Be More Productive Now
Would you like to start being more productive right now? Want to stop wasting precious time and move your projects to completion? This article will focus on how to be more productive from this point forward.
The key to becoming more productive with your time is to concentrate your efforts on the task at hand. So how do you begin to concentrate your efforts? The key is to eliminate distractions.
Distractions come from two sources. The first source is outside things, such as phone calls, emails, interruptions from other people and so on. Pick a time when you feel at your peak, and sequester yourself, for a period of time each day, to give yourself a real boost in productivity. Develop your own methods to "hide" from the outside world, for a period of time each day, and you will see your output grow.
The second source of distractions comes from within. Unfortunately, this is the hardest source of distractions to control. It is hard to shut yourself off from yourself. . The key culprit for us is multitasking. Many studies have been done at this point, that show multitasking reduces productivity, instead of increasing it. Our minds can only hold one thought at a time, and switching tasks causes us to lose focus and momentum, and forces our mind to play "catch-up" over and over again. To become more productive, you must master the art of focusing on one thing at a time and give it your best effort and attention, until it is done. If boredom sets in while you are working on your task, give yourself a SHORT break, and remind yourself of what the ultimate objective is for what you are working on and what the payoff is to you.
You need to make sure the task you pick to concentrate on, is in fact your highest priority item. Many of us fall into the trap of staying busy, vs. staying productive. One task may clear mountains of paperwork off your desk ,or you might be better served by moving just one piece of high priority/high payback paper. Use the 80/20 rule to help find the true "gems" in your inbox. The 80/20 rule says that 80% of the gains you receive, come from 20% of your efforts. Find out what that 20% of high payoff project are and make sure you concentrate on accomplishing them first.
And of course don't forget the basics of time management. Say no to as many projects as you can to help streamline your workload. Try to "cherry pick" projects you know in advance hold high payback potential and try to pass on lower priority projects. Also delegate as much lower payback activity as possible. Calculate the value of your time and try to delegate low value activities, even if you have to pay someone. It is money well spent.
Increased productivity is as close as your next thought. Remember everything counts. Every action you take as well as those actions you don't take can help you move towards your goal of increased productivity. Constantly remind yourself of your need to be more productive and discipline yourself to do the right thing. Don't beat yourself if you have a setback, but be certain to reward yourself in someway, for each action that moves
your productivity up a notch.
Just Say I Don T Know
Why am I writing this? I don't know. I can give reasons, but I can't be sure they are accurate. Such ignorance is okay, or at least it should be. The temptation is always to explain, but that often does nothing useful. In fact, it can just get in the way of actual understanding. Let me explain...
John was hypnotised, and given the post-hypnotic instruction to get up and put on his coat whenever the doctor touched his nose. Once out of the trance, they talked. During the conversation, the doctor scratched his nose, and John immediately stood up and put on his coat.
The doctor asked him why. "Oh, I thought we were finished," John said, and he took off the coat. A minute later, the doctor touched his nose again. John again immediately stood up and put on his coat. "It's getting cold in here," he explained.
This scenario is not unique to hypnosis. There's a lot that goes into our decisions and actions, and we act as though we're aware of it all. Just like poor John, we feel compelled to explain ourselves - and to believe our explanations. Rationalization is one of our strongest habits.
I Don't Know
A child throws a plate at his brother, and his mother demands "Why would you do that!?" He says, "I don't know," which is true, but not acceptable. Pychologists couldn't, in five seconds, understand the child's action with certainty, but a six-year-old is expected to do just that.
He may not understand, but he learns quickly to explain himself. By adulthood, it is rare for any of us to say "I don't know" when asked about our behavior. There is a problem with that, though. How can we ever learn the true causes if we already accept our explanations?
Accepting Our Ignorance
A better way to approach these issues is to get in the habit of saying "I don't know." You can follow it with "Maybe it's because of..." and let the explanations spill out, but don't be too quick to accept any of them. Understand that it isn't always necessary to explain.
For example, even if you never know why you avoid a certain person, isn't it better to leave the question open than to accept a false explanation based on a habit of self-justification? Leave questions unanswered, and you may someday have a better understanding. Quick answers mean a quick stop in your thinking.
Self-explanation can be the death of self-understanding. Learn to accept your ignorance, and to keep observing yourself. Just say, "I don't know."
