Best productivity apps for 2021

We all have equal 24 hours each day, but without a good organization, we may not be able to achieve our full potential in the different tasks we have to perform in our day-to-day life. However, we can solve this issue by finding simple way to increase our productivity.

No matter if you are on android, iOS, ipad, or any other platform, here is a list of different apps in the market to help us solve this issue. Let us see which are the best ones among them.

Trello Review

If you want to plan your own tasks in advance, or are running a small team of freelancers, Trello could be a very good choice for your tasks. It has a good user-friendly interface which is easy to learn and use. Signing up is also pretty easy, you can sign up with just your email and start using it instantly.

The interface is designed in a card format, and you can separate the tasks in the form of cards. You can give your cards a label as well as a due date. A reminder is configurable, so you can remind yourself when it’ll matter the most to you. There is also free plan through which you can create up to 10 boards and unlimited cards. If you need more, or need advanced synchronisation across multiple accounts, then you can choose their business class plan or enterprise plan.

Todoist Review

Todoist is more suitable for individual usage and it’s interface is more similar to Gmail. You can add and schedule your tasks with just few steps. You can give priorities to your tasks and as well as create sub-tasks and sections.

You can also save your tasks as projects and share it with someone else. Progress in completion of tasks is saved, and you can review it in the form of charts. Todoist also allows integrating with many other popular apps such as Dropbox, Zapier and more. This helps in keeping all your activity and progress in a single platform for review.

Toggl Review

Toggl is another time tracking software used by more than 5 Million users. It is free to use for up to 5 users. The User-interface is very intuitive where you can plan your projects both in a calendar format as well as by creating boards. You can create tasks and checklists for your work. You can also change status based on the completion status of your work.

Through in-task comment feature you can also communicate with your team on your work progress. You can also use the drag and drop feature to move around the created boards. This app is best suitable for teams and helps you make a good plan.

Monday Review

Monday is an enterprise level productivity app that helps in collaboration, organizing and improve your work efficiency. According to their website they have more than 100,000 teams. Valuable brands like CocaCola, Adobe, Universal use this software to plan their work.

The interface accommodates many features keeping simplicity in mind. You can use all the features within a single dashboard. You can also integrate with many popular apps like linkedin, slack, github and more. You can also automate repetitive work and visualize the work progress in the form of charts.

The customer support is also pretty good and it is 24/7. You can use their free 14 day trial to check out the features.

Any.do Review

Any.do is another popular productivity app used by millions of users around the world. It is a simple to use app through which ypu can organize your tasks in the form of lists and reminders. You can also use this app in a calendar format to track your work progress. 

You can use this app across all type of devices such as mobile, laptop, desktop, tablet and watch. Tasks get automatically synced across all your devices.

How to be More Productive in Life

Imagine what rewards can come your way if knew how to be more productive in your life. It takes a bit of discipline, but everyone can do it. When you are more productive, you do more. It’s like having a second pair of hands. It’s pretty straightforward maths – you do more, you get more back.

The big secret is to be focussed, be very clear about where you’re going and what’s most important for you. Following on from this, you need a process to clear the clutter, so you can tackle those big, important bits that will get you to where you want to be.

Productivity is the amount of something produced from a given number of inputs. Higher productivity means more production. Time is the limiting factor here.

It means that your own productivity is the amount of stuff you get done in a day. To get more done, you need to be more productive. And isn’t that exactly what your boss wants? Isn’t it what you want, to be successful?

If you don’t want to read the whole article – here’s the gist of it. To improve your productivity you have to be more focussed. Once you decide what’s most important, make sure you have enough time dedicated to those tasks. Don’t get swamped by the small stuff. It’s really that simple.

If the secret to being more productive in your life is to be more focussed on what’s most important, you need to know what that is.

It’s always good to start at the finish. What are your goals? What do you want to achieve? Where do you want to end up? What are the activities or things that will move you closer to this?

It all starts with your to-do list. Let me guess – it’s big, right? And you know you can’t do everything on it. I’ve got about 3 months’ worth of activity on mine, it’s a weakness that I can think up more cool stuff to do than I have time for. But I treat this like a reminder. I know most of it will be there for a while and will be pushed onto the backburner. Sometimes priorities change, and what was just a good idea becomes more useful.

The trick to being more productive is to do more of the important bits and less of the others. Let them ride.

It’s easy to tackle the urgent, more insistent things first. Usually, these are not too hard to deal with, so by doing them first, you’ll have more time. We try to get them out of the way to reduce the noise, thinking this will help our focus. But then what happens? More small stuff turns up. It too demands attention. Somehow we get stuck on the treadmill and never quite get to the bigger, more important things. This short story is a beauty for understanding life balance. I thoroughly recommend. you read it.

When this happens, it feels like you’ve lost control. You’re spiralling down in a vortex to nothing. You can feel like you don’t have a chance to make progress towards your goals. This is dispiriting, but you can beat it!

In this article, I’m going to give you a few tips about how to be more focussed, which will lift your productivity.

Being busy is not the same as being productive

Being busy and on the go all the time does not mean you will achieve your goals. You are only productive when you are achieving your goals. Just because you are in constant motion doesn’t mean you are progressing towards your goals. Constant movement is not productive.

How many times do you get to the end of the day and feel like you have achieved nothing? It doesn’t feel great, does it?

To state the bleeding obvious, improved productivity comes from better time management.

My wife talks about the time she spends on Facebook as “going down the rabbit hole”. It’s too easy to spend a working day like this. Remember that there are only 24 hours in a day. Try to avoid the rabbit holes.

You also only have so many days alive in which to achieve the things you want. Time is not a limitless resource. Use it well – or lose it.

Being more productive is about how you use that time. And there are only two ways you can get more done. Only two ways you can be more productive.

The first (which I do not recommend) is to use more of your 24 hours working. Lots of people try this – less sleep, less social time, few or no hobbies, and little time for relaxation. Of course, it depends on how ambitious you are. For superstardom, these are the prerequisites. But it doesn’t have to be for everyone. Life balance is important.

The second is to work smarter – get more done in the time you do have. That’s what we want to talk about today.

It means more time spent focussing on the big, important things. Don’t let the small stuff consume you. You are better than that and deserve more.

Managing this is not that difficult. But it does take discipline. And focus.

The Three Secrets to Success

Secret #1 – Progressing towards something

First up, you need to have clear goals of what you want to achieve. If you don’t know what the big, important things are, you can’t focus on achieving them.

Two of my favourite quotes are:

“if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there”; and

Alice in Wonderland

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else” .

Yogi Berra

To make sure you don’t waste this precious resource, focus on what is important to your life. Being more productive means being more focussed. Stay focussed on where you want to get to.

Yes, to be successful you will have to work hard. But do it on the things that will get you where you want to be.

Secret #2 – Thinking your way through

Tackling big goals requires a series of smaller steps. To climb to the top of Everest, you need to make sure you have the skills, fitness, and financial capacity. Then you have to get to Base Camp before you start your climb.

Think through the big goals and break them into smaller, achievable pieces. Keep track of your progress so you know you’re getting there. Nothing succeeds like success, and achieving the smaller bits keeps you motivated.

Working hard without direction or focus can be a waste of valuable time and energy. Always consider your “why” before you schedule your time.

Consider how you currently spend your time and how you can be more efficient. Keep a journal for a week and record how you spend your time. In particular note how much time you spend on non-productive activity. Note how much to your longer-term goals.

This is a useful activity once or twice a year. Every time I do this, I am surprised at how much I have slipped into non-productive activity. It is a useful exercise to refocus yourself.

Then take a hard look at your to-do list and trim out the crap. Delegate or reassign where possible. Eliminate fringe tasks. Ask yourself “what will happen if this doesn’t get done.” If the answer isn’t much, then let it go.

Focus on the important, life-building activities. This is how to be more productive in life.

Secret #3 –Achieving a productive life balance

Rate each item on your to-do list for urgency and impact (or importance). Knowing that you’re not likely to do everything on your list, be selective about which items you will do. Urgent items need attention, but don’t let them consume all your time. Schedule enough time to make progress on the important things. Achieving impact will move you towards your goals much faster.

I find that spending the first hour or so of my day on the urgent, but easy to do things helps. There is a sense of achievement that gives me a more positive frame of mind for the day.

It reduces the size of my list and stops smaller items from becoming problematic later. There is less noise and worry of things pulling at my mind. By removing the noise and worry about these items, I am more focussed.

I find that by doing this I can concentrate my mind and energy on the bigger, more important tasks. This in turn makes me more productive.

The big secret to a successful and productive life is balance. OK, it sounds simple, but it is harder to manage than you think. Being aware of what is important and what is not is the starting point. Staying true to these priorities takes constant management.

Balance means nurturing every aspect of who you are, and of your life. There will be times when you need to dedicate yourself to one task. Make sure that this is a temporary need. Don’t let it dominate your life. Give it a time frame. When this time is over, regain balance by nurturing the other aspects of your life.

So if you want to be more productive in your life, remember that balance is the key. Remember that success is multi-faceted, and you need to give all aspects a chance to flourish.


20 Tips on What is the Key to a Successful Business?

In this post we provide an insight into what the key to a successful business is. We cover a number of tips for achieving success in business.

It doesn’t matter whether you own a business, want to own a business, or play an important managerial role, there are certain traits and habits that you can adopt that will determine whether or not you can be successful in the long term.

The tips I am giving here are more about state of mind and attitude than business financials. It would be easy to include the importance of cash flow, managing stock levels, constraining costs and return on assets etc. but this is not the purpose of this post.

The tips have been grouped are grouped into 4 categories – which we think are the most important personal considerations:

  1. Expectations;
  2. Customers & competition;
  3. Activity Focus;
  4. Getting the Most From Your People

1.      Expectations

This section is about how you expect to achieve success. One of the keys to a successful business is the fact of perseverance and the ability to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

#1 – Create Opportunities—Don’t Wait for Them

Many people who have not achieved success in business are under the impression that opportunities arrive passively. All they have to do is wait for one to show up on the front door; and then grab it. But, in fact, successful business owners and managers know that opportunities are usually created, not stumbled over. So make an effort to create opportunities in your daily work.

Keep your radar tuned to possibilities. If you’re not looking out, you might miss out.

#2 – Don’t Hang Your Hat on Delusional Visions of Overnight Success

While it can be comforting to dream big about your future, having delusions about your success is purely detrimental. It will cause you to set unreasonable goals and attempt to live up to unrealistic expectations.

One of my favorite stories is that of Picasso when he was asked for an autograph. His reply went something along the lines of – “Yes, butt that will be $50,000.” The autograph hunter was astonished – “But it will only take 5 seconds”, to which Picasso replied – “No, it took over 50 years.”

The Beatles “overnight” success came after several years playing 3 sets a day, 7 days a week at a club in Hamburg. Success takes time, be patient.

#3 – Be Persistent

In business, as in many other fields, one of the main keys to success is persistence.

Persistence will determine whether you push ahead or give up altogether. And persistence will determine whether you eventually break through as a leader in your field; or whether you allow everyone else to walk over you to get to the top.

2.      Customers & Competition

#4 – Create a Product that People Actually Want to Buy

One thing you don’t hear often from successful people is how they swindled a bunch of people into buying a low-quality product for a high-price. To the contrary, they will usually regale you with stories of how they beat competitors by offering a lower price or a better product.

Providing your customers with the best value is one of the most effective business strategies you can adopt. It works brilliantly when times are tough – as you’ll outlast your lower value competitors.

#5 – Differentiate Yourself from Competitors

Whether you are competing for a promotion at work or competing with another business, differentiating yourself from your competitors is usually a good idea. Now, if you’re friends with the competition, then this is a more delicate task.

However, your goal should always be to spell out to either your boss or your customers (whichever case is the relevant one) that you have certain qualities that are desirable. This will often be sufficient, even without saying anything additional about other businesses or your co-workers.

#6 – Keep Your Customers’ Best Interests at Mind

Following the general theme of the previous tips, keeping your customers’ best interests in mind is vital. It will not only keep you focused on creating products that they’ll appreciate and use, but it will also keep you satisfied with your job.

#7 – Find Out Which Forms of Advertising Generate Revenue—And Which Do Not

In business, marketing can do a lot to transform your business. It can expand the audience for your product, persuade the existing audience, or it can provide no benefits at all while incurring massive costs.

