How Do You Do Better Than The Minimum Standard?

“You can't have high standards without good discipline” – William Hague

As kids, we first learn about measurement and benchmarking at school. From a test or a school report, we find out whether we’ve passed or failed and what we either need to continue to do to maintain our marks or do differently to get a better grade. The minimum standard is a pass; however, our own expectations (and that of our parents!!!) could be somewhat higher. What’s your secret to doing better than the minimum standard?

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Celebrating Small Wins Helps Get the Big Breakthroughs

“Track your small wins to motivate big accomplishments” – Teresa Amabile

A hero’s journey would see us achieving major accomplishments at work every day; completing strategic projects, realising key milestones, closing large deals, driving record results etc. Imagine that? Unfortunately, it’s pure fantasy for most of us as our day to day reality is quite different. While large breakthroughs happen, they’re typically not an everyday occurrence. That’s why it’s important to not lose sight of the small wins.

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How To Make Techniques and Tools Absolutely Useless

“You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way. Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.” – Michael Jordan

Despite understanding techniques in theory and having the necessary tools to get the job done, not all workers are thriving. Instead, there’s a largish percentage who just get by. They feel trapped as they work long hours but don’t achieve their targets or meet deadlines on a consistent basis. The surprising thing is the problem of the matter is often the very techniques and tools that are meant to support them.

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Focus at Work is the Exception, Not the Rule

“You don’t get results by focusing on results. You get results by focusing on the actions that produce results.” - Mike Hawkins

It was named in the top 5 most sought-after soft skills employers look for in LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2019 report. Tim Ferriss (author of the 4-Hour Workweek) describes it as the key to his success. Why is time management having a resurgence of sorts?

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Are Expectations Overwhelming Or Is Performance Underwhelming?

“Raise expectations forever and even Superman is going to let us down”- Seth Godin

Our relationship with pressure isn’t always perfect. Studies indicate we perform better under moderate pressure; however, it’s open to interpretation what can be considered as low, moderate or high pressure. There’s a correlation here to our output and to how well we perform.

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You Need to Know This About Momentum

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” – Conrad Hilton

The very word momentum has us conjure positive images of making progress and getting results. While that’s true, there’s also a form of momentum that has virtually the opposite effect. Is momentum your friend or foe?

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You Really Need A Not-To-Do List

“Less is more. Progress is made through precise, persistent, and purposeful pushes.” ― Scott Perry 

If you’re like most of us, then it’s likely you’ll have too much to do but not enough time. If left unchecked, then over time this can become demotivating and even overwhelming. That’s why a Not-To-Do list can help you become more effective.

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The #1 Reason Deadlines Keep Getting Missed

“If we didn't have deadlines, we'd stagnate” – Walt Disney

Recently an exasperated CEO bemoaned to me how his senior leadership team consistently missed 50% of their deadlines. I asked why he thought this was the case and he explained how they just always take on too much. To me this was a cliché, so I paraphrased with “hmm despite your team having the right intent, they’re just not doing what they say they’ll do for 50% of the time.” He responded with “um, yes!!!”

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Why You Should Leverage Your Strengths, Weaknesses and Preferences

“Knowing your weaknesses is as important as knowing what your strengths” – Anonymous

We all have our own specific strengths, weaknesses and preferences. There are things we find easy to do and things that we don’t. For instance, what’s a strength for you might be a weakness for someone else and what’s a preference for them might be a weakness for you. It’s what makes us unique. Those who work smarter in the work environment leverage their strengths, weaknesses and preferences.

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When Near Enough Is Just Perfect

“I'm not perfect.  Never have been.  Never will be.” - Louis Tomlinson

Steve Jobs’s defining quality was perfectionism. The early days of Apple saw the development of the Macintosh take more than 3 years due to Jobs’s obsession with detail. In many ways, this mindset was Job’s legacy that set Apple apart from their competitors. However, trying to replicate a similar mindset may not be appropriate for you. Should you also always aim for perfection or are there times when near enough is just perfect?

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Perfect Workdays Rarely Happen by Accident

“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.” - John Ruskin

What’s your definition when determining a perfect workday? Is it an easy day, an enjoyable day or something else? I think of perfect workdays occurring when my plan to make an impact is executed like clockwork. When I feel like I’m in control while I’m achieving or making progress on targeted outcomes. It’s rare that perfect workdays happen by accident.

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How to increase focus and reduce work deadline stress before Xmas

“The biggest challenge is to stay focused. It's to have the discipline when there are so many competing things.” – Alexa Hirschfeld

What projects, outcomes, targets or deadlines do you need to achieve before Xmas? Chances are there’s more on your To-Do List than the time available. Are you on track or do you need refocus in the lead up to Xmas?

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What You Need to Know Before Writing a To-Do List

“Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our To-Do List” - Patti Digh

How effective do you manage your To-Do List? Do items reside there only for a short time before they’re actioned or is it more so a never-ending list that’s constantly growing causing frustration and even overwhelm? Did you know there’s a simple technique you can implement that will transform how you manage your To-Do List?

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3 simple productivity hacks that will improve culture

“Culture is what happens when the managers leave the room – doing what’s right in the absence of authority.” – Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist, Salesforce

Work cultures matter. More precisely, the values, behaviours and attitudes that underpin how people within organisations go about their day to day activities. The benefits of culture are spoken about by leaders, but are simple productivity techniques in place to make it possible?

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Wasting Time is the Proven Way to Fail

“I do not want to waste any time. And if you are not working on important things, you are wasting time.” - Dean Kamen

Managing energy is more important than managing time (See: Is it more important to manage time or energy?). However, this doesn’t diminish the importance of managing time because the reality is both time and energy are important to our success. What’s apparent though is ineffective workers consistently demonstrate that wasting time is the proven way to fail.

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