Minute by minute

my thoughts on making the most out of all of life's minutes…

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Thursday’s Take….GMA where did you go?

I love Good Morning America.  Well – – I loved Good Morning America.

That is…until it changed.

And I’m not talking the change from when Charlie went to the evening news and then when Diane left and went to the evening news….I actaully like Robyn, Sam, Josh and George.

But I guess their ratings aren’t doing all that well….so they are resorting to TMZ type stories that they feel are “news worthy”.  Sadly – I’m not really all that interested in what’s happening in Hollywood or what the famous people are doing.  And when I saw Nancy Grace on the show the other morning – – I thought – well, good gravy- they must be doing poorly in their ratings if they think they need that gal to help stir things up.  For me, that was an all time low.

I get it – I understand why they are turning their methods towards Hollywood and “trending now” stories.

When I was in college, in every Marketing class I took we seemed to be given the same example, it went like this:

If you move to a tiny little town and there is a bar on three corners of Main Street…what are you going to build on that fourth corner?  

a. A 24 hour gym?

b. A Four store restaurant

c. Another bar. 

Do you know what the answer is….

If you guessed C – you are correct.

Why do you ask?  Because obviously bars do well in this little town.  And that’s how marketing works.

If it sells – it must be what people want.  So let’s sell more of “it”. 

This is why we see duplicates of the same show on different channels.  Just how many show are about cooking challenges, talent contests, shows on hoarding, shows on pawn shops, and all those reality shows.

The theory is – – if it is popular – that must be what the people want.  And they are right.  People watch these sorts of shows and find similar ones and watch those on the different channels.

The sad part is for people like me – I don’t always want to watch the same thing over and over.  I like variety and I seriously don’t like what the choices are these days.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll dive into some Hollywood gossip every now and then – I’m not that much of a prude.  But I also like good reporting and good shows that make me laugh or think – not just roll my eyes and shake my head.

I guess it comes down to….I just miss Good Morning America.  When they travel to see different parts of the country and report on different aspects of American life.  I love the Made in America series they did a few years ago.   When they did good, quality reporting – that was really news worthy.

Come back Old School GMA.  Come back!

Happy Thursday, everyone!


PS – today marks the end of my challenge to sell 100 copies of Making Time for Dinner.  We didn’t quite make it to 100, but the good news is – it is still for sale and you can buy your copy at any time.  Thanks for all who purchased a copy  – I love the support.

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Word Up Wednesday – Out of Office Assistant/Reply

Do you ever get those auto replies that say something like

“I’m out of the office this week, I’ll be in touch with you when I return.”  

This auto reply function on your email server has become named the “Out of Office Assistant” and that my friends, is today’s Word Up Wednesday!

This auto reply is very helpful for people who send and receive a lot of email.  It is a courtesy  for those on the sending end to be notified that you are planning on being away from your normal routine for a set period of time and when they can expect to hear back from you.

This function is available on most email servers and to use this option isn’t limited to only professionals or small business owners.  I suggest setting it for your personal email as well.

A couple of key points to remember:

  • Turn it on – it is important to set it up as you are planning on being away.  Maybe you are going on vacation, a business trip, a conference or maybe your week is just full of meetings that are keeping you away from your normal turnaround rate.
  • Turn it off. Once you have returned back to your regular routine, be sure to turn the reply off.
  • Don’t over explain where you will be.  You don’t have to say “I’m getting crown put in on my bottom, left molar and I usually take a couple of days to recover from any dental procedure.”  TMI!  Just state stimply…”I’ll be out of the office from this date to this date.  I’ll return your email as soon as I get back into the office.”
  • But do offer a contact of someone in your office who is covering for you if this is necessary.
  • Consider giving yourself an extra day to catch up upon your return.  By saying “I’ll be returning on Monday and I’ll get back to you as soon as I get back.” implies that you’ll get back to them Monday.  Give yourself a little time to catch up on details that happened while you were gone instead of promising an immediate response.  You won’t be able to give an immediate response to everyone.

People appreciate quick responses and we’ve come to expect it.  The handy Out of Office Assistant relieves the issues of “I haven’t heard back from Tom.”  This will keep your clients and customers satisfied and takes the stress off of you of having to be available 24/7.

What’s your experience with using an Out of Office Assistant?  I’d love to hear if you love it or never use it – – and why.

Happy Wednesday!


PS – do you love inspirational quotes as much as I do.  Subscribe to my ” a minute, a thought” blog for a once daily, positive message.  It helps set the tone for your day.  This month we’re doing all Buddha quotes.

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Tips on Tuesday – Running on empty

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Yesterday I suggestion an article that offered nine ways to prevent that overwhelmed feeling.

Number Four said “don’t let yourself fall into empty.”

