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How To Stay Focused At Work

If you’re finding it difficult to stay focused at work, you know just how problematic it can be. Sometimes it feels as though you’re running around in circles and not getting anything done. Not only is this frustrating, but it can also negatively affect your reputation within your company as well as hurt your productivity. The good thing is that you can make some improvements to your focus levels at your workplace. After you practice the following tips, you should be much more productive and have the ability to accomplish more goals than usual.

One of the most common mistakes that people make at work is improper management of time. This can come from a number of things, but one of the biggest reasons is being distracted. When you cut out things like using social media websites or watching YouTube, you can stay ahead and not worry about slipping into a time killer. I realize that you may want to take a break from time to time, and that’s okay, but you’re going to have to set aside certain intervals for leisure.

A great way to stay focused and sharp is by setting small goals and knocking them out. One of the reasons that this is beneficial is because it allows you to feel as though you’re making progress. Knocking out small goals while taking a breather in between can be much more effective than trying to tackle everything at once.

Don’t forget to reward yourself with a break! When you try to tackle a huge workload non-stop, you’re going to get burnt out eventually. By having small routine breaks you’re going to allow yourself to stay much more focused without getting frustrated with your work load.

 One of the best ways to keep on top of things is by starting early. When you arrive to work you should be well-rested and ready to take on your daily routine. Get some of the tasks that you find the most challenging finished at first and you will feel at ease throughout the rest of the day.

Now, this may seem obvious, but procrastination is a time vampire and it should be avoided at all costs. Rather than making up excuses to put off working, you should push yourself to get as much done as you can. This will be much easier when you follow the tip about taking small breaks.

Can You Actually Visualize Real Success Before It Happens?

Many athletes talk about seeing themselves win a big game before they go out to perform. Business professionals visualize seeing themselves closing a big deal before it happens. Study after study has shown that visualization can lead someone to more consistent success, but why? Can you actually visualize real success before it happens?

Some people might put faith in premonitions and dreams for this, but anyone who visualizes success before it happens will increase the chances of actually being successful. This is because the mind has a unique ability to gain skills from this exercise. When you run a visualization through your mind, you’re actually running a simulation where you can mentally practice how to get the best outcome.

If you haven’t tried visualization before, then here are some tips to help get you get started.

#1. Visualize the perfect scenario. Perfect practice is what leads to perfect results. Imagine what the perfect scenario will be so that you can achieve the best possible outcome for whatever upcoming event you have going on. Now run through the various tasks, conversations, sales pitches, and other work you’ll need to accomplish to achieve that best possible outcome.

#2. Treat this time as real work. Far too many people use visualization exercises after hours or right before they go to bed. Instead of fitting in visualization during your spare moments at the beginning or end of the day, schedule time during your work day to do it. A best practice here is to schedule visualization time somewhere in the first 2 hours of your day because your mind is the freshest at this point in the day. Even just 10 minutes to visualize how to achieve success can be a very worthwhile investment.

#3. Follow through like you would a business plan. When you create a business plan, you’re outlining specific goals that must be achieved to accomplish a specific end result. In visualization, the task is the same. You’ll need to progress through the different goals that you have, see how they can be accomplished perfectly, and then simulate how those results can translate into the overall plan in place that needs to be achieved.

#4. Think about roadblocks that may get in your way. Visualizing perfection is wonderful, but it cannot be truly successful unless you’re also willing to take a look at the various obstacles you may encounter. Think about the roadblocks that could get in your way and then visualize how you would get around that obstacle. Take several routes, see your success in each one, and then you’ll be prepared for virtually any scenario that may come your way. Do not allow the obstacle to win – ever.

#5. Make your visualization as detailed as possible. If you can include specific details within your visualization session, then you’ll be better prepared for the real life situation. Think about sights, smells, and even touch as you proceed through each task. Remember what each situation is like, how it makes you feel, and how you react to them.

How To Become An Expert In Your Field

People gravitate towards people who have the most knowledge within their field. It’s just simple common sense, right? If you’ve got a problem, you want the smartest person you can find to be able to help you find a solution that works. You don’t have to be a genius to be able to become a niche expert – you’ve just got to be willing to put in the work to truly understand your niche. When you can do that, you can provide a better value to people and that’s ultimately what people want: value.

Are you looking to become a niche expert in your field? Then you don’t need a doctoral degree and a bunch of initials after your name. Just follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to being seen as a world expert in your niche.

