Saturday, July 03, 2010
Friday, July 02, 2010
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Posted: 26 Apr 2010 08:21 AM PDT
We’re both familiar with irritating, frustrating and annoying people. Learning how to deal with them is an art-form, because what works for me, may not work for you.
There are a lot of facets that come into play when someone is annoying you. Are they bothering you, because you genuinely don’t think they ‘vibe’ with you? Or, is the universe sending someone to show you what you have to work on?
If you only take one thing away from this article, let it be this: honesty always works. The longer you try to be nice to someone, the more you’re making other people believe that you actually enjoying hanging out with them.
There’s no need to be unnecessarily blunt about it, but if someone becomes too pushy, you have to be honest about what’s going on and let them know. It sucks, but if you value your time, it has to be done, and it doesn’t have to be done in a harsh manner.
Ignoring has to be one of the most common strategies you see people use. It can work well, but if the person is persistent, you can’t ignore them for long.
Dealing with annoying people is always easier the more comfortable you are in your skin. If someone is bothering you, the best way to stop it is to tell the person, which I will talk about in a second.
- Being Nice
The first response we have is to be nice towards everyone. Being negative in any way is frowned upon, but what most forget is that telling the truth is more important than being nice. You have to respect yourself.
Telling the truth doesn’t mean being rude or obnoxious in any way. You have to find your own groove, but chances are that you have to tell people what you think if you’ve got a small crowd bothering you all the time.
- Being Honest
If nothing else works, tell the person exactly what you feel. Again, being overly harsh is unnecessary. Just telling someone that you don’t want to hang out with them right now is not the end of the world.
This takes some courage, but in the end, it is the most honest and simple way to deal with the situation. Luckily, most people don’t need to be told, because they are smart enough to pick up subtle hints that you aren’t interested.
Think about when you were last bothering someone; did they tell you to go away in a particularly effective and nice way?
The way I often learn new things is by flipping the roles. If I want to learn how to tell people to go away, I look inside and think about if I’ve ever been in a position where someone else wanted me to go away, especially if it worked.
Learning how to deal with annoying people is uncomfortable, because if you care about others, you want to be nice. It’s your first instinct, and that’s cool, but it doesn’t always work.
When it becomes a problem is if you’re giving your time away to someone you don’t want to. Sometimes it takes more than being nice to resolve a problem in your life.
The next time you’re in a situation like this, think about your options and the consequences they have.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Posted: 24 Jun 2010 06:10 AM PDT
All of us work hard in life - there is no doubt about it. We work hard in our jobs so we can excel at work. We work hard to maintain our relationships. We work hard so we can achieve the best results in our life.
After working hard for an extended period of time, there comes a point when we realize that there's only so much we can do by working hard. Don't get me wrong - working hard is important. I'm a firm advocate of hard work - I can be quite the workaholic. I can go on working non-stop to get something done. Hard work is definitely the brick of success.
However, when you have 24 hours a day, just like everyone else, you have to start working smart too (on top of working hard) to get the maximum value for your time and effort. Working hard gives you results, and working hard AND smart at the same time gives you the top results. In this article, I will share 18 of my best, personal tips on working smart. Apply them to your life and you will experience better self-management, higher productivity and more results. Here they are:
- Get clear on the objective.
Everything has an objective. It's just a matter of whether you know it or not. What is the end objective you are looking for? The people who don't know the objective of what they are doing are the ones who waste the most time. If you know your objective, you can be laser-focused and cut right to the chase. The clearer you are, the better.
- Create a vision.
Now that you know your objective, what is your vision? See the objective as your direction, and your vision as your destination. Knowing your objective lets you know where to travel in, while knowing your vision helps you charge forward.
- Take the 80/20 route.
There are always many different ways to achieve the same outcome. 80/20 route refers to the route that takes the least effort but gives you the maximum results. What's the most effective route that will get you from where you are to where you want to be? Take that path.
- Go for high impact items.
There are endless number of things you can do to achieve a goal. Go for the most important tasks - the ones that cause the highest impact. For example in school, I would not attend lectures if I felt they would not make a difference to my learning. As I develop my blog, I concentrate on the key tasks that make the most difference such as writing high quality content for my readers and spreading the word about my articles.
- Create structures to maintain your flow.
If you know how motivation works, you will know it comes in bursts and waves. It's not possible to maintain a 100% full motivated state every single second. Hence, you need to create/leverage on your environment to maintain your flow. Examples are your physical environment, people you hang out with, your routine and communities you are a part of.
- Stop being a perfectionist.
Being a perfectionist isn't all that perfect if it prevents you from achieving more. Release the perfectionist mindset. Stop obsessing about the details and specifics; they often take care of themselves.
