In 1916, 55% of the cars in the world were Model T Fords
When Jim Collins makes a plan for the new year, before designating new projects, he identifies three things he wants to stop doing.
Collins, author of Good to Great, says having a not-to-do list is as important for achieving your goals as a to-do list.
First, the to-dos as recommended by Gary Bencivenga, author of Success Bullets.
* Apply the famous 80/20 rule to your work. About 20 percent of your activities are responsible for 80 percent of your success. Give those activities a high priority. Review your to-do list every day.
* Rise an hour earlier and give your highest-payoff activities your attention. Earl Nightingale claimed that if you spend this hour in study of your field, you will be an expert in five years.
* Slow down. Everything is not urgent or important. Define matters that will improve your work and life. Do those things well, though you sometimes have to ignore other things.
Your not-to-do list
1. Don’t answer email in the morning. Let phone calls coming from people you don’t recognize go to voice mail.
2. Don’t overcommunicate with low-profit, high-maintenance customers. Discover which customers are responsible for your profits and which just take up your time.
3. Don’t carry your to-do-list in your head. It will perpetually nag you so you won’t be able to think as well on priority work.
4. Don’t multitask. Doing two things at once brings a poor result for both.
5. Never agree to go to a meeting that has no clear agenda, recommends Tim Harris, author of The 4-Hour Work Week.
In an effort to get gas-guzzling, air-polluting old cars off the road, Germany offered a “scrappage” incentive of $3,194 in January of this year. The program was also supposed to stimulate new-car sales.
Critics said it wouldn’t work because people would just buy used cars with the money. And the program would do little to reduce carbon emissions because making new cars creates emissions.
In February, however, new-car registrations in Germany were up by 21 percent. In the United States, new-car registrations were down by 41 percent.
California and Texas already have their own scrappage programs. Ford is lobbying for a nation-wide program in the United States.
Hitachi hopes to become the first major TV maker to sell sets that respond to gesture commands, such as those used on the Wii. Technology has advanced to the point where gesture-based systems are moving into the TV and PC markets.
Improved cameras in these devices can detect how far away an object is from the lens, making interpretation of movement far more accurate. Prices are expected to fall enough that it will be possible to build them into televisions.
Consumers then will be able to sit in a chair 10 feet away and rotate a hand to raise the volume on a TV.
Hewlett-Packard says it hopes to include gesture technology late this year in certain products.