One of the fathers of modern marketing – David Ogilvie, once said “We know that half of our advertising doesn’t work – we just don’t know which half.”

Those who are successful in business pay attention to their advertising, so they can determine which forms are beneficial and which forms should be discontinued. A more effective campaign is better than a larger one.

3.      Activity Focus

#8 – Stop Doing Things that Don’t Work

From time to time, you will determine that things don’t work—or at least they don’t work as well as they should. When this happens, you can take one of two paths. The first path ignores the problem and hopes that things get better. And the second puts an end to it by modifying your approach or discontinuing to do the thing that isn’t working. If you want to be successful, you will learn to have the courage to do the latter.

#9 – Take Action Immediately

Thoughts and actions are two very different things. And this is something the successful know very well. They know that coming up with a good idea is completely useless if you cannot implement it—or cannot give it to someone who can. So get in the habit of not only thinking of new things, but of taking action swiftly.

#10 – Create Networks with Other Business Owners

Another important part of success in business is networking with other managers and business owners. Find out how they run their businesses; and see whether you can learn from them or work with them in some complementary fashion.

It’s lonely at the top, and having other heads to consult with outside your own business is invaluable. As well as networking with other business owners, the establishment of Advisory Boards is becoming more popular.

#11 – Always Improve Your Business Processes

Along with being a continuous learner, you should try to be a continuous improver, too. Wherever your business is lacking, make it better. And wherever you see room for improvement, make an improvement.

No matter how efficient you think your business is managed, there are almost always opportunities for improvement. It’s just a matter of finding these opportunities and exploiting them to streamline how your business functions.

In business, efficiency is prized. It’s not enough to simply do something well, you must also do it well and fast. Successful people do this; and you should, too.

#12 – Keep Things Simple

Simplicity is often underrated. In fact, many business owners are prone to believing that if something is simple, then it cannot be true. After all, the world is a complex place, so it cannot be the case that a solution to a problem in business can be simple.

In fact, many of the more successful innovations in business are simple. So, think twice before you taking things up a notch in terms of complexity. Instead, think about using solutions that are simple, elegant, communicable, and likely to work.

4.        Getting the Most From Your People

#13 – Take Control of Your Role in the Business

When it comes to business, staying in control means a lot. It means that you not only prevent other businesses from dictating an agenda for you, but it also means that you firmly seize control of your own density. If you want to be successful, then you must be willing to take control.

#14 – Delegate Tasks to Others

If you ever want to match the success of some of your heroes, you will need to learn how to delegate tasks to others. Often, the most important trait that makes people successful is that they are willing and able to break down and a large task; and efficiently and intelligently allocate its pieces to employees.

#15 – Do Not Ask too Much of Your Employees

You might be tempted to squeeze every last cent out of your employees, but instead consider what the successful often do: they try to keep costs low, but at the same time, when they need talent, they pay for it. Keep this in mind when hiring and when giving raises.

#16 – Do Not Compete with Your Staff; Help Them and Learn How They Can Help You

Being successful means being secure. And being secure means that you don’t feel the need to compete with your co-workers, but instead focus on competing with other businesses.

Seek to inspire confidence in those around you. Rather than tearing down your fellow co-workers, make every attempt possible to build them up. Having a confident staff around you will multiply the returns you reap from your own efforts.

#17 – Facilitate Discussion

Another important trait of business leaders who are successful is their ability to facilitate discussion. Not only do they have good ideas themselves, but also they find ways to tease good ideas out of otherwise quiet co-workers.

Thick skin is a valuable asset in business. It means not only having the ability to listen to and assimilate praise, but also to brush off direct insults and valuable, but critical comments. If you want to be successful in business, you must have thick skin and you must always ask for comments—be they good or bad.

#18 – Avoid Getting Irrationally Defensive

Becoming defensive is a natural response to getting cornered. Instead of opening up to criticism and assimilating suggestions, we start shooting down any comment directed at us, be it useful or not. If you want to be successful in business, you must learn to resist the urge to become defensive.

#19 – Do Not Allow Your Personal Life to Interfere with Your Business Life

No matter what is going in on your personal life, remember to keep work at work and home life at home. Don’t allow a stressful situation with a friend or a relative spill over into your work and prevent you from being effective.

#20 – Do Not Make Questionable Decisions that Will Prevent You From Sleeping at Night

In business, opportunities abound to make questionable decisions from which you can profit. This might involve lying about your product or tricking your co – workers. In general, successful people know not to go this route, but instead to focus on making money legitimately and in a way that doesn’t harm or trick others.


These 20 Tips on What is the Key to a Successful Business are really not much more than short notes to get you thinking along the right lines. Any one of these tips can be expanded. into whole topics. We recommend continual learning and reading to build your skills and competencies. Remember, this is not a short sprint – you are in business for the long haul. You are building your future.


Brian Tracy’s Business Package – How You Can Start, Build, Manage or Turnaround Any Business.

20 Tips on How to Be Financially Independent

Financial independence gives you the key to a fuller and more satisfying life. It can have different meanings at different stages of life. For instance, as a young person leaving home, it is about having sufficient income to support yourself away from the protective cocoon your parents had provided. Later on, it might mean the ability to take out a mortgage and buy a house. In later years it is about having sufficient income to live on after you have stopped working.

At any age, we think of it as having sufficient income to cover your living expenses without worry. Being financial independent implies income, but it really means building an asset base from which to derive your income, and not be dependant on your job.

There are 5 steps to financial independence:

  1. Goal setting and planning – knowing where you want to get to;
  2. Budgeting and daily spending discipline – spending less than you earn and having investment funds available;
  3. Knowledge and understanding of risk – considering different forms of investments and their associated risks;
  4. Tax Strategies; and
  5. Investment Portfolio.

1.   Goal Setting and Planning

#1 – Think Long Term, Set Longer Term Financial Goals

Don’t just dream about your finances getting better. Set longer term financial goals and commit yourself to accomplishing them. Financial goals won’t be realised in the short term – they take persistence and time.

An example of a suitable longer-term financial goal is how much passive income you need to cover your living costs at retirement. Passive income is income derived from investments, not from your job. When you stop working – be it at age 70 or age 40, this is what you will live off. Exclude pensions and government support – the objective is to be financially independent, so you can live the life you want to lead.

#2 – Translate Longer Term Financial Goals into Specific Objectives

A more detailed example might be a desired income of $50,000 per annum, enough to cover a comfortable lifestyle. This is the basis of a simple equation – divide the income wanted by the percentage return expected from your investment assets.

If we assume a low risk return on assets of 4%, this means you need to accumulate $1.25m of income producing assets (i.e. $50,000/0.04).

If we assume a higher income goal of $200,000 and a higher level of return of 6% (higher risk), the asset goal becomes $3.33m.

Your goal should include desired income, target assets and return and of course a time span – 5, 20 or 50 years.

The retirement income formula is quite straightforward and has 4 components:

  • Your desired income – e.g. $50,000 a year, $200,000 a year etc. The amount will depend on your lifestyle and your regular spending commitments such as mortgage, car repayments etc.
  • Income producing Investment assets – non-income producing assets such as artwork, bullion, classic cars end the like don’t count, as you would have to sell them to generate any income (although they can provide a type of insurance buffer).
  • The return you earn on your income producing assets – e.g. many treasury bonds today is in negative territory – i.e. they earn -1%. Term Deposits may return 2 or 3%, equities may be in the range of 3-5%, commercial property 6% and so on.
  • Your tax liabilities – unfortunately income has a habit of being taxed, so you need to be thinking about your after-tax return. This is where it can get much more complicated, but we’ll leave that complexity for now.

The simple equation to remember is that – the lower your desired income, the fewer assets you need to cover it, and the lower return (lower risk) needed from them.

The more you can pay off things like your housing mortgage, cars, household equipment and the like, the easier the task becomes.

#3 – Accumulate Income Producing Assets

The goal of financial independence is having sufficient income to live the life you wish to live. Longer term this will mean passive income. To generate passive income, you need to have income-producing assets. Your plan should be about how to acquire these. The first rule is to reduce your spending to below your income, so you have some left over to begin accumulating income producing assets.

#4 – Keep Track of Your Progress in a Spreadsheet

Instead of hoping that your finances will work themselves out, stay on top of your financial future by keeping track of everything in a spreadsheet. This is often the difference between success and failure in personal finance.

Your goals will alter over time – as you become more successful, your lifestyle is likely to change (and become more expensive). It is useful to keep track of these changes and continually update.

There are a number of useful metrics we recommend:

  • Current passive income level
  • How many years can you live on that without reducing capital?
  • How many years left at current income before you reach your goal?
  • What if analysis – e.g.:
    • How many years if current income (or available income) increased by 10%, 20%?
    • How many years if desired income reduced by 10%, 20%?
    • And so on.

These, and similar metrics have the advantage of getting you focussed on your goals and your future, together with your current investment strategy.

#5 – Keep the Big Picture in Mind, But Stay Focused on the Short-Term Process

The big picture is important. It tells you where you are and where you’re going. However, in some situations, it can distract you from the task at hand. If you want to attain true success, then you have to know how to stay focused and effective on short-term problems, while also working within the greater framework of the big picture.

Short term issues you want to stay focussed on is how to increase your available income, reinvestment of current passive income, how to what returns you are getting from your assets and the like.

#6 – Understand the Miracle of Compound Interest

Start saving early. Investing $10,000 at age 30 will yield you much more in retirement than $10,000 invested at age 50. This is because you earn interest on both the capital amount AND on the interest you have previouslyy earned.

$10,000 at an annual interest of 5% reinvested, becomes $15, 513 in ten years (an increase in value of 55%). But in twenty years it becomes $25,270 (an increase of 153%). In forty years it becomes $67,048 (an increase of 570%).

At an annual interest rate of 6% – that $10,000 becomes worth $97,035 in forty years time!

2.   Budgeting and Daily Spending Discipline

#7 – Spend Less Than You Earn

Continually revise your cost of living and make efforts to cut your expenses. For instance that daily cup of coffee on the way to work – might give you $15 a week to invest (assuming 5 x $3 – I know this varies from place to place). That’s $780 a year! Doesn’t sound like much – but these little things all add up.

If your expenses are too high, then cut them. Move into a cheaper apartment. Buy bargains at the grocery store. Use coupons. Cut back on entertainment expenses.

When you’re poor, thriftiness is a virtue. If you’ve fallen on hard times, you would be wise to be thrifty, rather than delusional about the state of your finances.

If you’re currently over-budget, consider cutting your expenses by 10%. Even if it seems hard to do initially, figure it out and do it.

#8– Get in the Practice of Creating and Following Budgets

Budgets can play an important role in stabilizing financial outcomes. If you currently have no budget, you should start making one on a weekly basis. Try to keep your expenses and income flows under control, so you don’t get behind on payments.

Don’t waste money on expensive toys. Keep frivolous expenditure to a set proportion.

But don’t forget to live your life. One early boss of mine put aside a 10% fun factor into every project quote we did. This is a useful dictum for everyday budgeting as well.

As a general rule, we think that aiming for a regular investment fund equal to 10% of your net income is an appropriate level for longer term asset accumulation, and should be manageable for most people.

Obviously, the more the better. It also depends on your stage of life and the assets you have previously accumulated.

#9 – Pay Down Debts

Your first priority should be to pay down debt. It cannot be emphasized enough: unless you are young and are planning to get a number of very large raises in your lifetime (or are temporarily ill), then you shouldn’t be accumulating debt. You should be paying it down and saving for retirement. Successful people know and practice this.

#10 – Pay Your Bills on Time

When you miss a bill, you get charged fees. So, instead of paying your bills on the last day, pay them first. If you have money left over, then use it for other purposes, but don’t do so until you have paid the bills.

#11– Manage Your Credit Cards

Try to keep your credit card balances under 30% of the total allowable limit. If there is some emergency, you will have a backup reserve of credit that you can use to get through it.

If you can, pay your credit card balances in full each time. This will prevent you from ever paying interest on the debt you are servicing. Try moving from a credit card to a debit card – it’s a much better piece of plastic to be using, and will stop you from accumulting expensive credit card debt.

#12 – Shop Around for Major Cost Items Like Mortgages, Insurance

When it comes to car insurance, there’s a good chance that you might not be using the best place. Instead of being complacent and sticking with your current plan, consider shopping around to find a better one.

