Posts Tagged ‘Success’

13 Reasons Why Your Marketing Isn’t Soaring With The Eagles – Part 3

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

And now…the final 5…reasons your Marketing Isn’t Soaring with the Eagles.

You don’t make it easy enough for people to do business with you

The easier it is for people to do business with you – the less complicated, embarrassing, time wasting, expensive, etc., etc. – the more business you’ll do.

I can’t tell you how many beautifully-sculptured, clever ads I’ve seen and read, with wonderful, compelling sales messages … and no proper call to action, and/or specific directions as to how I should go about buying the damn thing.

Oh, it’s there all right but, by the time you get the pen, the commercial is over, or you have to navigate your way through the ad TO FIND THE PERSON WHO’LL TAKE YOUR ORDER!

I repeat: The simpler you make it for people to buy from you, the more you’ll sell.

Your marketing efforts are dead-set BORING!

No need to labor this point, I’m sure. You’ve all seen so much stultifying, uninspiring rubbish yourself, and wondered:

“Who do these people think they’re going to impress with this load of bs?”

Then you toss it where you toss your orange peel.

Of course, nobody says this about your marketing material, do they? Yet, there’s a strong possibility that this IS the case.

You have to work continuously to ensure not only that you’re not boring people, but that you’re actually inspiring, exciting, captivating, or seducing a significant number of your target audience. That said, make sure that you assess the market’s perception of your marketing efforts, and don’t judge things on how you feel. Many a business has “pulled” a successful marketing effort because they were tired and bored with it, when, in fact, the market audience was not.

One of the most famous, and successful, newspaper advertising headlines ran for 30-plus years. It was, They Laughed When I Said I Could Play The Piano – But They’re Not Laughing Now!

You fail to test – test – test

Not every marketing effort will work. In fact, most will fail! The real savvy marketers test and test until they find two things: what works … and then, what works better. Along the way, they document and evaluate their results. They have absolutely no intention of repeating their mistakes.

So, before committing yourself to that big advertisement or mail-out, test your propositions, test your headlines, test whether your ultimate benefits are compelling enough.

Put another way, you have an obligation to conservatively test and let the market tell you what it wants.

You’re a small-town thinker

There’s a huge difference between having enough confidence in yourself, your products, or your services to think nationally, or even globally, and being too big for your boots.

Have you got a great product or service that would be appreciated by a wider market than you’re addressing now? But, you don’t have the budget to capitalize on the situation? OK. That’s understandable. But, at least you can start working toward a bigger audience. It’s the old power-of-positive-thinking thing.

Send your literature to a few selected people interstate and overseas. We’re truly entering the doorway to the global marketplace, so start adopting a mindset that will have you right at the front of the queue.

Maybe there is no market!
Let’s look at an example … one that is played out every day – unfortunately.

Frank and Francine have lived in Smalltown all their lives. Smalltown is a remote township of some 10,000 people. Frank, for many years, worked as the manager of the largest hardware store in town. He knew his industry well and, for that reason, he could hardly wait to open his own hardware business.

That day did arrive (courtesy of an inheritance left to Francine) and so, the Double D Hardware store opened amid a blaze of “Opening Sales.” The first two weeks of sales looked promising.

But then things started to go flat… despite Frank’s attention to marketing and advertising. You see, apart from the large franchise hardware shop, there were four other competitors … and the “Double D” made it six hardware shops in all. Six months after the opening, Frank held his last sale – regrettably, it was a closing-the-doors sale.

Ok, let’s take a “helicopter view” of what happened here.

If Frank had done a bit of homework before the event, Francine would still have her inheritance, her health and her marriage, because these, too, were the casualties of the “Double D” disaster.

Yes, Frank should have realized that the Smalltown market for hardware is finite. True, it can be ramped up slightly by good selling and marketing … but essentially it does have a defined size.

Stuart Street-Smarts, owner of the “Yards 10” franchise hardware store, knows this. He knows that the Smalltown market for hardware products is around $2,000,000 – and he owns 60% of the market. Plus, he also knows that old Sam Davies, the proprietor of Sam’s Hardware, has around 20% – leaving only 20% or ($400,000) for the other three competitors… and the “Double D.”

Stuart said that Frank wouldn’t last any longer than six months, and he was right. When Stuart did his sums he figured that even if Frank could get 10% of the market – that’s only a turnover of $200,000 – he would make less than $20,000 profit after expenses. Well, Stuart used to pay Frank a salary of $40,000.

Simple example, but the moral of the story: Make sure that a genuine market exists before you dive into the business.

