The Essence of Time Management

So here are some quickies on the essence of time management.


1. Urgency vs Importance:


Don’t sacrifice the important items for the urgent ones!


– Focus on the items that are important on the right side of the matrix–if they are urgent (upper-right), you need to do now; if they aren’t urgent, but they are important (lower-right), you need to make time for them. 


– Deemphasize the items that aren’t important on the left side of the matrix–if they are urgent and not important (upper-left), limit them or delegate them; if they aren’t urgent or important (lower-left), delete them. 


There are two potential areas of dissonance that can cause you tension, stress, and anxiety.


– When the urgent top row items and the lower-left life necessities get in the way of your focusing on the quality life items that are of long-term importance to you (the lower-left).  For example, work and errands can crowd out your personal, family, community, and spiritual time. 


– When you have too many items in the lower-right quality time area and these are in competition with each other for your time and attention, and you don’t know how to prioritize them and get it all done.  It’s like there is never enough time. For example, we ignore our spouse, the kids, or closeness with G-d, because we just can’t get to it all.


This is where our personal values and conscience come into play to drive what we do and how we spend our precious time in this world. 


We all only have 24 hours in a day, so our actions need to be purposeful and driven by our values!


2. Tasks vs Relationships


Imagine another matrix with focus on tasks on the vertical access and focus on relationships on the horizontal access. 


Again here, we want to ensure a healthy balance of focus on both task and relationships (upper-right corner). 


If we focus on tasks at the expense of relationships or relationships at the expense of tasks, we are going to have a problem.  Moreover, it makes no sense to focus on items that are neither task- nor relationship-focused (lower-left).  


We need to collaborate with others to accomplish great, complex tasks (we can only accomplish so much alone). 


Again, dissonance (tension, stress, anxiety) is caused when we are pulled off-balance to focus on work or people to the exclusion of the other.  


As they say,


“Mission first, people always!”


We’ve got to build meaningful relationships and work together to get the mission done and the mission can be helping people and building a better society in a variety of ways. 


In a sense, it’s people helping people. Love thy neighbor to help thy neighbor.  


Time is of the essence–we have so little of it–it is precious–we can’t get it back–it goes so fast–we need to manage it like gold. 😉


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Snipped My Tie

Snip My Tie.jpeg

This was pretty funny.

I had a loose thread on my tie as is wont to happen. 

And I know well enough not to try and pull it, because then you can really mess the tie up. 

But I am so busy in the office rushing around doing a million things.

So I pull out a scissors and still in a hurry just try to snip off the thread.


Well, I snipped it a little to close to the tie apparently.

This turned out not as a haircut, but more like a scalping. 

No more thread, and no more tie!  

Thank G-d, this wasn’t a circumcision or we’d really be in trouble. 

One more lesson is always keep an extra tie at work. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Parenting@CVS

Baby In Basket
This photo was taken in CVS.



The baby looks like it’s trying to escape from the red shopping basket, but presumably the mother at the cashier is going…



“And I’ll take one baby with the bottle of milk and Chiclets, thank you!”  



Hey look at all that candy kid…this is better than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!



(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Mothers Against Shaving Driving

Mothers Against Shaving Driving

So you think drinking and driving is bad…it is!

But look what this person is doing while driving.

No, not texting.

No, not putting on makeup.

This guy is actually shaving while driving an automobile, and he’s at an intersection.

What is he thinking?

Are people really that busy that they can’t find a few minutes to shave in the morning in the bathroom?

Of course when this guy has an accident, G-d forbid, he’ll make up some shameful lying story to get himself off the hook.

Oh, it was the other person’s fault or the accelerator stuck–it’s defective.

Where are people’s sensibilities?

Here’s a band-aid for the nick you got while shaving this morning.

Next time use a bigger mirror and keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. 😉

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

Many For The Price Of One

Many For The Price Of One

We were at the movie theater over the weekend and something funny happened when we went up to the counter to get our tickets.

I ask my wife if she also wants anything to eat like popcorn etc.

She says yes, and I ask the lady behind the counter where the tickets and snacks are sold for some popcorn to ring up.

She points to the next register and says “You need to get the snacks over there” (pointing about one feet over to the left).

I look at my wife like, okay and we pay for the tickets.

Then, we waddles over to the empty counter a foot over and wait for someone to help with the popcorn.

Well the lady who just sold us the movie tickets waddles over as well and says, “Can I help you?”

We almost cracked up laughing.

I said, “Yes, we would like some popcorn, please.”

She says, “Sure,” and proceeds to get the popcorn and we pay again.

What was hilarious was the lady selling the tickets redirected us to the counter over for the popcorn, where she in turn did the proverbial, changing of the hats, and then after selling us the tickets served us up the popcorn as well.

It reminded me of a TV episode I saw a kid where some people visit a small town and stop at the Sheriff to ask where the local inn is. The Sheriff points them down the street. Then the people go into the inn and there is the Sheriff again, but this time wearing the innkeeper’s visor. After checking in, the people ask where the town pub is and then stroll over across the way. They walk up to the bar, and the bartender turns around, and sure enough it’s the Sheriff/innkeeper now with a servers smock on and asks what they would like to drink.

I may not be remembering the episode completely accurately, but you get the point.

In a small town or an organization where people have to multitask, one person can play many different roles.

That’s why very often management in interested in good employees who can “walk and chew gum at the same time”–employees need to be able to perform under pressure to get many projects and tasks done, simultaneously, and they very often need to assume multiple roles and responsibilities to get that done.

Pointing the finger at someone else saying not my job or the ball is in their court is no longer an excuse not to get things done. We have to shepherd the project all the way through the many leaps and hurdles that may stand in the way of progress.

When people have to perform multiple roles and jobs–due to time constraints, cost cutting, or shortage of trained and talented people–then they may have to change hats many times over the course of their day and week.

The Atlantic (5 July 2013) in an article about performing head transplants–yeah, an Italian surgeon believes this is now possible–retells an Indian folk tale called The Transposed Heads.

Two men behead themselves, and their heads are magically reattached, but to the other person’s body. The clincher is that the wife of one of the men doesn’t know which man to take as her husband–“the head or the heart.”

It’s a fascinating dilemma–what makes a person who they are–their thoughts (i.e. brain) or their feelings (i.e. heart).

Similarly, when a person performs multiple roles at home, work, and in the community–who are they really? Which role is them–at the core?

We tend to like doing one or some things better than others, but does what we like doing mean that is who we are? Maybe doing the things we don’t like that challenge us to grow is what we need to be doing?

Like the lady in the movie theater–one moment she was the ticket master and the next the concessions attendant–both were her jobs.

We too are made up of multiple and complex roles and identities–we are head and heart–and all the things they drive us to do in between. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)