Connect with us

Success Advice

9 Time Management Tips To Maximize Productivity

Published

on

time management maximis productivity

We all know how easy it is to carelessly drift through the day, getting little done. And what more can you can expect when email notifications are constantly tapping your shoulder every 2 minutes?

If that’s not bad enough, phone calls, text messages, annoying Facebook notification events, and twitter mentions can easily rob you of your time and productivity.

But as Marie Forleo says:

“everything is figure-outable”

Here are my 9 top time management tips to get the best out of each and everyday.

 

9 Effective Time Management Tips for Major Productivity

 

1. Hide or Un-install Social Media Apps

This is extra important If you use your smartphone for business purposes. Assuming you’re not strictly disciplined yet, the best thing is to hide your social media apps that tend to be a nuisance and distract you through the day.

It’s too easy to pick up your phone, see Facebook or Twitter, then end up doing something you never planned like browsing through the timeline.

If you can’t see it, you may not be as tempted or distracted from the task at hand.

 

2. Write down a list of “time wasters”

When I’m in writing mode or I have writing to do, I don’t want my phone ringing every second, I don’t want an extra tab open for Facebook or YouTube, etc. The same should go for you.

An easy way to find out what’s burning up all your time is to write down everything you feel isn’t helping you progress. Your list might look like –

  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • TV
  • Texting
  • Long phone calls with friends, family
  • Video Games
  • Obsessive email checking

You can’t maximize your productivity if you don’t even know where your time’s running off too. So get down everything that’s irrelevant or not serving your time well so you can manage your days better. For writing lists you can use apps like colornote or evernote, both available on the android and apple store.

 

3. Set Daily Goals With Reminders

If your goal is to run at least 1 mile everyday, and that goal is attached to a reminder or timer, you’ll be more inclined to do it. Nobody enjoys disappointing themselves right? A cool way you can do this is with the app Evernote. You can get it on the android and apple store for free.

Every morning or every night I’d recommend you set your daily goals with reminders for the day ahead. I find it’s so much easier to look at my daily goals before the day begins, because my minds fresh and absorbs the information easier. But you’re free to do it your own way of course, if that works for you.

 

4. Talk it out with friends and family

Our friends and family love to have our attention on a regular basis, and It’s no different for us either. But at the end of the day, when you’ve got important things to do whether it be business, or writing a new book, It’s best we let them know beforehand.

Talk it out with your friends and family. Let them know when it’s “your” time and at what time you’ll be available to speak and socialize with them. Help them understand so they wont have to feel “ignored” when you’re being extra productive.

 

5. Get rid of your TV

There was a time when I felt my TV wasn’t serving me too well, so I got rid of it not long after by selling it on eBay. As far as growth goes it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I almost immediately had more time on my hands to do more of the great stuff that actually matters. It forced me to change my daily routine and the way I managed my time.

Maybe you’re in that predicament right now? Maybe you’re the type to be easily distracted by the TV and go a little overboard. If you don’t “need” it, and it’s ruining your productiveness, sell yours on eBay. You’ll be more than surprised by the results.

Time lost time management

 

6. Buy yourself a Year Planner

Getting yourself a year planner is guaranteed to boost your productivity and manage your time efficiently. All you’ve got to do is stick it somewhere it can be easily spotted, and write down your daily tasks before you get started with your day.

Or even write down tasks and important things ahead of time by filling out the entire month, or year if you choose. You can buy a year planner from Amazon for a pretty decent price.

 

7. Have a dedicated “productivity” room

If you run a home based business working straight from your laptop, having your own dedicated room is the best way to go.

Being at home as it is can be distracting in its self. You can’t expect to manage your time well if you’re sat in a room full of “tempting” things, like food, chocolate, smartphone, TV, newspapers, etc. You’ll only make it that much harder on yourself to concentrate.

Re-design a spare room and turn it into an office. Clear out any distractions from your “productivity” space so you can be razor sharp focused and fully committed.

 

8. Stop talking yourself out of it

You have deadlines to complete, you’ve got major things to do, yet instead of doing them, your good ol’ brain decides to talk you out of it. Take Nike’s advice and just do it. 

Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by all the “shiny” things that are begging for your attention.

 

9. Buy a book on time management

Nothing beats the power of a book when it comes to learning about a topic in depth. There’s just no comparison. Buy as many top notch books as you can on time management and get some fresh ideas to help you succeed.

Popular time management books include – The One Minute Manager & Getting Things Done.

 

Is there anything else I missed? Let me know in the comments!

Theo Ellis is a blogger, author, writer, and online retailer. Speaking on subjects such as confidence, personal development, he writes from personal experience to benefit the lives of others through justbereal.co.uk.

Advertisement
18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. vaqar

    Jul 21, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    A great article. The tips are really good and I loved going through the blog.

    • Theo Ellis

      Dec 30, 2017 at 1:05 am

      Glad you took something from it 🙂

  2. Lilien Nem

    Dec 19, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    hey! has anyone heard about http://tweio.com/ from here? “Tweio is an application which helps you to be more time-efficient with less effort.” sounds appealing 🙂

  3. Keith Clarke

    Jun 16, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Hi Theo,

    Great post and timely 🙂

    All good tips although I think I will keep my TV as I do like to watch a movie to unwind (Maybe just get rid of the Sky TV package though). I have also just ordered 18 minutes by Peter Bregman (thanks Tim). I listened to an interview with him a while back about the book and it really resonated with me, but then it went out of my mind.

