Tag Archives: productivity

McDonald's and McCafe

Always on time with McDonald’s

Let me tell you why I love McDonald’s (and it is nothing to do with the food).

I like to be always on time (no surprises there), and for me ‘on time’ means arriving at least five minutes early.

Many people arrive just on time and flustered, or late and even more stressed. And for some, that happens often. But how does McDonald’s have anything to do with being on time? Let me explain.

What most people do

How most people operate, when they need to travel more than a few minutes to a meeting, is that they work out how long it should take to get to the meeting, and deduct that from the meeting start time, to work out when they should leave. Then they stay in their office or workplace until that time doing tasks, many of which could be done away from the office, especially when you have all your business files stored in the cloud (for the benefits of doing this, read what Boston University says here).

But here’s the rub. The tasks they were doing may take longer, or it takes them longer to pack up after stopping those tasks, or someone comes to ask them for help, or traffic delays their trip, or they can’t find a parking spot, or, or, or… There are so many things that can delay them, resulting in frustration and lateness. And nobody enjoys being the last arrival who wasted all the time of the other people in the room, who, for all you know, all arrived on time and have been waiting just for you. Good thing they can’t send you a bill for the time they were held up (or maybe if they are lawyers or some other professions, they can send you the bill!).

And it only takes one such meeting near the start of your day, to cause a tidal wave of distraction for the rest of the day and sometimes beyond. You can’t catch up for today, so you don’t get prepared for tomorrow, and when you turn up for tomorrow’s first meeting, you realise that you were supposed to do some things before coming, and you didn’t bring your notes that you need. Snowball leads to an avalanche!

How to be always on time

Whether I am going somewhere in a city or country areas, there is usually a McDonald’s somewhere close to my destination. And to make sure that I will be always on time, I decide to leave my office well in advance. An added benefit of this is often that I am travelling outside of peak hour. I could even leave a couple of hours early, and I make sure I have at least that couple of hours of important work that I can do away from the office (this is where cloud storage and my Microsoft Surface Pro weighing under 1kg (2lb) comes in really handy). So I head off to the locale of the meeting and stop at the closest McDonald’s restaurant. There I find somewhere to sit down, some food options that are healthier than they offered a decade ago, and I do enjoy their McCafe coffee. Many McDonald’s also offer free WiFi access (as many teenagers know!). And I get down to work.

Always on time with McDonald's

McDonald’s and McCafe

Interestingly, when you do work away from your office, there are normally less distractions and interruptions, so you can get more done in those couple of hours than if you stayed at work.

And when the time comes for the meeting, I am just a few short minutes away. I can arrive a little early, fresh, relaxed and fully prepared for what is to come.

So you too can be always on time. Next time you need to travel more than a few minutes to a meeting, find a McDonald’s close to where you are going. Choose the best time for you to travel there (eg. outside of peak hour). Grab what you need for the meeting as well as some other important work you can do while you are out, and off you go. Chances are your travel time will be less than the alternative, you’ll be more productive on the work you took with you, the meeting will go better and you will be much more relaxed, with time left to prepare for the next day as per our End of Day Review process.

Have a great year.



The Science of Productivity

Here are some great productivity tips in this short three minute clip.

Overcome the Biggest Barrier to Productivity

I especially like the Zeigarnik Effect (0:32) to help you overcome the biggest barrier to productivity.

Also instead of practising MORE to get better (sounds like hard work), check out a smarter way to practice (1:02)

Sticking to your plans

My favourite, how to develop the discipline to stick to new and better habits, even when they are unfamiliar at the start (1:42)

Multi-tasking #!*?

And for all those people who want to get better at multi-tasking, you’ve got to check out (2:15)

The video was brought to you by Gregory Ciotti from sparringmind.com and the folks at asapScience. Thanks guys.

Have a great week


Big rock

Are you making time for your big rocks?

If you’ve ever got to the end of your working day (yes there is such a thing) and realised that even though you have been busy all day and are exhausted, you have made little or no progress on the things on your list, then watch this two minute video.

So many business owners are flat out busy, but spend too much time on the wrong stuff. The stuff that may help others, but doesn’t move the business in the right direction.

The time has come to stop that, and to start making time for the things that will move your business fast towards your goals (you’ve got those written down, right?).

And if you know you should, but don’t know HOW, contact us to find out about our next training events, or book a complimentary 30 minute strategy session to find out whether we are a fit to work together to boost your productivity and help you get your lifestyle the way you deserve it to be.

Book your strategy session here.

