How to develop effective time management skills

time management skillsTime Management Skills:

Developing effective time management skills is an essential ingredient for success, I’m sure you’ll agree. You can’t add real value without making the best use of your time.

However making the best use is not always easy in practice, is it?

So, how good are you dear reader at managing your time?

Do you have a reputation for being ruthlessly efficient and productive or are you someone who’s always struggling to keep up?

When someone asks you to do something in the office, do you accept their request without question and simply add the task to your ‘To Do’ list? If you do, you’re not alone. Many people will do that in my experience.

Alternatively, perhaps you’re the type who thinks carefully relative to your priorities before you accept such a request? Now be honest. We’d all like to think we’re the latter, when in fact far too many people are the former I think.

Productivity is what really matters:

In the world of work it’s easy to confuse being busy with being productive but these two concepts are not the same thing at all, are they?

For instance, you can be busy doing things that don’t really need doing at all. Whereas being genuinely productive means delivering real results from high value tasks which can only be done by someone with your skills.

And let’s face it, reputations are built by being productive not merely by being busy. It’s the results you deliver not energy you expend that matter most.

Time is your most precious resource:

How often do you hear someone say, “Oh, I would love to do that, if only I had the time.

And yet we all have exactly the same amount of time, i.e. 168 hours per week.

Time is simply a resource like money, albeit it’s more important than money. I say that because you can get more money but you can’t get more time. None of can do that, can we?

So you must learn to use your time wisely. Time is your most precious resource, so you must develop effective time management skills.

High value tasks must take precedence:

Modern pressures mean it’s easy for us to try to do too many things. We can all be a bit like that, including me dear reader.

Our lives are cluttered with too many activities, too many objectives, too many distractions and far too many demands on our time.

The result is that we tend to lose focus on what really matters most and in the end we don’t do anything as well as we should have done.

In my experience, in most jobs you’ll find that 90% of productivity is down to completing the top three or four major activities within that job. What I’d call high value tasks.

If you take the top three major activities, the high value tasks, associated with your job and focus on those to the exclusion of just about everything else you’ll almost certainly maximise your productivity and efficiency.

Most common time management mistake:

The problem is, when we’re working, we seem to find it easier to focus on minor tasks and random actions requested by other people.

We feel obliged to accept requests from others. It’s a common mistake of which we can all be guilty.

Now, whilst tidying up all those minor tasks might make us feel like we’re achieving some quick wins we’re usually fooling ourselves.

By the end of the day we’re usually left with a sense that we haven’t done all we should have done and that leaves us feeling stressed.

And that’s when we start to think about how we might improve our time management.

We can’t do everything, nor should we try:

We must recognise that we can’t do everything but we can be selective about what we choose to do.

And if we’re going to get those major tasks of higher value completed then they must take precedence over those low value, minor tasks, which can always wait if necessary.

High value tasks should always take precedence over low value tasks.

Work smarter:

People often think of time management as a skill which would allow them to work faster. Well let me tell you this, that’s not the idea at all.

Effective time management skills allow us to work smarter, rather than harder.

Instead of getting lost in the minutiae of everyday life, with effective time management skills, we focus on and prioritise those things that will add most value to our productivity. In other words, we focus on high value activity.

The law of three:

So. if time management is an issue for you dear reader, start by taking a good hard look at your list of daily activities and ask yourself these three questions:-

  1. What single task can only I do and when completed by me will add the most value to the business?
  2. What’s the second task on my list only I can do and when I’ve completed it would allow me to add the most value to the business?
  3. What is the third task on my list only I can do and when completed by me will add the most value to the business?

Once you’ve identified your list of three major, high value tasks then that’s where your focus should be each day before you touch any other minor tasks or accept random requests from other people.

Most powerful time management tool:

The point of work is to deliver results. You’ll deliver the best results if you concentrate on your top three major tasks first.

And never forget that you’ll be be judged by the results you actually deliver. No one cares what you had to do for someone else, they only care about the results they expected from you.

Your time is your time and you must decided how it is to be used most effectively.

Just because someone asks for a piece of your time doesn’t mean you’re obliged to give it to them at the expense of your own productivity. Never be afraid to deploy the most effective time management tool of them all.

And what is the most effective time management tool? It’s the word NO.

Think of the word NO as a baseball bat.

Whenever someone makes a request of you then NO is the means by which you can whack that request right out of the ballpark.

Be in control of your time, at all times:

You’re not obliged to agree to a request even if someone asks nicely. It’s reasonable to be working to your own priorities.

All too often we feel obliged to do things for other people when actually we should have just said politely, “No, I’m really sorry but I can’t do that right now for you because I have to deliver this by 5pm and it’s a priority.”

If our personal productivity matters to us, and it should, then our focus should always be on our own major, high value deliverables.

Unfortunately we allow ourselves to be driven by the agendas of other people.

However that’s not good for our productivity, nor is it good for our well-being and stress levels.

People will take everything you’re prepared to give:

I can tell you from experience that other people will take everything you’re prepared to give and a bit more besides. That’s the nature of people.

However if you fail to deliver what you’re actually being paid to deliver, then no list of incidental work completed for other people will be accepted as an adequate plea in your defence when your boss wants to know why you’ve failed to deliver your own high value results.

If you’re painting my house I’ll measure you on the quality and timeliness of your work, not the amount of help you gave to my neighbour by, say, looking after her dog.

What you do for other people is irrelevant to me, should you fail to deliver what I’m actually paying you to deliver.

