Tag Archives: goals

Things You Can Do Earlier In The Day More Often Than Later

Waking up earlier will allow you more productivity than you can imagine and give you the time to work on things that need to get done earlier rather than later.

earlier in the dayI’m typing this blog post around 6:30 AM in the morning. I’ve been up since 5:00 AM. It’s a blessing. Getting up this early in the morning has been a ritual that I’ve instilled in myself. But it hasn’t been easy. In fact, this is one of the first times I’ve been able to get up this early in a long time. In part, it’s mainly due to me having to show up at work early to avoid gosh-darn traffic. But waking up at 5:00 AM is a game changer for me. It opened up a whole new world of productivity that I didn’t expect to have. I thought I’d be groggy and sluggish for the morning and I thought I would spend most of it with my head on my keyboard. In reality, I’m getting the bulk of everything I need to get done a few hours in the day and it provides me an adrenaline rush just thinking about it. Waking up earlier will allow you more productivity than you can imagine and give you the time to work on things that need to get done earlier rather than later.

Writing

This is a big one for me. Writing, researching and getting your ideas together takes time. It’s incredibly important to me to hone my writing skills any chance I get but unfortunately, I don’t get that much time often during the day. There are always so many more pressing matters related to work and because I can’t allocate 30 minutes to get my writing done, I find that I often skip out on my writing habit if I don’t wake up early. If you are maintaining a blog and need to write more content, I highly encourage you to wake up 45 minutes earlier than your usual time and spend it brainstorming and writing down whatever is in your head.

Reading

We all know the pleasures of being able to relax with a book and soaking in everything you see on the pages. I find it difficult to read right before bedtime. My mind is always spinning and recounting everything that happened that day. I can’t focus on the book. Upon waking up, my mind is clearer and it allows me to have a clearer vision of the words I see in the book. And depending on what kind of book you read, you might feel more inspired to get things done after reading a few pages. I tend to read productivity and motivational books early in the morning because it gives me the push I need to make things happen.

Meditation

Everyone has a busy lifestyle and as we go about our day, our mind gets cluttered with nonsense. We’re always frantically thinking about this and that. We get worried by the amount of work that is placed on us. We don’t know how to slow down and appreciate everything in our lives. Meditating early in the morning provides the utmost clarity you need to make the most out of your day. It sets up your mind to be in a very clear state and allows you to hone in on everything you need to get done. Take 5-10 minutes in the morning just to sit, appreciate life, and be grateful for all you’ve been given.

Listen to Podcasts/Motivational Videos

Aside from reading, I get my source of inspiration by listening to podcasts and motivational videos on YouTube. I find that it is always nice to hear a different perspective when listening to podcasts and see how successful entrepreneurs go about their day. By focusing on their habits, their methods, and their enthusiasm, it motivates me to emulate them. Motivational videos on YouTube is the encouragement I need. Sometimes reading is great but you might need a stronger stimulus to get you going in the day. Some people are more visual and require more images to make them more productive. During work, it’s hard to set aside time to listen and watch these content so make sure to do it in the morning.

Most Important Task

And finally, the most important task. This is the one thing you want to get done in order to feel like your day is a success. You do not want to let your most important task linger on too long in your day because ultimately, you will find that other priorities will take place. The most important task can take a long time to be completed and need your utmost dedication. But if you push it off, then you will realize that sooner or later, it will be the one thing you procrastinate on the most and it’ll constantly get pushed to the next day and then the next day, so on and so forth. Don’t let this be you. Make it a priority that after clearing your head and getting your morning ritual in place, to focus on this most important task because it will make a difference on how you feel the rest of the morning.

Photo Credit: Zukiman Mohamad

Be A Good Employee – Dos and Donts

A good employee should always be one step ahead of their boss and have things ready even before being asked

good employee

We strive to be the best we can be at the places we work. Some places turn out well while others not so much. Some jobs may fit what you need in your life and some jobs you want to run away from and never look back. Ultimately in the end it is what you make of the job and how you choose to perform. If you are at a place that doesn’t seem to fit your style, then there is a chance you may not perform well. But if you want to show off your ability as a worker, then follow these dos and don’ts of being a good employee.

