Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement

Multi-Tasking – Is It Beneficial Or Detrimental?

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Multi-tasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.     

Gary W. Keller

Not too long ago, multitasking was considered the thing to do. It was encouraged, and you heard people comment, even brag, about how good they were at it.

But the thinking has changed on that theory. No, multitasking is not the best practice for us. It is not an efficient way to work. It is now considered counterproductive.

There is now a new word—multitasking is now called switch-tasking. When I first researched the terms, I expected them to have two different meanings. After reading several articles, I found there is no difference. As a reference, you can read “Switchtasking Versus Multitasking. What Is The Difference?” written by Dave Crenshaw. https://davecrenshaw.com/switchtasking-versus-multitasking-what-is-the-difference-2/

He stated in his article, ” The generally accepted answer was incorrect, which was that switchtasking is when you stop and switch your attention back and forth whereas multitasking is when you are trying to do multiple things at the same time.  The correct answer is that they are the same—there is no difference. Switchtasking is the word I created to describe what is really taking place when people attempt to multitask.”

Neither theory is beneficial, and the emphasis should be doing, and completing each task by itself, without switching gears and also working on something else at the same time.

Giving your full attention to anything will have a better outcome. Doing one thing at a time allows you to do it properly, eliminating the need to do it over a second or third time.

We all multitask on some level but think about doing two simple tasks at the same time. The question is, are we efficient? Something as easy as reading an email while talking on the phone. Are you understanding the email, and actively listening to the conversation? Do you have to stop and ask them to repeat something they said or reread the email to get clarification? It is not productive, yet we do it all the time.

Multitasking divides your attention and leads to confusion and weakened focus.     

Deepak Chopra

We are wasting time. It is more efficient to set aside a specific time each day to view our email. The first thing in the morning is a good time to scan and respond to the most important messages that may affect the rest of your day. Then close your email and do not revisit until later in the day. If you keep your email open and keep scanning it, you are wasting time; it is a distraction.

When you are working, your cell phone should be turned off. Each time you look at your phone, you may be missing something. We make enough brain vacations on our own when we let our minds wander during a meeting, a presentation, or when we are in a conversation. We do not need the added distraction of our phone.

We should give our undivided attention to, virtually, everything we do. If it is worth doing, it deserves our concentration and our best effort.

Multitasking slows us down. We are less effective and take more time trying to do two things at once.

Experts say that there is a 40% loss in productivity when we multitask. We may be able to handle two less complicated tasks without too many errors or wasting too much time; although this is never a good practice. However, when you are attempting to complete more critical tasks, the number of mistakes you make increases.

There is one effect I think we will all recognize and understand; stress. When we multitask, we raise our heart rate and our stress level. Our brains respond by pumping out adrenaline and stress hormones, which over time, are not healthy and can cause significant health problems, such as heart disease..

Our understanding decreases. When we continuously switch from task to task, our comprehension level drops. Multitasking causes us to miss some of the critical ideas and information, which means we are not focusing on the details.

Studies have shown that multitaskers have so much going on in their heads that they often find it harder to daydream and generate spontaneous “aha moments”. Creative thinking means you may produce unique ideas, putting a new twist on the standard way of thinking. That is a good thing because you will be more energized at work, and you will not be creating cookie-cutter ideas, but something new and different.

The more you multitask, the less deliberative you become; the less able to think and reason out a problem.

Nicholas Carr

The bottom line is each time you interrupt your thought process, you are wasting time. When this is done multiple times throughout the day, there can be a significant impact on your productivity.

Look for and do everything you can; to plan and schedule your workday. Work to continually eliminate the unnecessary activities in such a way that they do not negatively impact the team you are working with or yourself.

Most of the time multitasking is an illusion. You think you are multitasking but in reality you’re actually wasting time switching from one task to another.

Bosco Tjan

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day!

Posted in Inspiration, Learning, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Success

7 Habits To Help You Be Successful In Business

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The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.”

— Franklin D. Roosevelt

Everyone wants to be successful. It is the habits we consciously learn and maintain that will bring us success; whether it is in business or our personal life.

Developing those habits may require some effort on our part; some may be easy and others, not so much. Like everything else, the energy we put into learning new habits will determine our success.

So what do we need to do?

