Whatever You Do — Own It!

One of the secrets to a successful career is to take charge of your career — own it.

Stay focused on what you’re doing. Dont get distracted. Decide on what you want and focus on obtaining that. Do the very best in it because you will never know who’s evaluating your work.

Focus on your strengths. Sharpen them. Make the best use of them. If you’re an excellent analytical person, focus on doing analytical things and not waste your energy on things you’re not good at. Don’t blunt yourself by being a Jack of All Trade, Master of None.

Enjoy what you’re doing – whether it’s a success or a failure. If you failed or didn’t deliver something well, ponder on it for a moment – why did you fail – is this something you’re not good at and can’t be delegated to someone else or is it your mistake and if so, have you learnt where you went wrong? Either rectify the mistake of delegate it.

Own your life.
If you don’t, someone will own it for you, to make their lives better — not yours.

Productivity at Work Starts at Home

When I was working in Nigeria, I found it strange in the beginning when my Nigerian colleagues would ask me how my wife was? Until someone else explained to me that a husband is only happy when the wife is happy (oh, don’t we know that) and the wife is happy when the children is happy.

I’ve also seen how the mood and productivity of my colleagues change at work depending on well their lives are getting on. This is a common human behaviour. This was highlighted last night when my wife and I was watching the documentary on the murder of Lloyd Rayney’s wife and the police officer who delivered the news to Mr. Rayney remarked that Mr. Rayney looked calm and composed and was going through his day as usual before he was told that his wife was missing (Mr. Rayney was supposedly the prime suspect in his wife’s murder.) The judge in reading out his judgement noted that if someone actually hurt their spouse, in this case, allegedly murdered his wife during the wee hours of the morning, Mr. Rayney displayed no emotions prior to being informed by the police. And police officers are trained to take note of human facial changes, even when we’re not aware of it.

The first key to productivity in the office – ensure your kingdom at home is at peace.

If it is not, dont deny that nothing is wrong. Acknowledge that there is a conflict. And communicate with your spouse to resolve it. Being silent or moody isnt going to help anyone. You may resort to being silent, thinking everything will be okay but it may have adverse effects on your spouse.

Communicate civilly. Raising voices or throwing tantrums will not resolve the issue. Put yourself in your spouses shoes, how would you want yourself to act? Is what he/she saying hold water?

Never ever think that the relationship is not worth it. Some people think they can easily walk out of a relationship. Always remember that your spouse and you are having a disagreement on something, not a disagreement on each other. Your relationship is more important than your ego, so being “right” can go out the window.

Force yourself to listen to your partner. Really listen to what he/she is trying to say. Pay attention. Grasp their message.

Sometimes the time isn’t right to come up with a solution. It’s all right to agree to hold the solution until the both of you are in a better frame of mind.

Once a solution has been found, never bring up this problem again to remind your partner about their weakness. Once a problem has been solved and both parties have learnt their lesson, bury the problem and never speak of it again.

A peaceful life at home makes a wonderfully productive person at work or in business.

Everything in life is connected.

Make the best of it.

 

Simplify Your Life With This 2-Minute Rule with Google Timer

This is a recent technique made famous by David Allen that has helped many get a little productive.

If something takes less than 2-minutes to do it, then just do it! Usually these are tasks that you can do but you’re just procrastinating. That’s what we’re trying to eliminate – our self procrastination.

When you start finishing 2-minute tasks, you’ll soon realise that it’s quite easy to continue. So if you dread writing that report, just aim to work on it for 2 minutes.

And here’s a trick. If your computer has dual monitors, then open Google in you Chrome browser in one window and type in the following:

set timer to 2 minutes

This will set a time in Google and Google will play a sound when the time is up. Now you have no excuse not to try this 2-minute rule.

You’ll soon realise that you can go more than 2 minutes once you start a task you dislike.

This is what Isaac Newton said when he said Objects are rest will tend to stay at rest, objects in motion will tend to stay in motion. He’s no productivity expert but he just explained a universal law that applies to everything in nature.

So I sincerely hope you’ll try this technique to help be more productive.

 

 

How to Stop Email Overload

Unsubscribe and handle it only once.

A friend of mine paid a consultant $500 just to tell him that. Obviously the consultant helped my friend weed through his email but that was the crux of it.

If you’re subscribed to a newsletter, ask yourself when was the last time you read it. If you havent read it in 2 weeks, you’ll never read it. And while it pains you to hit the unsubscribe button, think of the freedom it will bring you if you have fewer emails in your mailbox.

You want an Inbox that you can manage.

You want an Inbox thats helps you capture the important issues.

Having a cluttered email is like having a cluttered mind. You have hundreds of thoughts that are running through your mind and you don’t know which to pay attention to. Unsubscribe. It’s easy to do. Click the Unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email and confirm the unsubscription.

Handle each email only once. Read it and decide if you need to do something about it or just bin it or archive it. This is hard to do in the beginning but apparently this is one of secrets of the ultra successful people. And I’ve been practising it myself. Nowadays I’ll do my best to handle and email only once. If the email requires extra attention, then I will make it Unread in my Inbox and proceed the clearing the rest. After that, I will return to my Unread emails and work on sorting them out.

Stop Sending Out So Many Emails

Email out = email in.

Stop sending so many emails out. Try and gather all your queries in one email. Even if you get a couple of email on related project questions, reply to them in one email. This helps you and the recipient to be organised.

Set Time Limits

Give yourself a time at the start, during lunch and at the end of the day to go through your emails. Your inbox should be closed at all other times.

