Dealing with Change in 5 Easy Steps

Dealing with Change in 5 Easy Steps

Dealing with change is not always an easy thing to do for most people but without this necessary ‘evolution’ in our lives, how would we improve? Our aversion to changing many things in our lives stems from a natural fear of the unknown and it’s this fear that may be holding you back from experiencing MORE in many aspects of your life! The first step in dealing with an otherwise ‘traumatic’ shift in how we live, work or love is to recognize that change can be good and doesn’t need to be feared! Getting over our natural reluctance to make or accept changes is what we’re talking about here today!

To help ‘ease’ the discomfort associated with embracing changes in our lives, here are 5 simple steps to help you transition to something new and different! Remember, it’s usually for the better…

Seek Advice

Discuss with others your reluctance and listen to their objective feedback as to WHY you should consider changes! Listening to others helps introduce a degree of objectivity into your thinking and can even help you overcome your fear of the unknown, especially when others have already ventured into the ‘unknown’ and benefited! This is especially important since this fear is usually what is holding you back!

Look to the Positive

If you’re seeking change, there must be a reason, so emphasize the positive of what making any changes can do for you! It tends to be human nature to focus more on the negatives when making changes because, once again, we’re not really sure how these changes will affect us! As much as making things better is appealing, to anybody, it’s hard to escape the concern of what would the negative effects of any changes may be! Again, our feelings of fear and dread tend to dominate our thinking so be aware of this and control your thinking!

Let Go the Past

Perhaps the change you seek is to explore an alternate path from the one you’ve been on, and for possibly quite a while! It may be difficult to change your course due to the time and effort you’ve already invested and you just don’t want to simply walk away from it! Your commitment to your previous path although admirable, may be holding you back from making further progress or even reaching your goals! Let go of the past and focus only on the present and future because you can’t change what has already happened, you can only learn from it!

Take Action

Often times it is simply that first step that is the most difficult to take so be proactive when considering any changes! Once you’ve done your due diligence and determined the ‘new’ path you’re considering to be viable and an improvement over the path you’re currently taking, take action! By understanding that your new choice is the right choice for you, and of course that change can be good, go for it! Much like quickly removing a band-aid to minimize the discomfort, take swift and immediate action on changes you’re considering and before you know it, you’ll be glad you did!

Get Out of Your Own Way

Be aware of any self-doubt that lingers in your head and don’t let these feelings keep you from doing what you need to make improvements! Remember making changes is typically planned improvements from previous courses of action you had been taking so embrace it as such and move on, but don’t let your own self doubt sabotage your efforts to initiate any new plans! We all have internal conversations with ourselves, at least I do, it’s called self-talk and this ‘voice’ in our heads can be very critical at times! Don’t let your own self-talk, tempered by fear and/or doubt, to continue holding you back from taking chances or making decisions that could improve your circumstances or your life!

Dealing with change in any aspect of your life can be difficult simply because most people share a common fear of the unknown! Although this fear is understandable it can also be holding you back from developing further as a person or making other adjustments that may improve your current situation, be it personal or professional! Working through these fears does NOT have to be difficult and the 5 tactics discussed above will certainly help when you’re reluctant to making changes! The bottom line is this, although changes do represent the unknown, remember, change can be good, which is WHY you may be considering them in the first place! For things to change so must you otherwise expect and accept that things will remain as there are!

5 Reasons Social Media Use is Addicting

5 Reasons Social Media Use is Addicting

Have you noticed that your social media use seems to have taken control of your life? Social media today tends to dominate the consciousness of many young adults even when they’re in the company of family and/or friends! For goodness sake, otherwise sensible people are being found taking ‘death’ defying selfies just for the sake of posting these pictures to their social accounts just to get more likes, shares or followers! Yup, our obsession with these online social sites can NOT be denied, but why are they so addicting?