Tip #1: Start With a Higher Level of Discipline

It takes nearly 2,000 reading hours for someone to attain a doctoral agree. That equates to about one hour of reading per day about your particular subject. Increasing your knowledge base is critical to becoming a niche expert, which means you’ve got to do research! Putting time into your busy day to read will help you accomplish this. Even if you can’t set aside a full one-hour block, you could try setting aside four 15 minute blocks.

Tip #2: Make Learning a Habit

It takes about three weeks of doing the same thing every day in order to make an action become a habit. Whatever blocks of time you set aside to read, research, and study, make sure that you are setting aside the same blocks of time every day. This will help to develop your reading time as a habit! After the first couple weeks of doing this, it will actually become harder for a few days to make the time to study. If you can push through during the tough choices, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a niche expert.

Tip #3: Allow Yourself To Succeed

One of the biggest factors that prevent personal success is a personal viewpoint that has already pre-determined that there won’t be any success whatsoever! When people don’t feel like they can succeed, that viewpoint becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, even if that person has the skills and opportunity to find success!

Don’t let negative self-talk affect you as you work toward becoming a niche expert. It’s not about your intelligence: it’s about your inner strength and willpower. You must have the will to succeed! If you can maintain that strength, you’ll become a niche expert – plain and simple.

Are You Ready To Get Started?

All it takes to become a niche expert is a level of dedication and focus toward the goal of learning more about your chosen field than anyone else. If you’re willing to put in the work and can make positive decisions toward meeting your goal of becoming an expert, then you’ll be able to find that success you want. It might seem easy to do on paper… but unless you can drive yourself toward that goal, it’s much, much harder than people think.

Work hard, study hard, and you’ll find success!

Deciding On the Right Company To Work For

With the economy in the dump worldwide many people are desperately looking for work and will take almost anything that comes along, but the fact is that no matter what you do 40 hours (or more) of your week are going to be spent at your job. That’s a lot of hours, to be sure, and so if you can you should really make sure that your new job is the right ‘fit’ for you.

Let’s face it, even if you like what you do working at a place that you don’t like is akin to eating your favorite breakfast cereal with water instead of milk; sure you can do it but it’s not very satisfying and takes all the joy out of it. Plus it’s a soggy mess.

With that in mind, here are 5 key aspects you should keenly look at before starting any new job.

1) The Company culture. This is very important for a number of reasons. If, for example, you’re an outgoing and laid-back person but the company is buttoned-down and rigid you’re going to have problems fitting in. If you like casual Friday’s and they have a strict dress code you’ll soon find yourself resentful and unhappy.

2) Company Management.  If we’re being honest dealing with management is always a bit of a problem but some companies make it easier than others. For example, some have policies that make approaching management and voicing new ideas or grievances a lot easier. Some don’t however, and if you work for a company that puts management on a pedestal you better be prepared to sign yourself up for primal scream therapy pronto.

3) The Products and / or services you sell. Another deal breaker, if your new company sells products that you wouldn’t even give to your mother-in-law you may soon find yourself regretting your decision to work there.  Being able to take pride in what you do is an essential part of happiness on the job.

4) The Industry you work in. Similar to your products and services your company sells, if you work in an industry that is negative your work life will be negative also. If you’re a fervent non-smoker, for example, you probably won’t be happy working for a tobacco company. If, however, you do smoke and they have ‘free cigarette Fridays’ then by all means go for it!

5) The Size of the company. This depends on what role you see yourself playing in the overall scheme of things.  If you’re content being lost in the herd then working for a company that employs hundreds or even thousands of people may not be a problem, but if you want to make a difference (even if it’s small) you probably should work for a smaller company where your voice will be heard.

No matter where you work if you feel valuable and appreciated you will be happier and more satisfied no matter the product or service. If you don’t, even working for a teeth whitening company won’t keep a smile on your face.  Choose wisely and good luck.

Too Much Clutter? This Book Will Help You Get Organized!

When there is a clean surface, it is easy to make it become cluttered. “I’ll just put this away later,” you’ll think to yourself, but then later never comes. Clutter is like misery, it enjoys company, and pretty soon that clean surface has suddenly become a huge mess. Clutter is ultimately a sign of disorder. It robs everyone of time, cleanliness, and ultimately happiness.

Marie Kondo has written a book entitled The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing that offers a profound message. By simplifying, organizing, and storing proactively, you can eliminate clutter very effectively.