DOS

Do Pay Attention & Be Detail Oriented

A good employee has to be detail oriented. They are able to recognize mistakes and typos when they see it. Instead of letting it go, they correct it. Someone who is detail oriented is constantly aware of everything going on around them and not get distract from their duties. They listen and get everything asked of them, done. Practice your listening skills and double-check everything as much as possible.

Do Take Initiative

Take action on a project before being asked to do so. Good employees should always be one step ahead of their boss and have things ready even before being asked. I  admire someone who does everything ahead of time and when I finally get around to assigning a task and they tell me that it’s already done, it’s like music to my ears. Be perceptive and see what can be done ahead of time and you’ll see that your employer will be impressed.

Do Stay Organized

No one likes a disorganized individual. If your boss sees you disheveled and unorganized, it can be disastrous for your reputation. Keep your work area neat and tidy. Get all your paperwork in order. Don’t let stray paperwork be the end of you. People admire those who are on top of things and know where everything is located when asked.

Do Find Solutions To Problems

If there is an issue, do your best to rectify it. Don’t let the problems work their way to your boss. See if you can get it handled and with urgency. Bosses love not being bothered with things that they know could have been handled without them. I get annoyed when a tiny problem is addressed when it didn’t need to be. It’s a waste of time. If there is an issue at your workplace, see the best way you can get involved and nip it right then and there without having it go up the chain of command.

DONTS

Don’t Be Negative About Your Duties

Not every job is great, but that does not give you the right to complain day in and day out about your duties. Learn to stay positive and resist any temptation to be angry and negative. Employers love positive and inspiring individuals who seem to be cheerful and on top of the world. These employees bring a great vibe to the workplace and we are always searching for more of them.

Don’t Badmouth Your Co-Workers

Your co-workers are people you will have to see every day. It makes no sense to gossip about them and talk about them behind their backs. It doesn’t contribute any positive vibes. Don’t give in to other coworkers gossiping and spreading rumors. Make a conscious choice to ignore them and go about your day. Don’t spread what they say around, even if it makes for good conversation. Change the topic if you can and talk about more positive things that are happening in your lives.

Don’t Assume

A big issue that many employees face is assuming something when it’s not true. If you are unsure of doing something correctly, be sure to ask so you can get it right the first time. Don’t automatically assume that you are doing everything correctly because this can lead to time-wasting situations and not look good for anyone in the end. I’m a big advocate of making sure we do things right the first time and so we hammer out any and all questions at the very start of the project.

Don’t Brush Things Under The Rug

And finally, make sure you are not brushing things under the rug. This means that you choose to ignore a pressing problem in front of your face. If there is something wrong, make sure you take action on it. Don’t just let it persist! Make sure you correct something when it is needed to be corrected. Ignoring a problem can cause it to escalate and that is no good for everyone involved.

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How To Be A Good Manager

I think one of the greatest qualities of a good manager is having empathy.

how to be a good manager

Going to work can be hard enough. Leading at said workplace can be even more challenging. As a manager or supervisor, you are in a leadership role where your fellow employees look up to you. It can be daunting to give orders and ensure your department runs smoothly. I’ve been running a department for several years now and my management skills still need to be honed in order to be a more effective leader. Some people are born with this natural ability to lead while others have to gain them through experience. To be a good manager, there are several qualities that one must have. This is how to be a good manager.

Be Empathetic

I think one of the greatest qualities of a good manager is having empathy. We all live hectic lives and we all face different circumstances in our positions. Your team will come to you asking for advice or favors and you have to be able to relate to their position. Without empathy, you won’t be able to build a solid relationship with your employees because you’ll make them feel like you don’t respect their worth. Having empathy shows that you truly do care about their well-being and it can allow you to connect on a more personal level.

