Corrections or additions?
This article was prepared for the October 10, 2001 edition of U.S.
1 Newspaper. All rights
Take Time by the Tail
Lots of dreams go unfulfilled for lack of a big chunk
of time in which to accomplish them. Lots of projects fall further
and further behind for lack of an uninterrupted hour in which to get
them done. This does not have to be so, says Cathy Nissley
founder of Newtown, Pennsylvania, marketing and corporate
firm CIC Creative. "Instead of thinking `This is going to take
12 hours, so I’m going to have to wait,’ break it down into 15-minute
pieces," is her advice. "People think anything less than half
an hour is useless," she says, "but it’s amazing what you
can get done in 15 minutes."
Nissley speaks on "How to Do Twice as Much in Half the Time"
when she addresses a meeting of the Central Jersey Women’s Network
on Thursday, October 11, at 6 p.m. at the Oakland House Restaurant
in Red Bank. Cost: $28. Call 908-281-9234.
Nissley graduated from Drexel University in 1975 with a degree in
design and merchandising. After working as a product manager for
corporations, she started her company in 1993. Her advice on time
management comes from personal experience. By the mid-1980s her career
was taking off, but it was taking too great a personal toll.
"I had no time for myself," she recalls. "I had a long
commute. I was not sleeping. I was not eating properly. I was
The key question in her life became "How can I better utilize
Her answer was to start keeping a journal, writing down what she was
doing all day long. She found that she spent "a lot of time in
colleagues’ offices bitching and moaning about the boss." Cutting
out that time wasting, energy sapping activity, she found time to
take a walk in the middle of the workday. She also scheduled in
with a nutritionist, and began to feel better.
Taming time, says Nissley, involves "making a conscious decision
to take back your life." She offers these tips for doing just
time," says Nissley. "If you can’t make a decision, it
She suggests setting boundaries, staking our parameters, making a
decision, and then moving on. For instance, if you need to hire a
contractor, make a list of what you expect him to do, when you need
the project completed, what you are willing to pay, and what terms
are acceptable to you. "Avoid back and forth," says Nissley.
It sucks up time, and it creates stress too.
you are used to doing," Nissley says. Anyone who takes pride in
the job he does is likely to feel uncomfortable giving up any part
of it, yet failing to do so is a sure way to quickly get into time
debt. As soon as a project comes up, begin to think which parts of
it could be outsourced. Get in the habit of concentrating on core
tasks, and passing peripheral jobs on to subordinates or
such thing as perfect," Nissley declares. Trying to achieve that
goal is fruitless, and one of the biggest time wasters of all. She
sees this in her business when a client insists on rewrite after
only to return to something very like the original copy. For most
business tasks she says, "good is good enough."
grow bigger and bigger. If a task is not worth doing, don’t place
it on the to do list. If it is worth doing, schedule it in, and get
it out of the way.
of every worker is "no." Whether toiling in the halls of a
multinational or working from what used to be the household laundry
room, everyone is under pressure to take on more. Failing to
enunciate that two-letter word causes oceans of time to disappear
in ways that are rarely satisfying. Acknowledging the difficulty so
many of us have in turning down requests of all kinds, Nissley offers
some painless strategies.
"Schedule conflict," she says. "Those are the only words
you need." Don’t elaborate. Don’t apologize. Just confidently
announce that a schedule conflict makes it impossible for you to pinch
hit at the meeting, pick up your neighbor’s dog at obedience school,
or babysit for the boss’s adorable twins on Saturday night.
In cases where you genuinely would like to help out, maybe by sitting
on a committee or taking a turn manning the Little League hot dog
stand, but feel doing so would be too much in the immediate future,
Nissley suggests another strategy. "Say `Not now’," she
"Say `This is not a good time, but leave me on your call-back
These are graceful ways out that protect your time, and reduce the
stress that comes with thinking up a series of creative excuses.
idea to write down the length of each call for a week or two.
amazing," she says, "how fast time goes when you’re talking
on the phone." Beware of compulsive E-mail checking, too. Schedule
in specific times of the day to read and answer E-mail, and let the
instant missives sit quietly in their in-box between times.
says Nissley is to analyze how you are spending them. "Don’t ask
`Where did the day go?’" she urges. "Find out where it
As the saying goes, we know more about the backside
of the moon than the bottom of the ocean. But Peter A. Rona
professor of marine geology and geophysics at Rutgers University,
says that "the vision is changing rapidly, with major advances
in ocean exploration. And we are discovering that there are processes
and living ecosystems in the deep ocean that are as essential to the
balanced working of the earth as the rain forest is on land."