- Learn from others.
There are great resources, smart people, direct opportunities and top books around you all the time. Learn to make use of them. When I started out in my personal development industry and with my blog, I read materials from the experts and consulted the top bloggers, which helped me gain important insights immediately. Even today, I continue to do so as I expand my work. There is never a stop to how much you can learn from others.
- If it works, stick to it.
If there is already a success formula that's working, then reapply that formula. There's no need to innovate or reinvent the wheel for the sake of it. Innovate only if there's value in doing so.
- Ask for help.
Most of us prefer to do things by ourselves and not disturb others. That's a great work ethic, but sometimes asking for help gets us further than just doing it alone. People love to help. Many readers often email me at The Personal Excellence Blog for advice/help and I make an effort to answer their questions, because I want to see them do well too. Ask and you might get an answer. If you don't ask, you'll never get.
- Cut out the fluff.
Going for high impact items (#4) means you have to cut out the fluff. There are the things that need to be done, and then there are the nice-to-do things that don't exactly contribute to anything in the long-run. Don't do things unless they are absolutely needed.
Is there anyway to automate your tasks, especially labor intensive ones? It can be the simplest things such as setting up filters in your emails and using more functional applications that get the job done better. With The Personal Excellence Blog, I've automated several processes such as filtering specific emails to respective labels, having my new articles automatically feed to Twitter/Facebook, and having automatic thumbnails for my articles. That saves a lot of time so I can get right to creating quality content for readers.
For the lower impact items that need to get done (such as administrative activities), delegate them to someone else. If you are running a business, hire someone to take care of them.
If something is not your area of expertise or it can be better done by someone else, then outsource it. You only have 24 hours a day; your limited time should be spent only in places where you can add the most value. If you are running a business, examine if there are any aspects of your work (such as accounting, designing, programming) that can be outsourced to others. There's no need for you to learn and get hands-on on every single thing, especially if it's not the core of your work.
Sometimes, waiting may be the best solution. Things resolve themselves when you wait for a little while longer. I have experienced fixes that rectify themselves when I waited a while longer. If you are stuck in a dilemma, new solutions may pop in if you pause your steps.
- Pick your battles.
We often face roadblocks in things we do. Go up against the roadblocks only if they are worth the time and effort. That means you need to consciously weigh out the pros and cons first. Don't try to ram up against every barrier you face, especially if there's nothing much on the other side.
- Always lookout for a better way.
Don't restrict yourself to a certain set rule of doing things just for the sake of status quo. Study others and learn from them (#7). Review your situation regularly (#18) and look for ways to improve what you are doing. Be flexible to usher in changes that can help you get more results.
- Stop when you are tired.
I've realized from experience that trying to press on when you are tired only leads to slumps and ruts. Resting is paramount to accomplishing more. A tired person can't do meaningful work. When you are well-rested, you work faster and better.
- Review regularly.
Do a regular review of what you have done in the past week and the corresponding results. Then analyze the things that are working and the things that aren't working. With the former, keep them; with the latter, remove them. Very soon you will have a very streamlined list of things that work.
|Written on 6/24/2010 by Celestine Chua. Celestine writes atThe Personal Excellence Blog, where she shares her best advice on how to achieve personal excellence and live your best life. Get her RSS feed hereand add her on Twitter @celestinechua.||Photo Credit: Incase.|
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
When you first go online after turning your computer on, you can decide what you want your Start page to look like.
I have my start page set to be the home page of my website. That's a safety precaution, because it means I can double check to make sure everything is loading properly.
But you might want to customize your start page, and here's a few ideas from the DLM blog:
Posted: 25 Jun 2010 07:17 AM PDTThe purpose of a startpage is to save you time by making the best use of that first browser window you open when you are starting the day. While you could always set a preferred homepage that opens when you click the Internet Explorer or the Firefox icon on your desktop, a startpage provides a lot of different options and lets you check things like email, RSS feeds, news and much more without leaving that browser tab.
A well designed startpage could definitely make you more productive as you don't need to open separate windows to visit sites you need to everyday. This article talks about six such startpages. The list includes usual suspects like Netvibes and iGoogle, and some other little known but nice startpages that could enhance your productivity. Check them out.
Netvibes pioneered the startpage concept when it launched its service in 2005. And it continues to be the most well known, and probably the most used personalized dashboard platform till date.
The good thing about the tool is that it hasn't stayed the same. It has evolved with changing times, adopted AJAX based interface and now it is highly customizable, allowing you to configure it in a way that could make you productive. You could read feeds in real-time, add notes, check email and do much more, all from one page.
iGoogle is the usual suspect number 2 in this list, and is without a doubt the preferred startpage for millions of users around the world. Built by Google, it integrates well with Google services like Gmail, Google News, Google Reader etc, and has some innovative features like ability to store bookmarks, designing your own iGoogle gadget and more.
