Archive for June, 2010

Time management tips

Posted in Time Management with tags , , , , on June 30, 2010 by virtualcitypa

Plan your actions
Changing time management habits takes time and effort, and it is always much easier when you have a simple system of practical rules and hints that are easy to keep in mind.

Know what you want from your time
The proven way to do it is to set goals, and to set them SMART. The rest of the time management tips below will help you be effective in achieving your goals and making time management decisions.

Learn to see the difference between urgent and important
The important tasks are those that lead you to your goals, and give you most of the long term progress and reward. Those tasks are very often not urgent. Many urgent tasks are not really important.

Know and respect your priorities
Aim to do the important things first. Remember the 80-20 rule: 80 percent of reward comes from 20 percent of effort. One of the aims of time management tips is to help you refocus your mind to give more attention and time to those most important 20 percent.

Plan your actions for achieving your goals
Convert your goals into a system of specific actions to be done. The first significant point of planning is the planning process itself. It is a known fact, and you will see it for yourself, that the planning process stimulates your brain to come up with new efficient solutions. It programs your subconscious mind to search for shortcuts. It makes you much more prepared for each specific action. Besides, planning will help you to identify potential conflicts and crises, minimizing the number of urgent tasks.

Planning can also significantly lower the time spent on routine maintenance tasks, leaving you more time on what you like to do or for what you think is important for your long term success.

Also remember that planning and related time management tips work best when you review your plans regularly.

Schedule time for your tasks
Your concentration can be easily lost in the sea of many boring or less important things waiting to be done in your head. Undone things circulating in your mind are also a big drain of your mental energy. Most often, there is no way to get those things out of your mind except of either doing them or scheduling them in a trustable system, convincing your mind that they will be done in due time.

Know how you spend your time
Keep a time log during some time interval, like a week, and then analyse it to see where your time goes. For example, what percentage of time you spend on urgent and on important activities, what people you devote most time to. You are likely to be surprised, and you will see much better if you could use more time management tips. This is also an effective way to get a feedback on how well time management tips and techniques are working for you, and where you need some adjustments.

Personal time management leads to building a stronger foundation for your success.


Dealing with stress

Posted in Lifestyle Management with tags , on June 28, 2010 by virtualcitypa

This article is from Business Balls – a free ethical learning and development resource for people and organisations, run by Alan Chapman, in Leicester, England.

Quick stress reduction techniques

If you are stressed, do one or all of these things, in whatever order that takes your fancy. These ideas can also be adapted for team development exercises.

The key to de-stressing in the moment is getting away from or removing yourself from the stressor. Developing new habits which regularly remove you and distract you from stressors and stressful situations and pressures is essentially how to manage stress on a more permanent basis.

In this modern world it is difficult if not impossible to change stressful situations. What we can do however is change and reduce our exposure to those stressful situations.

These stress reduction ideas and techniques are based on that simple principle. These tips won’t change the situation causing the stress, but they will, more importantly, enable you to change your reaction and relationship to the stressful situations.

And in keeping with the tone of this stress tips section, and since colour is regarded by many as a factor in affecting mood, the calming shade of green is used for the headings..
Stress reduction idea 1 – Humour

Humour is one of the greatest and quickest devices for reducing stress.

Humour works because laughter produces helpful chemicals in the brain.

Humour also gets your brain thinking and working in a different way – it distracts you from having a stressed mindset. Distraction is a simple effective de-stressor – it takes your thoughts away from the stress, and thereby diffuses the stressful feelings.

Therefore most people will feel quite different and notice a change in mindset after laughing and being distracted by something humorous.

Go read the funny family fortunes answers. Or try the funny letters to the council. Even if you’ve seen them a hundred times before. As you start to smile and chuckle the stress begins to dissipate.

If this material fails to make you laugh then find something which does.

Keep taking the laughter medicine until you feel suitably relaxed and re-charged.

Stress reduction idea 2 – Brisk walk and self-talk

Go for a short quick really brisk walk outside.

Yes, actually leave the building.

Change your environment.

Breathe in some fresh air and smell the atmosphere…

Trees, rain, flowers, traffic fumes – doesn’t matter – stimulate your senses with new things.

On your way out keep saying to yourself out loud (and to anyone else you see, in that daft way people say “Elvis has left the building..”):

“(your name) is leaving the building.. ”

And when you are outside and free say:

“(your name) has left the building.. ”

You can extend the exercise by going to a park and jogging a little.

