Whether you are a student or an employee somewhere, you have to learn how to pay attention to increase your productivity. Mastering the art of paying attention and sticking to your personal goals is the single most important factor in elevating you.
But how hard is it to learn how to pay attention?
Well, the change has to come from the inside you. To learn how to pay attention, you will have to change yourself, your views, and your self-worthiness.
To be successful in life and in everything you are working on, you have to learn how to stick on to the task and block all the external “noise”. There is an abundance of destructions in the current fast-moving technological world that will seek your attention throughout the day, right from your phone’s notifications, emails, friends, family, physical noise etc.
To win, you have to learn how to juggle all these destructions, stick to your core tasks, execute your priority tasks and get into the habit of doing so by repeating the process every day.
Here is are some steps you can take to pay attention to.
1. Categorize your tasks
When we are all swamped up with tasks, we tend to put all of them on the table and try to achieve everything simultaneously. This only leads to burnouts and missing deadlines. Multi-tasking is a destructive and unproductive approach to your tasks. Categorizing your tasks in the order of importance will help you concentrate on high-paying, high-priority tasks. That way, all your attention will be limited to the top tasks which have higher wins.
2. Take a Break
To avoid burnouts, it is important to take health breaks within tasks or/and projects. Working for long hours or days on ends on a task will only lead to burn out and reduced productivity and quality of work. It is important to take periodic breaks with tasks. Set timed breaks between tasks; reward yourself after achieving every milestone. This will keep you revitalized and always re-energized to accomplish the next tasks on the list. To nurture a creative mind, you need to give yourself breaks.
3. Learn to delegate
To concentrate on the core priority tasks that you have expertise and experience in handling, you need to delegate. Delegate involves decluttering your to-do list by giving out the low paying and low-interest functions to someone else who will be willing and able to work on the tasks better than you. That way, all your attention will be dedicated to high paying and high priority tasks.
4. Set personal deadlines
Setting personal deadlines, which are always shorter than the overall project deadlines, is the key to training your concentration levels. For example, if your project’s deadline is one week, you should set yourself a three-day deadline. Next, you need to break down the major tasks into even smaller sub-tasks with shorter deadlines (of a few hours). Human beings are designed to appreciate instant gratification; when you achieve the set mini-goals, you will be motivated to reach the next goals. This will eventually lead to finishing the entire project way ahead of time.read more
Kids are born with an empty hard disk. It is up to the parents or the guardians to install the required attributes. Unlike a computer’s hard disk, a kid’s behavior and attributes will also be affected by the environment that s/he is brought up in.
Children tend to pick quick signals from the environment, and they will try to copy what the people close to them do. It is, therefore, important to set a good example for your kids right from the beginning. It is up to the parents to ensure they act responsibly around the kids because they will simply imitate what adults do.
But how do you foster creativity in kids?
Encouraging creativity in kids should be a continuous process. All you need to do as a parent is to ensure your kids is exposed to things that will trigger his or her imagination at all time. You can borrow a lot from the creativity of cartoon creators. They will continuously develop storylines and plots that will encourage the children to think outside the box (sometimes even outside space).
There are many ways of triggering creativity in kids, but this will vary from one kid to the other. It is based on their likes and dislikes. You should not force a kid to love something. It should come naturally.
Here are some of the approaches that have been tried and tested and proven to work incredibly well in fostering creativity in children:
Allow more time for kids to play – Whether the kid is playing with friends outside or with toys within the house, you should ensure s/he has more time to play. Children need time to play their types of games without being structured. Adults-led games will limit the kid’s imagination. Kids should be allowed to freely interact with others and the toys they have. Also, parents should ensure kids have enough space for them to mess around, get dirty, and feel good about themselves.
Instill the reading culture – This should be taught to kids from a young age. The best approach is by allowing kids to read for pleasure. Limit the time the kids spend on TV or other tech gadgets to let them spend more time reading or working on creative toys that have some text. The most important thing to observe here is to ensure they find pleasure in reading or drawing. A picture or comic book is a good start.
Allow kids to express themselves – Freedom of expression is not a right for adults only; kids will develop well if they are allowed to express themselves freely. Parents should eliminate fear and encourage their children to express themselves freely. This will enable the kids to ask questions and, improve their ability and understanding of their surroundings.