So, what do you do if you are faced with a “Frank” situation? Sell! Get the heck out before it’s too late. Take the money and invest in something more profitable.

Simple message: Your business is a money-making-machine. If it isn’t, your job is to fix it. If, after considerable effort, you don’t believe it’s fixable, sell it!

There is one more mistake … and it’s a biggie, so please note it well. It is: Failing to monitor the results of your marketing campaigns.

Most business leaders and owners have absolutely no idea of the success or otherwise of their advertisements and other marketing efforts. They just go on “gut feeling.” This is absolute lunacy. As a business leader, you should never, ever run a marketing campaign unless you have a way of monitoring the results.

It’s interesting to note the elaborate systems people put in to monitor their cash, their stock and their other valuables – yet, nothing to monitor their investment in marketing.

For those who say or think, “Just keep your name out there and you’ll get results”… take it from me, you’re dreaming! At best you’ll get deferred results of which you’ll never, ever know. And, just perhaps, you could have got much, much better results if you knew what worked and what didn’t.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2016. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler

 

 

13 Reasons Why Your Marketing Isn’t Soaring With The Eagles – Part 2

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Continued from last time – 5 more reasons – Why Your Marketing Isn’t Working…

You’re not persistent enough

Very rarely does any single marketing effort – one ad, one mailing, one promotion – produce a dramatic result. If you’ve got your two feet on the ground, you’ll look for long-term, solid, predictable returns.

Plan your marketing to produce realistic results, and rejoice when something works better than you expected.

Test your propositions (As a matter of fact, test everything).

And keep at it. Marketing is not a function that should be performed by the weak-at-heart, the impatient, or the imprudent.

You forget about the people who have bought from you before

It’s much cheaper, and often a lot easier, to sell to someone who has bought from you in the past – at least so long as it was a pleasant experience for the buyer – than it is to try to attract new customers.

So, why, oh why, do most businesses concentrate almost all their energies on trying to drum up new business?

Have you got something against the people who have bought from you, or used your services, before? Were they rude to you?

Then, why are you neglecting them?

Here’s the order in which you should be directing your marketing:
• Getting existing customers to buy more, and/or more often.
• Going back to people who have bought from you in the past and reactivating them.
• Enticing new customers.

You don’t get back to your customers often enough

See above, then consider this:

People need to be constantly reminded what you can do for them … how you can help them – at least every 90 days.
• Do you believe that it annoys your customers when you do this?
• Are you embarrassed about doing it?
• Don’t think it’s worth the effort? Think again.
You have to create a regular program for communicating with prospects and existing customers (don’t give them a chance to turn into “past” customers), and you have to keep it up until;

… they buy from you, or
… you have no option but to give them up as a lost cause.

You don’t move your customers up the loyalty ladder

Once someone has bought from you, and you have followed them up to make sure that everything involved with the sale went smoothly, then it’s time to move that person up the loyalty ladder.

If he or she has other problems to solve, and the money to solve them, you’re the man! (or woman, of course).

Every time you successfully conclude a deal with a customer, that customer grows a little closer to you, and becomes increasingly easy to sell things to. So, you keep moving him or her up the loyalty ladder:
• From a prospect to a customer,
• From a customer to a regular customer,
• From a regular customer to an advocate of your business…
• and from an advocate to a raving fan!

You don’t get to the point
The best marketing is simple, precise … and straight to the point. No beating around the bush. … no cutesy-cutesy pandering. You find out what the prospect’s problem is and, in the simplest, most direct terms, you tell the prospect how you’re going to solve that problem.

Marketing isn’t about art … it isn’t about winning literary or design awards.

Ultimately, it’s about selling – successfully, efficiently, and economically. Get to the point. Tell them why it’s in their best interests to pick up the phone right now and buy whatever you’re offering … before it’s too late. And the only way to do this is to tell them what’s in it for them.

And an extension of this issue is this:

Answer the “why” question.

If your product is higher priced than your competitors’, tell them why. If your product is better, tell them why. The more factual, credible and believable the reasons you give, the more likely they are to give you the business.

Consider this: I am the customer and I want to know … FAST!

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2016. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler

 

 

Being Invisible

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

What do structural engineers, anesthesiologists, fact-checkers, and interpreters have in common? When they do their jobs poorly, the consequences can be catastrophic. But when they do their jobs perfectly…They’re invisible.

“In fact, Invisibles are found in all walks of life. What binds them is their approach—deriving satisfaction from the value of their work, not the volume of their praise.” – David Zweig

Invisibles are almost counter-culture: performing anonymous work in an age of constant self-promotion.

