As a business owner, you may be doing very well at managing the business in its early stage but as the business grows, you will be dealing with more clients who would want their needs met at almost the same time hence, the need for you to partner with someone or a group of people because, the “if you want it done right, do it yourself” approach may not be viable at this stage of the business. Also, no matter how broad your skill set, you’re not going to be an expert in every aspect of running your business, filling every role will be nearly impossible.
There is a very clear difference between being busy and being productive. The fact that you are busy doesn’t mean you are being productive. It is possible to be busy and not be productive. Being productive has to do more with your energy management and less of the time management.
Here are 7 things you need to do to become more productive
1. Avoid stretching your working hours rather increase your productivity level
Majority of working class people are guilty of this. Instead of increasing our productivity we increase our work hours because of the misconception we have about these two factors. Take for example a man that works over time and ends up going to bed very late- such a person is likely to put up a poor performance the following day compared to the one who used his working hours productively and slept on time.
It’s important for us not to overwork ourselves and get enough sleep to maintain a high level of productivity. Next time you’re wondering why you are not working productively, the reason may be as simple as you being one of the 70% of people who do not get enough sleep.
In 1926, Henry Ford, American industrialist and founder of Ford Motor Company, conducted experiments with interesting results: when you decrease your daily working hours from 10 to 8 and shorten the work week from 6 days to 5, your productivity increases.
2. Do not say ‘yes’ too often
Often times we take on too much work responsibility than we should just because we do not want to hurt anyone’s feeling. Nobody wants to be the bad guy. You should learn to say ‘no’ sometimes.
According to the Pareto Principle, 20% of the effort produces 80% of the results; however, 20% of the results consumes 80% of the effort. Instead of working harder, we should focus primarily on those efforts that produce 80% of the results and forgo the rest. We will have more time to focus on the most important tasks. We should stop saying “yes” to tasks that bring low or almost no result.
“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.” — Warren Buffet.
3. Stop doing repetitive tasks and start automating it.
You don’t have to be a coder to be able to automate your repetitive tasks. It’s nice to have the skills or the resources, but it’s not a requirement. If you cannot build it, buy it.
People often forget that time is money. People usually do things manually because it’s easy and requires almost no research. It is manageable to moderate 30 images on Instagram for your user-generated campaign. But if you have to manage 30 000 photos and videos from 5 different platforms, you need a good digital asset management software.
4. Allow people help you. Stop doing things alone
It is important for us to know that we cannot do everything ourselves, we cannot reach our desired height or level if we choose to work alone. It is better for you to let someone who can do a better job taking over some of your tasks. It will give you more time to focus on your most important tasks. Instead of wasting your time trying to figure something out yourself, let the experts help you.
5. Always back up your decision with data. Stop guessing
As a professional in what you do, always try to back up your decision with data. Make use of research studies, internet etc to get required information in different areas.
6. Stop being a perfectionist
Here are some disadvantages of being a perfectionist
• They spend more time than required for a task.
• They procrastinate and wait for the perfect moment. In business, if it is the perfect moment, you are too late.
• They miss the big picture while being too focused on small things.
• Marketers often wait for the perfect moment. In doing so, they end up missing it.
7. Take a break
Yes, it is good to work but it is also important to walk away from our work once in a while and have some alone time. Sometimes we get the solution to problems when we are not searching for it.
Everyday, the world moves a step ahead to get more and more digitalized than ever before. Some parents have said that handling a teenage child is more difficult since the inception of social media and other digital devices. There is no doubting the fact that the teenage mind moves as fast as digitalization itself while picking both the negative and positives of a moving world.
In the same vein, parents have grown too busy to attend to the needs of there children and so are most of the times unaware of happenings in their children’s lives that are capable of steering them towards depression. This has become an issue of concern to most parents as they seek for suitable methods to instill character and discipline in their teenagers.
Below are seven facts every should understand about their teenage children in a digitalized world.
- Communication is vital but it could become a burden, so learn to do it at their own time: Oftentimes teenagers want to be left alone to brood on some issues that they feel unable to let out. As a mother, it is essential that you study your child to know what suitable time to talk about anything. Doing this at their own time will stir the mood to pour out their problems to you.