Never incentivize creativity – We often feel the need to reward our kids when they do something good. When a kid does something creative, you should just acknowledge it and encourage them to do more creative stuff. rewarding will interfere with creativity and will reduce the consistency and versatility of their responses. Parents should just encourage kids to practice creative activities which they are naturally (organically) motivated to do instead of encouraging them with rewards and incentives.
Don’t be so keen on what your kids achieve – The results of what a kid does should not be ranked or compared to any other results (better or worse). Kids should be made to believe that what they have created is the best. They should be rewarded accordingly and encouraged to repeat the processes. The process is more important than the outcome or the products. One way of ensuring that your kids enjoyed the activities is by asking them every so often whether they enjoyed the process. Let them tell you what they liked about the entire process.read more
I don’t intend this to be a book review by the now-famous bestseller author Nathan Latka, but I must admit I have learned and borrowed a lot from his writing. In his book, he says you don’t have to be educated at Ivy League, have money, be super creative, or even have a good idea in order to get rich. He says that you just have to be prepared to break the rules.
He goes on to explain how he created a successful software company with only $119 in his bank account, and he was only 19 years old. His company was estimated at over $10.5 million five years later. He believes he is not incredibly smart and believes that you don’t need loads of money or a unique idea to get rich.
Another book that passed the same message is “The Power of Broke” by Daymond John. He is the founder of FUBU and a successful businessman. He is also one of the sharks in the show Shark Tank.
What is the take-home from these two finance experts?
Starting from zero is usually a hard thing and may seem undoable at times. But it is possible. All you need is to maintain a positive mindset. Be optimistic. And search in all corners. We often get discouraged when our bank accounts read zero or sometimes negative.
But as Daymond puts it, this is the right time to think of something. You will think on your toes when you are broke, as opposed to when you have some money to spend on it.
There are many ways to succeed, even without having a lot to spend at the start. Here are some of the most practical approaches that I derived from these two books and my own experience in life:
Always invest in building valuable relationships – networking cannot be ignored. Whether you are seeking financial freedom, business partners, or just want to hang out. The kind of people you keep around you will either propel you to success or pull you down.
Be Optimistic – Yes, it is tough to stay focused on your goals when things seem to be going on a downward spiral. But this is the best time to stay focused on your smart goals. This brings us to the third point.
Always set SMART goals – here, the 80/20 rules come into play. You will find value in 20% of the things that you do very well. Therefore, it is important to set practical and achievable goals. You should set objectives that are within your control. For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose 10 kgs by January,”. Try setting a goal like “ I will run 2KM every day”. This is achievable and will eventually lead to reducing your weight.
Fail more often, But Never fail the same way twice – If you don’t try things out, you will never know what works and what doesn’t. Therefore, it is important to make those mistakes. Fail…fail…. fail….and fail even more. Just make sure you don’t fail the same way twice.
Observing these subtle but simple views of life will propel you from success to success without any need to have money in your bank account. All you need is just a clear mindset and the right attitude.read more
But how many of those very same people actually achieve those goals? In reality, a small percentage, but you don’t have to be among them. You can be one of the people who accomplishes their dreams, achieves great success and feels satisfied in life. Goals — even big ones — are not as unattainable as you might imagine. It’s all in how you approach them, and I’ve got some suggestions that will help you get a head start and make progress on your path toward achieving anything in life you desire.
1) First you focus, and then you plan. It’s not enough to simply say, for example, “I want to be rich.” Ask yourself why that’s important to you, and how you are going to achieve it. Will you open your own business? Will you launch a tech start up and someday sell it for millions? One of the biggest hurdles people face is not knowing how they are going to achieve their dreams, and understanding that it takes detailed planning, education (sometimes) and a lot of other elements. So, ask yourself: what are the steps I need to take on my path? And write them down; no one became successful by jotting down ideas on a cocktail napkin! You need to know all the steps in front of you, and then plan how you’ll achieve each one. For example: you may need a college degree, but don’t have the family funding for it. That’s a hurdle you can overcome with a scholarship. But you need good grades, right? The earlier you start thinking about and planning for the things you want to achieve, the earlier you can begin ticking some items off your list.
2) Focus on the rewards your achievement brings, not the money. Many wealthy people say that they were not inspired by money, but rather by what that money allowed them to do. It gives you freedom, perhaps, but not satisfaction in the way that, for example, establishing a charitable foundation does. Look at Bill and Melinda Gates: their foundation gives out millions of dollars every year, most recently to fight COVID-19 in poor areas of America. Gates has often said that this is the true rewards of wealth — helping others. It may sound corny, but helping your community is likely one of the benefits of achieving wealth.
