Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Take Charge of Your Personal Life – Guest Blog by Jon Petz

No matter how much you try to keep your personal and professional lives separate, they both have a great impact on each other. Even for some, their professional life is the reflection of their personal life. When you are happy, stable, and content in your personal life,you may redirect your optimal energy to your work which may directly affect your productivity and professional growth.

Step Back and AssessIt’s no wonder that most employers prefer hiring people who have more stable personal lives. This is because those who are emotionally healthier and satisfied tend to be more focused and efficient at even the complex of tasks.

So, if you have been putting your personal life on hold, read through to take charge.

Step Back and Assess

Unwind and assess yourself to find out the things you have been missing in life.Be honest with yourself and think more clearly about the adversities and setbacks.Discover the things that are working and those that are not working in your life. This allows you to see problems you have been avoiding as well as the things you have been submitting to against your will.

Once you know your problems, you can work to make a change. Rather than letting your fears set in, you need to acknowledge them and try moving past them to embrace things that bring happiness and contentment.

Maintain a Healthy Body and Mind

The health and fitness of your mind and body plays a crucial role in the overall satisfaction and happiness in your life. In order for this, eat healthy food, exercise regularly, and take good sleep to feel better about your body. Besides helping you achieve a well-balanced body, these may help you reduce anxiety, control anger, and ease depression to help you achieve overall wellness. A Harvard study that studies a group of men for over 70 years found that maintaining a healthy mind and body is among the top secrets to a good life.

Set Short-Term Goals

Set Short-Term GoalsMaking a drastic change requires a lot of time, energy, and commitment. It may not be possible for you to stay motivated and enthusiastic about it along with way. The best way to stay motivated is setting numerous short term goals and acknowledging yourself for every objective you achieve.When you achieve one goal, you may have greater desire to improve and become better at reaching your next milestone.

 

Connect with Jon directly to learn more about he can great an atmosphere of energy and engagement in your company or association. With his wit and engaging speaking style as motivational speaker and inspirational speaker, Jon has helped thousands of people take charge of their personal and professional lives for good. Call at 614-456-3072 to check availability.

The post Take Charge of Your Personal Life – Guest Blog by Jon Petz appeared first on Neen James.

Friday, August 19, 2016

5 Things to Stop Doing to Be More Productive

 

Any time means no timeProductivity is all about getting as much done as possible in as little time as we can feasibly manage. Unfortunately, many of our habits and excuses that we believe are making us more productive are actually having the exact opposite effect.

Here are five things you need to stop doing as soon as possible in order to be more productive in both your work and personal life.

1. Staying logged in to social media

 

It has happened to all of us before. We get one new notification, and stop what we are doing to check to make sure it isn’t urgent (it very rarely is). Then, without even realizing it, we somehow end up on a completely different site, immersed in something that has nothing to do with work or what we originally stopped to check in the first place. Social media can be a good thing. Too much of a good thing, however, is never truly all that good.

 

Social media destroys any chances you might have at a consistently productive schedule, especially if you can’t go more than an hour or so without checking your notifications. Too much of anything is a productivity killer, when you look close enough. Social media helps us connect with others, it helps us stay informed, but in many cases, it mostly ends up distracting and delaying us.

 

Unless constant social media surfing is your job, stay off social networks, blogs and video streaming sites. Everyone knows ‘I’ll just watch one more video and then I’ll get back to work’ is never a promise likely fulfilled. They call it the web because it’s very easy, and tempting, to get lost in a constant sea of articles and comment sections.

 

2. Procrastinating

 

We have all procrastinated on a major project or deadline at least once. That rushed, frantic feeling in the pit of your stomach just sits there agonizing you until you finally hit that submit button. We often procrastinate because we are avoiding something. Sometimes we even procrastinate on accident.

 

While it may help in some cases to kick yourself into gear, doing a lot of work in a short period of time consistently is going to send you straight into burnout mode. If you think your productivity levels are suffering now, just wait until you’re left feeling so overwhelmed and overworked that not even caffeine can wake you up.

 

If you can’t get your procrastination habit completely under control, at least learn to manage your to do list in a way that makes sure you are still getting the most important things done first. Figuring out how to manage a bad habit, and gradually replacing that bad habit with a better one, is much more effective than doing nothing at all.