- Be faster than they are: being a mother is good but becoming a role model is better. Becoming the person they admire and look up to means putting them by your side and you will never lose sight of them. Be the first to see that movie you know they will love and introduce it to them. Help them learn to play a new game and try to make them learn from you, nothing will be hidden from you because they see you as a friend, not just a mother.
- Be involved in their social life: a number of parents get it all wrong as it concerns what their children should be engaged in socially. Some parents are so rigid that they encroach on the privacy of their teenage children. The truth is teenage children really want to be left alone to figure out their lives but at the same time, need the subtle guardians of parents. For example, your teenage daughter or son bring their friends home for a visit, as a mother, it is not the appropriate time to start interrupting in their conversations, trust me, you will never know what might be going on behind you immediately you take your leave. But you could let them be and take your time out to study their movement, talk about each friend that comes to visit and make them understand that you love their friends. You could say “oh Janet I really love your friend’s skirts it sure looks good on her, don’t you think you should get one?” doing this will allow them to give you a hint of the conversation without you asking.
- Be the first to introduce sex education to your teenagers: many parents and moms especially still do not know the benefit of this decision while others haven’t considered it as unnecessary but the truth remains that the earlier they are aware of this the better for the both of you. Also, it is safer to hear it from you. Tell them everything they are supposed to know. The good and the bad, the advantage and the dangers that are tied to it, this will help them to know wrong knowledge when they detect one and encourage them to abstain and play safe in due time.
- Encourage them: let your children grow to understand that he or she is not disadvantaged, create an ideal thought about their image through your words. Encourage them to know that they can do better, don’t ever talk them down or kill their self-esteem because it makes them lose control. They may then get carried away with activities of negative company where they feel accepted.
- “You are Grounded” may not be a perfect idea: what your teenager does when they are alone is very important so grounding them may not always be the best solution as this maya cause them to withdraw from you. If you must use this method, also create time to extensively discuss the situation and be sure the child understands that you mean no harm. This way you will also be able to ascertain your child’s pain points.
- Respect their feelings and choices: they are young adults so they have the feeling that they should not be tossed about. In order to handle this, you can make them feel matured by giving tasks that reveal a sense of responsibility. This way they will grow with a do-it-right mentality and do things the right way even when you are not watching.
The kitchen is a woman’s most cherished part in the home and also the most used corner of the home. It is almost unusual to avoid a visit to the kitchen at least twice a day. But when the kitchen is messy, cluttered or in disorder, it causes frustration and increases stress because important items might be hidden or unreachable.
In the same vein, it is important to know that a cluttered kitchen is not free from germs because it is impossible to properly clean a kitchen when is not properly spaced out.
Having your kitchen in an organized manner requires planning and witty ideas some of which we will be revealing in this article.
- DO AWAY WITH DUPLICATE ITEM
Often times we buy things that we already have. When we do not buy them, we receive as gift items and have several kitchen and other household items in surplus. Items like mugs, knives, plates or even spoons, usually fall into this category but wisdom demands that we either throw away old or worn-out items or give them out if they are still useable. By doing this, we are able to free some space and de-clutter the kitchen.
- MAKING USE OF THE WALLS AND SACKS
In a situation where there is limited in a kitchen, making use of the walls, mounting shelves and getting big bags are very important. Why fill up the kitchen counter with cutleries when you can get a suitable hanger for them on the walls? You can hang some other lighter and convenient items as long as the hangers can carry them.
Also, getting sacks can be valuable, because they help us store things that we do not use often. For example, whenever we have an occasion in the homes, we make use of kitchen items such as pots and bowls more than usual. But for an everyday use, we engage fewer items in the kitchen, therefore it is important to arrange and pack every item that is important but not for everyday use in a big bag and keep them in the store. This helps us to have an organized kitchen because there are only a few items that are on display.
- ARRANGE THE KITCHEN SHELVES OFTEN
Almost all kitchens have shelves, while some kitchens have so many, others have very few to make use of. The most important thing, however, is to properly arrange the shelves as often as possible.
Cultivating the habit of putting your cooking items and ingredient in order is as important as arranging the books in a library. It makes for an ease reach of the things you need and want to make use of at a particular moment.
