Low Maintenance

Does technology save time and simplify your life? Sometimes. Often technology and devices can become a burden, complicate our lives, and waste our time. The same can be said for non-tech items as well. One way to simplify our lives is to cut off complications at the pass.

Choosing to buy or accept only things that will make your life easier is one way to simplify things. They say the grass is always greener on the other side–maybe because it’s fake. When I had fake grass installed in my yard it simplified my life in a dozen different ways. On the flip side, I purchased software that promised to make bookkeeping easier, yet it was a pain in the neck, so I went back to my simplified system instead.

Low Maintenance

Dates In Your Calendar Are Closer Than They Appear

We all agree that time flies, but we don’t always keep track of it. It may seem like we are on a speeding train looking out of the window as our life zips by in a blur. If we keep putting off what we want and need to do, we may run out of time, energy, and opportunity—plus we’ll have regrets.

If we’re lucky, men can expect to live to be 74, and women to 83 years of age. I did the math, I’ve already lived 69% of my life. I have four summers left with my oldest son at home, three seasons to coach my youngest son’s baseball team, and probably only a couple more Thanksgivings with my mom.

It’s made me question some things. These are the questions I’m asking my self.
• What is most important right now and how can I make sure I don’t miss it?
• What do I want or need to do, but haven’t?
• What would I regret not doing if I died today?
• If today were my last day would I want to do what I’m doing?

The next step is to take small steps to do these things.

Dates In Your Calendar Are Closer Than They Appear

They’re Clichés For a Reason

There’s a reason some sayings get passed down from generation to generation. It’s because they contain timeless advice that makes sense.

Sure, some clichés make no sense like, “The cat got your tongue?” (What does that even mean?) “Dressed to kill.” (Does that mean we wear ski masks and latex gloves?) “Go the whole nine years.” (Why not go ten yards and get a first down?) “They are the spitting image of you.” (Gross.)

The best clichés are understandable, memorable, and concise. The following are some of my favorite saying that have stuck with me over the years and I plan to pass on to my kids.

“A penny saves is a penny earned.”
If you can get what you want and need for less than you expected you not only saved the difference, you essentially earned money. On big ticket items this could a big chunk of change. “Money talks” and “Cash is king” both tell it like it is. In today’s world (and throughout history, honestly) having money (and cold hard cash) gives you an advantage because as they say, “It takes money to make money.”

“You only live once.”
For some, life is going to happen for them in the future—especially young people. For others, the best of times were in the past. I believe, “This is the time of your life” because it’s happening now. As I get older and I do the math I realize I may only have a few more summers left (who knows?) and I want to dive in and make the most of every warm, water-filled, magic moment this year because, “Time is of the essence.” People often say, “Time is money.” I’m not sure that’s actually accurate. Time is life. We trade our time (which is our life) for money by having to spend much of our day having to work for it. Isn’t it better to do what you love (or love what you do) since you give up your life for the time it takes to make money?

“It’s who you know.”
It seems unfair that the most qualified, talented, and deserving person doesn’t always get the gig or the job because someone else got it based primarily on who they know. “It is what it is” (another apropos cliché) and it’s not going to change. Fortunately, we can “meet” powerful people, and others can learn about us through social media. We should spend time working on getting our name out there as well as working on getting to know others. We should also embrace that we should, “Do unto others as we would have them do unto us” and offer to help others in some way first before we ask for their help.

“Haste makes waste.”
My father used to always say, “Measure twice and cut once.” Meaning, it saves time and money to cut a piece of wood accurately versus making a mistake and having to go to the store and buy another board. There are times when “winging” it isn’t the best choice. Instead, planning ahead, double checking, and thinking things through first usually saves time and money.

“Misery loves company.”
If we believe the saying, “Birds of a feather flock together,” then it holds true that the people we surround ourselves with can have a positive or negative affect on us—and we should be selective about who we hang out with. I always find it interesting when couples are asked what attracted them to one another many times one (or both) people will say it was their partner’s sense of humor. Since, “Laughter is the best medicine,” we need to be with positive people with a good sense of humor and avoid those who drag us down.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

We are stronger, tougher, and more resilient than we know, and we usually don’t find that out about ourselves until something terrible happens. Since, “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,” we can hope that the trials and tribulations we endure (“No pain, no gain”) will make us better people.