Focus on your priorities:

In reality if your colleagues can’t get something done by you they’ll simply ask someone else. So let them.

Why worry? Just be very polite when faced with a random request but say NO firmly. I can tell you this, you’ll have to be disciplined but it’s a habit well worth developing.

We can all be guilty of expending far too much of our energy helping other people achieve their aims, to the detriment of our own interests and our ability to deliver our own high value results.

To achieve anything of significance in life we must be focused on our own major activities.

We must concentrate on completing our big three major high value deliverables daily and focus relentlessly on working towards achieving our own goals generally.

The need for balance:

If you’re asked to do something then it’s perfectly reasonable to say NO, if to do otherwise would prevent you from delivering the results you’re being paid to deliver in a timely manner.

Yes of course, occasionally there will be tasks you’re obliged to accept for whatever reason.

However mostly being firm in declining such a request is a sign that you’re assertive and in control of delivering as much value as possible.

Another polite but firm response to a request might be something like, “Sorry I would love to help you with that but I cannot right now because I have my hands full with the deadline for this project.

As with everything there is a balance to be struck of course.

Sometimes it’s in your interests to do someone a favour because one day you might need them to return that favour. That’s reasonable, providing you always retain a primary focus on keeping your main things, the main things.

Conclusion:

You should always ensure that you’re making progress towards achieving your big three deliverables and your own goals generally.

It’s perfectly reasonable to have your own agenda and a desire to achieve your own goals and add the greatest value only you can add.

If you want to make a difference, focus on your big three major activities.

Those activities which only you can do.

And to ensure that you’re doing that, don’t be afraid to use the most effective time management tool  of them all whenever necessary. The word NO expressed politely but firmly.

Further Reading:

In writing this article the aim was to convince you of the importance of your need for a transformation, should one be necessary for you to achieve better time management.

However you might feel you could use a little extra help. That’s fine and it’s always useful to add a good book to your personal reference library. And one book you might consider on this subject is:-

How to set your Personal Boundaries: Learn to say No and Protect Yourself from Overwhelming Stress by author Josie Baxter

In this book the author Josie Baxter explains in digestible chunks how we can learn to set boundaries and be able to say no when necessary.

She recognises that what should be a simple thing is in fact often quite difficult.

She acknowledges that it’s natural that people care about other people but potentially that can put us at risk if our tendency always is to say yes.

The risk being that we take on too much which can add to our stress levels and stop us from achieving our own goals. In turn this can lead to exhaustion and burn out.

Josie Baxter explains that it’s not selfish to care for ourselves first.

In fact she notes that it’s actually quite sensible.

The advice in this book is useful for all areas of your life and you’ll find it invaluable if you’re someone who struggles to set firm boundaries. It’s an excellent book and well worth considering.

You can take a look at it if you CLICK HERE.

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How to break a bad habit and improve your life

How to break a bad habitWhen it comes to bad habits, we can all be guilty, at least to some degree. So people often consider the question, how to break a bad habit?

Do you have any bad habits dear reader? Now be honest with yourself.

I refer to those little, irritating patterns of behaviour you simply can’t help. Those obsessions you may have occasionally. Perhaps you have one or two bad habits you’d really like to break?

Now habits can be hard to break of course, particularly bad ones.

So here’s another question. Could you break bad habits simply by being more curious about them?

Well the psychiatrist Dr Judson Brewer certainly has an opinion to offer on that issue.

Dr Judson Brewer studies the relationship between mindfulness and addiction and in the TEDTalk included in this post he shares his views on everything from smoking to over-eating to all those other things we do even though we know they’re bad for us.

If you want to learn more about the mechanism of habit development then you’ll find this video interesting and it’s definitely worth watching.

If you have habits you’d really like to break then it would certainly make sense for you to learn more about how you developed those habits in the first place.

The more you understand the better you’ll be able to take action and break those bad habits.

So take a few minutes now and listen to what Dr Brewer has to say. It’ll be well worth a little of your time I promise.

How to break a bad habit:

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101 Quotes on self-improvement to inspire you

101 Quotes on self-improvement to inspire youIn seeking quotes on self-improvement, perhaps you’re looking for a better life?

Well, life doesn’t have to be as it is now. It can be something much closer to what you’d like it to be. And with a little effort on your part, you can make it happen.

Remember you’re not defined by your past. That serves only as a series of lessons. The future is yours to create and it all starts with self-improvement.

Self-improvement is just a process whereby you decide what it is you want; you decide what skills you’ll need to develop in order to get what you want; you work out how you can get those skills, and then you set some goals and start improving the quality of your life and that of your loved ones.

It can be done. People do it all the time. And so can you.

You’ll need a little inspiration to motivate you and keep you going. Motivational quotes are useful because they help you acquire ideas on getting started and they’re beneficial in helping you realize your dreams and goals.

So here are 101 quotes on self-improvement to inspire you and propel you along the road to make your dreams a reality.

Enjoy them all and please share them with your friends.

