Expert advice for keeping on task

Our friends at Under30CEO polled a number of successful entrepreneurs to find out what they do to keep on task, even with hectic schedules. Some of the ideas are technologies, others are behaviors, some are attitudes. Enjoy the list:

  1. Turn off the Dopamine Drip — Break your addiction to email and social media. Use them wisely.
  2. Make Yourself Accountable — A challenge when you are the boss and don’t have someone to hold you accountable. As Nike says, “Just Do It.”
  3. Segment Time into Tasks — Focus on the most important things and dedicate time to them.
  4. Keep Certain Rituals — Regularly doing things such as planning your next day the night before can help you make sure you are prepared.
  5. Manage Tasks with ANY.DO — An Android-based task list
  6. Work Well with Wunderlist — I use this one on my Apple products, iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Air. You can even share lists with team members.
  7. Leave it all to Asana — an online productivity app. I’ve not played with it yet, but it looks interesting…
  8. Touch Base with the Team — keeping people in the loop daily helps keep coordinated and provide accountability
  9. Learn to Reset Yourself — Figure out how to get back on track when distracted — then remember how you did it for the future!
  10. Stick to a Critical Triad — Don’t mistake busy for productive, ask “What 3 critical tasks must I get done today?”
  11. Multitasking is Overrated — It is best to try to focus on just one thing at a time. Try carving out time so you can do this…
  12. Stay in the Moment — Don’t get overwhelmed with all you think you have to do. Just do what you need to now and attend to the other stuff in its turn.
  13. Set Ground Rules — As a leader, you have to give time to others, but need time for what you must do, too. Make it clear when people can or should interact and hold them to it.

What things do you do to keep on task? Why not share them below?

13 Ways to Manage Your (Hectic) Schedule and Stay On Task at Under30CEO

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How to succeed in networking without really trying (too hard)

The title got my attention: The Lazy Way to Build Relationships. A mentor years ago made the point that he was “ambitiously lazy” — he always sought the way to be most effective in everything he did so be wouldn’t have to work any harder than he had to. The first thoughts were that the author, Jun Loayza, would rather do a lot of things and not network, yet he still is able to expand his network weekly. Jun’s secret? He doesn’t really seek to network, but create relationships. How? Here are his key steps:

  • Find your why. Leaders know why they are doing things and can explain that to others. Give people a reason to connect with you.
  • Ask Friends for introductions. When you know and can share your why, your friends will know people who could be mutually beneficial to know. Ask them. Also, check your connections’ LinkedIn accounts. If you see people who can help you, ask your connections for the introduction.
  • Use tools like Skype to be personal yet effective. We are busy people. Breaking up the day for out od office meetings is not always the most effective use of your time. Skype, FaceTime, or other tools, while not as good as live meetings, are a great way to balance the need for face theme with the need to be productive at the office. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t have lunch or coffee with others, but make sure Thet payoff is worth the interruption.
  • Make yourself available. If people can’t get hold of you, you cannot build relationships. You will need to balance access and interruption, but being available and accessible is allows you to strengthen connections into real relationships.

The Lazy Way to Build Relationships at The Personal Branding Blog

Eating Right — What We Can All Agree On

The updated USDA food pyramid, published in 20...

The updated USDA food pyramid, published in 2005, is a general nutrition guide for recommended food consumption for humans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nutrition is a hotbed topic, and there are lots of views on what really is right for people to eat. Kris Gunnars, a blogger at io9.com, posted a thoughtful post about consensus ideas, regardless of your approach to nutrition. The article does a good job of sharing those varied points, so check out the full article:

  1. Added sugar is a disaster. 
  2. Omega-3 Fats are crucial and most people don’t get enough
  3. There is no perfect diet for everyone
  4. Trans fats are very unhealthy and should be avoided
  5. Eating vegetables will improve your health
  6. It is critical to avoid a vitamin D deficiency
  7. Refined carbohydrates are bad for you
  8. Supplements can never fully replace real foods
  9. “Diets” don’t work, a lifestyle change is necessary
  10. Unprocessed food is healthiest

Hard to argue with this list, isn’t it? How many of these do you really live by?

The Rules of Good Nutrition (That Absolutely Everybody Agrees On) at io9.com

Finding the Secret

I love the people at Under 30 CEO. They find really insightful people to share their secrets on any number of topics. Entrepreneur Chuck Wall, no longer an Under-30, but a sage none the less, has offered up The Secret to Your Business Success. Here are some he has considered. Can you guess the one he believes today?

  • Listen to Customers
  • Learn to Sell
  • Mitigate Risk

His answer? Listen to your customers instead of yourself. (Did I fool you putting it first?)

