Free coffee, next exit
That’s the most effective billboard one can imagine, particularly if it’s typeset properly and if the coffee is good.
Most billboards aren’t nearly as useful, because the wrong service is promoted, or, more likely, because someone saw all that space and worked hard to fill it up.
The same thing is true of most websites. You know so well the why’s and how’s of what you built and how terrific it is, and the thought of using just a few words when a bunch will do is frightening indeed.
No, your solution doesn’t have to be simple or obvious. But the story about what it accomplishes does.
The goal of a marketing interaction isn’t to close the sale, any more than the goal of a first date is to get married. No, the opportunity is to move forward, to earn attention and trust and curiosity and conversation.
Simple, clear and actionable.
Dice Seth Godin
It’s possible to find flow — or effortless concentration on and enjoyment of a task — by tackling a challenge that’s meaningful and manageable. Having a job you love with a reasonable workload makes achieving flow a lot easier. Whether at home or at the office, there are lots of useful tips that help people stay focused at work and make the most of the day.
1. Pinpoint the problem. What causes you to lose focus? Is it fatigue, hunger, or a Twitter addiction? Figuring out the issue is the first step towards trying to fix it.
2. Plan ahead. Envision what the workday will look like before it happens. Write down what things need to get done or what you want to accomplish. (Even in the shower!) Setting goals can help people stay on track.
3. Get enough sleep. How much we sleep at night has a lot to do with how well we’ll concentratethe next day. Aim for at least eight hours of quality snooze time to avoid taking cubicle-catnaps on the hour.
4. Eat a good breakfast. Eggs Benedict may do more than jumpstart metabolism. Studies have found that eating breakfast can improve attention and concentration, too. For starters, try a tastyberry parfait!
5. Work offline. One survey found nearly 60 percent of disruptions at work come from email, social networks, and cell phones. So for tasks that don’t involve the Internet, try using old-fashioned paper and pen — perfect for brainstorming! Put your phone on silent and only check email occasionally (try once every hour). Limit time on social media too. You can “like” your friend’s cute picture of his dog later…
6. Do smaller tasks. Some psychologists suggest our brain works way too hard to process incredible amounts of information. So working on one large project can be overwhelming — like trying to plan a whole event at work in one afternoon. Split up projects, like ordering food and booking plane tickets and hotels, so they’re easier to accomplish.
7. Stay accountable. Let co-workers know what you hope to accomplish in a specific time frame. Knowing you’ll have extra eyes on your work may help you stay on task.
8. Sweat it out. Sometimes a little exercise can go a long way. Studies show working out canimprove concentration and attention span, so a quick trip to the gym can make time spent back at the office much more productive.
10. Time box. Work on one project for a specific amount of time, rather than working until something is finished. (Write emails until 2 pm, instead of stopping at inbox zero). This way weknow we can work hard until a certain time, and then be able to take a break.
11. Clean up. Anything from post-its to pretzels and family photos can become a distraction. Clear off the workspace and only have out what’s needed (laptop, notebook, water-bottle — check!) to help stay in the zone.
12. Try an app. Discard any distractions with a little help from technology. Certain apps can block websites (so long, Pinterest) or black out computer screen backgrounds so only one program is in view at a time. There are web tools that can calculate how much time is spent on websites, too. (Now that could be scary…)
13. Reward yourself. A little motivation can go a long way. Say, “After I finish this page, I’ll go buy a cookie!” (Try these vegan delicacies.) Watch that to-do list vanish in no time.
14. Take little breaks. Getting to the office early, working through lunch, and staying late doesn’t necessarily mean getting more stuff done. Short bursts of hard work followed by quick breaks can be more beneficial than never taking a breather, since the brain may just burn out.
15. Wear headphones. At Greatist we practice the “headphone rule”: No one’s allowed to talk to someone who’s wearing ear gear. It’s a great way to show you’re working on something important and don’t have time to chat. (Sometimes I don’t even have music playing – my secret!)
16. Try caffeine. Coffee or tea may help people feel more alert and able to concentrate in the cubicle. If iced coffee isn’t your cup of… coffee, try chewing gum, which may help increase alertness too!
18. Value your work. If you love what you do, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to focus on the work involved, not to mention be happier while you’re doing it.
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. “
Culture change: where to begin?
By alpittampalli on Sep 28, 2012 05:00 am
An organization’s culture is made up of the collective habitual behaviors and thoughts of its members. Change the habits and you’ll change the culture.
Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. Habit change requires an incredible amount of willpower. And focusing on multiple habits simultaneously is a surefire strategy for failure. So, where to begin?
Begin with the habit that has the power to start a chain reaction, changing other habits as it moves through the organization. Charles Duhigg, brilliantly refers to this as the keystone habit.
When Paul O’Neil first became CEO of then struggling aluminum corporation Alcoa, he didn’t concentrate on profits, productivity, or efficiency. To the dismay of everyone around him, he decided to focus on worker safety.
Unorthodox? Yes. But Paul understood something that his colleagues didn’t: the process of improving worker safety, would create a cascading effect causing other changes: attention to detail, quality control, individual responsibility, open and honest feedback, etc. These new habits would create the culture of productivity and efficiency necessary to turn the company around. And they did, quickly making Alcoa one of the world’s most profitable companies.
So what’s your organization’s keystone habit? What habit might provide the most leverage for changing your organizational culture?
I have a suggestion: meetings. Meetings are at the heart of how organizations communicate, collaborate, and make decisions. You can’t change meetings, without affecting other habits.
When meetings are purposeful, decisions are made quickly. When unecessary meetings go away, teams are forced to trust one another more. When meetings are short, intense, and run ruthlessly on schedule, attendees walk away with a sense of urgency.
Changing your meetings might just change your entire organization.