Quotes on self-improvement (1-20):

  1. Let us cultivate our garden. ~Voltaire
  2. If you can dream it, you can do it. ~Walt Disney
  3. Good things happen to those who hustle. ~Chuck Noll
  4. You will never win if you never begin. ~Helen Rowland
  5. If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. ~Milton Berle
  6. If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. ~Zig Ziglar
  7. All things are difficult before they are easy. ~Thomas Fuller
  8. The secret of getting ahead is getting started. ~Mark Twain
  9. Work harder on yourself than you do on your job. ~Jim Rohn
  10. He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior. ~Confucius
  11. You just can’t beat the person who never gives up. ~Babe Ruth
  12. Believe you can and you’re halfway there. ~Theodore Roosevelt
  13. Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there. ~Bo Jackson
  14. Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me. ~Carol Burnett
  15. It is never too late to be what you might have been. ~George Eliot
  16. You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind. ~Joyce Meyer
  17. My purpose: to lift your spirit and to motivate you. ~Mavis Staples
  18. The dreaming has to be backed up by the doing. ~Carrie Wilkerson
  19. Problems are not Stop Signs, they are guidelines. ~Robert H. Schuller
  20. The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work. ~Harry Golden

101 Quotes on self-improvement to inspire you

Quotes on self-improvement (21-40):

  1. Nothing will work unless you do. ~Maya Angelou
  2. The only journey is the one within. ~Rainer Maria Rilke
  3. Either you run the day or the day runs you. ~Jim Rohn
  4. You don’t have to get it right the first time. ~Barbara Sher
  5. Life has no limitations, except the ones you make. ~Les Brown
  6. Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds. ~Gordon B. Hinckley
  7. Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star. ~W. Clement Stone
  8. The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch. ~Jim Rohn
  9. If you’re not doing what you love, you’re wasting your time. ~Zig Ziglar
  10. There is no such thing as failure. There are only results. ~Tony Robbins
  11. If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree. ~Jim Rohn
  12. Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality. ~Les Brown
  13. Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. ~Arthur Ashe
  14. The time is now. Stop hitting the snooze button on your life. ~Mel Robbins
  15. We will always tend to fulfil our own expectations of ourselves. ~Brian Tracy
  16. In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can. ~Nikos Kazantzakis
  17. It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop. ~Confucius
  18. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. ~Charles R. Swindoll
  19. A barrier is a limitation only when you perceive it as one. ~Stephen Richards
  20. When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go. ~Carol Burnett

101 Quotes on self-improvement to inspire you

Quotes on self-improvement (41-55):

  1. The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist. ~Zig Ziglar
  2. Getting in touch with your true self must be your first priority. ~Tom Hopkins
  3. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. ~Les Brown
  4. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. ~Zig Ziglar
  5. The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today. ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  6. Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practised every day. ~Jim Rohn
  7. Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. ~Tony Robbins
  8. I never see failure as failure, but only as the game I must play and win. ~Tom Hopkins
  9. Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other. ~Walter Elliot
  10. The difference between being mediocre and achieving excellence is you. ~Stephen Richards
  11. Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement. ~Anthony J. D’Angelo
  12. The will to succeed is important, but what’s more important is the will to prepare. ~Bobby Knight
  13. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been. ~TD Jakes
  14. How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable? ~Seth Godin
  15. You are essentially who you create yourself to be, and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making. ~Stephen Richards

101 Quotes on self-improvement to inspire you

Quotes on self-improvement (56-70):

  1. Opportunity does not knock it presents itself when you beat down the door. ~Kyle Chandler
  2. Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to the person you were yesterday. ~Anonymous
  3. When you play it too safe, you’re taking the biggest risk of your life. Time is the only wealth we’re given. ~Barbara Sher
  4. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. ~Samuel Beckett
  5. Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work. ~H. L. Hunt
  6. You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plough right ahead. ~George Lucas
  7. Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more. ~Tony Robbins
  8. I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often. ~Brian Tracy
  9. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  10. Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay. ~Simone de Beauvoir
  11. A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success. ~Joyce Brothers
  12. If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes. ~John Wooden
  13. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact. ~William James
  14. I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. ~Jimmy Dean
  15. Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. ~Vince Lombardi

quotes on self-improvement

Quotes on self-improvement (71-85):

  1. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. ~Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. ~Aldous Huxley
  3. I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’ ~Muhammad Ali
  4. Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. ~Martin Luther
  5. Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. ~Nido Qubein
  6. Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success. ~Swami Sivananda
  7. Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~Thomas A. Edison
  8. Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them. ~Ann Landers
  9. Nothing ever comes to one that is worth having, except as a result of hard work. ~Booker T. Washington
  10. Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune. ~Jim Rohn
  11. Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement. ~Anthony J. D’Angelo
  12. The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become. ~Jim Rohn
  13. Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission. ~Zig Ziglar
  14. It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going. ~Brian Tracy
  15. If there is one lesson I’ve learned from failure and success, it’s this. I am not the outcome. I am never the result. I am only the effort. ~Kamal Ravikant

quotes on self-improvement

Quotes on self-improvement (86-95):

  1. You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight. ~Jim Rohn
  2. Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong. ~Ella Fitzgerald
  3. If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success. ~John D. Rockefeller
  4. Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. ~Jim Rohn
  5. It is not as much about who you used to be, as it is about who you choose to be. ~Sanhita Baruah
  6. If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. ~Jim Rohn
  7. If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards. ~Bear Bryant
  8. My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style. ~Maya Angelou
  9. No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself. ~Madonna
  10. We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment. ~Jim Rohn

101 Quotes on self-improvement to inspire you

Quotes on self-improvement (96-101):

  1. If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results. ~Tony Robbins
  2. Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning are where the miracle process all begins. ~Jim Rohn
  3. Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. ~Brian Tracy
  4. You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour. ~Jim Rohn
  5. Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. ~Brian Tracy
  6. You are your greatest asset. Put your time, effort and money into training, grooming, and encouraging your greatest asset. ~Tom Hopkins

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Building personal branding for success

Building personal branding for successPersonal branding says something about you. And personal branding for success is something which you should take seriously if your aim is to be successful.