Another thing that people who are successful in personal finance generally do is shop around for a mortgage. Instead of simply taking the first that they are offered at the first bank they go to, they test the waters with a number of different companies to try to get a lower interest rate.

Visit a mortgage broker. Even if you ultimately do not use one of the companies she suggests, you can get a feel for what is out there in terms of payment sizes, interest rates, and other important features.

In addition to shopping around with different banks, you will also want to shop around for different mortgage product types. For instance, if the size of the mortgage payment will be high relative to your monthly income, then you may want to consider looking for a fixed rate.

3.   Understanding Risk

#13 – Avoid Putting Yourself in a Precarious Financial Situation

The successful know that some risk is unavoidable, but where it is avoidable, it should be deal with intelligently. If you are constantly putting yourself in precarious financial situations, it may be time to rethink your finances and your approach to money.

How long it takes to recover lost, money – i.e. – lose 10% of $10,000 = $1,000 loss. Capital base is reduced to $9,000. To return to $10,000 you need to make a return of 11.1%.

If the loss was 20%, you need to make a return of 25% to recover. Always look to protect your capital.

#14 – Avoid Unnecessarily Risky Investments

Instead of picking stocks, put your money into a mix of high-yield and low-yield bonds. Or into a fund that is well diversified and offers a reasonable, but low-risk return.

Instead of putting money into individual stocks, put your money into index funds. Successful investors know that, over time, you cannot consistently beat the market without taking on a significant amount of risk in the process.

#15 – Seek the Help of a Financial Advisor

When you first start to invest, seek out the help of a financial advisor. The successful know that it is not possible to know everything; and that getting the advice of a professional is always a good place to start.

4.   Tax Strategies

#16 – Seek Professional Financial Advice

Dependant on your level of income and investments, it is likely that at some stage alternative investment structures will give you better tax treatment. Tax is like any other expense, where it can be reduced (legally) you should do so. This can become very complex and will vary country by country, state by state and even by county or town.

5.   Investment Portfolio

#17 – Don’t Buy a Big House if You Cannot Afford It

Locking yourself into a big mortgage payment is a very bad idea—especially if you have a shaky income. Instead of risking the possibility that might not be able to make the payments, settle for a smaller house or an apartment until you have financial capacity to make the payments on time.

#18 – Buy Quality Assets That Have Longevity and Look to Accumulate Rather Than Trade

Property transaction costs are usually quite high (as much as 10%), and they can have a deleterious impact on the accumulation of wealth. Adopt a long-term investment horizon. Don’t waste money on transaction costs which will delete your capital base.

#19 – Negotiate Selling Prices on Large Purchases

One stark distinction between the successful and the unsuccessful is that the successful are always willing to bargain. Even if it means that they’ll have a much less pleasant buying experience, they’ll spend hours haggling if it means they can cut hundreds or thousands off of the price tag.

#20 – Build a Diversified Portfolio of Assets

A diversified portfolio spreads overall risk, and leaves you less exposed. As a general rule, stocks and equities should be traded for capital gain, properties held for longer-term income (commercial is better for this that residential, but again a mix is recommended), bonds used to provide lower returns but with capital security, but many now have a negative return.


To Sum Up

If you wish to be financially independent, it will take some work. It’s a long game, not a short sprint. in any long game, discipline is a skill (habit) that pays off bigtime. We recommend Brian Tracy’s course if you need some help here.

The Miracle of Self-Discipline - 8 CD Set Plus CD workbook - Brian Tracy (Compact Disc)

Are You A Team Leader? – Do You See Their Potential?

How Do You See Your Team’s Potential?

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This is a guest post from Tom Lawrence at highlyeffectiveleader.com who publishes interesting and useful material on influence, leadership and personal growth.


If you treat a person as if they were already what they strive to, or potentially they could be, then they will become that person. If you treat a person the same as everyone else, then they will not become that person.

In most of the organisations, and the ones I’ve worked with, it was very rare to see the managing director visiting the teams. Or, walking around the different departments, and talking to the staff. The same goes with the other directors, or the heads of departments. I find it strange because people are people.

There should be no barriers because of your position or title. Whenever I led a team, most of them didn’t know what the managing director looked like. Some of them didn’t know his/her name.

I would have preferred for those barriers to be broken down. I think it would have been appreciated to see the directors visiting our offices, or the other departments of the organisation more regularly. By having these barriers or walls, people get very comfortable with just being with their peers and teammates.

It is good to network with other members of the organisation, and build relationships so that you can increase your influence with them. When insecure leaders interact with different leaders or teams, they feel inferior. They see themselves as the boss, so they are supposed to be in charge all the time.

When they interact with other leaders, they start to feel even more insecure.

Highly effective leaders are the opposite. They love to meet new people outside of their team, or department. They love to build relationships, be humble, and connect with people. A highly effective leader would see this as time well spent, interacting with other leaders. They would value those sharing ideas and advice.

They see networking as a massive learning opportunity. They know that whoever they connect with, they will be learning and growing together. When networking, highly effective leaders ask lots of questions, as they love to do.

They also encourage their team members to do the same. They show them how valuable networking is, and how they can learn and grow with more people.

Insecure leaders will not encourage their team to do any networking, or seek out learning opportunities. The reason for that is they are not focussed on them or their potential, so they will not develop their team.

I have discussed book studies in earlier articles, and an insecure leader would never take their team through a book study. If they did, it would be developing their team and unleashing their potential. That is a huge no-no for an insecure leader as it goes against everything the insecure leader believes in.

Highly effective leaders see their team as equals. They are equal to themselves, to the directors of the organisation and the heads of department. So, they are looking for ways to unleash their team’s potential, and opportunities to network with other highly effective leaders.

Insecure leaders focus on themselves and do not develop their team. They are very narrow minded, and when things go well they will credit themselves, when things go badly they will blame their team. Highly effective leaders focus on the team, and want to develop their team.

They are open minded, and when things go well they will credit their team. When things go badly they will accept full responsibility for it. More importantly they are demonstrating to their team that they care about them, and want the best for them.

How do you demonstrate to your team that you care about them and that you want the best for them? What message do you send to them on a daily basis? Do you boost morale or do you decrease it? Do you increase your influence or do you decrease it?

Do you encourage them to work better together as a team? Do you inspire them to become more, do more, and want more?

When you start to apply the principles I am sharing in my articles throughout this site, your behaviours towards your team will change and improve. You will start to show them that you do care for them, and want the best for them. You will do this through how you act, and not what you say.

When you do this, the team will feel a lot more engaged, and encouraged to do and be more. They will feel empowered by you. You as the leader will be a lot more secure and open minded, so any barriers will be broken down.

Trust between you and the team will increase, and they will want to start helping you too. Your influence with them will increase, and they will follow you because they want to, not because they have to.

If you had the choice tomorrow to choose between two different bosses to work with, which one would you choose? Would you choose the boss who didn’t show you that he/she cared for you, didn’t encourage you, and didn’t develop you or empower you?

Or, would you choose the boss who showed you every day that he/she cared for you, wants the best for you, encouraged you to be more, encouraged you to do more, and developed you and empowered you? The choice is obvious.

How does your boss deliberately develop you? Do you feel cared for by your boss and that he/she wants the best for you? How do you feel when you are around and talking to your boss? How are you going to start deliberately developing your team?

How are you going to demonstrate that you care for them, and want the best for them? How do your team feel right now? How are you going to make them feel better?

I talk a lot about growing and developing your team, and by doing that you are showing them that you care and want the best for them. However, there are more ways you can demonstrate to your team that you care. Here are some ways that I have shown the teams I have led that I cared for them, and want the best for them:

  • I asked their opinion on non-work related things.
  • I always tried to find ways to leverage them and be noticed by leaders.
  • I asked each member of the team what their ambitions, goals and dreams were.
  • I gave them work that they could make a success of, that would be noticed by the other leaders.
  • I gave them networking opportunities by introducing them to the leaders of the organisation.
  • I talked to them every day, even if it had nothing to do with the job.
  • I always thanked the team every day for their contributions.

To make your team feel like you care for them is not difficult at all. You just have to want to do it, and not see it as a chore, or that thing that you have to do each day. If you feel like that then you will not sustain it. You really do have to truly care for your team.

The more you do it, the easier it will become, and your relationships will build and build every day. This is another part of your journey of personal growth, and working on yourself EVERY DAY.

If you look at the list above of how I made my team feel cared for, is your boss doing the same, or similar things with you? If they are not, but they started to do those things, how would your relationship feel different? What would change? Would you feel cared for? Would you feel better or worse?

If I asked your team if you did the things on the list above, how would they react? Would they agree that you do all or some of those things? Would they feel cared for if I asked them?

If one of your team members felt that you didn’t care for them, or that they mattered to you, the simple truth is that you don’t care for them, and they don’t matter to you. If that is the case, how are you going to change? Do you even want to change?

If you start to forget about certain team members and focus on the few, then you have forgotten your purpose as a leader.


CEO’s Top 15 Tips on How to be Successful at Work and on the Job

We spend so much time in our jobs that it’s natural to want to get some tips on how to be successful at work.  No matter what your job, chances are you would like to get a promotion, a pay-rise or even a better job.  This post passes on 15 tips from the boss’s perspective. After all, it’s the boss who has to make the decision you’re hoping for.

As CEO of a mid sized firm I had over 200 people reporting to me, and through my Senior Management team. Every hire or fire, promotion and pay decision came across my desk.

These 15 tips on how to be successful at work come straight from the horse’s mouth, a real life CEO.  When I first took over as CEO the company had a pretty poor culture and HR issues were at the forefront of my turnaround strategy.

Eventually I delegated more authority to my Senior Managers, but in the early days I oversaw everything very closely. This experience provides a useful insight into why some people get promoted or given more responsibility and more pay – and others get left behind, or asked to leave.

I have distilled this experience into these 15 tips on how to be successful at work and on the job.

Background

Before we proceed, a little personal history might help to give these tips some perspective. They have been derived from personl and proactical experience.

I was a Non-Executive Board Director with this company which had appointed a new CEO (not me).  At the time, this CEO tried to implement an internal performance-management program that had received some positive press.

Unfortunately it was an inappropriate program for our needs and failed miserably. The result of this was a shift from profitability to mounting losses and a badly damaged reputation. It was a near-death experience for the company.

The Board asked me to take over as CEO to return the company to profitability, restore its reputation and build a more positive culture.

The failed performance program was derived from a manufacturing assembly-line environment and featured specific tasks and performance monitoring. This was a sort of up-dated 1950’s time and motion approach, totally unsuitable for a human services company. The resultant impact on the company’s culture was devastating, turning it very negative. It also created processes which were at odds with the needs of our customers and service delivery.

Consequently, it was not uncommon for staff to be talking with external people in their towns about the oppressive (and sometimes bullying) management approach. This of course is not only very bad PR, but also very destructive from a customer perspective and the team’s morale. It also diluted our ability to recruit new personnel.

The following 15 tips are distilled from my experience in transforming this culture. Critical in this transformation was the evaluation of prominent team members, and the weeding out of negative influences and the reinstatement of more positive ones who were aligned to a more open and responsive culture.

Tip # 1 – Be Positive

I place attitude above all else. A positive attitude not only gives you the energy and enthusiasm to tackle your job and do it well, it also inspires others and builds a real sense of team spirit that is invaluable.

The influence that a positive person has in inspiring and motivating others cannot be overstated. Good managers are leaders. Leaders lead with inspiration and confidence, and you simply can’t give that to your team if you don’t have a positive attitude.

One of the most difficult things about being a leader is the need to constantly positive and optimistic – even when you don’t feel that way. Your team relies on you to provide the backbone and strength to continue in all circumstances.

Public positivism is essential for any leadership role, as doubts or negative views are compounded within the team, and this has a disproportionate effect on performance and results.

Tip # 2 – Make Productive Suggestions That Solve Problems

One of my favourite sayings is that “unless you have a solution, you don’t have a problem.” It goes to the heart of what I refer to as the “whinge culture”, where people simply like to complain about things not working as they would like. Well guess what – there’s not many things in this world that don’t break, or fail every now and again, or that could be improved on.