    The one thing I would add to the list is to check in regularly throughout the day and ask the question, “Is what I am doing right now taking me towards or away from my objectives for the day?”

    • Tim

      Jun 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      Great stuff Keith, and based on your closing thought I just know you are going to get heaps out of Peter Bregman’s book!

    • Theo J Ellis (@TheoJEllis)

      Jun 23, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      Good to see you enjoyed the post Keith. And yes, I have to agree with the last part of your comment. I may have to check out that book though!

  4. Kshitiz Garg

    May 31, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    I have had the privilege of reading this blog because i am a member of a social media website on which its link was shared. Voila, first tip says that hide/uninstall social media apps….don’t agree too much with that. Otherwise it’s a great list 🙂

  5. Natalia

    May 9, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Owning a home based business, I find that being committed to ‘work’ during my day has proven successful and not letting household chores enter into my daily plan. However, there are times when distraction is necessary to give myself a break when productivity is lacking. If I find myself lacking in creativity or productivity I will walk out of my office and committ to wasting time, I.e. read a book, take a walk, clean something, watch a movie. When I go back to my task I am clearer and more focused. I also like to commit time to social media. Thinking that one can avoid Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn…. is unrealistic in today’s business. Social media plays a vital role in business and needs to be managed as an asset not a distraction, with realistic time management.

    • Theo J Ellis (@TheoJEllis)

      May 28, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Thanks for commenting Natalia. I especially agree with the social media part you mentioned. As you say – “realistic time management” that’s what matters most! I can definitely relate

  6. Everyday Power

    Apr 28, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Great list! I would like to add, maybe the foundation of this all…is a mission statement. Why is your time so valuable? What do you want to achieve with your time? Why should I treat my time like gold?

  7. Wan

    Apr 25, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Great list of tips, Theo.

    One thing I would like to add is to track your time. it can give us insights on how we use our time and our time-management weak points.

  8. Raymona Brown

    Apr 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    This is a very useful article, many people never really realize that our time and how me manage it is one of our most important assets.. As a great man once said time lost can never be regained.

    All the tips mentioned are awesome tips however the ones that have proven most effective for me is that of setting daily goals. The yearly planner, having a productivity room and stop putting things off.

    From what I have experienced being better at time management will definitely increase your productivity and not only that but you will find you have more time in the day than you previous thought.
    Once again very useful article!

    • Theo J Ellis (@TJEntrepreneur)

      May 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

      Hey, Raymona. I’m glad you found the article of great value! It’s amazing how much time we can have if managed right on a daily basis. Appreciate your comment 🙂

  9. Tim

    Apr 23, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I found 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman really helpful, for staying on track but also to set a big picture agenda of what I’m trying to achieve.
    Other hacks include setting yourself to Do Not Disturb, hiding out in a meeting room for an hour or two and not letting yourself leave until you’ve completed a set of tasks, and getting into the habit of hitting the desk early – say 7am – to enjoy a fantastic couple of hours of flow at the start of the day, before the meetings and phone calls start.

    The bonus of the early start is you can head out the door at 5 or 5.30 knowing you’ve put in a full day

    • Theo J Ellis (@TJEntrepreneur)

      Apr 26, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      Hey Tim, appreciate your input! I agree. I actually have the “do not disturb” feature on my smartphone, it’s very useful for time management. Having an early start is also key, because it allows you to get a large amount done within the day.

      Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

How to Use the “Small Victories” Method to Avoid Burning Out

Published

on

avoiding burnout
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Have you had a goal you begin to work toward only to run out of steam? Do you know what you need to do to get to where you want to be, but the necessary work feels overwhelming? “Small Victories” is the method to eliminate procrastination, dramatically increase productivity, and to make every part of the process not just bearable, but fun.

The journey from novice to rockstar is filled with a thousand small victories. Each victory increases your skill, your confidence, your positive expectation, and is ultimately the only way to really do something truly great.

Imagine you have a band in which everything was fun- fun to practice, fun to get together and create. The first victory was writing your first song. Afterwards, some friends come to watch you practice, and they cheer you on giving you another boost. Then you play your first show, do your first band photoshoot, and create a band website. After all this hard work, you record your first song as a band, have your first major show, your first tour, and develop the best thing so far which are your first true fans.

Each victory gives you the energy to get to the next victory

If you told the kid, it was going to take ten years of work to get to the end goal, without celebrating the small important victories in between, it would be illogical for any human to hunker down and work 10 years to get there. So how is this relevant? When starting a business or following your dream, incentivizing yourself with small victories will make you far more likely to make you continue on to your end goal. Without it, your willpower only lasts so long.

The small victories are the positive fuel to make it to the next milestone. You create small victories by finding a way to interact with people as a way to have an impact even if it’s small. For example, when people try to start businesses, often they try to get everything together before selling their first product. It could be months or years of work before they are at the level of their competition.

I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here. Charles Bukowski

Say you’re creating a bakery, it could be a year before anyone tried your first baked good if you go the traditional brick and mortar route without any small victories. This comes with great financial cost and energy. You also lose out on the opportunity to improve your craft, your products, your image and your connections with others who can take your business to greater heights.