Or do a few star-jumps – something energetic to get your body moving and relaxing.

Or stroke a dog, or pick up some litter, or kick a kid’s football.

You can of course use other mantras or chants, depending on what you want to do and how far you want to get away from the stress causes, for example:

“(your name) is doing star-jumps/picking up litter/looking for a small non-threatening dog..” or

“(your name) is leaving/has left the industrial park/district/city/company/country..” etc, etc.

Of course this is daft, but the daftness reduces the stress by removing you from the stress in mind and body.

Doing something daft and physical – and reinforcing it with some daft chanting – opens up the world again.

Stress reduction idea 3 – Rehydrate

Go get a big cup or a bottle of water.

Here’s why…

Most of us fail to drink enough water – that’s water – not tea, coffee, coke, ‘sports’ drinks, Red Bull or fruit juice…

All of your organs, including your brain, are strongly dependent on water to function properly. It’s how we are built.

If you starve your body of water you will function below your best – and you will get stressed. Physically and mentally.

Offices and workplaces commonly have a very dry atmosphere due to air conditioning, etc., which increases people’s susceptibility to de-hydration.

This is why you must keep your body properly hydrated by regularly drinking water (most people need 4-8 glasses of water a day).

You will drink more water if you keep some on your desk at all times – it’s human nature to drink it if it’s there – so go get some now.

When you drink water you need to pee. This gives you a bit of a break and a bit of exercise now and then, which also reduces stress.

When you pee you can see if your body is properly hydrated (your pee will be clear or near clear – if it’s yellow you are not taking enough water).

This will also prompt some amusing discussion and chuckling with your colleagues (“Nature calls – I’m off to the bog again…”) which is also good for reducing stress.

You do not need to buy expensive mineral water. Tap water is fine.

If you do not like the taste of tap water it’s probably because of the chlorine (aquarium fish don’t like it either), however the chlorine dissipates quite naturally after a few hours – even through a plastic bottle – so keep some ordinary tap water in the fridge for 2-3 hours and try it then.

If you want to be really exotic add a slice of lemon or lime. Kiwi and sharon fruit are nice too…

So now you are fully watered and guffawing and exercised up to the max, read on for ideas for how to prevent stress as well as reduce and manage it.
Stress reduction technique 4 – Catnap or powernap

(Not so easy but still perfectly possible)

Take a quick nap. It is nature’s way of recharging and re-energising.

A quick 10-30 minutes’ sleep is very helpful to reduce stress.

It’s obviously essential if you are driving while tired, but a quick sleep is a powerful de-stressor too.

A lunchtime snooze is very practical for home-workers – it just requires the realisation that doing so is acceptable and beneficial (when we are conditioned unfortunately to think that sleeping during the day is lazy, rather than healthy).

At some stage conventional Western industry will ‘wake up’ to the realisation that many people derive enormous benefit from a midday nap. Sounds ridiculous? Tell that to the many millions in the Mediterranean countries who thrive on a mid-day siesta.

People in the Mediterranean and Central Americas take a siesta every working day, and this is almost certainly related to longer life expectancy and lower levels of heart disease.

See the more detailed evidence and reasoning in the sleep and rest section below.

If your work situation is not quite ready to tolerate the concept of a daytime nap then practise a short session of self-hypnosis, combined with deep breathing, which you can do at your desk, or even in the loo. It works wonders.

See the self-hypnosis and relaxation page.

In the summer of course you can go to the nearest park and try it alfresco (that’s from the Italian incidentally, al fresco, meaning in the fresh air – which is another good thing for stress reduction).

Stress reduction technique 5 – Make a cuppa

Any tea will do, but a flavoured cup of tea is even better.

Experiment with different natural flavourings using herbs and spices and fruit.

Fresh mint is wonderful, and excellent for the digestive system. Nettles are fantastic and contain natural relaxants. Orange zest is super (use one of those nifty little zester gadgets). Ginger root is brilliant. Many herbs, spices, fruits and edible plants make great flavoured tea, and many herbs and spices have real therapeutic properties.