A key suggestion for success at work is to propose solutions, not simply whinge about things. What I admire in people (and especially my staff) is the ability to see an issue, think it through and propose a way to improve it. This is problem-solving, and is a key role of management.

Successful companies operate this way. Recognising problems is essential, they cannot be simply dismissed. After that, it is in the realm of the leader to come up with solutions. I valued these people in my team, and put them obove others.

If the proposed solution involved hefty expenditure that couldn’t be met in the short term, it did not make the proposal any less valuable. If it is the correct (or best) solution, it can be assessed and planned for in future budgets.

Tip # 3 – Be a Team Player

Teamwork is an essential component of success in any business endeavour. This is why it is essential that you learn how to collaborate with your peers and colleagues and practice it regularly.

The most important people on the team are those that work to bring the team together, rather than working in isolation. This ranges from the type of problem solving we just discussed, to building efficiency within the team.

If you have good ideas, then share them with others. Let your co-workers and bosses benefit from your insights. Occasionally, you might get no credit for this, but over time, the praise you receive here and there will help to improve your profile within the company.

Sharing with others rather than competing with them will do more for your career prospects than trying to hoard good ideas and exclude others. Successful people don’t fear scarcity, but instead they have a worldview of abundance.  They see opportunities and are happy to share their knowledge and skills with others, in the expectation that they will in turn become important allies in the future and together they all grow and prosper.

Every boss knows who is contributing the most, both in terms of personal results, but also in building and supporting the team. Playing your role in the team is an important element of being noticed and valued.

Tip # 4 – Be Time Conscious

Another insightful saying is that “Timeliness is next to godliness”.  This is certainly true in the workplace.

The culture I walked into was one with numerous meetings. Not only were there too many to be a productive use of time, they weren’t run efficiently. It was standard practice to arrive a few minutes late, spend a few more minutes with coffee-talk amongst colleagues, with the result that most meetings actually started about 15 minutes after the proposed start time.

To combat this, I started every meeting strictly on time, regardless of who had arrived or not arrived.  It didn’t take long for the message to be received.

There is a lot to get done in a typical working day, so it is best to maintain a sense of urgency.  Bosses appreciate those who demonstrate a commitment to getting things done. Show that you are hard working, attentive, and alert. And show that you won’t become complacent simply because things are going well.

Tip # 5 – Be Invaluable

Assessing individual staff is always on a boss’ mind, as they know that a better company performance as almost guaranteed if you can weed out the negative types and the underperformers.  They will be noted on a mental list somewhere.

You want to make sure you are not on this list, because believe me, there always is one!

The best way to avoid the list is to make sure you are always available and that your boss knows you can be relied on.  Don’t try to “game” the company by doing as little as possible in return for your paycheck. That is not the way to be successful at work.  Go the extra distance and prove that you are willing to make a sacrifice.

One good way to do this is to volunteer for projects – even if they are a bit difficult, or less attractive. This garners respect from those above, and you’ll quickly become recognized as an invaluable asset for the business.

Remember that if it is easy to see how the company could replace you, then your boss probably can too. The more you make yourself indispensible, the better your chances of promotion or a pay-rise, and the less likely that you be replaced.

Tip # 6 – Use Initiative

One of the most annoying things about being in charge is when the people who report to you sit back and wait for instructions.  It makes the boss’ job very tiresome if every last detail of how to proceed has to be spelt out. We’re working with adults for crying out loud, not children.

Prioritize your work. Try to determine which projects are “urgent,” which projects are “important,” and which projects are both. And then attack them in the correct order. Remember the Pareto Principle – 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. Focus on the important 20%.

Mastering your job won’t be enough to get you a promotion, but it is without a question the best place to start. So, if you think there is significant room for improvement, then get working to master your job.

At the end of the day, the quality of work that you produce will determine whether your boss thinks that you are barely fit to carry out your current job; or whether you are over-qualified and should be promoted.

Everyone should know what is required, so use initiative to deliver the goods. People who can self-start are appreciated, so make it a habit to take action immediately and accomplish tasks on your own.

If your company doesn’t let this happen – consider moving to another where you can get more job satisfaction and be better able to shine.

Tip # 7 – Look After Your Boss

As a CEO, I truly appreciated the assistance given to me from not only my Senior Managers and fellow Board members, but also people in various roles throughout the organisation. A good company runs a team, and whilst you may have a team leader, it is the collaborative effort that determines success or failure.

People who helped me to look good were never forgotten. My trick was to use bonuses to recognise over performance. Those who had been of most direct use to me tended to get the bigger bonuses.

Successful people know how important it is (and how) to make the boss look good. This is especially true if you can do it in public (e.g. – supportive comments at a Board meeting, or Management Meeting). Your boss will appreciate this; and will want to keep you around.

If there is something important that your boss needs to know, try to be the first to tell them. This builds your personal position and makes you more indispensible.

Most bosses will appreciate it if you are kind and respectful to them, but if you go out of your way to suck up to them, it will usually be perceived poorly. Instead of respecting you, they will see you as someone they cannot trust for a straight answer.

Tip # 8 – Act the Part

When I was considering who to promote or reward, it’s not always purely work performance and contribution. When considering whether to promote someone to a leadership position, I wanted to know that they would be accepted and followed by other team members.

There are a number of traits that most bosses like myself consider:

Honesty

Honesty is important. I wanted to k now I could trust the people reporting to me. If they were misleading me, I wouldn’t really know what was happening, and be less able to do my job properly. The same goes for those reporting to the individual. Being honest with your co-workers and your boss means that they can trust you and come to you for advice in the future.

Handling Conflict

Avoiding negative conflicts is another trait that comes to mind. There’s a good chance that you’ll end up locking horns with a few people from time to time. This is not only largely unavoidable, it is often useful to clarify issues or resolve problems.

The dispute is not the issue, but rather the way the conflict is handled. If you take these disputes personally and make them larger than they need to be, it demonstrates that you might not be suitable leadership material.

When it comes to petty, intra-office disputes, always be the one to take the high road. Don’t focus on getting revenge or supporting an argument that is clearly wrong. Instead, just admit fault and move on with your life.

When it comes to contradicting your boss or a co-worker, you might decide that it is not a good idea to stand up for yourself, but instead to back-down. However, if you have good reason to believe you are right, you should stick up for yourself as long as it is reasonable and respectful. Ultimately, your co-workers and boss will respect you more for it.

Empathy

Empathy for others is a critical element of any group situation – work or social.  You know how important it is when others make it clear they understand and sympathise with you. It makes you feel wanted and cared for. And so it goes in reverse. Being supportive and caring towards others will improve your status within the company. It will show people that they can come to you if others do not understand their position.

Look the Part

Another important part of getting promotions is dressing for the part. For instance, if you dress down compared to everyone else in the office, it is less likley you will have the respect of your peers. This of course is very situationally dependant.

However, it is true that f you don’t look presentable on a daily basis that may factor into your boss’s decision not to promote you. So dress for success.

Stability

Stability is an important quality for leaders, especially if given a lot of responsibility. If you appear to be unstable, it suggests that you could make bad decisions that jeopardize your team’s performance, or even the entire business. For this reason, you should push very hard to demonstrate your stability to the managers above you.

Sensibility

Acting appropriately is another no-no. Making jokes is a popular social strategy which can endear others to you. However, making offensive or inappropriate jokes can permanently eliminate you from the running for upper management jobs. Next time you go to make a joke, think twice about your audience; and don’t do it if you think it might offend someone.

The same commentary goes for sexist or racist comments, or those that are in any way personally demeaning to an individual. Good managers simply don’t do this.

Tip # 9 – Emulate Your Superiors & Successful Co-Workers

As a CEO, I knew I had a handful of really talented and reliable people reporting to me. I spent time talking with these Senior Managers about how they could groom some of their people for future leadership roles.

These managers had achieved success due to their skills and the way they conducted themselves. If you want to be promoted you can do worse than use them as role models.

Pay attention to co-workers who are especially good at their jobs. What is it that enables them to be so efficient? And what is it that elicits so much praise from upper management? Learn from this, copy their qualities and you should see similar results.

All of the above tips on how to be successful at work will position you as a candidate for consideration, but there is some positioning work that helps to put you in the frame for promotion, or pay-rise.

Tip # 10 – Be More Visible, Practice Self-Promotion

Being seen is part of the game; so don’t be afraid of a little self-promotion. Get others to notice you and to appreciate what you do within the company (but don’t go overboard – it can do more harm than good).

Presentations are a vital part of communicating ideas to employees and business partners.  If you are the one to give a presentation, you are more visible and valuable. Many people have a fear of public speaking or giving presentations, so this strategy not only makes you more visible, it builds your positioning as a potential leader.

Volunteer to take on a public role – e.g. industry presentations, working parties and the like. This demonstrates your broader abilities to communicate and network – both important skills for a leadership position. Not only does this build your profile internally, it gives you industry connections and reputation, should you consider a change.

Volunteer at charity events, help co-workers who are in need, and generally be available and helpful. As your profile improves within the company, so will your chances of getting promoted.

Don’t sit passively at meetings. Instead, take charge and make comments. Be prepared and have useful comments ready. Listen and be involved in the discussion. This will help you to get recognized, and show your true worth.

Tip # 11 – Signal Your Readiness to Your Superiors

Let your boss know that you are keen to advance. The most probable chance for this is during the annual (or semi-annual) review process, but it can be at any time. 

Any good boss is keen to advance their people, it ensures a better team. This in turn creates better group performance, as the calibre of the team rises. But opportunities may not present themselves within the company (often it is not possible in a smaller organisation).

In this instance, any good boss will be glad to support you find a leadership role elsewhere in the industry. I found that developing people beyond our ability to promote them provided a very positive support group within the industry. This also helped enormously in our recruitment as we developed a reputation as a good place to work.

Once you have let your boss know about your desire for further advancement, you can jointly put together a plan to further develop your skills – through special training, or expanded job responsibilities.

When it comes to getting a promotion at work, few things are more important than timing. Being in the right place at the right time and saying the right things is vital. And so you should pay careful attention to your timing, to when you actively put your hand up.

If you advance too quickly – before you are really ready, you may fail. This will do untold damage to your career, so it is better to be patient and thoughtful about your career.

Make sure that someone else can do your job. Whilst you want to be indispensible, you don’t want it be at the cost of a promotional opportunity. If the no one else can do your job, then you cannot be replaced; and therefore cannot get promoted.

Tip # 12 – Listen for Opportunities

Always stay alert for important information about promotions and job openings. When these come up, you may find an advantage in being able to move quickly. This can improve your chances of getting promoted, especially in a larger organisation.

It is always worthwhile to make a friend in human resources. Next time there is a job opening in the works, you will be one of the first people to find out about it. They may even be in your corner pushing for your chance.

If you work in a larger company, there can be several opportunities for promotion – even if it means in a slightly different part of the company.

Keep an up-to-date resume that highlights your skills as much as your roles. Skills are often transferable to different roles. Don’t just passively wait for a promotion, but apply for within company jobs, and don’t be afraid of pushing for them.

Tip # 13 – Consider Why You Want the Promotion

Being prepared is important. For instance, next time you’re in the elevator with your boss or with a higher-up, you will want to be prepared if your boss asks you something about a new job opening or a possible promotion. Have reasons ready for why you want the promotion and why you would fit well in the position.

Getting a promotion can be a difficult process. This is why it is important that you spend some time thinking about and rationalizing why you are worthy of a promotion. When the going gets tough, you’ll have reasons that you can use to reinforce your choice.

One strategy is to find jobs outside of your company that look promising. It might give you some leverage for a pay-rise or promotion, but be careful. It might be taken positively, but it might be seen as disloyal and self-serving. If I thought someone was trying to blackmail me into a raise or a promotion, I might go along with it in the short run, but would not forget. The result could be that in the longer term it limited that that person’s opportunities.

Conversely, you might be better off with a job elsewhere. It may be a more senior role, or one with better advancement opportunities. Or maybe it might just pay a bit better, or have better benefits. A thoughtful consideration of all factors is worth it.

Tip # 14 – Invest in Your Career

Just like any other investment, an investment in your career could pay off considerably down the line. If you think you are currently missing the education or the training you need to move forward, then put some money aside to invest in your career.

Consider going back to school if additional skills or knowledge will help move you up the ladder. Any improvement in your resume will pay dividends down the line and is never wasted.

