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Habits that Improve Your Focus Amidst Pandemic

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Working remotely nowadays has still bombarded people with workloads. To mitigate anxieties and improve your focus amidst the pandemic, here are some helpful habits to stay focused.

Forgive yourself in reducing the focus


It is essential to admit that you are losing your focus due to numerous reasons but that’s okay. The key to forgiveness is acceptance. Do not feel bad when you lose willpower because you miss being with your co-workers, friends, and loved ones. What you feel right now is normal because all of us were not used to today’s current set-up where all people wear masks, observe social distancing, and avoid big camaraderie.

By forgiving yourself and acknowledging today’s situation can ease up anxieties. Do not allow yourself to be upset because you are unproductive. After all, it will make the situation worse.

Plan your ‘escape behaviors’


Escape behaviors refer to the things that remove your boredom and stress in doing many workloads. Planning your workloads can improve your focus amidst the pandemic. This will help you manage the time you allot with your specific tasks.


“The key to dealing with escape behaviors is to anticipate them because you know yourself well enough to know which are likely to crop up during any given workday,” psychologist Traci Stein, Ph.D. explains.

Take care of your physical needs


Taking care of your physical needs does not only boosts your immunity but also your focus. That’s why exercising is beneficial to increase one’s focus and productivity.


Apart from it, you need to make sure you are eating nutritious food and getting enough sleep. Keep in mind that it is difficult to focus when you lack sleep.

Plan your breaks


Similar to planning your escape behaviors, it is also important to plan your breaks. Do not work too much especially when you are tired. Forcing yourself to work even you are tired will compromise your work.

“One popular approach is to use the Pomodoro Technique, which calls for 25 minutes of focused work followed by a 5-minute break, with at least a 15-minute break every two hours,” Inc report said.

The Secrets on How To Solve Big Problems by Bill Gates

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

People encounter new problems every day. Not all people are inclined to be quick problem solvers. Today, Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft, will impart his secrets on how to solve big problems.

People like Bill Gates solve big problems by asking two specific questions that will help him to address the existing issues. Asking questions that help solve big problems hold true to Bill Gates up to the present.

Bill Gates stated in his Instagram account that “ever since I was a teenager, I’ve tackled every big new problem the same way: by starting off with two questions. I used this technique at Microsoft, and I still use it today. I ask these questions literally every week about COVID-19. Here they are: Who has dealt with this problem well? And what can we learn from them?”

When we encounter problems, the majority will automatically search for the solutions. But Bill Gates emphasized his approach of asking questions that help solve big problems. For him, it is important to recognize that we can learn from others who are already doing it.

As they said, in order to learn, we need to relearn. That’s why prominent CEOs around the world continue to read books because they believe people from the past have already encountered today’s problems.

Gates explained that if we have difficulty, we search for tutorials on Youtube and other information on Google because we believe that other people already experienced it. This is the reason why there are communities online like Medium, Reddit, Quora, and other platforms wherein people can discuss things about certain things.

The said questions obtain certain essential leadership traits. First, acknowledge that you do not know a certain matter. Second, look for certain information or mentors who can help you. Lastly, to learn.

Importantly, true leaders are humble enough to admit that they do not know all things and they can’t monopolize all ideas. Most importantly, the willingness to learn makes you better.

To be humble and to seek learnings are the secrets on how to solve big problems. By doing this, you save a lot of time than searching for solutions by yourself.

The Importance of Keystone Habits

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importance of keystone habits

As Charles Duhigg stated in his book the Power of Habits, detecting keystone habits means searching out certain characteristics. These kinds of habits nurture other behaviors that create widespread change in one’s life. Thus, it is essential to know the importance of keystone habits.

Influential Habits

Keystone habits are habits that are correlated with other good habits. Regular exercise is an example that works hand-in-hand with healthy eating habits. Importantly, these habits do not directly generate a cause-and-effect relationship. They become transformative because since they create chain reactions with other good behaviors. For short, keystone habits are influential ones.