How you present yourself to the world is being judged all the time and people will draw conclusions about you based simply on their perception of you and how you look.

That may not seem fair but in my experience, it’s almost always true. And reputations can often be built largely based on other peoples’ perception of you.

So, is personal branding something that matters to you dear reader?

In your opinion, does it matter what you look like; how you dress; how you speak; or what people see in your digital footprint on social media and elsewhere? Certainly, it should do.

What do you think? Does your reputation matter to you?

Perhaps you believe that the only thing that really matters is the quality of the work that you do?

If that’s true then you may not see the need to worry about your personal branding.

However, I can assure you, you really are being judged all of the time, whether you like it or not.

The importance of personal branding:

Think about it for one moment. Now, how often have you walked into an open plan office area looking for a manager you’ve not met and yet you have no trouble spotting who he or she is, immediately?

Building personal branding for successYou just can’t miss them, can you? There’s just something about them that says, ‘I am the manager!‘ Well, that’s personal branding.

It’s the same thing with social media.

How you conduct yourself within your digital footprint will speak volumes about you and it will have an impact on how you’re perceived by others.

A silly remark on social media about other people or the latest news can prove very costly and may have implications in future years because it could suggest something about your judgement, or lack of it.

Jobs have been lost and people have been forced to resign over ill-judged comments made on social media, often many years before.

So you have to ask yourself, do I really want to be successful in my chosen field?

If you do then you must ensure that your personal branding is consistent with your ambition. To be the one, you must look like the one, in every respect.

You must also promote yourself in the right way, at every opportunity.

Self-promotion is important because it’s all about selling yourself and making sure you’re perceived by the world in the way you’d prefer to be perceived.

If you don’t sell yourself and create the right image for yourself then no one else is going to do it for you, that’s for sure. Constantly working on your personal branding must be part of your strategy for achieving success.

The good news is that with WordPress, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Linked In and other social media channels, it’s never been easier to promote yourself, create the right image, build relationships and tell the world what it is you have to offer.

So the obvious question now is, where do you start on building a personal brand?

Building a personal brand:

In the video below, recorded at TEDxCMU 2011, Jacob Cass presents some interesting and useful ideas as to how you can go about building your personal brand.

This video will provide you with some useful tips and it’s well worth watching.

Further Reading:

One video cannot cover this topic comprehensively, of course, so you might like to consider adding a reference book on the subject to your personal reference library.

Here are three that are worthy of your consideration:-

  1. Introduction To Personal Branding: Ten Steps Toward A New Professional You by Mel Carson
  2. Personal Branding For Dummies by Susan Chritton
  3. KNOWN: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age by Mark Schaefer

You can take a look at each of them by clicking on the appropriate link. Why not take a look right now whilst it’s all fresh in your mind? I hope they prove useful to you.

DISCLOSURE: This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links included in the text above and you then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. However, there will be no additional charge to you in making that purchase. Nevertheless, these commissions do serve to cover the cost of maintaining this site, so you’ll be helping to ensure this resource can remain available free of charge to readers. Your understanding is truly appreciated, dear reader. Thank you.

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How to find and do work you love, now and forever

How to find and do work you loveHow to find and do work you love? A great question for all you very intelligent readers to contemplate today.

Now not everyone will find the answer of course but most people frequently ask this question in my experience.

Job satisfaction:

How many people would say they get job satisfaction from their work, in percentage terms?

Apparently it’s only around 20%.

That would suggest that 80% of all people hate their jobs.

If true, I think that matters and it’s especially relevant to society if you think about it. Why?

Quite simply because it suggests that most people will not be quite as productive as they might otherwise be. Let’s face it, you can’t really be at your most productive if you’re not happy in your job.

A sense of purpose:

So dear reader, which side are you on?

Does your workplace you in the 20% who enjoy job satisfaction or are you one of the 80%?

Essentially job satisfaction comes as a result of doing work that gives us a sense of purpose.

If we have a genuine sense of purpose, we’ll have a strong desire to do our work well. And we can only do it to the best of our ability if it really matters to us.

Doing our work well matters because that’s how we make a difference.

Hence that’s how we make a contribution and leave a legacy behind us.

So in that sense job satisfaction certainly matters.

Consider your work:

Does your work really matter to you?

And does it give you a sense of purpose? Perhaps it’s simply the means for paying your bills?

Do you get out of bed each morning looking forward to the day ahead?

No job is ever perfect but, given work takes up a third of our lives, it’s essential that we enjoy what we do and derive at least some job satisfaction from it.

Maybe there’ll be some elements of a given job we dislike but mostly we should enjoy our work because that way we’re better placed to do it well.

In the inspirational TEDx Talk video embedded below, Scott Dinsmore explains how in the early part of his career he was encouraged to do any job just to build up his resumé.

However, he very quickly realized that this approach was unwise and resulted in no job satisfaction.

He makes his point with an excellent quote from Warren Buffett who said, “Taking any job just to build your resumé is like putting off sex until your old age.”

Now, why would that make sense?

Experience is important of course but work should not just be about building your resumé.

Work should be about adding value and making a meaningful contribution to society.

It should be about using your skills and natural talent to make a difference to the lives of others.

So, if success is your aim then the work you do must matter to you.

If you find work you enjoy then job satisfaction will follow.