Here, in my opinion, are 5 reasons that we as citizens of the internet have found ourselves addicted to social media today…

Convenient Access (24/7)

It’s all about availability! Online social sites are easily accessible at any time of the day or night and can be accessed using any number of mobile devices or going old school by using a computer! This convenient access tends to increase the number of times you may log-in to your account which in turn develops into a habit and yup, an addiction if you’re not careful! These sites were originally developed for our use to enjoy and to connect with other like-minded people but 24/7 access has made it very difficult to resist its addictive nature!

No Personality, No Problem

With all the filters and remoteness associated with using social media today, anybody can easily ‘reinvent’ themselves to be more exciting! Lacking in inter-personal skills is NOT a deterrent for anyone wanting to partake in any of the many online social sites available! Conversations are not always in ‘real’ time so spontaneity is NOT required therefore people lacking a spunky personality can still easily and comfortably slide in and out of conversations with other site members! Having time to ‘prepare’ any response is HUGE for anyone who may have anxiety issues when it comes to socializing with others!

Fuels Confidence

Having an increase in confidence is a great feeling to experience, no matter who you are or what you’ve accomplished! It is a ‘comfort’ zone in which you feel you’re in total control and using social media today is something that definitely fosters the feeling of confidence! As mentioned above you’re able to ‘prepare’ your responses as well as choose topics to talk about with which you are familiar and knowledgeable! For people feeling socially awkward, the remoteness and lack of required spontaneity associated with online social sites is just what they need to help them comfortably engage with others!

Meeting New ‘Friends’

For those folks who are not overly outgoing or who don’t have much contact with others, social media today offers the chance to overcome your shyness and to meet new people! Now I’m not going to ‘push’ the notion that all the ‘friends’ you make on these sites are in fact people who really know you and feel a strong bond since that’s not true! What is true is some of these new acquaintances may develop into friends however just being able to talk to others about things of interest to you is a big plus, especially for those who are otherwise socially remote!

Validation

Just by simply being involved in the social media madness tends to ‘validate’ you with your peers as well as family. The sense or feeling of being involved or ‘in the know’ is uplifting and hard to resist because we as humans tend to prefer being part of something! In fact, many people use their contacts, likes, shares and/or followers as a form of validation of their popularity or as strange as it sounds, their worth! As sad as it may be our ‘popularity’ on social media today is often tied to our self-worth which is a perfect example of how the internet has actually made changes to our value systems! For those lacking in self-worth, using social sites to build up followers or be otherwise recognized in the community is their best bet to feel better about themselves!

Has your social media use taken control of your life so much so that you find yourself constantly checking your status, even when in the company of others? Well, you’re NOT alone because social media today, for very many and especially young adults, has become very addicting. We use these online social sites as a way of ‘meeting’ new people, posting pictures (to impress) and even to check on the news! Make no mistake social media has gone mainstream and it does serve some very good purposes, however, like anything else ‘too much of a good thing’ can turn sour! The point here is you must take back control of your life if you find yourself obsessing too much about your social media accounts! Start today by spending more time with friends and family, you can always check your status online but learn to limit your access!

5 Mistakes Holding You Back From Being More Productive

5 Mistakes Holding You Back From Being More Productive

Are you aware your efforts to work hard may be holding you back from being more productive with your work day than you already are? That’s true! When you take the time to plan your day, as I’m sure you do, your mind should be on accomplishing the most important tasks and/or issues needing your attention! Perhaps however your focus on ‘grinding it out ‘ to get more done is hindering your efforts to accomplish more?

Here are 5 common YET noble mistakes many make, self included, that tend to holds us back from being more productive at work…

Overzealous To-Do List

When you plan your day be realistic with your expectations about what you have scheduled! It’s one thing to be ambitious however if you set goals that are out of your reach, aren’t you just wasting your time? When scheduling your work day it is wise to considered the time you have along with your own capabilities to actually complete everything on your list! Sure you think by overloading your work day schedule will help you get more done however having a huge list can also be a distraction that leads to frustration! How would you feel if you hardly completed a full list of scheduled priorities, pretty frustrated I’ll bet! Well this ‘continued’ frustration can easily lead to something worse such as you giving up, do you want that? Essentially you are setting yourself up for failure when you overload your day with too much to do!