However, if you go with the method of small victories instead, you would start by creating a cult following amongst friends and family with your decadent treats. Next, you would bake them at home and sell them at local events, farmers markets, and maybe even at local businesses. This can give you the opportunity to create a strong local and social media following well before the opening of your first actual store.

Work and effort without small victories lead to burnout

We need to build rewards along the way into our endeavors, because this provides encouragement to keep going. Each moment is a separate gift, an experience where something was fulfilled, where something was accomplished, no matter how small, and being a recluse until the grand unveiling will have so many missed opportunities along the way.

Small victories are also an opportunity to develop your skills, get feedback – positive or constructive – and considerably increase opportunities. Small victories increase your credibility by showing a track record and the trajectory you’re on by increasing your ability to attract investors and partners.

“Success is rarely the result of one swell swoop, but more often the culmination of many, many small victories.” – Joseph M. Marshall III

The idea of celebrating small victories can be applied to any subject. In weight loss, for instance, seeing pounds melt away will give you the positive mindset to continue and even improve the choices you make to enhance your physique. Sharing your success with others will bring in the element of positive encouragement. It can also motivate others to come with you on the journey. Your small victories can inspire others to start their own journey.

What small victory did you achieve today which will bring you a step closer to your goals? Let us know below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Setting Up Your Mindset to Win: How to Achieve Success in Your Life and Career

Published

on

mindset
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

How did Usain Bolt become so successful? He seems superhuman, doesn’t he? Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Paul Bocuse… all these people have something special in them. They became the stars in their niche. Have you ever wondered why? No, they do not have any superhuman capacity. They are simple people, just like you and I. They, too, had flaws. Their mindset, however, is what set them apart. If you want to win in your career and in life, generally, you need the mindset of a winner. You have to think like a true champion, so you’ll overcome your flaws and emphasize your strengths.

So how do you set the mindset to win? Here are 5 suggestions to get you started:

1. When You Can’t Achieve a Goal, Get Help

Have you heard of Paul Bocuse? He was one of the most famous chefs of his time, and he was named as the chef of the century. This is a good example of the point we’re about to make. Even the best are not almighty, they have to learn from someone. Paul Bocuse learned from another famous chef. He constantly worked to improve his skills and he learned along the way.

The lesson is: you cannot do everything on your own. This is the first thing you have to do: learn and find the right person to learn from. Are there any books by the champions of your chosen niche? Get them and read them. Can you get a mentor? Of course, you can! Start connecting with people on LinkedIn. Your alumni network is a great source of mentorship opportunities, too. Don’t be afraid to reach out and say that you want to learn from someone.   

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Work on Your Resilience

Here’s the most important life lesson you’ll ever learn: things don’t always go as expected. When you strive towards a particular goal, the chances of failure are real. When Usain Bolt started training, he wasn’t the fastest man on Earth. He worked towards that goal and he was resilient enough to go through all the obstacles he faced. We couldn’t possibly assume that such success came easily for him.

The journey towards a successful life is not a straight line, it’s a bumpy road full of difficulties and setbacks. The average person would give up along the way, but a champion would stay resilient. It’s the mindset that makes a true difference. The good news is that the more obstacles you overcome, the more resilient you become.

3. Focus

What do you want in your career and in your life? This is not something that can go with the flow. You cannot simply live your life one random day after another and expect great things to come your way. You have to focus on particular goals and work your way up there.

Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, has a nice tip for everyone who wants to become successful: “Dedicate yourself to a core set of values. Without them, you will never be able to find personal fulfillment, and you will never be able to lead effectively.”

Simple and straight to the point, right? So set your goals! Find that major goal you want to achieve and break it up into smaller achievements. Then, start accomplishing things on a daily basis. You need to devote your life to achieving that goal.

4. Be Bold

Steve Jobs wasn’t focused on getting an average job, achieving average results and living an average life. He had big dreams and bold goals. All successful people have something in common at the starting point, a bold dream. Being afraid to dream big is a huge mistake. Set your imagination free! What’s the biggest thing you’d like to achieve? If you believe in yourself and you start working towards that goal one day after another, you’ll unlock your true potential. You’ll realize that not many things are impossible. You can achieve much more than you believe you’re capable of.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. If You Fall, Get Back Up

Have you ever wondered why Richard Branson became so successful? The answer is simple: never gave up, no matter what hardships he faced. His first company didn’t make money. The test flight of Virgin Atlantic Airlines almost crashed because of a flock of birds. Virgin Cola, his soda company, failed miserably. He almost got himself killed during his trip around the world. Richard Branson has done many things, but do you know what he never did? Give up. No matter how serious the failure was, he always found the strength to get back up on his feet and carry on with life. That’s the mindset of a champion!

Never allow yourself to get disappointed from failure. Do not fall back into average just because your big dream doesn’t seem to be working. Failure is not a big deal. It’s just part of the journey, and everyone has to face it. If you carry on, you’ll find success along the way.

So you want to be a champion? You better start working towards that goal without wasting any time. The first step is changing your mindset. Hopefully, the tips above inspired you to do that.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Success Advice

3 Important Principles You Need to Know That All Billionaires Have in Common

Published

on

billionaires
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I’ve always been highly interested in the similarities amongst the world’s wealthiest. Their habits, successes, mindset, and failures have fascinated me. The journey to great prosperity can seem overwhelming, but if you apply success principles to any endeavor you can quickly and efficiently overcome challenges and expand.