Maybe you think a change in direction is called for – test the waters and figure out what it is that you want to do, or have an aptitude for; and then try again with a different career path.

Tip # 15 – Learn New Things or New Skills

The more you learn about your job and your company – the more valuable you will be. Not only does this apply to your current employer, but also to other employers. Recognise how important and valuable on-the-job training and experience is, and make the most of the opportunities your workplace provide.

If there is an opportunity to developing new skills, this will not hurt your career prospects. On the other hand, if you don’t develop new skills, then you cannot expect that your boss will suddenly believe that you are capable of taking on a new job with different requirements.

In the same vein, scrappiness is an important trait of successful people. No matter how badly the road to success treats them, they take their lumps and then return to the path. Ultimately, they prevail because they refuse to do anything else.

Concluding Remarks

In conclusion, I hope that these 15 tips to be successful at work will give you the tools and motivation to get the promotion or raise that you are hoping for. There is no reason you cannot plan out a successful career without giving up your inner values, or feeling like an imposter.


10 of the Best Books On Leadership

Being a great leader isn’t easy. And like with most things in life, being a natural at it isn’t necessary. If you are willing to take time and effort to learn how to become a great leader then you will see results.

When looking at the easiest and most cost-effective way of learning, it is to of course to simply read a book about it. Yes, there are plenty of leadership books out there. In this post, we look at the 10 best books on leadership.

Related: 5 Books On Mental Toughness That You Must Read

Best Books on Leadership

1.  21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to easily take a group of people and drive them towards success, and how others can’t? Or why a team may perform completely differently when a different leader is put in place?

By the completion of this book, you will be able to answer questions like these.

The author of this book understands what it takes to be a great leader, as the title suggests he teaches us in the format of 21 different laws. This book isn’t simply about management, the author really understands what real leadership is, and that is ‘influence’.

This book is helpful, easy to read, and full of in-depth explanations and is recommended for anyone who has ambitions of being a successful leader.

2. Leadership and self-deception: Getting out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute

Everyone thinks they’re a people person. But how well do others feel you treat them? Is it possible to improve your interactions with those around you?

This book allows you to see things from a different perspective. A lot of us don’t like the idea that we are self-deceived, however, admitting to this fact may be the thing we need to improve our interactions.

This book shows us that sometimes when we are looking for problems “out there” we need to be open to the possibility that the problem is within ourselves.

You cannot be a good leader without seeing your own faults, therefore this book is definitely recommended and earns a place on this list of best books on leadership.

3. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A leadership Fable by Patrick M. Lencioni

This book is definitely highly recommended and is a great leadership book.

The author Patrick M. Lencioni offers us a fable of how an executive struggled to take hold of a company and create a smoothly functioning team.

The fable is written in a simple style. The lessons learned are clear and are of use to anyone that manages a team in their day to day life.

It is not the longest book, you will finish it in under 2 hours.

However, the author manages to squeeze in a decent amount of wisdom on topics such as team membership leadership, membership, and engagement.

4. Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Linda Kaplan Thaler & Robin Koval

In this book, the authors Linda Kaplan Thaler & Robin Koval give you an insight on how to achieve success in various aspects of your lives.

The insight this book gives you will allow you to take yourself to another level. Something every leader should be striving to do.

What is GRIT? GRIT is guts, resilience, initiative, and tenacity. With GRIT, the authors explain how you are able to easily surpass those with talent. By being persistent and continually striving towards your goals you will eventually achieve whatever it is that you set out to do.

The book gives us examples of great leaders such as Colin Powell and Steve Jobs and explains to us that they are ordinary just like us. The only thing that differentiates them from others who are less successful is the fact that they have GRIT!

Every aspiring leader needs to learn the lessons in this book and apply them to his or her business and daily life.

5. What you really need to lead by Robert S Kaplan

This book is definitely up there as one of the best books on leadership.

Leadership can be a confusing topic for most people. The author of this book explains how everyone has the potential for great leadership, it is not something you need to be born with. It is not something that requires you to sit and wait for permission for.

To be a great leader you need to seize it with both hands. You need to know you are a great leader and your behavior needs to reflect that. The book explains to us how leadership is more a state of mind than anything else.

As long as your thoughts and mindset are in the right mode then everything else will fall into place.

6. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini

This book looks at influence. The reason why someone would say “yes” and how to apply these principles in life and in business.

The author of this book Dr. Robert Cialdini is an expert in the field of influence and persuasion. He has over 35 years’ experience in this rapidly growing field.

Throughout this book, you will learn the 6 different principles you need to internalize in order to become an expert influencer and persuader. This is an essential skill set for many, especially someone in a leadership position.

This is certainly one of the great leadership books out there that need to be on your reading list. The writer puts together the information you need to learn in an accessible and easy to understand tone, which also makes the book engaging.

7. Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader by Herminia Ibarra

As the title suggests, this book explains why in order to be a good leader, you need to think and act like one.

The problem most leaders face is that they are busy with the daily demands of work that they pay less attention to actually building leadership skills. Which is something that is critical?

The author of this book, Herminia Ibarra is an expert on development and professional leadership.

A core concept of this book is outsight. In essence, what we must do is find what works and what doesn’t, and to keep developing ourselves through action and experimentation.

The author also explains to us why those who have outsight are far more likely to be successful and create a greater impact.

8. First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham

This book by Marcus Buckingham is essential for anyone in a leadership position. It challenges the conventional way management is done.

The book talks about how as a manager it is not your job to help all your employees overcome their weaknesses, as not every employee has ‘unlimited potential.’

You should be more focused on identifying talent and placing employees where they are most suited. As a manager you need to transform the talent you identify into performance.

The great thing about this book is that while reading it, it will just seem to make sense.

Definitely an interesting book that you will probably be reading more than once.

9. The One Minute Manager – Increase Productivity, Profits and Your Own Prosperity by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

This book is a short read however it is packed with some great wisdom and is certainly one of the best books on leadership.

The one minute manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson aims to get the point across in the format of a story. Some may not like this format, however personally I think it makes the book more enjoyable to read.

It’s a great management book that useful in your business or personal life.

However, if you want a book that goes into specific details and in-depth explanations then this is not the book for you. It is more aimed at giving simple, easy to implement principles that can be related

10. True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership by Bill George, Peter Sims, and David Gerden

This book is certainly one of the top leadership books out there.

True North: Discover your authentic leadership, looks at how anyone who follows the voice inside their head or ‘internal compass’ can be an authentic leader.

The wisdom and ideas in this book are backed by research. The book will give any leader a plan for leadership success and how to follow that plan.

The author of this book Bill George was a highly respected CEO in terms of integrity, he is currently a professor at Harvard where he teaches a course on ‘leadership and corporate accountability’ therefore you can be certain that he knows what he is talking about.

 


5 Steps to Beat Your Inner Critic

5 Steps to Beat Your Inner Critic

Your inner critic can often have the loudest voice in the room, don’t be afraid to press the mute button.

Follow these 5 simple steps to beat your inner critic and slowing your topping you from succeeding in life. Don’t let it slow you down.

1. START BY LISTENING TO THE VOICE

The voice is insidious – you may not even be aware of how often your inner critic is chiming in. Pay attention to what you are thinking and saying to yourself throughout your day. Getting a handle on what your voice is saying is the first step to silencing it.

2. TALK TO YOURSELF LIKE YOU WOULD A FRIEND

When you hear that inner monologue start to chime in, try changing your words to those you would use with any personal friend having a problem. Be compassionate and encouraging, treat yourself with kindness.

3. LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE

When you start to hear your inner critic tell you what you can’t do, ask yourself, how do you know? What evidence do you have to support that negative assessment? What evidence can you offer to refute those negative claims?

4. DON’T LIVE IN THE PAST

You need to let go of past mistakes. When you mess up, accept that it happened, then move on. Reminding yourself repeatedly of how and when you screwed up isn’t helping you solve the problem or make better choices moving forward.

5. CONSIDER THE WORST-CASE SCENARIO

You can stop your inner critic from turning a possible negative outcome into a potential catastrophe. This causes you to feel more anxious than is necessary, leading to doubt and feelings of worthlessness. Stop and consider, what if that worst-case scenario actually did occur? Would it really be all that bad? In most cases, not really.


DreamLife Mastery is a company which offers a range of self-help products. Their courses and webinars will teach you how to create a life built on true happiness, success, and perpetual wealth. You’ll also discover the keys to amazing health, fulfilling relationships and being the best version of yourself.

One of these is a course relevant to this post. It’s called Stop Negative Thinking and the link below will give you more information on this. Note that we do earn an affiliate commission on this should you purchase the course, but we are letting you know about it now as we believe it both relevant, and worthwhile.


6 Simple Ways to Get More Stuff Done at Work

Ever notice how successful people just seem to get more stuff done at work? How can you increase our own productivity to achieve more? How come the list of things to do seems to always expand beyond the working day – starting earlier and finishing later just doesn’t do it. And who wants to sacrifice their life anyway? There has to be a better way – right?

The answer is to learn a few tricks to manage your time wisely and efficiently. Here are 6 simple tips. Make these a habit, and you’ll be amazed at just how much more you can achieve – success beckons!

1. Stay Organized

Keeping everything in its place will save a lot of time searching. It’s a greatly underrated productivity booster. Not only will you save time and wasted energy looking for things, it’ll make your workspace look neater and better to look at it. The boss will be impressed and the sense of order it brings is a major stress-buster, so you’ll feel more able to deal with everything. Look good, feel good.

2. “5 By 10”

Pick a few less stressful things to get your day started. Get rid of a couple of quick fixes that won’t take too much time but could cause more work if left unattended. This will have the twin benefits of reducing the size of your list and give you a sense of achievement and accomplishment that can carry you through the day.

Aim for 5 done by 10 am. If you’ve got some bigger fish to fry – try breaking them down into smaller steps and get one or two of these done early to get you on your way. This reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed and lost under files, memos and deadlines. A quick start will give you the momentum to achieve more.

3. Go for a Walk

Instead of eating lunch at your desk, scrunched over more paperwork, go for a walk outside. Getting some fresh air will help you clear your head, give you some perspective and a more positive outlook.

Plus, it’s great physical exercise, and a change of scenery will do wonders for your creative juices. If you absolutely can’t leave your work area, go for a walk indoors. Studies prove that going for a walk, even a short one, can boost efficiency by 60%.

4. Stop Multi-tasking

Some people think that juggling multiple things at once means they’re boosting their work rate. But studies have found that multitasking can do more harm than good, as tasks do not get the time and effort they deserve. If not done well, they may require rework – not only a mental killer, but will soak up more of your precious time.

Distractions like that impact negatively on the quality of your work, and leave you feeling drained and frazzled. Try giving each task the attention it needs and enough time to complete it before moving onto something else.

5. Give yourself self-imposed deadlines

In general, the word ‘deadline’ is enough to give you heart palpitations, headaches, dizzy spells. But when you’re the one setting the deadline for yourself, you won’t feel the pressure in a negative way. But you will feel obligated to respect the deadline you’ve set.

We’re creatures of habit, so go easy on yourself at first. The point is to acknowledge that you have a set time after which you’ll be held accountable for your work. When you do meet your deadline, give yourself a pat on the back and a reward for getting the job done on time.

6. Beautify your Surroundings

Attractive furniture and office decor, such as candles, plants, vases, can be pleasing to look at. Moreover, they turn a boring space into something beautiful and functional with an added personal touch. They can also help increase productivity, as studies show, by up to 15%.

Choose whatever makes you feel happy and comfortable, as long as they meet office regulations. By surrounding yourself with things that are aesthetically pleasing, you’ll be boosting production rate, creative outlet, along with your ability to focus on the task at hand.

Getting More Work Stuff Done means working smarter, not harder. So, try to resist the temptation to stuff your calendar with more work-related commitments or put in longer hours at the office.  If you learn these habits, you will be more productive, but don’t fall into the trap of taking on more work because you think you can. Learn to say no selectively and assess which tasks are the most important for you to achieve your goals.


Avoid the Job You Hate! Live Life With Passion!

Live a Life of Passion

Do you live a life of passion? What does this mean? Let’s look at what it isn’t first.