Put simply, if you like the work you do you’ll do it well. And if you do it well people will notice. And once people begin to notice you then you’re on your way to achieving real success.

Knowledge required:

The trick is to find work that you can’t not do.

Something you’d happily do for nothing if you couldn’t find someone to pay you to do it.

That’s the basis for real job satisfaction.

All of this is more easily said than done of course.

Perhaps you’ve no idea about what matters to you in terms of work?

If you’re relatively young and new to the world of work how could you possibly know? In that case you need to start improving your basic knowledge and awareness.

1. Know yourself:

A good starting point for improving your knowledge is becoming a self-expert. Knowing just what you have in your arsenal.

  • What are your unique strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What fills you with enthusiasm?
  • What fills you with dread?
  • What do you love to do?
  • What do you hate doing?

If I asked someone you knew well to tell me what you’re good at what would they say?

  • For what activity do they regard you as the ‘go to’ person?
  • What do they regularly thank you for?
  • What would you do for fun if you couldn’t do it for a living?
  • On what activity can you lose yourself for hours at a time?

By answering these questions and others like them you’ll get a better idea of what you’re looking for. And let’s face it, if you don’t know what you’re looking for you’ll never find it.

2. Know your values:

What do you regard as your set of values? What moral framework matters to you when you’re making decisions?

What would you not do simply because you wouldn’t want to disappoint your family? What would make you feel proud if you were to tell your family that’s what you’re doing?

Anything you choose to do should be congruent with your own set of values.

3. Know your experiences:

The most powerful lessons in life come from the mistakes we make. The lessons we learn from our own mistakes and the things we’ve done are collectively known as experience. And experience is a valuable commodity.

Pay attention to your experience. Think about the things you’ve done right. Think about the things you’ve done wrong.

When have you felt completely in control of a situation regardless of the challenges you face?

When have you felt completely out of your depth?

Think about the things you’ve enjoyed doing. Think about those activities you really hated.

4. Know what matters to you:

In crude but simple language the underlying question here is, “What is it that you actually DO ‘give a shit’ about?

We tend to do stuff because other people suggest it’s what we should be doing. However, it really should be about what actually matters to us.

Identify what it is that makes you come alive and makes you feel energized.

John Lennon’s Aunt Mimi famously said, “Playing the guitar is all very well John but you’ll never make a living at it.

Fortunately, John didn’t listen to her and his guitar helped him to make a very lucrative living because he really enjoyed writing songs and playing music.

In fact, his creative output continues to generate millions of dollars for his estate 40 years after his death.

John Lennon did well because he did something he enjoyed doing and he didn’t allow himself to be influenced by those who thought he should pursue a different line of work.

Confidence compounds:

By working to your strengths your confidence will grow.

Each success you have will improve your confidence. And as your confidence grows, one success will lead to another. It’s a virtuous circle.

Environment matters too:

Jim Rohn once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Personally, I think this is true.

The people around you really do matter.

They influence you and their attitude rubs off on you.

Human beings are social animals and we exist within groups. We also have to fit into the group otherwise we’re very quickly ostracized by other group members.

Hang around with people who inspire possibility. People who lift you up and not pull you down. Mix with people who will influence you in a positive way. Find role models from whom you can learn.

How to find and do work you love:

Scott Dinsmore’s mission is to change the world by helping people find what excites them and build a career around the work only they are capable of doing.

If you can find the work you are compelled to do then you can add real value to your fellow human beings.

Discover what you’re really meant to do and you’ll be on to a winner.

You’ll also get maximum job satisfaction.

Therefore in conclusion, if you’ve yet to find what you’re looking for then keep looking until you do.

In the meantime, I recommend that you watch the video. It is thought-provoking and compelling and it will be a good use of your time.

Recommended Reading:

There are plenty of good books that will help you identify your true strengths, as well as help you home in on the work you should be doing.

In the video, Scott Dinsmore suggests Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath as a good book to help you in your quest.

Certainly, it is worthy of your time, it’s very useful and I have a copy of it in my own personal reference library.

However, allow me to recommend another three excellent texts you might also consider. They are as follows:-

Who Do You Think You Are?: Understanding Your Motives and Maximizing Your Abilities by Nick Isbister and Martin Robinson

The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success by Nicholas Lore

Find what you were born for: Discover your strengths, forge your own path and live the life you want by Zoe McKey

I have all of these books in my personal library and I’ve found them all extremely useful and helpful and I use them as reference texts all the time.

You can check them out by clicking on the links.

I strongly recommend you take a closer look at them all. You won’t regret it if you do decide to buy your own copies. Check them out now whilst it’s all fresh in your mind.

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This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links included in the text above and you then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. However, there will be no additional charge to you in making that purchase. Nevertheless, these commissions do serve to cover the cost of maintaining this site, so you’ll be helping to ensure that this resource can remain available free of charge to readers. Your understanding is truly appreciated, dear reader. Thank you.

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How to love your job when you hate it

How to love your job when you hate itHow to love your job when you hate it? A question I’ve been asked numerous times. My response is always the same. The best way to appreciate the job you have is to imagine your life without it.

That starts with taking a closer look at what’s good about it.

Life’s too short to hate your job:

Do you hate your job dear reader?

Do you tell everyone, at every opportunity that you hate your job?

By telling everyone you hate your job, do you imagine they’ll be impressed, or in some way feel sympathy for you?

Maybe you think, by doing this, your fellow workers will regard you as someone who’s unafraid to speak their mind?