Use a ‘base’ of green tea leaves – about half a spoonful per serving – plus the natural flavouring(s) of your choice, and freshly boiled water. Be bold – use lots of leaves – experiment until you find a blend that you really enjoy. Sugar or honey bring out the taste. Best without milk, but milk is fine if you prefer it.

Making the tea and preparing the ingredients take your mind off your problems, and then smelling and drinking the tea also relaxes you. There is something wonderful about natural plants and fruits which you can’t buy in a packet. Use a tea-pot or cafetiere, or if you are happy with a bit of foliage in your drink actually brew it in a big mug or heatproof tumbler.

Fresh mint and ginger tea recipe:

Put all this into a teapot or cafetiere and add boiling water for 2-3 cups. Allow to brew for a minute or two, stir and serve. (This is enough for 2-3 mug-sized servings):

1-1½ heaped teaspoons of green tea leaves
2-4 sprigs of fresh mint (a very generous handful of leaves with or without the stems – more than you might imagine)
3-6 zest scrapes of an orange
half a teaspoon of chopped ginger root
2-4 teaspoons of sugar or 1-2 teaspoons of honey – more or less to taste

Alter the amounts to your own taste. The recipe also works very well without the orange and ginger, which is effectively the mint tea drink that is hugely popular in Morocco and other parts of North Africa. Dried mint can be substituted for fresh mint. Experiment. The Moroccan tradition is to use small glass tumblers, and somehow seeing the fine colour of the tea adds to the experience.
Stress reduction technique 6 – Crying

Not much is known about the physiology of crying and tears, although many find that crying – weeping proper tears – has a powerful helpful effect on stress levels. Whatever the science behind crying, a good bout of sobbing and weeping does seem to release tension and stress for many people.

Of course how and where you choose to submit to this most basic of emotional impulses is up to you. The middle of the boardroom during an important presentation to a top client is probably not a great idea, but there are more private situations and you should feel free to try it from time to time if the urge takes you.

It is a shame that attitudes towards crying and tears prevent many people from crying, and it’s a sad reflection on our unforgiving society that some people who might benefit from a good cry feel that they shouldn’t do it ever – even in complete privacy. Unfortunately most of us – especially boys – are told as children that crying is bad or shameful or childish, which of course is utter nonsense. Arguably only the bravest cry unashamedly – the rest of us would rather suffer than appear weak, which is daft, but nevertheless real.

Whatever, shedding a few tears can be a very good thing now and then, and if you’ve yet to discover its benefits then give it a try. You might be surprised.

Employers should provide a stress-free work environment, recognise where stress is becoming a problem for staff, and take action to reduce stress. Stress in the workplace reduces productivity, increases management pressures, and makes people ill in many ways, evidence of which is still increasing. Workplace stress affects the performance of the brain, including functions of work performance; memory, concentration, and learning. In the UK over 13 million working days are lost every year because of stress. Stress is believed to trigger 70% of visits to doctors, and 85% of serious illnesses (UK HSE stress statistics). Stress at work also provides a serious risk of litigation for all employers and organisations, carrying significant liabilities for damages, bad publicity and loss of reputation. Dealing with stress-related claims also consumes vast amounts of management time. So, there are clearly strong economic and financial reasons for organisations to manage and reduce stress at work, aside from the obvious humanitarian and ethical considerations. If you are suffering from stress yourself the stress management guidelines here are just as relevant.

Office Setup Tips

Posted in Office Management with tags , , on June 24, 2010 by virtualcitypa

This article from Susan Ward’s “7 Ways to Control Chaos in Your Small Business”,  I found particularly helpful as an easy to follow guide to good office management

1. Establish office management routines and stick to them.

Routine tasks need routine procedures if you want to stay organised and keep things running smoothly. Set up routines for handling paperwork and office systems. For instance, every piece of paper that comes into your office should be handled once, acted upon, and filed – not haphazardly piled on a desk. Office systems, such as computers, will need both administration and what I call panic mode procedures. When the system crashes or a computer-related piece of equipment fails, everyone in your office needs to know who to call and what not to do (such as try to fix the problem themselves). These data management articles provide helpful tips for everything from office filing systems through computer backup procedures.

2. Set up clearly delineated responsibilities.

Good office management depends on people knowing who is responsible for what – it’s people who are accountable who get things done. What would happen, for example, if the purchasing for your small business was done by whoever whenever? Would you be able to find a paper clip when you wanted one? Or print off a report when you needed to? Putting one person in charge of ordering all equipment and supplies solves the problem and keeps things running smoothly. It’s the same with (computer) systems administration. You need to have one person responsible for the security of your computer system and keeping track of things such as accounts, passwords and software. Otherwise, chaos will proliferate.