Do you have a job you hate? Do you have to clock in every day, feeling dispirited and broken by the drudgery of it all?  If you do, and you hate your job, chances are you find the work mundane and unrewarding. You probably feel the daily commute is too long, your bosses are uncaring or unappreciative of the efforts you put in.

Do you have a BullS**t job? Do you feel that it doesn’t really mean much, and there’s little sense of achievement that comes from it?

A Life of Passion

So what is a life of passion?

While we all have to make money to survive, how much better would it be if you left work feeling fulfilled and invigorated? Sure, we may receive a paycheck at the end of the week, but does that really make up for all the unhappy moments? Surely, the answer to that question is a resounding no. No real rewards in toiling away in a job you hate! Is there an answer?

There is an answer. It comes in finding your passion, and then working at that. It means you may have to be prepared to make short-term trade-offs for longer-term happiness and satisfaction.

Success and passion are interlinked. Success follows when we pursue our passions. It is unlikely to come from perseverance in a hated job.

We call this living a life of passion. In order to really live a life of fulfillment and walk in your truth, you must follow your passion. Many think this to be not very realistic, that it sounds a bit far-fetched, but it’s actually quite attainable. All you need is a willing attitude, a bit of determination and a positive spirit. Those, along with consistent hard work will help you live a life of passion and avoid the job you hate.

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Let’s consider how you can live a life of passion.

Determine Your Passion

Do you know what your passion is? If you want to start living a more fulfilled life, you must firstly identify what drives you. When you know what drives you, what motivates you, you will easily determine you purpose. When you know your purpose you are able to set goals, the achievement of which provides satisfaction, confidence and happiness.

To find your passion, ask yourself, is there an activity that gives you excitement? Do you find yourself daydreaming about a particular field of interest? What is it that motivates you to get up in the morning?

The underlying answers to these questions will help you determine what your passion truly is. Once you uncover that, you’ll be able to make the necessary steps towards achieving it.

Learn Your Passion

Once you have identified your passion, you need to become expert in it. This is not a short-term fix, but a long-term commitment.

Maybe your passion is to become a chef. Before you blindly pick up the pots and pans, it is important that you learn your craft before you can start to make a living from it. Study from the greats and imitate their actions. Read and soak up as much information as you can on your particular interest.

This will help you improve your skills and train you to the be the best. The better you are, the more financially rewarding it will be. When you are highly skilled and knowledgeable, you’re more likely to succeed, to find employment or start a business revolving around your passion. Remember, you can dream all you want, but it takes practice and hard work to turn the dream into reality.

Take Steps

After you’ve determined your passion and gathered enough information and skills, it’s time to start pursuing it as a career. This will involve different steps to take you into your new career or business.

The start might be to take up an internship or shadowing job. Perhaps change your resume to reflect your new venture. Then, begin applying for the jobs that’ll get you one step closer to your passion. When you put in the necessary work, it’s imperative that you get out of your comfort zone and really try to find your place. This will help you to lay the foundation for your future career. 

Or it may be to start a new business that is based on your passion. Continuing with the example of a chef, it may lead you into starting a catering business, a product-based business such a cup cakes, or a restaurant. The possibilities are indeed numerous.

Be Passionate

Following your passions will make you a happier and more fulfilled person. Although we’ve focused primarily on employment, and business opportunities, developing your passion doesn’t have to be purely financial. If your passion is to be a better artist, person or writer, then follow those dreams even if they’re just for your own personal development. It will make you a lot happier and more contented with life.

One of the best pieces of advice one could hear is to do everything with passion. From the smallest gesture to the biggest action, acting with passion will make you stand out in the crowd. in turn, you’ll live a happier, more fulfilled life.

Challenges for the 21st Century


The challenges for the 21st Century we face are dramatic and without precedence in their scope and cumulative impact – the future is irretrievably uncertain.  To build a better life for yourself, to be more successful, we need to be aware of these challenges. It is ever more important that you take charge of your life. It will be easy to be left behind. 

From a daily perspective they will appear gradual and less noticeable, but look back at the extent of change you have experienced over the last ten, twenty, thirty years or more. For instance, smartphones are less than a decade old and the internet 20 odd years.

Yuval Noah Harari’s excellent book – 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is an essential read if you wish to understand the challenges of the 21st century more deeply about the significance of changes occurring around us. We live in a challenging era.

Recommended Reading

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Some areas of exponential change include:

  • Technology advancements in areas such as artificial intelligence and bio-engineering are only now beginning to enter the mainstream. Some of the potential impacts of these technologies which have been suggested include the creation of a “useless class” with no job potential as unskilled or semi-skilled labour is replaced through technology. Other predictions include the potential for the wealthy elite to dramatically extend their lifespans through bioengineering unavailable to the common man, thereby creating further class divisions.
  • The fabric of our society and the relationships we have with others is undergoing a fundamental transformation under the influence of social media and the internet. You’ve seen the people in restaurants looking and engaging with their phones rather than each other. Information is the new driver of wealth, and we are all open to manipulation like never before.
  • The world of commerce and finance will be completely changed with the inevitable application of blockchain technology. This will impact on all transactions, with consequent implications for all commercial activity. Will a more distributed transactional form replace the centralised structures of today? Or will the new elite find ways of garnering the power into a small collective as has happened with virtually every technological advancement since the agricultural revolution.
  • The threat of climate change and our international responses must also create new realities. Energy as an economic driver will inevitably shift from oil to alternates, with a potential disruption of the centralised distribution model in favour of decentralised and shared networks.
  • The belief in open market principles created globalisation and a shift from nationhood to continentalisation, leaving many countries behind (although the rise in populism, a la Trump & Brexit, may be signalling a reversal of this trend). Open market philosophies favour those at the centre and disadvantage those on the periphery. Will this continue?
  • Information has become the major financial asset of our time and has created a new breed of billionaires who are rated as the wealthiest ever, even more so than the oil barons of the 20th century. Today, the world’s richest 1% own half of the entire planet’s wealth, and the world’s richest 100 people together own more than the poorest 4 billion. This is currently more likely to get worse rather than more equitable.  The relative demise of the middle class and excessive wealth disparity seems to be taking us back to the feudal days. In the past this has led to revolution. The lack of confidence in the ruling elite is suggestive of further social disruption such as we are witnessing in France with the Yellow Jackets protests.

Against this backdrop of an uncertain jobs’ future, and social media which seems to have created an ever more personally competitive environment, it is even more important that we continue to grow and adapt as individuals.


8 Best Self-Help Audio Books To Greatly Improve Your Life

Audiobooks are a great way to consume information. In this post, we list the best self-help audio books that will greatly improve your life. We all love books, but sometimes it can be hard to sit through a full book without getting distracted. That is where audio books come in.

Imagine being able to absorb knowledge and information that will help you improve your life with minimal effort. You could listen to an audiobook while at the gym, doing some shopping, or just about any other activity. Not only will this make you more productive, but you will be also working towards your personal development goals.

Our Pick of the Best Self-Help Audio Books

#1 The Power of Habit – by Charles Duhigg

One of the best self-help audio books. If there’s one area of our lives that will have the biggest impact on our health, wealth and wellbeing, it is our habits. If you can learn to master your habits you will essentially improve any aspect of your life. The Power of Habit is written by the prize-winning reporter Charles Duhigg. He explains why habits exist and the exact steps we need to take to change those habits. The ideas presented in the audio book are backed by real research and are not simply random ideas put together.

Or if you prefer the printed form you can find it here.

#2 How to Win Friends and Influence People – by Dale Carnegie

If you can learn how to understand people, you can navigate any area of your life with ease. As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. The audiobook How to Win Friends and Influence People is a classic which has millions of people’s lives. It teaches the core principles you need to know in order to effectively handle people and to get people to like you. This book is eye-opening and its importance shouldn’t be underestimated. If your profession, school, job, or business requires dealing with people on a day to day basis (which is pretty much everyone) then this audio book is a must-have for you.

Or if you prefer the printed form you can find it here.

#3 The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – by Mark Manson

With over 2 million copies sold, this self-help audio book is both popular and insightful. It looks at happiness in an unconventional way. Being positive all the time is exhausting, and in all honesty, it is unrealistic. This audio book teaches us that it’s okay not to be positive all the time and we need to simply not give a **** sometimes. By doing this we will be able to live a more carefree life, which will then lead to more happiness. A lot of readers described this book as a wakeup call, and ‘just what they needed’. The audiobook also goes into how to effectively choose the things you want to care about, and how that will make it easier for you to be at peace with yourself.

Or if you prefer the printed form you can find it here.

#4 The Moment of Lift – How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates

Melinda’s unforgettable narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention-from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world-and ourselves.
Writing with emotion, candor, and grace, she introduces us to remarkable women and shows the power of connecting with one another.
When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.

“The Moment of Lift is an urgent call to courage. It changed how I think about myself, my family, my work, and what’s possible in the world. Melinda weaves together vulnerable, brave storytelling and compelling data to make this one of those rare books that you carry in your heart and mind long after the last page.”
– Brené Brown, Ph.D., author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Dare to Lead

Or if you prefer the printed form you can find it here.

#5 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – by Stephen R. Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a book that has been around for a while but is still relevant to so many people. The audio book by Stephen R. Covey has over 25 million copies sold and is a standard for anyone who reads self-help books. The book has influenced people all over the world, it has helped people change the way they look at life. Stephen R. Covey teaches us not only how to improve our careers and businesses, but also how to live a life that is with dignity and with respect.

The information in the audio book is insightful but also practical. It has knowledge which you can take away and begin applying to your life immediately with effective results. Overall the book is a must-read, but it is quite long. Which makes listening to the audiobook that much better!

Or if you prefer the printed form you can find it here.

#6 You Are a Badass – by Jen Sincero

Success coach and bestselling author Jen Sincero gives us a refreshing, straight to the point how-to guide on how to stop doubting yourself. The audio book teaches us to shape our lives how we want. Whether that’s by creating wealth or improving other areas of your life. The tone is this book has a bit of humor which makes it a more enjoyable read. If you read Jen Sincero’s books before you will be familiar with her edgy style of writing, and you will find inspiration and motivation in this book.

Or if you prefer the printed form you can find it here.

#7 The Success Principles – by Jake Canfield

With this audiobook, the author Jack Canfield gives us an updated edition of his classic bestseller, which teaches us to attain success in the digital age that we live in. The concepts in this book have been around for decades and are still relevant today. They have helped so many people get from where they are to where they want to be.

The book is packed full of inspiration and memorable stories of world-class athletes, CEOs and everyday people who have found success in their lives. The advice in this book is practical and aims to greatly improve your life.

Or if you prefer the printed form you can find it here.

#8 Awaken the Giant Within – by Tony Robbins

Best selling self-help audio book,” take control of your mental, emotional, physical and financial destiny!”

Certainly one of the best self-help audio books of all time. Tony Robbins explains that we all have a ‘giant within us.’ This audiobook is truly motivational and will inspire you to take action in your life. It forces you to essentially look at yourself honestly, and by realizing your flaws, you will want to change them and do something about it. The audiobook has been sold over 1 million times and has transformed the lives of so many. If you want to push through in lives and achieve what you are truly capable of then this book is highly recommended.

Or if you prefer the printed form you can find it here.


9 Effective Time Management Strategies To Use

In this post, we will list the top 9 effective time management strategies to use. If you can’t manage your time properly, you are going to struggle to get anything done. Managing time is extremely important because no matter how well you plan to do things if you don’t plan the time involved in completing necessary tasks then you are really going to struggle.

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Effective Time Management Strategies

#1 Organize Your Objectives

Objectives are basics for good time management. How many objectives do you have? On the other hand, if you don’t have any objectives, make sure you have at least one for the day.  Or if you find you have too many, cut them down.

Try to assign an object to every aspect of your life. On any given day, one objective will have top priority.

#2 Set a Value on Your Time

Settings values to your tasks can be one of the best ways to manage your time. By having clear time constraints, not only will you know roughly how long the task will take you, but you will also be able to plan how much you can achieve for a given day.

As time goes on you will get more accurate at knowing how long tasks will take you and you can be much more accurate when it comes to knowing how much you will get down.

#3 Review Your Performance

See what works for you and see what doesn’t. Reviewing your performance can be extremely helpful. It allows you to look back and understand what has been successful and what hasn’t been successful.

So, therefore, you can do more of the things that work and less of the things that don’t work.