  • Start your day off in a positive, energized mode. There are a few things you can do such, as exercise. Exercise can clear your head, and it allows you to visualize your day. I have found it is a great time to solve problems or develop ideas. It does not matter what form of exercise. It can be yoga, running, or weight lifting; any activity that gets your blood flowing.
  • Have a focus list for the day. Make it the night before and come back to it first thing in the morning. The list should include everything you want to accomplish for the day. It could also include a run down of what projects you will be working on that week. Exercise should be on the list, so if you have already done that, you can check it off. You have already started your day on a positive note. Move on to the next thing on the list.
  • As part of your focus list, you should decide what the top three jobs are for the day and then prioritize them again. Which is the hardest? Do that first, then move on to the next hardest and then to number three— that way, you will have completed the essential items. Then you can spend the rest of the day checking off as many of the other jobs as your time allows.
  • Decide to change your attitude toward email, social media, and phone calls. You can get lost in the unnecessary. Check you email and phone messages at designated times. Perhaps first thing in the morning and once again later in the day. Respond only to what is necessary, then move back to your focus list so you can complete the more important aspects of your job. If necessary you can finish your day completing those tasks.
  • Practice mindfulness. Live in the moment. Yesterday is gone, so do not dwell there. Tomorrow is the future, so although it is nice to dream about the success you want to have, you need to do your best job today. You will be prepared for the future by being successful today.
  • Focus on self-improvement by continuing to learn and develop yourself. Always read, take classes, watch webinars. We are never too old to learn. Learning is fun and will make you more interesting. Being open to change and learning new things makes you more valuable at work.
  • Always develop the people that work for you. Treat them with respect, smile, and have meaningful conversations. Ask if you can help; be a mentor. Create a plan which gives them a road map of what they need to learn to move forward. Always give good, honest feedback.

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.

Vince Lombardi

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day!

Posted in Communication, Inspiration, Learning, Life, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement

5 Steps To Be Successful As An Introvert In Business

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Solitude matters, and for some people, it’s the air they breathe.”

Susan Cain

Being successful at work is not easy, and for some of us, it is even more difficult because we have an introverted personality.

What exactly is an introverted personality? If you are an introvert, you already understand, but for clarification here is the definition from Vocabulary.com:  It describes a person who tends to turn inward mentally. Introverts sometimes avoid large groups of people, feeling more energized by time alone. 

I am an introvert, and I like it. I prefer the company of myself and a few select people. I am OK being by myself, and I do prefer it. I am content.

While working, it was difficult for me. I did not fit the mold. I was not outgoing enough; I did not like chit chat or mingling. It was a long-term effort for me to adjust and to become successful.

I was successful because I was intelligent, observant, and willing to work hard by spending extra time and being more thorough. I was polite to everyone and respectful of others. I learned to walk the walk and talk the talk. Sometimes, that made me very uncomfortable.

Many times, introverts are often passed over at work for their more flashy co-workers. Your work has to be very, very good, and you have to be very determined to succeed. If you make your work shine enough, it can by-pass the glitter of an extrovert who does not put forth the determined effort required. You can shine; it is just harder for people to recognize.

You have to work hard and have an outstanding work ethic, but other actions will help you move forward.

Your interpersonal skills should be a top priority. You have to be able to read and understand the actions of others. What is their body language telling you? Their expressions and body movements will tell a story, and you will be able to gauge their reaction to you. Pay attention because this is a tool for you to use. If you want to be successful, you have to build a rapport with the people at the top. They have to feel comfortable around you, but they also want you to be comfortable as well. If you are comfortable, they will have confidence in your ability to interact with customers.

To summarize, here are 5 steps to take that will help you be successful at work:

  • Develop your non-verbal communication. – Make eye contact and learn to walk into a room with your head held high. Do not slouch or lean forward or look down; it will give off a negative impression. Walk into a room and zero in on someone, make eye contact and smile. Walk up to someone and extend your hand. Fake it until you make it. Practice if you have to. Every time you get up from your desk straighten your back, stand straight and smile; even when there is no one around.
  • Develop your speaking skills. – Again, practice if you have to. Watch other people who are successful and listen when they speak. The words you use, the way you phrase your words, and the tone of your voice will speak volumes. Listen to other public speakers. Go online and search for videos of professional speakers. Take a speaking course or join Toastmasters. I took a college speech class, and I am so happy I did because, my job, as I became more successful, required me to do presentations and give speeches. Practice, practice, practice – stand in front of a mirror and record yourself. Listening to your self can be eye-opening.
  • Be more social.- Being more social was challenging for me, and I never became comfortable. It is, however, essential. Force yourself to chit-chat. Get up from your desk and go out of your way to interact with other people. It was much easier for me to talk casually with my customers than my co-workers. It was more difficult to have casual conversations with higher-level people in the organization. The more I cared, based on my perception of their importance, the more difficult it was for me to relax. Remember, they are just people, and they are not better than you. Try to change your perspective.
  • Did I mention Smiling? Of course, I did, but it is so important. It makes you more comfortable, and it relaxes the other person as well. When you smile, you appear more confident. It also makes us appear more approachable. Think about it; who are you more easily drawn to when you walk into a room? Is it the person who looks away, keeps a straight face, and is leaning forward in their chair or is it the person who looks up, makes eye contact, and smiles. The smile wins every time.
  • Be a Chameleon.- When you are an introvert, it is so comfortable to be by ourselves, but when working in a business environment, it is necessary to act more like an extrovert. It is possible, and in some situations, it is easy and can feel comfortable. As always, practice makes perfect. When you know you will be required to mingle with others, be they your equals or the higher-ups, think ahead to topics of conversations you can use. If you know someone has a particular interest, use that, and if you don’t know, then ask them. Ask them open-ended questions that will get them speaking. The more you do this, the more comfortable you will become in those situations.