3. Keep records – and keep your business records updated.

Keeping records sounds like the easiest part of good office management – until you consider the need to keep those records both accessible and updated. But my first rule for controlling chaos will help you get a grip on this; make updating records an office routine. When you get a new customer or client, for instance, it only takes a moment to enter him into your contacts database. Then it will only take another moment or two to update the record after you’ve spoken to them on the phone.

4. Take a walk through your office and have a sit.

Is your office an example of space management or space mis-management? When you walk through the office, do you have to detour around obstacles or run the risk of tripping over something? When you sit down at a desk, could you actually work comfortably there? Are things logically arranged so that the things that you would use most at the desk are closest to hand? There are a lot of things crammed into offices nowadays, from printer stands through filing cabinets. For good office management, you need to be sure that all the things in the office are arranged for maximum efficiency – and maximum safety. The Basics of Small or Home Office Design provides tips for safely meeting the power, lighting and ventilation needs of your office space.

5. Schedule the menial tasks.

It’s too easy to put off things that you don’t like doing, and I don’t know very many people that enjoy menial tasks. Unfortunately, an office, like a kitchen, won’t function well without a certain amount of maintenance work being done. If you are a small business owner who’s in the position of not being able to assign whatever you view as menial tasks to someone else, force yourself to get to it regularly by scheduling time each week for it. Take a morning or afternoon, for instance, and spend it making the cold calls or catching up on the accounting (or updating the records).

6. Delegate and outsource.

In a perfect world, everyone would only be doing what he or she had time to do and did well. As the world is not perfect, instead a lot of people are doing things that they don’t have the time or talent to do well. Delegating and outsourcing can not only improve your small business’s office management, but free you to focus on your talents as well, thereby improving your bottom line. Virtual assistants can handle many of your office or administrative tasks.

7. Make business planning a priority.

Many small business owners spend their days acting and reacting – and then wonder why they seem to be spinning their wheels. Business planning is an important component of good office management and needs to be part of your regular office management routine. Successful small business owners spend time every week on business planning, and many use daily business planning sessions as a tool for goal setting and growth. If you have staff, involve them in business planning, either formally or informally.

Don’t let chaos interfere with doing business. Once you start applying these seven principles of good office management, you’ll be amazed at the difference good office management makes – and how much more business you do.

Successful Marketing Tips: top 10 Must do’s

Posted in Marketing with tags , , on June 22, 2010 by virtualcitypa

I really appreciated these helpful tips from Chris Cardell’s Business Success website that give a great insight into the importance of good marketing:

You can have a wonderful product or service – but if nobody knows about it, you’re in trouble.

When business owners have the ‘moment’ they realise that actually, business success is all about Marketing. It’s about reaching potential customers, converting them to paying customers and keeping them as lifetime customers.

1. Stop wasting money on Ineffective Marketing and Advertising.

This might sound obvious but it’s shocking how many business owners are spending money on Advertising and Marketing that does not work.

Here’s a common scenario for your average small business owner: the phone rings, or there’s a knock at the door, and it’s a rep from a newspaper or magazine selling advertising space. Our eager business owner could do with some more customers so readily agrees to the rep’s offer and is pleased to have saved some money, too (because reps always tell you they’re giving you a huge discount).

They leave everything in the hands of the rep, including the ad’s design.

The ad comes out and… nothing.

Fact: most small business advertising does not work.


Because advertising sales people and their buddies the graphic designers are not marketing people. They don’t know what makes an ad effective.

We get a similar story with direct mail, too: most business owners tell me direct mail doesn’t work. But it does. All they’ve discovered is it doesn’t work for them when they do it the wrong way.

In the meantime, if you’re advertising or mailing stuff out but you can’t tell beyond all doubt it’s making you money, then stop doing it now! You must be ruthless about this: if someone responds to an ad or mail piece, you must be able to track it. It’s not enough to say “I ran an ad and seemed to be busier the next week”. It has to be trackable down to the individual sale.