“What get measured, gets done.”

#4 Don’t worry about perfection

Don’t waste time trying to be a perfectionist. Sometimes it’s better to just start working, that way you will find you will just get more done. You can review your performance afterward and adjust if need be. But don’t spend all your time planning if you’re never getting around to actually getting things done.

#5 Make Clear Daily Schedules 

If you make a list of what you will need to do throughout the day, you will find that you can fit a lot more than you thought. There are 24 hours in a day, at least try and make most of them productive.

#6 Divide Larger Tasks Into Smaller More Manageable Chunks 

If you have a huge task ahead of you, it may be a good idea to split it up. You will be more likely to do smaller tasks because it won’t seem as intimidating, and the more time you spend doing tasks the more you will get done.

#7 Set Deadlines

When we don’t have a clear due date, we are more likely to continuously put things off, if you set deadlines for everything you do, you will find that you will be meeting those deadlines. And of course, this will help you get more done with the time you have.

#8 Review Weekly   

Reviewing your week can be an excellent time management habit. It allows you to get a bigger picture of what you are achieving throughout the week, and you can improve this over time, bit by bit.

#9 Stay Focused

Right, so you’ve made a plan. Now you have to actually follow through. Don’t get lazy, you know what you need to do now do it! And stay focused until its complete.

Try to zone out from all the distractions around you, that means putting your phone aside and not checking emails when the temptation arises.


8 Office Must Haves For Small Businesses

So, what makes your office a better place? What will make your office environment a better place to work? Here we list what we consider the most important essentials – the 8 office must haves for small business.

The office is a place of work and is usually the place where your employees spend most of their time and energy. Your office should have the environment in which they feel good about themselves and things around them. It should have a calming influence on them while they work.

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8 Must Haves For Small Business Offices

A small business needs to have fast internet/Wi-Fi/servers:

In today’s world, the use of internet has increased a lot. All the companies are depending on the internet on a big scale. Information sharing is key to success to any business or firm.

An organization is linked with people around the world and they try their best to fulfill the needs of their customers. So of course, having an internet that can handle that is extremely important.

If an office has slow internet or WIFI the environment of the office will become irritating one. Which is not what you want to you or your staff.

A small business needs interactive whiteboards:

Even though we live in a digital age, it is not always best to stick to your computer screens.

Whiteboards can be a great way to add collaboration to the office and allow your team’s creative side to be more apparent. Get some whiteboards, some board pens and start innovating.

A small business needs great seats:

This one should be obvious, your staff spends 8 hours a day on a seat. It should at least be comfortable. You want your staff to be as productive as possible, they’re not going to be able to do that if there back is hurting.

So, there you go, dish out on some high-quality seats and you will see the returns in the long run.

A small business needs top microphones:

Microphones can be entertaining to your workers as they will be able to listen to music while they work.  But you should also ensure that it is to be used in a balanced way that doesn’t affect your employee performance negatively.

A small business needs a bookshelf

I think every office should have a lovely bookshelf made of wood and filled with books. When your employees have some free time, they can refer to one of the many books you will have.

Not only will it beautify your office, but it will allow your employees to gain more knowledge in their subject field in the form of high-quality books.

A small business needs recycling bins:

This may sound somewhat odd, yet by having recycling bins in offices it makes an impression on your staff and visitors that you truly think about nature and need to do what you can to save the planet. It also means that you want to keep things clean.

A small business needs scanners:

There are a lot of improvements in the technology as we move on and on with the modern world.

Every office requires scanners because you have to send and receive a lot of digital documents on daily basis. So, scanners are another must-have for a functional office.


How to be Self-Disciplined – 7 Sneaky Techniques

Being self-disciplined in life is a vital element in achieving success. In this post we give you seven of the best ways to help you become more self-disciplined. Most successful people are accomplished in these arts.  It plays a key role in almost every aspect of your life. We can see around us that people with self-discipline seem to live a much better life than those without it.

Most of us know what we need to do, but that’s not enough. Discipline is when we know what we need to do and we do it. No matter how hard it seems. Discipline is what will take you from where you are in life to where you actually want to be.

Self-Discipline in Your Life Begins With The Mastery Of Your Thoughts. If You Can’t Control What You Think, You Can’t Control What You Do.

Right, so we’ve established discipline is important. So how do we get some more of it? Well, like anything else in life, discipline can be improved and learned. Here we will list the 7 best ways to become self-disciplined.

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How To Be Self Disciplined In Life

#1 Set Clear Objectives

I’m sure you’ve heard this over and over again. Setting clear objectives is key, you should have a realistic vision of what you would like to achieve. You should likewise have a plan that tells you the exact steps needed to achieve your goal.

If we don’t consider this, and we start us without a fixed plan of what we want to achieve, we can lose our motivation very easily.

You need to be decisive and make a decision. Then you should divide your plan into different steps. You should make your efforts in passing those steps and to move closer to your goal. That way you remove all ambiguity from your goal and all your mental energy is used on actually achieving your goal.

#2 Know your Weaknesses

We all have weaknesses. It can be anything. It can be food and it can be excessive use of social media. It can be video games or even a bit of cheeky Netflix.

Basically, our weaknesses may stop us from doing the thing we really want to do. And if we understand our weaknesses, it will be much easier for us to work on them.

So when you have that important report you need to complete, and you feel your weakness of social media creeping in, you can quickly notice it, and stop it before it gets a chance to change your actions.

#3 Don’t Over Complicate Things

As a human being, we sometimes try to be to be over complicating things. Sometimes what we need to achieve is pretty simple, but we make it much harder than it actually needs to be. The more complicated we make things, the harder it will be for us to do it in the moment. It will just be too much mental energy for us.

#4 Remain Patient in Times of Stress

Stress can cause us to lose patience. In that moment of stress, we may fall into a behavior that doesn’t align with our goals and our vision. This can be called an escape behavior. It is your body trying to escape the feeling of discomfort.

However, the feeling of stress will fade away if we ignore it. If you just push through those feelings, and you don’t give in to an escape behavior, your future self will thank you. And you will realize it’s not actually that bad.

#5 Visualize Results

Nothing motivates someone more than a reward they will get out of it. When we want to achieve something, we need to think about what we will actually achieve, and this needs to be in great detail.

So, for example, if you need to get to the gym, think about the amazing body you will have if you’re consistent. When you visualize that goal, you are much more likely to push through because the reward seems much more real to you in that moment.

#6 Make it a Habit

Although white-knuckle willpower sometimes works, it will be beaten by habits every time. Forming habits is probably the easiest way to be disciplined in the long run. If you do something for 62 days it becomes a habit. This means your body will just do it naturally.

Some might find it hard to actually get to that 62-day mark, so a trick you can use is starting with something easy and working your way up. For example, if you’re a writer, you can start by writing 15 minutes a day, then move up to 20, then 25, you get the idea.

#7 Eat healthily and often

The things about being self-disciplined in life is if you do it in one area of your life. It usually reflects on others. One thing you can and should be doing is eating healthy. When you teach yourself the discipline to eat healthy, you find that you will be making better decisions that will benefit you in the long run.

Also, eating healthy will benefit you in general. You will have more energy and you will feel better too!

Bottom Line

Self-discipline is the one thing that separates those who achieve and those who don’t. Learning to control can be the most important factor to changing our lives for the better. If you find it hard to be self disciplined in your life, hopefully these 7 tips will help you.


7 Reasons Why Working Remotely Just Makes Sense

Working remotely is increasing faster than you may think. Working remotely has had a positive impact on the productivity of the workers as it gives them more independence.

We live in a day and age where things really have changed a lot. Even the way companies are employing staff is changing day by day. People want to work from home and it’s becoming apparent that there is no good reason for companies not to allow employees to work from home.

Also known as telecommuting, it is so useful for both employees and company. Companies prefer that the workers use their own resources, internet and working space as this costs the company money. On the other hand, employees prefer that they make their own schedule and they don’t have to travel to an office and sit in a fixed seat and work from 9 to 5. By following their own routine workers manage to give much more to the company as they are able to take care of themselves too. In this post, we will list the 8 great benefits of working remotely.

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7 benefits of working remotely for employers and employees

1. Working from home will increase employee productivity

When you allow a worker to work from home and to telecommute their productivity increases. They won’t have to worry about getting to the office on time or missing the train. This allows the employees to concentrate on the work far more efficiently.

Also, it saves time since they don’t have set breaks and going and the commute time is no longer existent. The employee can better manage their own breaks as they understand their schedule will breaks at a right time, while at the same time completing all the work that needs completing.

2. Working remotely will save both time and money

So, as stated in the previous point, you will certainly save time working from home. Since you do not have to travel there is no commute time. You don’t really waste time waking up early, to get your suit and tie on, I mean you could work in your pajamas all day. This gives you more time to actually do the work you’re paid to do.

Saving time goes hand in hand with saving money. First of all, travel expenses are greatly reduced. Secondly, keeping up with a few new suits every once in a while may be costly.

Also, let us not forget, when working from home you will probably spend less money on food as you have everything in your kitchen. Whereas at work you will be more inclined to buy a coffee and a bagel every morning.

3. Working from home leads to less sick days for employees

As you know, when you work in an office you have to follow a schedule and being human, it’s eventually going to be tough on you. You will get sick, many workers tend to get sick by the heavy workload at the office hours.

So, eventually, they take a leave and don’t work.

On the other hand when you work from home. You will balance everything according to your health. The chances of falling sick decreases by a lot. You can work consistently for a long period of time, It will help you to decrease your absent rate. This will obviously benefit you and the company you work for.

4. Working remotely gives you more opportunities to learn

Another benefit of working remotely is the fact that you will have the chance to learn more. How will that happen I hear you ask? Well, then follow your own schedule and you finish on time, you will have more time for personal development.

On the other hand in an office situation, if you finish on time you will get assigned more work, this is what leads to many employees dragging their workload. So, in other words, working from home allows you to push for free time so you can improve yourself and in turn improve the effectiveness throughout your job.

5. Working remotely is more eco-friendly

This really ties in with a lot of the other points on this list, working from home is great for the environment. Yep, that’s one you can tell your boss. On top of the fact that you won’t be driving to work, releasing pollution into the atmosphere, there is also a lot of power being utilized to run the workplace, alongside office gear, and cash spent on office supplies, similar to paper and ink.

Maybe as an individual that won’t make much of a difference, but a company with a large workforce of remote workers will certainly be better for the environment.

As a remote boss, every individual from your workforce who telecommutes enormously lessens his carbon impression by not commuting into the workplace. It’s in your hands!

6. Working from home leads fitter and healthier staff

With additional time and energy in their workday, many telecommuters frequently push themselves towards more physical exercise, in comparison to the typical office worker. This is, of course, understandable, as they have that extra energy and they need to output it somewhere. This will lead to better efficiency in their work as a healthier staff is a happier staff.

7. Working remotely increases staff loyalty

When you give your workers the trust and capacity to work as they please and to adjust their professional life and their own life according to whats comfortable for them, a fascinating thing happens: they end up noticeably appreciative.

So, their appreciation shows itself as reliability towards the organization. A dependable staff gives extraordinary efficiency and excellent turnover.

Your staff will appreciate the trust you have put in them and they will want to return the favor. They will work harder for you, and you will have more results.

So to conclude…

Remote work may not be completely new, but rather it is a positive pattern developing in the world of work. As remote work turns into the new standard, it’s essential that experts and managers have the assets and hardware to associate and work together with their group.
Surely, Remote work gives your workers more freedom to do the work in their own way. Just because things have always been done a certain way doesn’t mean its the best way, maybe it’s time to incorporate working remotely into your business or organization.


The Best Countries For Expats To Live In

Got plans to travel abroad to start life afresh? If yes, what are the best countries for expats to live in?  You’re not alone in dreaming of working abroad.  There are a whole lot of people out there who have dreams of living or working outside of their own countries. However, it’s important to note that your big move will affect just about every aspect of your life including your finances, health, and family. That being said, you would want to do your homework before packing your bags and hitting the airport.

The good news? You can get all the information you need from us — we look at many different countries and assess them on the aspects that make them our choice as the best countries for expats.

So now what? Well, it’s time to check out the top ten countries to live in as an expat. Let’s dive in!