3) Never fear failure, for it will surely come. No matter what you are trying to achieve, chances are you’ll fail somewhere along the line. If, for example, you’ve set a weight loss goal and managed to shed 25 pounds, but then went to a party and snacked all evening. The following day, the scale shows you’re up a pound or two, and you feel terrible about it. Remember, everyone fails at some point, even when they’re in the midst of accomplishing something great. Bill Gates quit Harvard. So did Mark Zuckerberg. They didn’t worry one bit about not accomplishing their goals in a traditional way, because they had bigger plans.
I am advocating you quit college, of course! I am saying that not every achievement is made on a straight line, and you will fail along the way. But if you don’t lose sight of the big picture, of how important the goal is and the rewards it will bring, chances are you’ll do fine.
Remember, everyone imagines a life of big accomplishments and successes, but not everyone has the grit, stamina and determination to achieve them.
You can — just don’t let go of your dreams, be sure what’s required of you to make them come true, and get started as soon as your plans are in place. And doing something you love, something that makes your rise enthusiastically each day, goes a long way, too. Combine these forces and nothing can stop you from achieving your goals.read more
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful in your life.
We are in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.
Do something every day that you don’t want to do. This is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile.
It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.
Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.
Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.read more
Everyone is occasionally tempted to pull on their sweat pants, curl up on the couch, turn on Netflix and turn off and tune out the world. We live in trying times, and sometimes it seems that what lies ahead is overwhelming, too big for any one human being to tackle, solve and move on. Sound familiar?
Procrastinating means not doing what you should, what you must to live an extraordinary life. While it’s a human foible most everyone falls prey to sometimes, the fact that it’s commonplace doesn’t mean you should succumb to it. Procrastination will, if you let it, derail your life and prevent you from achieving real change, change for the better that makes life more fulfilling and satisfying.
Here are a few suggestions on what you can do when procrastination threatens to hamper your day, your week, or even your life:
1) Involve Someone In Your Goals: When you have committed to someone else, it’s tougher to bail on the task or dream because it’s not just you who is disappointed. For example: let’s say that when 2020 began, you promised yourself you would work out regularly. But it’s cold and damp outside, and you’re exhausted at the end of a busy day at work. That Netflix movie you’ve heard so much about it calling your name.
But, if you join a class or a gym with a friend or colleague, it’s hard to back out. That’s the great thing about bonding with others; we feel obliged to follow through on our promises. The upside is that following through for them means you follow through with yourself, too. It’s a win-win, no matter how you slice it.
2) Break That Task Down: If you set a goal, let’s say “be rich by the time I’m 30!” you are setting yourself up for failure, and for being overwhelmed. The goal is fine; it’s the vagueness that’s problematic. Instead, ask yourself where you want to be at 25, 27, and 29. What field do you want to be in, and what education do you need to achieve success? Instead of the end goal, focus on the one right in front of you, like getting all “As” at university this year. That’s more practical, and more manageable.
3) Turn Off Social Media Alerts: This is a tough one, we know. But if you’re procrastinating about finishing the monthly report for your boss, the last distraction you need is Facebook alerting you that a friend has updated her vacation photos. Prioritize your project over everything else; you can get back to connecting when it’s done. And if you can’t turn off those feeds for a few hours, you’ve got bigger problems than a late report!
4) Let Your Anxiety Fuel You: Stop fidgeting nervously and get down to business — writing the report, the assignment, getting the bills paid — whatever it is you are procrastinating about. The anxiety you’re feeling can morph into positive energy if you let it. Look at your task from a different point of view, as something you want to do, not something you have to do. Describe it with relish, not dread. Language makes a big difference even when we are only talking to ourselves, so decide you want to do this, rather than viewing it as a boring task. Think of the reward at the end — the feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes with a job well done.
Even paying bills can be rewarding because you should take a moment to relish this: you earned the money to pay them. That feels good, right?
Procrastinating is one of our worst tendencies as people, and we all do it, to a greater or lesser degree. These strategies will help you overcome the habit, so remember them the next time you’re putting something off that needs to be done. And remember — only you can truly change how and when you accomplish things in life. Decide right now you won’t put off changing and achieving more even a moment longer.read more
Raising childing in this technologically advanced era is the most challenging task that parents have today. Development in technology has made the world a global village, exposing children to a lot of information. It is therefore very important to develop strategies that will help you as a parent to raise your children to have the necessary mental strength to help them face the ever-increasing challenges of the world today.