Gather in all your skills, work hard, be consistent, and continuously look for ways to improve. Introverts bring a great deal to the table and are valuable assets in a business. Practice and refine extrovert actions and add them to the mix. You can be successful.

In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day.

Posted in Communication, Personal Development, Potential, Self Improvement, Success

The Psychological Effect Of Appearance And Communication Skills On Each Of Us

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Are you aware of the effect you have when you walk into a room full of people?

“The time men spend in trying to impress others they could spend in doing the things by which others would be impressed.”

~ Frank Romer

When someone walks into a room, all eyes will turn, and within seconds a judgment will be made.

Sometimes it is “Wowser, look at him!” Other times you look away; not impressed.

What sparks the “Wow” response? Why does your gaze linger? Is it the clothes, or is it something else? What do you see and what do you feel?

Sometimes there is an essence, a magnetism; maybe a sexual response.

Certainly, the clothes matter and in business, you will hear the statement, “dress for success” often. There is a psychological reason for it. Your clothing affects how you act and feel. When you dress well, and you know you look good, your confidence level is higher, and you perform better. Your appearance will also have a psychological effect on others; the people you work with, your customers, and virtually anyone in the room.

The English idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover” is a metaphorical phrase that means one shouldn’t prejudge the worth or value of something by its outward appearance alone.

What we wear paints a picture, but the image we present is so much more than the clothes we wear.

When you walk into a room, you do so with intent. What is lurking inside that veneered cover? What else is important?

What happens when you have a conversation and have to answer a question? Your response and your ability to articulate can make or break you. If your appearance is a facade, you are in trouble; that essence you gave off just evaporated into thin air.

A voice can also be magnetic and can draw someone in, relax, or excite them. The words you choose are essential and can show your knowledge and intelligence, but the tone of your voice is equally important. A clear, confident voice spoken in a well-modulated tone will have a positive impact on the listener.

As soon as you are in a conversation with someone, the ability to be a good listener is imperative. No discussion is one-sided. If you want to impress someone, stop talking, ask them a question, and let them talk. Watch the body language of the other person and ask them clarifying questions. Make eye contact and perhaps lean in toward the other person indicating your interest in them and their opinion.

The way you walk into the room and the way you speak is affected by your attitude. You have probably heard the term, “fake it till you make it.” I would not recommend attempting to fake your attitude. Your attitude shines through virtually everything you do. It shows in your facial expression, your eyes, your smile, body position, and movements, to name just a few. Your attitude is transparent. You cannot fake being positive or energetic. You can try, but I would not advise it. Organizations look for people who have a passion for life and show their enthusiasm through their actions and words. You cannot fake that!

We should all be excellent at communication, but we are not. Communication is a learned skill and no one is perfect. There are many simple techniques which you can practice each day to become better.

Some of the most common mistakes and the most irritating in my opinion are people who do not look at me when I am speaking. You can see that they are not listening and are already thinking about what they are going to say. Worse yet is being interrupted, or having someone walk away, while I am still talking. Yes, people do that!

Don’t do that. Instead, look for ways to improve.

Here a few tips:

  • Spend more time listening, not talking.
  • Focus on the other person, make eye contact, move toward them, not away.
  • Ask plenty of questions and then clarify their intent.
  • Never interrupt.
  • Avoid finishing someone’s sentence.
  • When you are unsure of what the other person is saying, pause when they are done speaking. Let them know you want to clarify and then ask them a question.
  • Do not think about what you are going to reply until the other person has stopped talking.

How you dress, your non-verbal cues, and how you speak are all integral parts of how you communicate. Do them each with great care. We take our suits to the dry cleaners and we press our shirts. We should do the same with our verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

“One man is more concerned with the impression he makes on the rest of mankind, another with the impression the rest of mankind makes on him.”