Not Scheduling Breaks

Although breaks may seem, at least on the surface, to be non-productive, this could NOT be further from the truth! Understandably we don’t associate being more productive with planning breaks for ourselves but we can NOT expect to be at our best without taking occasional breaks to at least give our minds and eyes a rest! Why do you think people sleep every night, for lack of nothing better to do?

Sucking It Up

Working through breaks or skipping meals just to get more done is NOT a good idea although it is admirable because more mistakes are made due to both mental and physical fatigue. Think about this in terms of stock car racing in which the main intention of any racing team is focused on sticking to a schedule of ‘preventive’ stops for the car so it will continue to operate smoothly! These crew members want to avoid surprises and also want to be sure their vehicles are equipped and fueled so they will finish STRONG! Additionally, being hungry or tired can also promote a bit of haste to finish what you’re doing so you can satisfy your needs and this can also open the door to making mistakes! When hungry, eat, when tired, rest…pretty simple!

Multitasking

If you want to get the job done right than you need to focus on what you’re doing or your results will suffer and your use of time will not be efficient! Multi-tasking although it does make you feel much busier, is NOT the recommended course to take if being more productive is your ultimate goal! Switching back and forth between tasks not only disrupts your focus but it also wastes time! Tasks take longer to complete and surprise surprise, due to your fractured focus, mistakes tend to occur!

Perfection

Trying to be perfect is another admirable trait however it is NOT very realistic to always expect perfection! In fact always trying to get things to be ‘just so’ is a tremendous time suck that can literally drive you crazy! If you are serious about being more productive with your time than learn to accept results that are good enough to get the job done and forget trying to get perfect results! You’re only fooling and frustrating yourself……….

Are your own admirable work ethics holding you back from being more productive with your work day? As we explored above, even as you plan your day you ‘may’ be sabotaging your efforts to get more done simply by overlooking your primary source of productivity, YOU ! By overworking and under appreciating your own time and efforts, you may limit your ability to get more done due to your nitpicking and unrealistic expectations that will NOT get you to where you want to be! Work smarter!

How to Focus Better in 5 Simple Steps

How to Focus Better in 5 Simple Steps

To be consistently productive you must first learn how to focus better on each task you face to minimize or eliminate any time wasted! Maintaining your focus and concentration also helps improve the quality of your efforts because the more you pay attention to what you’re doing the less chance you have of making mistakes! What we’re discussing here today is what YOU can do to strengthen your focusing abilities so that you can plan your day effectively to get more done!

Here are 5 simple steps you can follow to boost your focus and concentration as well as your productivity when preparing to tackle any tasks or any day!

Calm Yourself

You can NOT expect to be very productive with your time when your mind is under the influence of your emotions! The first order of business when trying to improve your focus and concentration is to clear your head of anything other than the task at hand! Emotions, as subtle as they may sometimes be, can dramatically effect your ability to train your thoughts on just one thing! It is common for humans to be emotional about many things, good news, bad news or even just feeling overwhelmed by having so much to do! Lingering emotions like these however will only serve to undermine your efforts/abilities to concentrate or to even think rationally, so calm yourself down beforehand!

Prioritize

Want to be really productive? Always plan your day in advance so you can determine and prioritize what you need to get done! Planning in advance like this not only helps you target, in advance, those things most important to you or your business, but it also allows you to ‘hit the floor running’ when the new day starts! Upon awakening you’ll already know what your priorities are and as you prepare to start the day, you’ll also be thinking about the best way(s) to complete the tasks you’ve scheduled!

Avoid Distractions

Trying to get more done while checking email, surfing the web, watching television or engaging in social media amongst other things, does NOT work! Distractions like these will only waste your time and literally destroy any focus and concentration you’re attempting to muster up to make yourself more productive! There will always be time for these things but NOT when you have tasks of greater importance that require your attention!

Get Comfortable

Don’t stand if sitting is more comfortable and position yourself away from high traffic areas that may be too distracting! Remember, you’re trying to focus on priorities and NOT fussing with your location or position so that you are comfortable! This is something you can do in advance such as when you plan your day! Obviously the more comfortable you are, short of lying down, the more productive you’ll tend to be because even the slightest discomfort can distract you from things of higher importance!

