How to develop effective time management skills

Time Management SkillsTime Management Skills:

Developing effective time management skills is an essential ingredient for success, and 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 of it 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 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 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 the 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 the same amount of time, i.e. 168 hours per week.

Time is simply a resource like money, although it’s more important than money. I say that because you can get more money, but you can’t get more time. None of us 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 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 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, while 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 that 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 the 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 asking 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 that only I can do, and when I’ve completed it, will allow me to add the most value to the business?
  3. What is the third task on my list that only I can do and that, when completed by me, will add the most value to the business?

Once you’ve identified your list of three major, high-value tasks, 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 judged by the results you deliver. No one cares what you have to do for someone else, they only care about the results they expect from you.

Your time is your time, and you must decide 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 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 requests that you do something, NO is how 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 priorities.

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

If our productivity matters to us, and it should, then our focus should always be on our 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 or 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 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 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 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 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 interests and our ability to deliver high-value results.

To achieve anything of significance in life, we must be focused on our 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 doing otherwise would prevent you from delivering the results you’re being paid to deliver on time.

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 interest to do someone a favour because one day you might need them to return that favour. That’s reasonable, provided 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 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 three major activities.

Those activities that 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. Use the word NO politely but firmly.

Always keep the main things the main things.

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How to Become Wealthy in 5 Years: A Roadmap for Growth

HOW TO BECOME WEALTHY IN 5 YEARSThis article explores how to become wealthy in 5 years.

Wealth building often evokes images of overnight success and incredible riches. While such scenarios may exist in rare instances, they are far from the norm. True wealth, encompassing both financial abundance and personal fulfilment, demands a more nuanced and strategic approach. This article aims to debunk get-rich-quick myths and unveil a practical roadmap for building sustainable and meaningful wealth within a five-year timeframe.

The journey begins with clarifying a definition of wealth.

Everyone’s idea of what wealth means is different. For some, it might be about financial freedom, early retirement, and accumulating assets. For others, it might be achieving a degree of affluence to live comfortably.

Defining your “why” helps you navigate financial decisions and avoid chasing empty metrics.

Next, assess your current financial standing.

Track your income, expenses, and debts. Knowing where you stand is crucial for crafting a realistic plan.

Now, consider the core principles for wealth building:

Part 1: Financial Wealth: How to Become Wealthy in 5 Years:

  1. Cultivate a saving mindset: This is the bedrock of financial health. Aim to save 15-20% of your income every month. Automate a portion into savings or retirement accounts to make it effortless. Prioritize needs over wants and cut back on non-essential expenses. Remember, small savings can snowball over time.
  2. Optimize your income: While saving is crucial, maximizing your income accelerates wealth building. Seek opportunities for salary raises, promotions, or upskilling within your current field. Explore avenues for additional income, like freelancing, side hustles, or investing in rental properties. Diversifying your income streams mitigates risk and creates opportunities for exponential growth.
  3. Master debt management: High-interest debt can cripple your financial progress. Prioritize paying off high-interest debts like credit cards or payday loans. Consider strategies like debt consolidation or snowballing (focusing on smaller debts first for momentum).
  4. Embrace the power of investing: Put your savings to work! Invest in assets with the potential for long-term growth, like stocks, bonds, or real estate. Start with low-risk, diversified options like index funds and gradually venture into riskier ventures as your knowledge and comfort level grow. Seek professional guidance when necessary. And unless you’re already an expert, it will be necessary.
  5. Educate yourself: Knowledge is power, especially in finance. Read books, attend workshops, and consult financial advisors to broaden your understanding of managing money, investing, and tax optimization. Continuous learning fuels informed decisions and empowers you to take control of your financial future.
  6. Live purposefully: Wealth extends beyond material possessions. Invest in your health, relationships, and personal growth. Pursue hobbies you enjoy, connect with loved ones, and engage in activities that bring meaning to your life. Living a fulfilling life alongside financial security is true wealth realized.

Remember, the path to wealth is a marathon, not a sprint.

Consistency, discipline, and patience are key.

Celebrate milestones, but stay focused on long-term goals.

