Go paperless – bring focus to your workplace

To start with : Don’t get me wrong. I love books and I sure do appreciate the quality and feel of a great print in my hands. This is for my private side. But this blog is about our professional lives, and if you’re someone who travels a lot or just appreciates the cleanliness of a tidy office place there are some huge benefits of going paperless. In this blog post I’m explaining my view on a paperless office space and how I’m organizing without (a lot of) paper.

1. Less stuff to carry and worry about

Let’s start with an easy to digest fact. No paper weighs less than some paper and some paper weighs less than lots of paper. In an office environment you might be moving around a lot and in an optimal paperless scenario that involves your laptop, smartphone and… yourself.

Imagine you have a day stuffed with meetings and obviously you need to prepare and have your notes ready before each of them. Doing this with written notes can be a mess if you’re proceeding through your day. Additionally, did you remember to bring all of your notes ? Did you bring a notebook to jot down additional stuff ?

Using tools like Evernote, OneNote, etc… is a huge benefit to your office life. Your notes will never get lost, there is endless space to add new ones, you can implement pictures, videos, voice memos, you name it. And they weigh nothing at all!

I personally use Evernote as my go-to place for my notes. Evernote has one huge benefit for me : i can shoot pictures of documents and Evernote will be able to search for any given word on that document, even if it is a handwritten one ! Try looking up keyword XYZ in your written notes from 2014!

2. FOCUS

If you’ve been following me for a bit, you know I’m all about focus. If you’re new to this, here’s your short TOP 5 to 200% more efficiency.

  1. Don’t multitask – ever.
  2. Shut down e-mail notifications on any device
  3. Disable any tones or noises you can influence during times you really need to concentrate
  4. Start your day with clear targets and end your day with a review of your accomplishments
  5. Utilize the 80/20 principle !

Go through my posts on Multitasking , „The productivity project““Deep Work” to read more on this and get some interesting inputs.

Now, where does a paperless office fit into this ?

Imagine sitting at your desk, working on that one important task you need to get done right now. You’re thinking about next steps, maybe you’re putting some deep thoughts into future strategies. Your eyes are wandering around the room looking at nothing specific and then they cross your recently jotted down notes – BOOM. Need to send your boss that one important piece of information he’s been asking about just 10 minutes ago.

This little interruption will put you seriously off track of efficiency. Science says it will take around 15-30 minutes to return to your original state of focus. This New York Times Article perfectly describes what happens . Small cause, big effect. Your brain will be seriously screwed by distractions like this, that directly start a chain of thinking processes.

3. Electronic Notes merge with our modern world

Chances are you’re using Microsoft Outlook in your office. Let’s go to a situation where you’re contributing to a specific project. Wouldn’t it be useful to have all important notes for this project at one place ? How would you do in case you don’t use electronic notes ?

Seriously, I have seen enough examples of people printing every single e-mail to a specific project and putting them into one specific folder with all the other notes they’ve been accumulating for this. And make no mistake : if you’re used to doing this, it will be quite efficient !

To me however it looks something like this

But it can be so much easier. Send an E-Mail to your Evernote, OneNote, Todoist, whatever account, tag it with the project name, add a couple of comments to it, maybe attach some to-do to it – done. You will be perfectly organized. And the best thing : it is everywhere! On your PC, on your Tablet, on your Smartphone.

A big portion of the route to effectiveness and efficiency is about having the resources to focus. Being able to store away every piece of information where it belongs and later being able to find it back is one huge leap forward in your journey to being more productive !

There’s an excellent book on this you can refer to :

It describes both the method to productivity, but also discusses the specific means to utilize this method in your daily work – it has changed my game !

Verdict

Personally, I go with a mix of paper and paperless. I like the calming effect of physically writing down my notes. It allows me to focus better on the matter and it is as though the words get a deeper meaning if i put them on paper. This would be notes on my goals for the day, notes on meetings upfront, etc..

