5 Ways to Get More Done in One Day

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I’ve used these techniques while attending graduate school, running a small business, and maintaining a somewhat balanced life. In short, I’ve always been fascinated by efficiency and ways to become more productive. After all, why are some people so much more productive than others? What is their secret? Is there anything I can do to become a lot more productive without killing myself in the process?

1. Do The Thing You Want to Avoid

As a coach, if there is one thing I notice constantly, it is the fact that most of us are sabotaged by our own minds. That’s a scary thought isn’t it? How could our own minds be working against us and even trying to kill us in many instances?

Well, the answer is complicated and involves evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and sociological influences. Since I don’t have time to write a thesis on this inner saboteur, I just ask that you become an astute observer of your own life and realize that you are not alone in this reality.

There are certain daily tasks that you probably try to avoid the most. It is often these tasks that are the most important to get done for your personal and professional growth trajectories. Try to form the habit of tackling the most important task first and you will be miles ahead of your past self. Getting small stuff done DOES NOT help you get important stuff done. Forget the small stuff for now.

2. Set an Automatic Time Announcement

On my laptop, I have an option on my computer clock, which enables the time to be announced in specific time increments. I set mine to every fifteen minutes while working. This way, you are reminded about your actual progress during the day as time goes by and it reminds to get something done before the next announcement. Try it. It’s a nice little trick.

3. Use Audiobooks in Your Car

It is amazing how many skills I’ve gained by simply getting audiobooks from the library. Every time I get in my car, an audio CD is playing. I’ve listened to library CDs on productivity, sales, marketing, business, motivation, etc.

If you go online and log into your local library, you can request hundreds of audio books on different subjects.

I’m reading an extra 2-3 books per month jus by riding around in my car and letting these materials seep into my subconscious. More so, would I really read some of these books if I weren’t listening to them on audio CD? I might not have the patience to read some of them in book form.

4. Wake Up One Hour Earlier.

Start getting up one hour earlier because this is often early before many distractions start infiltrating your brain, which prevent you from achieving certain results. Even if you are just getting up to plan your day, you will become more efficient by utilizing this planning time and even some morning meditation after you set your daily plan.

This one-hour extra of productivity per day could become a gold mine of ideas that will enhance your career. In addition, it could be utilized as your workout time. I’ve personally noticed that when I do an aerobic workout before the workday I feel better and more serene.  It seems like a small change, but it can produce huge results.

5. Put Away Your Phone

Stop following the herd with your face stuck in your phone. When you are working, put your phone in your bag away from your face and don’t check it for at least an hour. Stop getting distracted like the average neurotic millennial walking around. Your phone is mostly a distraction and nothing more. Very rarely is it actually a tool helping you get work done. Practice staying concentrated on one task for longer periods. You will start outperforming your peers who are constantly distracted. This is an incredible skill to develop.

Become conscious that marketers, corporations, etc. are trying to distract you constantly and they do not have your interest at heart. These marketing distractions are increasingly creeping into the screen of your phone.

There you have it. Five ways to get more done today. Start employing some or all of these techniques and let me know about your progress.

Creative Ways to Find a Job

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I frequently listen to others around me and notice the anxiety associated with joblessness. Work contains within it an avenue to more self-esteem and creativity. I know that when I’ve spent periods without a job something just doesn’t feel right and I soon venture out looking for more work. It seems we must be engaged with some kind of industrious activity to “feel good” and this is especially true when our work is a way to serve others brighten their futures.

Being Desperate for a Job

The problem with being unemployed is that it can soon turn into desperation. After all, what if you have a mortgage payment, rent, or kids in school? You have to provide for these life necessities so fear can take over quickly. As you probably already know, this is a difficult pickle to experience because this desperation can set off a chain reaction that leads to a downward spiral.

We know, in general, that people are not attracted to other desperate people. We are attracted to others who are confident and possess an attitude of outward service. If you are unemployed, try to remember this reality. You need to somehow embody a presence of abundance and confidence even though you presently don’t have a job. An employer, just like most people in the world, will be more attracted to a person with these qualities. How can you be confident and abundant when search for a job?

Offer an Employer a Solution

One of my favorite lessons to review is one from Earl Nightingale in which he describes a friend of his who went searching for a job during the depression. Nightingale describes that his friend would research the job sector where he wanted to find employment. After thorough researching the sector and talking to people within it, he would approach an employer and say something like “I believe I know a few specific ways your business can be greatly expanded if you’d let me explain for a few minutes.” Of course, when the employer saw this person had a lot of value to offer the company, the job was given to him.

Can you see the difference between someone like this offering a solution and someone who is basically begging for a job out of desperation? If you were an employer and someone is coming to you and saying “I’ll do anything, just give me a chance.” Well, that’s just not as enticing as someone who already put in the work to read about your business, sector, and is already offering creative solutions for your business.