Also, when loads of stuff are properly arranged, they look neat and appropriate. Note that a shelve is not counted valuable until you learn to tidy them up.
- MAKE USE OF MORE POSITIONED WASTE BIN
The waste bin is an essential object to the kitchen because it helps to reduce mess and the stress of walking far to dispose of little waste
However, placing your waste bins at strategic positions of your kitchen must be considered. Putting your waste bins at reachable angles or corners of your kitchen is important to avoiding cluttering even when the kitchen is in use. Use more waste bins if you have a large kitchen. Life is easier when we adopt easier methods.
- BUYING LESS
Apart from the idea of doing away with duplicate items, it is also advisable to buy less. Avoid buying more than enough and put your kitchen space into consideration when buying anything that will be placed or used in the kitchen. By doing this, you will be able to avoid clutter and waste.
- CLEAN AFTER COOKING
When you adopt this method no one will ever see your kitchen in a cluttered state. Cleaning the kitchen immediately after cooking helps you put used items and cutleries in their right positions. No item will be found out of place. Moreover, experts have adviced against relaxing for a while after cooking because it has been observed that people become very lazy to clean up due to fatigue from the cooking.
- EDUCATE YOUR FAMILY
Cleaning a home is not a one man’s business, it involves the whole family putting their best to it.
Educate your spouse, children, maids or relatives living with you to practice the habit of de-cluttering kitchen items. Help them by continuously and politely telling them to put back anything they used in the right position. Teach them to often use the waste bin and much more. Doing this will help you achieve and bring to reality your dream organized kitchen.
In the course of my work, I have heard a lot of people admit that they agree with the fact that your wardrobe has a role to play in landing a job or making an impression. Different people have come up with different views on how your wardrobe affects the way people perceive you and evaluate your personality. Many people say this without knowing how much this little detail means.
A few years ago, I got an invite to interview for a job which I was not very qualified for. The invitation was sent barely 28 hours to the time, so it left very little time for preparation. I went for the interview, knowing that I would probably be the least qualified person there; it was a sales job and I am not a talker, so I spent most of my preparation time, and tending to my wardrobe. I took my time to get a clean hairdo and manicure, I spent the rest of the time choosing a perfect outfit and polishing my accessories, and I said to myself, if I cannot make an impression with my speech, I can make an impression with my appearance.
I was the least qualified person professionally, but got the job; I eventually asked the Human Resource Manager, why I was chosen for the job when I barely had 4 months experience in marketing. She smiled and told me, your wardrobe qualified you; we were looking for someone who was organized enough to take off in a jiffy and still look presentable, hence the short notice. That taught me a valuable lesson.
Your wardrobe says a lot about your personality, and I’m not talking about buying expensive stuff. The smallest detail could tell much more than you ever imagined.
The famous Coco Chanel once said, ‘If a woman is badly dressed, it’s the dress we’ll notice; but if she is impeccably dressed, it’s the woman herself we’ll notice.’
I’ve done a little research and here are 7 messages you probably do not know you are passing about your personality each time you pick an outfit.
The Workaholic and Successful Personality Repeats Same Clothes Often
When you repeat your clothes ever so often, you’re simply saying you’ve got no time to change your clothes.
Noticing that it will take some time to decide on what to wear every morning, for these personalities, two things are involved: it is either they take the weekends to outline their clothes for the week or they wear the same type of clothes often. Note that it is not that they do not take fashion seriously but for them, time is money and very essential. Also, this is applicable to other areas of their lives, they do not waste their time on things that will not bring in profit.
Always Looking For What To Wear But Have So Many Clothes
This person enjoys the shopping experience but is unable to make the right choices on what to buy so their wardrobe lacks coordination. They also do not like getting rid of items that they are not wearing but rather they hoard these items with the mindset that they will wear it someday. This person tends to buy what they do not need. Generally, this person might struggle to make decisions and agonize every morning over why they made the decision they made.
An Organized Wardrobe Boosts Productivity
Keeping an organized wardrobe with your work clothes all organized helps to boost your productivity.
If productivity is a concern to you, the worst thing you want to have to deal with in the morning is trying to figure out what you want to wear.