Be adaptable and resilient. Occasionally, unforeseen circumstances may arise, requiring adjustments to your plan.

Seek support from financial professionals and a community of like-minded individuals.

5 Year Plan:

Here are some actionable steps to take within the next five years:

Year 1:

  • Create a detailed budget and track your spending.
  • Pay off high-interest debt and establish an emergency fund.
  • Increase your income by at least 10%.
  • Open an investment account and start with low-risk options.

Year 2:

  • Max out contributions to retirement accounts.
  • Explore additional income streams through side hustles or investments.
  • Diversify your investment portfolio.
  • Seek financial advice and education.

Year 3:

  • Re-evaluate your budget and adjust as needed.
  • Review your investments and rebalance your portfolio.
  • Increase your risk tolerance for higher potential returns.
  • Implement tax-saving strategies.

Year 4:

  • Focus on growing your income streams significantly.
  • Consider larger investments like real estate or business ventures.
  • Build a passive income stream.
  • Help others achieve financial literacy and build wealth.

Year 5:

  • Assess your progress and adjust your plan if necessary.
  • Celebrate your achievements and set new goals.
  • Continue learning and adapting to changing economic landscapes.
  • Enjoy the fruits of your work and share your success with others.

Conclusion No 1:

Wealth building is not a guaranteed formula but rather a continuous journey of growth and learning.

By embracing mindful spending, disciplined saving, proactive investments, and a commitment to personal fulfilment, you can set yourself on a path to achieve sustainable and meaningful wealth within five years and beyond.

Remember, the definition of wealth is personal. Tailor this roadmap to your unique goals, values, and circumstances. Stay committed, learn continuously, and adapt as you journey towards a financially secure and fulfilling future.

PLEASE NOTE: This essay is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Always consult with a qualified professional before making investment decisions.

Part 2: Beyond the Numbers – Integrating Values and Impact

While the previous section outlined a practical framework for building wealth, true financial well-being extends beyond accumulating mere numbers. Integrating your values and considering the impact of your financial decisions are crucial for shaping a sustainable and fulfilling journey.

1. Alignment with Values:

  • Ethical Investing: Choose investments that align with your values, such as sustainable practices, fair labour standards, or responsible resource management. Consider impact investing or socially responsible funds to support positive societal change.
  • Philanthropy and Giving Back: Allocate a portion of your wealth to causes you care about, be it through donations, volunteering, or supporting community initiatives. Giving back not only creates a positive impact but also fosters a sense of purpose and strengthens your connection to your community.
  • Living Sustainably: Make conscious choices that minimize your environmental footprint and promote responsible consumption. Reduce your carbon footprint, support local businesses, and choose eco-friendly products. Living sustainably aligns your financial choices with environmental and ethical values.

2. Building Strong Relationships:

  • Financial Transparency with loved ones: Open communication about finances with your partner, family, or close friends can ease burdens, foster trust, and prevent future financial conflicts.
  • Sharing Your Expertise: Utilize your financial knowledge to empower others. Whether mentoring young adults, sharing tips with friends, or volunteering for financial literacy programs, helping others navigate their finances creates positive ripples within your community.
  • Investing in Relationships: True wealth also encompasses strong connections with loved ones. Prioritize quality time with family and friends, invest in experiences, and nurture these relationships. Strong social bonds contribute significantly to overall well-being and happiness.

3. Embracing Purpose beyond Wealth:

  • Define your life goals: While financial security is important, it’s not the sole purpose of life. Explore your passions, interests, and skills. Develop goals beyond financial accumulation that contribute to your personal growth and sense of fulfilment.
  • Contribute to society: Seek opportunities to use your talents and resources to make a positive impact. Take on leadership roles, mentor young people, or volunteer your time and skills to a cause you care about. Living a life of purpose brings immense satisfaction and enriches your community.
  • Find joy in the present: While striving for future goals is important, don’t neglect the present moment. Practice mindfulness, appreciate experiences, and find joy in everyday interactions. Appreciation for the present leads to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

Remember, wealth is not a singular destination but a continuous journey of learning, growth, and impact. By integrating your values into your financial decisions, building strong relationships, and embracing a purpose beyond wealth, you can create a fulfilling and sustainable path towards financial prosperity and personal well-being.

