Tag Archive | "Productive"

Become Ruthlessly Productive by Tightening Up These 3 Systems

Okay, maybe not “ruthlessly.” But we all have lots of things we need to get done, and that means we need smart strategies to work efficiently — without compromising quality. This week, we shared some adjustments you can make to your systems that will help you kick your productivity into a higher gear. If we’re
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How to Architect Your Day to Be More Productive

When I sat down to write this post, I drew a blank. I knew what I wanted to write about, but the words just weren’t there. My head was empty — a smooth, cavernous zilch. So I answered some emails. And then I went to the gym. After the gym, I headed for a coffee
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How To Remain Productive When You Feel Like Giving Up

Like most people, some mornings I wake up and feel less than enthusiastic about working. Sometimes, this feeling doesn’t stem from laziness or apathy, it’s a stronger power, a sense of futility and helplessness. I know a lot of people look to my story of success as a source of…

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Jump into a Creative and Productive New Year

Happy new year! I hope your holidays were good and that you’ve managed to re-find some semblance of your routine. (Or maybe even some cool new routines.) On Tuesday this week, Stefanie Flaxman gave us seven ideas for how to thrill your boss, editor, or clients with your writing professionalism. And on Wednesday, Brian Clark
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How To Remain Productive When You Feel Like Giving Up

Like most people, some mornings I wake up and feel less than enthusiastic about working. Sometimes, this feeling doesn’t stem from laziness or apathy, it’s a stronger power, a sense of futility and helplessness. I know a lot of people look to my story of success as a source of…

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Microsoft’s Bing for Business Aims to Make Companies More Productive

Bing is often seen as the underdog of search engines, but it recently held center stage at Microsoft’s recently concluded Ignite conference. Held in September in Orlando, Florida, the conference allowed the company to disclose how it plans to proceed with the enterprise software.

With that goal in mind, Microsoft introduced Bing for Business, a novel intelligent search service that focuses on enterprise users. The software is not available to the general public yet but users with existing subscriptions to Office 365 will be able to take advantage of a private preview.

This special version of the search engine will reportedly offer an “intelligent search” feature that combines several data sources to help companies become more efficient. It will also allow company employees to find information that is relevant only to the organization. If properly utilized, Bing for Business can become the technology that many companies would be using in the future to disseminate company knowledge.

Bing for Business will provide businesses with more than the usual web results. The software can scan for information across a company’s shared files, emails, recent documents, and team sites, turning it into the central hub of all information gathered from Office 365.

Instead of providing each app with a distinct search bar, users won’t have to go to another page or site to get particular information about the business. Instead, they can just do a normal web search and have the relevant content delivered. Said content will be presented as cards after the result is finished, with the business data set at the forefront.

System administrators will also reportedly benefit from Bing for Business. The software can integrate with current admin controls so it can be managed by IT enterprise managers. Search traffic will also be protected so that business listing won’t reach the Internet and custom branding options will be provided as well. This will allow companies to keep their identity unique and protected.

 

Image credit: Microsoft

The upcoming service will be powered by AI and Microsoft’s centralized API, Microsoft Graph. This combination permits for search to collate data from all corners of Office 365, from SharePoint team sites to specific words in office documents. The software will also be linked to the company’s available data analytics tool, like Delve and Power BI.

Users of Office 365 Enterprises, Business and Education can avail of Bing for Business’ private preview by requesting an invitation.

[Featured image via Microsoft]

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Simple Tips for a Productive Short Week

How was your long weekend? Or, if you don’t live in the States, how was it watching all your U.S. pals enjoy the long weekend? This was Labor Day week in the U.S., which means about half of my compatriots are running around this morning thinking it’s Wednesday, the other half think it’s Friday already,
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3 Resources to Help You Become a (More) Productive Content Marketer

Copyblogger Collection: content marketing productivity tips

Each week on my show Editor-in-Chief, I discuss the editorial standards that can help distinguish your content from your competition’s.

Editorial standards for your content include both specific publishing tasks, such as fact-checking, and general publishing processes, such as systems for effectively managing a content calendar.

When you’re the Editor-in-Chief of the content you produce, you have a lot of decisions to make in a limited amount of time, so this week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that show you:

  • How to make the most of your writing time
  • How to get things done like a blue-collar genius
  • How to write one powerful piece of online content each week

Whether you need to produce content daily or once a week, these productivity lessons will help you master the content creation process.


