Manage the Endless Stream of Email by Setting Boundaries

Manage the Endless Stream of Email by Setting Boundaries

Communication, Featured, Process
One of the reasons email is so hard to manage is that sending it is easy. We can fill up each other’s inboxes by just clicking a button — which is why it’s important to set boundaries around email. Harvard Business Review recommends trying three things: Use autoreplies. When you need time to focus on work, your email autoreply can tell people that you’re unavailable and when you’ll get back to them. Whether you’ll reply in a day or a week, let people know what to expect. (And in the meantime, give yourself permission to ignore messages that can wait.)Set guidelines for your team. Tell people how and when you prefer to communicate, and ask colleagues and clients about their preferences as well. Don’t forget to revisit this discussion when people join…
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The Problem With Processes

The Problem With Processes

Featured, Process
Having a process is the best way to get things done. Following a process means you go step by step with no variations. It ensures that the same quality is achieved no matter who follows the process. Customers get the same thing they expect me and time. It's what makes McDonald's so successful. Customers know what to expect and they get it time after time. A process only works when all the pieces stay the same. In a world dependent on software and social media, change is inevitable. When there is a change in one part of the process and you don't adapt, the process is not effective. In the online world, Google and Facebook change their algorithms on a regular basis. Doing the same thing that got you noticed…
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Why An Ecosystem Works For Your Business

Why An Ecosystem Works For Your Business

Featured, Improvement, Process
Companies offer all kinds of products and services to help you build your business. At The Modern Observer Group, we offer an ecosystem of products and services that can be used individually or in conjunction with other. What is the advantage of using services that are part of ecosystem? The fact is that no segment of your business runs in a vacuum. Each part of your business affects every other part. For example, you can focus on your branding and create exactly the brand you want to portray. However, if you don't have proper processes in place a customer can have a terrible experience when they interact with your business. If that happens, all the time, money and energy you spent building your brand has just gone out the window.…
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Structuring Your Business Plan

Structuring Your Business Plan

Featured, Improvement, Process
When starting a business, a plan is a great starting point to make sure you understand all the elements of your business. Once you are in business, it is a great exercise to do every few years. This lets you examine where your business has gone and the changes that have occurred. To keep your business plan simple, here is a structure to follow. Executive Summary If you had two minutes going down an escalator with a potential investor, you should talk her through your executive summary. This should answer questions such as: What is your company’s mission? Why is it important to you? Why do you think your company can make money pursuing that mission? What is your track record of winning? How much money do you need? What…
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Make Your Meeting More Effective By Following Up

Make Your Meeting More Effective By Following Up

Featured, Process
It’s easy to think that your work is done when you walk out of a meeting. But the decisions made in the room will only be effective if you carefully follow up. Start by writing a succinct summary note, describing what was discussed and clear action steps. Attach any notes from the meeting. Draft this in a way that allows others to forward your message to anyone who missed the meeting or who cares about what occurred. Record any task due dates in your calendar so you can make sure they’re completed. If there’s someone who has a particular stake in the meeting outcome, such as your boss, follow up in person to make sure they’re aware of the decisions made and next steps. Finally, spend some time reflecting on…
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How To Achieve More By Doing Less

How To Achieve More By Doing Less

Featured, Process
There are more demands on our time than ever before. Being constantly connected means even when we're not working, we are working, blurring the lines of work and home. Sometimes we need an extra hour (or more). Instead of trying to cram more into your already crowded schedule, here are some tips for getting more done by doing less. Take more breaks: When we have an important project due, we tend to become hyper focused on it. Studies have shown you can get more done by getting away from the project periodically, letting in simmer in your subconscious, and then coming back with fresh eyes. Regularly changing the type of activity you’re performing throughout the day allows your brain to perform at its highest capacity and get more done in…
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Are You Setting Too Many Goals?

Are You Setting Too Many Goals?

Featured, Process
Setting too many goals, like setting unrealistic goals, or setting really broad goals can prevent us from actually accomplishing them. This doesn't mean don't set big goals, it just means you need to choose your goals properly. Before setting a goal, ask yourself some questions. Why you are setting it. Is it something you really want or need to do? How much else do you have on your plate? If this new goal is not going to improve your life and it is going to overwhelm you or cause excessive stress, ditch it. Your time is valuable. You should spend it only on the most important goals?Can you achieve it? Honestly evaluate whether you have the skills and resources you need to accomplish your goal. If you are not confident…
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Define Your Success

Define Your Success

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Improvement, Process
Everybody says they want to succeed. Whether it is their home life, their job, or their business, people want to be successful. Most of them never feel that are successful for one simple reason. They have not defined what success is. Success means different things to different people. For some it can mean running their own company. For others it means having the time to spend with their family. For still more it can be having the financial freedom not to worry about bills. No two peopled fine success exactly the same way. The first step to being successful is to define what it means to you. Take the time to figure out what success looks like to you. Close your eyes and try to imagine what you would be…
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Get Comfortable With Uncertainty

Get Comfortable With Uncertainty

Featured, Planning, Process
You hear it as an excuse all the time. People can be talking about the stock market, an election, their business or their family, they are worried about uncertainty. What most people won't acknowledge is that everything is uncertain. Unless you have a crystal ball that sees the future, you can never be certain. You may think you know what is going to happen, but you can't force or control all of the variables that happen. A driver could crash on the highway. The resulting traffic jam could delay an important shipment. A sudden failure at your internet provider could keep you from accessing the cloud software you need to complete your project. Successful people don't worry about uncertainty, they plan for it. Things go wrong all the time. What…
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You Manage Your Work, Do The Same WIth Your Life

You Manage Your Work, Do The Same WIth Your Life

Featured, Process
The word economics sends many people into a panic. Complex equations pop into their heads and they shudder. The word economics literally means household rules. While you may not want to learn the ins and outs of Econ 101, you should apply the same rules you use for business to your personal life. Here are some simple ways to start: Time Management: Use calendars and to do lists to manage household chores and appointments. Keep everything in a central location, rather than sticking post-it notes in random locations. For families, use a single system that everyone has access and delegate tasks to specific family members. Accounting and budgeting: Think of your life as Life, Inc. Keep track of expenses and categorize them. Budget how much you have for each category.…
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