How To Cope With Nasty People At Work
I worked for many years in an office environment and would have enjoyed the experience if it was not for a number of over bearing and annoying colleagues. These people seemed to spend the whole day bitching and gossiping about other people which can make life at work very stressful and uncomfortable.
After leaving school I was excited that I was now entering into the adult world. I was more than happy to leave behind me the childish ways of school life where people are constantly taking the mickey out of each other, which is apparently supposed to be fun and basically act like fools. This was certainly not what I saw as enjoyment.
I eventually obtained a position working for an insurance company where I would have to carry out basic office duties. I was slightly apprehensive as it was all new to me of course but what I found when I started to work their came as quite a shock. Some of these so called adults were also acting like they were still at school.
The males in the office were always at each others throats, throwing insults which I have to add were mainly in jest, and basically acting like they were fourteen years of age.
The women though were so annoying it was untrue. Of course it was not all of the women but just a handful of them. This however was enough to make it an uncomfortable place to work. These women were always ready to spread gossip about other people and were so two faced it was unbelievable.
As an example, I will tell you a story which I am now able to laugh about, but which at the time was quite hard to handle. I went out for a few drinks one night and in the bar, there was a woman who worked in the same office that I did. She was what I called, one of the bitches!
I went over and started talking to her. I had had a number of drinks and felt quite sociable. She had a friend with her who I have to say was very attractive and I also started to make small talk with her. I started to get on really well with this friend and thought that I had pulled etc.
After buying them both a drink I went to the toilet. Whilst I was in the toilets my friends warned this friend of my colleague not to get too close to me because I was gay (which I am not). They were just trying to ruin it for me, nice hey!
I came back to the group and both of these women had left to go somewhere else. I was most frustrated but was unaware of what had been said.
I went back to work the next day and people acted differently towards me. I later found out from a good friend that this colleague had told everyone that I was gay.
I have no problem with people who are gay and this incident showed me what it must be like for them at times.
I went up and told this woman exactly what I thought of her and warned her never to spread any rumours about me again, as it would be the last rumour she would ever spread, if she did etc.
The next few days were quite unpleasant as people were treating me like some kind of leper. I did not try to convince them that I was straight as it should not be an issue in the first place.
After this I went to work with the sole intention of doing my job, I do not need these type of people in my life.
If you work with people like I have described above, I feel sorry for you. Try hard to not let them ruin your day at work as if they do, then they will have won.
There Is Always Room For Improvement
When I was twelve my parents bought me a five foot snooker table for my birthday. This turned out to be the best present I was ever bought and I quickly became hooked on the game. My friends would regularly come round to my house for a game and when they were not there I would practice on my own.
After a few months a few of us decided to join a snooker club where we could play on full size tables. I was amazed the first time I saw one of these tables at its sheer size, it was twelve foot by six foot. We started to play and it was much more difficult to pot the balls on this much larger table.
The club itself was superb and had free coaching for children under the age of sixteen on a Saturday morning. The coach was called Glen who was aged around thirty at the time. He was a larger than life character and a very good snooker player. We were encouraged to join this free coaching which we duly did. There was regular tournaments as well as coaching and they gave us free drinks and toast.
All of the players were not exactly the best in the world being so young and not one of us had ever had a twenty break. This was the first goal of all of us, to become the first player to reach this target. I was extremely determined that it would be me and listened carefully to what I was being taught and tried hard to implement it.
My progress was quite rapid and to my amazement I was the first person to score that elusive twenty break. People around the snooker table I was playing on started to applaud and I was walking around with a beaming smile on my face.
Glen who was on the other side of the room wondered over to find out what all of the noise was about. I thought he would be so proud of me and happy at my achievement, however he stated that if I could score twenty, I could score thirty. He told me to stop messing about and smiling, and to re-concentrate on the job in hand.
I had been brought straight back down to earth and was a bit gutted to say the least. This lesson was a very good one for me to learn at such an early age and I eventually went on to have breaks of over one hundred.
Mentoring And Coaching For Professionals
In recent years there has been a significant rise in the demand for mentors and coaches. The driving forces behind this are: executives, managers and other specialists are increasingly expected to demonstrate that they are undertaking significant professional development; the workplace and business employment environment is becoming even more competitive; the influence of the emerging industrial nations is forcing radical changes in the skill mix required of managers and other professionals in the developed countries; the diversity of personal and professional skills, knowledge, and expertise needed to be successful in today's global business environment. As this demand has increased, so has the diversity of roles played and the range of services offered. Indeed, there are so many variations and combinations of mentoring and coaching, that it is increasingly difficult to differentiate between them and almost impossible to categorise the variations available.