In the book “The Invisibles”, Zweig takes us into the behind-the-scenes worlds that Invisibles inhabit. He interviews top experts in unusual fields to reveal the quiet workers behind public successes. Combining in-depth profiles with insights from psychology, sociology, and business, Zweig uncovers how these hidden professionals reap deep fulfillment by relishing the challenges their work presents. It is reminiscent of the study of introverts in the workplace, “Work that is purposeful and mission-based fits naturally within an introvert’s professional toolkit.”

For a lot of us, the better we perform the more attention we receive. Yet for many “Invisibles” –  skilled professionals whose role is critical to whatever enterprise they’re a part of – it’s the opposite: the better they do their jobs the more they disappear. In fact, often, it’s only when something goes wrong that they are noticed at all – think the anesthesiologist, instrument technician, and structural engineer.

Millions of these Invisibles are hidden in every industry. You may be one yourself. Surely you know of a few. And despite our culture’s increasing celebration of fame in our era of superstar CEOs and assorted varieties of “genius” – they’re fine with remaining anonymous. Zweig’s criteria for the “invisibles” are threefold: ambivalence toward recognition, meticulousness, and the savoring of responsibility. The people he writes about — a fascinating and varied bunch — are those who measure success not by celebrity or financial return, but by the quality of the work they do. And it’s a persuasive argument that they are happier, more fulfilled human beings as a result. Fame, as Zweig demonstrates, is a hollow, fickle thing. Money can also be a much overrated as a source of happiness.

The reality, as many professionals who tend to fall more on the silent end of the spectrum can attest to, is that many of the best workers—be they at the top of the pyramid or somewhere in the middle—go about their business, achieving great results without fanfare. And while it may feel as though the whole world is beguiled by those who make the most noise in conference rooms and boardrooms, it’s encouraging and, critically, worth noting that that’s not actually the case.

Zweig reveals that “Invisibles” have a lot to teach the rest of society about satisfaction and achievement. What has been lost amid the noise of self-promotion today is that not everyone can, or should, or even wants to be in the spotlight. The book reminds us that recognition isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and invisibility can be viewed as a mark of honor and a source of a truly rich life.

In closing, perhaps you have a few people around you who are Invisibles. People who, though they don’t pursue recognition, would be thrilled to have someone notice them and give them a little praise. It is a little thing – but then the little things make life worth living.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2016. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

A Little Secret to Increase Productivity

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Rewards Can Cost A Lot, But Be Valued Little

“Rewards” generally have a cost, so if you have a strong, rewards-based system of reinforcement, it has the potential to be expensive. In other words, you almost have to “buy” or “bribe people for” the desirable behavior.

Ironically enough, while that may be seen as a bad outcome from your point of view, it is almost invariably seen as a poor arrangement from the point of view of the “bribe” too! Continuing the irony: Bribes can lose their effectiveness (they have to be bigger and bigger to work) while recognition just seems to keep going and going.

Recognition, on the other hand – acknowledgement, praise, gratitude, icons such as trophies and awards – are usually low or no-cost items, and yet uplift and honor both parties.

So, if recognition has a low cost, but a high perceived value, what could you do to apply this principle in your business to uplift and empower people, while shaping their behavior to provide better outcomes?

Three Parts Recognition To One Part Reward Is The Best Glue

Experience has taught us that pure recognition can look a bit thin after a while, and consistent, long-term pure reward systems just “rot” and cease to work. So what is the ideal balance?

Start with providing three parts recognition to tone part reward. Make it different types of recognition also: public praise, an award, promotion, etc., and, where possible, keep the reward non-monetary. You’d be surprised how little value may be placed on a $100 reward, and just how much value may be placed on two Gold First Class Theater Tickets, or a meal for two (of the same or even lesser value).

An example: A winning real estate sales team were “rewarded” with a trip away together for two years and, then in the third year, when the reward was swapped to a cash equivalent, the entire team under-performed. They were demotivated by being offered money in place of a fun holiday together.

So, if you were to design a “recognition-and-reward system” that fitted your operations, what would it consist of?

People Can Learn To Expect A Better Outcome

“Positive people produce more consistent and more positive results.” Not likely to be a surprise for anyone in that statement – but not everyone who joins your team in necessarily going to come in with a positive orientation (though we hope this would be among your selection criteria).

One of the more rewarding tasks of any leader is to lead their team members to dream a better outcome, and to then to move them to achieving that dream.