 

3. Giving up sleep to do more work

 

It seems logical at first, thinking that by doing more work and cutting into your sleep time, you are quickly becoming a productivity mastermind. What’s a few more hours of work in the evening or getting up an hour earlier in the morning if it means you can have more waking hours to get things done? Sleep deprivation does more harm in the short and long term than you might think.

 

Sleep, adequate and consistent sleep, is a productivity and overall health essential. Better sleep leads to better productivity. Less sleep leads to lower levels of productivity. The more tired you are, the less energy you have to put toward getting your work done. Now that makes much more logical sense, doesn’t it?

 

Sleep. Even when you don’t feel tired; even when you don’t think you have enough time, or are somehow not going to be able to get as much done because of it. The best thing you can do for yourself is set a sleep and wake time and stick to that schedule, especially in the beginning. This is how you can make sure you are going to get enough sleep in order to be more productive throughout the day.

 

4. Skipping the gym

 

This is probably the habit most of us are guilty of out of all the items on this list. You don’t have time to work out, so you simply don’t. Why spend 30 minutes walking on a treadmill when you could spend that time answering emails or making phone calls? You’ll exercise tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next day.

 

Regular exercise – 150 minutes or more of moderate physical activity each week – has been shown to improve mental health, boost energy, make us more alert and help prevent physical illness. Even though you might think giving up exercise makes you more productive, you would probably have much more energy and motivation if you spent just a little time increasing your heart rate.

 

5. Doing less important tasks first

 

One reason many of us end up procrastinating and messing up our productivity is because there are things on our to do lists we are desperately trying to avoid. Even when we finally do sit down and start working, we often fall into the habit of picking out less important things to do first simply because they seem easier or less cringe worthy.

 

Find the task on your to do list you are dreading the most, likely the most important thing, and tackle that first. It will seem hard and unpleasant at first, but in reality, you are doing yourself a favor. If you get the most important task out of the way first, you will feel much less pressured and stressed to continue on and complete more tasks.

 

If you are a list maker or you use a to do list app, order or number your tasks so that you can clearly see which things you absolutely need to get done first. You will feel energized and relieved after finishing it, and will end up getting more done throughout the day because of it.

 

Kick those bad habits, replace them with better ones and watch your productivity levels skyrocket.

 

This blog originally posted to http://ift.tt/2bH8nPk – stop by and visit the site to leave comments on their awesome tips, interviews and strategies to thrive in your life.

The post 5 Things to Stop Doing to Be More Productive appeared first on Neen James.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Digital Detox – Plug Into What Matters Most

During the summer months it’s the perfect time to experiment with your own Digital Detox. Read about mine here, we’d love to hear about yours. Watch this video for more ideas and share your comments below.

The post Digital Detox – Plug Into What Matters Most appeared first on Neen James.

Digital Distractions – Neen’s Pet Peeves

Attention is all about connection. When we choose our phone and other digital distractions over our person we aren’t paying attention to what really matters.

What are your pet peeves? One of mine is when others make technology more important than people!
Today I challenge you:
Can you schedule a date with someone you love and leave your cell phones off the table?
Can you look people in the eye when you talk with them today?
Can you put away your devices (maybe even leave them in your car)?
What could you do to accelerate your engagement with people around you? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

The post Digital Distractions – Neen’s Pet Peeves appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Pay attention on social media guest blog by Joel Block

Joel Block HeadshotNOTE from Neen: Joel is one of the most generous re-tweeters I know and a genuinely fabulous human. I saw this post on Facebook recently and with his permission have posted it here. His ideas on paying attention to others on social media is great advice for all of us.

Joel’s Facebook post read: 

People frequently ask how I have such a significant social media following and how I engage with them.

I have put together a few thoughts to help my friends and colleagues be more successful on-line. I don’t speak or consult on this topic, but it was recently reported that my LinkedIn network the #70 largest network on the planet.

Having great “offline” networking skills doesn’t come easy but we have learned through trial and error – or because other people helped us be more effective. But online, most people lack the same level of social networking skills, and even fewer succeed in generating any material amount of leads for their offline businesses.

To me, there is some etiquette that seems to work. I am no Emily Post, but I have a few suggestions I hope will create more mutual support and better business success for each of us.

The old adage is that the fuel of networking is “giving”.

