Do These 8 Things Every Day to Stay Productive, By Jackelyn Ho. Copied from Priority LearningLink with permission.
Whether you try one or try all, these tips are guaranteed to make your day more efficient.
Everyone wants to be more productive. How incredible would it be to wake up with a to-do list that you can actually do?
Unfortunately, life happens and distractions get in the way of a day's fully checked off checklist. I'm guilty of starting out with good intentions and then falling prey to the dings of my email and the bright lights of my phone.
I took it upon myself to stop the madness and slowly started implementing these things one by one...and it actually worked. You don't have to apply this list all at once but if you can get to a place where you are doing most of these things most of the time, then you are well on your way to a more efficient day.
1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier.
No one wants to lose any sleep, but I found that waking up a little earlier than my day was supposed to start allowed me to spend extra time on my morning routine and prepare my mind. I could finally sit down and eat breakfast instead of inhaling it between red lights. I was able to take my time getting out of bed instead of rushing and stumbling to the bathroom. It was the extra time I needed to truly wake up.
2. Prepare a podcast or audiobook for your commute.
Tony Robbins calls it your NET time - No Extra Time time. These are the moments spent commuting, running errands, or cooking dinner where you can ingest new and important information. It's the time you could normally zone out but instead, you're replacing it with riveting ideas that could lead you to more ideas.
3. Find movement every 60 minutes.
Some studies recommend every 30 minutes, but if you are deep in your work, getting up for a walk when you're in peak creativity is just as counterproductive. I opt for a five-minute walk or stretch every 60 minutes in addition to using a standing desk. The quick break allows your brain to pause and rejuvenate. If you're in a slump and finding yourself checking your phone or hopping on social media too much, it's also a good indicator that you should take a movement break.
4. Don't check your email until it's actually time to work.
Repeat after me: stop checking your email right when you wake up. Just stop. Don't do it. The first thing you do, see, or hear when you wake up sets the tone for the rest of your day. Let your mornings be all you. You'll have time to email all you want later.
5. Create accountability.
Have a colleague or manager checking in on your project or status can help you focus and stay on task. When you know that someone else is involved with your work, you are less likely to fall behind.
6. Pick three major things that need to get done today and assign a time/deadline to them.
I love to-do lists. They are so much fun and sometimes I retroactively put things I've done on a new to-do list just so I can check things off. But, alas, I had to stop doing that. These days, I create that list but I rank the top three things that must be done ASAP, and they also have to be big projects. I can't list small and easy errands as my big three. From there, I assign a time when they need to be done. Deadlines are the biggest motivators.
7. Block off time where you are completely unavailable.
This is a perfect follow up to above. When you create deadlines, write them into a calendar. If you're in a work environment where people love to talk to you, block it off as a meeting. If you work remotely, hide your phone and ban your email and social media for that amount of time. Commit yourself to completely this task.
8. Stop multi-tasking.
I'll admit it, I'm still guilty of this one. But, studies (and prior experience) have proved that you become extremely less productive when you do multiple things at once. It's just the fact of the matter. When your brain can stop jumping from idea to idea, you become more focused, clear, and determined.
Updated July 27,2021
You worked hard at setting your goals. Yes, you developed both Aspirational and SMART goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. You were suppose put them into ACTION. Something happened. You got too busy! Days went by, then months and here you are - your goals are not fulfilled. In fact, you have forgotten about them.
“Maybe next year,” you say.
Keeping on track with your goals is easier said than done. You need to do the work to follow through on them. However, when it comes to not doing the work toward your goals, falling back on the expression “easier said then done” can have some severe consequences for you such as you:
1: Write your goals down. When it comes to keeping appointments and meeting deadlines, most people write them down—or else they somehow disappear until after they’ve passed. The same is true with goals. Without visually concretizing your aim in writing, your goal is likely to dissipate into thin air.
Once you have them written down post them so that you can see them. Put them on your computer desktop, print them out and post them on your wall, link them to your task manager so that they routinely come up.
2. Set a schedule. Maybe your goals are more aspirational than SMART. If so, your goal won’t have a due date and you will keep putting them off if things get in the way, or perhaps when you just feel lazy. Put the goal on your calendar. If it’s something big, don’t try to cram too many other things into the days before your deadline.
3. Break them down. Your goal will be easier to accomplish if you break it down into digestible steps. When architects plan a building, they don’t just put it up in one day: it’s built in parts, from the foundation up. The same is true with your goal. Break it down into weekly, monthly, or even yearly chunks, depending on how far out the deadline is.
This is all about developing an ACTION PLAN. If you don’t have one or don’t know how to create an ACTION PLAN let me know in the comments below and I will send one to you.
4. Become Accountable. Studies have shown that when you have to report to someone else, you are more likely to stay on track. Pick an accountability buddy—it could be someone working towards the same goal, like a gym partner, or perhaps just a friend or family member. Set up times when you will check in and notify them of your progress.
