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peter vajda

Hi, Steve,

some thoughts:

"He was too busy doing business to be doing the business"---not unlike working "on" your business instead of working "in" your business---confusing "activity" for "action"--former is busyness; latter is goal-focused and purpose driven; former is "spending" time, latter is "investing" time.

"If you do business globally in the electronic age, the expectation is that you are available on "their" time...or you should be. So choose carefully--you can't afford to be awake 24 hours a day."---returning messages with that criptic note--"blab, blah, blah from my blackberry or iPhoine is SHOUTING to folks "Hey, contact me whenever, I am available 24/7/365". You get back what you put out!

"Time management isn't really just about time. It's about clear priorities. Which means..."---...which means it's all about self-management--clear priorities, knowing the difference between "urgent" and "important" and being self-responsible, being conscious and honest about how one uses one's time and one's mental, physical, emotional and spiritual energies...

" you may hear, "Everything is equally important."...which, in reality, is that when everything is important...nothing is important; if one cannot prioritize, there's a problem somewhere..usually "inisde me" and with my orientation to my world.


I have found positive psychology, rather than more to do lists, to be a real help.

I turned a post about someone into a gratitude post. That turned fatigue into pleasure. Then the next day was easier.

Maybe Kyle could walk in to the meeting and concentrate on what is going well and what they should do more of? What would happen if he did that?

lisa gates

Steve, ahhh this topic is near and dear to me.

I have a challenge for your readers if you're game...and I promise to practice what I preach. K?

Say NO to every request for a week. Every. You can use me (or Steve, right?) as an excuse if you like. If you must, for reasons of maintaining employment, you may say, "let me get back to you on that, may I?"

This little ditty sounds very unreasonable, I know. But doing it could change your whole world.


Steve Roesler

Peter and Lisa,

You've both arrived at the issue of priorities in your own, distinct, ways.

One's "orientation to the world" would be directly related to one's sense of which is more important: "the world" or the "person in it."

The act of saying "no" goes a long way toward settling that.

Steve Roesler


In this situation, Kyle would need to itemize the contributions to the business of each of the activities; show the benefit/cost of each; and then use the "It looks as if we should be doing more of..." approach in order to gain acceptance. An agreement of the value of what's going well would make it more likely to gain agreement on bumping at least a few things from the bottom of the list.

JibberJobber Guy

Ouch... this describes the last 18 months of my last job, before I got laid off. I remember those damned board meetings where I was the only one who had to prepare, and it took most of my time and a lot of my energy and focus. Everyone else just danced in, ready to "ask the hard questions," and pontificate, and tear things down... very stressful.

When I was done, I would go back to my office and start getting ready for the next one. I just didn't have enough business sense to tell all of these seasoned business people that I was spending too much time playing their game, and not enough time managing the operations of the company. That was one of the best parts of getting laid off - no more dumb meetings.

Jason Alba
CEO - http://www.JibberJobber.com

Mile High Pixie

Hear, hear! I learned to say no to some (but not all) meetings this year after I realized I was bored and annoyed and wasting my time. I'm of the opinion that meetings are the refuge of the underemployed, and many reports are a way to look busy. On my last big project, I spent so much time answering questions and talking on the phone to different consultants and clients that I hardly had time to do the drawings and documents necessary. In order to get them done, I had to work weekends...every weekend for eight months. Never again.

Steve Roesler


Having watched your JibberJobber enterprise since it's launch, I would say that your decision showed a lot of wisdom that your former bosses are missing out on now. Of course, if their idea of "business" revolves around interminable meetings and presentations, they may not have noticed that you actually left the building with Elvis:-)

Keep up the valuable entrepreneurial stuff--it's a terrific example for everyone.

Steve Roesler


"No" is an important word for people who actually want to get something done. Kudos!

Of course, I'm sitting here doing my response on a beautiful weekend morning...but at least I'm on the back porch watching the deer eat my plants. I think it's time I had a meeting with them.

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