Knowing the Importance of Keystone Habits

Since keystone habits are little behaviors that spur progress to one’s life, they should be incorporated into our everyday lifestyle. For example, making your bed every morning is a waste of time for some since you’re just going to mess it up again by night time. But this morning routine can increase one’s productivity. Thus, adopting keystone habits enhances your productivity.

Another importance of keystone habits is that they affect you to acquire positive habits that create positive outcomes. When you are cooking your own food, you control what comes in your body. Hence, it is more likely that you will be health-conscious.

Interestingly, keystone habits are essential in making other habits easier. Impactful habits generate immediate boost and reward making future habits easier. A great example is a regular exercise. After working out, you feel good, have more energy, and better sleep. This will trigger your brain to crave more of it.

When you want to change something in your life, start the change within your routines. It is not breakthroughs that change your mind but your daily routines.

Sources:

  1. https://www.gen-i.co.uk/index.php/2019/12/19/what-are-keystone-habits/
  2. https://www.businessinsider.com/keystone-habits-that-transform-your-life-2015-8#having-strong-willpower-8

Ways to Improve Your Time Management At Home

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mprove your time management

In today’s new normal, people are having difficulty disciplining themselves in doing their tasks. No more alarms, no more office rules to adhere, and reduced micromanagement from your boss give most employees the freedom to work. However, without structure, workers and even students experience procrastination. Here are some helpful ways to improve your time management at home.

Time blocking improves time management at home

Learn to plan your schedule for the upcoming days. Time blocking is a method wherein you can divide your schedule into blocks of time. A To-do list may help you to be reminded of the tasks you need to do. But with time blocking, it enhances the time you allot in doing a specific task.

Since you already set a certain task to that specific time frame, it is difficult for you to multi-task or even commit to other responsibilities that can affect your productivity and focus. This type of method helps you to prioritize deep works—tasks that need more focus, and setting shallow tasks when your energy dips during the day.

Time blocking allows you to focus at one task at a time making you 80% more productive.

Different Types of Time Blocking

Task Batching

Task batching is a practice of time blocking wherein you group similar tasks within a day to avoid interruptions. By this, you can identify tasks that are shallow and deep.

“Switching between various tasks can make projects take up to 50% longer to complete. Instead, it’s best to focus on a single batch of similar tasks,” John Media, author of the Brain Rules, stated.

Credits to Todoist.com

Day Theming

Day theming primes your mind what you need to do for that specific day. It helps you to do things based on importance, According to Blue Key,” by assigning goal themes to each workday and then relating a task to its daily theme, we can see which tasks are important specifically to that day’s theme”.

This method is helpful if you are doing group projects. This can help you to be progressive since you and your team are in sync even you are physically apart.

Credits to Entropy Organized

With this type of list, this does not only improve your time management but also helps you to declutter your mind to execute essential tasks.

Seven Motivational Tips About Life from Zappos CEO

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Amidst the difficulties in life, sources of inspiration spark joy and hope. CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh imparted seven motivational tips that everyone can relate to.

For 20 years in the position, Hsieh will retire at the age of forty-six years old. Years when he graduated from Harvard University, he joined the company (formerly known as ShoeSite.com) and made it trailblazing. In 2009, Zappos was sold to Amazon for $1.9 billion.

When the Onlineshop industry was not yet prominent back then, people are afraid to purchase shoes online. According to Hsieh, they assure their customers by increasing the customer’s experience by providing free shipping.

“Even though free shipping of both orders and returns has cost us more, it has enabled us to keep our customers longer,” Hsieh said.

At present, Zappos does not only offer shoes. It sells handbags and apparel and even housewares and pots and pans. Hsieh stated that Zappos does not focus only on selling shoes but delivering the best customer experience.