Workplace mentoring is, despite appearances, a structured, organised, element of the organisation's training and development activity. It is, however, usually quite separate from organised training activities and from the formal appraisal process carried out by the line-manager. This formal, hierarchical relationship that exists between a person and their line-manager is usually not a suitable vehicle for a mentoring relationship. Mentoring generally takes the form of a confidential, one to one relationship, where a more senior person, at least one position higher than the line-manager of the person being mentored, helps a more junior one to make progress, usually as part of a planned development programme, such as management fast-tracking, preparing for a more senior post, or leading a phase of workplace activity, such as a project. The mentor offers guidance and advice, in a supportive and non-threatening manner, but in a format and style which is designed by the organisation's human resource department and then monitored by that department. The aim is to provide the recipient with support that will enable them to move forward confidently and to achieve their personal workplace objectives and also the objectives set for them by the organisation.
In an organisational setting, coaching has traditionally been part of the supervisory role played by line-managers, or more experienced employees, who show less experienced colleagues how to carry out an activity, or set of activities, competently. This is by default part of the cyclical process of developing an individual's skills, evaluating their performance, appraising their progress, carried out by the line manager. If the line manager does not carry out the coaching personally, they will have arranged for an experienced employee, usually within the same team as the person being coached, to deliver the coaching. In this context, coaching is, in effect, the teaching of a skill until the skill is learnt and can be consistently performed, independently, to the required standard. Although the majority of this type of coaching is delivered by people who are more experienced, it is not always the case that they are more senior. Often, because the coach is explaining or demonstrating a skill, or process, the coach can be a younger person, but someone who is capable of passing on their skills to others who are less experienced in that activity.
Today, the traditional roles of mentors and coaches can still be seen in action. However, in many organisations, and particularly in most business sectors apart from the heavy industries and manufacturing, there has been considerable change. The main changes have been in the widening of the range of coaching approaches and the merging of mentoring and coaching into one approach, generally under the title of Coaching. Despite the best efforts of some academics and management gurus, senior managers in some organisations, and the human resource purists, the terms mentor and coaching, and the roles, are now used interchangeably in many business sectors. The main reason for this is that individuals are demanding and expecting their mentor-coach to have a wide range of skills that encompasses the best features of both categories. Many organisations are also establishing mentor-coaching systems that also combine the best practices of both. The result is that, increasingly, the terms are in effect synonymous, and what one individual or organisation will label as Mentor, another will label as Coach.
Also, many individuals are arranging to work with a personal coach, whose role is a combination of mentor and coach. This is similar to the relationship between a sports person, for example athlete, and their persona coach, and that between individuals and their personal fitness trainer. In the business and professional development world, the result is a hybrid of mentoring and coaching that most people now label as Personal Coaching.
The ideal mentor is a person who has been trained in mentoring techniques, and has a blend of appropriate work experience, qualifications, and general business knowledge, that can be used to guide and advise a particular mentee. In addition it is very important that the mentor is a person who has an enthusiasm, if not a passion, for helping others to develop, fulfil their potential, and achieve their and the organisation's objectives.
The ideal coach is a person who has been trained in coaching techniques, has a broad range of experience and expertise, has knowledge and understanding of current business activity and trends, and an understanding of how an individual's career and professional development should be tailored in order to assist that person in being successful in achieving their development objectives.
As can be seen, there great similarities in the two roles, and, as a result, the differences are virtually indistinguishable and they are now frequently combined. Both are expected to have appropriate knowledge and experience, both must be skilled in: listening actively; communication techniques; being able to understand the work and personal environment of the person being coached; building a rapport and developing a relationship; asking appropriate questions; directing the coachee to other sources of help when appropriate; identifying, agreeing and setting goals; helping to devise action plans to achieve the goals; helping to monitor and make adjustments to the plans; and finally, knowing when it is time to end the relationship.
A coach works with individuals and organisations to help them to achieve higher levels of performance and-or specific goals. The coach will, by necessity, take into account past performance and events, but focuses on actions and goals for the future. The approach is action oriented, focusing on where the client is now, where they want to be in the future, and how best to get them there. This framework is familiar to those involved in strategic planning or project management, as it is the foundation of both. The coach takes this simple, structured approach, and builds on it to develop a plan of action that will enable them to help their client achieve their objectives.