The Prepared Writer’s Process for Creating Excellent Content Every Day

content-every-day

If you’re striving to create content every day, check out The Prepared Writer’s Process for Creating Excellent Content Every Day by Katie, The Wellness Mama.

Katie has more than a decade of experience as a professional writer, and she shows you how to use the system she has created to prevent writer’s block.


10 Productivity Tips from a Blue-Collar Genius

Image used with permission from Sasa Roksandic of roksandic.net.

Image used with permission from Sasa Roksandic of roksandic.net.

Demian Farnworth attributes a large part of his strong work ethic to lessons he learned from his grandfather.

He says:

My grandfather will never make it into a management book. He won’t appear on a list beside Benjamin Franklin as an efficiency hero. But that doesn’t mean he was any less successful.

Discover what Demian’s grandfather can teach you in 10 Productivity Tips from a Blue-Collar Genius.


A Simple Plan for Writing One Powerful Piece of Online Content per Week

weekly-content-plan

When I have an upcoming content deadline, I work on a little bit of the project each day leading up to the deadline — even if I only brainstorm headline ideas on one of those days.

In A Simple Plan for Writing One Powerful Piece of Online Content per Week, Pamela Wilson walks you through her step-by-step process for creating content in stages.

You’ll learn how to consistently create strong content that builds your digital business, as well as efficient ways to promote your content.

Use this post (and save it for future reference!) to help you refine the way you approach content production.

Stay tuned to Copyblogger this fall …

Monday is a holiday in the U.S., but we’ll have a fresh article for you on Tuesday!

Coming up in September and through 2016, we have changes and improvements in the works for Copyblogger that you won’t want to miss.

If you’re not already subscribed to get updates that help you become a better content marketer, please join us.

Type your email address* into the box below and click “Join us!”

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About the author

Stefanie Flaxman

Stefanie Flaxman is Rainmaker Digital’s Editor-in-Chief. Don’t follow her on Twitter.

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9 Tips on Becoming a More Creative and Productive Writer

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Dorothy Parker famously said:

“I hate writing. I enjoy having written.”

Don’t we all? We love the end result, the feeling of accomplishment and creative fulfillment. But the hardest thing for most writers is the simple act of getting started. Here’s the usual scenario:

A great idea pops into your head while in the shower. By the time you’re dry enough to turn on the computer, you’ve forgotten what it was. Stare at the blank computer screen. Nothing.

Get up and fix a cup of coffee. Nothing. Check email. Check your Facebook page. Read other people’s Facebook pages. Resist temptation to play Angry Birds. Got to write something. HELP!

Here are five quick tips for getting yourself unstuck (followed by four more tips on how to apply them in the real world) …

  1. Take notes
  2. Try freewriting
  3. Draw a mind map
  4. Play with your dog
  5. Give thanks

1. Take notes

Creativity and innovation cannot be planned. Ideas can come out of nowhere, often at the most inopportune times (see shower, above). Be prepared to capture those ideas when they occur, rather than straining to recreate them later.

Keep a notebook and pen or recording device next to the bed, in the kitchen, on your desk. Use Evernote on your computer, tablet, and/or smart phone. This free app collects information from everywhere and compiles neatly into one place for later retrieval by keyword search.

From pictures to web pages to travel itineraries, everything is stored for easy access.

2. Try freewriting

This technique is designed to prime the pump, to get something flowing, even if it makes no sense.

Just write, stream-of-consciousness style, anything that comes into your head. Don’t think about style, grammar, or punctuation. Just keep writing. If an old nursery rhyme or silly song surfaces, write that.

Before long, you will have emptied your brain of the clutter and some ideas that make sense will come to the surface. Voila! You’re writing!

3. Draw a mind map

Most people know what mind-mapping is. The easiest way to describe it is an outline in picture form. The key using mind-mapping effectively is to create your own personal style, not try to follow someone else’s format.

First, do it in color — lots of colors. Get a set of colored pens on your desk and keep plenty of scratch paper handy. Start with keywords and add images if you want. Jot down every topic or idea in no particular order. Later you can go back and number them in an order that makes sense.

Now you have an outline — you’re organized and ready to write.

4. Play with your dog

Or your cat, hamster, goldfish — whatever.

Not writing when you think you should be writing creates stress which effectively shuts off the flow of creativity. This creates even more stress, and the beat goes on.

Break the cycle.

