Ask Yourself Two Questions To Help Prioritize Your Work

Ask Yourself Two Questions To Help Prioritize Your Work

Featured, Focus
If you work for a hands-off manager who doesn’t give you a ton of guidance, it falls on you to set priorities for your work. You can focus on the right things by asking yourself two questions: “What is my highest contribution?” Consider the organization’s needs and your unique strengths, experience, and capabilities. But don’t only focus on what you’re good at. Also ask yourself: “What am I passionate about?” Think about the projects and tasks you find most inspiring and where you’re able to make the most impact. Focusing your efforts there will motivate you to put in extra effort. The goal is to prioritize those activities and initiatives that show up on both your high-contribution and high-passion lists, while delegating or saying no to the daily churn of…
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Build Your Own Personal Board Of Directors

Build Your Own Personal Board Of Directors

Featured, Focus
If you’re looking to rise through your organization’s ranks, but aren’t sure how, consider creating a personal board of directors. This informal group comprises six to eight people who can help with your professional development. There are three types of people you should include. First, you need fans — people who support you and will deliver tough feedback with kindness and good intent. Second, recruit potential sponsors — senior leaders who can advocate for you when it’s time for a promotion. Third, include at least one critic. These people may be the toughest to approach, but they can be the most valuable. Look for people who have deep-seated perceptions of you and are likely to block you from advancing. If you enlist their help, you may be able to shift…
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Focus On The Basics

Focus On The Basics

Featured, Focus
There is a lot to take care of in business. Most business people focus on expanding. New customers, new products and services, etc. That expansion is crucial to growing your business. Just as important is the foundation that that business is built upon. As businesses grow, especially young businesses, there is a tendency to spread themselves thin in search of revenue. Business people think if someone is willing to pay for a something, they should offer it, whether or not it is their core competency. That leads to the company spreading out and losing focus. When you focus on your core competency, the revenue you are generating is worth more. Why? It takes less effort to generate revenue in your core competency than it is to provide whatever service happens…
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The Entrepreneur And The Side Hustle

The Entrepreneur And The Side Hustle

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured, Focus, Planning
The gig economy provides new ways for entrepreneurs to enhance their earning and in some cases provide funding for their ventures. A side hustle can be an amazing tool for entrepreneurs. More than money, they can offer new ways to meet people and a way to exercise different skills and abilities. There is, however, a downside. Depending on what your side hustle is, it may impede your ability to establish yourself in your entrepreneurial field. If your side hustle came first, you have (if you've been successful) created a brand for yourself in hat side hustle. You'll need to expand that brand or target a different audience. If you've been selling essential oils, that audience may not accept you as a web designer. Target different markets for each job. If…
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Why Use A Vision Board?

Why Use A Vision Board?

Featured, Focus
When discussing the law of attraction, many coaches talk about using a vision board. Aside from the idea of "putting your intentions into the universe" there are some real benefits to using vision boards. What is a vision board? A vision board is simply a collage. You can use a bulletin board or white or just a large piece of cardboard. On the board you place words and pictures related to what you want to achieve. It can be items you want, places you wish to go or goals you want to accomplish. Each day you spend a few minutes looking at the board and focusing on your goals. Why use a vision board? Stay on target: A vision board is a reminder. It keeps you focused on your goals…
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When Building a Business, Be Selective About The Work You Take On

When Building a Business, Be Selective About The Work You Take On

Featured, Focus
When you’re building a business, it’s obvious that you want to find lucrative projects. What’s less obvious is that, at a certain point, saying yes to all opportunities — even profitable ones — may actually thwart your future success. Why? If you take on too much, you’ll become spread too thin and risk prioritizing money over other important factors, such as learning. In the early days of your business, a project that tests and expands the limits of your skills is exactly what you should be looking for. But after a while, things that used to be novel no longer seem so interesting — and that’s when it’s tempting to say yes to something just for the money. Make sure to ask yourself: “Do I really want to do this…
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To Deal with Distractions, Retrain Your Brain to Focus

To Deal with Distractions, Retrain Your Brain to Focus

Featured, Focus
Focusing is hard — and blaming that on the constant distractions around us is easy. But trying to get rid of distractions isn’t enough to fix the problem. We also have to retrain our brains to concentrate. For example, when your work is interrupted by email, the real issue isn’t email; it's that being tethered to your inbox makes you expect an interruption every few minutes. To help your brain relearn to focus, try “single-tasking”: Open only one window on your computer screen, or give your full attention to a single task at a time. Also, practice noticing when your attention veers off course and then gently guiding it back to what you’re doing. If you think of something important while you’re doing focused work, jot it down on a…
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Concentrate Better By Starting A Mindfulness Routine

Concentrate Better By Starting A Mindfulness Routine

Featured, Focus
Sometimes it feels impossible to stay focused at work. Mindfulness can help. Studies have shown that people who have a mindfulness routine are less distractible and better at concentrating. You can develop your own routine by scheduling three 10-minute mindfulness sessions throughout your day. Put everything aside — close your email and the door to your office or a conference room — and bring your full attention to your breath. Don’t try to control it; just sense the full in-breath and the full out-breath. Of course, your mind is likely to wander — that’s normal. Don’t judge yourself for these runaway thoughts. Simply guide your attention back to your breathing and start over with the next breath. It’s the act of returning your focus to the breath that strengthens the…
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Schedule Your Most Important Work for When You’re Most Focused

Schedule Your Most Important Work for When You’re Most Focused

Featured, Focus
If you’re like most people, you struggle to maintain focus throughout the day. Maybe you’re distracted by your phone buzzing at your desk, or you can’t seem to stay off email and Facebook during meetings. Instead of beating yourself up, take steps to better understand your patterns. For one week, pay attention to when your focus waxes and wanes. What times of day are you able to concentrate? When do you find your focus faltering? Most people’s focus peaks in the morning and dips to its lowest after lunch. The pattern varies from person to person, so learn your specific pattern and use it to plan your day. Make sure your most important activities and meetings are scheduled around the times when your focus is strongest. Tackle lower-priority items when…
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Block Out Time for Solitude and Thinking

Block Out Time for Solitude and Thinking

Featured, Focus
The volume of information and stimuli coming at us every day makes it more difficult to focus than ever. To do the careful thinking that decision making and leadership require, you must step back from the noise of the world. Schedule 15-minute breaks at least once or twice a day to sit quietly in your office or take a walk. Commit to these breaks as you would any meeting or appointment; if you don’t schedule moments of quiet, something else will fill the time. Use them to think about your to-do list, especially the tasks you should stop doing. Solitude gives you the space to reflect on where your time is best spent. Try to get clarity on which meetings you should stop attending, which committees you should step down…
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