Michael J. Gabrielli, founder of WeRunAds, has spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars studying billionaires and their habits. Michael has also studied over 2000 different billionaires and from this experience he’s found three principles they all had in common.

Here are the 3 principles the billionaires all had in common:

1. Be in a rapid growth industry at the right time

Timing is so important. Billionaires know when the time is right to enter a market. Most billionaires do not enter first or second into a market because of the inherent risks involved. Many billionaires let the pioneers pave the way and then leverage the knowledge gained to innovate and optimize in order to create something that works.

The key is to find an industry that is soon to take off. Stepping in at the right time is important. Let’s take a real life example that is known all too well– the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. When he entered the scene, the idea of a social network was moderately known, but it was still not quite predicted to be the monster it is today.

Others like Friendster, Myspace, etc. had made some headway into this fledgeling industry and then Facebook entered leveraging the knowledge and expertise gained from the early pioneers. Zuckerberg saw the huge potential of social networking, took what was done previously and made it better.

He is presently worth over $66 Billion and the company has surpassed the 2 billion users mark with 1.4 billion using the platform daily. Not surprisingly, many billionaires were not the first to pioneer the industry they would later find success in. They came in at the right moment, learned from the mistakes and triumphs of their predecessors, and made a lasting final product.

Here’s a practical 3 question exercise you can do to judge if you have the right timing with your current venture:

  1. Look at your industry and say—is this brand new?
  2. Am I trying to invent something that doesn’t exist?
  3. Am I too late to the party?

2. Position yourself better

In addition to finding the right industry and getting in at the right time, billionaires position themselves in the best way. They provide the solution to the need and they think outside the box to do it. Optimal positioning is a commonality amongst billionaires. For example, during the California Gold Rush, people rushed to mine for the gold itself blinded by the promise of large profits.

However, it turned out that Sam Brannan had the better idea for how to position himself for success. He knew the chances of finding gold were risky, so instead he committed to a sure thing. He manufactured the tools that were needed by all the miners to mine gold. As each new miner migrated West, they were happily met by Brannan and his company who were ready and waiting to sell these new hopefuls the shovels and tools they’d need to strike it rich.

Digging for gold seemed to be the most profitable route, however, greater returns were yielded in the supplying of materials required to mine for gold! A good company that also illustrates this concept is Microsoft. They did not seek to create their own computer, but the software that computers would run on. Most people mistakenly think they have to “go for the gold” to attain wealth, but it’s evident in history that selling the necessary tools to the gold miners can be far more profitable.

The two questions you need to ask yourself to see how you could position yourself correctly are, “What industries will need the supplies that I could provide? And, “Am I following the trend instead of innovating?

“Big shots are only little shots that keep shooting. I can see your sun rise out of obscurity. Keep shooting” – Ikechukwu Joseph

3. Take calculated risks

Most people choose the safe bet that is secure, however, this is not common among billionaires. Billionaires take big calculated risks in order to propel themselves to higher levels of influence and success. The most important thing to note here is that while to others the risks seem big—to billionaires, they are calculated.Risk and Calculated Risk are not the same. Calculated risk is measured and well-thought-out. Risk is impulsive and immeasurable. Understanding the difference between the two is a commonality among billionaires. The world’s most prominent figures have at some point in their lives disagreed with the ordinary and took a shot at the unknown. Proper calculation and clever thinking certainly accompanied the bold moves they made in their careers.

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, is a great example of this. He had grown up in poverty and made his way out to earn a comfortable wage as an executive at a company that manufactured coffeemakers.

“Risk more than others think safe.” – Howard Schultz

He risked it all when he discovered a small coffee shop named “Starbucks” in Seattle that prompted him to quit his job and step out to create a company that was inspired by the Italian coffee culture and personal relationship people could have with their coffee.

Of the 242 people he spoke to, 217 said no to investing with him. Despite the discouragement, lack of agreement, and investment, Schultz kept pushing on. Fast forward to present time, and Starbucks’ is a massive success. Strong intuition and unshakeable belief is common among high achievers. Many successful billionaires risked their safe jobs, personal assets, and even their reputation to take calculated risks that they knew would pay off huge in the end.

The questions you need to ask yourself now are, “where can I take a calculated risk? Am I holding back when I should be going forward? What tangible steps can I take today to move forward?”

These 3 success principles are staple elements that are common among many billionaires. Now, there are more principles that you must discover and implement in order to become a billionaire. Work diligently and do all that can be done each day. Be inquisitive and study those that you wish to emulate.

Which one of these principles do you need to work on more this year? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

Published

on

personal success
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome.

Here’s the question I always ask: What is standing between your current reality (where you are now) and your ultimate vision (where you want to be)? Are the impediments psychological, physical, emotional or some other reason?

Until you answer what is causing the difference between your AS IS and your SHOULD BE, you will be stuck spinning your wheels in the mud and the muck of the former. This is an important question that requires a level of mental self-examination. And the answer to this question may require a lifetime of introspection. It is an important question to answer because if you know where you want to go that provides direction but examining why you are not there yet can provide momentum. (In other words, by answering the question it may get you there faster!)

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

It’s just like following a road map. A map is useless unless you know two things, where you are, and where you want to go. What might be stopping you (or at least slowing you down) from the ultimate destination of your passion and life’s fulfilment?

