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7 Proven Methods to Get Someone’s Attention

If people don’t know who you are or what you do, then there’s no way to advance in the business world today. You don’t get promotions by being the faithful person in the background who quietly goes about their business. Sometimes you’ve got to purposely get someone’s attention. Here’s how you can do it.

#1. Create an automatic trigger. Certain things automatically grab someone’s attention. It might be a loud noise, the smell of someone grilling, or the confidence to wear a red business suit. If you want people to pay attention to you, then you’ve got to make some noise. Instead of randomly yelling at work, however, try giving someone an interesting book that you like.

#2. Frame your message. Our individualized experiences mean that we all see and hear things a little differently. Instead of framing your message based on what you’d want to hear, learn how the person who needs to notice you communicates. Frame your message for that communication style and you’ll definitely get noticed.

#3. Be disruptive… but in a good way. Why do so many people leave negative online reviews, but rarely leave positive ones? It is because their experience was disrupted. We notice disruption. We pay more attention to the things that disrupt us the most. How can you do this at work in a positive way? Beat a deadline by a massive amount of time. Come under your budget by a huge amount. Ask unexpected questions.

#4. Provide a reward. All of us are reward-based in some way. We all work toward individual rewards, whether that is money to spend with our families or the reward of being noticed for a job well done. Sometimes a huge reward that you fund can get yourself noticed right away. Visual incentives are often great rewards because people can see themselves experiencing the reward, thus noticing you in the process.

#5. Know your reputation. Sometimes the reason why people go unnoticed is because they’ve developed a reputation of being unnoticed. People may not be approaching you because you give off a vibe that you don’t want to be approached. Change the vibe and you’ll get someone’s attention.

#6. Be mysterious. If people know what to expect from you, then the only way to get noticed is if you fall outside of those expectations. That’s another reason why negative impressions are often those that are documented. If a janitor fails to clean a toilet, it’s going to generate a complaint, right? If it is clean, then that’s their job and it was expected. To change this, you’ve got to be mysterious. This means creating uncertainty, but in a positive way.

#7. Acknowledge the good work of others first. If you notice people first for what they’re doing, there’s a good chance that others will do the same thing in return. It’s the art of reciprocity. People feel guilty if they’ve been noticed by someone, but haven’t been noticing that person in return.

It does take work to get someone’s attention, but it is an effort that is often worthwhile. Once that attention comes your way, then you’ve got a chance to begin crafting your own success. Focus on these 7 proven points and you’ll be able to achieve your goals.

5 Ways You Know It’s Time To Find a New Job

More than half of the current workforce are passive job seekers. It means that although there aren’t active efforts to find a new job, these folks are going to consider a reasonable offer that comes their way. Another 25% of people are active job seekers while being currently employed. Only 15-25% of the current job force isn’t considering a change right now when it comes to their employment.

Yet it might be time to start looking for a new job. Have you noticed any of these 5 specific indicators that let you know it might be time to go?

#1. There is no opportunity to expand your learning. A job shouldn’t be a dead-end experience. It should be exciting because there is something new to learn every day. If you are feeling like your creativity is being suppressed and you aren’t encouraged to look at new ideas, then a new job can help to restore that love of learning that you may have lost.

#2. You never perform at your highest potential. There are two ways to underperform. You either aren’t experienced enough to get the job done quickly enough or you purposely slow yourself down so that your output meets expectations. If you can fulfill your job expectations in a couple of hours, but it takes the rest of the team a full 8 hours to do the same thing, then you won’t be happy or engaged with your team. It’s time to find a job that challenges you instead.

#3. You don’t feel valued. If you can complete a job in 2 hours and get told to stay busy even though other workers can’t get the job done in 8 hours, then there’s a good chance you’ll feel undervalued. Maybe your contributions are part of the foundation of success the company experiences, yet you don’t even get half a “thank you” in return. If you don’t feel valued, then you aren’t valued. If you’re a leader who doesn’t feel valued, then that negativity filters down to the team. It’s time to find a job where you will be valued.

#4. You’re in it for the cash. Working to meet financial needs is important, but it shouldn’t be the only reason why you’re currently employed. There should be a certain joy in being able to get a job completed. You should be curious every day, challenged every day, and engaged in what you do. If you get up to go to work because all you want is a paycheck, then just about any job you take is going to eventually seem pointless. Find a job that you have a passion about, even if that means changing your career path.