Much of the advice to avoid clutter involves one of three basic commitments. Have you been told to de-clutter your life by one of these methods in the past?

  1. Every time you enter a room, make sure to put one thing away.
  2. Always remove the clutter from a surface you have cleaned to avoid more clutter.
  3. Throw things away that do not have any value to them.

The problem is that these methods might help to remove the clutter from one room, but you’ll only have one room clean. The clutter will cycle from room to room, leaving you in an endless cycle of misery. Kondo changes the dynamic with this book by adjusting the perspective. Instead of looking at each room of the home, look at each category of clutter.

Your job isn’t to keep picking away at the piles of clutter that you have in an endless loop of time. Your job is to focus on one type of clutter, organize it, and then keep it organized. If you have paperwork for your business strewn about, take the time to file it and then file each additional bit of paperwork that comes your way. Once you’ve organized one category, you move onto the next category.

What Kondo suggests in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up really does work. Every client she has taken on is improving the clutter in their life. She claims a 0% lapse rate. In this book, she’s also ready to help you.

This book is ultimately about finding joy in the simple things of life. It’s all about the perspective of things. Are you keeping your socks all bundled up and tight, afraid of what lies ahead? Or are you keeping your socks folded and free, ready to happily embrace the changes that may be headed your way? When you care for your things, they’ll last longer and this will have more meaning to you.

The only problem is that we often care for things that have no meaning to us. There are things that we keep that don’t make us happy. These are the things that we must discard in order to choose happiness. Money won’t buy this happiness for us. It is a focus on real joy that can only come from being able to care for those things that hold the most meaning.

Initially intended for a Japanese audience, the zen of being free of clutter can apply to us all. There is a lot of good to take out of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Grab your copy today and choose happiness.

About to Take On a Tough Job? Here’s How You Can Make the Transition Easier.

A new job doesn’t have to be within a different industry. Even a promotion that has you occupying a bigger office can be difficult when it is something you haven’t done before. If you’re about to take on a tough job, the butterflies in your gut can begin flying around at hurricane-force speeds. Here’s how you can make that transition into a new position a little easier.

#1. Look for what remains the same. Even if the new job has you completely changing the role you’ve held in a company for years, the new position is going to have some similarities to what you’ve done in the past. Look for these similarities and make them a primary part of your working day for the first couple of months in your new position. This will become your comfort zone and let you settle into the new job a little easier.

#2. Take on a mentor so you can ask questions. There is never a stupid question when you’re in a new position. Many people fail to ask questions because it would make them look bad in front of a new team. This is where having a mentor who can help you begin the onboarding process into a new position is highly beneficial. You can ask the mentor any question and you won’t feel embarrassed or look inexperienced. If there isn’t an onboarding policy where you’ve got this new job, then ask to create one.

#3. Always take some time for yourself. Whenever you begin a new position, the stress loads seem to be magnified for the first 6 months at the very minimum. It is extremely important that you take time for yourself every day so that you can always be at your best. You might need to work longer hours or perform at a different speed than you’re used to doing, so eating right, sleeping at night, and taking regular breaks will be incredibly important.

#4. Set small, achievable goals for every day. Feedback is one of the most critical components of starting a new job. Without an evaluation of your performance, you won’t really know where you stand in comparison to the expectations that others have of you. Make sure that you’re setting goals to hit every day and then have regular feedback every month [or even every week] to make sure you’re on the right path.

#5. Don’t get stuck. You’re responsible for your overall professional development. Relying on others to challenge you is a recipe that is certain to bring about a disaster. Make sure that you’re always looking for ways to enhance your skills, but don’t get stuck just worrying about yourself. If you find opportunities that can help your team or your entire organization, then take advantage of them so that everyone can win.

New jobs are tough because they require us to do different tasks within a different routine. By incorporating these specific methods into each day, you’ll find that the worrisome edge to that new job can be dulled just a bit.

6 Habits of Successful Job Seekers

Habit 1: Be Responsible for your own Job Search

 There are many things that can be learned when searching for a job, like what types of positions suit you best and what aspects are important when it comes to a job. This is why you being responsible for your own job search is so vital; if you let others take the reins when it comes to this step, you might miss out on some important information and overall, you will be more lost and confused when it comes to the actual interview process itself.

