December 24, 2015

12-Minute Meetings (Revisited)


The 12-Minute Series was originally posted in 2012.

We’ve decided to republish it integrally because we believe it can still help as everyone aspires to make things better.

Let’s hope it stirs up the discussion and stimulates you to change the world 12-Minute at a time!









This article was originally posted on June 12, 2012


Sometimes, meetings can be a drag, especially when your boss likes to listen to himself for endless and countless hours. Furthermore, he’ll probably be upset afterwards because you missed some of his points and you lacked time to complete all your work.

Maybe someone could introduce him to the 12-Minute Segment Rule.

Use The 12-Minute Segment Rule

During a meeting, each speech or presentation should be limited to 12-Minute segments because for most people, the optimum concentration period is only 12 minutes. Beyond that, the average person won’t be able to focus and follow explanations.  

December 18, 2015

Season’s Greetings

Happy Holidays to Everyone

Not my intention to brag (it will probably sound as if I’m doing it anyway) but I’m now off and will only work next year!

I know…I know…Next year it’s only a couple weeks away…

Still, I’m very proud to take 12 consecutive business days off !!!

If you include weekends, I’ll be out of the office for a total of 18 days…a welcome and well deserved break!

Like me, I sincerely hope everyone will be able to spend quality time and have fun with friends and loved ones during this busy and sometimes crazy holiday season. I also wish you and your family to have more happy and productive moments in the upcoming brand new year!

A Touch of Star Wars Optimism

On a different note, call me optimistic, but I recently noticed great signs that our world is improving; things may not be moving as fast as we would like…yet the overall situation seems to be steadily getting better!

December 12, 2015

How 12-Minute and Writing Saved Me

Today, I would like to tell you how 12-Minute and writing really got me out of a bad very place earlier this year.

To some extent, using the 12-Minute Approach and writing again literally saved my life.

Hitting The Wall

In 2013, lure by interesting work related projects, I gradually stopped writing. By the start of 2014, I had completely stopped any writing except from some technical stuff for work.

Working conditions and relations were far from perfect. For a while, my colleagues and I felt all our efforts were sabotaged by management. They probably didn’t do it on purpose but their lack of leadership and poor management skills resulted in a very tense working atmosphere and greatly affected the efficiency of the entire organisation.

Repetitive failures and lack of planning were also affecting the morale of the team.

To make things worse, some good employees left and sadly, the whole situation is not getting better to this day.

In those circumstances, late in 2014, I hit the Wall!
  

November 27, 2015

Black Friday Math

I couldn’t resist summiting you this basic math problem on crazy Black Friday:

Offering an insane sale, a store is giving you an additional 50% rebate on an item already marked 40% down. What total discount percentage are you actually getting?

Some may promptly answer 90%...

…the correct result is 70%. 

November 24, 2015

12-Minute Balance (Revisited)

The 12-Minute Series was originally posted in 2012.

We’ve decided to republish it integrally because we believe it can still help as everyone aspires to make things better.

Let’s hope it stirs up the discussion and stimulates you to change the world 12-Minute at a time!









This article was originally posted on May 12, 2012


Many believe that one of the most important keys to happiness is balance. Sadly, many lives equate to a never ending juggling act struggling in search of that so elusive concept.  

The 12-Minute Approach offers you simple yet powerful ways to achieve that so precious balance in your life.

Let’s hope that, by focusing on rhythm, order and harmony, these 12-Minute Ideas help you strive toward that balance so essential to your happiness and well-being.

Equal Balance between Needs and Activities

In order to stay happy yet still be effective, your life should be equally balanced between your needs and your activities.

November 12, 2015

Portfolio Update November 2015

Note that you can expect my next update in about 12 weeks or so, in February 2016. Meanwhile, you can also have a look at our DIY Portfolio page.

Back in August, after carefully thinking about it, I published my First Portfolio Update.

Since then, markets gave fragile investors a good scare from late August through most of September.

What did we do about it?

Again, I’ll remind you that I am not an investment or tax professional of any kind. The intent of this blog is not to give specific investing advice. Before investing yourself, we suggest you to do all necessary research and consult a licensed financial professional if need be. 

Missed Opportunities

The short answer is: Nothing!

November 06, 2015

Our 72-Hour Escapade to Ottawa

This year, back-to-school was kind of rough for the entire family. Little lady C had some issues adapting to a new school while Lady N and I were also facing tense working relations.

In that context, our early-November scheduled break was a relief and a nice change of pace from our hectic routine.  Caught in all that was happening; we lacked time to plan ahead for this vacation.

So at the last minute, we decided to drive to our nation’s capital for a romantic getaway (Lady C has no break this year). Even though lady N likes to travel abroad, I personally was grateful to avoid the airports and the extra cost.
  
Over there, the sunny yet brisk weather was quite rejuvenating. We did a lot of walking, a little shopping (to please N), ate well and visited museums. We also gamble and won a little at the Casino (to please myself). All this was quite relaxing yet not that expensive. Ottawa really has a lot to offer and we are glad we had the chance to rediscover this hidden gem.

Our shortened stay was effective to replenish our energy after an eventful couple of weeks.

October 24, 2015

Housekeeping The 12-Minute Way (Revisited)

The 12-Minute Series was originally posted in 2012.

We’ve decided to republish it integrally because we believe it can still help as everyone aspires to make things better.

Let’s hope it stirs up the discussion and stimulates you to change the world 12-Minute at a time!








This article was originally posted on April 12, 2012


Living in a clean environment can contribute to your well-being and happiness but proper housekeeping takes time.

So, here are some 12-Minute Ideas to keep your house neat and tidy. Hope this helps make your home more peaceful, relaxing and inspiring.

October 12, 2015

Upcoming 6-Month Leave Signed

I’m glad to announce that my original plan to gradually Escape 9-to-5 is officially reinstated!