When you think about it, doesn’t that really cover the other two? Good selling is about learning what it is your customers need and then giving it to them. By understanding what they really want you will cut your exposure, too. Chuck offers four tips to help you listen to your customers:

  1. Get a clue
  2. Listen to customers’ ideas about everything
  3. Quit expecting to find the answers in Big Data alone
  4. Discover the why in Big Insight

The Secret to Your Business Success at Under 30 CEO

 

 

Poison Phrases for Business

Over on the Inc. blogs, Peter Gasca recently wrote a great article, 5 Most Destructive Phrases in Business. I know from personal experience coming up in the business world that these are poison phases that lead to lost opportunity. Further, they are poison in just about any relationship, after all they are all about unbelief, fear, and doubt:

  1. “I can’t (fill in the blank).”
  2. “That’s not the way it’s done.”
  3. “That’s impossible.”
  4. “If we only had money.”
  5. “The problem is (fill in the blank).”

Sure, you might not personally be able to do something, but that means that the job is bigger than you…you need a team. Why not go find it and take on the challenge? Why not choose to grow into the leader who can get it done?

Now let me be clear, I am not talking about violating your values. But when confronted with a problem/challenge, look carefully and see if there really is a values issue involved. Sometimes people cloak their personal fears in terms of their values to avoid confronting them. So live your values, but challenge your beliefs.

If you want to grow your business, eradicate these phrases from your lexicon. If you want to succeed in your family, eradicate these phrases from your lexicon. Create new ones like these:

  • “Working together, we can (fill in the blank).”
  • “How can we do this better?”
  • “Who will help us get the money?”
  • “Let’s figure out a solution to this challenge.”

5 Most Destructive Phrases in Business at Inc.

Gratitude made clear

Readers of my blogs know that I am a big fan of gratitude. It really is “the secret sauce” that makes live savory and delicious. It is the real fuel of success that beats away fear and doubt when things get tough. Marc over at Marc and Angel Hack Life wrote a great post just in time for Easter to help us realize that we have so much to be grateful for. Here are his 6 Reasons Someone Wishes They Were You:

  1. You are educated enough to read this.
  2. You are reasonably healthy.
  3. You have the freedom to choose.
  4. You have enough wealth to live comfortably.
  5. You have a home.
  6. You still have a chance.

Now, you may be thinking that all six are not true for you. but if you are reading this, I guarantee you that numbers 1 and 6 are true, and because they are, you have the ability to make all the rest true. But even if only one or two are true, there are people who wish they were you because of them.

Be grateful for the many blessings you have. That gratitude, harnessed and put into action, will make your dreams come true.

6 Reasons Someone Wishes They Were You at Marc and Angel Hack Life

The Power of Gratitude at Dwayne Baptist and Associates

 

The Job Hunting Front and Getting Noticed

Resume Bar for Nick Begley. Source: ABC News
Resume Bar for Nick Begley. Source: ABC News

Resume Bar for Nick Begley. Source: ABC News

I have seen several interesting job hunting-related articles and posts around the internet recently. Let me share some of them with you.

If you are looking to hire, are you looking at prospects’ social media? Much of it is accessible to the public. Our friends over at Under 30 CEO wrote a post in favor of studying a candidate’s social media. You will learn several things, including:

  • Consistency. Do they say the same things to others they did to you?
  • Communication style. Did they write that awesome resume? Really?
  • What do others think?  …and they weren’t even asked…
  • Modernity. The world is changing. Are they?
  • Reputation. Yours, that is. Customers might run searches on people they are dealing with. Will the candidate embarrass you?

So, this is what employers might be doing. What are you doing to get noticed? You might turn your resume into a candy bar, just as Nick Begley did. Nick’s creativity and hard work paid off, too. I wrote about this and the job hunting environment in a recently published blog post, too. In the end, job hunting is about connection. Are you taking responsibility for your connections?

As you think creatively, be sure you get your story straight. This post by Maggie Tomas at Women of HR reminds us of some of the things we need to do to be ready for an interview. Key points:

  • Know why you want to make the change. Tell your story in a positive way that focuses on the position in question.
  • Be ready to prove your past success in the new role’s core competencies. You want to show that you really do have the goods. Don’t leave this to chance.
  • Demonstrate that you have researched the company. You pay a high compliment to others when you get to know them. You might also be able to link your story to their passions, creating a stronger connection, and perhaps even a new job…

There are lots to think about in the job hunting world. But if you remember that it is about connection in the end, you will do the hard work to reach your goal.

Are you looking for success?

My friend and mentor Ed DeCosta has a great blog about success. (If you don’t like to read, he publishes it as a v-blog, too, just scroll to the bottom of the page.) In his latest installment, Seeing What You’re Looking For, Ed explains the science of success and our “Reticular Activating System” (RAS), that part of our subconscious that sees things that are important to us. RAS is the reason you see your new car’s model everywhere you drive. Your subconscious has alerted your conscious to be on the lookout.

As Ed points out, success works the same way. When we write out our goals, we let our subconscious know they are important to us, and it alerts the conscious mind to be on the lookout and tell it when things related to our goal appear. When you do, you begin to see what you are looking for.

Are you looking for success? Then read what Ed has to say. It is truly “Ed-ifying!”

Seeing What You’re Looking For