For individuals, the benefits can be many, including helping the individual to: avoid making mistakes in their business or personal lives; achieve more, in less time; minimise current problems; effectively prepare for potential difficulties; be happier with their personal and-or work life; achieve career or personal development targets; change career or career direction; become more effective and influential in all areas of their life; be more attractive to others, in their career and professional development and-or their personal life.
For organisations, the benefits are similar. They include: learning from a person who has a broad range of knowledge; obtaining independent, unbiased, objective, advice and guidance; gaining improvements to productivity, quality levels, customer satisfaction, shareholder value; gaining increased commitment and satisfaction levels in operational and management staff; improved staff retention; supporting other training and development activity; visible evidence that the organisation is committed to developing and improving; establishing an effective process for organisational development.
The role of mentoring and coaching has changed radically over recent years. However, the changes are generally accepted as being positive ones, and today coaches are accepted as an integral feature of the development process, both for individuals and for organisations. As always, great care must be taken to ensure that the coach and any process that is undertaken is appropriate for the particular client, but with this caveat, it is now clear that coaches have an important role to play in the development of individuals and organisations in today's business world. As the pace of change and the complexity of business activity increases, it is certain that coaches will continue to play a key role in helping individuals and organisations manage that change and complexity more effectively.
Building A Legacy It S Only Too Late If You Never Start
By discovering your unique strengths, determining your core values, and directing your future with ambitious lifetime goals, you can achieve amazing success. But be warned-if you don't like change, you will like irrelevance even less.
So far, Steve Jobs has made a fairly sizable ding. He has achieved success (to the tune of over a billion dollars) through continuous innovation and sticking to his unique talents.
Whether your are about to start your career or already working your way up the ranks, you want to give yourself every possible advantage. You have a lot of decisions before you, no matter where you are in life. It is up to you to determine which path in life you will take - but how can you avoid walking down the wrong paths over and over again until you find the best one?
What are your unique strengths? If you don't determine the where, how, when, and why of what makes you truly unique, making that ding in the universe won't happen. What if you knew the Distinct Natural Abilities
Phobia Of Speech
This article is about the fear and phobia of speech. Not everybody is able to talk fluently in all situations and for people who aren't, life can be quite tough. I hope you enjoy reading the article.
My name is Steve Hill from Birmingham in England. I developed a stutter or as some people call it a stammer in childhood. From what my parents tell me it started when I was four years of age.
Speaking phobia at school
Despite regular speech therapy over the next fourteen years the stutter became worse. I remember quite clearly the fear of having to read out from a book in class. Walking into the classroom, for example an English lesson, I would see that there was a book on each desk. I would start to panic straight away believing the teacher would make me read a paragraph. Just waiting my turn, knowing that it would result in yet another one of stuttering moments would be torture.
Socialising with friends was not exactly easy for me either. Most people look forward to their Friday or Saturday night outs with their mates. For me though this was not the case, I would be counting down the days as the week went on. Three days to go, two days to go, oh no, I have to go out tomorrow. You may be thinking why this would fill me with so much dread. Being unable to say certain words beginning with certain letters made it difficult to order a round of drinks and the whole conversation thing was something I was not at all confident about.
My worst area of speech was using the telephone. I certainly had a phobia to the phone and was quite lucky as my father would make a lot of my calls for me. Some people may say that this was not exactly helping me in the long run. This may be correct and I was very grateful at the time.
After leaving school, I started to attend interviews to try to find employment. I would normally stutter more when under pressure or when meeting new people and both of these situations are prevalent in an interview situation. I would normally arrive at the interview very tired after a lack of sleep through the stress of it all and I have to say found it very difficult to convince any employer to take me on.
At the age of twenty-two I managed to overcome the stutter and now run The How To Stop Stammering Centre in Birmingham.
Should I Offer Free Coaching Sessions
This is one of the most frequently asked questions, particularly by new coaches. Of course, there is no single correct answer. You should do what's right for you and for your vision of your coaching business. As such it's critical to stay mindful of your objectives.