Conclusion No 2:

Building wealth is important, and working towards financial freedom is a worthy aim. However, a more holistic perspective on wealth building will inspire you to create a journey that aligns with your vision for a meaningful life.

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50 ways to make some extra cash

ways to make some extra cashIf you’re looking for some interesting ways to make some extra cash, dear reader, then you might find this blog post helpful.

We live in challenging times, and all but the wealthiest people could use a little extra cash, I’m sure.

In this post, I aim to offer you some ideas that you can explore further and find something that might work for you.

So, here are 50 interesting ways to make some extra cash.

I hope there’s something here that you could turn into a side hustle.

1. Creative skills:

  1. Rent out your creative space: studios, art supplies, and musical instruments.
  2. Pet portraits: paint, draw, or even sculpt other people’s furry friends.
  3. Custom greeting cards: hand-drawn, themed, or even for pets.
  4. Design funny t-shirts: Sell online or at local markets.
  5. Write and sell song lyrics: Collaborate with musicians or singers.
  6. Make and sell crafts: Jewelry, soaps, pottery, knitted goods.
  7. Offer calligraphy or lettering services: For invitations, weddings, or signs.
  8. Design logos or brand identities: For small businesses or startups.
  9. Compose jingles or theme music: For podcasts, YouTube channels, or events.
  10. Write and illustrate children’s books: Self-publish or pitch to publishers.

2. Unusual services:

  1. Rent out your driveway or parking space: Hourly or monthly.
  2. Professional line-standing: Wait in line for hot tickets or releases.
  3. Become a human billboard: wear branded clothing, or carry signs.
  4. Offer furniture assembly or handyman services. Fix leaky faucets or assemble IKEA shelves.
  5. Sell your unused vacation days: Some companies allow this legally.
  6. Rent out your unused storage space: For seasonal items or other people’s belongings.
  7. Be a taste tester: For food companies or research studies.
  8. Do laundry or ironing for busy professionals: Pick up and drop off.
  9. Offer pet-sitting or dog-walking services. Build a loyal clientele.
  10. Rent out your bike or car on weekends: When you’re not using them.

3. Online gigs:

  1. Do micro-tasks online: Short, repetitive tasks like data entry or transcription.
  2. Become a virtual assistant: Manage schedules, emails, and social media for busy people.
  3. Offer online tutoring or language lessons: Share your knowledge in any subject.
  4. Test websites and apps: Give feedback and earn per project.
  5. Write and sell articles or blog posts: For content mills or niche websites.
  6. Create and sell online courses. Share your expertise on any topic.
  7. Do freelance graphic design or web development work: Find clients online.
  8. Manage social media accounts for businesses: Schedule posts and engage with followers.
  9. Become a voice-over artist: Read audiobooks, narrate explainer videos, or do commercials.
  10. Sell your stock photos or videos on platforms like Shutterstock or Getty Images.

4. Other ideas:

  1. Become a movie extra.
  2. Sell your unique recipes.
  3. Rent your parking space.
  4. Rent out your camera gear.
  5. Become a mystery shopper.
  6. Collect and sell scrap metal.
  7. Sell your hair to wig makers.
  8. Offer guided tours of your city.
  9. Create and sell custom poetry.
  10. Offer personal shopping services.
  11. Rent your car as advertising space.
  12. Rent out your tools for DIY projects.
  13. Sell vintage or unusual items on Etsy.
  14. Participate in medical research studies.
  15. Rent out your spare bedroom on Airbnb.
  16. Organize and sell garage sales for others.
  17. Rent out your greenhouse for plant lovers.
  18. Sell your old clothes, books, or furniture online.
  19. Enter contests and sweepstakes (research legitimacy beforehand).
  20. Start a blog and earn money through advertising or affiliate marketing.

5. Conclusion:

Remember, these are just suggestions! You’ll need to do your research to ensure legality and safety, of course. Nevertheless, have some fun exploring the options that suit your skills and interests.

