Start With The End In Mind

Start With The End In Mind

Featured, Process
Anything you start has to have a finish, a final goal that the action or project you are embarking on is meant to achieve. In most projects you reach a point where you can stop but the results aren't perfect. Many people simply end a project when the deadline hits whether it is finished or not. To maximize your productivity, you need to define what done is when you start. For each project, whether it is redecorating a room, writing a presentation, or building a business you need to imagine what the final result looks like. You should define the result in as much detail as possible. Ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish and why you are doing this. A useful tool for this is asking why five…
Read More
Be Productive Not Busy

Be Productive Not Busy

Featured, Improvement, Process
It's a common response. How are things going? Busy. It comes out of our mouths almost by itself. The truth of the matter is we shouldn't be busy. Even if we have a lot going on, we should be striving to be productive, not busy. What's the difference? Busy is things are happening. Productive is things are getting done. So how can we more productive? Write things down: Have a place where you write everything down. It doesn't matter if it is in a document, a spreadsheet, a pad, or post-its. What does matter is that you are putting everything a single place that you look at frequently. It doesn't help to write yourself a note if that note is buried under a stack on your desk. Write it down…
Read More
Do You Have A Professional Bucket List?

Do You Have A Professional Bucket List?

Featured, Improvement, Process
People talk about bucket lists in personal terms. They have places they want to go and things they want to do. What about your professional life? Very few people put together a professional bucket list, things you want to do in your career. Why would you do this? Many people either take their career as it comes or phrase what they want in general terms: a promotion, a raise, etc. Putting together a bucket list forces you to describe very specifically what you want to accomplish in your career. Do you want to own your own business? What kind of business? Why do you want it? Putting together a bucket list gives you and opportunity to clarify your professional goals. Why do you want to o this? Without knowing where…
Read More
The Danger Of An Automatic Process

The Danger Of An Automatic Process

Featured, Process
At The Modern Observer Group we create processes for our clients. Processes for social media, processes for onboarding clients, processes for all kinds of business functions. Why? Because a process keeps you from reinventing the wheel. When you have a process you know what you have to do and how it gets done. You can ensure the same results and the same quality time after time. There is, however, a downside. A process, by definition, treats every instance exactly the same. The problem is that you don't necessarily want to treat every situation exactly alike. Case in point: I recently connected to someone on LinkedIn. This was not a new contact. This was someone I have known for over 15 years, we just never bothered to connect on LinkedIn. My…
Read More
Should That Item Really Be On Your To-Do List?

Should That Item Really Be On Your To-Do List?

Featured, Improvement, Process
Not every project or task you take on requires your immediate attention. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself a few questions to help you prioritize your to-do list. Why is this task necessary? If there’s no clear answer, it’s probably not urgent. What would happen a month from now if you don’t get this done? It’s tempting to barrel through your list for the sake of crossing things off, but before you spend time on a task, visualize its future impact on you, your stakeholders, and your business. If you don’t see a long-term impact, consider passing. Are you the right person to do this task? If not, consider whether you can delegate to someone else. Did you agree to take on this task for the right reasons? You may…
Read More
Don’t Let Uncertainty Paralyze Your Decision-Making

Don’t Let Uncertainty Paralyze Your Decision-Making

Featured, Process
When you’re living in a period of heightened uncertainty, your normal decision-making processes can break down. Some people become paralyzed and afraid to act, while others make quick decisions based on emotions or bias rather than facts. You can make careful, reasoned decisions by taking a strategic pause to stop and assess what information you have — and what you’re missing. Identify what kind of data you’re working with and biases that might accompany it. For example, some data captures our attention because it's surprising, but we might overweigh it because it’s new or noteworthy. Identify which information matters most to your decision-making. There are an endless number of “known unknowns” out there, and exploring them all won’t help you. Instead ask yourself: What do I really need to know…
Read More
Make A “To-Don’t” List

Make A “To-Don’t” List

Featured, Improvement, Process
We're all familiar with a to-do list. It's easy to take on too many projects because you don't want to say no or you don't want to disappoint people. That same desire not to disappoint can lead you to do things that divert you from your own goals. Take a good look at your to-do list. How many things do you have on there that aren't moving you to your goals? Do you have items that have recurring for a while? Examine them and see if you are getting results from those actions. If you are not getting value from your tasks, reconsider if you should keep doing the. It may be time to put them on your "to-don't" list. Time management isn't just about what you are doing. It…
Read More
What Do You Have For Breakfast?

What Do You Have For Breakfast?

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Process
For most Americans, breakfast consists of eggs, cereal, toast, fruit, a muffin, a smoothie, or something similar. We tend to get locked into habits that were created long ago. Most Americans don't consider having fish, rice, beans, etc. for breakfast even though they are common in other cultures. Our breakfast habits are deeply ingrained. The same goes for our work habits. People tend to follow the same routine. doing things the same way over and over. Having a process is necessary, but you also have to examine what you are doing. Don't let following a process turn into a rut. Whether in your work or your personal life, you need to change things up. Try something new: Whether it is having something new for breakfast, trying new food or going…
Read More
Plan For Success

Plan For Success

Featured, Improvement, Process
It's a common problem. Businesses plan to become successful, but they can't handle it when it happens. While startups frequently have this problem, it is by no mean unique to them. With the changes in the economy caused by the COVID-19 lockdown, companies such as Amazon, UPS, and Wayfair have become victims of their success. These companies have been overwhelmed with orders. Their customer satisfaction has dropped because they can't keep up. What is worse is that they lack transparency. Their tracking systems give information on shipments as if there are no delays. The day of expected the delivery, the status changes and gets put off, sometimes multiple times. Companies need to be prepared for success, even wild success. In the case of these three companies, it means making sure…
Read More
Is Your Business Mask Worthy?

Is Your Business Mask Worthy?

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Process
In an episode of "Seinfeld" Elaine found out that her favorite contraceptive had been discontinued. Needing to stretch her supply she evaluated every man she met to see if he was "sponge worthy." In today's world, people are being required to wear masks in stores, offices, amusement parks, etc. While useful, these masks are uncomfortable and annoying to wear. If people are spending time in your business, you need to make sure the experience you create is mask worthy. If you need your customer to come to a physical location, you now have to deal with the physical distancing and masks that COVID-19 has thrust upon us. Many people would rather wait to go to businesses than wear the mask. You have to be able to create a compelling reason…
Read More