This is extremely important when it comes to your business or work goals. Solopreneurs, Internet Marketers, and the like usually work alone. If you find yourself in this position then search for someone who is interested in what you do like a coach, a mentor, a friend on Facebook, or someone in a Facebook group. The important factor here is that you want someone who is committed to your success, will treat you with dignity but who will be brutally honest with you. You don’t want someone who will just let you off the hook so to speak.
5. Be Positive. Remember the story of The Little Engine That Could—he was able to climb the hill because he kept on saying “I think I can, I think I can.” You should have the same reaction towards your goals: verbal and mental positivity. Use affirmations, positive thinking, and support from those around you to help you reach for them.
6. Treat Yourself. When you hit a milestone, do something nice for yourself, whether it’s going out to lunch or buying a new article of clothing. Plan a special event or prepare to claim a prize when you reach your goal. Teachers are great at leveraging this tactic: when their class hits a behavioral or educational goal, they throw a pizza party. Why not use the same strategy and celebrate with a nice treat when you accomplish your goal?
If your goal has a product associated with it and you have a return on your investment of time and money, then take a percentage of the income and reinvest it into your business and into your own growth and development. Why? Because your personal growth and development matter for your continued success.
As always take care, stay safe and become the person you were meant to be.
Thanks for reading,
When someone is referred to as self-disciplined, it means that they are intrinsically motivated enough to avoid short-term temptations to achieve long-term goals. They tend to be the person everyone else can count on to get things done. They are exceptionally reliable people who are often remarkably successful. They are people with integrity.
If you are self-disciplined, you:
1. Take Personal Responsibility for Your Actions – If you want to demonstrate self-discipline you need to realize that it is all about taking responsibility for your own actions and no one else’s. When things go right or wrong, you look at how your own behavior affected the situation and then note what you will do again or how you can do better next time.
2. Believe You Are Responsible for Yourself – A person with strong self-discipline doesn’t usually need outside influence to do the right thing. They are very sure of their core values and will put them ahead of what they "want" and do what is right.
3. Understand Your Own Potential – People who have strong self-discipline tend to realize that they have a lot more power than the average person thinks they have. In essence they set up their lives in a way that will lead them to succeed because they know they can do it.
4. Know How to Set Goals Properly – When you know that your actions make a great deal of difference to your success, you will place a high level of importance on learning how to set goals properly. Learn about SMART goals so that you can set yourself up for success.
5. Set Schedules and Routines for Daily Life – Everyone is handed the same 24 hours in a day. The way successful people use that time is the only difference. They tend to schedule everything and do things at certain times ritualistically, because it helps them do more in their lives and experience more balance.
6. Feel Grateful Every Day – Looking on the bright side is a trait that people who have self-confidence. They are thankful for the gifts they receive every day and tend to believe their life has purpose and appreciate the world around them. Keeping a gratitude journal can help anyone learn to feel more grateful.
7. Are a Lifelong Learner – Sadly, most of the world does not read after they’re finished with school. But a person who has self-discipline is usually a lifetime learner. They like reading and learning and always make time for it. Their personal growth and development is important to them.
8. Take Care of Your Self – The reason self-discipline helps you take care of yourself is that you are able to see how some hard decisions made today will pay off tomorrow. And, taking care of yourself strengthens you to take care of others.
9. Are Confident, Patient and Calm – Because you do not feel powerless, and because you know how to make goals and plans to reach those goals, you can feel a lot more confident, patient, and calm. There is no reason to get into anyone’s drama and even when things are tough, you know you will make it through if you follow the steps and your schedule.
10. Forgive Yourself and Others for Their Imperfections – Since you constantly work on yourself, you realize that no one is perfect and that it’s okay. Human imperfections are what makes everyone interesting.
The most important thing to realize about self-discipline is that you don’t have to be perfect from day one. If you want to improve your chances of experiencing success, working on your self-discipline is the key to that success.
Thank you for Reading,
PS. This article is from the e-book “A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Discipline” included in the FORTIS MEMBERSHIP site. You can also purchase it at the Storefront.
Communication is the interactive sticky stuff which strengthens or weakens the relationships we have with each other. One of the primary difficulties we have when we communicate is that we let our biases creep into our conversations without even recognizing them. Let’s examine this a bit further by clarifying the filters through which we communicate that often lead to a bias.
It’s important to understand that the process within which we relate with others forms the basis of all our communications. The process is quite simple but not necessarily always easy. It has eight elements and taken together they make up the interactive communication process between and among individuals. These elements take place almost at lightning speed. Any one of them could cause us to misunderstand or misinterpret what the other person is saying.
The eight elements are:
1. An individual has something to communicate. It may be a comment, an idea, or a reaction to what someone has said. This person should clearly formulate the thought and send it to another person. The first person becomes the Sender of the communication, the second is the Receiver.
