

For instance, if you love to repair VHS tapes (if you actually know what that is) and you are very good at it, you might find yourself in tough spot because there’s simply not much demand for VHS tapes anymore.

I would strongly recommend you to listen to the podcast. It’s only a few minutes.

Good luck in finding your calling!

2016-12-14T08:28:18+00:00 December 14th, 2016|Productivity|0 Comments

This versus That

Ever since we started setting up e-commerce stores 6 years ago, we’ve been using OpenCart – one of the most popular open-source shopping cart systems. And the more we use OpenCart, the better we get at maximizing the features it has to offer. We also realized some of the stuff that OpenCart doesn’t do very well.

And then it comes to a point where you start evangelizing the product you use. Because you now understand the products much better, you become more attached to it. Which is a good thing, in my opinion.

However, it only becomes not-so-good when you start to spend time trying to convince someone who’s using Shopify or Magento (both of these are also shopping cart systems) on why OpenCart is superior than theirs. It’s like the whole Android vs Apple thing. Pointless. A solid profitable e-commerce business depends not just on the shopping cart system, but a lot of other factors as well. You need a good selection of products, photography skills, copy writing skills,  inventory system etc.

Just a few minutes ago, out of curiosity, I attempted to setup my first WordPress-based Woo Commerce store. I am actually quite impressed with the whole setup process. There’s a lot of things I think Woo Commerce has got it right. Of course the Woo Commerce team knows what they are doing- they got bought over by WordPress and I don’t remember any other theme or plugin developer who got to that status.

So, instead of cheer leading for just one particular product, your perspective will be expanded much more when you attempt to solve a problem with a variety of other solutions. Sometimes, this also forces you to look at the problem from a different angle, which you’ve never thought possible. Let the fanboys fight among themselves.

It’s what you ultimately produce that really matters.

2016-11-26T03:06:28+00:00 November 26th, 2016|E-Commerce, Entrepreneurship, OpenCart|0 Comments