#5. You hate your boss more than the average person. Just about everyone hates their boss at some point in time. If you constantly hate your boss, however, and you dread going to work because you don’t want to interact with that individual, then it’s time to transfer or find a new place to work. 3 out of 4 working professionals say that the most stressful component of their job is the interactions they have with their boss.

Jobs that aren’t stimulating or cause emotional stress are jobs that could eventually be harmful to your health. If you’re

8 Ways To Begin Improving Yourself

Have you noticed that some people seem to catch all the breaks? You can be one of those people too as long as you have a mindset to always improve yourself in some way. Here are the ways you can begin giving yourself more opportunities for success starting right now.

 #1. Get up 30 minutes early.

When you are fresh and beginning your day, your brain is at its most efficient. This means you’ve also got a small window of productivity that is at its best. Getting up early also gives you more time to plan for the day in the quiet and stillness that comes with the anticipation of a new day.

#2. Make time for exercise and stay active.

You don’t have to join a gym to get some exercise. You don’t need a personal coach. You do need to make sure you get a good walk in, take a jog in the park, or do your preferred exercises every day in some way. When you are active, your brain begins to kick into overdrive with innovative, creative ideas that could literally change the world.

#3. There’s always a plan.

It’s been said that the most important person in the world is the common person. The one who works hard, goes home, spends time with their family and friends, and repeats. Don’t underestimate the importance of a common chore because just like common people, this is what builds the foundation of everything we know.

#4. Keep on learning.

There’s always something new to learn every day. We never truly know everything. Always look for something interesting to enhance the way you can communicate with others. It can come from reading blogs, looking at research journals, or even something as simple as trying out a new hobby. When you keep learning, you keep expanding the reach of your mind.

#5. Mistakes and criticism are feedback.

It’s difficult to handle a disagreement. It’s even worse if we make a mistake. Yet in every moment, even the negative ones, what we receive from others is feedback. This can help you to avoid those mistakes in the future by learning not from your perspective, but from what others see. Take this information, analyze it, and then apply it.

#6. Meditation is a must.

You can make 20 minutes to meditate. Maybe take those early morning minutes to do so if nothing else. Try to find two sessions of 20 minutes at the beginning and ending of your day if you can. By doing so, you’ll keep yourself centered and shift away from the negative feelings that could be dragging you down.

#7. Family is important.

Working hard is a good thing. Making time for your family is a better thing. Your family is your support network. If you ignore them for too long, they’ll leave. It really is that simple. Always strive to make your family be a top priority and you’ll feel more alive.

#8. Don’t underestimate the value of sleep.

How long someone should sleep can be very different because of biological variability. Some people need 4 hours of sleep. Others feel tired after 8 good hours of sleep. Listen to your body, know what it needs, and then provide it. An energy drink or multiple cups of coffee isn’t a substitute for sleep, even if it seems like it at the time.

You can begin improving yourself today. These 8 methods all work in their own unique way. Try the ones that make sense for your lifestyle and then track the improvements you see. In due time, you’ll start catching all the breaks too.

6 Positivity Shifts You Can Do Right Now

Ever find yourself stuck in a negative rut mentally? It happens to the best of us. Even when we’re trying to be happy, we find ourselves feeling discouraged, saddened, or disappointed. Here’s some good news: with a simple positivity shift, we can turn that darkness into light quickly. Then we can choose to leave that light on. Here are 6 simple ways to shift from a negative perspective to a positive one.

#1. Switch off over-thinking mode. Pondering thoughts is a good thing. Pondering negative thoughts continuously can lead to a deeper negative mindset. Instead of trying to look at the “bright side” of things, consider taking a few minutes to explore meditation. This can help take your mind off of the negative thought, clear your head, and begin to relax.

#2. Every opportunity is a chance to become stronger. What doesn’t kill you doesn’t always make you stronger, but it can if you choose to focus those energies on your mental strength. Not every situation is fair. Not every outcome is beneficial. Yet even in those darkest of moments, there is always something to learn. By focusing on the learning moments, there is always a chance to grow stronger.

#3. Create lists. Work can be stressful. Chores at home can be stressful. Even the daily commute between work and home can be stressful. Here’s an easy way to stop dealing with all that stress: create a list. It can even just be a mental list. When we check off things that have been accomplished throughout the day, we’re focusing on what has been done instead of what needs to be done and that turns off the negativity.