A couple of years ago, my friend Julie and I were talking.  She mentioned to me that one of the time-saving tips she always did was if her gas tank was getting low, she would force herself to fill it up on her way home from work and not leave it to “do in the morning”.  She confessed that she had to really fight that urge to “do it later” and just suck it up and do it – not matter how tired she was, how hungry she was, no matter how much she just wanted to go home.

That tip has always stuck with me – especially every time my gas tank is getting low and I’m on my way home.  Many times I can totally relate with that feeling of “I just want to go home….”.  But it never fails, the times I don’t stop for gas….I regret not getting it when I get into my car the next time.

Do you have a time-saving habit that you always do – even if you have to fight to do it?

Hope your day is a good one!


PS – I recently told my seven-year old son that as soon as he starts driving, I’m going to have him fill up my gas tank every Sunday afternoon, whether it needs it or not.  Nine more years….nine more years!


My Take on Thursday – the Friday edition –

I can’t think of what to write for this week’s My Take on Thursday.  Even now – it is Friday and my mind just won’t commit to any ideas.

They say – whenever  you are stuck about what to write, just start writing.  So that is what I’m doing.

Here are a couple of thoughts on what I thought I wanted to write about.


I sent out a request to a group I belong to on Linkedin looking for people who would like to be featured as guest writers for my blog while I’m on vacation next week.  I asked them to send me a link to an article they would like featured that might fit in with my overall theme.  I got a couple of really good suggestions, but I also got a couple of people that said “You can take anything off my blog.”

Well…I’m not going to be featuring those people, I can tell you already. I specifically asked for articles – not invitations to go read their entire collection of  blog posts and pick my favorite.  

Hint:  If someone offers to do something for you that will benefit you or your business – dont’ make them do more work.  Help them out as much as possible.

I was also going to write about:


An email I got from a co-worker that was obviously mid-thought on her part.  She was requesting some information, but her request was so vague  – I really didn’t understand what it was that she needed.

I ended up having to email her back and admit my shortcomings of not understanding what she needed and asked for more information. 

Hint:  Even if you know the person you are emailing knows what you are emailing about – it is best to still offer some additional details and background information to make it easier on the receiver.

One last thought:


On March 1st, I turned my programmable thermostat down one degree on all settings.  It is my attempt to save a little energy and reduce costs overall.  What I didn’t anticipate was March being colder than January.  So as I sit here typing, my fingers are cold and I’m about to bump of the heater a couple of notches.

Hint:  Don’t adjust the thermostat according to the calendar, use a thermometer instead.  

Well – look at that – – I started writing, admitted I was stuck and took a different approach to the process.  Originally, the posts were getting long and naggy  and quite honestly – boring.  But I like the way these turned out – short and to the point.  And three hints are a bonus!

Happy Day Everyone!



A combo for today…a five dollar vacation

Hi Everyone!

Happy First Day of Spring!  This is one of my favorite days of the year.   I hope yours is going really well.

Today I wanted to do a bit of a combination of posts today – combining this week’s Not me Monday and Tips on Tuesdays.   I’m doing this for two reasons:

  1. The tip I wanted to share today is not mine originally
  2. I’m a little overwhelmed with lots of projects going on – so yes, this is a bit of a cheat to combine these two.

A few years ago I read an article in Real Simple Magazine.  I wish I had the exact article or at least the magazine issue to reference, and while I don’t have that information – the lesson learned from the article really stuck with me.

Basically, the article talked about a guy who saved every five dollar bill that ever made it into his wallet and after a couple of years, he was able to take his family on a great vacation.  I want to say to Disney or someplace like that.

I love this idea because it shows how the little bit adds up over time. And by sticking to something, the payoffs are really great.

After reading this article, I starting doing my own version of this.  And while I’m not saving for anything in particular, I collect one dollar bills and place them in an envelope in my office labeled “the dollar fund.”

I don’t typically have a lot of cash in my wallet, I normally use my debit card and/or working from home, I don’t find a huge need to have cash on me.  But every few days, I’ll clean out my wallet and any dollars go right into my envelope.

Like I said, I’m not saving for anything in particular – but boy is it nice to have a few dollars available should you need them.


For example:

  • we pay our son $2 a week for his allowance
  • I bought a box of Thin Mints from a Brownie who knocked on my front door last weekend
  • whenever we are a couple of dollars short for the babysitter
  • if I’m feeling like I want to treat myself to a Chai before a meeting.

The fund sometimes adds up and I’ll have upwards of $50 in there.  But it probably sits around $25 on any given day.

It has really come in handy.

Do you have a secret stash like the $5 vacation fund or like my dollar fund?  Please share!

Happy Monday and Tuesday to you!