This means perhaps having a dedicated phone number you use only on ONE ad so you know all calls coming in on that number can only have come from that ad; it means having some kind of coupon or other trackable response mechanism in your direct mail; and it means using the latest technology on your website to track visitors.

2. Learn how to write Strong, Persuasive Sales Copy.

Sales copy – and that means all your copy – should be strong, bold, conversational, heavy on benefits to the reader, and usually long. Copy can’t be too long, only too boring.

Long, interesting copy is crucial in building relationships, too. Relationships are fundamental to your business – people like to buy from people they like and trust. The more they like you and trust you, the more they’ll be inclined to buy from you, and the more often they’ll buy.

Many business owners think they should write “professionally” and that this means you have to write stilted, formal prose with big, fancy words and complicated phrases.

It doesn’t. Write like you’re having a conversation with someone, like a letter to a favourite Aunt.

I promise, your customers and clients will like it more and your sales will reflect that.

3. Stop Traditional ‘Brand’ Marketing and Advertising and replace it with ‘Direct Response’ Marketing

Unless you have the deep pockets of Richard Branson, you probably can’t afford to be spending a fortune on building your “brand” for the sake of having one.

The reality is, you can’t afford to throw money away on just getting your name and logo out there. But that’s what a lot of small business owners do. ‘Brand’ Advertising is a waste of money. You should only engage in ‘Direct Response’ Marketing. As the name suggests, that means Marketing that produces a RESPONSE that you can MEASURE.

So every marketing campaign you put out there must give people a reason to respond. You must be offering one specific thing, something they want or need, something that’s going to interest them enough to haul themselves out of a chair and respond to you.

Indulging in so-called ‘institutional / brand marketing’ where you essentially say “This is us, here’s what we do, give us a call if we do anything that interests you” is a great way to empty the contents of your wallet into the wallets of the ad agency and graphic designer with no appreciable return for you.

4. Test Pay per Click (PPC) Advertising on Google

Become an expert at Internet Marketing, particularly Pay per Click Advertising on Google. Pay per Click is the most powerful breakthrough in Marketing this century – yet very few Entrepreneurs truly understand its power.

PPC allows you to reach people who have an interest in what you have and who are looking for it right now. As you read this, someone, somewhere is almost certainly on Google looking for what you have to offer.

PPC Advertising allows a link to your website to appear at or near the top of the search engine results they see when they do their search.

Best of all, you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad.

If you run a local business, you can even specify that the ads only appear for internet users in your area.

Pay per Click is the most important revolution in Markleting this century. If you’re serious about business success, you must test it out.

5. Stop doing anything you can’t Measure.

All of your marketing must be trackable, right down to the specific ad or marketing piece which generated every sale.


Because if you can’t trace a sale back to the origin of the lead (how did this person become aware of your company or the offer you’re making), then how can you know where your marketing money is going? How can you know what’s effective and what’s not?

You can’t. And you need to.

If your marketing isn’t making you money, stop it. If it is making you money, do MUCH more of it. You’ll only know whether to stop it or do more if you’re measuring the results

6. Offer a (generous) Guarantee.

Guarantees are a fabulous way to overcome price resistance. You see, any transaction involves risk. And since you’re the one asking them to trust you with their money, it’s going to benefit you to take this risk onto your own shoulders. You do this by offering a fantastic guarantee.

Now, you might be thinking that by giving a great guarantee you’re opening yourself up to being ripped off by hordes of unscrupulous liars and cheats.

Well, technically you are, but in practice it never happens. Never. Most people are fundamentally honest and won’t cheat you. Most won’t even call you on your guarantee when they’re actually entitled to.

And even if a few do, so what? If you sell 100 extra widgets a week because of your guarantee and get cheated a couple of times, the extra money you make more than makes up for these small losses. Please test Guarantees. It’s one of the easiest ways to grow your business – fast.

7. Embrace the fact no one is interested in you or your products and sell on the Benefits you offer your clients and customers, not what you can “do”.

Human beings are naturally selfish. It’s OK, we’re not broken – it’s just the way we are. We are permanently tuned to the world’s favourite radio station: WIIFM. That’s Radio What’s In It For ME?

Consequently, if your marketing consists of brochures, letters, ads, and a website which comprise your logo and company name, a list of things you do, and a phone number, don’t be surprised when no one cares and no one responds to it.

They don’t want your products: they want the product of your products. They don’t care what you can do; they want to know what you can do for them.