Check this page to know more about iGoogle customization.
Fav4, as Lifehacker describes it, is a dead simple startpage (by the way, Lifehacker calls it "start page" instead of "startpage". Both the versions are correct though ). And that's exactly what makes it useful. It's minimalistic nature ensures that you focus on the four most important sites to begin your day with, and then move on to other tasks.
The site has no complex features. Simply add the sites you want, select the look and set it as the default browser page. While you can add many sites to the interface, I'd suggest you stick to the default view of 4 site icons. That'll definitely make you more productive.
Only2clicks is another simple startpage, which, at the first glance looks like Chrome's default speed-dial startpage, but it isn't exactly the same. It has got more features, some of them really innovative. Like, it has a tabbed interface which allows you to add many more websites and not clutter it at the same time.
You could drag and drop icons, add default search icons, import and export bookmarks, create bookmarklets and quickly share a link (which is pretty good) through this tool.
Things To Do For Google Chrome
Things To Do is a brilliant startpage extension for Google Chrome. It's in fact a pretty cool GTD app. The concept is simple - your to-do list for the day will become your startpage. Your tasks are outlined in bold letters, and each time you open a new tab in Chrome, you'd be reminded of the tasks you need to complete.
You could of course customize the tool, rearrange the list, delete and add tasks. Overall, I think this startpage could be the best to-do list app if you use Chrome as your main browser.
And last but not the least, we've got Google Tasks' standalone page which could be used as a startpage too. It's just this url - https://mail.google.com/tasks/
So what startpages you use? Share them in the comments.
|Written on 6/25/2010 by Abhijeet Mukherjee. Abhijeet is a blogger and web publisher from India. He loves all things tech as long as it aids in productivity. He edits Guiding Tech, a blog that publishes useful guides, tutorials and tools. Check it out and subscribe to its feed if you like the site. You can also find him on Twitter.||Photo Credit: TexasDarkHorse|
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
It feels good to be recognized for the work you do.
If you need to have your hand held every step of the way in order to accomplish something you should be doing, then you maybe in trouble.
The age of doing what you are told and only doing what you are told is disappearing.
The age of doing your job and then some is here.
I started working in the radio business as a disc jockey when I was in high school. Got my first, real full-time paying on-air gig when I was 18 and moved out of the house. My bosses only cared that I did my job but there was no room for advancement, so I took charge of my own advancement and left after a year for another d-j job in a bigger town and a better time slot.
Even during the times I did not work in the radio profession, I was self motivated to learn and advance.
I took an entry level position in a factory in my 30's and jumped at opportunities for advancement. That's why I know how to drive a forklift.
A few years later I took an entry level position at a plastics factory and a week later was training to become a thermoformer operator. Within a year I was training the guy who originally taught me the basics.
I'm now in my 8th year at a group of radio stations in Fort Wayne. Except for a 4 of the disc jockeys on one of our stations who were there when I joined them, everything has changed. That includes the number of stations, (5, then 6, then 3, and now 4); the name of the company, the upper management, (5 or 6 times); and all of the other staff members.
I have stuck around despite having offers to leave because the opportunities to grow continue and since I am in an advertising sales position, I can pretty much call my own shots. I am also here because I contribute to the economic health of our company.
I've lost track, but I bet there have been close to 100 salespeople come and go since I've been here. And only 1 or 2 are currently successful in this business.
So, was it a pat on the back, or a kick in the behind from my bosses that made me successful?
I've received both, but neither was really responsible for my success.
It has to come from within. Economic pressures might motivate some people, but $$$ only motivates us to take some kind of action, which could be good or bad.
Finally, I have to also give credit to my wife Kathy of nearly 10 years. While I could get totally absorbed by the work I do, she provides support and balance. She doesn't need me, but we complement each other. We have our differences, we have our sense of humor, we have our faith and that helps us stay humble, motivated and centered.
As I started writing this piece this morning, it was originally motivated by what Seth Godin wrote on his blog this weekend:
If you're waiting for a boss or an editor or a college to tell you that you do good work, you're handing over too much power to someone who doesn't care nearly as much as you do.
We spend a lot of time organizing and then waiting for the system to pick us, approve of us and give us permission to do our work.
Feedback is important, selling is important, getting the market to recognize your offering and make a sale--all important. But there's a difference between achieving your goals and realizing your work matters.
If you have a book to write, write it. If you want to record an album, record it. No need to wait for someone in a cubicle halfway across the country to decide if you're worthy.