Psychologists have said that it takes the same amount of mental power to decide on what you’ll wear as it does to choose what to wear. So when you keep an organized wardrobe, it frees up mental energy for other tasks and allows you to focus your mind on something else since the decision has been premade.
Plus, you get that extra motivation that comes from having accomplished something already.
The Stingy Personality
These kind of people are professionals when it comes to keeping things. They have clothes in their closets that have lasted for 10 years or more. They wouldn’t let go of a thing until it is confirmed worn-out. However, this kind of people, know how to maintain clothes. This is traceable to the fact that they like to save things for their use alone. On the other hand, there are also particular kinds of stingy personalities that are stingy to themselves, in the sense that when they think a cloth or a thing is very expensive they would rather not put it on or use them often or will never use or wear them at all. Such clothes and things are packed and locked up in a mystery box or wardrobe that they visit once in a year or life time. This attitude affects other aspects of their lives, there maintain things and do not let go of things easily until their faded.
By Dei Vallerie
Effective listening can be learned and mastered. Although it can seem boring, unpleasant or a waste of time it doesn’t mean it is impossible. You just have to be determined and make a decision that you want to be able to listen effectively. Below are 7 things that will help you achieve this if followed consistently.
- Be Focused: Focus is a very important aspect of effective listening. The biggest mistake most people make is while they are supposed to be listening, they are busy thinking of what they want to say next or how whatever they are listening to is going to benefit them at the time when they are supposed to be paying attention to what is being said. During this process, they fail to hear what is being communicated to them. The words are being heard clearly but the meaning is lost. This is to say that we are not only distracted by things around us but can also be distracted by our thoughts.
- Positive body language: having a positive body language has the ability to attract people to you. Using an enthusiastic tone, uncrossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning towards the speaker are all forms of positive body language employed by great listeners. Positive body language can make all the difference in a conversation.
- Do not pay attention to your phone: Avoid taking quick glances at your phone during a conversation it turns people off. While you are involved in a conversation, focus all your energy on the conversation and you will discover that conversations are much more enjoyable and impactful when you pay attention.
- Do not hijack the conversation: if you do not have a relevant question to ask (a question that will make you understand the conversation better) it is better to keep quiet and listen. When you start asking irrelevant questions or making unnecessary contributions to the conversation it is assumed that you are hijacking the conversation and while you do this you are shutting the other person down.
- Ask good questions: Asking good questions or clarification questions shows the speaker that you are listening and that you are interested in what they are saying. By doing this you encourage the speaker and you will be surprised at the kind of respect you will command from both the speaker and other listeners like yourself by simply asking a good question. Good questions are questions that seek more information/ insight to the topic of discussion. Examples are “Why did he say that?” and “What happened next?”. The key is to make certain that your questions really do add to your understanding of the speaker’s words, rather than deflecting the conversation to a different topic.
- Be Open minded: Truth be told you cannot gain anything from a conversation when you have already built up a wall in your mind as regards the subject or the speaker. Being open-minded makes you approachable and makes it easier for you to benefit because no one wants to have a conversation with someone who has already formed an opinion and is not willing to listen. In order to stop passing judgment on people, you need to see the world through other people’s eyes.
- Practice reflective listening: reflective listening is the act of paraphrasing the meaning of what’s being said in order to make certain you’ve interpreted the speaker’s words correctly. By doing this, you give the speaker the opportunity to clarify what she meant to say. When you practice reflective listening, don’t simply repeat the speaker’s words to her. Use your own words to show that you’ve absorbed the information.
Sometimes as entrepreneurs, we feel like doing things our way. In fact, most entrepreneurs become entrepreneurs solely for this reason. We are known for our almost obsessive attraction to habits because habits help us achieve our goals, keep us motivated, keep us timely and makes our job easier.
Arguably, the most important habit for an entrepreneur is the morning routine. If you should start your day off on the wrong foot how productive, motivated, and focused are you going to be for the rest of the day?
To make sure that you start your day off on the right foot, here are seven things that every entrepreneur should before 7 a.m.
- They’re wide awake.
Successful entrepreneurs like Richard Branson are known for waking up bright and early.