If you take people to achieve in a team, things that they believed were beyond them individually, they will do practically anything to maintain or repeat the feeling they derive from that achievement.

So what can you do to encourage your team to “dream big,” and then to Coach them to achieve that dream? What is that likely to do for morale (yours and theirs).

Good Feelings Are Rewards

When you make someone feel good about themselves, and about what they are achieving – or even what they are “working towards” – you are already creating a form of reward that we all value. We tend to come back to situations that give us that type of feeling; tend to do the things that will invoke them again.

On the flip side, bad feelings about failure or lack of progress or frustration or lack of appreciation, are “punishment” (or at least “pain”), and we naturally tend to avoid situations, activities and people that give rise to them. Consider the cost to productivity and morale of a toxic workplace.

We can extend this one a little further and look at the fact that consciously creating a warm, nurturing, physically-and-emotionally safe workplace will be seen (by the good folks, at least) as a form of on-going reward that you create for them, and they’ll tend to be uplifted by it.

So, how could you employ this particular insight in your work situation? And what is likely to be the response if you did?

Sometimes, we make things too complicated and forget that in the end what we all want is to be appreciated and feel good about who we are. Apply the KISS principle and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2015. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

Stress and Communication – Part 2

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Stress

In small doses, stress can help you perform under pressure. However, when stress becomes constant and overwhelming, it can hamper effective communication. It disrupts your capacity to think clearly and creatively, act appropriately. When stressed, you’re more likely to misread other people, send confusing nonverbal signals, and lapse into unhealthy knee-jerk patterns of behavior.

Quick stress relief for effective communication

When stress strikes, you can’t always temper it by taking time out to meditate or go for a run, especially if you’re in the middle of a meeting with your boss or an argument with your spouse. By learning to quickly reduce stress in the moment, you can safely face any strong emotions you’re experiencing, regulate your feelings, and behave appropriately.

First, recognize when you’re becoming stressed. Your body will let you know so learn to recognize the cues.

Next, the best way to rapidly and reliably relieve stress is through the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Find things that are soothing to you. A TIP for instant stress release:

Pick one thing that inspires a sense of calm, balance and peace within you. One example would be a calm ocean on a clear day. If you live near enough to the beach to be able to physically go there then that’s helpful, but if not, you can use a photo, image in your mind or video. Once you find yourself in a relaxed state – preferably whilst strolling along the sand taking in the smell of the salt on the cool breeze as it gently brushes over you, or otherwise just while meditating or relaxing at home, gaze in a relaxed way at the ocean or image and allow a sense of peace and calm to pervade you. Feel yourself expand with joy, then say over and over to yourself a mantra or verbal cue that you are associating with that image and that feeling for example “calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean”. Breathe slowly and deeply.

Repeat this process as often as possible to really cement it into your mind and body. These are your cues, so the next time you find yourself in a stressful situation that you can’t escape from, take a few slow deep breaths and repeat your mantra to yourself “calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean.” Allow it to infuse a sense of calm as it soothes your adrenals and nerves. You can do this with whatever imagery appeals to you. Some other examples are a green lush forest, a butterfly, a yacht sailing off into the distance, a gentle stream, or fish swimming in a tank.

Stressful conversations

Some practical ways of diffusing a stressful conversation include:
Acknowledge the other persons point of view, “I can see that this is something that you are very passionate about” or “I can feel how frustrating this has been for you”, or “I recognize that you have put a lot of time and effort into this.” Sometimes the acknowledgment and validation can be enough to start to shift a person from stubborn argumentativeness into a softer place of negotiation. We all want to be seen and heard and validated.

Put it on hold. Take a quick break and move away from the situation. Go for a stroll outside if possible, or spend a few minutes focusing on your breathing. Sounds obvious, but try it and see what happens. Breathe in for a slow count of 5, hold for 5 then breathe out for 5. Allow a slight pause between the out breath and the next in breath. You should only need to do this for 1 minute to feel a result.

Physical movement can quickly reduce stress as well. Try going into your office, if it’s private, or into a toilet cubicle. Now this may sound weird, but shake your hands around in front of you, move your arms back and forth like a birds wings, jump up and down and stamp your feet. Shake your head and stretch your jaw like you are doing the worlds biggest yawn, literally shake that stress off of you. Make sure you do this in private lest people think you have lost it.

To make sure communication is one of your strengths, why not try a couple of these tips.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2015. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

Productivity Psychology – Part 2

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

How Food And Diet Affect Productivity
Diet and nutrition are large components of an individual’s lifestyle. The types of food you eat, the portion size, and what time of day you eat it all factor in – directly or indirectly – to productivity.