2. Before the Sender says anything the unit of communication is encoded by that person according to his or her unique perception. That perception includes the person's self-concept, feelings, attitudes, and values; and shaped by his or her family background, cultural norms, life experiences, and education.
It is in our perceptions where our biases are hidden. Just think if a person’s life experiences, family influences and dominant culture are closed to accepting another cultural group or has been influenced early on in life to not accept certain individuals, religions, or a group of disadvantaged people then those individuals communicate their closed perceptions through their tone, behavior, and interactions.
3. The message is sent and then received by the Receiver who decodes it relating to his or her unique perceptions. That person's perception may have some similarities to the person who sent the message but in most instances, there will be several differences. That is what makes the perception unique.
Let’s take the example where biased similarities exist. In this case the sender’s and receiver’s biases are reinforced which may result in ‘group think,’ scapegoating, and discrimination. Often these individuals are not even aware that they are communicating a biased perception. They have no reason to believe that they are biased because their life experiences have caused them to believe their perceptions are right.
Now let’s take the example of a person where biased similarities don’t exist, each communicating from their own unique biases. This is often where communication blind spots become prevalent, and conflict emerges. One person’s perception clashes with the other and visa versa.
The extreme of this example shows up within communities where there are cultural differences or where one disenfranchised group clashes with the predominant groupthink.
This plays out when one group attempts to make another segment of the community aware of the ‘biases’ and their impact on them, but the other group wants to preserve their own perceptions of what they consider to be reality or right. Unfortunately, the bias continues and deep divisions within the community result. All we need to do is look at the conflict which is generated in communities where people feel disadvantaged through poverty, racism, sexual orientation, and misogynism.
So, how do we get out of this situation?
The key is to become open to other points of view and to understand the impact of what is being said and more importantly to be honest with ourselves as to our own clouded perceptions. But how do we do this? Step 4 in the communication process shows us how.
4. The best way for the Receiver to understand the Sender’s message is to respond with Feedback summarizing what the Sender said. This is known as the Clarification process. An important element in any interaction with others.
Both the Sender and the Receiver should give clear messages, respect each other with dignity and grace and listen well so that the message can be fully understood. This step is often missed. Rather than clarifying their biases individuals and groups often tend to promote, defend, and otherwise exploit them. They push their biases onto others, expecting them to accept whereas the other cannot because they come from a completely different stance based on their own life experiences.
In this way our hidden biases become apparent resulting in conflict with the other or within our communities. If the divide is deep and hurtful then the necessary work towards resolution and reconciliation becomes a slow and arduous process.
There are other ways in which we let our hidden biases cloud our conversations.
5. A message is sent via certain Paths or Channels. So far this discussion has been about communicating our biases face-to-face, but they could also be sent by means of an email, telephone. video conference call, a YouTube presentation or through social media.
If we have biases, and everyone does, then it does not matter what channel we use to communicate, sooner or later the biases will raise their heads.
E-mails are one of the lowest forms of communication because we cannot see or hear the individual, and feed back is often a long arduous process. If we let our bias seep into our emails, and the recipient is offended in some way, we may or may not know. In any event the email has a cooling effect on our relationship with the recipient.
Telephone is better because we can ask for clarification immediately. Yet we can't see the individual and thus gage the full extent of his or her reaction.
Video conferencing is an improvement because we can see the reaction of others and take corrective action. Although it is still not the same as in-person communication because we can only see a portion of the other person’s body language.
Social Media messaging and YouTube offerings are often used as ‘bull horns’ for one’s point of view and thus another venue for spreading one’s biases.
Even this post is a place for my own hidden and open biased point of view. Some will agree with what is discussed and others will not. Only through responding to this post can we begin to dialogue on the subject. We then can clarify our perceptions and search for understanding and common ground.
6. The message is also communicated in some form of Situation. The Situation relates to the environment or circumstance where the communication takes place, such as a meeting in the office, outside in the parking lot, over the counter with a customer or with a salesperson. Our biases don’t really care where we communicate what matters is how we communicate and whether we are aware of how our biases effect others.
7. When the message is delivered, it may also become distorted. This distortion is called Interference. Interference causes static in the communication process and distorts the message. Many factors cause interference and could include noise within the room, a cellphone ringing, someone emailing or texting. Language barriers or lack of listening skills also cause interference.
Our biased perceptions are often reinforced when we don’t listen and/or when we are impatient due to a language barrier. In such situations we start making judgements about the other based on our hidden biases.
8. For the most part the interaction that is described above takes place in a few seconds. It doesn’t take long for our biases to kick in. Psychologists tell us that we start forming opinions of the other within the first seven seconds or less. And if those opinions are based on hidden biases then we start communicating or thinking about them almost instantaneously. And as the communication progresses in a back and forth manner, and if we are not aware of our biases’ impact and guard against them, then the receiver will either outwardly or inwardly react to them.