Take Breaks to Recharge

Focusing intently for an extended period of time can be both physically and mentally exhausting so ‘reward’ yourself with periodic breaks! Talk to anybody who works on a computer or some other seemingly ‘mundane’ task and they will tell you, trying to maintain your focus and concentration can stress your mind as well as your eyesight! Be sure to take regular breaks to stretch, rest your eyes and even gain a new perspective on what it is you’re undertaking! Much like a computer you’re simply rebooting to help maintain your productivity!

Learning how to focus better is the FIRST step you need to take in order to get more done with each and every day! Your focus and concentration are vitally important when it comes to doing more while committing fewer mistakes and the 5 steps discussed above serve to strengthen these critical abilities! Remember, as you plan your day you only have so many hours to work with so it only makes sense to take the suggested steps above so that your day is productive and NOT one full of frustrations and regrets!

5 Challenges All Small Business Owners Must Overcome!

5 Challenges All Small Business Owners Must Overcome!

On the surface small business owners seem to have it made considering in many cases, they are working alone! Oh course the initial assumption understandably is, when working alone, you have nobody pushing, pressuring or pissing you off, thereby ruining an otherwise peaceful day! Time to get real however since solopreneurs, like the ones described above, have many challenges standing between them and their aspirations for small business success! Subtle as these challenges may be however, unless you’re willing to work to overcome them, even just one, could easily be the cause of any business failure!

For anybody working alone in their own business here are 5 areas of concern they must address if they plan on being successful…

Work Overload

When you are the ‘owner operator’ of any business you must be willing to work since you can’t rely upon the help of others! This ‘willingness’ however can grow a bit weary over time, especially if the results from the efforts you’ve invested are slow in coming! Either fatigue or frustration or both is all you need to ‘dampen’ or even extinguish the competitive fires within you causing you to lose your drive and relinquish your dreams!

Anxiety

When working alone self-doubt can often times be your worst enemy but this is something that ‘comes with the territory’ when working as a solopreneur! Without feedback or encouragement from others minor problems can easily bloom into a full blown catastrophe and the next thing you know, rationale thinking goes out the window! Anxiety can not only keep you from enjoying the small business success you seek but it can and will ruin your life if left unchecked!

Stress

Both the mental and physical capabilities of anyone who works alone are under constant demand which leads to exhaustion in both cases! Once again without the support or even the simple camaraderie associated with having others around , any stress be it physical or mental, has the tendency to grow disproportionately! There are many dangers signs here that threaten not only your small business success but even more importantly, your overall health! Remember, stress can kill so steps need to be taken by solopreneurs to avoid long periods of isolation! Spend more time with family and friends to help keep you grounded, you’ll be glad you did!

Motivation

When you are motivated both your focus and your efforts tend to be very strong which is why most entrepreneurs need to be self driven! Now there are many reasons that may motivate someone, some may be internal, which is a strong source, while others may be more external, much like the encouragement you get from others! It is external sources of motivation most solopreneurs lack thereby putting them at a bit of a disadvantage UNLESS they identify other sources from which they can draw their motivation! Simply remember you MUST be willing to work at keeping your ‘drive’ alive because the success you seek will slip away otherwise!

Education

Keeping yourself up to date with current news and developments is challenging enough for any online entrepreneur but for solopreneurs, this challenge can be greater! With so much to do and so little time to do it, it becomes very easy to put your own self-education on hold, or worse, shelve it completely! Maintaining your ongoing education is critical for any online business primarily because things change so fast on the internet and in the blink of an eye you can find yourself far behind the competition!

Although small business owners appear to have it made because they are working alone with no one bossing them around, they do face unique challenges! The fact is that solopreneurs like those described above must be willing to work through certain fundamental challenges that confront them each and every day! These challenges, issues and/or concerns, as discussed above are simple enough but do, however, become particularly daunting to anybody working alone! The point is without the constant support, feedback or encouragement of others, which most solopreneurs tend to lack, small business success will evade them!