I finally consider myself back on the right path as I enrolled again in a great program that will grant me a 6-month leave of absence down the road.

Work Hard but Still Enjoy Life

This will be the second time I take advantage of those special working conditions as I was able to enjoy a first leave in the same fashion in 2012.

The fact that my paycheck will be deducted in early November 2015 will materialize and start this wonderful project that will enable me to take a 6-month leave from May to November 2017. According to this agreement, I will receive 75% of my salary over the 2-year program but actually will only work for the first 18 months.

Even if I don’t mind working hard, I always try to also enjoy life as much as possible.

September 24, 2015

12-Minute and Your Schedule (Revisited)

The 12-Minute Series was originally posted in 2012.

We’ve decided to republish it integrally because we believe it can still help as everyone aspires to make things better.

Let’s hope it stirs up the discussion and stimulates you to change the world 12-Minute at a time!









This article was originally posted on March 12, 2012

The 12-Minute Approach can be applied tons of ways to your schedule. We will submit you some ideas here but the possibilities are almost endless.

Why 12 Minutes

Using the 12-Minutes Approach will allow you to be more efficient; doing something different only 12 minutes every day can produce surprising results.

If you break down your day in 12-Minute Periods, you’ll find that there are 120 such Periods:

1 day = 24 hours x 60 minutes =
24 hours x 5 x 12-Minute = 120 x 12-Minute


September 12, 2015

Our Inspiring Disney Summer Vacation

Going to Walt Disney World is always a lot of fun!

Especially true for our family as my girls, both the little and the older one, really are irreducible Disney fanatics. I know…I have only one child…but Disney’s magic strongly operates on my wife as she kind of reverts to childhood around Disney characters.

For me, being exposed to Disney’s culture is also very inspiring from both a personal and business standpoint. Disney people or cast members should I say, are always positive and happy. They also encourage you to cultivate and follow your dreams.

Disney World in the Summer

Before the actual trip, we apprehended the type of weather we were going to get, as Florida is supposed to be so hot and humid in the summer, particularly in July. To Floridians, summer months are the worse weather-wise; still probably better than our cold and snowy winter. So going over there in the heart of July, we were expecting a lot of heat and thunderstorms.

August 24, 2015

Workout The 12-Minute Way (Revisited)

The 12-Minute Series was originally posted in 2012.

We’ve decided to republish it integrally because we believe it can still help as everyone aspires to make things better.

Let’s hope it stirs up the discussion and stimulates you to change the world 12-Minute at a time!









This article was originally posted on February 12, 2012

Whether you want to lose some weight or be in better shape, a simple solution exists:

Add a 12-Minute Workout to your daily routine!

Taking an extra 12 minutes a day or 1 hour a week to work out can greatly improve your figure and your general health.

August 12, 2015

Portfolio Update August 2015

Even though portfolio updates are pretty popular these days, my private nature kind of prevented me from posting updates of my own. I usually don’t like to blindly follow the crowd just because everyone is telling you it’s the cool thing to do.

So for a while, I was very hesitant to go ahead with this.

But under all that pear pressure, I still took time to carefully think about it and reconsider my position. I finally decided that publishing these numbers could do no harm. So here it is!

From now on, you can expect similar articles every 12 weeks or so. I’ll also publish Our DIY Portfolio Positions on a regular basis.

Before we begin, I’ll remind you that I am not an investment or tax professional of any kind. The intent of this blog is not to give specific investing advice. Before investing yourself, we suggest you to do all necessary research and consult a licensed financial professional if need be.

July 24, 2015

12-Minute Basics (Revisited)

The 12-Minute Series was originally posted in 2012.

We’ve decided to republish it integrally because we believe it can still help as everyone aspires to make things better.

Let’s hope it stirs up the discussion and stimulates you to change the world 12-Minute at a time!






This article was originally posted on January 12, 2012

Help To Change 

By suggesting simple methods and unique ideas, the 12-Minute Approach will help you implement change and improve.

For exemple, for most people, the optimum concentration period is only 12 minutes. That is, the time they can really focus on a task.

July 12, 2015

Using Popular Funds as Portfolio Benchmarks

Before my days as a DIY investor, I mainly invested my money thru mutual funds and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).

Back then, as a Canadian, some of my popular choices included XIU (iShares S&P/TSX 60 Index ETF) and RBF266 (RBC Canadian Dividend Fund) as I already was leaning toward dividend investing.

I now use these two funds as benchmarks to measure my performance as an investor.

Be careful here, I’m not advertising or promoting these two particular funds in any way. You should rather view them as examples or as proper representatives of their asset class. Many other funds could have been used and the illustration would have probably been pretty similar.

Some of you might think that beating these funds does not represent much of a challenge and that they constitute a pretty poor standards.

June 12, 2015

A Fresh Start

Earlier this year, after enduring somewhat serious health issues, I decided it was time for me to get back to writing. Both my physical and mental wellbeing were depending on it.

I started by focusing my efforts on the second part of my novel. After a while, it became obvious that the next step was to revive my blog, as I kind of neglected it following a strong year in 2012.

But was I in for a pretty bad surprise!

Stupid Technical Problems

A couple of careless manipulations later, I experienced some technical problems and erased all content of the blog. I also had committed the digital cardinal sin: no backup!

That was a huge disappointment! All those hours down the drain…

As a computer specialist, I should have known better. But let me loosely employ the French expression : « Le cordonnier est toujours le plus mal chaussĂ© » by referring to the ill-shod shoemaker.

The initial shock passed, I managed to find old drafts and restore most posts. But all comments and pictures on the blog were still lost for good.  

After sobbing for about a week, I choose to view this huge misfortune as an opportunity to revamp the whole thing. So, here we are!