#4. You can take a step backward. People today are polarized, sensitive, and aggressive. Disagreement sometimes equates to hate. A different opinion leads to a negative grumpiness like never before. If your friends or just the world at large is dragging you down, then take a moment to step away from the negativity. You are in control. Don’t let others dictate your mood.

#5. Find the contentment in life. There will be struggles every day. Sometimes those struggles are big and they create a lot of fatigue. When you’re at your most tired of moments, that’s when negativity tends to strike. Shift toward positivity by focusing on those perfect little moments that life provides. A few quite moments with a good book, playing games with the kids, or having some tea on your porch can all help to stop the push toward negativity.

#6. There’s always a new chance. Being tired and sick can make it seem like the whole world is against you. It’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves when we don’t feel good. Instead of focusing on this icky feeling, focus on the fact that you’re alive, breathing, and have a hope to feel better soon.

Being thankful and looking for positive moments can help to force negativity out of the mind. Use these simple positivity shifts to shine some light on your personal darkness and the negativity will begin to melt away.

5 Ways You Can Supercharge Your Productivity

Have you ever noticed that some people always seem to have enough time to get everything done? How can they get 30 hours of work to fit into a 24 hour day? Even when they’re switching between multiple tasks, they don’t lose a step in their productivity. Here are the 5 ways you can supercharge your productivity so that you can have a similar experience.

#1. See it now, do it now.

People who are very productive don’t address the same issues on multiple occasions. If they open up an email, then they respond to that email immediately. If a phone message comes in, they take care of the issue right away. When anything is stored to be completed later, that means you’ve got to handle that problem at least twice. Handling anything more than once is one of the easiest ways to waste time during the day.

#2. They get ready before it’s time to get ready.

Those last 20 minutes of any working day tend to be spent talking with others, sitting back to relax in the office chair, or in other unproductive ways. Those who have supercharged productivity tend to prepare for their next working day at the end of the current day. That allows them to come into work in the morning and get started right away instead of taking 20 minutes to prepare their day.

#3. The hardest stuff gets completed first.

We all have certain tasks that we don’t like to do. For some it’s answer emails. For others it might be writing emails. There are always certain co-workers, clients, or supervisors that we avoid at all costs. The folks who are supercharged will complete the hardest tasks they need to do over the course of any given day first before anything else. By getting rid of the bad stuff first, the rest of the day can be dedicated to things that are fun and exciting. That helps them to become even more productive because they like what they do.

#4. There is a recognition of what is truly urgent.

There are some emergency situations that require an urgent response. Then there are situations that might seem like an emergency on the surface, but it is something that in reality that could wait 24-48 hours. People who have supercharged their productivity have learned to recognize the difference between something that has to be done immediately and something that can wait. The issue with these urgent tasks is that they never seem to go away, so all of your attention winds up going to them in time.  When push comes to shove, the most productive people have also learned that delegation can be their best friend.

#5. They stick to the schedule.

Meetings are notoriously bad for going off-schedule. Sometimes the urge to take a longer lunch kicks in. There’s the roving co-worker who always seems to be drinking coffee and talking to others. Supercharged productivity requires strict schedule adherence for it to work. By staying on task, what you’re really doing is setting limits as to what you’ll accept or not accept when it comes to interference. Maybe you can take a longer lunch because you’re ahead of schedule… or maybe you can tell that roving co-worker to leave you alone because you’ve got a tight deadline to meet.

Supercharging your productivity starts with a commitment to limit procrastination. Deciding not to do something will always cost you time. By implementing these 5 ideas, however, you can get a remarkable amount of work done every day.

5 Ways to Manage Someone You Don’t Like

In a perfect world, we’d all like to manage people that we’d be as comfortable sharing a drink with them as working with them on a professional team. Going beyond the pleasantries and ability to find common ground, when there is general “likeableness,” work is just easier.

Unfortunately not everyone wants to be your friend when you’re the manager. Some are out for blood and want to take your job! Others just hate you for the fact that you’re the one in charge. I once had a direct report try to sabotage a project because he thought that if the job looked bad, then I’d look bad and be replaced.

The reasons why we don’t like someone can vary. What doesn’t vary is how we can effectively manage them. Here are 5 key lessons I’ve learned over the years:

1. Friendships Are Less Important At Work

Having a good friend at work can help the day go by much more quickly. Multiple studies have shown, in fact, that there are higher job satisfaction levels present when people have a best friend at work! When you’re in management, finding friendships is still important, but finding them outside of your team is usually a better idea. When you’re friends with a direct report, it becomes more difficult to discipline them should it become necessary… and if you do, that discipline can end up stopping a friendship cold anyway.