“I have always been an early riser. Like keeping a positive outlook, or keeping fit, waking up early is a habit, which you must work on to maintain. Over my 50 years in business I have learned that if I rise early I can achieve so much more in a day, and therefore in life,” explains the Virgin Group founder.
When you’re awake before 7 a.m. you have the time to check the news, gather your thoughts, or exercise. This prevents you from rushing out the door every morning feeling frazzled and unfocused.
Waking up early means that you have to stop hitting the snooze button by getting enough sleep each night – preferably between 7 and 9 hours. Besides ensuring that you’re an early riser, getting the appropriate amount of sleep improves your health, memory, learning, productivity, and mood. It may even help you make fewer risky financial decisions, reduce stress, and decrease fat and increase muscle mass with exercise.
- Avoid your phone.
This may sound crazy, but there a couple of perfectly valid reasons for not reaching for your phone first thing in the morning. For starters, placing it next to yourself throughout the night can interrupt your sleep because of the light the screen emits or the notifications that go off throughout the night.
Additionally, diving into your inbox or social media channels can be stressful and distract you from setting your personal priorities. Instead of setting your goals for the day, you’re frantically responding to an angry email from a client. That’s not the best way to start your day.
- Exercise or meditate.
Yes. Whether it is going for a run, lifting weights, plunging into a 57-degree Fahrenheit pool, yoga, regular exercise or meditation reduces stress, it makes you happier, increases your energy, helps you sleep better, gives your immune system a boost, and prevents you from developing future health concerns like heart disease.
However, just as important for an entrepreneur, exercising and meditating each morning can help you focus on what you need to achieve throughout the day and develop new ideas.
- Eat a healthy breakfast.
Stop kidding yourself. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day since it is going to fuel your brain and body for the day. But, not all breakfasts are equal. Skip the doughnuts or leftover pizza and consume:
- Healthy carbohydrates like oatmeal or rye toast.
- Low-fat protein like eggs, nuts, greens, and beans.
- Fruits and veggies.
- Dairy alternatives like soy, almond, or rice milk.
While having a morning cup of tea or coffee to wash down your breakfast isn’t bad, try sipping on some lemon water before you eat.
“Drinking lemon water as soon as you wake up spikes your energy levels physically and mentally. Lemon water gives you steady, natural energy that lasts the length of the day by improving nutrient absorption in your stomach. You need to drink it first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach) to ensure full absorption,” explains Travis Bradberry.
“You should also wait 15-30 minutes after drinking it before eating (perfect time to squeeze in some exercise). Lemons are packed with nutrients; they’re chock full of potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. If you’re under 150 pounds, drink the juice of half a lemon (a full lemon if you’re over 150 pounds). Don’t drink the juice without water because it’s hard on your teeth.
Breakfast is also a great time to spend time with your family.
- Lift your spirits.
Some mornings you just don’t want to roll out of bed. The weather is crummy and you had a major setback. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s enough to kill your motivation for the next couple of days.
That’s why successful entrepreneurs practice lifting their spirits each morning. Whether it’s reading an inspiring book, memorizing motivational quotes, working on a passion project, or writing down your thoughts or experiences in a journal or blog, take a couple of minutes every morning to get in the right mindset before tackling the day.
If those tactics aren’t effective, write down the things that you’re grateful for.
- Set your goals and priorities.
Every Monday morning set your goals for the week. Each day for the rest of the week write down the goals and priorities that need to happen that day. Think about how you’re going to accomplish those goals while in the shower, jogging or whenever you have quiet time to yourself.
The most effective way to cross items off your to-do list is by starting with the hardest task – or the task that you’re dreading the most. Procrastinating on those tasks just leaves them for tomorrow. Get them done and over with now so that you can keep moving forward.
- Get down to business.
Finally, it’s time to get down to business. You can now grab your phone and read and send emails, pop-in on social media; check the news involving your industry, and review metrics, such as the previous day’s sales. That data may alter your to-do-list, but because you got a head start, you’ll be prepared and ready when it’s time to enter the office.
By creating, and sticking, to a morning routine you develop habits that will keep you healthy, productive, and prepared so that you can handle any situation that’s thrown your way. It may take some trial and error to find your ideal morning routine but it will make you more successful both professionally and personally.