Perhaps you think that in the eyes of your fellow workers this approach will make you look good, maybe?

Hold that thought and then consider this question. How do you feel about working with someone else who’s always moaning about how unhappy they are in their job?

Do you admire that person?

Do they impress you with their negativity?

My guess is that your response to my question will be negative. I’m sure you’ll be unimpressed with such people.

Everyone hates a moaner:

If you imagined that moaning about how unhappy you are is the best way to get people on your side then seriously you need to think again. Everyone hates a moaner, whatever indications you’ve heard to the contrary. Let me tell you this, no one’s impressed.

Your colleagues may not actually say so but they’ll find your negativity irritating at the very least. In fact, it’s probably driving them all nuts.

Life’s short and it’s hard enough for most people. So having some moaning Minnie constantly bringing them down just makes life harder.

Constant negativity is just a pain in the rear for most people.

Imagine your life without your job:

If your current mindset means you hate your job right now then the first thing to do is start changing that mindset. Start by looking at your job in a different way.

How?

Well, imagine your life without your current job? What would that be like? Think about that question carefully and be honest with yourself.

Without your job you’d have nothing to do; no reason to get out of bed; nowhere to go; no sense of purpose; nothing to challenge you; no money; and you’d be without the camaraderie of your fellow workers. You’d probably feel lonely and lack any real social life too.

How would that make you feel?

Would you feel better about yourself without those things?

I’m sure if you’re honest with yourself you’d realise that work gives us far more than we realise. I don’t think you’d really be happy without all those things mentioned above.

So the best way to begin appreciating your job is to imagine your life without it.

No job is perfect:

Most jobs come with an element of frustration and a spoonful of tedium. That’s life.

No job is perfect but no job is all bad either.

It’s just a matter of how you choose to look at things.

If you focus on the bad things then everything will seem bad. However, if you focus on the good bits then your job can begin to look very different and you’ll start to feel more positive about your work.

The fact is we all need to do something with our time, surely?

Even millionaires need to have something to fill their time.

There are only so many holidays you can take and so much shopping you can do.

Eventually, everyone needs a sense of purpose and we all want to feel that we’re making a contribution to the world around us.

Life’s a short movie:

Life’s far too short to be unhappy.

So if you hate your job then you have two choices:-

  1. You find another job; or
  2. You start looking differently at your current job.

And before you start searching the vacancy columns or the job websites, think carefully about what you might be throwing away, should you leave your current job.

Moving to another job doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be any happier.

Neither will it guarantee that you’ll find the perfect job for you.

So it’s worth thinking seriously about your current job first. At least it’s the devil you know.

Can you begin to look at your current job differently? Perhaps you need a little help?

I really hate my job:

Here’s a great motivational speech from the one and only Zig Ziglar that you might find very useful.

It’s full of great advice and well worth a few minutes of your time.

If you don’t like your job right now then you really should watch it.

Even if you do like your job, watch it anyway. I found it truly inspirational. So take a look at it now.

Further Listening:

I’m a huge fan of Zig Ziglar but I recognise that he had an evangelical presentation style that’s not to everyone’s taste.

However, if you can get beyond that presentation style then his words are inspirational and informative.

I particularly like his audiobooks which I listen to constantly when I’m driving.

One audiobook I can recommend is:-

The Born to Win Seminar

Listen to this and I promise you it will help you discover your untapped greatness and guide you towards greater success in life.

I bought my own copy of this audio program for my own personal library and it was well worth the price. I listen to it over and over again and I always find something new in his words.

You can check this audio program if you just CLICK HERE.

DISCLOSURE: This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links included in the text above and you then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. However, there will be no additional charge to you in making that purchase. Nevertheless, these commissions do serve to cover the cost of maintaining this site, so you’ll be helping to ensure that this resource can remain available free of charge to readers. Your understanding is truly appreciated, dear reader. Thank you.

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5 truly inspirational quotes worthy of a moment’s reflection

5 Truly inspirational quotesIf something to inspire you is what you’re seeking today then I have five truly inspirational quotes just for you.

Four of them may be from the same author, but they’re all worthy of reflection. I found them inspirational and I hope you do too.

Enjoy them all and then please pass them on to your friends and colleagues.

Truly Inspirational Quotes:

  1. Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.’ ~Lao-Tzu.
  2. Time is not something you FIND or MAKE. The clock and the calendar move on at their own pace with or without you. Your choice is how you use it. ~Michael Josephson
  3. Sometimes life doesn’t turn out how you had expected or hoped. That doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t be happy. If you don’t limit yourself to your first version of your life there is always a bright future ahead. If you believe that the best is yet to come you will be right. ~Michael Josephson
  4. Doing what you like is FUN. Doing what you love is HAPPINESS. Doing what you want is FREEDOM. Doing what you say is INTEGRITY. Doing what you can is SERVICE. Doing what you must is DUTY. Doing what you should is CHARACTER. ~Michael Josephson
  5. It is not enough to exist, you must LIVE. It is not enough to survive, you must THRIVE. It is not enough to care, you must COMMIT. It is not enough to seek success, you must seek SIGNIFICANCE. It is not enough to live long, you must LIVE WELL. ~Michael Josephson

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How to love the life you live and live the life you love

How to love the life you liveDo you love the life you live? Do you enjoy your work? Life should never be just about work, but it’s a big part of our lives, so it affects how we feel about ourselves.

Do you get up each morning feeling inspired by what you’ll be doing during the day ahead?