~ Arthur Schopenhauer

As always, thank ou for reading my blog. Have a successful day.

This article was originally published at Medium.com, https://medium.com/@lindalatt

Posted in Communication, Curiosity, Inspiration, Learning, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

How To Be Successful As An Introvert, I Was, So Can You!

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“Don’t underestimate me because I’m quiet. I know more than I say, think more than I speak and observe more than you know.”

~ Michaela Chung

The quiet one, I was the quiet child who became the quiet adult. I always enjoyed being alone and you could often find me buried in a book. I was comfortable and content.

There was nothing wrong with me, but I was worrisome for my mother. She felt I was too quiet. I went to a small parochial school in a nearby town, and I had no friends near home. My quietness became an issue. As a result, my parents decided to send me to the local school.

Did I make friends? Sure, but it made no difference to me. I was who I was. In my mind, there was no problem, ever. It was my mother’s problem, not mine. I did the same crazy things other kids did. However, I was still the kid who was quiet and spent most of my time reading. To me, that was a perfect world.

Slowly, as I got a little older, I became a little bit more open. Not that much, but it started to become more necessary. Group discussions, debate sessions, reading something I had written to the whole class, all made me squirmy and uncomfortable, but I had to do it.

So the progression began from school and then to work. I always did well, and my performance reviews were always good. I was smart, I was determined, and I was focused. Give me an assignment, and I was committed to doing the best job I could, even going beyond what was required. I always excelled at anything written. It was the group interaction where I was uncomfortable.

That pretty much describes an introvert. Introverts may be quiet, but we are great listeners. When we speak, we give well thought out answers. We are very observant and may learn more about someone by just watching their body language. We may not say much, but we are always focused and are very aware of everything that is going on around us.

Introverts are self-sufficient because we like being by ourselves. We like figuring things out by ourselves. We are great thinkers, and we love to read, are curious and eager to learn new things.

People will refer to us as a reserved person, quiet, thoughtful, and they may think it is difficult to get to know us. We do prefer to sit back and observe, and we are uncomfortable drawing attention to ourselves. I remember it so well when I would be in a meeting listening to everyone else, and I wanted to ask a question or offer an idea but I just could not.

So how do introverts succeed in business?

After a meeting, I would sometimes send an email, call, or stop by someone’s office for a one on one conversation. I would say that I had taken some notes, thought about it, and had developed a plan that I would like to discuss. There was safety with that approach because I did not have to talk in front of the whole group.

I slowly learned to step outside of my comfort zone by using that technique. I decided to take a speech class. Speaking in front of a group is one of the biggest fears people have. It was a small class, which made it much easier, and I worked hard to be more comfortable. Every time I had to present something in class, I would practice. I would have something prepared, and I would stand in front of a mirror and do it over and over. That made it so much easier. That practice served me well going forward in my career.

The most challenging experiences I had were the work-related social get-together’s. I was required to attend, and it was excruciating. I hated small talk, and I could not wait for it to be over. There was nothing easy about it.

I would try to find one or two people that I was friendly with, or I knew they felt the same way I did. I even tried to think of things I could ask people ahead of time. If I knew someone had a particular interest, I would ask them about that. If they were involved in an organization or charity, I would ask questions. I could not wait to leave and would do so as quickly as I thought I could get away with it. That was the best I could do at that time. Now looking back the best suggestion I can make is to relax. In the scheme of things, how important is it? It is not a life ending event. Smile. It is always more comfortable when you smile. You may want to hide in the bathroom, but I think the best practice is to decide before you arrive to walk up to people and hold out your hand, shake theirs, and say hi, how are you. Get it over with and then relax.

Social networking was also the pits for me, and I relate to it just like the required get together’s. I think it is easier now than when I was working. There are so many ways to find information on other people and to reach out to them online. An example would be Linkedin. You can establish a relationship before you meet them face to face, which will make it so much easier when you do. You can use this technique with business associates as well as customers.

When you are at work, you do need to put yourself out there. Be friendly, smile, be social by asking questions. Be approachable. If someone walks by, say hi and ask how they are. It is an easy, natural gesture to adopt.

Your body language is a big tell-tale. You want to appear confident and competent. Do not slouch or avoid eye contact. The way you hold your body and the movements you make all tell a story, and it is a story that everyone reads.

To be successful as an introvert, you have to put yourself out there. Take baby steps, and you will learn to be more comfortable, and you can keep pushing yourself to move forward. You can still be you, but you need to stretch yourself. As you continue to push yourself, people will notice. They will see your strength and your capabilities.