There are generally 4 reasons why as a coach you would undertake pro bono work:
1. You are a new coach and want to build your confidence and coaching hours.
2. You are a coach that has been practicing for some time and perform pro bono work for benevolent reasons.
3. You use a free session as part of your sales process.
4. You are a practicing coach that performs pro bono work as a strategy to build your business.
Here are our thoughts on the above:
1. As a new coach it's very important to build your confidence. Your confidence (or lack thereof) will play an integral role in your success or otherwise. With this in mind, offering pro bono sessions in the early stages of your business can be worthwhile.
2. Offering free coaching sessions for benevolent reasons is simply a matter of personal choice. As a coach you should have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. If delivering free sessions for benevolent reasons fits into your vision, then go for it.
3. Many coaches offer free introductory sessions as part of their sales process. Their reasoning is that a free session upfront assists the potential client understand the coaching process and builds rapport. Whilst we strongly advocate testing different strategies to improve your business, this may be a dangerous practice. Offering free introductory sessions can devalue your service and attract a lot of 'tyre kickers.' We suggest that you try a twist to this strategy. If you want to offer a free introductory session, you do so as part of a longer term contract with a guarantee. IE You get your prospect to sign up for a 3 or 6-month coaching contract, and as part of that contract you provide a free introductory session. This will ensure the prospect is serious, and upsells them into a larger contract that may otherwise be difficult to achieve later. This strategy can work well when used in conjunction with a guarantee. You simply say to your prospect that if they enter into the contract, you will provide them a free introductory session, and if they feel for whatever reason that coaching will not assist them achieve their goals, they can opt out of the contract at any point.
4. Many coaches provide pro bono sessions to assist them build their business. They achieve this by very carefully selecting their pro bono clients. A pro bono client can assist build your business if they are well networked within your niche and willing to provide referrals or can assist you in other business building aspects of your business. IE They can assist you get public speaking arrangements; are willing to be a 'specialist' on your tele-class session; will provide a testimonial etc.
If you decide that you want to deliver free sessions for whatever reason, here are 6 important things to keep in mind:
1. Treat all pro bono clients as paying clients. There is nothing worse for word of mouth than undervaluing the coaching relationship with a pro bono client. Remember, word of poor service spreads 10 times as far as word of good service!
2. Find them, don't let them find you.
3. Get testimonials. Testimonials are a very powerful endorsement of your service. When prospects consider contracting your services they can be dramatically influenced by testimonials. Even more so if the testimonial is from a recognised leader, expert or acknowledged person within your niche.
4. Get clients from your niche, and preferably someone that can help you into a network. If you can do this, it will be a powerful leverage for your business.
5. Get paying referrals. Always get referrals from pro bono clients. And don't offer pro bono work to referrals of pro bono clients.
6. Don't overload. This stands to reason. Your time is your commodity. If you spend all your time providing services for free, you'll have no time left for paying clients.
Strength Hope And Old Fashioned Chutzpah Helped Her Survive The Challenge Of A Lifetime
A hike in California's Sequoia National Park turned deadly when Shannon Parker split from her group to grab her sunglasses from the car. Before she could get them, she found herself face-to-face with the lion and came to a daunting realization.
"I knew exactly what it was when I made eye contact with it," she said in an ABC interview. "It was either the mountain lion or me. One of us was going to die."
The cat attacked, catching Parker's head in its jaws. Parker fought the cat for six minutes before she was able to free her face and scream to alert her friends. They chased it off with rocks and a pocketknife, but not before Parker sustained severe injury to her right eye, along with deep gouges in her thigh.
After a surgery failed to repair her eye, doctors fitted her with a
prosthetic. While Parker suffered no life-threatening injuries, the trauma to her face was devastating; Parker said the most challenging aspect of the attack was dealing with the disfiguring injuries she suffered.
Her plastic surgeon played a huge role in helping her recover when he told her that he'd be able to repair the damage to her face.
"And that right there, I mean, it just changed my attitude; it changed the hope that I had. It changed everything," she told CNN. "And then, I knew not only was I alive, but I was going to progress."
Progress meant not only recovering from her injuries, but recovering from her emotional trauma. Part of Parker's solution has been to seek meaning in her experiences. Less than a year after the attack, she went back to Sequoia National Park to revisit the spot where she struggled for her life. Now she's working to educate the public about what to do if a mountain lion attacks and, because she says that she would have stayed with her group had she seen warning signs posted, she's working to place them where mountain lions might be a danger to hikers.
According to Parker, her recovery, though difficult, gets better as each day passes. "I believe that my strength and hope has got me to where I am today."
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