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

The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

Published

on

Leadership
Image Credit: Unsplash

I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills.

Here are the 3 P’s for you to develop greater leadership skills based upon my findings:

1. Passion

If there is one thing that I found in most leaders, it is passion. They love what they do, they love talking about what they do and they love getting others involved in what they do. Passion has different ways of emoting. Some people move very quickly on stage with arms flaying, voice pitching from a diminuendo to a crescendo with 100 giant television screens behind them.

Remember Steve Jobs when the iPhone was being introduced? I’ve seen other people standing behind the podium speaking from written notes but the emotional intensity in the room grew thick and reaching the level of static discharge. I’ve seen everything in between. There is an old saying that we have a leadership theory and that is, “if you think you’re leading and you turn around and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk!” It is passion that prevents that from happening.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

You may be asking yourself how you can develop more passion in your life and in your leadership repertoire. The answer to that is fairly simple but the application can be somewhat deceptive in its apparent simplicity. If you wait to feel passionate before you act passionate, you’re allowing outside circumstance to control your emotions. However, if you begin to act passionate even if, by chance you don’t feel it, you will begin to. Thus, it is better for us to act our way into a new set of feelings than it is for us to feel our way into a new set of actions.

2. Planning

All leaders are planners; it’s a requirement of the job. By virtue of leading it means that you must be planning for the future. Planning can in fact be learned and is not that difficult of a process. If you want to become a better planner study chess. Notice I did not say play chess, although that will be the natural outcome of your studying. Study chess and notice how the minds of the great masters develop a strategy and implant tactics around that strategy. Chess is an amazing process to develop planning skills.

Another thing you can do is think about how you planned your last vacation, or even a weekend getaway. Think about the steps you took, the research you did based on those steps and their outcomes. Both the study of chess and personal planning will assist you in developing planning for your leadership skills.

3. Persistence

Leaders never give up! If there is something they want, they find a way around, over, or through the obstacle. Too many people never develop their full leadership birthright because of the mental script running through their minds saying, “It’s too tough for me. I Should just go home and get a good nights sleep.” Leaders know that the only possibility of failure is in giving up. If you fall down 10 times but get up on the 11th, you have not failed 10 times – you have succeeded. Period!

You may be wondering how to develop that no nonsense, I will not be denied attitude of persistence. The real question is not how do I develop persistence, but how do I develop the courage to go after what I want? Persistence is a by-product of courage! When there is something that should be yours, developing the impassioned desire to obtain that through raw courage will develop sheer persistence.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Maybe I should’ve included a 4th P with this article. That of POWER! The best thing I can say about power is that if you want a more powerful leadership dynamic, develop a repertoire that contains passion, planning and persistence. The three of them combined will be a powerful leadership punch that should lead you to getting what you want and assisting others in believing that they should follow you because there is great value in you leading them.

How do you define a leader? Comment below!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

Published

on

storytelling
Image Credit: Fortune

What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

Published

on

success
Image Credit: Unsplash

Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

Published

on

stop trying to be right
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

Continue Reading

Trending

Success Advice

The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

Published

on

Leadership
Image Credit: Unsplash

I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills. (more…)

Biagio Sciacca, known to his friends as Bill, was a lifelong resident of Pittston, PA. He is the owner of Intelligent Motivation, Inc. a global consulting and training firm specializing in management and leadership training as well as psychological assessment for hiring and staff development. He is the author of several books relating to goal setting, and his third book, Provocative Leadership, is publishing soon. Now residing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, he divides his time between his international coaching and training clients, writing his next book and wandering aimlessly on the beach. Feel free to contact Bill at bill@intelligentmotivationinc.com or schedule a call with him by going to www.intelligentmotivationinc.com and clicking on the “set up a call” tab.

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

The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

Published

on

Leadership
Image Credit: Unsplash

I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills.

Here are the 3 P’s for you to develop greater leadership skills based upon my findings:

1. Passion

If there is one thing that I found in most leaders, it is passion. They love what they do, they love talking about what they do and they love getting others involved in what they do. Passion has different ways of emoting. Some people move very quickly on stage with arms flaying, voice pitching from a diminuendo to a crescendo with 100 giant television screens behind them.

Remember Steve Jobs when the iPhone was being introduced? I’ve seen other people standing behind the podium speaking from written notes but the emotional intensity in the room grew thick and reaching the level of static discharge. I’ve seen everything in between. There is an old saying that we have a leadership theory and that is, “if you think you’re leading and you turn around and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk!” It is passion that prevents that from happening.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

You may be asking yourself how you can develop more passion in your life and in your leadership repertoire. The answer to that is fairly simple but the application can be somewhat deceptive in its apparent simplicity. If you wait to feel passionate before you act passionate, you’re allowing outside circumstance to control your emotions. However, if you begin to act passionate even if, by chance you don’t feel it, you will begin to. Thus, it is better for us to act our way into a new set of feelings than it is for us to feel our way into a new set of actions.

2. Planning

All leaders are planners; it’s a requirement of the job. By virtue of leading it means that you must be planning for the future. Planning can in fact be learned and is not that difficult of a process. If you want to become a better planner study chess. Notice I did not say play chess, although that will be the natural outcome of your studying. Study chess and notice how the minds of the great masters develop a strategy and implant tactics around that strategy. Chess is an amazing process to develop planning skills.

Another thing you can do is think about how you planned your last vacation, or even a weekend getaway. Think about the steps you took, the research you did based on those steps and their outcomes. Both the study of chess and personal planning will assist you in developing planning for your leadership skills.

3. Persistence

Leaders never give up! If there is something they want, they find a way around, over, or through the obstacle. Too many people never develop their full leadership birthright because of the mental script running through their minds saying, “It’s too tough for me. I Should just go home and get a good nights sleep.” Leaders know that the only possibility of failure is in giving up. If you fall down 10 times but get up on the 11th, you have not failed 10 times – you have succeeded. Period!

You may be wondering how to develop that no nonsense, I will not be denied attitude of persistence. The real question is not how do I develop persistence, but how do I develop the courage to go after what I want? Persistence is a by-product of courage! When there is something that should be yours, developing the impassioned desire to obtain that through raw courage will develop sheer persistence.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Maybe I should’ve included a 4th P with this article. That of POWER! The best thing I can say about power is that if you want a more powerful leadership dynamic, develop a repertoire that contains passion, planning and persistence. The three of them combined will be a powerful leadership punch that should lead you to getting what you want and assisting others in believing that they should follow you because there is great value in you leading them.

How do you define a leader? Comment below!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

Published

on

storytelling
Image Credit: Fortune

What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

Published

on

success
Image Credit: Unsplash

Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

Published

on

stop trying to be right
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

Continue Reading

Trending