What I know I’ve learned from others, figured out on my own, or discovered Posts abe lincoln by accident.  Is there any other way?   I believe if you don’t learn something useful every day the day’s been wasted. I help myself by getting rid of brain lint; you know the stuff that bombards us minute-by-minute from social media, email, text messages, tweets, TV’s talking heads, iPod playing, and Internet news sites.  Brain lint makes important data fight much harder to get a slice of our attention.  Important data is that which is truly necessary for family, business, and friends; and yes, ourselves.

John Adams walked 5 miles every day after dinner.  When he traveled it was by horseback.  The man had a lot of time to think and his uncluttered mind helped create our nation.  Adams was a man of his time; well educated, extremely so by today’s standards, a farmer and attorney, and an influence on public thought.

Lincoln did not drive around in a car with ear buds plugged in or checked his email every time his iPhone chirped a new message arrival.  He did not spend evenings browsing social media or watching brainless TV.  OMG, what did poor Abe do with so much time on his hands?

Today we have to divorce ourselves from collecting brain lint and a few simple actions are a good start.  Start with email and set up a box named Important with a filter for those messages coming from addresses of sources that are important.  Check this box first and leave everything else for downtime. Next, limit yourself to 15 minutes total each day for roaming around social media.  This does not include time following business-building regimes utilizing social media.

Force yourself to take a 5-minute break every 20-minutes by getting up from the desk or away from your workspace and walk down the hall, climb a flight of stairs, anything not related to business.  Do not stop for a beverage in the break room where it is easy to step into a business discussion trap.  The idea is to break for 5 minutes without thinking about business.  Every two hours take a 15-minute break doing the same things.

Use caller id and do not answer the phone if you do not know the caller.  An important call leaves a message.  Check for messages each hour.  I usually do not answer the phone at all and check messages each hour. Nothing is important enough to interrupt the workflow.

Lastly, do not willingly attend meetings.  Send a surrogate or request a detailed agenda for a meeting no longer than 20-minutes.  An acceptable agenda includes meeting prep and agreements made at meeting end.  If the meeting is no more than a general discussion, forget it.  The convener is asking you to do his/her work.  Your time is your most valuable asset, guard it, and lose the lint.

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