1. Say no to 1 hour meetings – “I love 1 hour meetings,” said no one ever. 1 hour meetings are often unnecessary. You can usually accomplish in 30 minutes w hat you thought you needed an hour for. 30 minutes will force you to be concise and on point.
2. Do the Steve Jobs walk – Steve Jobs often did some of his most important meetings while going for a walk. I do this all the time. First, doing meetings in conference rooms can feel very stiff. Second, getting people outside of their everyday environment may get them to see things from a new perspective. Third, being physically active during your meeting could help you think more clearly. So open the door, get some fresh air and go for a walk.
3. Visualize your success – Imagine 3 groups of basketball players.
*The first group would practice shooting free throws 20 minutes a day.
*The second group wouldn’t practice free throws but would visualize themselves making free throws.
*The third group would not practice or visualize at all.
The results? There was a significant improvement in the second group. In fact, they were almost as good as the first group.
By the way, this is a real experiment that was conducted by Australian Psychologist Alan Richardson.
So if you want to get that new jobs, imagine yourself prepping for the interview, nailing it and signing the job offer. Visualize what you want your future to be.
4. Listen first before speaking – Seek to understand first. How can you make an intelligent remark on something if you haven’t taken the time to observe what’s happening first? You have two ears and only one mouth. There’s a reason for that.
5. Keep your daily to do list small – Instead of writing up a huge to do list every day – focus on completing the 3 more important items every day. This forces you to prioritize your activities to ensure you’re getting the best return on your energy and time. Ask this question: “Do I really need to do this today?”
6. Set goals – If you don’t even know where you’re headed, how will you create the plan on how to get there? Set your destination first and then set sail.
7. Celebrate progress – The journey to your goal could be a long one. So make sure you take the time to celebrate your progress along the way. Eat a nice dinner. High five your teammates. Strike a gong. Do a fist pump. Yell out from the rooftops. Because success is worth celebrating.
8. Figure out your why – It’s a such a great question that isn’t asked enough. Why does it all matter? Figure out your why and that’ll be the fuel for your motivation. Whether it’s supporting your family or making an impact on the world, figuring out your why is critical to taking your work to the next level.
9. Understand your strengths and amplify those – You’ll be naturally talented in certain areas or you’ll practice a skill enough to become an expert at it. Focus your energy on amplifying those strengths rather than trying to be mediocre at everything. Better to be an expert at a few things than a mediocre jack of all trades!
10. Don’t burn bridges – I get it, we all work with jerks at some point in our careers. Who cares? Don’t let it get to you. There’s no need to say anything bad about them. If anything, try to find humor in it, learn from it and move on. You’ve got better things to focus on. Like being the most epic version of yourself that you can be.
11. View challenges as opportunities – Have you ever spent a long time waiting at the post office to ship something before? I know I have. What if instead of complaining of that process, you created an app that would allow you to request a driver to arrive at your house and to pick up and deliver your shipment for you? If you viewed that challenge as an opportunity, you would have created Shyp, an amazing app that does exactly that.
12. Shorten your commute – I used to travel over 3 hours on the freeway for work every day for a few years. I was stressed, tired and exhausted. I also wasted a ton of time sitting in a car. It’s absolutely not worth it. Work near where you live. If you can, make it within walking distance. Imagine 3 hours a day working on something you love. Time is precious. Don’t waste it on the freeway.
13. Test your assumptions – Did you know that A/B testing helped Barack Obama raise $60M by running a simple experiment? Optimizely has a great blog post that details this further.
At the end of the day, all of us have an opinion at work. The only way to know the answer is to test your assumptions.
14. Dip your toes into the water – You never really know until you try. If you never try, you’ll always be wondering “what if.” So what are you waiting for? Want to explore a new career? Want to learn about a different department? Want to start your own business? Dip your toes into the water. Make it happen.
15. Give credit where it’s due – People can’t stand it when someone takes credit for something they didn’t do. Don’t be that person. Recognize others when they do an awesome job. It creates trust among teammates and will you further as a company.
16. Every person you meet is a potential door opener to a new opportunity – Be nice to people. You never know how you can help each other down the road.
17. Make data driven decisions – When in doubt, look at the data. What is it telling you?
18. Trust your gut – Data driven decisions aren’t quite as helpful when there’s little or no data to work with. In those cases, go with your gut.
