June 26, 2014

4 Tips for Improving Your Productivity

Irony strikes yet again as I am two days late in posting this, simply because I was overwhelmed, distracted, and not as productive as I could have been. Perhaps this post would have been on time, had I read it before I began the task which caused its delay!

The following four tips come from Jeff Haden's "The 8-Hour Workday Doesn't Really Work":
  1. Manually increase the relevance of a task - overriding your attention system, setting deadlines, and rewarding yourself significantly improves task completion.
  2. Split your day into 90-minute intervals with 15-30 minute breaks - don't focus on 6, 8, 10 hours, instead focus on the tasks.
  3. Plan out your rest periods so you actually rest - plan to nap, walk, snack, whatever. Just don't wing it.
  4. Allow ZERO notifications - having no alerts on you phone or computer allows you to keep focus.

June 17, 2014

The #1 Tip for Asking Better Questions

Cut them off at the question mark. Ask "What are you doing for the holidays?" and stop. Do not continue talking, offering an array of different choices. Don't ramble. Just ask, and then shut up.

From "This Post Will Make You A More Effective Communicator In 90 Seconds"

June 10, 2014

"Top 10 Countdown to Having a New You by Friday" by Kevin Leman

One of the most influential books I've read to date is "Have a New You by Friday" by Kevin Leman. I plan on doing a full summary, but the amount of good information is so immense it will take a while to compile. In the mean time, I offer his summary, this Top 10 Countdown, from the book:
  1. Pinpoint the area(s) you want to change about yourself.
  2. Decide that you're not just going to try to become a "new you" this time. You are going to do it.
  3. Identify your personality and all its strengths and weaknesses (the 4 humors).
  4. Identify your birth order and all its strengths and weaknesses (The Birth Order book).
  5. Identify your three earliest memories and evaluate what they say about you and your private logic.
  6. Identify the lies you tell yourself - and refuse to believe them.
  7. Identify your primary love language - and those of your friends and family members.
  8. Decide how you need to act differently in your relationships - and then do it.
  9. Decide how you need to act differently in your work - and then do it.
  10. Give yourself a break. Everyone messes up sometimes. Each day's a new day.

June 4, 2014

From "How to Write More Successful Blog Posts"

The irony of today's post is twofold: Firstly, in order to have a successful blog, one must post on a schedule. Regrettably I have ruined that schedule by failing to post yesterday!

The second irony is that, while the points outlined by Dave Kerpen's article, "How to Write More Successful Blog Posts," are very important, I fail to follow them most of the time.

So here is a list of things I should be doing:
  1. Write an amazing headline
    • It's the only thing a potential reader sees
    • It is the catalyst for sharing
  2. Pictures are worth a thousand words
    • We are drawn to images; using them throughout your post will drive readers through to the "share" buttons!
  3. Bullet points are extremely useful
    • They attract the reader's attention
    • They make data simple and easy to understand
  4. Make your audience look good when they share
    • Will they look smarter, funnier, etc., to their network?
  5. Ask for engagement in your conclusion
    • Ask them to share, comment, etc.