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a monthly newsletter from Crystal Communications December 2006

in this issue

Events to Help You
Create the A+ LIfe

Living the A+ Life

Puzzle Results


Events to Help You
Create the A+ LIfe
crystal training

Meet the Buyers
Preconference Event

Thursday, December 7
5:30 - 7:30 PM
AT&T Center One AT&T Center Parkway Be sure to bring the confirmation of your registration for the conference for free parking. Park in Lot 2 and enter through the southwest gate.
For registration and more information

6th Annual Small, Minority, & Women Business Owners Conference
Friday, December 8th
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Meet over 600 buyers from local, state, and Federal agencies and private corporations.
Over 2200 business people have already signed up.
Check out the information on the County's website and register for the event. Pre-registration closes today, but you can still attend. Just show up and come say hi to me at the West Registration Area.

Holiday Meals in Your First Quadrant?



Stressed out? Then this newsletter is for you.

I want to thank everyone who sent me a note of congratulations on the birth of my grandson and a special thanks to all of you who have sent presents to the parents of this amazing child. Being a grandmother is so much fun!

  • Living the A+ Life
  • reaching

    "Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it."
    -- Margaret Thatcher

    Are you feeling overwhelmed? There is something about this time of the year. Between gift buying and family get-togethers and end of the year reports and holiday office parties, there are times when I want to withdraw from the entire human race, myself included. But then I would miss out on the “fun” that is this time of year.

    Stressed? Who, me?

    I’ve got invitations to numerous parties buried under a stack of papers here. I’ve already taken Moses (my grandson – see the photo on the left – isn’t he gorgeous?) to have his picture taken with Santa. I haven’t started Christmas shopping. I have papers to grade and a final exam to create. Meanwhile, I’m in charge of over 150 volunteers at a conference on Friday that will bring in over 2500 small business owners and 600 buyers from large corporations and government agencies of all levels. And this newsletter is late getting out and I’m never late on this newsletter. Am I stressing? You bet I am.

    Whenever I start feeling that gnawing sensation at the pit of my stomach, I know it’s time to regroup. When things are spinning and I don’t know what I need to do next, I rely on Stephen Covey’s time management grid.

    For those of you not familiar with this tool, you draw two columns and two rows with “Urgent” and “Not Urgent” at the top of the columns, and “Important” and “Not Important” at the left of the two rows. (See the diagram at the left.) The first quadrant (Urgent, Important) is for those things that are deadline driven, things that cannot wait. The second quadrant (Not Urgent, Important) are for things that mean a great deal, but may not be on a deadline. Planning and marketing may be in this quadrant. (Moses is here until he’s hungry or needs a diaper change.) The third quadrant (Urgent, Not Important) are distractions. For me, it’s some phone calls and emails. The fourth quadrant (Not Urgent, Not Important) is the time wasting section and may include anything that is not productive.

    Before things reach the first quadrant

    The trick is to try to get things done when they are in the second quadrant. For example, on February 1, your income taxes are in the second quadrant. They move quickly to the first quadrant on April 15.

    If your first quadrant is filled with too many items to even worry about the other quadrants, ask yourself if anything can be moved or delegated. Then ask if you are unnecessarily adding stress to yourself. Then focus on what is left in the first quadrant until you get it done.

    At one point last year, I was filling one of these out every day. I’m happy to say that I don’t have to rely on this tool very often these days, but this week I’m back at it.

    What's important?

    Another tool I use, especially at this time of year, when things finally start to slow down (usually between Christmas and the New Year), is to list all the major activities that I am involved in and measure them against what is important to me. The measurements change a little each year, but they follow basic categories:

    1. Does this activity get me closer to my goals?
    2. Does this activity make me happy?
    3. Does this activity make money now or have the potential to make money in the near future?

    I rate each activity on each category on a five point scale. So for instance, this newsletter rates a score of 4 on category #1, 4 on category #2, and 2 on category #3, for a total of 10. I do this for each major activity, including volunteer work. Then, armed with the totals for each activity, I decide whether I have the resources to continue all of the activities. I especially look at anything that scores less than 5 points. It’s been a good guideline, especially at times when I’m tempted to do something just to make a little more money.

    As I’ve said before, everything that takes you away from your goals postpones the goals. You have to have some balance in your life, but the more activities that you can do that score at the top on each of these categories, the better. The ideal life, to me, is one where I make a lot of money, doing what I love, that helps me accomplish what I believe I was put here to do.

    Have a wonderful winter season, no matter what holiday you celebrate!

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  • Puzzle Results
  • puzzle light

    Last month's puzzle was: A friend of mine just opened up a sandwich shop. It takes her 5 minutes and 45 seconds to make a typical sandwich. Assuming she can work at the same rate the whole time, how long will it take her to make 60 typical sandwiches? I had a ton of entries in last month's puzzle who knew that the answer was 5 hours and 45 minutes. (See, I told you it was an easy one.) The winner is Pam Slocum!. A $25 gift certificate from Entree's Catering is on its way.

    This month, solve this "Cryptarithm." A cryptarithm is a mathematical puzzle where the numbers are substituted by letters. This one is B E S T + G I F T = L O V E. What numbers can you substitute for the letters to make the equation work? Remember that the T in BEST and the T in GIFT must represent the same number and the E in BEST and the E in LOVE must be the same number.

    The first correct response will receive a $25 gift certificate from Entree's .

    Need help with Unlocking Your Creativity?

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