In today’s world there is an interesting phenomenon taking place. Rather than recognizing our biases and their impact, we have this growing refrain that we are “politically correct.” Recognizing biases and their impact on others is not being “politically correct.” It is being open to improving our relationships with others, finding peace within our communities and respecting differences and diversity with each other and within our communities.
Underlying this whole discussion is the importance of knowing oneself and not afraid to uncover our hidden biases – it is all about our personal growth and development and how we relate to others. We can choose not to uncover what is not known to us and let our negative selves influence the relationship. Or, we can choose to discover those biases and stereotypes we have about others in order to improve our relationships with them and be a force for good in our places of business, work and communities.
Thank you for reading,
(Up-dated March 17, 2021)
Creativity is one of the most undervalued attributes that we can possess. On the other hand it is one of the most incredible attributes we can have. It seems that some have it and others do not. Yet when we look closely at creative thinking we all inherently have it, we just need to tease it out, nurture it and not be afraid to let it hangout.
You know some, if not most, of the successful people throughout history have risen above the rest because they went beyond the thinking of the time. They allowed their creative thinking to resolve problems and issues that baffled others.
Creativity uses many approaches to resolve a problem and the way people tackle the problem is just as diverse. Two people can paint the same scene very differently; and two jazz musicians can play the same piece of music with completely different creative nuances.
Creativity is not just for the artists who create beautiful paintings and music that touch the inner core of our soul, but also for those who have garnered great advancements in all aspects of our lives. Creativity moved the great leaders and inventors of the past and of our time. Just think of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, to name a few.
Yes, creative thinking produced massive movements in social and technological change.
Sometimes we think we lack creativity, but creative thinking is an attribute we can learn through effort and hard work.
I’m reminded of a quote from Albert Einstein:
“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”
This quote forms the basis for this discussion. Here are a few ways we can nurture our creative juices when we are faced with mystifying issues or problems.
Different Results Require Different Approaches
Many of us are on a treadmill, so to speak, repeating the same mistake without even realizing it. Often, this leads to frustration and even anger and then we find that we are treading towards giving up. In fact many do just that. Before this occurs, we need to stop and think about what really is happening to us. It’s time to stop and reflect on our process of confronting the problem.
If you want to move towards resolution about something that has blocked you from going forward than it is time to attack it in a different way. The operative word here is ‘stop’ – stop and pull away from the approach you are using. Think about how else you may approach it, talk to a coach, mentor or trusted friend about it, brainstorm your approach with others, or draw a mind map to isolate other alternatives.
Once we realize that there are more ways than one to solve a problem we begin to dawn our creative thinking cap. We open ourselves up to new opportunities and learning. We begin to grow and develop and in the process we strengthen our ability to think creatively.
Throw Away the Cookie Cutter Approach
There are many things in life and at work where we can follow a recipe and achieve a predictable result. Baking cookies or following predicable procedures are like that. Follow the recipe and enjoy the cookies. However, there are times when the recipe or the procedure just doesn’t work, and we need to do something out of the ordinary. We just can’t use the same method to address the same obstacle.
When we are faced with more difficult issues that others have tackled unsuccessfully, it’s time to create a new recipe. We need to come up with a new solution. When others are using the same tools and consistently not getting anywhere, the tool probably won’t work for you either. It’s time to create a new approach and step away from the crowd and do something different.
Be Confident When You Try To Do Something Different
You may be one of those people who posses all the creative ability in the world, but your fears stop you from acting. It’s taking action that moves your creative thoughts to results.
Sometimes we are afraid to act because of what people might say. This has blocked many from taking a worthwhile idea to making it fly. It seems that human nature prods us to avoid something new or different and when we don’t take action on creative ideas we fall into the same avoidance trap.
So dare to be different – if your idea is worthwhile others will be inspired and follow. It not, you will have gained a tremendous learning experience to advance your next project. After all Edison attempted to make the light bulb 1000 times before he got it to work.
Take a Break
There may be times when you are faced with an issue and you find yourself staring at a blank piece of paper or your computer. The ideas or what you want to write are just not coming to you. Your creative juices are dead. If this is the case, then it is time to take a break. Get up from your chair and get some exercise - go for a walk, run or whatever you like doing - look out the window and enjoy the view e.g. watch what the people are doing, watch the vehicle traffic, look at the trees blowing in the wind - if at home go wash the dishes, take a shower, play with the kids, talk to your significant other. The point here is do something that takes you away from your creative dead zone.
During your break, ideas often come and when they do it’s time to get back to solving your problem.
Thank you for reading.
Talk to you again soon. Take Care, Keep Well and Stay Safe.