I’ve asked many people about this over the years and have heard these four reasons that keep people from moving forward.

1. Lack of vision

How do you plan to get there, if you don’t know where “there” is? The most difficult undertaking in the world is to sit quietly with a blank sheet of paper and chart out your life. I know, I have many blank sheets of paper to prove it. However, I also found out that it only takes one sheet, with a few well-crafted lines of thought to give you the direction you need. But you need to start!

2. Lack of goals

So, you know where you want to go, you just don’t know how to get there. The second hardest thing in the world is to have a sheet of paper with your ultimate destination on top, and the rest blank as you ask yourself, now what or how do I get to my vision? The process of functional decomposition means breaking down the larger process into steps that are both actionable and motivational. In other words, the steps are small enough to do and you remain motivated because they are so small.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

3. You don’t believe you can get there

You want to, but there is a script running through your head telling you to go home, make some chicken soup and don’t leave the house until these foolish notions of greatness are gone. Think about it, your parents never did what you are trying to do, no one in your family has ever done it, you are far too old (or too young) to do that, you don’t have the right education…your rationalizing can go on for a lifetime! Here is my suggestion when it comes to running those self-deprecating scripts: STOP IT!

4. You are lazy

You won’t admit this to yourself, but perhaps you are just plain lazy. I’ve seen it so many times; individuals majoring in minors. Performing high fun, low payoff activities instead of the low fun, high payoff activities. (And, by the way, who ever said that a high payoff activity can’t be fun? There’s that darn script again.) As a species we are inclined to take the path of least resistance, but that path may not lead us to our vision, but you must admit, we are having a great time NOT moving toward our vision! Laziness is not “doing nothing.” It’s doing the wrong thing because that’s what you want to do, and, very often, we know it’s the wrong thing to do!

There you have the four possible things that might be holding you back from the realization of your vision. Are any of them hitting home? Answer this question before you move on:

What is standing between my current reality and my ultimate vision of success?

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Trending

Success Advice

How to Use the “Small Victories” Method to Avoid Burning Out

Published

on

avoiding burnout
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Have you had a goal you begin to work toward only to run out of steam? Do you know what you need to do to get to where you want to be, but the necessary work feels overwhelming? “Small Victories” is the method to eliminate procrastination, dramatically increase productivity, and to make every part of the process not just bearable, but fun. (more…)

Zachariah Bourne is the Author of the upcoming book "Blissed Out". He’s a writer for Success Magazine and Huff Post and Co-Authors articles with Jacquelyn Denissoff. As a producer, songwriter and artist living in NYC, he uses music as a way to spread the message of positivity to the world. Follow him on Instagram or go check out his YouTube.

Advertisement
18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. vaqar

    Jul 21, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    A great article. The tips are really good and I loved going through the blog.

    • Theo Ellis

      Dec 30, 2017 at 1:05 am

      Glad you took something from it 🙂

  2. Lilien Nem

    Dec 19, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    hey! has anyone heard about http://tweio.com/ from here? “Tweio is an application which helps you to be more time-efficient with less effort.” sounds appealing 🙂

  3. Keith Clarke

    Jun 16, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Hi Theo,

    Great post and timely 🙂

    All good tips although I think I will keep my TV as I do like to watch a movie to unwind (Maybe just get rid of the Sky TV package though). I have also just ordered 18 minutes by Peter Bregman (thanks Tim). I listened to an interview with him a while back about the book and it really resonated with me, but then it went out of my mind.

    The one thing I would add to the list is to check in regularly throughout the day and ask the question, “Is what I am doing right now taking me towards or away from my objectives for the day?”

    • Tim

      Jun 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      Great stuff Keith, and based on your closing thought I just know you are going to get heaps out of Peter Bregman’s book!

    • Theo J Ellis (@TheoJEllis)

      Jun 23, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      Good to see you enjoyed the post Keith. And yes, I have to agree with the last part of your comment. I may have to check out that book though!

  4. Kshitiz Garg

    May 31, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    I have had the privilege of reading this blog because i am a member of a social media website on which its link was shared. Voila, first tip says that hide/uninstall social media apps….don’t agree too much with that. Otherwise it’s a great list 🙂

  5. Natalia

    May 9, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Owning a home based business, I find that being committed to ‘work’ during my day has proven successful and not letting household chores enter into my daily plan. However, there are times when distraction is necessary to give myself a break when productivity is lacking. If I find myself lacking in creativity or productivity I will walk out of my office and committ to wasting time, I.e. read a book, take a walk, clean something, watch a movie. When I go back to my task I am clearer and more focused. I also like to commit time to social media. Thinking that one can avoid Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn…. is unrealistic in today’s business. Social media plays a vital role in business and needs to be managed as an asset not a distraction, with realistic time management.

    • Theo J Ellis (@TheoJEllis)

      May 28, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Thanks for commenting Natalia. I especially agree with the social media part you mentioned. As you say – “realistic time management” that’s what matters most! I can definitely relate

  6. Everyday Power

    Apr 28, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Great list! I would like to add, maybe the foundation of this all…is a mission statement. Why is your time so valuable? What do you want to achieve with your time? Why should I treat my time like gold?

  7. Wan

    Apr 25, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Great list of tips, Theo.

    One thing I would like to add is to track your time. it can give us insights on how we use our time and our time-management weak points.