“When there’s a will, there’s a way.”
The person who is absolutely 100-percent committed and unafraid to go all-in to make something happen is 75-percent more likely to do it than the person who is sitting on the fence and doing just enough. The superstars in any field are the ones who want it more, work harder, and never give up.

They’re Clichés For a Reason

The Circle of Life

As the official first day of summer approaches, many of us mark time using the seasons as a point of reference. However, there aren’t many calendars (that I know of) that reflect this kind of thinking.

I see the year as a circle. January is at the top and it’s dark blue. February and March are green, while May and June are orange. July and August are at the bottom of the circle and are bright yellow. You get the idea.

I decided to create a calendar that looks at the year the same way I do. Have you ever considered making a calendar that matches your way of seeing the year?

A ROUND CALENDAR APP: http://www.newroundcalendar.com/round-calendar.html

The Circle of Life

All The Time

Pay phones, typewriters, and snail mail are three things that were once extremely popular, but now are seldom used–replaced by smart phones, computers, and e-mail. These changes have changed the way we work. It used to be we worked from 9-5, in an office, on weekdays. Now, the lines are blurred between work days and off days. Life balance is something we once strived for, but now is obsolete.

To pine for pay phones, typewriters, and snail mail are fine, but it doesn’t change the fact they are no longer realistic options for how we now live and work. It’s time to give up the idea of a balanced life and acknowledge that times have changed and we must accept that being constantly connected and beyond busy is a way of life.

Sure, we could go on a digital diet, work from home to save the commute time, and cut back on how much sleep we get, but like any diet, it usually won’t last. Instead, what can do, and should do, is be 100 percent focused on what we are working on, who we are with, and what’s right in front of us at this moment.

Focus is more important than ever–it’s just different than it was several years ago. The ability to be all-in when it matters most means we give our kids our undivided attention when they need us. We focus on the task at hand when at work to be more efficient and effective than starting and stopping over and over again. If we can focus on one thing for as long as we can and not distract ourselves, that may just be what balance is about in today’s world.

Since we can’t focus on everything equally:

1. What needs 100% of your attention right now?

2. What can you get rid of right now to free up time to focus on something that matters more this month? (Since we can’t do it all, what doesn’t need to be done?)

3. If money were no object, what would you focus on? Now, what could / should you focus on because it makes you the most money?

All The Time

Slow Down

I’ve come to realize that many people don’t read any more. The problem with this is when they get an e-mail they skim through it and miss things–important things–and often embarrass themselves when they reply. This then makes them look lazy, sloppy, unprofessional and as harsh as this sounds, look stupid.

The irony is by trying to save time by not really reading something this leads to wasted time down the line when they have to explain themselves for not knowing something they should, showing up to something on the wrong day or time, or not showing up at all (in more ways than one.)

Slow Down

Summer “Time”


All the time in the world? Hmmmmm. Well, if my calculations are correct we all have 70 days until the official end of summer–and less until school starts. We also only have 4,300 hours until the end of the year (and only 2,900 waking hours.)

Let’s take a minute (pun intended) to look at how we look at time. We have a tendency to believe we have the time to do it all and if we can’t, we’ll just get to it tomorrow. What if there were no tomorrow? As we hear of all the people murdered this month in the news I wonder if they woke up the day they died thinking they had all the time in the world to do what they needed and wanted to–but were waiting till later to do them.

I say we should make a “Bucket List” for 2016 to include the things we want to do before the end of summer and the end of the year. It’s good to be spontaneous, but it’s better to have an idea of what YOU want to do so you don’t end up doing all the things others want to do.

We make fun of the Millennials because they want it all and they want it now. That’s not all bad. They value time more than their parents did. If you watch commercials aimed at the younger market you’ll notice they are selling the idea that you should have the time of your life . . . and you should have it now.

Does it feel like the first half of the year flew by? Usually the second half goes be even faster. Let’s make the most of our time before we turn the clock and the calendar to 2017.

2016 Countdown (As of July 13, 2016)

172 Days

4,300 Hours

128,000 Minutes

Summer “Time”