Category Archives: Productivity & Time Management

Productivity & Time Management

2 Ways to Improve Focus and Productivity

pure focus and productivity
pure focus and productivity

In the realm of freelancers and entrepreneurs, your productivity is a key element that separates you from success and failure. Yet, to most, our productivity is a big sticking point that keeps us from creating and producing the work we desire. Fortunately, learning and applying productivity boosting techniques will increase your output, leading to more income and more time for all areas of your life. By increasing your productivity, you’ll be able to produce higher quality work in less time and have more time for yourself, giving you the time to do what you truly want.

Understanding How Focus Affects Productivity

To improve our productivity, we first need to understand how focus is a major determinate in improving our productivity. By taking our focus and amplifying its quantity and quality, we are able to drastically boost our productivity beyond what we currently have. Focus comes in two forms: quantity and quality.

Focus Quantity: Focus quantity is easily measured by asking yourself “how long can you focus on a single task for?” By answering this question, you’ll be able to get a baseline on your focus quantity.  For example, if you were working on a project with multiple tasks, are you able to work on each task till the task is complete? Do you tend to jump around from task to task or get distracted by email or social media apps? How long can you focus on a single task for?

Focus Quality: Focus quality is measured by what you focus on. Are you focusing on high leverage work, or do you tend to be overwhelmed by minor tasks that do not make a huge impact to your work or business?
Continue reading 2 Ways to Improve Focus and Productivity

Are YOU Ready to Become a Linchpin?

Are you ready?
Are you ready?

Like most of you, I’ve gone through the public school system and learned English, Math, Social Studies, Science, P.E. and conformity. That in itself wasn’t a bad thing during the industrial age when industry required many workers that demonstrated conformity and careful following of instructions. The work was monotonous, but people were able to earn a comfortable living mass-producing widgets. Thus the educational system was tailored to produce pre-programmed ‘cogs’ ready to follow a set of instructions input by management.

“Sit down, shut up and conform with the rules.”

As is with most large systems burdened by bureaucracy, our educational system has been slow to evolve and has fallen behind in understanding what is currently in demand by society. Unfortunately, the idea of conformity and ‘going with the flow’ has become a de facto rule in making a living for oneself. Parents encourage us to stay in school, graduate and find a stable, well paying job. Peers calculate your success depending on the size your employer. Continue reading Are YOU Ready to Become a Linchpin?

A Proven Way to Boost Brain Performance in 30 Minutes

Cognitive performance can be improved!
Cognitive performance can be improved!

You’ve heard the hype: ‘supplements’ that boost brain performance, games that improve your IQ, toys for toddlers that’ll make them the next Mozart.  Although some companies may claim an extreme brain boost at an extreme price, the verdict is still out on if the products offer a real boost to brain performance apart from the placebo effect. Much to the delight of such product peddlers, the lack of concrete research doesn’t detract the people who are driven to gain any advantage they can in the race to achieve more. Continue reading A Proven Way to Boost Brain Performance in 30 Minutes

Simplify File Sharing with DropBox

DropBox Logo

Do you work on projects with others that require file sharing? Do you want to share files with all of your friends? Do you have multiple computers you work on? Tired of lugging around your USB drive from computer to computer to move files? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, DropBox may be a great solution that will make your life a lot more simplified and productive.

Pros
– Simple easy to use interface
– File sharing across multiple computers and users (File sharing with your friends!)
– Use it to backup files
– Able to access all your files through the DropBox website when you’re away from your computers
– Unobtrusive background file syncing
– Free 2GB of storage

Cons
– Not able to share folders outside the DropBox folder
Continue reading Simplify File Sharing with DropBox

How to Increase Your Reading Speed and Retention

Take your reading skills to the next level by implementing simple strategies
Take your reading skills to the next level by implementing simple strategies

Have you ever wanted to increase your reading speed and retention for school or work?  Many professors at the university level tend to assign more reading than is possible to read.  Your workplace may require you to read and digest technical manuals frequently.  Or you may be a high school student trying to develop skills for college.  Whatever your case may be, reading is a crucial skill in the information age where many jobs are fast becoming knowledge work.

The tips I’ll share with you below are especially useful for textbooks that are mainly information gathering and retention-type reading.  The tips below can also be applied to other types of reading that require high retention. Continue reading How to Increase Your Reading Speed and Retention

Never Lose Great Ideas Again with Evernote : A great tool for all Bloggers and Entrepreneurs

evernote-logoNever Lose Great Ideas Again with Evernote : A great tool for all Bloggers and Entrepreneurs

Just like anyone else, I’m sure that you’ve lost a few great ideas along the way because you didn’t have a way to record the idea when it came up.  Moleskine® are great to carry around town, but when I’m in front of a computer at work and a flow of ideas come rushing, I need a good method to catch it.  In the past, when my ideas came up, I would rush to write it down on a piece of paper, or type it up in a text document to save it for later, but I never ended up using the notes.  I’d tried emailing it to myself and keeping the hand written notes, but it didn’t work out for me because I didn’t get into the habit of looking back at my notes.

