Monthly Archives: August 2011

You Can’t Be Productive When Falling Asleep

The National Sleep Foundation says that drowsy workers cost U.S. employers an estimated $18 billion annually in lost productivity. Too little sleep also suppresses your immune function, which leads to increased infection and illnesses, creating more absenteeism. If you add errors, damage, and health consequences, the costs are even higher.

Overall, the quality of work, the amount of work, and your concentration EACH decline by 30% when you’re sleepy. Sleepiness also impairs memory, reaction time, and alertness. Talk about a productivity loss! It’s critical to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.

So, don’t watch television, eat, read, or work on your computer while you’re in your bed. Your mind associates your bed with sleepiness, so when you turn it into an entertainment zone, it can’t shut down properly. One hour before you go to bed, involve yourself in non-alerting activities in another room, such as doing dishes, taking a bath, journaling, or reading.

Don’t get involved in upsetting tasks such as paying bills or arguing with your spouse.

Watching television one hour before bedtime can result in increased brain activity, and even though you’re sleepy, you’ll get fewer sleep cycles and won’t feel rested in the morning.

By changing any poor sleep behaviors, you can sleep better and longer, resulting in higher productivity the following day.


The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Reinhold Niebuhr

What I Learned From A Mouse With Big Ears

Here is one excellent story on going the extra mile in delighting our customers, written by Guy Kawasaki, Co-Founder of Alltop. Guy Kawasaki is one of my all-time favorite people for his inspirational stories.

What I Learned From A Mouse With Big Ears
by Guy Kawasaki

According to Bruce Kimbrell, a facilitator for the West Coast operations of the Disney Institute, people come back to Disneyland for three reasons: cleanliness, friendliness and safety. A few weeks ago Bruce took me on a behind-the-scenes tour of Disneyland to show me how Disneyland employees make the enchantment happen. This is what I learned:

1. Focus on the right stuff and the money will come

The top three priorities of Disneyland management is leadership excellence, cast excellence and guest satisfaction. The fourth priority is financial results. My interpretation is that if you do the first three things right, money is a natural outcome.

2. Take care of your employees (cast members)

Disneyland has “team centers” to serve the needs of its employees. These centers provide insurance, discounts, tickets, transportation services and payroll services. The message I picked up was “be good to your employees, and they’ll be good to your customers.”

3. Everybody should do the “dirty jobs”

How many people are there in the park sweeping up trash? Take a guess. The right answer is an astoundingly low number: eight. (I guessed 250 when Bruce asked me.) This is possible because every employee is supposed to keep the park clean, not just the janitors.

4. Everybody is customer service.

Here’s another question for you: How long do you think the training is for the people with brooms sweeping up the trash? The right answer is an astoundingly high number: six weeks. This is necessary because guests ask janitors questions, so the folks with brooms must be experts about the park. By the way, the training for parking lot attendants can be as long as eight weeks.

5. Pay attention to the details

Bruce told me that Walt Disney himself specified the type of trash can for the park. These cans are currently swapped out every two years and Disney repaints them every four months. Steve Jobs was a perfectionist about the Macintosh trash can icon—the similarity between Steve Jobs and Walt Disney is not a coincidence.

6. Pay attention to even more details

A hairdresser in the wig department told me that it takes 30-45 minutes to wash and set the wig for Ariel. Then it takes 90-120 minutes to dry it. Finally, there’s another 30 minutes to comb it out. This is for a wig. Most entrepreneurs don’t spend this much time practicing their pitch for venture capitalists.

7. Make your customers feel close and important

The buildings on Main Street are 5/8th scale. This is to make people feel like they are closer to the action and important. Most companies erect edifices to make their customers feel small, and their bosses feel big. Disneyland does the opposite. Walt Disney used to crouch down to see Disneyland from a child’s perspective.

8. Know the facts

Here’s yet-another question for you: What is the ratio of adults to kids at any given moment in the park? Believe it or not, there are four adults for every kid. I would have never guessed that. This has big ramifications: Disneyland can’t just be a place for kids since kids are only 20 percent of the customers.

9. Green is good

The floats are all battery-powered. The fireworks are launched with compressed air, not explosive charges. The trains are bio-diesel and burn the oil from the park’s restaurants. Currently, 80 percent of the 1.3 pounds of trash that each guest produces per day is recycled.

9. Keep customers coming back

The Star Wars inspired ride called Star Tours has six different destinations, two beginning scenes and three holograms. This means that there are 54 different combinations. If you’re very lucky, you can see all the combinations in three rides—or, much more likely, you’ll have to keep coming back for more.

You should check out the Disney Institute for its seminar offerings. The institute covers topics such as leadership, brand loyalty, creativity and service quality. Many programs include behind-the-scenes tours like the one I went on. And the next time you schedule an event, consider a Disney meeting facility because of the blend of inspiration, education and entertainment that’s offered. There are few institutions that can put theories into practice like Disney can.

*Disclosure: Disneyland provided a room and board for two kids and I as well as passes to the park and a VIP tour guide.



It is scientifically proven that syaitan is such a cunning asshole. Without him around, I can easily wake up at dawn and do my solat Subuh as soon as the Azan calls. With him around, I’m a Queen of Snooze because when I wake up, I keep snoozing my alarm clock, until almost daylight before I finally get up! Worst, sometimes dozed off terus and terlepas Subuh…Astaghfirullah!

Ya Allah, Jauhkan lah syaitan dari aku!

Banyak sangat dugaan di dalam hidup ini. Ya Allah, please give me strength to overcome cabaran demi cabaran yang mendatang! Amiiiinnnnn….