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Top 10 Countries for Expats To Live In

10. Sweden

Sweden’s good economy and impressive family benefits gave it the chance to earn a position on this top 10 list. However, the country lagged behind on overall life experience causing it to fall behind other countries.

9. Austria

Set in the heart of Europe, Austria boasts a stunning scenery as well as a high quality of living. The country ranked highly in economics and overall experience but fell short on education and family experience.

8. Norway

Ah yes, good old Norway — it would have achieved a higher stop, however, failing to keep up with overall life experience did it no justice. Its best qualities include an overall safe environment for families and a strong economy.

7. New Zealand

New Zealand is definitely one of the most desirable countries for expats. The country won the heart of expats as up to 58% moved there to improve their quality of life — its stunning landscapes are equal to none. However, New Zealand couldn’t keep up with economics causing it too far behind other ten countries.

6. Germany

Germany is on this top 10 list thanks to its strong economy, good pay and impressive business prospects. It, however, slipped out of third place after falling short on overall life experience.

5. The Netherlands

The Netherlands comes in ahead of other countries in regard to family experience — it’s even better than Singapore which happens to be one of the overall best. However, the country’s general safety and quality of education shot it down a few spots this year.

4. Canada

According to a survey conducted in 2017, Canada is the best bet for expats looking for a home away from home. Up to 65% of expats say their quality of life is better after moving and three quarters say they’ve gotten used to the local culture ever since moving to the country.

3. Australia

Australia sits high in regards to overall life experience, and its good weather is a big plus. Expats can also look forward to earning well here as they’re likely to take in an average annual income of $102,813.

2. Singapore

This Country is on this list for a good reason. The city sits in this position because of its impressive performance across the full range of economic, experience and family criteria.

Singapore stands high when it comes to better earnings and promising job prospects. Moreover, the average yearly salary comes in at $117,904 which is up to $18,000 higher than what other expats earn globally. It’s however important to note that the higher earning potential in Singapore attracts a higher cost of living.

1. The United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates performed excellently on its economics as expats can take in average annual earnings of $127,197. And it is certainly one of the most popular countries for expats. This is why it earned the number one spot on our list of the best countries for expats to live in.

So, there you have it! These are the top ten countries you can live in as an expat — it’s now up to you to stick with the one that works best for you. Safe travels!

 


Top 10 Richest Countries In The World

In today’s ‘top 10 list’, we are looking at the top 10 richest countries in the world by per capita income (determined by the International Monetary Fund 2016). The list is based on gross domestic product at purchasing power parity per capita.

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10. San Marino

San Marino is the smallest republic of the entire world, yet most people don’t know it exists. It has a population of 33400 and the majority language spoken is Italian. It has landed a spot on our top 10 list with a GDP (PPP) per Capita of $64,443.


9. Switzerland

Switzerland is number 9 on the list with a GDP (PPP) per Capita of $59,561. Switzerland (officially the Swiss Confederation) is a top spot for expats, and it’s no surprise, with their excellent health service and great public transportation.


8. United Arab Emirates

This should not come as a surprise. United Arab Emirates, known for one of the best airlines in the world, and home to one of the fastest growing cities in the world, Dubai. When thinking of United Arab Emirates, luxury definitely comes to mind, and it’s no surprise they’re number 8 on this list with $67,231 GDP (PPP) per Capita.


7. Ireland

You may be surprised but Ireland is on this list of the richest countries. With an impressive GDP (PPP) per capita of $69231. The main industries that give its economy a boost are textiles, food production and mining.


6. Norway

A country that gets over 90% of its electricity from hydroelectric power, Norway is a Scandinavian country full of mountains, glaciers, and greenery. It’s $69,249 GDP (PPP) per capita is driven by fishing, natural resources and natural gas.


5. Kuwait

Kuwait is a country located in Western Asia on the tip of the Persian Gulf. It’s neighbors with Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It is a relatively small and open economy which enjoys a $71,887 GDP (PPP) per capita. It also has the highest value currency.


4. Brunei

Not many people would think that Brunei is  one of the richest countries in the world, but Brunei boasts an impressive $76,884 GDP (PPP) per capita. Brunei is a sovereign state found on the north coast of the island of Borneo, which is located in Southeast Asia. Its economy is supported by crude oil and natural gas. However, like other oil rich countries, it has shown some progress in moving the economy away from just oil and gas.


3. Singapore

Singapore is a tiny state which has an impressive $87,855 GDP (PPP) per capita, this is 5 times the world Average. The country owes its success to an impressive outlook on business that promotes growth and innovation. The country also chemical export industry and financial sector.


2. Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a symbol of wealth. It is a landlocked country neighboring Belgium, Germany, and France. Its financial industry is a thriving one which accounts for its incredibly high GDP (PPP) per capita of $104,003.


1. Qatar

If wealth is power, then Qatar has a lot of it. With a GDP (PPP) per capita of $127,660, Qatar owes a lot of this to a well-developed oil exploration industry. Its petroleum industry alone accounts for the majority of its government revenue.


12 YouTube Channels To Make You Smarter

Look, we all want to be smarter. And of course articles provide a lot of value, but it is not the only way of finding the best information out there. In fact, if you’re not watching videos, you could be missing out. Videos provide us with instant and easy to understand information that some of us simply don’t get from reading. Anyhow, the 12 youtube channels on this list are perfect if you want to develop yourself, get smarter and simply have more knowledge at your disposal, enjoy!

If you enjoyed this post, here are some of our other posts you may like…

Youtube channels to make you smarter

1. Ted Talks

It’s no surprise that Ted Talks is on this list. Witness the worlds greatest minds explain topics they are passionate about and have dedicated their lives to. Any topic you could think of is probably covered. From science to business, to global issues. This is one resource you want to utilize the hell out of!

2. ASAP Science

As the name suggests, ASAP science gives you short straight to the point videos that don’t hold back any information. These short videos can be pretty random but are super interesting. Take these video on how much sleep someone actually needs, or crazy ways social media is changing your brain. Before you know it, hours would go by with you watching video after video.

3. Seeker

This channel is a mesh between the future, technology and thought to provoke ideas. Seeker is definitely for those who SEEK knowledge. The videos are really thought to provoke and answer questions that you would have probably never thought about. The videos on this channel will expand your horizons and give you plenty to think about when you’re daydreaming throughout your day.

4. Crash Course

Aimed at young adults and teens, this channel also brings a lot of value to adults. The channel is pretty quirky and down to earth. It also throws in a joke here and there to keep the experience fun and upbeat. The topics covered in the videos range from economics to physics to philosophy and much more.

5. How Stuff Works

Well, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what this channel is about. If you’re a curious individual this channel should be right up your alley. It doesn’t stick to one topic either, by watching these videos you will definitely be a more knowledgeable well-rounded individual!

6.Ted-Ed

Most of us are familiar with Ted Talks, however, less of us would know about Ted Ed. Ted-Ed is a useful resource if you prefer a presentation format rather than listening to someone talk on stage. The topics covered on the channel aren’t limited to any specific category either, there is no doubt that these videos will get your brain thinking. And you will certainly be an overall smarter person by the end of it!

7. Numberphile

This one is for the maths people! Numberphile is a great channel about (you guessed it) numbers. There’s not much more to say here, but if you’re into interesting videos about numbers then this one is definitely one to add to your watch list.

8. List25

We really like this one! List25 really does give you the most answers to the most random topics. Watching video after video can be really addictive. It’s a fun YouTube channel that will educate you in the process. I mean, who doesn’t want to know the ’25 forbidden places you’re not allowed to visit’ or the ’25 dumbest criminals ever caught’

9. CGP Grey

Another one of those channels that explain some of the most complicated answers out there in a simple enough to understand format. They mostly use stick figures and animations, but it works surprisingly well. The main topics covered are politics, geography, and culture.

10. THINKR

Thinkr is a YouTube channel dedicated to giving you access to ideas and stories that will ‘change your mind.’ The content aims to engage, inform and inspire. If you are someone who seeks knowledge in new and exciting ways then you should definitely give this channel a chance. THINKR will definitely expand your thinking.

11. Big Think

Big think is full of interesting content including lots of interviews with smart people, or ‘big thinkers’. So if you want to get smarter and faster in the knowledge economy then you should certainly give them a try. Big think is tailored to the most critical topics of the 21st century, and by being in the loop you will definitely have an edge on becoming successful

12. V sauce

V sauce is a collection of 3 channels. It explored science, technology, and philosophy. The videos are well scripted and really interesting. V sauce has over a 12 million followers and answers the most random questions like ‘what if the sun disappeared?’ Michael Stevens, the creator, and host of V sauce does a really good job of going into great detail and depth in his videos, but in a way that’s captivating to the audience.


How Long Will It Take Me To Get To Work? (Not What You Think)

If you somehow landed on this page by searching ‘how long will it take me to get to work?’ then you’re probably someone who isn’t always on time. Let me start by saying being late isn’t a good feeling. It makes you feel like you’re not doing the best job you can do, and it doesn’t make you look good in front of your colleagues or your boss.

If you’re constantly late, then you are probably miscalculating how long will it take to get to work. However, stress no more as we will now find solutions to fix this. In this post, we will figure out exactly how long it will take for you to get to work and we will give you 5 top tips to ensure that you are never late again.

Related: 9 Effective Time Management Strategies You Need To Use

How long will it take me to get to work?

Enter the address from your home location to work and Google will usually work out the most accurate time it takes for you to get to work. ‘How long will it take me to get to work’ calculator. 

So first things first. We need to find out how long it really takes you to get to work. Because if we can’t answer that question, we won’t know what time you will get to work. You need to factor in any contingencies, for example, if you take public transportation, is there any chance you will miss your bus or train and so on. If you find that you are always arriving 5 minutes late, then the solution can’t be simpler. Just leave 10 minutes earlier and that will guarantee that you will always arrive on time. Also, you need to factor in traffic, simply use google maps to do this.

5 tips that will help you get to work quicker

1. Make a habit out of it

Have you ever heard the saying, if you do something for 3 weeks, it becomes a habit? Well, there is certainly truth to that. At first, waking up on time and leaving early may be a chore. But if you stick through it for that first couple of weeks, your body will eventually become accustomed to it. You will find that you will now be constantly arriving on time to work on your own accord. You will no longer be wondering into your office 5 minutes late hoping your boss doesn’t spot you.

2. If you’re not 10 minutes early, then you’re late

When planning how long it will take you to get to work, always add extra time for contingencies. Things will always go wrong.

For some people, the reason they are always late is that they simply leave just on time. If it takes them exactly 30 minutes to get to work, they will step out of the door 30 minutes before they are due to arrive. The problem with this is you may be on time, however for every few times you are on time, you’re gonna be late because of unforeseen circumstances.

Being constantly on time is far better than being on time occasionally because it gives off a certain image. It makes you seem reliable, and it makes you seem like you are on top of things. These are all things your boss or your employer will value highly. And when it comes to picking someone for that next pay rise or promotion, you will be at the top of the list!

3. Prepare yourself the night before

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, ‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’. This saying holds a lot of weight in this situation. As we have already established sometimes things go wrong, sometimes you will forget something and sometimes you will make mistakes.

However, if you plan your journey the day before then you will be really reducing that margin for error. For example, if there are delays on a train you are taking the next day, by simply preparing the day before you will be able to plan a different route of taking a different form of transport.

4. Move your alarm away from your bed

When your alarm rings, I’m sure it can be extremely easy to just push that snooze button. Getting out of bed could be the most uncomfortable thing for you to do at that moment. In fact, simply getting out of bed can be the biggest challenge for some of us.

However, by simply moving your alarm away from your bed, yet still close enough where you can hear it, you are doing something very clever. What you’re doing is forcing yourself out of bed. And then, when you actually get out of bed to turn off that alarm, you will find that you are already up. So you might as well stay up.

5. Note down why you were late

As humans, we have the tendency to miss things that are most obvious to us. If you are constantly late no matter what you try then you should really try this tip. By keeping a note of the reasons why you are constantly late you will find that you can better identify trends or habits that you seem to be caught up in.

And by simply eliminating those habits it may even cause you to be on time. It is much easier to fix something when you accurately know what the problem is.

So that concludes our post on ‘How long will it take me to get to work – with 5 improvement tips,’ do you have any other tips that we’ve missed out? Feel free to leave them in the comments. Also if you have a friend or colleague who’s always late why not share this post with them?