Start giving if you want to receive – and by the way, you have to give before you get. Here are some ideas so we can help each other make a huge difference in all of our social media performance – and on our ability to monetize it too. You don’t have to do all of these to be helpful – but the more you do and the more you give, the more you are likely to receive.

  1. On Facebook, “like” everything unless you really don’t like it. Think of the word “like” as “acknowledge” instead. Add comments if appropriate. More “likes” move posts higher in the timeline area. Did you ever give a talk, ask for questions, and there were none? Same feeling when you get almost no “likes”. Plus it helps me to remember what posts I have already read which saves time in the future. If 50 people see a post, 45+ should “acknowledge” it.
  2. Read and review the books and other assets of your colleagues. Post your thoughts about them for others to consider on Facebook and Amazon (among other places). Your third party testimonial is very valuable.
  3. Retweet. Retweet. Retweet.
  4. Share and repost articles on LinkedIn.
  5. “Like” articles that you see on LinkedIn and make comments when appropriate. Sharing is even better – and by the way, I find that sharing on LinkedIn increases my exposure in many valuable ways.
  6. Follow others on Twitter with the expectation that they will follow you.
  7. Connect on LinkedIn – never IDK (i.e. click “I don’t know” the person). Networking is a game of leapfrog. It’s not about the person connecting to you – it’s about who is in their network that might be helpful to you.
  8. Give recommendations on LinkedIn if appropriate. This is a great place to put them because they are here permanently. They can be used by the recipient for multiple other applications for example because LinkedIn is building a social media engine to compete with Klout.
  9. All reviews should be positive – not necessarily balanced. If you are not trained as a professional journalist, don’t pretend to be one. And if you don’t have something nice to say, ask your mom what to do.
  10. Nobody wants to toot their own horn – and besides, a testimonial from a third person is so much better than self-promotion. Give as many 3rd party insights as is appropriate. It helps others to get to know your colleague and it gives them a very good impression of you.
  11. If you are an expert and you know how to do something well, share that with others. Don’t sell to your colleagues. Networking and selling don’t mix. Give your expertise freely (to peers not clients) which will boost your status as an expert in your field. We are all here to learn and teach, network and grow. Contribute to that process as best as you can. I am an expert (not a broker) in the money business (hedge funds, venture capital, alternative assets and raising capital). What do you want to know? I’ll happily share.

Let’s make these actions habits and you will be pleasantly surprised by what comes back to you

Joel is a long-time venture capitalist and Hedge Fund manager addressing audiences from Silicon Valley venture firms to Wall Street bankers on matters of capital formation and most recently, on Investment CrowdFunding. Twice each year, Joel hosts and headlines the standard-setting  Real Estate Syndication and Hedge Fund Symposium program, educating and advising CPAs, attorneys, investment bankers and asset class specialists on organizing and running investment pools. Having organized and invested in over 40 deals, and having advised on hundreds more, Joel is a valuable resource not only to the private securities industry, but to attorneys and courts of law who seek his expert opinion. And though he doesn’t admit often, Joel is also a CPA. Find out more about Joel and the services he offers at www.bullseyecap.com

The post Pay attention on social media guest blog by Joel Block appeared first on Neen James.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

What are your Attention Grabbing Gremlins?

 

gremlin attention distractions

There were only three rules for Billy’s new pet: no water, no food after midnight and no bright lights. Did you see the movie Gremlins?

 

Once this happened, the cute, adorable little pet became a green monster creating chaos.

 

Do you have attention grabbing gremlins? What are your monsters?

 

My monsters include Facebook, Email, Twitter, Instagram, and ShopStyle (yes I love when my fave brands are on sale).  What would you add to this list?

 

As a productivity expert I get distracted and overwhelmed and when this occurs, the gremlins are more frequent.

 

Here are three strategies to help manage your attention grabbing gremlins:

 

Don’t feed your gremlin – it takes discipline to stay off social media sites (it’s harder than it sounds) if that’s a struggle for you, try apps like Freedom (site blocking software). It’s also worthwhile using your gremlins as a reward, meaning allow yourself to look at social media AFTER completing important proposals, or speech preparation or client calls.

 

Avoid after midnight – just like Billy couldn’t feed his pet after midnight, consider turning off email, social media, text messages, notifications and other distractions at this late hour to allow you to have deeper sleep and not be pulled into distracting and unproductive activity and conversations. Please don’t send team members emails late at night; it steals minutes from them and their family (because if you are the boss, they think they need to respond). Where possible, wait to send the emails in the morning.