Let me say, these are just some ideas. There will be plenty more. I encourage you to explore a variety of ideas based on your interests and resources.

So, consider things like:

  • Local needs and opportunities: What services are lacking in your community?
  • Your hobbies and skills: Can you turn a passion into a side hustle?
  • Tech-savvy options: Are there online platforms or apps you can leverage?
  • Unique talents or experiences: Do you have anything that sets you apart?

Think outside the box. Be creative and resourceful, and don’t be afraid to try something new.

You might just discover a wonderful way to make some extra cash that suits you down to the ground. Happy earning, and may the year ahead be filled with extra cash for you.

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What makes a great idea and why you should keep a journal

What makes a great idea.What makes a great idea? Now, that’s an interesting question, in my opinion.

How is it that one idea can be successful and another idea less so?

Why has the iPhone been so successful, yet once-popular smartphones like the Blackberry have disappeared?

How do you know when one of your ideas might make a big difference?

The importance of timing

A key ingredient for a great idea is timing. Ideas are a dime a dozen. The trick is to know when one of your inspired thoughts is right for its time and, therefore, how hard to push it.

If you’re too far ahead of other people’s thinking, that inspired thought you believed was a great idea will only be ignored because it won’t resonate with people.

If you’re too far behind, then it will be ignored because they’ve seen it all before or something else is already doing it better.

However, if you can hit that sweet spot between the two extremes, then you can generate value from your idea because it will solve a problem or capture the imagination of the people who are ready for it.

An idea whose time has come is a truly great idea. Though coming up with one is not so easy, of course.

Good ideas are valuable

Great ideas are rare, so they become very valuable. And that value is why it’s worthwhile to constantly seek out great ideas.

Should you decide the world is not quite ready for your inspired thinking, don’t worry. The world not being ready now doesn’t mean the world will never be ready.

Keep a journal and make a note of all those flashes of inspiration. And add your journals to your library. Never throw your journals away. Go through them occasionally and see what ideas you’ve had for which the time might now be right.

Keep a journal

The real message today is: KEEP A JOURNAL.

Your journals could be a source of pure gold in the future, so make sure you buy quality notebooks that you can add to your library as you fill them with your thoughts and inspiration.

By keeping journals, you’re creating value. Value starts with a good-quality notebook, so it’s worth investing in quality.

And never, ever dismiss your ideas. They may not work today, but one day they may make you a fortune.

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Warren Buffett’s Top 10 Rules for Success to Inspire You

Warren Buffett Top 10 Rules for SuccessToday I offer you Warren Buffett’s Top 10 Rules for Success, dear reader.

If you want success, then it would be wise to listen to people who have already achieved some success.

Identify what they did to achieve their success and copy it.

If it worked for them, then it will probably work for you.

Now, there are few people more successful in their chosen field than Warren Buffett.

He offers you his ‘Top 10 Rules for Success’ in the video embedded here, and it’s worth your time to listen to him.

They are his top tips and I recommend them to you.

Warren Buffett’s Top 10 Rules For Success:

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Why you should make a difference in life

Make A DifferenceWhere are you going? What is it you want to achieve in life? Would you like to make a difference while still on Planet Earth?

If you’re anything like me, dear reader, you’ll be asking yourself questions like these quite frequently.

However, any vision you have for your life should not just involve some notion of what you want to achieve, surely?

In looking to the future, your vision should also include something you would like to leave behind, don’t you think?

I’m talking about your legacy.

In other words, what will you leave behind for future generations?

Fundamental question:

If you’re to leave a lasting legacy, there’s a more fundamental question you should be asking yourself, and that is, For what do I want to be remembered?

Developing a clear idea of what you want your legacy to be will focus your attention on what you need to do to achieve it.

This will involve more than just establishing priorities. It requires you to consider what matters to you.

Once you know what truly matters to you, you’ll know where to focus all your energy.

If you can connect with your highest values, then this will have a profound effect on your behaviour.

