Posts Tagged “productivity”

Many highly successful people have spoken about the importance of their gratitude journal and the positive effect it has had on their life and success.

In this excerpt from Gratitude Journal: A Daily Tool to Unlock Your Power, Creativity, Success, Happiness and Love, LE Roberts writes about keeping a gratitude journal and the benefits.

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By Travis Bradberry

Starbucks continues to grow relentlessly, with CEO Howard Schultz just announcing plans to open 500 new stores a year over the next five years. Much of this growth will happen in China, where Schulz is undeterred by the recent economic slowdown.

While many factors contribute to Starbucks’ immunity to economic trends, most are driven by Schultz. Starbucks’ massive size hasn’t stopped him from realizing his vision of creating a company that’s about much more than making money selling coffee; Schultz is committed to selling an experience and a lifestyle, both of which are inspired by a trip to Italy as a child, where he was drawn to the cafe scene.

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By Dr. Travis Bradberry

You are the sum of your habits. When you allow bad habits to take over, they dramatically impede your path to success. The challenge is bad habits are insidious, creeping up on you slowly until you don’t even notice the damage they’re causing.

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” – Warren Buffett

Breaking bad habits requires self-control—and lots of it. Research indicates that it’s worth the effort, as self-control has huge implications for success.

University of Pennsylvania psychologists Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman conducted a study where they measured college students’ IQ scores and levels of self-control upon entering university. Four years later, they looked at the students’ grade point averages (GPA) and found that self-control was twice as important as IQ in earning a high GPA.

The self-control required to develop good habits (and stop bad ones) also serves as the foundation for a strong work ethic and high productivity. Self-control is like a muscle—to build it up you need to exercise it. Practice flexing your self-control muscle by breaking the following bad habits:

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By Dr. Travis Bradberry

At work, sharing the right aspects of yourself in the right ways is an art form. Disclosures that feel like relationship builders in the moment can wind up as obvious no-nos with hindsight.

Trouble is, you can’t build a strong professional network if you don’t open up to your colleagues. Doing so is tricky, because revealing the wrong things can have a devastating effect on your career.

You must know where the line is and be careful not to cross it, because once you share something, there is no going back.

TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results.

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By Gleb Reys

 

It is hardly a secret that the key to successfully accomplishing one goal after another is staying motivated. There are, of course, tasks which you may not like at all, yet you find motivation to complete even them because you recognize how each particular task serves a greater goal.

How exactly do some of us manage to stay motivated most of the time? Here are just a few ideas you can try:

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By Dr. Travis Bradberry

When emotional intelligence first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into what many people had always assumed was the sole source of success—IQ. Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack.

How much of an impact does emotional intelligence (EQ) have on your professional success? The short answer is: a lot! It’s a powerful way to focus your energy in one direction with a tremendous result. Of all the people we’ve studied at work, we’ve found that 90% of top performers have high EQs. You can be a top performer without emotional intelligence, but the chances are slim.

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By Leon Ho

Let’s face it, Google’s impressive search engine has almost all the answers that you could possibly be looking for. You think of a query or questions, and then you ‘just Google it.’

We spend on average four hours per week on Google searches. Seems implausible? Think of all the times that you don’t quite get the search result you want. You may make several different efforts at entering search phrases. Not only that, but even if you enter the correct search phrase, you may need to have scrolled through pages of listings before finding exactly what you were looking for.

Your time is precious, don’t waste it with inefficient web searches. I’m going to introduce to you several little-known Google search tricks to supercharge your online searching! Here are 7 Google Search Tricks to Make Your Searches 10 Times Faster and Better.

 

1. Use the Exact Phrase

If you’re looking for something specific, then make sure you search by using the exact phrase. For example, if you’re looking to find out Tom Cruise’s height, type in the exact phrase into the Google search bar as follows: “Top Gun” This will instantly return only articles or websites that contain that exact phrase. (Please note that the “___” is what tells Google you’re only wanting exact phrase results.)

2. Exclude Terms With Minus

This second tip is actually an extension of the first one. Staying with Top Gun, let’s say your exact phrase search “Top Gun” brings up dozens of articles that mention Tom Cruise. You could trim down the results list by excluding the word Cruise.

To do this, you need to use the minus symbol before the word you want to exclude. Here’s how it should look: “Top Gun” -Cruise

3. Say Hello to *

In Google searches, the asterisk (*) offers two clever tricks.

Firstly, it can help Google find a missing word in a phrase or quote. For example, try searching for this: Whether you *that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right I’ll leave you to discover the missing word and author of this quote.

The second trick the asterisk can perform is to search all words starting with a specific word. For instance, if you search: inst* This will bring up not just results with the words inst in it, and also variants such as instagram, institute and instructure.