Here are the following motivational tips that Tony Hsieh shared:

  1. “There’s a big difference between motivation and inspiration: Inspire through values and motivation takes care of itself.”
  2. “Have fun. The game is a lot more enjoyable when you’re trying to do more than just make money.” 
  3. “For individuals, the character is destiny. For organizations, culture is destiny. ” 
  4. “Our belief is that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff, like great customer service or building a great long-term brand or empowering passionate employees and customers will happen on its own.” 
  5. “Don’t be cocky. Don’t be flashy. There’s always someone better than you.”
  6. “People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said but they always remember how you made them feel, that’s what matters the most.” 
  7. “If anyone’s ever interacted with an alpaca, you know you just can’t help but laugh.” 

Source: https://feedly.com/i/entry/9kvTSXJ/FoV0tKjA81ehh0HicK5d+u3ZYbKAl6iUAKY=_17427bd21c0:7cd6e83:e9c9ab36

How to be More Creative at Work?

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People tend to think that creativity is limited to a few. Steve Jobs, a former CEO of Apple, imparted his strategies on how to be more creative at work. Job and even Albert Einstein, a well-known scientists, believe that the key to be more creative is to do nothing.

Tat Bellamy Walker and Shana Lebowitz in Business Insider stated that the best products of Apple such as the iPod were generated when Jobs took breaks and procrastinated. Thus, they emphasized that busyness limits individuals to be more creative.

Professor Adam Grant of Wharton explained that when Jobs put things off, he increases the divergence of his ideas to flow. For people to be more creative at work, business leaders should allow employees to do nothing.

This idea might be difficult for business leaders to consider especially if they are hooked with the traditional mindset that the more hours that employees work, their productivity also increases. A study found out that ‘incubation stage’ spurs innovative and creative ideas from people.

The incubation stage refers to your brain’s ability to wander. Allowing your brain to wander leads to attain greater ideas. Your brain can wander when you go for a walk, get some breather, and anything that will make a space in your brain.

According to a study, during incubation period unconsciousness contribute to creative thinking. Giving yourself a break from all the deliverable will give you Eureka moment, wherein you can acquire great ideas.

Another prominent CEO, Bill Gates promoted “think week” allowing himself to stay in a new place that will give him an ability to focus and disconnecting from all higher-order activities to create ideas and decisions.

Creativity is not for a chosen people. It is for everyone since it is the most important asset in today’s 21st century. This will enhance how people solve present problems. Creativity impacts how people live and think.

Pursuing Purpose: 5 Strategies for Business Leaders

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strategies for business leaders

In today’s business world, people look up to CEOs who pursue purpose over profit. This article will provide five strategies for business leaders that focus more on exemplifying responsible leadership to radiate company purpose.

Amidst the pandemic, business leaders should continue to strengthen their efforts to empower and reassure stakeholders. Here are some guides provided by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Accenture on how to be an effective business leader in today’s new normal.

  1. Consider your stakeholders

In decision makings, always consider your stakeholders (employees, business partners, customers, and the public). Being a responsible leader does not only focus on pleasing the stakeholders when creating decisions. Experts recommend to seek industry organizations that you can participate in to widen stakeholder inclusion.

Further, Affectiva, a tech company, that aims to help organizations, academy, and non-profit businesses to come up with standards for the deployment of build artificial intelligence (AI). This initiative aims to connect stakeholders despite that they do not collaborate often but can generate decisions that have greater impacts.

2. Focus and align your decisions on your mission and purpose

Apart from considering your stakeholders, make your company’s mission and purpose as your guide when making decisions. As Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why imparted that your purpose is clear because this will not only make you successful but more importantly, will impact the lives of others.

“Once businesses know their purpose, they can easily determine how to communicate their motives and it is through their products and services they radiate theirs why. Thus, determining “why” is powerful for businesses and organizations nowadays,” as cited in the article The Golden Circle of Simon Sinek.

3. Consider emotions

To embrace emotions is one of the strategies for business leaders to consider. Responsible leadership also captures people’s emotions. According to Affectiva, before attaining technological solutions, it is important to prioritize emotional intelligence.