However, after I finished noting the next step is to open up Evernote on my Smartphone and take a snapshot of the notes, aligning them to the specific project / task / topic and effectively throwing the paper away moments later.

There are people that do even this on a Tablet. They use tools like GoodNotes, OneNote or as well Evernote. It may be a hybrid between paper and paperless. I tried and decided I like the feel of a real pen better.

Again, productivity in the first place is what allows you to focus. It is focus that is missing for most people in today’s environment. It is the non-ability of getting into a flow state of mind and to really get into a task. Observe kids if you have some – they do every single thing they do with this flow state of mind. Try calling a kid playing with lego for dinner – no chance ! It is something we professionals have to learn again. If it’s your beloved filofax that does the trick for you – go ahead. But if you’re looking for truly integrated notes – go paperless !

 

Go to a 4 hour workweek !

What’s in it for me ?

The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss is going to be one of the best books of all-time, and is also what formerly inspired myself to become an online marketer and follow a life of flexibility.

  • At the time, possessing a 9-5 task and hoping to one day leave the workplace was the paradigm that I was operating from. It’s what I was marketed by everybody, and I failed to know any better. The 4 Hour Work Week genuinely opened me up and shifted my personal way of thinking. I used to be deeply motivated by Tim Ferriss’ life-style of having to be able to travel the world and give attention to doing those things he cherished, while just having to job 4 hours each week. How are these claims possible? Basically that a present from god for most people? Is actually definitely an actuality, and Trying to find very privileged and having achieved it for many stages of my life years after browsing the e book.

    Most people use their complete lives PERFORMING and looking forward to retirement, which is when might finally get the opportunity to travel and be liberal to do the elements they want in life. Although Tim thinks that pension isn’t the goal, but rather we should LIVE and ENJOY our lives today.

    That’d be superb, except a lot of people live in the cultural a hypnotic approach that we ought to work 40+ hours weekly to be successful and wealthy. Or that we need to go to college or university and then afterwards find a job and work right up until we’re 62.

    Instead, Tim Ferriss suggests that “the New rich aims to spread ‘mini-retirements’ during life instead of hoarding the recovery and enjoyment for the fool’s yellow metal of retirement living. “ When he says “mini-retirements”, he means taking the time for you to do the things that are very important to you – whether it be travelling or learning a new skill or hobby (tango, combat, whatever).

    In The 4 Hour Work Week, Tim reveals a lot about focusing on getting productive rather than busy. A lot of people allow useless tasks and chores to take all of their hard work. Instead, you will find a better remedy: Outsourcing.

    The concept of outsourcing, which Tim talks about in the chapter Outsourcing techniques was an stimulating one to me personally. Instead of carrying out all of those time consuming tasks yourself, what if you have access to someone else to try them in your case? Wouldn’t that be great. The idea of outsourcing techniques is to retain the services of other people to manage those things available for you, so that you have an overabundance free time. And who won’t want considerably more free time?

    Hiring a virtual assistant from India, Phillipines, or perhaps anywhere else in the world for as low as $3/hour, can easily do the following for you:

 

  • Book meetings
  • Research
  • Acquisitions
  • Paperwork
  • Website administration
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Proofreading
  • etc…

    And fundamentally whatever else you can possibly think of.

    In fact , Tim Ferriss even outsourced his dating life and provides different assistants to handle pretty much every aspect of his business. In my opinion, this was exciting at the time and a huge game-changer. There were plenty of things that I did for business that had not been directly linked to making revenue, but were required to get done. I actually started to think, “What easily could target my some attention within the things that MATTER and therefore are IMPORTANT to myself, and the details that actually generate the EFFECTS, rather than consuming all my time with all this other nonsense? ” That made a lot of perception to me.