This is when I found Evernote.

What is Evernote?
Taken directly from Evernote’s website,”Use Evernote to save your ideas, things you see, and things you like. Then find them all on any computer or device you use.”  Simply put, Evernote is an application that allows you to take notes in many forms. (Text, images, video, audio)  But the biggest selling point for me was the automatic syncing that allowed me to access the same notes on any computer I used. Continue reading Never Lose Great Ideas Again with Evernote : A great tool for all Bloggers and Entrepreneurs

10 Tips to Get More Out of Google in Less Time

Use the 10 tips to make you a better Googler!
Use the 10 tips to make you a better Googler!

We know that Google holds the majority market share for search results on the Internet, and with 76.7 billion searches last year, Google gets asked a lot of questions.  But to get the best answers, we have to know how to ask the right questions.  I put together 10 simple tips below to help you get more out of Google and in less time:

    Continue reading 10 Tips to Get More Out of Google in Less Time

The 7 Extraordinary Benefits of Rising Early

Greet the morning sun
Enjoy the sunrise

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.”
– Benjamin Franklin

* Ring! * ah, !@$&%*(!!!!

I’ve always been terrible at waking up early. As soon as the alarm went off, I would hit the snooze button faster than I could think about hitting the snooze button. I hated waking up early, I felt too tired, too groggy. I had tried many times to become an early riser, only to fail every single time. As I mentioned in my previous posts, because I was a night owl, I always felt best after the sun went down. Being a night owl may not have been such a problem if my work schedule fit my natural sleep patterns, but I was expected to be in the office at 8am which made for an entertaining morning sprint out the door every single day!

Fortunately, I was able to overcome the night owl chronotype by studying and experimenting with various theories and creating an effective method of early rising. After many attempts and many failures, I was able to re-create myself as an early bird. I currently wake up at 5:00 am and since creating the habit, I have personally seen a marked decrease in procrastination and solid improvement in my punctuality. If that’s not enough to convince you to wake up, here are a few more gifts waking up early will award you with.

Continue reading The 7 Extraordinary Benefits of Rising Early

6 Time Blocks to Success

6 Time Blocks to Success : Learn to Schedule your Day Like Benjamin Franklin Part 2/2

America's first productivity coach?
America's first productivity coach?

In part 1 of the series, we took a look at how Benjamin Franklin scheduled his days and learned that Franklin divided his day into 6 time blocks, with each time block having a specific purpose. In the second part of the series, we will take a close look at how Franklin used each time block to achieve extraordinary productivity throughout his lifetime.

1. Morning (5:00 am – 8:00 am) ‘Planning’ Franklin was well known for his early rising, but early rising alone doesn’t make for a productive day. Looking at his morning schedule, Franklin would “Rise, wash, and address Powerful Goodness; Contrive day’s business, and take the resolution of the day; prosecute the present study, and breakfast.”

It is easier to focus and plan the day’s responsibilities in the early morning hours before the commotion begins. By creating our goals for a purposeful day early in the morning, we are able to focus and increase productivity. On the other hand, not planning your day in advance may lead you to be taken over by ‘urgent and important’ tasks that have you constantly putting out fires as taught by Stephen Covey. Finally, what may be the most important part of Franklin’s day was to ask the question “What good shall I do today?”

2. Noon (8:00 am – 12:00 pm) ‘Doing’ Work
Continue reading 6 Time Blocks to Success

Learn to Schedule your Day Like Benjamin Franklin

Are you aware of how you spend your time?

Hey Benny!  You call that a smile?
Hey Benny! You call that a smile?

Most everyone knows Benjamin Franklin as the man on the $100 bill. But did you know he was a philosopher, statesman, inventor, and writer among other things? Benjamin Franklin was able to accomplish more in his life than many people combined. How did he have time to accomplish so much?

The answer lies in the fact that he considered constant self-improvement as a necessity. He was a strong proponent of early rising, even writing a book titled ‘Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’ praising the virtues of early rising. But early rising alone doesn’t increase productivity if you don’t schedule your time efficiently. Although we have forgotten much of his contributions, we are fortunate enough to revisit him via the great works he has left us.

His autobiography outlines the daily schedule he followed and made sure each and every hour was used to his potential:

“The precept of Order requiring that every part of my business should have its allotted time, one page in my little book contained the following scheme of employment for the twenty-four hours of a natural day.“

Continue reading Learn to Schedule your Day Like Benjamin Franklin

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