A good question to ask yourself is the one Steve Jobs asks in the video below, “If you knew that today was the last day of your life would you still be happy doing what you have to do today?”

Knowing we will die one day reminds us that our time is precious and we should use it wisely.

Life is short and none of us knows when our final moment will arrive. So we must follow our heart and focus our energy on work that really matters to us.

If your work matters to you then you’ll do it well. And if you do it well you’ll make a difference. Make a difference and you’ll leave a legacy. Do this and you’ll love the life you live.

How to love the life you lifeAll of this is easier said than done, of course.

Many people experience life without any real sense of satisfaction. Far too many people experience a lifetime of disappointment and regret too. This all adds up to people living lives they don’t love.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to accept a less than satisfactory life.

If your life is unsatisfactory then you need to change. And change is possible.

A good place to start is by listening to the inspiring observations from the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, contained in the video ‘If today were the last day of my life’ included below. His words are thought-provoking and powerful. I found this video truly inspirational and I recommend it to you.

How to love the life you live:

Before you watch the video, ask yourself this question. Between now and dead would you be happy to continue with the life you have right now?

No?

Then you must change and keep changing until you love the life you live.

Never accept second best because life’s far too short.

Remember: Whilst you have to make a living, you also have to make a life as well. So, have no regrets. Start making the life you want to live as quickly as possible. It’s later than you think.

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The advantages of work: Why you should take it seriously

Advantages of workThe advantages of work are many but often people fail to appreciate the importance of their work. So my question to you today dear reader is, how do you regard your work?

Perhaps for you, work is just a source of income but by no means your passion?

Maybe it’s something you must do simply because you desperately need an income but it doesn’t leave you feeling energized and motivated to do the best job you possibly could do?

Perhaps mostly you’re just going through the motions, doing the minimum you can get away with each day and longing for the weekend and time off?

Maybe you’re the sort of person who prefers to spend your time in the office chatting and drinking coffee with your workmates?

Does any of this sound like you dear reader or possibly a slightly exaggerated version of you?

If that’s not you and your work is your passion, or at least you take it seriously, then this article is not really for you.

This article is for readers who feel less than energised by the work they’re currently doing and those who need a timely reminder that there are good reasons for taking your work seriously.

Work is your livelihood:

If you’re not pulling your weight in your current job then you should know that it won’t have gone unnoticed. Just because your boss has yet to say anything doesn’t mean he or she hasn’t noticed.

And if you’re building a reputation for being a slacker then it’s only a matter of time before the company will find a reason to get rid of you, if you’re not careful.

You must appreciate that a business cannot carry costs that add little or no value to that business. That is, it can’t if its aim is to survive, at least.

Commercial reality will very quickly kick any business in the butt should its management fail to keep tight control on costs.

Companies are not registered charities.

Any costs must be covered by the prices charged. If a business bears unnecessary costs for long then the result will be pricing that is simply uncompetitive. And if the business isn’t competitive then it will lose out to the competition.

Think about that for a second. As a consumer, if Company A is selling a product at a lower price than Company B, where will you buy it? You’ll go for the best price every time. No customer loyalty will survive even a small saving in price. To believe otherwise would be naïve.

So if you’re not adding value then potentially you’re at risk of losing your job.

Your work is your livelihood, so losing your job could actually hurt you. In fact, the best way to appreciate your job is to imagine your life without it.

Work provides you with a sense of purpose:

The very essence of what work is all about is simple. Work is just doing stuff for other people in return for money. It gives us an income but it also gives us a sense of purpose.

Through work, we apply our skills and know-how to deliver an output or an outcome for someone else. That may be an individual or an organisation but either way we are paid for what we actually deliver.

Essentially that’s the psychological contract we enter into when we agree to do work for someone else.

If we’re not delivering what we’re paid to deliver then we’re not doing our job properly. We are not fulfilling the psychological contract that is work.

Taking pride in our work is important too. Our sense of purpose should drive us to do the best we can with the skills we have and we should be constantly seeking to improve.

If we don’t love what we do at any given time then we should be looking for ways to change our mindset to take a more positive view.

If we view our work positively then we’re more likely to be energised by it and if we’re energised by it then we’re more likely to do it well.

Work is how we make a difference:

You must also recognise that there’s a big difference between being busy and delivering real results. Never confuse industry with effectiveness. The two are very different things.

If I’m paying you to paint houses then the only measure I will use to judge you on is how well and how efficiently you paint houses. I don’t really care how helpful you might have been to the electrician or the refuse collector.

Being busy doesn’t count for anything unless you’re busy doing the right things. Doing the right things is how we make a real difference. And surely we’d all like to make a difference?

Other benefits:

Having a job actually provides us with many benefits.

For a start with the income it generates, it allows us to put a roof over our head and food on our table.

Managed carefully, the money we earn will put clothes on our backs and allow us to heat our homes.

And of course, it provides so much more too.

Having a job gives us status and our own income gives us a degree of independence and freedom.

All these things together improve our self-esteem.

And of course, work gives us a reason to get you out of bed each day.

Work is how we make a contribution to the society around us. Not just in what we actually do but also in the taxes we pay. That’s how we pull our weight and justify membership in the society in which we live.

However, let us not forget the camaraderie we enjoy with work colleagues. People are social animals and we need the company of others.

Yes, some of them will drive us nuts at times but mostly they’re good people just like us, with lives just like ours and with whom we can relate.

We share their laughs and we share their tears too at times; the good times and the bad times; it all makes life worth living.