Habit 2: Set a Goal

Along the job search, there are many things that can happen that can stray you off the right path. This is why it is so important to set a goal when it comes to seeking a job. Make sure that you tell yourself that you want to complete the job searching task by a certain date or time period. By setting this goal, you are telling yourself that you respect your job search and that you take it seriously and as a priority. Without a goal in tow, you job search could lag on for longer than is necessary.

Habit 3: Stay Focused

There are several things that could happen when you are searching for a job, family troubles or someone getting married or wonderful vacations that you have not taken yet could be on the horizon. The point is to not deviate from the job search at all and stay focused as much as possible. Looking for a job can be very stressful and this is why focus needs to be your top priority. The only way to complete a successful job search is to stay focused until your job search goal has been met.

Habit 4: Be Organized

There are many things that have to be noted and remembered and taken into consideration when searching for a job that is why being organized is such an important aspect in successfully finding a job. Stay organized by writing down every interview that you go on, every job that you apply to and even every person that you talk to. Write down what was said and the name of the person who said it complete with a date. When you look back on your notes, you will notice that the organizational aspect of everything will make your job search that much easier.

Habit 5: Be Good to Yourself

When searching for a job, you might get so focused that you forget to be good to yourself. Remember when you search for a job that you are the most important instrument for the job, so you need to be in tip-top condition. That means that you must get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, maybe learn yoga/meditation, and spend your downtime in nature. When you take care of yourself, you will notice your stress level going down and your overall outlook becoming more positive, which is vital to the success of getting a great job.

Habit 6: Never Give Up

At the end of the day, it can be difficult to get job that you like, even if you follow all of these habits religiously. The secret is to never give up! There are always new jobs on the horizon and new and interesting people to meet that might be your ticket to getting your dream job. Don’t give up on your search and don’t give up on yourself. If you told yourself that you are going to get a wonderful job, then stick to your goal and follow the habits until you do. Sooner or later, you will find yourself with a great job and it will be because you did not give up.

The 7 Habits of Highly Creative People

Are you struggling to find your creativity? Maybe you feel like life has hit a rut and you can’t get out of it? The 7 habits of highly creative people are the best way to make the changes in life that are necessary to find inspiration again. Incorporate these habits into your life and you will be amazed at how easy it can be to tap into your creative centers.

#1. Pursue meaningful things. Take a moment and think about the meaning behind the actions you’re about to take. Is the course you’re about to chart going to be meaningful to you in some way? People stay creative by pursuing things that are meaningful to them. If you love what you do, then you’ll want to do more.

#2. Create a routine to center yourself. Start a routine that prepares your mind for creativity. Make sure that your day is structured so that you’re always triggered to find more creativity on a consistent basis. If you have unexpected events happen to you, that’s fine – just find a trigger that will help you get back to that routine so you can get centered.

#3. Use your imagination. Creativity is a skill that must be practiced. Make sure that you have some downtime every day and use it to daydream. Creating a fantasy world requires creativity and this practice will inspire real-life creativity when your downtime is over. Keep a journal close in case you get an inspired idea while daydreaming so you don’t forget it.

#4. Do something new every day. Being in a routine is good, but being in the same routine is bad. You need new experiences in order to inspire new levels of creativity. For that reason, it is important to schedule in new experiences every day as part of your daily routine. Whether you choose a different restaurant, a new park to visit, or even new music to enjoy during the day, anything new can be a trigger for something great.

#5. Observe. One of the greatest ways that humans learn is by watching others. Observe how creative people trigger creativity and stay focused and then incorporate the best of what you see into what you do.

#6. Trust your gut. Your intuition gives your advice that you need every day. The only problem is that the average person doesn’t trust there gut instinct. The logical mind overrides the intuition and then creativity disappears. Being creative means learning to trust yourself in every way.

#7. Give yourself plenty of time. If something in your life feels broken, then don’t expect an immediate fix. It takes time for things to wear out and break down. It also takes time to get things fixed. Use the difficult experiences of life as fuel for your creative output. Anger, grief, and sorrow not only inspire creativity, but truly experiencing these difficult emotions can help people cope with them and experience contentment in the near future.

Highly creative people don’t look backwards. They keep moving forward because there are new experiences behind every door. Find the experiences that are awaiting you today by incorporating these 7 unique habits.

6 Ways You Can Accomplish More Today

There’s a definite difference between being busy and being productive. Some people are busy all of the time, but they aren’t very productive with their work. Then there are the people who can get a ridiculous amount of work done every day with a consistent, high quality. The difference is organization. You can be productive and busy by taking these six methods into consideration as you structure your day.

