Volume 8, #11 ~ The Service Professionals Resource ~ November 2012 $2.95
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Sales Success Stories

It's About TIME:
How to Get Twice As Much Done In Half the Time!

by Mark Matteson 

In this issue, you will find an excerpt from my newest book (available in e-book for now), a single scoop of ice cream. I hope you pick up the half gallon to take with you over the holidays or for your next long flight. Happy Thanksgiving.

Have you ever heard someone say, It's about time? When things get bad enough in our life, we are motivated to change. I like to call it INSPIRATIONAL DISSATISFACTION! This little project is something I HAD to write. These are lessons I needed to learn and then relearn. In sharing this with you, I am reminding myself that IF I practice what I preach on these pages, I will get the results I seek in a fraction of the time and effort expended. First-person experience has proven this time and time again. Like me, if you have ever spent an extended period of time disorganized, frantic, going 200 mph and ultimately not getting the critical things done, you will appreciate what these simple (not easy) ideas can do for your life. You will experience joy, balance, peace of mind, and a sense of control and effectiveness that is truly life altering. Once you have mastered some of these principles, teach them to two people you care about. It will help them and cement the learning, so you might attain mastery of your time and talent. It's called "dual-plane learning." 

Think of this book as a buffet. On your first visit, take a few things and put them on your plate. Taste them. How are they? Do you want seconds? On your next trip through the line, try something else. Taste it. Good huh? Have some more. Life is like that: trial and error. It's also governed by the greatest law in the universe, the Law of Cause and Effect. We reap what we sow.

Okay, let's get started...

What is time? American Heritage Dictionary defines it as a non-spatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession, which isn't very helpful. One mentor of mine called it event control. I prefer Ben Franklin's simple description, Time is the stuff of which life is made.

We have all the time there is. No one has any more or less of it: 24 hours in a day, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds. Ever hear someone say "Do you have a second?" That usually means an hour. Why don't we say no? The truth is we don't manage time very well. We are not mindful. We manage activities in relation to the sands of time, dropping through our own personal hourglass.

Go to http://sparkingsuccess.net/book-store/ to download this book for only $4.99 today!

No time? That's a myth. Here are some other myths about time. I call them Rational-Lies. See if you are guilty of using one or more of these excuses. I know I have.

1. I am waiting until I have more time.
 2. It (planning) doesn't work for me.
 3. I always lose my list.
 4. I already took a time management course
         (or read the book).
 5. You just can't get organized around here.
 6. But there is nothing I can do.
 7. People keep interrupting me.
 8. Time Management is boring.
 9. Isn't there a danger you will get so organized
          you can't get anything done?
10. I need someone to motivate me.

Is it time to be honest? Are you operating on a small fraction of your potential? Would you like to learn how to get twice as much done in half the time? If you answered yes, read on...

My mother passed away two years ago. Her sand was all gone. She was one of the best time managers I ever knew. We finally sold her house. As we divided up her lifetime of possessions, I was struck by how incredibly organized she was in every aspect of her life: finances, closets, book shelf, scrapbooks and pictures, even her kitchen. She labeled everything! It was clear much of what she owned reflected how proud she was of her history, British history, family history, the things she loved and cared about. Her home was a shrine to a life well lived and traveled. Some of those treasured belongings ended up in my house. Now I had nine pounds of coffee in a five pound can. What to do? I had INSPIRATIONAL DISSATISFACTION.

I sat down and mind-mapped this massive reorganization project. I decided to go through every room, closet, nook, cranny, and shelf to purge, sort, toss, and clean. In reorganizing my bookshelf, I created a shelf just for books on time management and organization. I went back and reread some classics on the subject, choosing the best of the twenty-five books on the subject. It was a reminder of the things I used to do, but got out of the habit of doing. Good habits are hard to form, but easy to live with.

You might be reminded of some great habits that will once again change your life. The experts offer affirmations (you will see them in "Quotes").

Here is my list of the very best books on subject of effectiveness. They are classic books.
  • The Autobiography of Ben Franklin
  • The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
  • How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life  
     by Alan Lakein
  • Getting Things Done by Edwin Bliss
  • How to Put More Time in Your Life by Dru Scott
  • The Organized Executive by Stefanie Winston
  • Time Management: Introduction to Franklin Systems  
    by Richard Winwood
  • One Thing At a Time:100 Simple Ways to Live  
    Clutter-Free Every Day by Cindy Glovinsky
  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free  
    Productivity by David Allen
  • Benjamin Franklin: An American Life Walter Isaacson
  • 1,000 Places to See Before You Die  
     by Patricia Schultz
Dorothea Brande, in her classic 1936 best-selling book, Wake Up and Live, said it very simply, Act as if it were impossible to fail. 