19. Focus on the 80/20 rule – 20% of your clients will usually generate 80% of the return. Focus your energy on the work that matters.
20. 10 years test – You’re going to run into problems that might seem like disasters. Don’t freak out. Instead, use the 10 years test. Will this problem matter in 10 days? In 10 months? In 10 years? Probably not. And if it won’t, don’t stress about it. It’s not worth it.
21. Do what you love– Life’s short. Do you really want to spend 23.8% of your life working at a job that you hate? Didn’t think so. Do what you love.
22. Focus on making an impact – Don’t do work for the sake of looking busy or only because someone told you to. Think about the impact. And if it’s not impactful, have the courage to say so. Challenge yourself to do great work that makes an impact.
23. Lead with or without the title – You don’t need a big title to make a difference at your company. You can lead by driving a new initiative, coming up with an awesome idea or by coaching and encouraging your teammates to be at their best.
24. Build a personal brand – You have a living, breathing brand. Want to build a great brand? Dress the part. Act the part. Live the part.
For example, if you want to be perceived as a great content marketer, you’ve got to act the part. You could write a ton of Quora posts, LinkedIn articles and blog posts on the subject of content marketing. That way, when people have a need for content marketing, they think of you because they’ve seen 500 of your posts.
25. Invest in your LinkedIn profile – Nearly every single recruiter who has reached out to me this year found me on LinkedIn. Think about that for a second.
Time’s have changed.
We used to submit our resume to company websites to find jobs. While it can still work, it’s not the most effective way to learn about new job opportunities.
Once you submit your resume, it’s immediately outdated. LinkedIn, however, is brilliant because people are incentivized to update their profiles constantly. So what ends up happening? Recruiters find most of the best talent on LinkedIn.
It’s a new age folks. Invest in your LinkedIn profile. I have a ton of tips on this in my book “The Resume is Dead”(It would take us way too long to highlight in this post).
26. Leave your business card at home – Add someone on LinkedIn instead. It’s easier to keep in touch with them, reduces your administrative work in loading that person into your contact book and updates on each other are easily viewed. Welcome to the cloud.
27. Stay humble – You might be pretty good at what you do, but chances are somebody else in the world does it better. And even if you are the best at it, chances are you aren’t good at a million other things. So stay humble. Stay foolish. Stay hungry. And keep learning from others.
28. Embrace failure and learn from it – You are going to fail at some point in life. It could be a big event, like getting fired. It could be a small event, like forgetting to do the laundry. It’s all relative.
The important thing is to recognize that the process for dealing with big or small failures is the same.
Acknowledge that it happened. Deal with the situation. Learn from it. Improve yourself. And move on.
J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, went from being an unemployed single mother living off unemployment benefits to becoming one of the best selling authors of all time.
Failure happens. It’s how you deal with it that matters.
29. Embrace your champions – Along the way, you will find people that genuinely believe in you and your mission. They will cheer you on. Embrace them. Even if your only champion is your mom.
30. Embrace your naysayers – On this same journey, you’ll also find people who doubt you every step of the way. Embrace them too. Only this time, use that doubt as your source of motivation. I had 4 managers who ranked me second to last in interviews at a Fortune 100 company. I used that to motivate me when I finally landed a job. I ended up managing the #1 operation in the country. Thanks for the motivation.
31. Recognize the importance of transparency – People are more empathetic when they understand why things are happening. When they’re left in the dark, it becomes hard to build trust. Be transparent.
32. Invest in a standing desk – A study from the Annals of Internal Medicine found that sitting increases our chances of getting a disease or condition that will kill us prematurely. Holy. Moly. Get a standing desk. Now. I did this for two years and felt way more productive.
33. Work smart – Why are we doing this? Does it have to be done this way? Is there a better way to do it? How can I get a better return in less time?
Keep asking questions like this. Working hard is great. Working smart and hard is a even better. #WinningCombo
34. Find mentors who live your desired lifestyle – Want to work 5 hours a week and travel the world? Find people who have create a passive income lifestyle successfully like Pat Flynn, Eric Siu and Benny Hsuand have them be your mentors. While they may not be able to mentor you 1:1, you can have them be a virtual mentor by following their website learnings.