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How To Work Smart On Right Things;
Unplug & Reboot From Time-Wasters
January 16, 2012

By Bobbin Beam
Voice Actress

So here we are, and it’s already mid-January. How are you doing with your resolutions/plans and goals for 2012?

Are you doing everything you can to get what you want (and deserve)?

I’m just coming off of my best year ever and am working to keep the momentum going. Every day I plan to make 2012 better than ever, and I’m going to share some of my methods and inspirations here for those who may be interested.


To stay on track, Pareto's Principle, the 80/20 Rule, should serve as a daily reminder to focus 80 percent of your time and energy on the 20 percent of your work that is really important.

Don't just "work smart," work smart on the right things.

We’re always so busy, but on what?

Many of us are undisciplined, and it is hard to gain any traction, much less momentum by multi-tasking and doing, doing, doing.

It’s imperative to rid ourselves of the extraneous junk, unplug, and reboot our life!


Here are some tips from excellent thought leader John C. Maxwell about applying the Pareto Principle as a guideline to assist in decision making, so that the 20% will rise to the top of our to-do lists. Decide:
  • What must I do?
  • What provides me the greatest return?
  • What do I love to do, and what’s the most rewarding?

In order to make progress, we must change ourselves. A little bit each day can compound into sweeping changes over time.

One of my mentors, Lee Silber, suggests the following approach:

Take a stack of index cards and on each card write down one task that takes up your time. Then on the back of each card in your stack:
  • Put a heart if you love it.
  • Put a star if you are good at it.
  • Add a dollar sign if it makes or saves you money.
  • Add a check mark if you must do it, or else bad things will happen.
  • Finally, put a plus sign if doing this makes a difference in the world.
It will quickly become clear which things you do during the day are most important.


Remember that you’re only as good or as successful at anything as what you did last time.

So in order to change, you must be open and proactive.

For me, I want to become a better communicator, be a mentor and expand my own mentorship base, and effect change in my life and the lives of others.


I won’t spend time trying to change things I cannot, and must therefore in essence walk away and tune out from about 90% of the noise "outside.”

I must feel comfortable knowing that most of the answers to what I need to know to change lie within.

I’ll read inspiring or educational articles first thing every day, and let the key points mentally "marinate”.


In voice over, we work with words. They are our world.

When we use our words effectively, we can become better communicators, and change the world in our work.

When we receive a script, it is a gift. It is a way to take care of your customer's needs.

We are cultivating and preserving our relationships at the same time. We’re bettering our lot and that of whom we serve.

For me, each script stirs my passion to create, which is a huge reward in itself.


Here’s an excellent video about The Power of Words:


When we keep in mind that results are our goals, we’ll automatically move in their direction.

If we can capitalize on our successes by following the direction of our thoughts, we can and will change our lives.


Bobbin Beam is a very active voice talent, based in the San Diego - Los Angeles area, who specializes in projects for broadcast and business. She also writes a very entertaining and informative Bobbin's Blog.


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Comments (6)
Bobbin Beam
1/17/2012 at 11:19 AM
Hi Naomi, Judy, Lisa, Suzanne, and Paul,

Thanks for your input. I often wonder if at times we have reached a point of continual connectedness and are so consumed with "sharing" that there will be no one left to download what you're offering because we are all too busy uploading our own "stuff" - much of it superfluous.

I'll try my best to avoid becoming a gadget junkie just for the sake of fitting in. I'll opt to focus on the hard issues and be willing to fail forward to a cause that will make a difference.
Naomi McMillan
1/17/2012 at 10:18 AM
LOVED the video!!! Great start to my day :)
Thank you so much for sharing
Judy Fossum
1/17/2012 at 8:57 AM
Thank you, Bobbin. Thank you for the great advice and action steps to take to work smart on the right things. This article is so very useful as with everything else that needs to be done, social networking and marketing is another item that can take up a great deal of time and most certainly may not be the best use of time. As voice actors we wear many hats and end up multitasking to get everything done. It is so good to refocus on what really matters.

Thanks again,
Judy Fossum
Cheyenne, WY
Lisa Rice
1/17/2012 at 7:51 AM
Great article, Bobbin!
I especially like the index card strategy.
If plates have to be spinned, it is assuring to know which is OK to possibly drop.
Paul Strikwerda
1/17/2012 at 7:48 AM
Thanks for sharing Lee Silber's method with us, Bobbin. Simple systems are often the best.

What really helps me is to be very specific about what I want and to state it in the positive. "Becoming better at something" may sound good, but "better" is too vague for most people. I often ask myself the following questions:

"How will I know that I have accomplished this goal? What will I see, feel, hear and think that tells me clearly that I have reached it?"

"What's the last think that needs to happen before I reach my goal? What needs to happen before that?" From there I keep on connecting the dots backwards.

And finally:

"What concrete action will I take today that brings me closer to my goal?"

Without concrete and massive action, goals are nothing but daydreams.
Suzanne Muir
1/17/2012 at 12:30 AM
Excellent words by Bobbin. Powerful video!! Thank you for sharing!
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