It is important to note that children always watch what their parents do. They see how you handle complicated situations and try to copy the same. They watch how you treat others and how you deal with your feelings. Even if you don’t think they pay attention, they absorb all the information.
Picture the mind of a child as a dry sponge; it will absorb everything since it has space. It is like an empty computer hard drive that is waiting to be filled with information. What you feed into the hard drive will determine the output you get.
Children will imitate what they see their parents doing from a very young age. Therefore, what you do and how you handle situations in front of your children should be the first step into teaching your children how to face life in the future. This is an innate behavior of human beings.
Children will imitate gestures and facial expressions from a very young age. Unfortunately, if you do something wrong, your kid will imitate that behavior even if s/he is told it is not good.
Strategies to help your child develop the mental strength
Besides acting in a manner that you would wish your children to imitate, here are some important things to do to help your child to develop the mental strength necessary to face the grim future:
- Teach your child how to distinguish right and wrong and walk them into the process of deciding which direction to take and sticking with their decision no matter how hard it is.
- Deliberately choose the right environment to raise your kids – your kids will not be with you 24 hours a day, particularly as they grow older. Make sure your kids are surrounded by positive role models.
- Share stories about your past and how you managed difficult situations. This will help your children to learn from their No. 1 role model – Parents.
- At a very tender age, teach your children how to manage stress and control their emotions. Emotional Intelligence (EI) should be inculcated in your kids at a young age. This should be taught hand in hand with Intellectual Quotient (IQ). A balance of these two will help your kids make informed decisions. If your children have strong negative emotions, they can not be considerate of others.
It is important to note that children are not born with an understanding of how to control their emotions. It is your duty as a parent to teach them how to use deep breathing, counting down distractions, and other simple techniques to relax and have a clear mind when making critical decisions that will impact their future.read more
Do you ever find yourself wondering why it is that a colleague seems to get more attention from the boss, more enthusiasm for their ideas, and maybe even more promotions and salary bumps than you do? Perhaps there are problems you’re not even aware of, bad habits getting in the way of your success at work. Here are a few key bad habits that slow down professional progress, and some tips for overcoming them.
1) You work too much. Employers today are keenly aware of quality, not just the quantity of hours their employees put in. You might think that staying 14 hours at your desk makes you look dedicated, but in fact, it might be making you look disorganized and unfocused. Employers want staff who work smart, not steadily, at least not habitually. Putting in a late-night is fine once in a while if you’re on a tight deadline, but doing it regularly implies that you can’t focus properly and are wasting precious time.
2) You bring in your personal life. Has your boss caught you, even once, scrolling through your Facebook account at work? If so, you can be sure they made a mental note of it. Using your phone and computer for anything other than work duties (or a home emergency) is frowned upon at work today. Save those scrolls for your lunch hour or commute on the train.
3) Are you a complainer? Ask yourself, do you do lots of complaining about pay, or office politics, or vacation policies? Even worse — do you play office politics? Even if you do it out of the boss’s earshot, your complaints could get back to them, and that makes you sound like you’re not a team player. Any legitimate complaints should be taken up with your supervisor or human resources. And if those complaints can’t be solved, it might be time to move on.
4) Are your time management skills good? If you’re always rushing to finish projects while other employees come striding into meeting calm and organized, something is wrong with your time management skills. If you need extra time on a project because a client has changed the requirements at the last minute, ask for an extension before the meeting — don’t let staff arrive and then begin making excuses about why your work is not complete. It looks unprofessional and amateurish — two deadly qualities in a work environment.
5)Your perspective isn’t balanced. If you don’t like your job or your boss, you’ve got a big problem. No matter what, you must act professional and keep your feelings and opinions to yourself, especially if your boss is highly regarded by others. If there is a genuine personality clash that can’t be resolved with dialogue and mediation, it may well be time for a transfer, or a move to a whole new business entirely.
These are just a few bad habits that can interfere with realizing professional goals, like that promotion you’ve been hoping for. Check yourself, and be brutal! A self-assessment is required, and if you aren’t sure what your bad habits are, ask a mentor or colleague you respect to do the assessment for you. Once you realize the bad habits you’re exhibiting, get on with the business of fixing them. That’s the only way you’ll achieve satisfaction at work and keep climbing the professional ladder.