Empathy is vital in making decisions. Effective business leaders look after their people than yielding more profit. In today’s pandemic, a lot of companies imparted their help to their communities.

4. Prioritize technology and innovations

The new normal brought about by the pandemic enables companies to pivot and adapt to digital transformation. Business leaders were able to appreciate to do less but achieve more things brought by technology and innovations.

However, before you consider technological solutions, as a responsible leader, always go back to the first strategy. Do not forget to attain the buy-in from your stakeholders. At the end of the day, if these technologies do not address your business problems, you are just wasting your resources.

5. Continue learning

Today’s business leaders seek to learn more. They recognize that they do not possess all the information that will solve the struggles of their businesses.

Respectively, do not only focus on the things you can learn alone. Ideas can be generated from the people around you specifically with your employees.

“Don’t be afraid to look outside of the “traditional” job requirements, and consider a candidate with a slightly different background. Affectiva has also been able to broaden our intellect through internships and education programs,”  RANA EL KALIOUBY, CEO of Affectiva, stated.

“Each year, we hire a diverse group of trainees that represent all education levels (high school through graduate students) and different areas of expertise. Not only does this help us expand our views, but it also gives us a chance to give back by developing the next generation of leaders in our industry,” she added.

Source: https://www.inc.com/rana-el-kaliouby/five-ways-to-exemplify-responsible-leadership.html

Morning Routines to Boost Productivity

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morning routine to boost productivity

Being dedicated to your morning routines help you to boost your productivity and prime your entire day. If you’re wondering what morning routines you can consider, this article provides you ideal morning routines to boost productivity.

1. Eliminate decision-making routine

Make it a habit to prepare and plan things the night before. Elimination is the key to optimization. Most successful people are busy planning during the night. Hence, they can do essential works every morning seamlessly without compromising their productivity.

Spending too much time thinking in the morning will drain your energy for the rest of the day. It is ideal to lessen decision making during the morning so that you can accomplish a lot of things when you start your day.

It is recommended to do your to-do list, prepare your outfit, ready the food to cook in the morning, and the things you need to bring for the next day. Plus, if you want to build a habit of exercising, some people do not just prepare their workout clothes but even wear them while sleeping.

2. Increase your focus

Pick a routine that will enhance your focus. There has no one-morning routine that works best for everyone. However, the most common element that all routines obtain is the ability to boost one’s focus.

Interestingly, most CEOs meditate, read something inspirational, journal, and exercise. You do not need to spend too much time doing these routines. All you need to remember is that you need to acquire the outcome of doing these drills.

Increasing your focus will help kick-start your productivity. This can also set your mind and heart to have the right attitude.

3. Be physically active

Exercising is one of the morning routines to boost productivity. It will not only make you fit but this will also make you feel great. Waking up early morning to workout is difficult. But it is ideal to start with moving around for almost 5 minutes until you will not notice that you are working out for more than an hour.

As cited in the article from Trello, the following successful CEOs begin their day working out:

Kevin Kruse does a daily 20-minute HIIT session on the treadmill.

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, jogs every morning.

Howard Schulz, CEO of Starbucks, bikes first thing.

Congresswoman and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi power walk before she sits down to work.

Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk works out with his trainer.

Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary gets on his elliptical or exercise bike.

Starwood Hotels CEO Frits van Paaschen runs 10 miles each morning

4. Make sure to finish the planned tasks

Finishing your planned task whether it is daunting or you are focusing on incremental progress can help increase your productivity even more. A study revealed that finishing your tasks can make you more productive in the long run.

Winning your morning routines is a great way to kick-start not just your entire day but also your productivity. Do not be afraid to try different morning routines until you find the best that fits you.

Source: https://blog.trello.com/best-productive-morning-routines

How Managers Should Support Their Employees

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how managers should support their employees

Today’s pandemic breeds anxiety and fear to people. A recent conducted study of Mind Share Partners, together with Quadratics and SAP, shared helpful ways how managers should support their employees during this pandemic.

