Don’t Set Goals – Take Action!
It’s the time of year when people ask about your new years resolutions, and the parking lot at the gym is crowded for a few weeks. We laugh at how almost every claimed resolution fails, but what if that didn’t have to be your result? It is possible – rather than making yourself promises and setting goals like everyone else, instead think about habits you can change which would lead to that goal or end result. Want to lose weight? How about starting a habit of walking during your breaks rather than eating a snack? Want to learn a language – listen to podcasts and training in that language while commuting. Want to travel to the Caribbean for a dive vacation, set up an automated saving from your paycheck into another account to pay for it, and book the time off!
You get the idea – we have amazing ability to change ourselves, but it all starts with changing our minds. Rather than setting goals for someday, make decisions which move you towards that goal today. Even tiny steps will get you there if you just keep taking them. The only time we are given is the present moment. Use it wisely! Continue reading
As previously discussed, giving feedback is important, and often makes the difference between mediocre teams and individuals, and those which excel. However, you don’t want to do it like Asok in the comic above. With a small amount of practice, it isn’t difficult to greatly improve your stills in this area. Continue reading
Everyone has their own idea of the best way to manage your time, email, calendar free time and all other aspects of your life, and is happy to sell it to you. Whether it is the getting things done, win, zen of outlook or any other current fad, the good ones all have a few basic principles.
- Discipline. We are all lacking it at times. Having and working a system can help enforce discipline when we need it.
- Simplicity. If you can’t remember it, it won’t work.
- Focus on importance. Distractions abound. Avoid them.
- Uses the right tool for the job.
- Personalized to you. If it doesn’t fit you and your working style, it won’t work. Continue reading
Stand up, and move around! It is literally killing us. In spite of all the research for many years, we still spend more time sitting than we do anything else. Yes, even more than we spend sleeping. This is a shame, as our minds work best when our bodies are fit and in motion. How many great ideas have you come up with while sitting at your desk? How about while walking? I bet most of your best conceptual leaps have come to you while you were doing something other than staring at a screen and sitting down.
Do you agree? If so, what are you going to do about it? Personally, I’m getting a desk that raises and lowers (which in the past I found I would stand at for 4-6 hours a day). I’m also taking more walks throughout the day. I usually come back with better focus and ideas.
One of the greatest challenges a manager can face is helping someone through a performance roadblock. This is especially true of those who have done well at every job they have ever done – for them, the idea of needing to change in order to succeed can be unpalatable, and in the end, holds them back from even higher performance.
The concept has been explained by Continue reading
Most people don’t accept criticism well, which is a shame, since it is only through learning how to control our negative features that our best features can shine. Certainly we all like flattery, and positive feedback, but being able to listen to and learn from critique is crucial to career and personal advancement. Continue reading
When was the last time you did any work of significance, and didn’t have to learn something new along the way? I’m guessing it has been a while, if you can even remember such a time.
Jobs which don’t require you to learn, and then apply that learning, are not as engaging, nor as likely to stay local. Now we should expect ourselves to have to constantly learn and apply new concepts. It is for this reason good companies and hiring managers will not care nearly as much about what you can already do as they care what you can learn to do, and how quickly. Continue reading
Readers of the popular Dilbert comic strip will have no-doubt seen this recent comic.
This concept comes from the book, Outliers, where author Malcolm Gladwell repeatedly talks about how it requires 10,000 hours of practice to become truly good at something.
Some questions this raises: Continue reading
With all the information available to us, one of the challenges is deciding what we allow to enter our consciousness, and what gets ignored. Below are some of my regularly visited sources, and what I like about them.
- Slashdot – a great geeky news source, occasionally heavy on skepticism and ‘fight the man’ attitudes, but often points me towards things I otherwise wouldn’t have seen.
- Psychology Today – Understanding the way the human mind works is key to our success in almost every endeavor.
- Mashable – Collection of trends and topics which help keep me informed and keeps me from missing out on bits of culture which everyone seems to know but me. (Warning: if you aren’t careful, this can be a time-suck) Continue reading