#1. Give yourself daily deadlines. If you set timers for yourself throughout your day, then you’ll be able to track the levels of productivity that you’ve been able to accomplish. It doesn’t have to be a tangible system. If you keep track of work levels in your head per hour, that’s just as good sometimes as having deadlines put into your calendars.

#2. Keep a daily checklist. If you keep forgetting to get something done on a daily basis, then it really does become difficult to achieve your full attention. A daily checklist should have all the chores that need to be done during the day, but also include weekly and monthly tasks on it as well. This will allow you to prioritize your day and increase the amount of work you get done because there is less task switching.

#3. Eliminate all of the distractions. You don’t have to answer every email or text message when it comes in. You don’t need to update your Facebook status this instant. If you have to stop every few minutes because you’re switching tasks, then you could find yourself falling far behind because communication, not work completion, has become your highest priority.

#4. Keep track of your most creative ideas. There are some amazing ideas that have transformed the world that seem so simple, we wonder why we couldn’t have thought of them. Maybe you already have. If you keep track of your ideas that you can’t turn into projects right now, then maybe you can use them later in the future. Ideas that don’t get written down will be ideas that are lost. Your memory is not generally as reliable as you think it would be.

#5. Mentorship is a key component of productivity. The people who train you and encourage you have a surprising amount of influence in how you work. People are a lot like sponges. They soak up bits and pieces of the people around them to make a unique identity. If you have mentors who are encouraging bad habits like always checking email or wandering around the office with coffee in hand, then you’ll be less productive than you could be.

#6. Emotions will stab you in the back. Your feelings are important, but feelings that fester create an environment that emphasizes a lack of productivity. If you’re frustrated about something, then take 2 minutes to cope and then come back to a project. If you’re tired and feel like procrastinating, then take a deep breath, give yourself a minute or two of attention, and then knuckle down to get the job done. Barely keeping your head above water with work is no way to survive.

Being productive on a consistent basis at work takes some effort, but it is a habit that will eventually pay off in many different ways. Incorporate these ideas into your daily routine and you might just be amazed at how efficient you can really be.

Being Happier At Work: 5 Proven Methods for Success

The average person spends just as much time at work as they do sleeping at night. It isn’t uncommon for work to be the dominating factor in one’s life, even eclipsing time that is spent with friends or family. That fact alone can be depressing, but it doesn’t have to make you a miserable employee. Sometimes a few simple changes can bring an added level of contentment at work. After all, happiness is a choice that you can make.

Here are 5 proven methods for successfully choosing more happiness every day.

#1. Give yourself a taste of the outdoors. You don’t need to have a window office to feel like you’re in touch with nature. A little extra greenery in your work space can transform your daily attitude in remarkable ways. Not only do office plants give a slight improvement to the air in an office space, but the greenery provides a calming influence on the mind that lends to longer periods of focused concentration.

#2. Stop multitasking. There are some tangible gains to feeling important at work. It fills the chest with pride to know that you’re important enough to be incredibly busy. Those gains don’t feel so important when you’re bogged down with work, can’t focus, and seem distracted all the time.

#3. Have a friend somewhere close. People who are able to work with people whom they consider their friends are more productive during the day AND are happier at work. Not only does communication improve when people think of themselves as friends, but feedback is more honest and there isn’t as much of the solo competitiveness that can quickly derail a team. Here’s another reason to find a friend: people who have chronic loneliness have a 45% increased risk of experiencing a premature death.

#4. Take a chance. Taking risks at work might seem like self-sabotage, but being in a boring rut can actually lead to higher levels of discontent. Taking risks mean planning strategies, engaging new people, and sometimes risking it all on a single idea. Nothing gets the flow of adrenaline pumping more than that. When people are engaged in all of that, more happiness tends to come around because you will feel like you’re useful and contributing to a good cause.

#5. Allow yourself to fail. It can be difficult to fail at a task, but forgiving yourself and learning from the mistakes that led to failure will lead to more overall happiness. Without forgiveness, people tend to live in a world that is filled with anxiety. It can even lead to panic attacks if it persists for long enough. Happiness comes when control of a life is grasped. That’s what forgiving yourself will allow you to do.

Being happier at work may take a few changes, but the effort to change is definitely worthwhile. By following these ideas, you can shape your working environment to be a place where happiness instead of misery can be found every day.

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