Teach, Don’t Dictate

There’s an old Chinese proverb I love that says “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” When you are running a department, it can be quite difficult to get everyone on the same page in terms of knowing what to do. But the truth is, everyone has to start somewhere and in order to get them to your level is to teach them how to do things properly and efficiently. Begin by asking them about their workflow. Have your employees feel like they have the freedom to provide input at their workplace. Make them feel involved. Don’t tell them what to do and dictate their duties. Rather, through trial and error, guide them throughout their journey so they can learn the pieces quickly and efficiently.

Don’t Underestimate Them

I find that a lot of employees want to be at a job where they feel challenged. They want their creative juices to flow and they want to feel are appreciated for the work they’ve been putting into the job. Just because an employee is working for you, does not mean they don’t have the capabilities to take charge and lead as well. Give them control and the trust to handle more difficult assignments. The more responsibility you put on your peers, the more they’ll feel valued for their contribution.

Being a manager is challenging but highly rewarding. It can be tough balancing multiple personalities who all come from different backgrounds. The truth is, as a manager, you need to adapt to your environment. One method may not work for one employee while that same method might make another blossom into a strong asset to your company. Commit to leadership and know that just like your employees, you are growing as well and learning every step of the way.

Photo Credit: startupstockphotos.com

Saving More Money without Sacrificing Quality of Life

The easiest way to save more money is to start earning more money. You can always squeeze in time to babysit your neighbor’s kids or take up a part-time job.

Saving More Money without Sacrificing Quality of Life

It is the end of the month and you have yet again spent more than you had planned, leaving you broke until your next paycheck comes in. Many of us could do with more money in our lives but unfortunately, money doesn’t grow on trees. While saving money is difficult enough, one finds it hard to sacrifice their lifestyle. Who would want to start going to cheap restaurants after dinning at lavish hotels. Here are a few tips to help you save more money without sacrificing your quality of life:

Plan All Your Monthly Expenses and Make a Budget

You must be familiar with the ‘budget’. While this is a word you have been dreading, it is the only way you can stop yourself from spending excess cash. Plan all your expenses. You can set aside a handsome amount for entertainment or nights out. The key is to actually stick to the budget. Once you have already planned your expenses, it prevents you from buying something in excess or just by impulse.

Find Ways to Make More Money

The easiest way to save more money is to start earning more money. You can always squeeze in time to babysit your neighbor’s kids or take up a part-time job. The opportunities are endless. You can even work from home. If you have a certain skill, why not give online classes to people? You will not only have something productive to do on your weekends but you will also be paid for your services and it won’t even take up much of your time.

Start Doing Things Yourself

The next time your pipes get clogged or there is a bug in your computer, try to fix it yourself. There are many tutorials online and you will easily be able to find the solution to you problems in a matter of minutes. The best way to save more money without affecting your quality of life is to start developing new skills. Learn to cook at home and stop ordering so much takeout/frozen foods. Learn to sew and tailor your own clothes. You will not only be able to learn a new skill but will also be saving a lot of money in the long run.

Stop Wasting

If you want to save more money, you need to stop being so wasteful, and this includes food, electricity and water. The next time you step outside your room, make sure the lights and fans are switched off. You will not only be conserving more energy but will save more money on electricity. Make sure you immediately unplug heating appliances, such as irons, blow-dryers and hair straightners. They not only take up a lot of energy but pose a fire hazard as well. To stop wasting food, buy only what you need. Avoid buying things in bulk if you live alone. Fresh fruits and vegetables and milk get spoiled after a few days. Opt for canned or frozen vegetables if you wish to buy your staples in bulk.

Photo Credit: Cloudinary

How to Focus On Your Niche

Finding your niche helps you hone in on your target audience instead of shooting blind and hoping that you hit the target.

How to Focus On Your Niche

Finding your niche and carving a niche for yourself within the niche is an important part of growing and building your business. Your niche can be defined as the subset of the market which your product is specifically focusing on. For example, if you want to be a writer and can write web content, the description is unfocused. You have to find your niche and focus on it, i.e. do you prefer writing blogs, eBooks or articles, and which topics appeal most to you.