That, in turn, should provide you with the motivation and drive to pursue your life’s purpose. Your raison d’etre.

A price must be paid:

However, you should recognise this fact too. If your life’s purpose is to be achieved, then there’s a price to be paid. There’s nothing for free in this life, that’s for sure. And that’s why you’ll need to be driven.

This leads us to the next question: How do you turn your vision into reality?

Like every journey, it starts with the first step.

You think about what needs to be done, but not for too long, and then you start doing it, and you keep going until you get to where you want to be.

The best time is now:

Like many people, you may be thinking that you have to have everything ‘just right’ before you can begin to achieve your aims. That’s not so, dear reader.

If you wait for everything to be perfect, then it’ll never happen. So the best time to start is right now. A year ago may have been better, of course, but failing that right now is best.

The danger with waiting for everything to be perfect is that you delay and delay and never get any traction on moving things closer to where you want to be.

Your life’s purpose will only become clearer as you experience life and gradually adjust your direction based on your experiences.

Every successful person goes through many experiences before they find the thing that will allow them to truly make a difference.

Make A DifferenceThe importance of incremental change:

This is a process of incremental change that gradually takes you in the direction that is most appropriate for you.  And if you’re heading in that direction, you’re almost certainly reinforcing what works for you.

If you just keep moving in the right direction, you will achieve your goals. It may take longer than you’d like, and it may not be as dramatic as you thought it would be, but you will get there.

The keyword is perseverance.

Keep going until you achieve what you want to achieve.

Achievement is a confidence-builder.

The more you achieve, the more you believe you can achieve. With confidence and self-belief, you can achieve anything you want to achieve.

You’ll find, dear reader, if you haven’t already, that achievement and success change your experience of being alive.

Not only does it make you feel good about yourself, but as a natural consequence, it also produces what will become your legacy, which will make your life worth living and a life well-lived.

So make a difference while you still have the energy and the desire.

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Why you must earn before you spend

WHY YOU MUST EARN BEFORE YOU SPENDEarn it before you spend it. ~Author Unknown

If you want to build wealth, then developing good money habits is essential, dear reader. And if you’re a parent, then it’s a good idea to encourage your children to develop good money habits too.

In fact, if you can only give your children one piece of financial advice, then the best piece of advice is included in the quote above. Earn before you spend.

Far too many people today do the exact opposite.

People spend money they don’t have to impress people they probably don’t even like. The result is a burden of debt from which it can be very hard to escape.

Occasionally, we all want to buy those big-ticket items. A nice television; nice furniture; a nice personal computer, tablet, or smartphone; et cetera. Naturally, these are things we all want. The question is, does it make sense to incur debt in order to own these things?

My advice is to save the money first and then buy the thing you really want.

Financing arrangements are there to make other people rich. And by using finance, that almost always means you’ll pay a lot more for items acquired using credit.

The buy now, pay later deal usually comes with a high interest rate added. So inevitably, if you go down this road, you’ll end up paying a lot more than you would otherwise.

Yes, you’ll get the item quicker; that’s true. However, you’ll enrich someone else at your own expense. In what way does that make sense?

Now be honest with yourself; there really are very few things in life we couldn’t live without if we really had to, surely?

Look after your own interests rather than lining the pockets of other people while impoverishing yourself and your family in the process. That is today’s life tip.

Financial education matters, and the sooner you get one, the better.

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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 that by doing this, your fellow workers will regard you as someone unafraid to speak their mind.

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

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 at their job?

Do you admire that person?

Do they impress you with their negativity?

I guess that your response to my question will be negative. I’m sure you’ll be unimpressed with such people. After all, most of us are.

Everyone hates a moaner:

If you imagined that moaning about how unhappy you are was 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 say so, but they’ll find your negativity irritating at the very least. 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 differently.

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’ll realise that work gives us far more than we realise. I don’t think you’d 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 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 recognize 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.

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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 worth 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:-

The Life You Were Born to Live: A Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose Dan Millman

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 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 for 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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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 the income it generates, allows us to put a roof over our heads 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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quotes about peaceDid you find this article interesting and useful dear reader?

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