On Tuesday, October 16, Rona speaks on "Marine Mineral Resources
for the New Millennium," at the Frick Chemistry Laboratory at
Princeton University, at 5.30 p.m. A dinner at Prospect House will
follow the lecture. Call 609-258-5202.
Rona, who has been engaged in the exploration of the deep sea floor
for almost his entire career, has just returned from deep diving
in the middle Atlantic and the Hudson Canyon, a submarine canyon that
starts at the mouth of the Hudson River and runs some 400 miles out
into the Atlantic. The lecture will be illustrated with slides of
the deep ocean.
"The ocean is the future," says Rona. "It covers 71
of the earth, and is largely unknown." With a Yale Ph.D. in
and geophysics, Rona started out in oil exploration, but was quickly
drawn to the oceans as "the last frontier on earth." Before
coming to Rutgers to build programs in marine science, he was the
senior research geophysicist at the U.S. Government’s National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration, working from its laboratory in Miami,
Rona says recent major advances in ocean exploration have revealed
the amazing world of heat-tolerant microbes. Living in deep oceanic
hot springs, the microbes have enormous potential for use in medicine
"These microbes have a whole different life system," explains
Rona. "They are completely independent of the energy from
which sustains most of the food chain base, both on land and in the
shallow oceans. Their energy comes from chemicals that well up from
the earth’s interior and discharge into the hot springs on the floor
of the deep ocean. This is an entirely different ecosystem — we
call it a `chemosynthetic’ ecosystem."
The heat-loving microbes have been found to contain a whole new
of compounds, enzymes in particular, that are finding applications
in a number of industries. The National Institute for Health is
researching some enzymes for potential cancer curing drugs, and
useful enzyme is used to replicate DNA, for use in identification
processes in forensic and other investigations. Other applications
are in high-temperature industrial processes, such as enhancing the
flow in deep oil wells.
The fast-expanding research in oceanography has resulted in the growth
of myriad marine-related industries, with commercial opportunities
blossoming in marine products and equipment, instrumentation, and
natural products from the oceans.
A number of leading universities, including Rutgers, have programs
in marine sciences for those wishing to pursue a career in
"There are new technologies emerging constantly," says Rona.
"There is a whole new world in the ocean depths, and these
will emerge at an accelerating rate as we explore the oceans. Right
now it’s a great age of ocean exploration."
The ocean basins have long been regarded as passive containers, a
view which accounted for mineral deposits on continental shelves such
as sand, gravel, heavy metals, and gemstones. Of these minerals, sand
and gravel for construction and desalination of seawater are growing
fastest as materials necessary for survival, and diamonds have
into a major industry off southwest Africa.
"The advent of the theory of plate tectonics in the 1960s changed
our view of ocean basins from passive sinks to active sources of
says Rona. "The constant movement of the ocean crust at plate
boundaries creates heat, which drives the hydrothermal circulation
systems below the seafloor."
In this recently discovered environment live the heat-loving microbes,
which currently fascinate scientists and industry alike with their
promise of enormous potential benefits.
"These microbes are sources of novel organic compounds that have
many applications to industrial processes," says Rona. "But
the microbes themselves appear to be one of the most ancient forms
of life on earth. They are being investigated as relating to the base
of the evolutionary tree of life, and may indeed be a key to the
of life itself."
— Gina Zechiel
No sir, it absolutely does not apply any more. All those
401(k) pension planning percentages you have worked out so carefully
and have finally fed into your debugged software are now going the
way of the floppy disk. Come January, 2002 all pension laws change
But that’s all right. You’ve been keeping up, and know all the nuances
of the new law, don’t you? If not, you may want to keep an irate
and employees’ rep away from your door by attending the pension
on Tuesday, October 16, at 8 a.m. at the Central Jersey chapter of
World-wide Employee Benefits (WEB) Network at the New Jersey Hospital
Association Conference Center at 760 Alexander Road. Barry Kurtz,
whose firm, Pension Advisory Services, designs plans for the
Fund, Merrill Lynch, Prudential, and Dreyfus, speaks on
Pension Designs: Hype or Heaven?" Cost: $40. Call 609-538-1943.
Few items in the benefits spectrum offer as many misunderstood options
as pensions, and few understand them better than Kurtz. Brooklyn born
and educated, Kurtz studied Shakespeare at the University of Alaska.
He carried the bard’s sharp wisdom with him through a business in
Vermont and then into his own firm, Pension Advisory Services, which
provides services to investment and insurance companies.
Can you work out your own pension plan? "Well," says Kurtz,
"yes — the same way you can do your own corporate taxes. Just
get the form and fill it out." But those who do run the risk of
stumbling blindly into the pit that ensnared one of Kurtz’s clients.