Be vulnerable

Share to your team the discomfort you are experiencing right now. As you impart to your team the mental challenges you are experiencing right now due to the present happenings, your colleagues will be comfortable to discuss about their mental health issues.

Interestingly, study revealed that authentic leadership cultivates trust and boosts employee engagement and performance.

Model healthy behaviors

As managers, you need to walk your talk.  It is not enough that you only discussed mental issue, but your actions do not support it. Traditional managers only look after your work and how it is being done. In this pressing time, you need to encourage your team members to prioritize self-care. Allow them to take a break for a while to regenerate energy and motivation.

Check on them

Further, recent study found out that nearly 40% of global employees revealed that nobody at their company had asked them if they were doing okay. Ideally, managers should take time to check out their team members. Checking on your people is one way how managers should support their employees during this pandemic. They should go beyond the questions of “how are you?”

When they share their problems, know that it is okay if you do not know what to say about their situation. What matters is that you listen to what they are going through.

Offering flexibility

In these challenging times, there are things that your team does not tell you, including their problems. That is why, as the manager, you need to know what is truly happening to them so that you will able to understand their situations. Communication is vital in supporting one’s mental health.

Thus, proactive communication defines inclusive flexibility. Giving considerations in this trying time is very helpful.

“Ask team members to be patient and understanding with one another as they adapt. Trust them and assume the best. They are relying on you and will remember how you treated them during this unprecedented time,” as cited in the news of Harvard Business Review.

Effective communication

As mentioned earlier, effective communication is beneficial to one’s health. Another result from the study revealed that “employees who felt their managers were not good at communicating have been 23% more likely than others to experience mental health declines since the outbreak”.

Accordingly, managers should tell their team about organizational changes, new working schedules and protocols.

With the things that are going lately, it is really important to encourage your team to use mental health support resources in the company.

Moreover, managers may be the one to advocate in supporting mental health, but it is the senior leaders of the company should be the utmost concerned individuals about this matter.

Source:8 Ways Managers Can Support Employees’ Mental Health

How Businesses Survive Today’s Recession?

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businesses survive

Coronavirus (COVID-19) limits people activities including economic ones to contain the virus. Big and small companies were affected with the ongoing pandemic. Some pivoted and done various strategies to survive present challenges. Here are some helpful ways how businesses survive today’s recession

1.       Cash is king

We often hear this statement from best financial advisers that cash is king. Today, cash is very important in order to survive. Debt may be very helpful to strengthen operations but it is highly recommended to obtain more cash than debt to survive recession.

2.       Create emergency fund

Creating emergency fund for your business is another way how businesses survive today’s recession. These funds can be used when you want to pivot and to continue operations in order to generate profits to pay for operating costs and most importantly, for employee’s salary.

Creating more job opportunities during crisis is helpful for the economy so that people will continue to spend even their basic goods.

“Work hard now and build an emergency fund with the income you earn so that if your business slows down, you’ll be able to get through some lean months. Your clients may be able to still work with you now, but who knows what the long-term economic effects of this pandemic will be, “Carlos Gil stated on Entrepreneur.

3.       Invest your time

With the limited operating time that businesses are experiencing right now, business owners have extra time. You can have extra time to learn new things and increase your skillset that can be useful to your business.

More so, with the free time you have right now, you can spend it with your loved ones and friends. You can give yourself a little break that you have not done prior to COVID.

4.       Embrace opportunity

Most business owners lose hope during crisis. Ideally, when there’s a crisis there will always be opportunity. When there’s a crisis, competition is less. You can take this time to position your business in the market.

These simple and beneficial ways for businesses to survive during financial crisis are ideal to be adopted. These tips are the takeaways of business men from previous recessions.

Sources:
(1) https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/351647?utm_source=Feedly&utm_medium=related&utm_campaign=syndication
(2) https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/353282?utm_source=Feedly&utm_medium=related&utm_campaign=syndication

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