So what can you provide an employer specifically? How can you and your specific skillset improve their business outlook? Can do something that will specifically help them? Do you have any specific knowledge that most people going to the interview do not possess? These are things to consider.

Remember, you are unique. We are all unique in our skillsets. If you know this in your heart, there is no reason to be desperate. All you have to do is convey how your unique persona and skillset will benefit the employer. After all, they would be lucky to find someone like you.

Turn around the entire dynamic. Turn the tables against the fear-ridden mind. Read about the employer and show them you understand their business, technologies, and ways they could possibly improve. 90% of applicants won’t even bother to do this basic research so you are already ahead of the game.

Walk into an Office

If you want to stand out, maybe you could walk into the office of somewhere that is hiring and show your face. Present yourself with a pleasant attitude and let them know you’d like to find a position with their company. This method has worked wonders for people because a face is worth a thousand words on a job application. A first impression could land you a job quickly over others just submitting online applications with no immediate presence.

Tell Your Friends

You’ve probably heard a million times that most people find jobs through other people they know. Well, have you bothered to shoot an email or make a social media post saying you are now presently available and you possess these specific skillsets?

Again, remember the desperation part we talked about previously. You can let your network understand your past achievements and the value you bring to any employer. Let them know specific times during the day you could talk on the phone. You are not desperate, you’re available help an organization if they’re fortunate enough to land you as an employee. After all, you probably already have a track record demonstrating how you’ve increased value for an organization.

5 Characteristics of Outstanding Leaders

There are five main characteristics I like to focus on when considering the aspects of an outstanding leader. There are not many complete leaders who have all of these qualities, but we can strive to improve these areas so you can become more effective when leading others.

male holding his tie with text saying "follow me".

Holding a Vision

There is a good chance the people you are leading really want to achieve lasting change, but they don’t know how. There is a temptation for us to step in and “fix” them and do things, which can be accomplished by themselves. You must resist this urge. You can hold a vision of your people, which reflects their future “potential”.

Help them see the vision of their potential. They may need someone like you to show them a new vision of possibilities. Remember, most people don’t really believe they are capable of achieving worthwhile goals.

Keeping Strong Boundaries

The irony of leadership is that people will respect you more if you keep strong boundaries and hold them accountable. You can witness this in all areas of sports. Have you noticed some of the toughest coaches are the ones most loved by their players?

It’s because the players understand the coach is holding them accountable and fostering personal growth in each of them. You can do the same as a leader. Hold people accountable for deadlines. Explain that you are keeping boundaries to help them grow. Require someone to show up for him or herself. They will respect you a lot for holding these strong boundaries.

Challenging Others to be Better

You might think that “supporting” someone is a good idea while holding a position of leadership, but what is “support”? Are you just solidifying bad habits in people by always letting things slide and not stretching them towards something better? You may clearly see that someone is capable of much more than presently demonstrated.

This is your chance to stretch their limits. Give them a new responsibility, which will challenge their current position. Give them new authority and see how they respond. Often, your closest friends or family “support” you, but they aren’t challenging you to be better. If you can see more potential in someone, let him or her know and push a little. They will usually respond and become more effective.

Increasing Your Options

Similarly to holding a vision for someone while holding a position of leadership, you should always increase options for people. Give them pathways to stretch and become something greater in the future. Many people you are leading cannot see options for themselves. This is where you can provide an incredible service to them. Suggest a promotion or a training course for them. Ask them if they have ever considered pursuing a position of leadership. What are they currently doing to prepare themselves?

Creating Change that Lasts

Creating lasting change in someone proves that you are a very affective leader. Remember to not challenge a client or coworker too much at once. You are just looking for them to accomplish baby steps. This is the secret. Small changes produce huge results. If you challenge them too much at once or over complicate something, they will run in fear or quit. This is human nature. We can’t handle too much change at once and will avoid this seemingly painful transition if possible.

Giving someone the knowledge to change is easy.  Knowledge doesn’t create behavior change. There are endless books and programs to help us change, but how many of them work in the long run? This is why outstanding leaders are paid a lot of money. They understand how to accomplish behavior change in other people so they can feel better while achieving dreams. Leaders of this quality keep things simple and outline simple, clear steps for clients or workers. This clarity allows someone to accept the challenge without their primordial brain rearing its head and preventing them from taking a small risk towards change.

So remember these five leadership characteristics. Vision, boundaries, challenging others, increasing your options, and creating long term change will produce miracles in others and any organization. Of course, every leader is different and brings their own flavor of creativity to the overall process, but these characteristics are stubbornly apparent in outstanding leaders everywhere and throughout history.