Finding your niche helps you hone in on your target audience instead of shooting blind and hoping that you hit the target. You need to find the segment of consumers which specifically wants products or services similar to what you offer. Here’s how you can focus on your niche:

Get To Know Your Target Market Inside Out

It does not matter if your target market is small. Even if your product appeals to a narrow segment of consumers, don’t be lax and try to learn as much as you can about your target audience. The better you know them, the more effectively you will be able to sell to them.

Marketing For Your Niche

Once you are sure on a niche, it is time you start focusing on marketing so you can lure in customers. How else can you appeal to your audience if you do not inform them about who you are and what you offer? Come up with some neat social media marketing strategies to inform your potential customers about you. Use social media as an interactive tool to learn more about your customers. Your aim should be to attract customers and build your network.

Emphasize on High-Quality Customer Support

For any successful brand, it is necessary they offer excellent customer service. Let your customers know you are accessible and easily reachable and that you are here to solve their problems. Foster a connection with your existing or potential clients as it will compel them to keep coming back.

Don’t Be Afraid To Take Chances

There is no such thing as the perfect time, so do not spend your entire time waiting. If you have a great idea you feel needs to get out into the world, don’t waste any time and work towards turning your dreams into reality. Be innovative. Taking risks and coming up with new ideas will make your products and services appealing to customers. Let them know you are offering an experience they would be unlikely to find elsewhere.

Photo Credit: Tripleseo

Explore New Topics

When beginning a blog or writing a post, take the time to think about all the endless possibilities you have and be willing to explore new topics during your journey.

Explore New Topics

Being a writer is difficult. You are always on the hunt for engaging topics to write about.Sometimes the topics you come up with are dull and it can be insufferable to write. At other times, you may find a topic to write about that truly captivates your passion. When beginning a blog or writing a post, take the time to think about all the endless possibilities you have and be willing to explore new topics during your journey.

Set Up An Idea Bank

Set aside time to form a folder on your computer and label it your idea bank. Anytime you have an idea or a new topic to write about, take the time to jot it down and translate it to a word document. Put that document in that folder and refer to it for any time you need fresh ideas. I use a program called Scrivener for my idea bank. It acts as a file management system for all the ideas I have and is how I continue to write blogs posts. I set aside time to brainstorm ideas for my bank and it is a fundamental part of my writing process.

Brainstorming Session

You need to set aside one day out of the month to brainstorm for an hour or two. Use this time to come up with as many ideas as you can. Don’t judge yourself for the ideas you come up with. You are not obligated to use every idea so there should not be any pressure. But what this brainstorming session does is that it allows you to have a list full of ideas that you can weed through and schedule your blog posts for the month. During my brainstorming session, I get about 15­20 ideas and that’s already a month and a half worth of blog posts. It saves you time when you sit down to write because you don’t have to think about what it is your writing about. You already have a general direction!

Branch Away From Your Comfort Zone

The concept of exploring new topics is trying to get you, as a writer, out of your comfort zone. We tend to be monotonous in our writing because we tend to write about the same things repeatedly. Make a conscious choice of writing about topics that you normally don’t feel comfortable about. Try to commit yourself to doing research on things that you would never have learned in your free time. Not only will you educate yourself on a new topic but you will be offering a new perspective on things.

Don’t Be Hard On Yourself

I found that when I write about new topics, my writing is weaker. This is because I am exploring a new topic and new territory that I would not have normally done. That said, try not to be hard on yourself for the writing that you do. It is impressive that you are willing to write first and foremost but second, you do not have to feel like you are an expert on things. Your job is to provide a perspective and by choosing to write about topics that you are not used to, you are proving to others that you are not afraid to speak your mind on something fresh.

I find that exploring new topics to write about can always be a fun and exciting time. You have to be willing to learn something different every day. During your brainstorming session, don’t limit your imagination. Go all out on your ideas and write down the most outrageous things you can think of. These ideas will create unique blog posts because it’s different. Commit to new topics and watch your blog expand.

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Use LinkedIn Effectively

In short, Facebook is for pleasure while LinkedIn is for work.