Work allows us to engage with other people and that’s very important.

Your work can be your legacy too:

Work is what we do for other people and what we’ve done for other people is how we’ll be remembered long after we’re gone. So potentially your work is your legacy.

On that basis, whatever you do strive to do it well.

It might not seem much to you but it will matter to other people.

Have a sense of pride in your work whatever it is. It doesn’t matter whether you sweep roads or you’re a skilled heart surgeon we all have our place in society and we all have our contribution to make.

And whatever role you play, no one is better than anyone else.

Enjoy your work or keep looking:

It’s important you find a way to enjoy your work because you spend a third of each day doing it.

Sometimes it’s just a case of looking at your work in a different way in order to appreciate what you have. However sometimes even then for whatever reason, you’ll feel unhappy.

If you can’t find a way to enjoy your work then find another job. One more suited to your natural talent perhaps. However until you find the right thing, you must grit your teeth and do your current work to the best of your ability.

And never, ever just walk away from a job without having another one to go to.

It is ironic perhaps but it’s always much easier to find another job when you already have one.

Without a job, a potential employer might wonder whether you’re unlucky or just a loser. And usually, employers will be reluctant to take a chance on you if they’re unsure.

Conclusion:

The importance of work to our lives and our self-esteem should not be underestimated. So do the work you’re paid to do and do it well. Do that and success can be yours.

Don’t do your job properly and you’ll struggle to hold on to it for very long. Lose it and almost certainly you’ll regret it.

That’s the nature of work, it always has been and it always will be.

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How to become rich through your work

How to become richHow to become rich through your work? A question many people ask. Some people get rich but somehow you don’t dear reader. Why? You work hard but you’ve got very little to show for it, right?

How is it that other people succeed and get rich but you never seem to make any progress at all?

Perhaps the question you’ve been asking yourself is, what’s the real link between working hard and getting rich?

Well give me a couple of minutes of your time dear reader and I’ll tell you what I’ve learned about work over the years and how it’s linked to the generation of real wealth.

First off, as I’ve said many times before; work is simply doing stuff for other people in return for money.

If you enjoy your work and it comes naturally to you then you’ll do it well. If you do it well then people will notice. And once people start to notice then increasingly you’ll be in demand.

The greater the demand for your services the more you’ll get paid. In short, your value will increase.

If you truly enjoy your work and it becomes your passion then it won’t seem like work at all.

However, if you work for a single employer then essentially you’re trading your time for money, regardless of whether you enjoy your work or otherwise.

Even if you work for multiple employers one at a time, the effect is the same. You’re simply trading your time for money. It cannot be scalable because, as an individual, there’s only so much you can do in a given period of time.

There’s nothing wrong with trading your time for money of course and it’s the way that most people earn a living. However, you’re unlikely to get seriously rich that way.

Working for an employer will certainly make you a living of course but, unless you work on Wall Street or in the City of London, that’s about all.

To earn serious money you need to be doing stuff for many people simultaneously. The more people you can serve simultaneously the more money you can make.

The obvious question in your mind now will be, how’s that be done?

Well, creative people serve many people simultaneously don’t they?

For instance, if you write a bestselling book, record a bestselling song or produce a bestselling DVD these would all add value to the lives of many people simultaneously.

When people buy the book, the song or the DVD in their millions then you can make millions of dollars in the process. Just ask JK Rowling, Paul McCartney or Ricky Gervais. They’ve all become rich through their creative work.

Then again not everyone can write, sing or perform. Perhaps you’re a designer?

Suppose you design furniture, say a chair perhaps?

You produce a fabulous design and offer it to a furniture manufacturer. They really like it and they want to use it but you hold the intellectual property rights (IPR) because it’s your design. So the manufacturer must pay you a royalty when the design is used for every unit sold.

If that chair becomes very popular and sells in the millions, your ongoing royalty payments can add up to something quite substantial. Replicate that with many designs and you could get very rich indeed.

In this case, the example is furniture but the same would apply if you design anything. For instance, the man who designed the retroreflective safety device known as cat’s eyes in Britain got very rich through his design. Fashion design is another area where serious money can be made from your designs if they become popular.

The trick with creative work is to understand the law around copyright and IPR and make sure you’re rewarded for your work through royalties.

The advantage of creative work is that the series of royalty payments can have a very long tail. Your work can be the gift that keeps on giving for years and years.

Take a song like Imagine by John Lennon.

John Lennon wrote that song around 1971 but we still hear it regularly on radio and television to this day. So despite the fact that it’s almost 40 years since Lennon’s tragic death, the song still earns money for his estate, i.e. his family. Now that’s a real legacy for them.

Starting a business and selling products by the thousand is another way to serve many people simultaneously.

If your business can produce products that provide your customers with genuine solutions to their problems then there really is serious money to be made. Problems are an opportunity to make money if you can offer suitable solutions.

How to become richYour business will employ people who are trading their time for money but through your business, you’ll be serving the many simultaneously and you can enrich yourself in the process.

The takeaway message for you today is that if you work one-to-one you’ll make a living but if you can work one-to-many you’ll make a fortune.

Whether it’s becoming a creative person, a performing artist, or starting a business, serving the many is the real route to riches.

It’s not easy of course but it can be done and people do. With a little self-belief and a lot of hard work, you can too.

So when are you going to get started?

Go on, have a go! Serve the many not the few.

Remember; it’s better to try and fail than to spend your life wondering what might have been.

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