Sometimes we get stuck and feel less motivated to move forward. This is especially true for anyone set on living a life of fulfillment and achievement. Our experience tells us that motivation is a primary intrinsic factor responsible for moving us to action.
Motivation is the one variable that allows us to push ourselves when those around us give up. It fires up our energy to seek out and conquer one challenge after another.
If you are currently experiencing a dry spell in the way of motivation or even if you have never thought of yourself as a driven individual, but would like to become one, continue reading.
Here we will explore 5 helpful steps that, in no particular order, are an effective way to enhance your overall motivation and drive to achieve the goals you have set for yourself!
Know Your Why
While it may seem obvious, knowing your reasoning and passion behind anything you pursue is critical. When you first set out on a goal or achievement, your “why” for doing so typically starts out pretty clear. However, somewhere in the daily grind of working towards this goal, this foundation can quickly become obscured.
Make no mistake; any time you are tirelessly working towards something worthwhile, no matter how important, there WILL be days in which you feel less motivated than others. Remaining conscientious of why you started in this first place serves as your second (or third, or fourth) wind to get back up and keep pushing.
Know Your Direction
Extreme motivation has a tendency to cause one to put their head down and work like a maniac. While there are times that this mindset is beneficial, some sense of direction must be maintained. Big goals rarely consist of going from point A to point B without detours in between.
Always keep general overview of what you want to accomplish in mind as well as the specific steps toward your destination. So yes, while keeping your nose to the grindstone is a must, looking up every now and then to adjust and begin the next phase of your blueprint is the only way to continue heading in the right direction!
Allow Small Victories
No matter how much (or little) motivation you have towards a goal, failing to enjoy small successes in pursuit of the finish line is a sure fire way to run out of gas before you get there.
While resting on your laurels and settling for less than what you want must be avoided, depriving yourself of fulfillment along the way is also detrimental. In pursuit of your goals, take some time to reward yourself when you accomplish one of the (often many) small steps to get there.
And, don't forget to celebrate the mistakes along the way. They are the stuff that allows us to learn and improve.
It's really about You Versus You, Not You Versus Them
This is a factor that most of us need to hear. Keep in mind that your goals are YOUR goals. Letting other people’s pursuits dictate what you strive for is a slippery slope. After all, you will never find the motivation required to achieve anything great without a personal conviction to do so. Whatever it is you want, the only comparison to be made is to the person you were the day before.
Controlled Tunnel Vision
Consider this fact: whatever big goal or achievement you are after most likely involves only one facet of your life. Whether this goal is career, athletic or personally oriented, the rest of your life is not going to stop while you go after it. It is inevitable that much of your motivation and energy is going to be focused on the biggest victory in front of you at any given time.
However, I can assure you that your sense of fulfillment will be diminished upon reaching the finish line and realizing you have neglected every other facet of who you are to get there. Balance is always key. Don’t let the rest of your life fall to the wayside while you chase one dream!
Thanks for Reading,
There is more to life than just work. Learning a new skill outside of work brings you joy, heightens social skills, improves wellbeing, health, and confidence. It also refreshes you to think better on the job and adds to your interactions with customers and colleagues. How?
Leisure provides a break from your world of work. Our work is about production, customer relations, marketing, problem-solving – sometimes back breaking and other times head breaking. From time to time we need to pause from all of that hard stuff and enjoy the moment with a craft, hobby or a new skill. Here are seven top ways to enjoy your leisure time. Pick one that fancies you and go for it.
When I was young and well into my adult life, I played the piano and clarinet. When I was older, I enjoyed pounding away on an organ in our rumpus room. It was a way to relieve stress and gave me the freedom to get lost in my own melodies, even if those who heard them wondered what was up with me. I know a gentleman who took up the violin in his eighties (you are never too old or too young to learn a new skill), and several friends were the life of the party as they played the piano or strummed the guitar while the rest of us sang until our throats hurt. We sang out of tune but sang anyway. Learning an instrument can be great fun. Perhaps you would like to learn how to play the guitar, piano or some other instrument?
Guitar: For those who want to learn how to play the guitar or even if you are a seasoned strummer, I came across a neat video course about how to play chords with just one finger. Go figure. CHECK IT OUT HERE and you will be playing the guitar and astounding your friends within a couple of weeks.
Piano: Maybe your interested in learning how to play the piano. Imagine being able to sit down at a piano and play Ballads, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Ragtime and even Classical Pieces. Well now you can in a very short time without spending a lot of money. Pianoforall is one of the most popular online piano courses available with over 250,000 students worldwide who now play beautiful music. Become the life of the party and learn with PIANOFORALL.