  8. Raymona Brown

    Apr 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    This is a very useful article, many people never really realize that our time and how me manage it is one of our most important assets.. As a great man once said time lost can never be regained.

    All the tips mentioned are awesome tips however the ones that have proven most effective for me is that of setting daily goals. The yearly planner, having a productivity room and stop putting things off.

    From what I have experienced being better at time management will definitely increase your productivity and not only that but you will find you have more time in the day than you previous thought.
    Once again very useful article!

    • Theo J Ellis (@TJEntrepreneur)

      May 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

      Hey, Raymona. I’m glad you found the article of great value! It’s amazing how much time we can have if managed right on a daily basis. Appreciate your comment 🙂

  9. Tim

    Apr 23, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I found 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman really helpful, for staying on track but also to set a big picture agenda of what I’m trying to achieve.
    Other hacks include setting yourself to Do Not Disturb, hiding out in a meeting room for an hour or two and not letting yourself leave until you’ve completed a set of tasks, and getting into the habit of hitting the desk early – say 7am – to enjoy a fantastic couple of hours of flow at the start of the day, before the meetings and phone calls start.

    The bonus of the early start is you can head out the door at 5 or 5.30 knowing you’ve put in a full day

    • Theo J Ellis (@TJEntrepreneur)

      Apr 26, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      Hey Tim, appreciate your input! I agree. I actually have the “do not disturb” feature on my smartphone, it’s very useful for time management. Having an early start is also key, because it allows you to get a large amount done within the day.

      Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

How to Use the “Small Victories” Method to Avoid Burning Out

Published

on

avoiding burnout
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Have you had a goal you begin to work toward only to run out of steam? Do you know what you need to do to get to where you want to be, but the necessary work feels overwhelming? “Small Victories” is the method to eliminate procrastination, dramatically increase productivity, and to make every part of the process not just bearable, but fun.

The journey from novice to rockstar is filled with a thousand small victories. Each victory increases your skill, your confidence, your positive expectation, and is ultimately the only way to really do something truly great.

Imagine you have a band in which everything was fun- fun to practice, fun to get together and create. The first victory was writing your first song. Afterwards, some friends come to watch you practice, and they cheer you on giving you another boost. Then you play your first show, do your first band photoshoot, and create a band website. After all this hard work, you record your first song as a band, have your first major show, your first tour, and develop the best thing so far which are your first true fans.

Each victory gives you the energy to get to the next victory

If you told the kid, it was going to take ten years of work to get to the end goal, without celebrating the small important victories in between, it would be illogical for any human to hunker down and work 10 years to get there. So how is this relevant? When starting a business or following your dream, incentivizing yourself with small victories will make you far more likely to make you continue on to your end goal. Without it, your willpower only lasts so long.

The small victories are the positive fuel to make it to the next milestone. You create small victories by finding a way to interact with people as a way to have an impact even if it’s small. For example, when people try to start businesses, often they try to get everything together before selling their first product. It could be months or years of work before they are at the level of their competition.

I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here. Charles Bukowski

Say you’re creating a bakery, it could be a year before anyone tried your first baked good if you go the traditional brick and mortar route without any small victories. This comes with great financial cost and energy. You also lose out on the opportunity to improve your craft, your products, your image and your connections with others who can take your business to greater heights.

However, if you go with the method of small victories instead, you would start by creating a cult following amongst friends and family with your decadent treats. Next, you would bake them at home and sell them at local events, farmers markets, and maybe even at local businesses. This can give you the opportunity to create a strong local and social media following well before the opening of your first actual store.

Work and effort without small victories lead to burnout

We need to build rewards along the way into our endeavors, because this provides encouragement to keep going. Each moment is a separate gift, an experience where something was fulfilled, where something was accomplished, no matter how small, and being a recluse until the grand unveiling will have so many missed opportunities along the way.

Small victories are also an opportunity to develop your skills, get feedback – positive or constructive – and considerably increase opportunities. Small victories increase your credibility by showing a track record and the trajectory you’re on by increasing your ability to attract investors and partners.

“Success is rarely the result of one swell swoop, but more often the culmination of many, many small victories.” – Joseph M. Marshall III

The idea of celebrating small victories can be applied to any subject. In weight loss, for instance, seeing pounds melt away will give you the positive mindset to continue and even improve the choices you make to enhance your physique. Sharing your success with others will bring in the element of positive encouragement. It can also motivate others to come with you on the journey. Your small victories can inspire others to start their own journey.

What small victory did you achieve today which will bring you a step closer to your goals? Let us know below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Setting Up Your Mindset to Win: How to Achieve Success in Your Life and Career

Published

on

mindset
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

How did Usain Bolt become so successful? He seems superhuman, doesn’t he? Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Paul Bocuse… all these people have something special in them. They became the stars in their niche. Have you ever wondered why? No, they do not have any superhuman capacity. They are simple people, just like you and I. They, too, had flaws. Their mindset, however, is what set them apart. If you want to win in your career and in life, generally, you need the mindset of a winner. You have to think like a true champion, so you’ll overcome your flaws and emphasize your strengths.