2. Stay Positive In All Things

Those sayings like “find the silver lining” or “look for the sunny side of things” grate on my nerves some days, but the truth in the message is clear. By staying positive in all circumstances, even when you’re around someone you’d rather avoid, you are leading by example as a manager. Every project at work will encounter some sort of difficulty. How you handle it will help show your direct reports where the silver lining can be found.

3. Everyone Contributes Something

I’ve found that the people I tend to dislike the most while working are the people who are the most like me. I find that this dislike stems from the fact that they have the potential to do what I do, only better. As the manager, you’re supposed to be the best right? Not necessarily. As the manager, your role is to be the team leader. That means making sure everyone contributes something based on their best strengths – even if those strengths are similar… or better than your own.

4. Work Closely Together

It’s not about keeping your enemies closer than your friends. It’s about learning what makes a person tick. You don’t have to like a person in order to understand them. Then, when you have managed to understand their perspective, that dislike you have for that person tends to start fading away. It also works in reverse – when those who don’t like you work more closely with you, their understanding of you helps to ease the discomfort.

5. Confront Fast, But Praise Faster

The most common reason to dislike someone is because they don’t contribute like they should. It could be because of laziness, brashness, or even arrogance. If you’re noticing the bad stuff as a manager, your team has known about it for weeks most likely! By fast to confront negative behaviors that could drop your team’s morale, but be faster to praise the good job a person does. Negativity is often brought about because of a lack of recognition, so put the emphasis there.

Just don’t be afraid to be proactive about the bad stuff too.

It’s not always easy to manage someone you don’t like, but it is very doable. Use these tips to work on your own interactions and you just may find that the working relationship is more about respect than it is about how much one is liked.

5 Tips To Be A Star At Work

Most people do not go to work solely for the paycheck. There are numerous reasons why work is important for our livlihood. Today, I want to talk about being recognized, appreciated and respected at your workplace. We all want to get recognized and noticed for our work. It makes us feel important and gives us a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

When we are not being appreciated at work, we feel demotivated and will work less enthusiastically for the organization. There are a few things you can do to get the attention of other people in a positive way.

1. Do a great job.

The best way to get the attention of others is to be excellent at your job no matter what you are doing. A strong work ethic means taking pride in your work, regardless of what job you hold. When you are good at what you do, you will get noticed by other people that can help you get ahead in your career. Your boss will give you more responsibility which can lead to promotions and raises.

2. Go the extra mile.

Going the extra mile is doing the unexpected.  It’s going above and beyond your job description. The best employees are those that go far above and beyond their job duties. They will volunteer for assignments and projects that few people are willing to do. They put in the long hours to get the job done. They are always asking their boss for more work.

3. Become an expert.

If you spend an hour each day learning and reading about your field of work, you will become an expert in 10 years. Expertise takes time and effort to acquire. Very few people will take the time to invest in themselves. When you become an expert, people will seek out your advice, knowledge and opinion. You will be asked to attend important meetings and conferences where your expertise will be valued.

4. Speak up at meetings.

Many of us spend hours in meeting each week. Instead of feeling that meetings are a waste of time, use it to get notice. Speaking up in meetings demonstrates to everyone that you are well suited for your role and ready for the next big job. Become fully engaged in the meeting by asking questions and offering solutions to problems.

5. Help others.

When you help other people at work, your good deeds will not go unnoticed. Everyone at work knows who the team players are. When you help a collegue, it creates a harmonious work environment, builds trusts and goodwill and the person you help will more likely want to give you a hand in the future.

7 Tips to Deal With Email

Email. What used to be one of the ‘best new inventions’ of the modern world has now become a monster that can eat up your time, frustrate you immensely and even infect your computer. Yes, it’s still an excellent way to communicate but with all the crap that comes through email these days it almost seems like it would be easier to just send smoke signals.

But there is help. Below you’ll find 7 ways to help you deal with your email and turn it back to the light side of the force. Use these tips and soon you’ll have your email monster tamed and maybe even look forward to looking in your ‘inbox’ again.

1) Don’t be a slave to your inbox.  If you check your mail every time you hear that ‘ding’ you’re going to kill your productivity. Unless you’re waiting for something extremely urgent checking once an hour is probably fine.

2) Responding immediately is not always a good idea. Again, unless it’s urgent responding within 2 hours is acceptable. Besides, if you always respond right away people will start to expect that.