    As reading The 4 Hour Work Week, over the years I’ve truly had some virtual co-workers that I hired coming from websites including oDesk. junto de. I’ve got virtual colleagues from India for as little as $2-3/hour. I also use websites just like Fiverr to power myself and get many tasks completed for my own business relating to only $5. This has allowed me to leverage me personally in numerous ways and possess my internet businesses run using auto-pilot, making me a steady passive income. And with this consistent home based business opportunity, I’ve been in a position to have the liberty to travel to and live in distinct countries around the globe, while simply being needed to work below 4 hours 7 days.

    Another thing which i really enjoyed about The 4 Hour Work Week is the “How To” procedure with almost everything. Almost every part of the book is determined with a “Comfort Challenge” or “Questions & Actions”, or maybe a variety of different resources. This makes the advice and information quickly applicable and extremely practical. You may put facts into action immediately.

    Actually Tim lets you know in-detail practically how to perform everything.

    A significant section of the book is without question on creating Automated Cash flow, which is methods to create make up a product or service to sell on the web which can make passive income as long as you’re asleep. And Tim truly goes through the straightforward process with you, showing you the best way to do it for your own.

    Imagine to be able to quit your task, have an robotic income and cashflow maintained by online assistants, providing you the freedom and time to carry out whatever it truly is that you want is obviously. Sounds fantastic, huh?

    Option life of Tim Ferriss. He journeys the world, may be a New York Times bestselling creator, speaks half a dozen languages, works a multinational firm by wireless spots worldwide, and has been an universe record holder in tango, a countrywide champion in Chinese kickboxing, and an actor in a hit tv series in Hong Kong.

    The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss is undoubtedly an outstanding booklet. There’s a lot of concepts and factors that I acquired from the book that I surely could apply to my own, personal life which includes made me more beneficial and successful, freeing up a lot more as well as also approaches to generate programmed income to receive myself.

    The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss is surely a must-read for everyone that is trying to achieve a life-style of freedom. I didn’t want to imagine experiencing life with no this book, and I’m thus grateful concerning the options it’s provided for me in my life. The publication will really start your mind for the possibilities inside your life and offer you several practical steps on how you can attract more from your lifestyle.

So you’re a Manager now

What’s in it for me ?

So you’ve made it, you’ve given it all and got that promotion, got that raise. First off : congratulations. Secondly : Back to school ! The truth is that there is nothing more fundamental in work life than the change being a simple 9 to 5 employee to being a Manager. Being responsible for a team and for results is a different thing, it is also a different stage. Now you’re up for something completely new and there are thousands of things you can run into, but there are also a few major things you need to avoid doing and a few things you must do by any means to get to success.

I want you to be successful, I want you to be the star of your company, so in this article I’m giving you some help off the block to get going. Don’t worry, it’s only four points, but you absolutely need to keep this in mind to succeed.

 

Set goals

As an employee you’re used to being told where to go, what to do, when to finish. This has ended. Now. Now you’re still getting told what to achieve by when, but are not getting told how, where to go, etc… You are alone. Realize that. You’re on your own.

While that may sound like a bad thing, think again. It actually means that for the first time you can design work, processes and ethics.

Therefore, I can assure you that to get started you first need to put up some goals that you believe in. There will always be goals from your boss. Increase profit, that Is the boiled down number one target you will get. Increase customer service might be one of your targets, but what is it ? Happy customers mean they will cherish your service and products, they will stay customers for longer, refer your products to other potential clients, they will build business with you and in turn generate more profit. Every single target you get told to achieve is only about profit in the end.

Now you can define how to get to that goal. Do you want to change the work ethics in the team ? Do you want to change your team’s ERP system (if you’re in Supply Chain), do you want to thrive on your customer relations?

YOU can define how you will achieve those goals – that’s what being a Manager is about.

 

Listen to the team

The number one mistake I made when getting my initial promotion and got to be a Manager was to not listen to the team. I was 26, my team was an average of 48 years of age with everyone being in the company for more than 15 years. They were purchasers, making 70.000$ a year each, and I was making 45.000$.

Now what do you think happened when I got there the first week and at the end of the week started talking about changing processes ? I lost them. Plain and simple.