So how do you set the mindset to win? Here are 5 suggestions to get you started:

1. When You Can’t Achieve a Goal, Get Help

Have you heard of Paul Bocuse? He was one of the most famous chefs of his time, and he was named as the chef of the century. This is a good example of the point we’re about to make. Even the best are not almighty, they have to learn from someone. Paul Bocuse learned from another famous chef. He constantly worked to improve his skills and he learned along the way.

The lesson is: you cannot do everything on your own. This is the first thing you have to do: learn and find the right person to learn from. Are there any books by the champions of your chosen niche? Get them and read them. Can you get a mentor? Of course, you can! Start connecting with people on LinkedIn. Your alumni network is a great source of mentorship opportunities, too. Don’t be afraid to reach out and say that you want to learn from someone.   

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Work on Your Resilience

Here’s the most important life lesson you’ll ever learn: things don’t always go as expected. When you strive towards a particular goal, the chances of failure are real. When Usain Bolt started training, he wasn’t the fastest man on Earth. He worked towards that goal and he was resilient enough to go through all the obstacles he faced. We couldn’t possibly assume that such success came easily for him.

The journey towards a successful life is not a straight line, it’s a bumpy road full of difficulties and setbacks. The average person would give up along the way, but a champion would stay resilient. It’s the mindset that makes a true difference. The good news is that the more obstacles you overcome, the more resilient you become.

3. Focus

What do you want in your career and in your life? This is not something that can go with the flow. You cannot simply live your life one random day after another and expect great things to come your way. You have to focus on particular goals and work your way up there.

Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, has a nice tip for everyone who wants to become successful: “Dedicate yourself to a core set of values. Without them, you will never be able to find personal fulfillment, and you will never be able to lead effectively.”

Simple and straight to the point, right? So set your goals! Find that major goal you want to achieve and break it up into smaller achievements. Then, start accomplishing things on a daily basis. You need to devote your life to achieving that goal.

4. Be Bold

Steve Jobs wasn’t focused on getting an average job, achieving average results and living an average life. He had big dreams and bold goals. All successful people have something in common at the starting point, a bold dream. Being afraid to dream big is a huge mistake. Set your imagination free! What’s the biggest thing you’d like to achieve? If you believe in yourself and you start working towards that goal one day after another, you’ll unlock your true potential. You’ll realize that not many things are impossible. You can achieve much more than you believe you’re capable of.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. If You Fall, Get Back Up

Have you ever wondered why Richard Branson became so successful? The answer is simple: never gave up, no matter what hardships he faced. His first company didn’t make money. The test flight of Virgin Atlantic Airlines almost crashed because of a flock of birds. Virgin Cola, his soda company, failed miserably. He almost got himself killed during his trip around the world. Richard Branson has done many things, but do you know what he never did? Give up. No matter how serious the failure was, he always found the strength to get back up on his feet and carry on with life. That’s the mindset of a champion!

Never allow yourself to get disappointed from failure. Do not fall back into average just because your big dream doesn’t seem to be working. Failure is not a big deal. It’s just part of the journey, and everyone has to face it. If you carry on, you’ll find success along the way.

So you want to be a champion? You better start working towards that goal without wasting any time. The first step is changing your mindset. Hopefully, the tips above inspired you to do that.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Success Advice

3 Important Principles You Need to Know That All Billionaires Have in Common

Published

on

billionaires
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I’ve always been highly interested in the similarities amongst the world’s wealthiest. Their habits, successes, mindset, and failures have fascinated me. The journey to great prosperity can seem overwhelming, but if you apply success principles to any endeavor you can quickly and efficiently overcome challenges and expand.

Michael J. Gabrielli, founder of WeRunAds, has spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars studying billionaires and their habits. Michael has also studied over 2000 different billionaires and from this experience he’s found three principles they all had in common.

Here are the 3 principles the billionaires all had in common:

1. Be in a rapid growth industry at the right time

Timing is so important. Billionaires know when the time is right to enter a market. Most billionaires do not enter first or second into a market because of the inherent risks involved. Many billionaires let the pioneers pave the way and then leverage the knowledge gained to innovate and optimize in order to create something that works.

The key is to find an industry that is soon to take off. Stepping in at the right time is important. Let’s take a real life example that is known all too well– the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. When he entered the scene, the idea of a social network was moderately known, but it was still not quite predicted to be the monster it is today.

Others like Friendster, Myspace, etc. had made some headway into this fledgeling industry and then Facebook entered leveraging the knowledge and expertise gained from the early pioneers. Zuckerberg saw the huge potential of social networking, took what was done previously and made it better.

He is presently worth over $66 Billion and the company has surpassed the 2 billion users mark with 1.4 billion using the platform daily. Not surprisingly, many billionaires were not the first to pioneer the industry they would later find success in. They came in at the right moment, learned from the mistakes and triumphs of their predecessors, and made a lasting final product.

Here’s a practical 3 question exercise you can do to judge if you have the right timing with your current venture:

  1. Look at your industry and say—is this brand new?
  2. Am I trying to invent something that doesn’t exist?
  3. Am I too late to the party?

2. Position yourself better

In addition to finding the right industry and getting in at the right time, billionaires position themselves in the best way. They provide the solution to the need and they think outside the box to do it. Optimal positioning is a commonality amongst billionaires. For example, during the California Gold Rush, people rushed to mine for the gold itself blinded by the promise of large profits.