4. Make OR Your Search Friend

This tip is super easy to use, and is a bit like going into a coffee shop and saying: “I don’t mind which cake I have, and I’m happy with either chocolate OR lemon.” In the virtual world, if you are unsure of the best search, or would like to do a multiple search at the same time, use the OR function. Here’s an example of how it should look: Batman or Thor This search will return results for both Batman and Thor. (Some results may be separate, others may contain both searched terms.)

5. Use Synonym Searches

I’m sure you’ve come across times when you can’t remember the exact name of an establishment or website. Your initial searches fail to find what you’re looking for. In cases like this, you might want to try a synonym search. How does it work? Well, let’s say that you were looking for Cafe Days in Haledon, New Jersey. But wait… you’re not sure if it’s Days or Daze? The quickest way to resolve this is to type the following into the search bar: Cafe Days Haledon ~Daze Google will immediately give you the answer you’re looking for.

6. Search Between Two Values

I’m guessing that you won’t have come across this search tip before. However, it’s a super useful one to know about. For example, have you ever wanted to quickly find a list of U.S. presidents between certain years? Google can make this really easy for you. All you need to do is enter the following search phrase: U.S. presidents 1950.. 2000 In this example, the phrase will quickly return results showing all the U.S. presidents that served between 1950 and 2000. Just to be clear, the “..” followed by a space is what triggers this search function.

7. Bring up Related Sites

I personally use this handy search function a lot. It allows you to find websites similar to other websites. This is best explained with an example. Let’s say that you love going to National Geographic’s website, but you’d also like to see what other similar websites are available. Here’s what you need to type into the Google search bar: related:nationalgeographic.comThis search will instantly return a list of similar sites to National Geographic. As I mentioned earlier, a super useful function.

Save Time and Frustration with Lightning-Fast Google Searches

You want to find your football team’s latest score.

You need advice on how to make a claim on your insurance.

You’d love to know just how high your favorite mountain is.

The list of possible searches is endless, but by using the seven tips I recommend in this article, you’ll save yourself valuable time, energy and headache.

Whether at work or at home, you’ll find yourself being able to pinpoint information in super-quick time. You’ll also find yourself having a new relationship with the internet. One where you are a confident and masterful commander.

I’m sure this article will give you everything you need to be a rapid-fire Google searcher, but if you need anymore information – just Google it!

 

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By Dr. Travis Bradberry

Having close access to ultra-successful people can yield some pretty incredible information about who they really are, what makes them tick, and, most importantly, what makes them so successful and productive.

“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” – Vaibhav Shah

Kevin Kruse is one such person. He recently interviewed over 200 ultra-successful people, including 7 billionaires, 13 Olympians, and a host of accomplished entrepreneurs. One of his most revealing sources of information came from their answers to a simple open-ended question:

“What is your number one secret to productivity?”

In analyzing their responses, Kruse coded the answers to yield some fascinating suggestions. What follows are some of my favorites from Kevin’s findings.

 

1. They focus on minutes, not hours. 

Most people default to hour and half-hour blocks on their calendar; highly successful people know that there are 1,440 minutes in every day and that there is nothing more valuable than time. Money can be lost and made again, but time spent can never be reclaimed. As legendary Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller told Kevin, “To this day, I keep a schedule that is almost minute by minute.” You must master your minutes to master your life.

 

2. They focus on only one thing. 

Ultra-productive people know what their “Most Important Task” is and work on it for one to two hours each morning, without interruptions. What task will have the biggest impact on reaching your goals? What accomplishment will get you promoted at work? That’s what you should dedicate your mornings to every day.

 

3. They don’t use to-do lists. 

Throw away your to-do list; instead schedule everything on your calendar. It turns out that only 41% of items on to-do lists ever get done. All those undone items lead to stress and insomnia because of the Zeigarnik effect, which, in essence, means that uncompleted tasks will stay on your mind until you finish them. Highly productive people put everything on their calendar and then work and live by that calendar.

 

4. They beat procrastination with time travel. 

Your future self can’t be trusted. That’s because we are time inconsistent. We buy veggies today because we think we’ll eat healthy salads all week; then we throw out green rotting mush in the future. Successful people figure out what they can do now to make certain their future selves will do the right thing. Anticipate how you will self-sabotage in the future, and come up with a solution today to defeat your future self.

 

5. They make it home for dinner. 

Kevin first learned this one from Intel’s Andy Grove, who said, “There is always more to be done, more that should be done, always more than can be done.” Highly successful people know what they value in life. Yes, work, but also what else they value. There is no right answer, but for many, these other values include family time, exercise, and giving back. They consciously allocate their 1,440 minutes a day to each area they value (i.e., they put them on their calendar), and then they stick to that schedule.