 

Put it away – ‘out of sight’ may help ‘out of mind’. Can you spend a few minutes eliminating the distractions of unfinished projects, unread books, unviewed magazines and put them away until you are ready to action them? We find when working with our clients on creating a productive environment the simple act of putting items in drawers, books on shelves, projects in files it helps people feel a sense of order and that allows them not to be constantly reminded of everything left to do.

 

BONUS tip: Create a to-do list – an old fashioned , paper list. Spend 15 minutes doing a mental brain dump of all the activities you want to get done at work (and at home) – this huge list might inspire you to focus on completing those activities and help you mange your attention gremlins.

 

What do you do to manage your attention gremlins? Love to hear your ideas here on our blog:

 

The post What are your Attention Grabbing Gremlins? appeared first on Neen James.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sound Check 1, 2, 3 – What You Need to Know (Guest Blog: MeetingsNet)

 

Sound Check Speaker EventThe sound check may not be the most glamorous item on your event checklist, but it is one of the most important. Without smoothly functioning audiovisual, your speakers’ messages will be lost.

 

As Sidney Stoper, account executive with J& S Audio Visual and chair of the Meetings Industry Council of Colorado, says, the “sound check is paramount for live events, not only for the speaker and audiovisual crew, but most important, for the audience.”

 

I reached out to meeting planners, speakers, and AV pros to get their tips. Here some ways they say all involved can make audiovisual checks more fun, more productive, and more valuable for the entire event team.

 

Planner to-dos:

 
Schedule a reasonable time for the sound check.
If possible, plan to hold the sound check on the same day as the presentation, and include the time in your speaker communications and/or contract. Many speakers travel to multiple events during any given week, and they will need to factor your sound check into their plans. Allow afternoon speakers to do a sound check during the lunch break if possible. And give yourself plenty of time to work out any glitches. As best-selling author and keynote speaker on creativity and innovation Scott Berkun says, “Ensure the sound check is planned [so you have time] to deal with unforeseen problems. Don’t assume it will go well.”

Request riders in advance.
Insist that speakers provide you with a rider outlining their AV needs so your team will be equipped to handle their requests. If your speakers don’t have riders, strongly suggest they create one or at least send you an email or checklist outlining their AV needs.

 

AV team to-dos:

Provide guidance.
Share tips with speakers to help them look and sound better and really shine. Are there any areas of the stage they should avoid to keep from stepping out of lighting? Are there any concerns you have noticed about the venue? Leadership and communications speakerRob Cottingham suggests, “If a tech can help me know how much I can drop my voice and still be heard, and how far back I have to pull back from the mic if I want to yell, it can make a world of difference in my performance.”

Have fun.
It’s my personal policy to always learn the names of the tech team and have a relaxed and fun sound check. Make your speakers feel comfortable!

Be on the same team.
Most professional speakers have a checklist, and they are used to regular sound checks. They appreciate being treated as professionals. Thought leader and keynote speaker Peter Sheehan says, “Remember we are on the same team—please don’t treat me like an idiot. Instead of starting with ‘We can’t do that,’ have ‘Let me see how we can make that happen’ be your default position.

Be thoughtful.
At a recent speech I gave, the AV crew had already placed water bottles on stage, removed the lectern (because I am less than five feet tall, my rider asks for it to be removed), and placed a small, dressed cocktail table on stage for me before I arrived for the sound check. These touches might seem small, but following the rider requests and paying attention to the details makes a huge difference to speakers.

Allow speakers to use their remote.
Ensure the range of the remote is sufficient, and it’s compatible with the AV system. For many professional speakers, “the remote is an extension of our hand—we have these in our hands as often as our toothbrushes. We press buttons with muscle memory,” says speaker Lisa Cummings. Speakers prefer to use their own remotes, so please let them when it’s possible.

 

Speaker to-dos:

 
Be on time.
Show up at the appointed time for your sound check—don’t ever steal other speakers’ minutes. Arrive at least an hour before the start of your presentation. Bring your presentation files, and be ready to rehearse if necessary.