Five Other Top Skills
Woodworking: Working with wood is a great hobby. Over the years I have made tables, chairs, fish stands, and desks to name a few items. Once I even ventured into building our own rumpus room. There was a time when I struggled with what should go into a small woodworking shop and what was the best way to set it up. Perhaps you have questions about: How much money you need to setup a functional woodworking shop? What size should it be? What are the best and minimum tools you need to create basic wood projects? How to avoid bad quality tools? And, whether you should buy tools anyway? The ULTIMATE SMALL SHOP will help you find answers to those questions.
Writing: Some people enjoy writing, even if they write all day long at work. Others feel that because their work is all about writing, they want to get away from it during their leisure time. Here’s the thing. Writing can be rewarding, frustrating, tension relieving and enjoyable all at the same time. Some of us are late bloomers when it comes to writing, and others start young. Wherever you are on the spectrum writing can become a hobby and blossom into published works. I found a neat product that allows me to write with ease, publish my books, follow my customers and open my store - all with a push of button. I’m talking about Sqribble, the world’s number one eBook creator. If you are an aspiring author, or write reports or whitepapers, I would CHECK OUT SQRIBBLE HERE.
Photography: One of my distant mentors in consulting was the famous Peter Drucker. I didn’t know Peter personally, but I must have read all of his books. He had a profound influence on my career. One of his pieces of advice, was that busy people need to take a break from their work. He recommended that we take up something that we weren’t familiar with and turn it into a hobby. One time he turned to photography. For three years he studied the art and mechanics of photography and built it into his leisure activities. I mention this because photography is an easy hobby to fall into as many of my friends will attest. I think it is easier now than in the past, because most of us – if not all – are tethered to a camera on our mobile phones. All we need to do is learn how to take better pictures (not selfies) and broadcast them about. I found some astonishingly simple secrets in how to turn your smartphone into a high-quality DSLR and capture eye catching photo that will blow you away. Find the SECRETS HERE.
Cooking: There has to be a cooking explosion going on in North America. Just look at all the cooking shows on TV, YouTube, and the number of cookbooks that are available on-line and in our favorite bookstores. People are trying all kinds of new recipes to fit their lifestyle. The good news is that most of the TV shows and cookbooks promote healthy eating. Something for which Canadians and Americans need to pay attention.
Cooking can be great fun and not a chore. I think that is why many of the cooking shows are so popular these days. People want to get back to healthy eating. And cooking can be a great release from the tensions we feel from work and our busy life. It tends to slow us down, yet in a very short period of time we can feast on the results. Something that many of us who don’t see the results of our labour for many months and sometimes years, appreciate.
Along with the explosion of cooking methods have come an extensive list of diet fads. Our family uses an old fashion method, eat well balanced meals, and don’t over fill your plate. Simple yet effective. However, often because of lack of exercise, I tend to put on weight around the waist – especially during the winter months. One diet plan that makes great sense to me is the Mediterranean Diet as it transforms our bodies naturally and safely. The Mediterranean Diet is filled with natural foods and eases the want for sweets. The recipes are easy to follow and a pleasure to include in any family gathering. Want to learn more about the Mediterranean Method GO HERE AND ENJOY.
Sports – Jump Higher: Taking up a sport is another way to build a leisure activity. With sports you can gain confidence, improve socialization and keep fit. Thousands of people join a sports team during their leisure time, everything from curling to basketball. Many of the sports required you to jump, like in basketball, volleyball, football and yes, even dance. Did you know you can improve the height of your jump by practicing a few techniques? Techniques that professionals use and which have received recognition from such media outlets such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN and Men’s Health. And these jumping methods are backed by scientific research and are found to be the most effective exercises, training sequences and techniques. Just because you are an average jumper doesn’t mean you can’t improve. Find out how thousands of average athletes have used a popular jump manual to consistently improve their vertical leap. Are you interested? FIND OUT HERE.
Thank you for reading and enjoy your leisure hours,
Perhaps “blogging” isn’t such a graceful word. For me, personally, it sounds like a worded drudgery the way cereals can be soggy, skies can be foggy, and the way minds can be groggy.
It’s a bit late to rename this shortened word for something else particularly when we find that blogging is one of the most engaging Internet developments of the past several years. As a medium it gives rise to many new and worthy voices and plays a new and vital force in shaping opinions, political realities, trends, and even our language.
I believe that a blog is simply a tool to use for someone who’s got something to say. However, let me be clear on one thing: a blog is a poor choice for someone who needs a megaphone to scream out to cyberspace in order to elicit a meaningful response from Internet users.
If you want attention and want it now and expect blogging to bring it to you, then it will surely be a disappointment. However, if you like to write and engage others on subjects of which you have some command or experience, then it’s a wonderful application with which you can interact with people who share similar interests as you. The hype is well founded.
Anyway, here’s a list of blogging tips…
1.) Be Topical:
Cohesiveness in message is not optional. Readers may or may not be interested in your topic, but if your message is haphazard that few will bother remembering to return to your blog because it essentially would offer nothing to remember.