It was only when I started to actually listen to them, cherish their feedback and insight, that I got hold of things. Even more – if you’re not being promoted from the team you will then manage, you won’t have a clue what people are doing all day long. Sit with them, do their work for a few days and learn what it is really about. It is an infinite source of knowledge and reputation you will gain.

 

Get a mentor

Now that you can define things according to your own will, you can also make mistakes that many people before you have made. But they are not to be found at the level of your former colleagues, or at the level of your boss. Go at least one or two levels above your boss and connect. Get a mentor ! It is incredibly important that you profit from somebody senior’s experience. A mentor will tell you what to focus on, how to work with people, how to play the political game on the stage that is called Management.

Apart from getting a mentor, you need to read ! The American population read an average of 8 books per year. The average CEO reads 5 books per month ! Management and self-improvement books to me have been the holy grail. If you want to be successful YOU.NEED. TO. READ.

Go get all the standard books to get you going. I have added a couple below.

Change your way of working

How did you get your promotion ? Probably because you worked harder than anybody else and you showed that you’re committed. Now though you will have one thousand things that you can potentially spend your attention on, and if you dig into one of those thousand things you will find another thousand details. Don’t do that. Seriously, don’t !

Get a book like “The 80/20 Rule” by Richard Koch that teaches you what to focus on and how to spend time efficiently, so you can work effectively.

What’s the difference? Efficiency is how quick you do things, Effectiveness is doing the right things. Go get “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. It will blow your mind !

The truth is, you can’t do everything and you can’t do it by yourself anymore. You need to spend your time and energy wisely to focus your areas of work on what’s important in relation to your targets. This needs to be your number one guideline! If you don’t do this, you will kill your time, you will achieve nothing and you will not succeed !

Everry day you need to map out your goals, think about your open to-do items and how important they are compared to your goals. Do the ones that are relevant, don’t do the ones that are not relevant unless you absolutely need to.

 

Conclusion

I can write a list of 100 of these things that I learned on my way so far. I can get as deep as Why a Montblanc pen makes you a better Manager. However, this is to get you started. Reach out to me if you need help, I’ll be there, hanging in there with you !

 

 

 

Why you need to be obsessed to make it

What’s in it for me?

Grant Cardone might be a freak from the outside (look at this book cover!), but he has one thing perfectly right : massive action and being obsessed about “making it”. The guy made more than 500 Million Dollars so far and still every night he tells his wife that soon they’re going to “make it”. Make what ? Why would a guy worth 500 Million consider he didn’t make it yet ? Because he’s got goals so big that even that amount of money seems small – he wants to be a billionaire ! In his newest book “Be obsessed or be average” he teaches you how to thrive on your goals. If you want to achieve massive success too, read on !

 

 

 

 

 

A 9-5 Life

We’re in the heart of an epidemic of average. So-called “common” people wake up every day, head over to their job, perform what’s asked of them, leave promptly at 5, and return home to lay on the couch and watch TV. Society tells us that this is what it means to enjoy a balanced lifestyle. Don’t stress a lot or work too hard. Your career isn’t everything. But Grant Cardone thinks this preoccupation with balance has actually just given justification to be mediocre. Look, it has become a social target to be mediocre. Lead a mediocre life with a mediocre income, medicre levels of stress while having mediocre levels of fun when not working. Anybody wanting more according to Grant Cardone goes through three phases.

First you’re going to be told to play it safe, don’t dream big, don’t risk it. Then people start to hate on you because you’re pushing beyond their limits. Then people start to admire you for what you have achieved. The very same people !

Do you want to be remembered by your astonishing results? It’s time to implement the philosophy of obsession!

You have to be obsessed

For immense success, you have to be obsessed. You need to be hungry and hyper-concentrated and insatiable, rather than pay attention to naysayers who tell you firmly to tone it down. Additionally, you have to know how to harness that obsession to ensure that you can utilize it to your advantage. When everyone says you can’t, be crazily dedicated and prove them that they were wrong. Obsession is the first step towards insane business success.