I found the little email notification icon that Outlook puts in your task bar as very distracting. So I had that removed. Then I found myself constantly thinking if there were emails waiting for me in my Inbox. This was even more distracting in the beginning. I was so used to checking emails whenever they come in that I was going nuts when I started this technique. But like everything, after the first week, I could hold on a big longer and then my power of resistance increased. I can now fully focus on my work and only check my emails during my allocated break times.

Why?

Changing a habit requires a lot of will power and determination. But more importantly, it requires a reason for the change. Or else you’ll return to your old habits. I wanted to change because I wanted more time in my life. I wanted to stop running through my day at breakneck speed, coming home late and then repeating this whole cycle again.

I wanted time. And I’ve managed to get back close to an hour of my time back. Not from checking my emails 3 times a day but from being able to focus solely on my work without being distracted by email.

 

Be On Time

If you want to make a big difference in your life, be punctual. Yes, you heard me, be on time. Dont be late. In these times, showing up early is half the battle won.

 

“80% of success is showing up early.”
– Michael Bloomberg

 

Make being on time a priority for you. Make a decision not to be late anymore for anything.

For starter, set the time on your clocks at home 10 minutes ahead. I found this to be the best thing that helped me to be early for appointments. Oh, and it helps if you put all your appointments in Google Calendar and sync them to your mobile phone so that Google Calendar can send you a reminder when your appointment is due. (Men: put in your anniversary dates, make it a perpetual reminder, and set its notification to remind you 4 days earlier — your spouses will love you for it. While you’re doing that, it helps to put in birth dates of your children 🙂  and the year they were born)

Secondly, estimate how long it will take you to be ready for an appointment and then add 50% more time to it. Really, I am not joking. If you think you can dress up and take a cab to your next appointment in 1 hour, add 30 minutes to it. Humans have this tendency to compress time – we always think it takes us less time to do something than it normally does. We’re not superman or wonder women.

Always prepare what you need for you appointment ahead of time. Dont be silly in thinking you can scramble all your need on your way out. Doesn’t work homey. I’ve tried this for years and failed very single time.

Lastly, prepare for the worst. If your car dies in the middle of the road, have the phone number of your next appointment so that you can call ahead and inform them. Did you bring an extra pen? Did you remember to charge your laptop battery for today’s long presentation?

“Arriving late is saying that your own time is more important than the time of the person who waited for you.”
– Karen Joy Fowler

TripAdvisor Offline City Guides

TripAdvisor Offline City Guides

When you’re holidaying, you’re most likely not connected to the Internet, so what good are travel apps that require an Internet connection to provide you with travel advice.

This is where TripAdvisor Offline City Guides comes in. It stores maps of 92 cities (and you can download specific cities when you’re connected) and allows you to access them like an offline travel map.

My friends found this quite useful during their recent hike in Italy and that’s why I am writing about it.

It’s available on iOS and Android. The offline maps dont consume much memory.

 

Keeping Your Brain in Optimum Shape

If you’re like me, you’ve wondered many times if your brain is slowing down while you’re aging. Well, apparently your brain does slow does if not constantly being used. Yes, you heard me right — to keep it functioning well, you have t use it daily, not sparingly.

Now, how much is 35.2 x 17.7?

Just kidding. I don’t even know what that answer is.

But can you remember phone numbers? I could. Before they invented the mobile phone and contact lists. Now I rely on my mobile phone for numbers and should anything happen to my phone in an emergency, that’s trouble.

So can you help keep your brain functioning in optimum performance?

The Human Brain

 

 

Salmon?

How about some salmon for dinner today? And tomorrow? And the day after?

Have lots of salmon if you can or other cold water fatty fish like ocean trout. These fishes have good fat called DHA. Human need about 900 mg of DHA per day. That’s equivalent to eating  a 15o grams slice of salmon or trout. And research has shown that 150 grams of salmon is enough to keep your brain feeling like 5 years younger.

How to slow your brain down?

Have sugar and refined carbohydrates (sugar, white bread, cakes, cookies, muffins,…you know the drill).

Exercise

Exercise helps a lot. Exercise helps to trigger the formation of new blood vessels which helps the transport of nutrients into the brain. Your brain needs all the oxygenated blood it can get for optimum performance.

Try walking and jogging.

While I dont consider chess an exercise, but this is one game that will give your brain a run for its money. One of the oldest and most popular board games, playing chess will keep all your brain cells in optimum performance. Other board games will also do but why drive a Ford when you can drive a Ferrari? 🙂

Does Herbal Pills Help?

The funny thing about herbal pills is the disclaimer in the bottle saying something to the tune of for best effects, watch your diet and get some exercise. So I wonder which contributes to your mental well being — the pill or the disclaimer on the bottle?

 

Best Currency App

XE Currency App

If you’re constantly travelling, then the Xe currency app is something you will definitely need. It’s been in the market for sometime now and is compatible with iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

Xe covers all the major currencies and converts currencies at the current rate. It also has a historical chart that shows you how currencies stack up against each other.

Dont leave home without this app.

 

Recharging Your Mobile Battery in 30 Seconds

Store Dot Batteries

 

The future of charging your mobile phone in 30 seconds is near.

An Israeli company, Store Dot, has created what it calls Nanodots, a ‘bio-organic nano crystal’ technology that allows your battery to go from 0% juice to 100% juice in just 30 seconds.

Beside’s Nanodots, their also working on a display technology, data storage and image sensors and some brain stuff. But for me, I would like my 30-seconds battery charger pronto.