Learn about AV and staging.
Mitch Beede at Image Audio Visuals says, “We highly recommend speakers bring their current, updated presentation on a USB stick. The technology standard is 16:9 ratio. And please notify the tech staff of any embedded video, timed transitions, or builds.”

Know not to walk in front of the audio-speakers, and check the stage for movement, squeaks, and gaps. As a stiletto wearer, I sweetly request the stage be taped so my heels don’t get stuck in the cracks (that’s so not glamorous!). Also, please don’t make crazy last-minute requests or surprises for your AV crew.

Create a checklist.
Berkun says, “Check everything! Check the AV levels, slides, and embedded video, house lights, performance lights, slide management (backward and forward), confidence monitor, intro/outro music, and tables or resources on stage. Make a note in your AV request form of where you like to present from, what you want—and don’t want—on stage, and carry it with you to your sound check.”

Consider wardrobe.
Speakers need to ensure their wardrobe can accommodate the belt pack if they will be wearing a lavaliere mic. Beede also recommends speakers consider wearing a shirt with a collar to attach the lav microphone to. Remove your name badge (to avoid feedback, audio problems, and light reflection), check your zipper, make sure your bra strap isn’t showing, and look in the mirror before walking on stage (to make sure there’s no spinach in your teeth!).

Know your microphone needs.
Do you prefer a headset mic, a lavaliere, or handheld? Some speakers even invest a few dollars in their own kits. I purchased a Countryman mic and multiple adaptors for every sound system that I bring with me, along with clear medical tape to make sure it stays fastened. I always get a great reaction from the AV crew when they see I am prepared with my own mic and tape—and actually know how to use it.

 

If you pay attention to these details, the result will be a more productive sound check, and a better experience for your attendees.

 

(This blog first appeared originally on www.meetingsnet.com, guest authored by Neen James.)

The post Sound Check 1, 2, 3 – What You Need to Know (Guest Blog: MeetingsNet) appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Prepare for the Seasons

 

Prepare for the SeasonsBucks County, where I live, experiences every season. We get hot sticky summers, spectacular Fall leaves, snow in winter and spring brings stunning flowers. It’s stunning and when we moved from Australia I had no idea that people in this area ‘winterize’ their homes (not a term I’d heard before).

 

My home has two fireplaces so each year we have two cords of wood delivered (for my Aussie readers, a cord is a measurement of wood used in the US and Canada, who knew?)

 

Recently while helping my honey stack this wood perfectly into his specially designed woodshed (he’s an engineer), it struck me our businesses have seasons too.

 

As an opening keynote speaker for corporate audiences, most of my busy season is Spring, Fall and Winter, the summer has an easier pace as many of our corporate clients don’t host events with teams on vacation. It would be easy to get concerned with gaps in our calendar (and believe me I used to), until I realized the seasonal patterns.

 

Maybe your business, your company, your health, or even some relationships have seasons.

 

Here are 3 strategies to help you prepare for your seasons.

 

Know your cycles – this one took me a little while to learn in the US, it was different to Australia (the seasons are opposite).  Learning what the busy and slower cycles are in your business allows you to allocate your energy and resources in the best times. I choose summers to write books and catch up on development projects that I don’t get to while I am traveling during my busy seasons. What are the cycles in your business? How can you plan for the downtime and the busy times?

 

Do the work – stacking wood might be one of my least favorite activities in the summer heat however I have to be reminded how much I love watching a fire at night and the coziness it creates in my home. The wood has to be delivered early so it can be dry and ready when we need it.

 

When we are busy it’s easy to take our eye of the business development strategies or leadership development opportunities because we are so busy ‘doing the work’. We also need to be planning for strategic thinking time and people development time. Doing and planning are both important considerations for every leader wanting to focus their resources on what really matters.

 

Keep the faith – have you ever had a winter (or a dark season) that felt so long… a few years in Doylestown I have wondered when the winter is ever going to end! Mother nature takes her time and yet we know spring will arrive and with it fresh flowers, new leaves on the trees, baby squirrels and birds everywhere. Hibernation is sometimes required for recovery time or to access what are your most important strategies and focus for the next season.

 

Stay focused on why you are doing the work, what you need to achieve and know that the next season (and maybe your reward), is just around the corner.

 

Pay attention to what matters in your current season and remember we reap what we sow.

 

What can you do today to help you be prepared for your next season?

 

The post Prepare for the Seasons appeared first on Neen James.