Sunday, September 29, 2013

Why Happiness is Your Secret to Productivity

Why Happiness is Your Secret to Productivity

Why Happiness is Your Secret to Productivity
Image credit: Camdiluv on Flickr
How are happiness and productivity related? If you want to improve productivity, look no further than your mindset. Marcus Aurelius reminds us: "Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking."
People who enjoy what they do are far more productive than those who do not have passion for their work. Have you ever been so engrossed in what you are doing that when you look up, you discover hours have passed in what seems like minutes? Such joyful immersion is key to productivity. Denis Waitley reminds us, "Happy people plan actions, they don't plan results."
A common trait shared by successful people is an awareness of the "thought-trails" in their lives. Much like a physical trail cut through a meadow after years of use, thought-trails can actually force you to continue thinking the way you've always thought.
How you think is often more important than that you think, or even what you think. The characteristic separating the good from the great, the highly successful from the folks who are just getting along, is their ability to think about themselves as successful even while on the journey to greatness -- however "greatness" is defined for you.
An important skill is to think without acting: To plan. What do you want to be known for? What do you want to do? What is possible? Change begins with what you tell yourself and others. Change your outlook and you change what is possible.
Listen to what you are saying. Are you speaking in positives? "We've come through worse than this before so I know we'll be fine in the end." Or negatives? "Sure the sun is shining now, but the forecast calls for more rain by the weekend."
Here is a 15 minute exercise to determine how you are thinking now so you know what is working, and what might need updating. Respond honestly to the following prompts:
  • Life is…
  • Money is…
  • Coaches are people who…
  • Goals are…
  • Work is…
  • Organized people are…
How you respond gives you a window into how you see the world. Below are responses I've received from others who have done this exercise:
  • Life is good / Life is hard
  • Money is what I use to create opportunity. /Money is the root of all evil.
  • Coaches are for people who are moving. / Coaches are for people who have money.
  • Goals are necessary to achieve more. / Goals are nice, but I am always busy enough.
  • Work is what I do to express myself. / Work is never over.
  • Organized people are productive. /Organized people are anal-retentive.
Do you have a perspective on a certain aspect of your life that might be worth changing? Improvement doesn't mean something is wrong to begin with. It indicates a move toward something new and possibly better.
I love what Benjamin Disraeli said: "Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action."
Source link:
Jason W. Womack is founder of The Womack Company, a productivity-training firm based in Ojai, Calif. He is author of Your Best Just Got Better: Work Smarter, Think Bigger, Make More (Wiley, 2012).
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.

If you haven't yet got your version of Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - have it your way - Kindle - The Book - Nook - Audio Book - The Seminar

 Other readings on Kindle: Declutter Your Life From The Inside Out Your LIfe Through the Lens of Time - The Interview

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Organizing Feeds - A Great Tip

Note: I am starting to write and curate on tools and processes related to information management. It's initially addressed in my book and it's just becoming an ever growing need. Organizing your information so you can find it is truly a time management and needed productivity tip, as well a 21st century professional competency!

A Brilliant Way to Organize Feedly or Your Favorite RSS Tool

September 24, 2013 · 9 comments
Find yourself too busy to read all the blogs and publications that interest you? Don’t have time to keep on top of the news in your industry?
RSS is a great tool for keeping up with all the blogs you know you should read, without spending all day on your computer. While RSS sounds complicated, it’s actually really simple, and it goes a long way toward making your life easier. It also saves you time, and we can ALL use more of that.
Image: Organize your RSS
Let’s be honest: Being smart about RSS makes you look good.

So what is RSS, exactly?

Before we dive into today’s hack, here’s a quick RSS explainer.
In simple terms, RSS allows you to aggregate new posts from all the blogs and publications you want to keep up with in ONE place. Rather than hop around to a million different URLs to catch up on news while you sip your morning coffee, you can hang out in your aggregator and easily browse new entries. Think of it as a sister to email but without the spam; all the important stuff comes right to you.
I used to recommend Google Reader because it was the simplest RSS tool around. But Google has eliminated its Reader, forcing us Google Reader disciples to find an alternative. My Socialexis team now uses Feedly — and for more than keeping up with industry news. We also use it to find blog and social media fodder for every one of our clients, making it a vital part of our workflow.
If you’re new to Feedly, here’s an easy-to-understand guide from Jessica Lawlor about how to get started.

My favorite RSS hack

But my goal here isn’t to convince you to set up RSS. Instead, I want to give everyone who’s already sold on the value of aggregation a better way to use Feedly or whatever RSS tool you prefer.
Most of us typically set up our RSS tool haphazardly, just sort of throwing lots of blogs and news sites into our reader. If you’re savvy, you might organize your Feedly into folders by topic.
Here’s a way to take it even further, a tactic that’s especially important for those of us who are so busy that we’ve gotten into the habit of neglecting our Feedly: organize by importance.
You can do this in two ways.

Brilliant Option No. 1

The first is my preferred method. In addition to organizing feeds by topic — I have folders for careers, journalism, social media, entrepreneurship and marketing — I also create a folder called “Don’t Miss.”
That folder includes all the blogs I absolutely don’t want to miss, the ones I want to see even when I have a lot of other tasks on my plate. Feedly allows you to put blogs into more than one folder, so you can file your top choices both in a topical folder and in your “Don’t Miss” folder.
That way, even during weeks where you’re running from one event to another, you can easily pop into your Feedly and browse new posts from the publications that are most important to you. This is a great way to ignore a lot of the noise on the Internet and focus only on what you care about. Kind of like the Notice-Me List you create to wade through Twitter noise.
Brilliant, right? (If you think so, click to tweet this idea!)

Brilliant Option No. 2

The second way to do this is to avoid topical folders altogether and organize by importance only.
Create several tiers of folders — Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 — and file all your publications wherever they belong, with Tier 1 being most important.
Whenever you have time to pop into your reader, start with Tier 1, to make sure you get through the important information first. When you have extra time (or, let’s face it, are procrastinating), you can move onto Tier 2 and Tier 3.
No matter how you approach it, this system of prioritizing will help you be more efficient, so you can accomplish the big things that really matter.
Would you try organizing your Feedly this way? Do you have another way to organize your RSS tool that we should all know about?  

If you haven't yet got your version of Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - have it your way - Kindle - The Book - Nook - Audio Book - The Seminar - click here to access

Other readings on Kindle: Declutter Your Life From The Inside Out  | Your LIfe Through the Lens of Time - The Interview

20 Cool Home and Life Tips

I don't know about you, but i am crazy about tips.  Anything I can get my hands on to make even one thing easier -- I'm all over.  It goes with my premise of the 1% edge.

In that spirit here are 20 cool tips that you can use at home or in life in general that can save you time and/or money. They are pretty neat - enjoy!

Honestly, I don't know how I ever lived without these life tips. Never get a mosquito bite again!

20 Cool Tips =>

If you haven't yet got your version of Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - have it your way - Kindle - The Book - Nook - Audio Book - The Seminar Other readings on Kindle: Declutter Your Life From The Inside Out Your LIfe Through the Lens of Time - The Interview