James Baldwin once said: Not everything that is faced can be changed … but nothing can be changed until it is faced. Baldwin hits the nail on the head with his quote on change, doesn’t he? He begs the question on the important tips to improve life success skills. Knowing yourself is the key to undertaking to improve life success skills, isn’t it?
If you were a new employee in any field, and you were posed with a new challenge or problem, what would you do?
From my experience, people in newer positions are more likely to try a change. They are more likely to try to figure out a solution or show a willingness to learn something new. Why? From my experience, as they are new to the organization, and they want to show their willingness to grow.
How you ever used checklists to transform your ability to succeed … or perhaps your positive mental attitude? How well did they work for you? Do they refresh your thinking on important life success lessons?
We often use checklists to achieve our goal to create the attitude that can see opportunity in every difficulty.
After college, I spent almost two years training as a naval aviator. An important element of that training was the use of checklists in the learning and refresher process. Checklist utilization remains an important part of my business life. It is always a good idea to have a helpful checklist for reminders of improvements for your business or your personal life.
I keep a stack of 10 or so checklists that I rotate and update occasionally. This is one of them, despite the fact that I am a retiree (at least part of the time J). I pull out one checklist to read and contemplate for five minutes as a way to start each day. I find it puts my thinking in the right frame of mind. Here is the checklist example on simple reminders to improve the odds of success in any task that my team or I may be doing:
Entrepreneurs are often celebrated for wearing multiple hats and logging numerous hours. But working without letup is a bad habit that can jeopardize business, health and the life you’re supposedly working toward.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of overdoing it, since capital in the early days is tight, but also because few ambitious achievers understand one of the biggest secrets of productivity–the refueling principle. It comes down to this: You get more done quicker when you step back and recharge the brain and body. Studies show that performance increases after breaks of all durations: from extended vacations down to microbreaks of 30 seconds.
Improve life success skills … keep your life simple
Did you know that he wears a gray t-shirt all the time? Here’s his explanation: “I want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community. I’m in this really lucky position, where I get to wake up every day and help serve more than a billion people.
And I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life.” (This quote is from this article: Why Mark Zuckerberg wears the same clothes to work every day)
Here’s my point: simplify your life. Reduce the number of trivial decisions you have to make every day so that you can focus your energy on the really important ones. Pull a Mark Zuckerberg. Oh, did I mention that Steve Jobs does this too?Just saying.
Only priorities on daily action list
To make your day ultra focused and productive, ask yourself, “What are the three key things I need to accomplish today?” Before you do anything else, make sure you crush those three objectives first. Prioritize ruthlessly. No matter how crazy your days get, make sure you carve out and ruthlessly protect just 90 minutes—20% of an eight-hour day—for the most important tasks.
Life improvement skills … managing mental resources
Most of us wouldn’t think twice about taking a breather after an hour of basketball or Zumba, but mental fatigue is another story. The brain is usually seen as an ethereal realm that exists apart from the body and the laws of physiology.
Gray matter tires well before the body does. Since almost all of us are doing mental work these days, managing cognitive resources is not a nice thing to be able to do; it’s essential.
The brain is “like a muscle. You can strengthen it or deplete it,” Gabriel says. “If you let this muscle recharge and replenish, you’ll feel better mentally and see improvements in your performance.”
Regular refueling–input–is a prerequisite for quality output, because the brain is an energy machine, consuming 20 percent of the body’s calories, even though it’s only 2 percent of total body mass. The energy that gets expended must be resupplied.
Batch mundane actions
For tasks that are not urgent, batch them. For example, how many times do you check your email every day? A lot of people will click refresh on their inbox and then respond to emails as they come in.
If your job doesn’t require an immediate response on those emails, batch and check them every 3 hours throughout the day. This way, you won’t constantly be reacting to every email that comes in, and you can prioritize your activities for the day. Don’t let email run your life.
Life improvement tips … use the team
We get it. You want to be the hero. You want to be the one to deliver on that big project. You want to get the applause. After all, who doesn’t love the recognition? You want to work hard. You want to do a great job. What you don’t want is to burn out. Make sure you leverage the team to get the job done.
If someone else is more talented and skilled than you in a certain area, collaborate with them to drive better results. For example, when I was working on our iPhone app, I tried to design it myself in Photoshop. Did I mention I suck at Photoshop? It turned out terribly. So what did I do next?
I tapped my friend on the shoulder for help (he’s a rockstar designer), and within one day we had an amazing design that was ten times better than the original. By the time we went live with the app, we had a design that was amazing. Want proof? The app hit the top 100 in the Lifestyle category. Remember, teamwork makes the dream work.
Motivate people by being more human.
Maximize tool use
Ever tried virtual assistants? They can help to take on a lot of the administrative tasks that you may be overwhelmed with. Whether it’s data research, writing or language translation, there’s a ton of skills they bring to the table to help you scale your work. They improve your success by giving more time for your tough tasks.
How to improve my life skills … go 100% digital
If you don’t have to have a paper copy, create a digital one and store it in the cloud. There are a ton of cloud providers that offer a large amount of free storage like Evernote. For example, for my business receipts, instead of keeping the physical copies in a cabinet, I’ve created a folder in Evernote for all of the digital copies. I can then search for a specific receipt if I need to. It makes life so much easier.
Here’s another great example: when I want to show someone marketing material, I’ll have it available on my mobile phone or i-pad through the Evernote app. This way, I can look at it with them, and I can also share it with them afterward by sending a link right away. That’s a sure way to improve success, isn’t it?
How to improve my life quality … follow your heart
Life’s short. Do you want to work on stuff you don’t enjoy? When you work with passion, your energy will be better, your focus will be more intense, and you’ll have a sense of purpose in what you do. It’s a game changer. Don’t underestimate the power of happiness in work.
Right now, I’m typing this article with a huge smile on my face and bobbing my head to music on Spotify. I’m so passionate about writing that I can often write multiple articles in a few hours. And it feels great too. It doesn’t even feel like work! It feels like a mission. A calling. A journey. Do what you love.
Your ideas are just that: ideas. Don’t spend too much time trying to come up with the perfect idea. At the end of the day, the only way to know if it’ll work is to test it. The data will tell you if it’s a good idea or not. Want to know how many apps it took for me to make 4 top 100 apps? 14 tries. When I first started out, I thought all of them could be big hits. That’s why it’s critical to test.
Maximize exposure to outside
An office with a view sounds like a recipe for mind wandering. Access to sunlight boosts productivity. In a study by the California Energy Commission, workers who sat near a window performed better, processing calls 6% to 12% faster and performing 10% to 25% better on tests that involved mental function and memory recall.
Focus on the customer
Focus on a “user” centric approach. Whenever people run into a tough challenge, you’ll often hear a couple of different suggestions on how the problem can be solved. One of the best ways to solve hard problems is to ask yourself, “What’s best for the user?”
Having a user-centric approach as your guiding force will often drive you to the best answers. Put yourselves in their shoes. How do you make their lives better? How do you bring a sense of delight into their lives? How do you bring a huge smile to their face?
The bottom line
These are things that we already know, of course. They are not rocket science and shouldn’t be.
This list of little things simply reminds us of what we have forgotten. Then it is up to us to put these lessons (or reminders) into daily use through persistence and practice.
Remember … your experience and learning trumps all!
Need some help in capturing more improvements for your staff’s teamwork, collaboration, and learning? Creative ideas in running or facilitating a teamwork or continuous learning workshop?
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Call Mike at 607-725-8240.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas.
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Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
Are you devoting enough energy continually improving your continuous learning?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of the business. Find him on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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