This doesn’t mean blogs can’t jump from subject to subject. For instance, a blog with a humorous focus has all the leeway in the world for subject matter, but it would be foolish for such a blog to turn the humor on and off. In such an example, the aspect of humor would be content’s glue, the strength of the blog. The beauty of staying on point and on topic is that eventually, due to the nature of the Internet, you will find those interested solely in your topic.
2.) Refresh Your Content:
Create a schedule and stick to it. Realizing that blogging requires time and effort, don't create unrealistic expectations and be unable to deliver. An occasional lapse or holiday is generally understood but readers returning to find stale, outdated content are going to find another blog with similar content. New blogs and RSS feeds are popping up on a daily basis. If you have worked hard to develop an audience and a community, you don't want to lose them due to lack of communication.
3.) Clear Language Counts:
Blessed is the blog with a clear line of logic. Write without inside jokes, clique-y catchphrases or ambiguous logic. First time readers need to be close to your message. They are more likely to return to blogs that strike them positively. If the first read is confusing there will not be a second read.
4.) Feed the Spiders:
Search engines take notice of active blogs and blog search engines are especially sensitive to activity. If nothing else, search engines are smarter today than they were yesterday and are only getting smarter. In constantly improving they are seeking to aggregate quality; quality blogs are updated several times a week, if not daily, as opposed to once or twice a month. I don’t mean to scare you but a big spider is watching, so dance for them.
Think of RSS like a magic to blogging world, because that’s the effect it’s had. RSS feeds are a way to exponentially sound your voice to the interested. These feeds are a great means to increase the distribution and readership of your original content.
Note: RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content.Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it.
6.) Spell Check:
Hey man, use the spell-check. I do – if I didn’t you probably wouldn’t have made it to #6. It only takes a minute and can save you from looking like a hack.
Your weblog audiences will be small at first. And, frankly, that’s the way it should be. Who are you to think that half the internet will flock to you after three or four posts of your blog, anyway?
If you tough it out while maintaining quality, readership will materialize. You will link to good, relevant blogs and, in turn, they will to you. While your voice may be unique, your niche likely isn’t and if your content is emitted smartly to the Internet those relevant readers will respond through readership and interaction.
Thank you for reading,
Richard P. Fontanie
(From the Blogging e-book)
Being assertive is a skill that comes naturally to some but not to all. It’s a trait and skill that can get you far in life, when balanced evenly. However, if not kept in check, assertiveness can come across as abrasive, rude, or even mean or aggressive.
In this article, we’re going to explore the topic of assertiveness; we’ll cover what it means to be assertive, how to become more assertive, and how to keep that assertiveness in check.
What does it mean to be assertive?
According to The Better Health Channel, “Being assertive means being direct about what you need, want, feel, or believe in a way that’s respectful of the views of others.” Being assertive can offer many benefits to almost every area of your life, when kept in balance.
For example, when you’re more assertive in the workplace, you show your superiors that you have the qualities required of a leader and the confidence necessary to go for what you need or want. In your relationship, being assertive has a whole slew of benefits.
First off, it can help you have the confidence to ask someone out in the first place. Secondarily, assertiveness allows you to identify and be clear about what you want and need in the relationship, improving communication between you and your partner and ensuring the healthy state of your relationship.
What can you do to be more assertive?
The first thing you have to do when trying to be more assertive is to make the decision to positively assert your views and yourself and commit to it. It’s not enough just to think about maybe trying to be more assertive in situations, like you think about how you really should work out more while you’re eating dessert. You have to commit to it.
The next step is improving your communication and listening skills. These two skills are crucial in assertiveness. You need to communicate openly and honestly with a respect for those with whom your speaking. In addition to that, you have to become an active listener.
Pay close attention to what people say to you, try to understand their perspective and don’t interrupt. The key to having the right balance in your assertiveness is to respect others and allow them the space to be assertive, as well.
Lastly, in the actual practice of assertiveness, you want to stay calm, avoid guilt tripping, and use what is referred to as “I” statements. “I” statements (I think, I feel, I know) are much more assertive and more constructive than “you” statements (you never, you always), which tend to be more harmful.
How can you keep your assertiveness in check?
There’s a fine line between positive assertiveness and abrasive rudeness. A good way to keep yourself in check and ensure you aren’t toeing that line is to be observant, not just of yourself but of those around you.
Take time throughout your day to reflect on yourself, your behavior, and your choices. Watch how others behave around you; if your loved ones seem uncomfortable with your behavior or put off by your attitude, you should examine your assertiveness and maybe make some adjustments.
Being assertive can get you far in life, but there’s a fine line between being positively assertive and being rude. If you keep yourself in check when working on your assertiveness and create a good balance, you can go further and be happier in your life. Assertiveness can lead to promotions, healthier relationships, and a more positive self-image. We hope we’ve helped to instruct you on and guide you through improving your assertive behavior.