Everything I want is just outside my comfort zone. What got me HERE, won't take me THERE! If I practice stretching my comfort zones in the little things, when the need arises to do so in big things, I will be prepared and not feel so overwhelmed. 


Here are some comfort-zone stretching exercises to prepare you for bigger changes. They work. 


  1. For one day, say YES to every request that comes along. In doing so, it will become apparent how often we do things we don't want to do for fear of hurting someone's feelings.
  2. For one day, say NO to every request that comes along. In doing so, you free up the necessary time to complete the things you deem important in your life and work.
  3. Invest an hour one day in complete silence. Remember the acronym W.A.I.T.-"Why Am I Talking?" As I began to practice this, a tremendous feeling of worth and confidence arose in me. I realized how much time I wasted in idle chatter. As time goes by, increase it to two hours, four hours, and finally all day. Silence is golden. Great ideas will flow forth from your subconscious.
  4. Learn to THINK on one subject exclusively for thirty minutes. Write out the topic in your journal at the top of the page and wait. If you mind wanders, and it will, bring it back to the subject at hand. Concentration is a muscle that grows with use.
  5. Plan a two-hour period in your day down to 15-minute increments. Read the paper, plan your day, read a book, read your mail. Set a timer on your iPhone or Droid. Be ruthless with yourself. Once you are convinced of its efficacy, do it for an entire day. You will realize, as I did, how much time you waste on unimportant tasks.
  6. Write an e-mail to a friend or client without using the words I, Me, or Mine. When you are forced to use the pronoun YOU, you will realize how much of your conversation is self-centered.
  7. Keep an acquaintance or friend talking for 30 minutes without making them aware they are doing all the talking. Ask open-ended questions (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, HOW) and listen actively. People love to talk about themselves. Moreover, you will learn so much.
  8. Write a positive e-mail to a friend, relative, or client stating the Five Things You Admire about Them. It will strengthen the bond between you, force you think about their assets, and absolutely astonish them.
  9. Smile at every person you meet for one day: a really big smile, heartfelt, sincere, and positive. It takes 13 facial muscles to smile, but 47 to frown. Evidently some people don't mind the extra work.
  10. Throw yourself out of your comfort zone with any or all of the following disciplines:   

Drive a different way home one day.

  • Eat one meal with your left hand if you're right-handed (or vice-versa).
  • Read a magazine you have never read before.
  • Eat at a new restaurant, preferably one offering a foreign cuisine you have never tried.
  • Let the waiter order for you.
  • Stay up all night and work.
  • Say nothing all day except in response to direct questions. When you do answer, do it with brevity, but with a positive tone and a smile.
  • Let your wife choose the movie or have the remote control (Fellas, I can hear you groaning! "No, we will end up watching some Eat, Pray, Love kind of movie." Yes...and? This has done more to improve my marriage than almost any other idea in 32 years!) 
First, we form habits and then they form us. Good habits are hard to form and easy to live with; bad habits are easy to form and hard to live with. Get in the habit of stretching your comfort zones. It will change your life for the better. A wild adventure awaits you. 

Book of the Month 

It's About Time
by Mark Matteson


  You have to live on 24 hours of daily time. Out of that you have to spin wealth, pleasure, money, content, respect, and evolution of your immortal soul. Its right use, its most effective use, is a matter of the highest urgency...all depends on that. 


-Arnold Bennett, author, How to Live on 24 Hours  


Go to http://sparkingsuccess.net/book-store/ to download this book for only $4.99 today! Just in time for early Christmas Shopping! Stay tuned for MP3, CD and book. 


A final word : above all else, good time management is about event control and focusing on your highest priority items. Do first things first, one thing at a time, and finish what you start. The past is gone and the future is only a concept, an idea with emotion. What is amazing to me is most people, 96 percent of the population, seldom grasp that self-evident truth. They don't GET THINGS DONE BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE THEIR GOALS WRITTEN DOWN! It really is a matter of time.  


Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things. I learned a valuable lesson in my first year as an HVAC technician: If you lean your ladder against the wrong building, it doesn't matter how fast you go up and down it. It's the wrong building! Focus on becoming more effective. The juice is worth the squeeze.  


Thomas Carlyle wrote: Our main task is not see what lies dimly perceived in the future, but to do the thing which lies immediately at hand. John Ruskin had the word "TODAY" carved into a small marble block that he kept on his desk as a reminder to Do it Now! I have an hourglass as a reminder in my office. Remember, "YESTERDAY is a cancelled check, TOMORROW is a promissory note. TODAY is ready cash. Use it wisely!" 


Make it an effective day. The best is yet to come! 



Mark Matteson, Author, Speaker
Telephone: 206.697.0454
E-mail: mark@sparkingsuccess.net

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