Use LinkedIn Effectively

Do you consider yourself an effective networker? If this is the case, then I am sure you have heard of the success known as LinkedIn. It is dubbed the social media for working professionals and is a valuable resource to use in order to land the job of your dreams. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile then I highly suggest you start one now and read on how you can use it effectively.

Unlike Facebook, the working networking website, LinkedIn, kind of falls under a different category. While Facebook is seen more as a place where you can create social dialog and bring a community together, LinkedIn focuses on the work environment and produces an environment where employers can find viable employees. In short, Facebook is for pleasure while LinkedIn is for work.

When you start a LinkedIn account, it can be frightening as to how much of your past you will need to refer back to. This is because, in order to use LinkedIn effectively, you need to make sure your profile is fully complete. Employers want to see a full history of your employment; where you went to school; what organizations you were part of; your volunteer experience and the requirements going on. The best candidates are the ones that can make their profile stand out.

Make sure to be active on LinkedIn. This means actively liking people in your network for a post they contribute or congratulating others on a new job. The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more you will stand out in your community. People want engagement and look for others who also take the networking website more seriously. By increasing your presence, you broaden your chances of being recognized by others who are just as active.

Many people post articles relating to the workforce on LinkedIn. This is valuable because it can provide tips to improve yourself as an individual and make you stronger as an employee. We should all try to identify our weaknesses and find ways of overcoming them. Reading job development stories and learning about the current state of affairs increases our brain bank and provides us with the next steps to becoming a better individual.

Using LinkedIn effectively requires effort. You need to take the networking website seriously and be willing to be active and engaging. It is a site that has wide potential for employers in securing a strong employee and for you to make important long-lasting connections. Make it a point to yourself that you want to stand out on this site and in doing so, it can lead to new opportunities for you in the future.

Photo Credit: Remi Network

Important To Network Professionally

You never know where your next job will be so it is crucial that you maintain relations with your coworkers because they may be the key to your next gig.

Important To Network Professionally

Before I started to writing this article, I sent a message on Google Chat to a friend I’ve worked with on a previous project. We were great co-workers during our time together but once the job ended, we drifted apart. It was because we were on bad terms, but rather we became too busy leading our own lives that we put less effort into our connection. I thought about him this morning and decided to send this message and funny enough, it felt exhilarating. Even though he has not responded, the fact that I reached out made me feel good. It also reminded me of how important it is to network with people from your past because it can potentially lead to long-lasting relationships in the future.

One of the reasons it is important to network professionally is for you to advance your career. The people you meet in the workforce can help you land future gigs. They may know people who are working in a field that may interest you. They can recommend you to who they know and give you a good start in the process. The people who I have worked with in the past have gotten me year-long freelance jobs that have provided me with a good source of income. You never know where your next job will be so it is crucial that you maintain relations with your coworkers because they may be the key to your next gig.

By connecting and maintaining a relationship with people, you can make new friends. People are social beings and we want to find people we can identify with. You do not want to live a life where you are alone in this world and do not have someone you can rely on. Going into work and meeting new people, especially those who have different values, can open your eyes to the diversity of our world. You may end up finding someone who you completely identify with and can become great friends and will be there with you for the long term. Without networking skills, you might not be able to find such people.

Networking helps improve your social skills and increases your presence in the community. By networking with others, you are putting yourself out there for the world to see. You are overcoming any social anxieties you have and making sure that people see you as a sociable and approachable individual. It is important to stand out in the community because you should be recognized for your abilities and traits. People want to know who you are and if you don’t make an effort to be social, then you might come across as standoffish and unapproachable.

Networking is a fundamental aspect of being in a community. We need to find people to engage with us and when we do find those people, we need to make an earnest effort to continue maintaining those relations. People too often give up on their past connections. But dedicate yourself to making that effort and you’ll soon realize that it can open a lot of doors for you. It is important to network professionally to keep yourself relevant in the world and in your group of friends. Don’t disappear from people.