3) Ask for and be clear in your email messages. If you know what people need and they know what you need you will spend a lot less time going back and forth with innumerable emails.

4) Know how your email program of choice works.  Most of them have excellent time-saving features that never get used because nobody takes the time to read about them.  D’oh!

5) Going away?  Set phasers to ‘kill email’. If you don’t want to return from vacation with a mountain of email use an auto-responder to let people know you’re away and when you’ll be back and delete their emails automatically.

6) Learn how to use your email program’s search function.  Let’s face it, wading through a shipload of emails trying to find one bit of info is for monkeys. Using the search option will save you a lot of valuable time.

7) Know how to use your email’s Spam controls. They’re different for every program but essential if you don’t want to waste half of your day looking at ads for penis enlargement pills.

There you go.  7 great tips for helping you break the email beast. If you even use half of them you will see an immediate difference in your inbox and a reduction in time wasted. Now if you’ll just stop playing Farmville all day on FaceBook you might even get some stuff done.

How to Increase Your Will Power

Willpower is one of the most important predictors of success in life. We all have willpower. Every morning we have a certain amount of willpower that we deplete by the end of the day. You can think of it as having money in your pocket that you spend throughout the day.

That is why after a long day at work or school, you just want to sit in front of the television or computer and zone out because you have spent most of your willpower during the day. Each decision and action you make during the day either increases or decreases your willpower.

Willpower is like a muscle that you can strengthen with use or get fatigued with use. Each person only has a certain amount of willpower throughout the day. I want to talk about how the practice of meditation increases your willpower.

1. Research has shown that a few minutes of meditation each day can boost willpower by building up gray matter in areas of the brain that regulate emotions and govern decision making. When you meditate everyday, you will be building your willpower muscle.

2. Meditation promotes better sleep. When you are well rested and have enough sleep, your  willpower naturally increases.

3. When we are under a lot of stress, our willpower will be diminished. Meditation will help minimize or eliminate the harmful stress in your life. Successful people conserve willpower by developing effective habits and routines to reduce stress.

4. Meditation improves a wide range of willpower skills including concentration and focus. Your ability to focus and concentration is one of the most important determinations of whether you’ll achieve success in life.

7 Proven Ways To Keep Yourself Relevant

You have a great idea. It’s selling well. You’re getting yourself in line for a promotion at work or seeing an uptick in sales with your business. As time goes on, however, the ideas you’ve offered become stale. They’re no longer exciting. People have moved on to the next great idea.

If that has happened to you, then here are 7 proven ways that will help you get relevant again and then stay relevant in the future.

#1. Be like a cat. Cats are famous for being curious. You’ve got to keep learning, striving, and growing to stay engaged. If you ride one great idea for months, eventually that rut will cause people to look for something that’s fresher and newer to enjoy.

#2. Read something different. Salespeople read sales books. Religious people read religious books. Marketers? They read marketing books. Don’t do this. Read something different and you’ll challenge yourself with a fresh perspective. As a bonus, the side effect of reading something new is that you’ll develop a deeper niche expertise in what you already do well.

#3. Use your ears. There are thousands of unique podcasts that are available for free on the internet today. Sometimes they focus on education. At other times, they just offer a fresh perspective. Either way, you’ll stay up to date with what is going on and be able to offer relevant advice from what you’ve learned.

#4. You can learn something new every day. There’s always a way to be a little better today when compared to yesterday. Tomorrow should be better than today. You can accomplish this by finding something new to learn. Think about joining a conference, making time for a webinar, or even giving your own seminar on what you do.

#5. Go back to school. You don’t have to pursue a degree to enjoy a good class. If you don’t want to pay a college for class materials, there are numerous free college courses that are published online today to further the learning curve. When you’re well-rounded, you will be more relevant.

#6. Have a mentor on standby. The most relevant people are always questioning, always testing, and never really satisfied unless 100% perfection has been achieved. By having a mentor available when the chips seem down, you’ll have the chance to process through difficult events and talk out some fresh ideas.

#7. Go out and meet someone. You don’t have to be a socialite or networking genius to benefit from meeting someone new. We’re like sponges. A little bit of everyone we meet is absorbed into our own perspectives. Positive people will keep you moving forward. Keep your network fresh with new faces and you’ll stay relevant.

It can be difficult to purposely create change. Sometimes, however, change is needed to stay relevant. Incorporate these ideas to get yourself out of that stale rut and you may just find opportunity knocking at your door.

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