Go outside and throw the ball for Fido. Watch the hummingbirds in your garden, feel the breeze on your face. (Note: this method does not work in Minnesota in January.) Don’t have a goal or a time limit. Just be.

5. Give thanks

Feeling creatively blocked makes you cranky and anxious, as though the world and all its muses are conspiring against you. Instead of giving in to a “poor me” attitude, write down all things you are grateful for.

Start with the job you have that requires you to write in the first place. Expressing gratitude produces a positive energy flow. As you start to feel happiness in your heart for blessings large and small, you will instantly relax.

When you feel good inside, you are open to creative energy.

Why are these five ideas important?

Because the success of your entire marketing strategy hangs on your ability to apply creativity and innovation in ways that will save you both time and money.

Creativity in writing is an important first step, whether you’re blogging, tweeting, or writing a client proposal.

But, like dropping a pebble into a pond, once you develop the ability to turn on your creative juices, the impact will spread to other parts of your work life and to the people you work with.

Here are four ways to spread that creative wealth throughout your work day, your team, and your entire organization.

  1. Play
  2. Brainstorm
  3. Collaborate
  4. Take risks

6. Play

Children are the most creative beings on the planet. Take a page from a child’s book and design a work environment where people feel free to get a little crazy.

For example, did you know that you can buy wall coverings and even paint that you can write and draw on? What if people felt free to draw on the walls of your office?

Make your workplace a space where creativity happens naturally.

7. Brainstorm

Get people together for weekly brainstorming meetings.

The first and only rule is that there are no bad ideas. Have a specific topic, whether it’s how to save money on office supplies or how to save a client that’s about to jump ship. Write everything down on a white board (or the wall!). When people feel free to share their ideas, you’ll be surprised what comes out. Once the ideas get rolling, synergy happens. People will play off one another and expand and improve each other’s ideas. Resist the idea that you don’t have time for such things.

Rather than being a time-waster, brainstorming meetings actually save you time — time you can invest in making your business more productive and profitable.

8. Collaborate

Follow up your brainstorming meetings with innovation teams. These teams can be anywhere from two to four people who take on ideas generated in brainstorming sessions and make them work.

Circle back to the entire team with progress reports, which keeps the creative flow moving and rewards people for taking action. Collaboration can happen either in person or in a virtual environment, using one of the many electronic tools available for online meetings, yet another time and money saver to add to your arsenal.

9. Take risks

In order to succeed, people must have the freedom to fail. If you and your people are afraid to take risks, you’ll plod through your work days without much enthusiasm and excitement.

With nothing to feed your creativity, your marketing goals (and eventually your business) will wither. In order to address serious risk-taking deficiency, one company established a “Golden Turkey Award” (since copied by many others). This award was given to the individual or team with the most spectacular failure. Given publicly, the award encouraged people to learn from failures rather than bemoaning them.

Are you working from a place where risk and potential failure are forbidden? How’s that working out for you?

Over to you …

Applied creativity is the first step toward better organization, better time management, greater business success, and better writing.

These nine tips are a starting point, the first steps toward becoming a more creative and productive writer.

What steps are you taking today?

About the Author: Richard M. Hartian is a semi-retired Mortgage Banker, Real Estate Investor and Real Estate Managing Broker. He is now taking his experience from over 30 years of successful and very profitable business practices and sharing it with others. You can find more of his writing at Winning Agent and Money Press.

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Do You Wake Up Productive?

I’ve always been of the belief that success begins and ends in the mind.

Techniques and systems work, but if the driver is inefficient and ineffective, failure is more likely than success.

I consider myself a lifelong student of mindset, in particular my own. Ever since I experienced the raw fear of panic attacks I’ve realised just how powerful my mind is.

From those frightful moments of anxiety and panic, and my subsequent efforts to overcome them, dawned a new form of self awareness in me. If I could harness my mind for self improvement rather than self harm, life could be a whole lot better.

Although initially I gained mindset skills in order to just “survive” on a day-to-day basis, once I recovered, I realised that I could take my new abilities even further.

I could use my mind, my atitude and in particular my ability to reframe reality, to go after what I really wanted. I went from surviving to thriving, as cheesy as that might sound.

I’ll leave you with today’s Yaro.TV daily video, one shot in my car after going for a skate. I talk about habits and prioritising one goal in this video.

Don’t forget if you haven’t already, subscribe to my videos at Yaro.TV.

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