Photo Credit: Toronto Jobs

Why I Go To Toastmasters

Toastmasters is an organization that unites a community together and helps you improve your public speaking skills.

Why I Go To Toastmasters

Going to Toastmasters has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in recent years. It is an organization I have heard about multiple times but never committed to until this past year. As I became more determined to better myself and develop into a stronger individual, I found that Toastmasters would need to play an essential role. Going to Toastmasters helps improve your public speaking skills and shape you into a charismatic and fearless leader.

Toastmasters is an organization that unites a community together and helps you improve your public speaking skills. It has been around for many years and many of its members have vouched for its effective results. As a member for the last year and a half, I can personally say that Toastmasters is not a scam organization and they do their best to help accomplish your goals.

During every Toastmasters meeting, there are a number of pre-determined people who be giving a speech. The speech topic is chosen by the individual but at the same time they are guided by a manual that all members receive at the start of their membership. One by one, each person gives a speech and would later be evaluated by a fellow member. The evaluation provides a way for the speech giver to receive constructive feedback so they can improve themselves for the next speech they give.

During each Toastmasters meeting, besides the speech and the evaluation, there are other times when the members of the meeting get to be interactive. Table Topics, for example, is an impromptu 1-2 minute speech where members are chosen are random to come up to the front of the room and deliver the speech. It can be an extremely nerve-wracking experience due to the unpredictability of the question, but it teaches you to cope with being put on the spot and learn how to stay calm and collective in that situation.

The benefits of going to Toastmasters is numerous. Besides being able to improve your public speaking, the sense of community is apparent. People from around your neighborhood are gathering and putting themselves in the public eye and showing that they are not afraid of public speaking. The level of encouragement from each member is significant. People want you to succeed and improve. They don’t want to see you fail. In addition, by listening to speeches, you become inspired by what people write and find new tricks that you can implement into your own writing.

By going to Toastmasters to improve your public speaking, you will  start to notice the benefits of being a good public speaker. Not only do most jobs require an individual to be able to speak publicly and clearly, but being a socially dynamic individual improves your standing in your company. Public speaking allows you to build your confidence and makes you more noticeable in the workforce. You demonstrate leadership by being able to be firm in the point you want to say and people can feel you are reliable, based on your public speaking abilities. There are many more benefits to being a public speaker but if wanting to be more respected is crucial to you, then Toastmasters can help.

There are many branches around the country and it is a matter of taking the time to search for the one that fits your neighborhood and schedule. If you go to www.toastmasters.org, you will see an option to search for local Toastmasters in your vicinity. It is important to improve ourselves and going to Toastmasters to improve your public speaking skills, can be a great start.

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The Power Of Belief

Impossible is possible!While working on achieving your dreams, you may run into self-doubt. This is normal. We will have times when we feel we are far from accomplishing our goals. This makes us second guess whether it is worth it to continue our journey because we feel it would be a waste of time. This defeatist mindset is negative and fills you up with regret. Rather than doubt yourself, incorporate belief into your life. Gain the confidence to believe that you will succeed because it is this belief that will give you the edge over your doubt.

Believing in your ability to accomplish a task reveals your determination. When you have the opportunity to show others that you care about a project and confident enough to get it done, it shows that you have a strong sense of belief. Determination is key when trying to pursue your dreams because it gives you the necessary passion that will help you succeed. People with determination succeed more often than someone who allow their pessimistic attitude to take over.

Having strong convictions convinces your mind and makes you believe that your passion is achievable. You start to trust yourself more because you know that you cannot fail. We always have dreams that reside in the back of our head that we don’t pursue because we don’t believe it is possible. But when you start to have that one passion that seems to make sense, you put your belief into it and as you get closer and closer to your dream, you find yourself thinking it is possible.

You need to have faith in yourself when you work towards a project because it will give you the confidence you need to succeed. We sometimes may start projects half-assed and not believe in the power of what we’re doing and this causes us to fail many times. Don’t begin a project with a negative mindset. Think of what you can and will accomplish and you’ll see your dreams come to fruition.

Photo Credit: Notes for the Voyage

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