Author: Kayla Sloan
Reprinted with permission from Priority LearningLink
When email first gained popularity about twenty plus years ago, the business world quickly realized its value. Sending nearly instantaneous messages to colleagues they could read at their convenience was a major time saver.
Of course, over time email systems have evolved and changed beyond just sending a simple message to someone. But as wonderful as email is, our reliance on it has brought some inefficiencies to light.
Obviously the common worker can't do anything about what may be lacking in the email application itself. Nevertheless, if you'd like to make your emails more effective, there are ways you can.
Problem: Checking Email Too Frequently
One of the first problems to address with email inefficiency is checking email too frequently. Like other workers, you're probably in near constant communication with others. Computers, cell phones and other electronic devices are always close by making messaging simple and convenient.
In fact, depending on your settings, email notifications may pop up every few minutes. Therefore, stopping to check each one really interferes with work flow and productivity.
Reading the email, responding, and then completing related duties takes time. But so does switching back and forth between different apps and thought processes.
Every time you pause to look at your phone or computer valuable time is wasted. This is true regardless of whether the emails are work related or personal
Fix: Organize Your Thoughts
These days, time is money and being productive can mean keeping your job. Therefore, you must save time wherever you can and make sure your important emails get read.
Before sending an email to someone, take just a moment to organize your thoughts. If you need to, make it in a numbered list format with short explanations for each point.
Make sure you include a subject line and that your email address is correct. Believe it or not, taking those extra seconds or minutes will save you time in the long run. You'll spend less time rambling or resending emails as a result.
Problem: Taking Too Much Time During Email Breaks
Taking email breaks at regular intervals, as mentioned above, can help you be more efficient. But it won't really help if your email breaks are 30 minutes or more.
When you spend that much time sifting through emails it cuts into time needed to do more productive work. This could lead to you being labeled as a procrastinator or lazy at the very least. At the worst you could be passed over for promotions or even eventually fired.
While that may sound drastic, if emails get out of hand, other work can get pushed aside. That would turn what sounds ridiculous into a very real problem.
Fix: Set a Reminder or Timer
Do you use your calendar to its full potential? If not you may be missing out on time savings. Additionally, when it comes to email you can manage it better using your calendar.
Block 15 minutes intervals mid-morning, at lunchtime, mid-afternoon, and the end of the day. Set reminders to go off and alert you of your email appointment, so to speak. Create another reminder to get back to other tasks after the 15 minutes is up.
Another thought is to set an old fashioned timer or use your cell phone. No matter which option you choose setting up time constraints will make your emails more effective. It will also keep you moving through emails faster allowing you to be more productive.
Problem: Emails Stress You Out
For some people, hearing email notifications and not responding to them is stressful. They feel they must take care of each email immediately no matter how trivial.
But this can cause stress in other ways too. It puts you on call 24 hours a day and doesn't allow you to truly relax during off hours.
Everyone needs to disconnect and rejuvenate so they are ready to work the next day. If not, your work will begin to suffer and you may be tired and irritable.
Fix: Turn Off Notification During Off Hours
To make your work and emails more effective turn off your notifications during off hours. This lets you get the rest you need so you can respond quickly and effectively the next day.
If you don't give yourself downtime you run the risk of burning out at work. This won't help you, your business or employer, or loved ones who may depend on you.
Problem: Repetitive Responses
Repeating the same responses, even if to different people, can be annoying. If you find this happening to you, typing out those emails feels like a waste of time.
There's a reason for that: It actually is a waste of time.
Fix: Canned Email Responses
You can make your emails more effective and answer them quicker using canned email responses. Anytime you can take time to automate with email it will make emails more effective and faster.
Take the time to explore the settings and options available with your email system. You may be able to set up processes that save tons of time and get you through emails faster.
Problem: Lack of Response from Receiver
At times, waiting for a response on an email you've sent can be frustrating. When you need an answer quickly it's even worse.
Waiting on other people can put a halt to projects until answers are received. But that doesn't mean you can't do something about it.
Fix: Send Follow-up Emails
When you aren't getting answer to emails you send, consider sending follow-up emails. Make them attention grabbing, positive, and to the point to get a better response.
If you must send a large quantity of emails it may help you to create a tracking spreadsheet. This way you can document when and to whom emails have been sent.
Clearly emails are a popular and efficient way of communicating. That being said, there are ways to make your emails more effective so you can be successful. If you want to be the most productive and efficient worker possible, use these tips to make your emails more effective.
Reprinted with Permission
Priority Management is a worldwide training company with 55 offices in 15 countries. We have successfully trained more than two million graduates in Priority workshops. Our programs help companies and people be more effective and manage their workflow in and out of the office by providing tools, processes and discipline. Simply put - A Better Way To Work! Clients range from Fortune 500 companies, small-to-medium businesses and government/military employees.
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