However, it turned out that Sam Brannan had the better idea for how to position himself for success. He knew the chances of finding gold were risky, so instead he committed to a sure thing. He manufactured the tools that were needed by all the miners to mine gold. As each new miner migrated West, they were happily met by Brannan and his company who were ready and waiting to sell these new hopefuls the shovels and tools they’d need to strike it rich.

Digging for gold seemed to be the most profitable route, however, greater returns were yielded in the supplying of materials required to mine for gold! A good company that also illustrates this concept is Microsoft. They did not seek to create their own computer, but the software that computers would run on. Most people mistakenly think they have to “go for the gold” to attain wealth, but it’s evident in history that selling the necessary tools to the gold miners can be far more profitable.

The two questions you need to ask yourself to see how you could position yourself correctly are, “What industries will need the supplies that I could provide? And, “Am I following the trend instead of innovating?

“Big shots are only little shots that keep shooting. I can see your sun rise out of obscurity. Keep shooting” – Ikechukwu Joseph

3. Take calculated risks

Most people choose the safe bet that is secure, however, this is not common among billionaires. Billionaires take big calculated risks in order to propel themselves to higher levels of influence and success. The most important thing to note here is that while to others the risks seem big—to billionaires, they are calculated.Risk and Calculated Risk are not the same. Calculated risk is measured and well-thought-out. Risk is impulsive and immeasurable. Understanding the difference between the two is a commonality among billionaires. The world’s most prominent figures have at some point in their lives disagreed with the ordinary and took a shot at the unknown. Proper calculation and clever thinking certainly accompanied the bold moves they made in their careers.

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, is a great example of this. He had grown up in poverty and made his way out to earn a comfortable wage as an executive at a company that manufactured coffeemakers.

“Risk more than others think safe.” – Howard Schultz

He risked it all when he discovered a small coffee shop named “Starbucks” in Seattle that prompted him to quit his job and step out to create a company that was inspired by the Italian coffee culture and personal relationship people could have with their coffee.

Of the 242 people he spoke to, 217 said no to investing with him. Despite the discouragement, lack of agreement, and investment, Schultz kept pushing on. Fast forward to present time, and Starbucks’ is a massive success. Strong intuition and unshakeable belief is common among high achievers. Many successful billionaires risked their safe jobs, personal assets, and even their reputation to take calculated risks that they knew would pay off huge in the end.

The questions you need to ask yourself now are, “where can I take a calculated risk? Am I holding back when I should be going forward? What tangible steps can I take today to move forward?”

These 3 success principles are staple elements that are common among many billionaires. Now, there are more principles that you must discover and implement in order to become a billionaire. Work diligently and do all that can be done each day. Be inquisitive and study those that you wish to emulate.

Which one of these principles do you need to work on more this year? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

Published

on

personal success
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome.

Here’s the question I always ask: What is standing between your current reality (where you are now) and your ultimate vision (where you want to be)? Are the impediments psychological, physical, emotional or some other reason?

Until you answer what is causing the difference between your AS IS and your SHOULD BE, you will be stuck spinning your wheels in the mud and the muck of the former. This is an important question that requires a level of mental self-examination. And the answer to this question may require a lifetime of introspection. It is an important question to answer because if you know where you want to go that provides direction but examining why you are not there yet can provide momentum. (In other words, by answering the question it may get you there faster!)

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

It’s just like following a road map. A map is useless unless you know two things, where you are, and where you want to go. What might be stopping you (or at least slowing you down) from the ultimate destination of your passion and life’s fulfilment?

I’ve asked many people about this over the years and have heard these four reasons that keep people from moving forward.

1. Lack of vision

How do you plan to get there, if you don’t know where “there” is? The most difficult undertaking in the world is to sit quietly with a blank sheet of paper and chart out your life. I know, I have many blank sheets of paper to prove it. However, I also found out that it only takes one sheet, with a few well-crafted lines of thought to give you the direction you need. But you need to start!

2. Lack of goals

So, you know where you want to go, you just don’t know how to get there. The second hardest thing in the world is to have a sheet of paper with your ultimate destination on top, and the rest blank as you ask yourself, now what or how do I get to my vision? The process of functional decomposition means breaking down the larger process into steps that are both actionable and motivational. In other words, the steps are small enough to do and you remain motivated because they are so small.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

3. You don’t believe you can get there

You want to, but there is a script running through your head telling you to go home, make some chicken soup and don’t leave the house until these foolish notions of greatness are gone. Think about it, your parents never did what you are trying to do, no one in your family has ever done it, you are far too old (or too young) to do that, you don’t have the right education…your rationalizing can go on for a lifetime! Here is my suggestion when it comes to running those self-deprecating scripts: STOP IT!

4. You are lazy

You won’t admit this to yourself, but perhaps you are just plain lazy. I’ve seen it so many times; individuals majoring in minors. Performing high fun, low payoff activities instead of the low fun, high payoff activities. (And, by the way, who ever said that a high payoff activity can’t be fun? There’s that darn script again.) As a species we are inclined to take the path of least resistance, but that path may not lead us to our vision, but you must admit, we are having a great time NOT moving toward our vision! Laziness is not “doing nothing.” It’s doing the wrong thing because that’s what you want to do, and, very often, we know it’s the wrong thing to do!

There you have the four possible things that might be holding you back from the realization of your vision. Are any of them hitting home? Answer this question before you move on:

What is standing between my current reality and my ultimate vision of success?

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Trending