It began for this unnamed northern New Jersey gem dealer when he
Switzerland and discovered a fabulous diamond. Its price glistened
as brightly as its facets. A real steal. Swiftly, he phoned his
and panted into the phone, "Wire me the $350,000 from the pension
fund. We are going to make a real investment for our folks’
"No," the bookkeeper replied.
"What do you mean `No’? he bellowed back.
After a great deal of arguing, and a hasty return flight home, the
gem dealer learned that his trusted bookkeeper recently had stolen
the entire $1.2 million pension fund. A low blow certainly, but only
Our employer had bonded himself and his partner, but never his sweet
and trusted bookkeeper. Thus, the fidelity bond did not insure his
loss. Further, his bookkeeper, by then tucked safely away in a state
prison, sent word that she wants her pension. Our crimson-faced
called in Kurtz. Kurtz shook his head and informed him that the way
he had mis-written his benefits contract, the pension must be paid
regardless. So to this day the unhappy employer shells out $1,000
a month to his larcenous former bookkeeper, the very person who made
with his fund.
Few employers make such ghastly blunders — or have such bad luck.
But, notes Kurtz, there are host of pension alternatives that many
employers don’t examine, to their detriment.
off the 401K retirement plan. Beginning in January, says Kurtz,
of participating firms can defer all of their salary, except for a
nominal tax share, into the 401K. If, for example, your wife works
for you, receiving a $20,000 annual salary, and your household does
not need her salary to pay the monthly bills, she can put $19,000
into the 401K plan, saving only a small remainder for tax deduction.
Such deferment applies up to a specified dollar amount.
of safe retirement harbor where upper salaried employees were no
bound by the pension dictates of the lower paid workers. Previously,
those designated as high-salary employees (company officers and staff
paid over $80,000 per year) had to follow a pro-rated formula which
basically limited their retirement deferment to 125 percent of the
average percentage of chosen contribution other workers made into
the plan. If the lesser-paid employees lowered their contribution
to the plan in a given month, the higher ups were forced to follow.
This tie is now broken.
worker inertia. Instead of offering a given pension plan to all
to vote on individually, the plan is simply published in-house and
employees are told that unless they specifically deny this plan, they
are automatically opted in. This enables swift, all-at-once adoption
of the firm’s new pension plan, without waiting for individual sign-up
"but the number of variations are infinite, and each employer
needs examine the number, category, and salary range of his workers
before rubberstamping someone else’s formula." You can run a basic
match plan where every employee who has worked, for example, 1,000
hours, receives a 100 percent match of his first one percent
on a sliding scale up to a match of four percent. Or you can fix the
plan with a straight three percent match across the board.
carefully strategized options are available. Within the past decade,
money management plans have proliferated in every aspect of business.
Most of us swim in a sea of options whose differences we can scarcely
calculate. While we may blanch at the idea of dumping our golden years
into the hands of some outsourced "expert," decisions must
be made. And sometimes it pays to have a veteran guide you into the
right game. After all, retirement need not be a crapshoot.
— Bart Jackson
The Realtors Disaster Relief Fund
families of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks with
payments for residential mortgages or rent for up to three months.
The fund was created by the National Association of Realtors with
the New Jersey Association of Realtors cooperating to respond to the
needs of New Jersey residents. An application is available on the
Internet at njar.com
charitable relief fund to help support families who are victims of
the attack on the World Trade Center and to assist in the recovery
loans to New Jersey small business owners who may have suffered
hardship as a result of the attack on the World Trade Center.
is available in six counties, including Middlesex County.
Small businesses may be eligible for disaster loans up to $1.5 million
for the SBA. Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent with terms
up to 30 years. Small business owners can obtain information by
law firms Jerrold Kamensky & Associates
and Philadelphia-based International Computer Consultants
sponsoring a golf outing to benefit the September 11th Fund. It will
be held at the Jericho National Golf Club in Washington Crossing,
Pennsylvania, on Monday, October 22. Call 609-585-6200.
all revenue from Sunday, October 14 through Wednesday, October 17
to the American National Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to the aid
the relief efforts at the World Trade Center.
October 6, to aid survivors and victims’ families recovering from
the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.
in Hamilton is holding an event called "Skate Against Hate."
The skating center will collect a $10 donation at the door and will
give all proceeds to the New York State World Trade Center Relief
$5 million to aid families and communities disrupted by the violent
acts of September 11. The first grant will be directed to the
needs of the victims, their families, and the affected communities.
The foundation efforts will be coordinated with those of other leading
organizations — like September 11th Fund.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.