 

6. They use a notebook. 

Richard Branson has said on more than one occasion that he wouldn’t have been able to build Virgin without a simple notebook, which he takes with him wherever he goes. In one interview, Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis said, “Always carry a notebook. Write everything down. . .. That is a million dollar lesson they don’t teach you in business school!” Ultra-productive people free their minds by writing everything down as the thoughts come to them.

7. They process e-mails only a few times a day. 

Ultra-productive people don’t “check” their e-mail throughout the day. They don’t respond to each vibration or ding to see who has intruded into their inbox. Instead, like everything else, they schedule time to process their e-mails quickly and efficiently. For some, that’s only once a day; for others, it’s morning, noon, and night.

 

8. They avoid meetings at all costs. 

When Kevin asked Mark Cuban to give his best productivity advice, he quickly responded, “Never take meetings unless someone is writing a check.” Meetings are notorious time killers. They start late, have the wrong people in them, meander around their topics, and run long. You should get out of meetings whenever you can and hold fewer of them yourself. If you do run a meeting, keep it short and to the point.

 

9. They say “no” to almost everything. 

Billionaire Warren Buffet once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” And James Altucher colorfully gave Kevin this tip: “If something is not a ‘Hell Yeah!’ then it’s a no.” Remember, you only have 1,440 minutes in a day. Don’t give them away easily.

 

10. They follow the 80/20 rule. 

Known as the Pareto Principle, in most cases, 80% of results come from only 20% of activities. Ultra-productive people know which activities drive the greatest results. Focus on those and ignore the rest.

 

11. They delegate almost everything. 

Ultra-productive people don’t ask, “How can I do this task?” Instead, they ask, “How can this task get done?” They take the out of it as much as possible. Ultra-productive people don’t have control issues, and they are not micro-managers. In many cases, good enough is, well, good enough.

 

12. They touch things only once. 

How many times have you opened a piece of regular mail—a bill perhaps—and then put it down, only to deal with it again later? How often do you read an e-mail and then close it and leave it in your inbox to deal with later? Highly successful people try to “touch it once.” If it takes less than five or ten minutes—whatever it is—they deal with it right then and there. It reduces stress, since it won’t be in the back of their minds, and it is more efficient, since they won’t have to re-read or re-evaluate the item again in the future.

 

13. They practice a consistent morning routine. 

Kevin’s single greatest surprise while interviewing over 200 highly successful people was how many of them wanted to share their morning ritual with him. While he heard about a wide variety of habits, most nurtured their bodies in the morning with water, a healthy breakfast, and light exercise, and they nurtured their minds with meditation or prayer, inspirational reading, or journaling.

 

14. Energy is everything. 

You can’t make more minutes in the day, but you can increase your energy to increase your attention, focus, and productivity. Highly successful people don’t skip meals, sleep, or breaks in the pursuit of more, more, more. Instead, they view food as fuel, sleep as recovery, and breaks as opportunities to recharge in order to get even more done.

 

Bringing It All Together

You might not be an entrepreneur, an Olympian, or a billionaire (or even want to be), but their secrets just might help you to get more done in less time and assist you to stop feeling so overworked and overwhelmed.

What do you do to stay productive? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

Special thanks to Kevin Kruse for assistance with this post.

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By Brian Lee

An adult has an average of 50,000 thoughts every day. Now try to recall 100 of those thoughts from earlier today. Pretty hard, right?

It’s normal to forget most of them as our brains have to filter out unnecessary information so that we don’t go insane. 1 The problem is that we forget a lot of great ideas along the way.

Great ideas often come when a person is unprepared

Most of the time great ideas come when your brain is in “diffused mode”: Thoughts come to you in this state when you’re not intently focused, like when you’re daydreaming or zoning out in the shower.  Creative ideas come to us during this state of mind because this is when our minds are the most relaxed. This is when our brains connect different neural pathways to come up with brand new ideas (the same as how creativity allows us to connect the dots, our brains do this naturally in this state).  The problem is that because our brains are so relaxed, there’s no intention to mark down ideas that come along.

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By Dr. Travis Bradberry

When it comes to productivity, we all face the same challenge — there are only 24 hours in a day. Since even the best ideas are worthless until they’re executed, how efficiently you use your time is as important as anything else in business.

I’ve become fascinated by productivity secrets because some people seem to have twice the time, and there’s no better way to reach your goals than by finding ways to do more with the precious time you’ve been given.

It feels incredible when you leave the office after an ultra-productive day. It’s a workplace high that’s hard to beat. In my experience you don’t need to work longer or push yourself harder — you just need to work smarter.

 

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