Saturday, January 27, 2007

A Complete Waste of Time and SYNNEX TSD

I am in California at a SYNNEX TSD sales conference. It started well. High energy. Great vendors. It will be a full day of learning for me. We are very strong in the bar code/ADIC market.

I recently re-read a book called, A Complete Waste of Time – Tales and Tips About Getting More Done, by Mark Ellwood.

This book reinforces all of the usual time management messages like, keep a prioritized to do list.

This book is told in storybook mode where there is a ficticious story that is used to illustrate the various examples. I suppose this could make it more interesting for some people. I find that it slows the book down somewhat.

One thing that I liked about the book is it has a number of neat research points; for example: office workers spend an average of 5.1 hours per week on paperwork and low priority administrative activities – pace productivity research.

One thing that I particularly like and have changed my SMART acronomyn in setting goals.

He changes the acronomyn for SMART goals to:

S for specific goals

M for measurable

A for appropriate

R for realistic

T is for time bound

I had "A"" for attainable but that seems fairly redundant to realistic. He has changed that to "appropriate goals" and here is what he has to say about that:

Appropriate Goals

"An appropriate goal is within your area of power of responsibility. Don’t try to work on someone else’s goals. Appropriate goals are also consistent with your organization’s aims, culture or standards. For instance, don’t aim to increase customer satisfaction (a goal) with longer creedit terms (a strategy) when the company is trying to reduce its accounts receivable (another goal).

Appropriate goals also relate to your personal style. What are you capable of accomplishing, given your background, your skills, your training or even your physical makeup? People who are only five feet tall have little chance of making the Olympic basketball team."


At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Mark Ellwood said...

Jim, thanks for the interest in my book. may not have copies; those who are interested can get it from my web site at

On the subject of appropriate goals, a few weeks ago I asked my mother-in-law what she wished for this year. She said she just wanted everyone in the family to be healthy. That's a nice wish, though apart from being vague, it's not really an appropriate goal that she can work on. (except for her own health perhaps.) Focus your attention on goals where you can make a difference.

At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Diane Wilson said...

Often times people confuse Goals with intentions. Both are powerful, albeit somewhat different tools. You've clarified that Goals are for those who can do something about them. Intentions - which can be more general (though don't have to be) draw from unseen sources to give them momentum.
Eg: Mark's mother's wish was that everyone in the family would be healthy. Her goal could be to maximize her own health so she could support others.
She could also set the intention that each member of her family be given opportunities to maximize their own health within that year.
Kind of like sending out a postcard... the reader can choose to read it or not.

Energy does follow intention though. And stating intentions -like writing down goals... can be a very powerful exercise.


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