Say YES to your burning up, outrageous, animal obsession

Grant had been raised with big dreams, relatives and friends told him to become more reasonable and less demanding. If he played by the etiquettes, they said, he could enjoy everyone else’s version of mediocre success but whenever he tried it their way, he hit rock bottom. After that, he tried the contrary approach. He said NO to the haters and naysayers and said YES to his burning up, outrageous, animal obsession.

This book is jam-packed with in-your-face advice for every salesperson, entrepreneur or starts up hustler. What’s so fun about this is that Grant KNOWS he’s outrageous. Grant completely embraces his haters and nay sayers and that truly fuels him. His opinion, if you aren’t on my team…Get out of the way and watch what I’ll create.

 

Stay obsessed with your business and work

The focal point of this book is to stay obsessed with your business and work. Grant describes a few of his trials and failures but how his obsession to greatness got him through all that was in his way. He is self-made in every sense of the word. The condition of America and the globe for that matter, as Grant argues, certainly is that we have all settled for average. Average job. Average lifestyle. And the average salary. Are you OK with being average? Not? Ok, then you are ready to make significant changes into business world!

You are in charge for your success!

We can be better. We can be bigger.
But it’s not up to the government, your teachers, your family or your employer to see it happen…It’s all on YOU! We need more people that aren’t afraid to do things their way. Great people do great things, move the boundaries, create new techology, processes and businesses. You have a chance to become one of them. Become the crazy obsessed innovator that changes the world as we know it.

Recommended Reads:

 

 

5 reasons why you should put „The productivity“ project to work

What’s in it for me?

Today’s workplaces operating in an increasingly competitive environment have made almost every one of us facing the ailments like work pressure, missing deadlines, errors, lack of concentration, distractions and so on.  If you have constantly been failed to overcome these challenges, showing exceptional performance and get a reward, the first thing you must have in your life is a productivity booster. The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey, is a fresh, personalized and interesting exploration of your work productivity problems, and most importantly, it gives you realistic solutions to be productive at work and maintain a good work-life balance. Chris has tackled the hard task of personally experimenting the techniques that can positively boost one’s productivity. Here I present the top 5 reasons behind why “The Productivity Project” by Chris Bailey is your best companion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reason # 1 Gain a Perfect Blend of Time – Attention – Energy

You must be agreed to the fact that our productivity at workplace lies in three most important factors; time, attention and energy.

As both our workplace and nature of work have become more complex than ever before, we need more creativity, focus and physical and emotional energy. It is impossible for you to live in a distraction free environment; therefore, you need to work harder to manage your energy, focus and time. “The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey” facilitates this objective by letting you know how to optimize your behavior and routine like adequate sleep, regular breaks and exercise.

Reason # 2 Beat the Procrastination Triggers

Though most of us don’t know the exact definition of procrastination, yet we all have been a victim of it at our workplaces. Chris explains this factor by highlighting its 6 triggers that unintentionally make you procrastinate on the tasks., including boredom, difficulty, frustration, unclear, lacking in personal meaning and free of intrinsic rewards.

Chris has shown that knowing these triggers helps you as you can see exactly where you are procrastinating on a specific task. Based on this information, “The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey” helps you devise solutions to make that task easier and interesting to do.

Reason # 3 Get the Most of PEAK Times

You must be aware of the times in a day where your brain is most functional and energy at its peak. Usually, we keep challenging and highly analytical tasks for this period, called “Biological Prime Time” by Charis Bailey. He explains that Biological Prime Time differs from person to person and how you can determine your BPT. Knowing your BPT is important since once you figure it out, you can take the benefits of the steps mentioned by Chris to sync it with your challenging tasks.

Reason 4 # Keep Your Commitments

It happens quite a lot of times that you commit to do something in future but that future doesn’t come, eventually putting you into a guilt. Chris defines it in a very interesting as well as psychological way. He says that we think of our future selves exactly the same we think of strangers; don’t feel the pain, stress or weight of the burden strangers pass through. We treat our future selves the same way.