Have a great day,

Russell and the Business Time Lord team

For more information visit www.BusinessTimeLord.com.au


How Parkinson’s Law is impacting your profits and time

In this video, I explain why you have to be considering Parkinson’s Law if your business is providing services and you want to make more profit (and avoid losses), finish tasks quicker for your clients, and ensure you can deliver on your customer commitments.

Want to find out how you can use Parkinson’s Law to make more profit and get more done in less time, download our Cash For Time Calculator to see for yourself how much money you are leaving on the table, then book in for a complimentary 30 minute strategy session.

Parkinson’s Law – ‘Work expands to fill the time available’


Download the Cash For Time Calculator here

Have a great day,

Russell and the Business Time Lord team

For more information visit www.BusinessTimeLord.com.au

Always on? – Always distracting

It may seem great to be able to contact people any time you want to, but the distractions that causes have a huge cost for productivity

Have you ever just wished that you could have some time away from the cacophony of messages that seem to bombard you endlessly throughout your day (and maybe night)? You are trying to get some important stuff done, but keep getting distracted by another message from some electronic gadget or other? 

instant messaging word bubbles 20141208

So many people these days are surrounded by technology, which has become such an integral part of our lives. People receive text messages on their phone, instant messaging at their computers (and phones and tablets), emails, social media updates, etc. Many of these supposed ‘productivity tools’ can and do make a huge difference for what we can achieve in a day, but that difference is not always on the plus side.

When you think about what people can achieve at work these days, versus even just one generation ago, technology is making a huge impact. Someone once told me that when the US government first introduced a computerised census of their population, it produced its results before the manual analysis of the previous census had been completed.

But, there are two sides to every coin. The tools are supposed to be there to help us. But if someone from another planet was to watch a lot of people working, they would probably see a computer popping up a message, then the person stopping doing what they were doing and responding to the message. Who’s in control there? For so many people, what they do in the morning depends on what emails are in their inbox when they log on! And some people would almost appear to be slaves to the almighty smart phone.

So how do you take back control? It is simple, really.

1. Turn off all your instant messaging

I’m not going to name names here, but you know the programs and apps I am referring to, that pop up with notifications, make noises, tell you you’ve got mail, chirps, likes, friends, etc. Most businesses have some of them on the network and most smart phones have them too.

Interruptions are costing businesses huge amounts, with some management experts estimating that employees are working at less than 50% of what they are capable of. If someone is distracted by a phone call or instant message, it can take up to 40 minutes to get back to the level of concentration required for a complex task. And do you think it is likely that the person would be distracted again within that time? And by focussing single-mindedly on your most important task, Brian Tracy told us that it can be completed in less than half the time. The productivity impact of instant messaging is so high, that you just have to turn off the instant messaging.

2. Set your ground rules

And when I tell people this, the main question they ask is ‘but how do people contact me when they need to?’. Well, you just have to set some ground rules. Most people would not expect their boss to call them at 3am on a Sunday, right? And if you needed a copy of a report today, you would be pretty disappointed if they put it in an envelope, stuck and stamp on it and put it in a big red mail box, right? Ground rules. You have to choose the appropriate means of communication for the situation. If something is really urgent, you might encourage people to call your mobile or leave a voice-mail or send you a text if you don’t answer. If something doesn’t have to be responded to today, email is probably the way to go. Look at what you need to communicate, the timeliness and responsiveness it really needs, and decide the appropriate way to communicate it for you and your business.

3. Schedule time to read messages

There are people that you send emails to, maybe to inform them or ask them to do things. Now, unless you are paying those people to sit at their computers waiting for your email (I assume not), they will be busy doing other work for you, themselves or others. Just like you do. You have work to do for you and for others. You may need information from others (that they will email to you), but unless it is a last minute urgent task (which I will talk about in another post) or you left it to the last minute because you were not organised enough to do better, then you should have their information days in advance, not hours or minutes before you need it. So schedule times each day (I recommend 15 minutes late morning and the same late afternoon) to read your emails. Late morning because you decide before the end of your work day what are the most important things for you to do the next day (and don’t let someone else’s email in the morning distract you from that decision). And late afternoon because you can finish work knowing that you are up to date on your emails, your inbox is empty, and you have a plan for tomorrow (as above).

 Hutchison’s Law “Any occurrence requiring undivided attention will be accompanied by a compelling distraction“

So when you have some important things to do (isn’t that most of the time?), just turn off all of the instant messaging apps or programs. Set your ground rules for how you want to be contacted for urgent and for non-urgent things. And most of all, schedule times in your calendar for when you will check your messages, so that you can be responsive and in control of how you spend your precious time.

Have a great week,

Russell Scott
Business Time Lord