I started my job with a customer service organization in an entry-level position, and I slowly pushed myself to succeed. I worked full time as a single mother and went to college part-time. I used all the excellent introvert skills I had to move up the ladder into a management position. I was named the employee of the year and was a speaker within my organization, as well as outside of work. Was I comfortable doing all of that? Not at first, but by the time I retired, it all felt natural and very, very good.

Being an introvert is not a bad thing. I would say we are pretty awesome because we are.

An introvert is an asset in every aspect of life. Here are a few quotes about the benefits of being an introvert:

Creativity – “Some of our greatest ideas, art, and inventions came from quiet and cerebral people who knew how to tune into their inner worlds and the treasures to be found there.” Susan Cain

Academic Performance – “Quiet people have the loudest minds.” Stephen Hawking

Health – “For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating.” Jonathan Rauch

Business Success – “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” Susan Cain

From one introvert to another, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Fear – Writing a Blog or Starting a Business

Yesterday I was browsing on Twitter. There was a article about the fears we face in starting a new business. That hit a nerve. Friday on my blog I posted, “Frustration, A Powerful Tool For Change”. It was about my frustration but it was also about fear. The fear of not being good enough.

It also made me think that not only am I a Blogger, I am an Entrepreneur. The tweet was referencing the fears that an entrepreneur faces. When I read the article I realized that most of the fears are the same fears we face as bloggers.

As a blogger we do not have a store front or sell a physical product. We are selling our skill as a writer. Writing is our product.

My ability to write is my biggest fear. It is also my motivation to improve. That was the cause of my frustration and my last post. I had written three articles for another publication. One article was published and two were not, Wake Up. Hello. Alarm bells went off.

I have high expectations. I set high standards for what I do. I may become nervous and fearful when I start something new. Blogging is new to me so I am fearful of some of the tasks I have to complete.

When I look back to my first posts, and then read the posts I am writing now, I do see improvement . I thought I was doing OK but I was starting to have concerns.

There are many posts written by bloggers describing their fears. How many likes and comments do they receive? How many followers do they have? When I read their concerns I immediately look at my blog Stats. How do I compare? How concerned should I be? Maybe I am not good enough.

I am building my blog from scratch just like an entrepreneur building a business. When I started I knew nothing. There are still many skills I have to develop. I am not savvy. I do not know the ins and outs of Social Media. Sometimes it has been overwhelming. I have the fear of not being able to do all I need to do.

The future scares me. What does the future hold for me. Will I be able to maintain my mental and physical abilities? Will I be able to improve? Those are certainly my goals. Those are the driving force behind my blog. I do not want to be stagnant and I am pushing myself to learn.

At first I worried about finding good content to blog about. I have found that not to be a problem. In fact now I have more than enough ideas. So much so that now I am writing them down in a notebook.

Time is always an issue. My fear is squandering it.

I am retired. I have an open day, each and every day. I am busy and there is always something else pulling at me. Recently it has been my gardens and being outdoors. I love both. Yesterday and today I dedicated part of my day to gardening and part to writing.

I do waste time. Creating a schedule and sticking to it is a continual issue for me. There is so much I want to do. Right now my focus is improving my writing skills. Am I fearful that I can do that? Not really. I know it will happen. I just have to keep writing.

Sometimes I am fearful about how readers will react to what I am writing. That is a common fear. I have read other bloggers mentioning the same fear. It goes back to fearing my ability to write. It also is a fear of offending someone or hurting someone’s feelings.

I am also fearful of sharing strong opinions. An example would be politics, religion or racism. We all have opinions though and I should not be fearful of sharing mine. It is an opportunity to share what I am passionate about.

It is not really my niche but I may be adding new material to my blog. Is that the right thing to do? Now I will be fearful of modifying my blog. I have read it is not a good thing to do. Maybe I will continue to look for other outlets.

When I started writing my blog the purpose was to add dimension to myself. I want to expand my thinking, my knowledge and abilities. Can I develop the skill to add enough dimension to my writing so that my blog reflects that. Will my blog help my readers expand their thinking, knowledge and abilities too? That would be so awesome!

Should I at some point allow advertising on my blog? That is something I had not planned to do. At this point I am still uncertain but I most admit I am intrigued by the possibility. It is an opportunity to earn income. Do I want to?

One thing I am intrigued by is developing products of my own. It is an interesting concept and I see other bloggers who do it. Blogging really is a business. We sell our writing, maybe I could develop something related to the blog. I am fearful of it but I will add that to my list of ideas.

Fear is normal. All bloggers and entrepreneurs face fear about accomplishing their goals and being successful. Fear is a motivator which helps us become better. Fear is not our enemy. When we face what we are afraid of doing we become stronger.

As always, Thank You for reading my blog. Have a fearless day!