So change your mindset: start thinking not in terms of sales of stuff, but in terms of service and benefits to your customers and clients. Put yourself in their shoes, see their problems, understand their fears, learn their wants and needs, and then cater to them.

Take some time to understand your customers, and show them you understand… and your sales will skyrocket.

8. Turn your Marketing into a proper System and focus on Testing small, incremental increases.

Most marketing is done by default. But really it needs to be a carefully constructed system where everything flows smoothly from first contact, to relationship, to sale, to lifetime customer.

But you don’t have to have the whole thing in place before you start. In fact, the whole point about effective marketing is it’s built up over time by trial and error and testing what works and what doesn’t.

You can break your marketing down into two distinct steps:

1. Getting visitors to your website or business

2. Converting them into paying customers and clients

9. Ensure your marketing system involves relentless follow up.

Not following up is one of the biggest marketing sins you can commit. Here are some statistics which should scare the living daylights out of all of us.

48% of businesses never follow up with a prospect

25% of businesses make a second contact and stop

12% of businesses only make three contacts and stop

It’s a staggering discovery, but only 10 % of businesses make more than three contacts. It means they’re losing a small fortune – and you could be too/

10. Raise your prices.

Having worked with thousands of business owners over the years, it’s my experience that almost everyone sells themselves and their products too cheaply. Raising your prices and selling more expensive products and services to the high end of the market is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to increase your profits.

The fact is, less than 20% of the population make their buying decisions on price. So for most of your customers, price is not the main issue, even if they say it is.

As always, the 80/20 rule applies. If you sell a £100 widget, then there is going to be in your list of customers, maybe 20% of people who would be willing to spend, say, £400 or £500… IF you gave them the option.

And if you take that list of high-spenders, you’ll find maybe 20% of them will be prepared to pay you, say, £1000 or more for something… IF you give them the option (and believe it or not, it’s much easier to sell one £10,000 widget than it is to sell a hundred £100 widgets). The trouble is, if you don’t ask, the chances of them offering is close to zero.

The easy way to do this is to think about creating a “de-luxe” offering which costs you nothing to offer but for which you can command a much higher price.

About Chris Cardell

Chris Cardell is widely regarded as Britain’s leading authority on Entrepreneurial Success. He has been featured on BBC, ITV, News at Ten and The Sunday Times. 253,000 business owners subscribe to Chris Cardell’s regular Free Business Success Email tips. Chris is renowned for being able to show business owners how to grow their business and increase their profits by 50-250%.

There’s a ‘moment’ that happens to every successful business owner. It’s the moment they realise that there’s very little connection between how great your product or service is – and how much money you make.

It can be a scary moment. We assume that if we do a great job with our product or service – and look after our customers, the sales will follow.

Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way.

Chris Cardell

Remember more – differentiate yourself

Posted in Management / Leadership with tags , , on June 18, 2010 by virtualcitypa

We are all guilty of going to networking events and meetings where you are introduced to new people and “bang” – you’ve forgotten their name… It’s a classic situation – yet with so much to memorise it really is possible to improve how much you can remember.

The key idea is that by coding information using vivid mental images, you can reliably code both information and the structure of information. And because the images are vivid, they are easy to recall when you need them.

You can do the following things to make things more memorable:

  • Use positive, pleasant images. Your brain often blocks out unpleasant ones
  • Use vivid, colorful, sense-laden images – these are easier to remember than drab ones
  • Use all your senses to code information or dress up an image. Remember that your mnemonic * can contain sounds, smells, tastes, touch, movements and feelings as well as pictures.
  • Give your image three dimensions, movement and space to make it more vivid. You can use movement either to maintain the flow of association, or to help you to remember actions.
  • Exaggerate the size of important parts of the image
  • Use humour! Funny or peculiar things are easier to remember than normal ones.
  • Similarly, rude rhymes are very difficult to forget!
  • Symbols (red traffic lights, pointing fingers, road signs, etc.) can code quite complex messages quickly and effectively

* ‘Mnemonic’ is another word for memory tool. Mnemonics are techniques for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall: A very simple example is the ’30 days hath September’ rhyme for remembering the number of days in each calendar month.

The idea behind using mnemonics is to encode difficult-to-remember information in a way that is much easier to remember.

The full article goes into further depth at