We always hear about the power of day one, and we are told the secret of success is beginning. But the most challenging and most important thing in life is actually to continue.
Everyone may wish to be something like a doctor, an artist, engineer, dancer, etc. But only a handful will remain on it for weeks, months, years, and decades to see it come to fruition.
We all have brilliant ideas and the intellectual capacity to implement these ideas. But after a few years into a project, many will give up. When the journey starts going uphill, many will resign.
But how can you keep going when everything seems not to be working in your favor?
Short Answer: Never Give up! No matter what.
Well, things may have gone bad yesterday or today, but you just don’t know what is next. You may be giving up when you are just about to make that sale that will completely change your life. You may be giving up on a client who was almost considering investing in your project.
It is the basic cycle of life to struggle to know what will happen next. But you will never know what could have happened next if you are not resilient enough to stick to your goals.
Here is how you can motivate yourself to keep going…
- Concentrate on today
Most of our fear stems from uncertainty. Not knowing what will happen tomorrow, next week, or next year. It can be terrifying. The best thing you can do is to concentrate on what is at hand, your immediate tasks, your next move. Just ask yourself: what will I do after I finish reading this article?
- Set targets in areas that you have full control
Never delegate your life to someone else. Take the wheel yourself. You are your dictator; you should be on the front seat of your own life. Concentrate your energies on areas or fields that you are comfortable with, and you can handle the ups and downs that come your way with little or no support from the outside.
- Know when to Quit
Don’t get me wrong when I say “Never Give Up.” Sure, you should not give up easily on tasks and projects on your desk. But again, you should be wise enough to know when it is time to adjust or bail out. When you stick to a project long enough, you will establish metrics that will help you analyze and better understand the health of the project. This will help you know when its time to make drastic changes or to drop it altogether.
- Read and Read and Read more
If you have access to the internet, take advantage of the vast amount of information online, and keep reading. Learn something new every day. I know it sounds obvious, but you will gain more skills and courage to handle your current tasks by merely reading how similar people dealt with that exact situation. The internet has all you need.
This list can go on and on, but the bottom line is, your current discomfort will distract you. Don’t let it divert your attention from the primary goal. Focus on your immediate priority tasks. Worry less about what tomorrow brings.read more
You have just lost a loved one, ended your relationship, lost your job, lost your friend or family member. All these things will make you sad in some way. All these bad occurrences are bound to cause you some grief.
How you handle the grief will determine how quickly you can get over it. Handling grief is hard, especially when you have little to no social capital. The kind of people who are willing to empathize with you.
During this pandemic period, there are many people who have found themselves in grief for one reason or the other. Most common at the moment is the loss of a loved one, friend, or family member to the virus, or the loss of a job or a business closing down.
That brings us to the question,
How are we supposed to cope with grief?
Grief can be overwhelming even to those who consider themselves emotionally strong. But how can you handle it? Since there is no On / Off button for grief, the best way is just to manage it.
Since I have personally been hit with multiple griefs during this pandemic period, I hope my tips will help those of you who are facing similar experiences. The technique is not a one-size-fits-all kind of tips; take it with some pinch of salt. The most important is to find out what works best for you.
- Cry – let the pain come, don’t try to stop it. Then cry it out. This may sound cliché or common sense to you. But it works. Just don’t suppress it when it comes; let it out. Scream if you must. After doing so, you will feel much better. This is like allowing yourself to feel the pain. You are the career of the pain; only you understand how it feels, so let loose and allow yourself to feel the pain.
- Engage in your hobbies – During this grief period, you need to find something that works for you, something you don’t invest so much of your willpower to achieve. Avoid stressful assignments and tasks that will kick you deeper into depression when you underachieve.
- Self-affirmation – Keep affirming to yourself that you will get through the situation. That nothing is permanent. Assure yourself that something good is waiting for you in the future. That way you will dwell on the positive side that the future has in store rather than the negativity of the grief.
- Acceptance – some people will remain in the grieving mode for a long time because of denial. Yes, this will be very strong in the first few days. But as time goes, you will have to get used to the idea that it has happened. And for those irreversible occurrences like death, there is very little you can do to bring the person or pet back to life. All you need to do is accept that the worst has happened and learn to live with it.
These are just but a few ways of coping with grief. The list can go on and on. The bottom line is that you need to find what works best for you. Then apply it every time you find yourself in such a situation.read more