Displaying All Posts by Peter

How to Beat Procrastination Permanently

It’s no surprise that we’ve touched on beating procrastination several times at WorkAwesome – it is productivity’s sworn enemy. On our path to progress, we’re constantly kicking procrastination to the curb, and often it just reappears a few steps farther along the road. Some of us fare better than others in the never-ending contest between procrastination and production, but few of us have taken the time to fully understand what procrastination is, where it comes from, and how to fight it effectively. In fact, most of us only know two things about procrastination; a basic, tip-of-the-iceberg definition, and not to do it. Click Here to Read Article …

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Are Desk Phones A Dead Technology?

The landline telephone was invented over a hundred years ago, and it has since evolved into nation-wide data networks, mobile phones and hands-free headsets, all of which can be incredible productivity tools. You can close a business deal while you cook dinner, manage your bank account on a bus, interview an applicant during your drive to work or touch base with your colleagues with both hands on a fishing pole or a golf club. Click Here to Read Article …

Does Value-Based Compensation Increase Productivity?

Within the model of value-based compensation, you are rewarded strictly for results. The amount of hours spent or the degree of effort is irrelevant; you are paid only for tangible, measurable value produced, regardless of the duration or difficulty of the work.

For those used to a predictable hourly wage, value-based compensation may sound risky. Work impediments like sudden sickness or family emergencies can show up later as missing money on your paycheck. Most feel that the employer should handle the ups and downs of the business and provide workers with a steadier form of payment. Click Here to Read Article …

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Is Talent All You Need To Succeed?

Talent is considered an innate, natural ability. You’re born with it or without it, and supposedly you can neither gain it nor lose it. Talent isn’t learned or developed; it’s discovered by the lucky owner or by the observant talent scout.

Skills, however, are developed. Skill is acquired through training, so unlike talent, we do have some general control over how skillful we are. You can gain skill as quickly as you can learn, and you lose it as quickly as you forget.

Managers often follow a “hire for talent, train for skill” philosophy, leading us to believe that talent is more valuable than skill. What hiring managers often overlook is that highly-developed skills, besides being extremely valuable, are indicative of a strong work ethic. Skills are a testament to a person’s dedication; talent is nothing more than a gift supposedly given at birth.

If you’re wondering if you can succeed on talent alone, ask the talented writer who never got around to finishing his book, or the gifted athlete who missed too many practices to retain his high-paying contract. They’d tell you that the recipe for success has more than one ingredient, and that talent is nothing without the support of skill and dedication. Click Here to Read Article …

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How Helpful is Blue Sky Thinking?

The blue sky view. Not a cloud in sight. Perfect conditions, endless opportunity, unlimited potential.

People often formulate ideas using the “blue sky view,” a hypothetical landscape where challenges are nonexistent, success is straightforward, and every lucky break seems to go your way.

Advocates of blue sky thinking say that brainstorming in an idealized, setback-free setting allows you to focus solely on the idea, not the related obstacles or logistics. You develop the idea in a perfect, immaculate universe, and then approach the potential challenges separately.

But, even a bad idea can look good if you picture it within an idealized, utopian scenario. The blue sky view could distort your expectations and affect your judgment. Under the blue sky, a risky move can look like a safe bet.

Undeniably, the road to success will seem clearer if you wish away the obstacles. The question is: Does the blue sky view truly help you formulate viable plans, or does it leave you unprepared for the inevitable challenges of reality? Click Here to Read Article …

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Are You Sent on Solo Runs with Mission Critical Objectives?

Pilots are often sent on long solo missions with no guidance or assistance along the way. They are given an objective and a “blue sky” plan; anything unexpected is the problem of the pilot alone. Despite the importance of the mission, there is nobody on board to share the stress that comes with “mission critical” tasks. Sometimes it’s hard to stay in the air with the gravity of heavy responsibility pulling at your wings, but the faith that’s been placed in your abilities can be very uplifting.

Solo pilots must be as vigilant of their resources – fuel, oxygen, time – as they are of potential obstacles. Stormy weather, reroutes or faulty equipment can instantly turn dealing with a  straightforward mission into dealing with the impossible.

Does your work ever send you on a long, solo run with “mission critical” objectives? Does the lack of colleague camaraderie ever make the air feel thin? Would you welcome a solo flight as a testament to your skills and reliability, or would you find yourself reaching for the ejection handle? Click Here to Read Article …

How to Get Promoted: Break The Rules

Being “good at what you do” is an asset to your career, and it fosters a great attitude and a solid self-esteem boost.

But, unfortunately it’s not enough to get you a promotion. In fact, if you’re excelling at your current position, it might be a good reason to keep you where you are instead of promoting you. It’s quite the conundrum; if you’re great at your job, your company might never dream of putting you anywhere else.

So, if it isn’t excelling at your work, then what makes someone “promotable”?

Quite a bit of research has been done on promotability.  We’ve also discussed different strategies to move your way up.  Although it’s difficult to conduct fact-based research on it, they have come to a few general conclusions on how to get promoted:

  • An employee can develop skills for higher-level jobs if they are regularly faced with “challenging” work. “Challenging” work is defined as work where the current rules and routines won’t suffice in getting the job done, forcing the employee to innovate new routines.
  • An employee who does non-challenging work (mundane work where the current rules and routines are sufficient) never develops higher-level job skills, and thus may be less “promotable.”

So, how do we get promoted? Ironically, it sounds like we have to break a few rules. Click Here to Read Article …

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Does Your Power Lunch Have Lasting Energy?

Picking your lunch can seem like an inconsequential choice in your workday that has no bearing on your productivity. In actuality, it could be the most important daily decision you make. Choosing proper fuel can sustain a strong work ethic to the end of your workday and beyond. On the other hand. Picking the wrong food can sap your strength and leave you struggling against exhaustion for hours. A nutritious power lunch can give you sustained energy for the rest of the workday.

“Glycemic index” is a measure of how fast your food is digested for energy. Sugary foods like danishes, candy and soda have sky-high glycemic indexes. Proteins and complex carbohydrates like yogurt, apples or peanuts are much slower-burning fuels, and thus have much lower glycemic indexes. At first, high glycemic indexes might seem like the sign of ideal fuel, but they can leave you exhausted when they burn out too quickly. Quick-burning fuel is great for a rocketship doing a 30-second burst, but you’re dealing with an 8-hour workday it just won’t work.

So if you can’t seem to find a full workday’s worth of energy and focus in your food, consider different fuel sources. And think twice before picking “hi-octane” fuel – it just won’t go the distance. Click Here to Read Article …