Chris mentions that he uses an app called AgingBooth that lets him create an older picture of him, by looking at which, he becomes less inclined to put extra commitment or burden onto his future self. He also sometimes writes letters to his future self via FutureMe. Know more interesting aps and techniques in The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey.

Reason 5 # Put Things on Waiting

Many of us fail to manage time by focusing the less important tasks and ignoring the important ones. The “Waiting for” list, as explained by Chris, is the best place to keep those less important things. Doing this, you become focused on more important and action-oriented tasks on time. Just a regular check on the list is required.

 

 

Recommended Reads

 

The 7 Habits of highly effective people

It’s more relevant than ever: The 7 Habits of highly effective people

What’s in this for me?

You can easily agree that the world is changing at a fast pace, now more than ever before. It’s hard to adjust properly; even the most organized persons among us struggle with that. In a bustling environment like this, we should bring to mind “The 7 Habits of highly effective” people written by a pioneer in the field of self-improvement, Stephen R. Covey. Written about thirty years ago, it seems that is not relevant now. But, think again! Once the book was written, it suddenly became a best-seller in its field. I can tell you that the book is more relevant than ever. The author wrote it in the times when intensive social, technological, and economic changes have just begun. It looks like the author himself predicted thorough progress and drastic changes. That’s why the seven habits of highly effective people matter now more than ever.

The book provides us with some general and omnipresent principles of effectiveness that successful people mastered. Interested? Then read more!

The author suggests seven fields that we need to focus on if we want to improve our efficiency in all life aspects.

 

Be proactive

Being proactive means taking responsibility for your life. Everything in life happens for a reason. Once we accept that, we’ll be able to move forward. You are the one who makes decisions, make your own choices, choose a way to react to outer stimuli, and act. Each situation in your life requires you to make a choice. Sounds interesting? No more passiveness – that’s the approach that responsible people apply in their everyday life. They don’t think about the things that are out of control and focus on other aspects of their life.

Begin with the end in mind

We forget to use our ability of imagination because we feel safe in our molds and stick to the roles that are assigned to us. Intuition is an ultimate form of intelligence that you can master by practicing. So, why not practice it? Intuition is an abstract and incomprehensible concept, but it can give us some useful insights into our lives, the choices we make, and the actions we take that we aren’t aware of.

Put first things first

This is a key to a balanced life. How many times did you experience a burnout? I bet it’s familiar to all of us. Digital age imposes to us many duties and forces us to multitask. In these circumstances, it’s easy to burden yourself with multiple tasks. But, here is something you can do: focus on your highest priorities first. We often forget this to make a living. Focus on your goals, values, and life purpose. This concept is more relevant than ever.

Win-win

Forget about competition, start thinking with a focus on collaboration. Your success can be an inspiration for somebody else and vice versa. Human beings are social by their very nature so that we need to communicate. Isolation is harmful to us, although it is quite present. Isolation is a ubiquitous problem of our digital age.

Seek first to understand, then to be understood

Alienation is a common issue today. We want to be understood, but we’re not ready to listen. We contemplate the things from our perspective and can’t put ourselves in the other’s shoes. Listen with the intent to understand and not with the intent to reply.

Synergize

Synergy adds the value created by a group of people. The sum value of individual efforts is always smaller than the value created in a group. In our face-paced reality where we try to generate new ideas with brainstorming and teamwork, synergy is the key to success. Synergy generates new insights and ideas, and those ideas are often the best ones.

Sharpen the saw

Our busy schedule often makes us forget about ourselves. How many times did you neglect yourself because of overtime work and the fact you put the others first? You have to focus more on yourself. Your body needs some wholesome food, exercise, and a good sleep. You need socialization. Also, you need friends, family, and a quality time for yourself. You need to know your goals, values, and a life purpose.

 

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