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Saturday, March 1, 2008


Greetings, all! Chet Ranger here, Bertie's awesome husband. It's about time I contributed to the blogosphere, and more specifically to Bertie's blogs seeing as how we're fam and all. Anyhoo... Life: Have it YOUR way, baby! I just quit my job at Mattress Giant; I've been a manager there for awhile now, worked there since July. I hit a plateau in pay and between politics and pay cuts, I couldn't get any more upward mobility for at least 6 months.

So here's my 2 cents on having life your way - and while I'm at it, lemme explain the pasted "4-Hour Workweek" title.... it's real simple. Time and how we spend it is the currency of the x and y generations. At any retail job (or any desk job for that matter), your time is not your own -- it's your company's time. And they (rightly so) feel entitled to you spending it however they please. Trouble is, none of us are adequately remunerated for:

A) co-worker interruptions
B) mindless, boring, redundant meetings
C) training sessions, HR sessions designed with the few in mind that aren't 'compliant'
D) in Mattress Giant's case -- cleaning, organizing, filing, answering telemarketing calls, etc.
E) fill in your favorite time-wasting items here

So, if all of us could just focus our time and energy on what we each do best, just how productive and happy could we be? I don't know about you, but to me the possibilities are staggeringly endless. If I could schedule each day around work, this is what it'd look like. Your mileage may vary:

A) peacefully prepare for the day in the comfort of my home. This would include absorbing 30 minutes to an hour's worth of information via RSS feeds, music, and other items relevant to increasing my energy level. Oh, and a nice breakfast.
B) around 9 am, be calling on individuals as energetic and positive as myself to network, close a deal, etc.
C) continue this until lunch, at which point a natural turn of events might include eating a nice meal with an associate, my wife or popping over to my son's elementary school to eat with him
D) repeat B until anywhere from 4-6 pm depending on how productive I'm being
E) once I feel a dropoff in productivity, spend some time planning, setting goals and reviewing current results
F) rinse and repeat daily

Key here is -- my time needs to be my own, period. All the interruptions? Email, phone, 'heat cases' with customers... all should be dealt with through gatekeepers and triage, no matter the organization. David Allen's "Getting Things Done" is a great look at how to manage, organize and prevent life in URGENT mode. Tim Ferriss' "4-Hour Workweek" clarifies how to outsource all the junk and garbage that fills your day so you can be productive in as few hours as possible and free up the rest of your time to deal with things that matter.

So that's the blueprint for my new career. While I'd like to stay in the same industry (retail), it's unlikely I'll find a position that offers enough flexibility to suit my needs, so we'll see who wins out and gets ol' Chet on board.

More to come!

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