The Biz of Pacelinebiz

Turning things on end to achieve results!

Archive for February 2010

Winter Olympics – 30 years ago today

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We are past the half way point in the Winter Olympics now.  I hope you are all enjoying your favorite events.  I really don’t have a favorite but I enjoy the bobsled, luge, the skiing events – downhill, cross country as well as the ski jumping.  I also enjoy the various speed skating events but I’m not a fan of the figure skating or ice dancing competitions.

 I also occasionally watch the hockey but it seems as though I get more interested the more frequently I watch.  I am not a fan of the NHL but will take a look at the outdoor game they televise annually on New Year’s Day.  I think I do that mostly due to the novelty of seeing a game played outdoors at a historic venue such as Wrigley Field or Fenway Park. 

 The men’s gold medal game will be played on February 28th – the last day of the Olympics.  I will probably watch some of it no matter who is playing.  My first real interest in Olympic hockey was etched in stone 30 years ago today – February 22, 1980.  That was the “Miracle on Ice” game in which the USA team beat the Soviets 4-3 to advance to the Gold medal round against Finland.  I still get chills when I think about what that victory meant at that time in history.  It was the rag tag bunch of amateurs and college kids versus the best professionals that the Soviet could field.  This Soviet team routinely trounced NHL all star teams of that era.  It is no wonder that the story was made into a TV movie in 1981 and a Feature Film in 2004.  The only thing that surprises me is that it took that long to hit the silver screen.  If you have not seen it I would recommend it – perhaps watch it this week.

 Here are some interesting facts to note about that game.  It was not televised live in the afternoon (except on Canadian TV) but on tape delay in primetime.  It was not the gold medal game.  As I stated above they had to beat Finland to get the gold. It is the most watched hockey game in USA television history.  In 2008, the International Ice Hockey Federation picked the “Miracle on Ice” as the number-one international hockey story of the century.  Sports Illustrated voted it as the greatest sports moment of the 20th century.  The picture of the American team celebrating the win on the Sports Illustrated cover the following week is the only cover in its history without a caption or headline.  The team was named the Associated Presses athlete of the year.

 Enjoy the rest of your viewing – even if it is figure skating…

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Written by pacelinebiz

February 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm

“Drop In” Visitors At Work

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Today we will re-visit a topic I spoke briefly about in my October 26, 2009 post Managing Your Time  Better.

Drop in visitors are one of the 20 time wasters that Alec Mackenzie wrote about in his book The Time Trap.  Click on the link below to see a flow chart for how to deal with people who drop in your office for “just a minute” and then derail your productivity for much longer than a minute.

Flowchart for drop in visitors

If you are not good with  flow charts, you might prefer to see the 4 responses to drop in visitors in writing:

  • 1. Handle their question – if truly brief or a legitimate emergency.
  • 2. Schedule time to meet with them later.
  • 3. Refer them to another resource or person.
  • 4. Encourage them to develop their own solution (are you their crutch?)

Some tactics (dirty tricks?) to try to deal with the drop in visitor:

  • Stand up immediately as if you were walking out and go anywhere and led them out of your office. This will give you a natural opportunity to reschedule.  Then go back to your office as soon as it is “safe”.
  • Cut yourself short after a couple of minutes by saying “oh I just remembered I have to do…”  or  “I can see this is going to take a little more time than I can spare”  then reschedule when it works for you or suggest someone else to ask or for them to try to do it on their own.
  • Postpone and reschedule for a short time later at their office.  That way you are in more in control and can leave when your ready if it becomes too lengthy.  It is much easier leaving their office than trying to tactfully get someone out of your office.
  • Set a time limit at the very beginning and stick to it.
  • Help bring the discussion to a close by using a foreshadowing phrase such as “one more thing before we are done…”
  • If all else fails, hide.  Find an empty office or an out-of-the-way place in the office and work there.  This also helps to establish a planning time and takes care of the phone and E-mail as well.
  • Some of the suggestions don’t effectively deal with the problem but at least will minimize it.  The best approach is to plan your day with blocks of planning  time for your top priority work and schedule to respond to interruptions like Phone, E-mail and drop in visitors at times that are convenient for you throughout the day.

Have a good, productive week free of drop in visitors.

Written by pacelinebiz

February 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm

A special announcement from Paceline

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This week I am announcing that I have completely updated the website for Paceline Business Consulting, LLC.  In addition to format changes, the web address has changed. 

 The new web address is:

 http://www.pacelinebiz.com/wordpress/

 By moving my website I am now able to make changes to it myself and use the website more effectively to promote my business.  In addition to the website changes, I also updated my blog with a link to the new website as well as a listing of some of the services I offer.  I encourage you to take a look at the changes to my blog and my website and provide comments if you wish.  I am rolling the new website out today although it is not 100% complete.  The additional changes I need to make are minor and cosmetic in nature and will not affect the content.  These changes will require some consultation with the software provider but should be complete within a week or two.  I am going to deactivate my current web address once all the changes to my new website have been made.

 Finally, an update from last week’s blog on the results about the Super Bowl poll.  The poll results were a little surprising.  100% of you thought that having the Super Bowl on Saturday night is a better alternative than the current Sunday night.  I expected the results to be heavily weighted in favor of moving it to Saturday night but I did not anticipate a unanimous decision.  Now, if we could only get the attention of the NFL…

 Have a good week.

Written by pacelinebiz

February 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm

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The Super Bowl and an end of an era

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This week they play the Super Bowl in Miami.  The New Orleans Saints will play the Indianapolis Colts.  That is not what this week’s message is about. 

I want to talk about the logic of playing the Super Bowl on Sunday night with an East coast kick off time of 6:37 PM.  That start time leads to the game ending around 10 PM – or later.  The game has been played at this time for at least 15 or 20 years and during that time period I have had a Super Bowl party every year-until this year. 

There are many reasons why I am not having the party this year but being a veteran of hosting many Super Bowl parties let me tell you one thing.  Sunday nights in the dead of winter are a terrible time to have a party.  I have been saying that for years but finally I am now hearing some important people including ESPN personalities asking about the possibility of moving the game up to Saturday night.  It makes sense and could make an already huge event into a massive spectacle.  I am surprised this has not gained more momentum sooner.  Let’s face it for obvious reasons Saturday night is a much better night for a party at a friend’s house or for going out to a restaurant/party center to watch the game.

My question to you is this:

Would you be more likely to go out to a party at a friend’s or to a restaurant or party center if the game was held on Saturday night?

Please vote below.

Written by pacelinebiz

February 1, 2010 at 10:08 pm

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