For example, there’s the argument for breakfast, commonly referred to as the “most important meal of the day.”

Experts say that eating breakfast provides the blood with glucose, which is needed for energy. Since people do not eat during the night, the body’s glucose levels drop during that time period and an early morning breakfast allows the body to break down food into simple sugars that are absorbed into the bloodstream where they travel to the body’s cells to produce energy.

So avoid skipping breakfast or you could be losing out on several hours of productivity until you take your first bite of food for the day.

But which foods encourage productivity? There has been much talk of brain foods – foods that have been said to improve brain function. Here are some foods that have been identified to bolster productivity:

• Berries: The antioxidants found in various berries are supposed to help counteract stress and researchers have found women who ate more blueberries and strawberries were more likely to display less rapid cognitive deterioration as they aged.
• Eggs: Eggs, the yolks specifically, are full of choline, a nutrient often classified with B-complex vitamins. Choline helps maintain the structure of brain cell membranes, which aids brain function.
• Salmon: This fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory agents. These help build up the central nervous system in the brain and helps cognitive function overall.
• Dark Chocolate: Who said chocolate is bad for you? Studies have found that consuming dark chocolate can not only lower blood pressure and increase blood flow to the brain, but it also contains caffeine which is a mild stimulant. In moderation please.

Exercise

It’s widely known that regular exercise can improve a person’s health, but it’s also known to boost productivity. “Exercising releases endorphins in the brain,” said clinical psychologist Ingeborg Hrabowy.

Endorphins are chemicals that are produced in response to certain stimuli and can originate in various parts of the body, including the pituitary gland, spinal cord and other parts of the brain and nervous system.

“Exercising four times a week for approximately 20 to 30 minutes is the equivalent of 20 milligrams of Prozac. What a boost!” Hrabowy said. “Exercising also de-stresses you, clears the mind, and gives a great break to work and play – all known to increase and boost productivity.”

Recovering from Illness and/or Injury

How productive an individual is often depends on his or her circumstance and certain factors such as illness and disability can hinder productivity.

For example, people who suffer from severe anxiety or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) would have a tendency to recheck their work, which may drag on their productivity, Hrabowy said. Their tendency to become stressed and overwhelmed can also be a barrier to productivity, even if the work is more accurate because the performance would be slower.

Psychological factors influencing productivity:

According to David M. Reiss

  1. Level of maturity and resolution of dependency issues: “Those who are more childlike, immature, or those who are openly or covertly needy and dependent are going to tend to unconsciously nurse an injury longer, and remain disabled longer than a person who has no conflicts regarding being autonomous and productive, or who highly values or even over-values independence and autonomy.”
  2. Family dynamics: Two different types of families: those that will overcompensate and overreact to a person with an injury, providing more attention and caring than would otherwise be available, thus increasing unconscious motivation to maintain the injured role; and dysfunctional families who may react in a negative or hostile way to an injured person, seeing them as useless or worthless. “While at times this will motivate the person to ‘get better’ more often, it will engender anger and a defensive rebellion which will lead to the person unconsciously wanting to prove that they are indeed injured/disabled.”
  3. Peer relationships/enjoyment of work: “People who enjoy their work and have good relationships with peers at work will obviously be better motivated to return to normal functioning; whereas those who are resentful at work, uncomfortable with peers, feeling put-upon or taken advantage of, etc. (even if not intentionally or consciously), will perceive an injury as a ‘ticket out’ and tend to ‘make the most of it.’
  4. Sincerity: “A certain percentage of overtly manipulative people or people with antisocial tendencies will see an injury as an opportunity to intentionally manipulate and misuse the disability system. As opposed to what is commonly assumed, in my experience, among people with who do not respond well to injuries, this group of outright ‘malingerers’ is far, far smaller than those who have difficulties in one of the other three areas.”

A person’s productivity level can be influenced by numerous psychological factors. With the U.S. being a society that is inherently focused on productivity, knowing ways in which to improve productivity can be beneficial in the workplace as well as to a person’s overall health and well-being.

One’s psychology does effect one’s productivity.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2015. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

Productivity Psychology – Part 1

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Productivity                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Defined as a measure of the efficiency of a person, machine, factory, or system in converting inputs into useful outputs, and by that definition, productivity among workers has increased in recent years. However, wages seem to have remained stagnant.

Experts and studies have found that human productivity is affected greatly by different psychological factors. And the answer is more than just looking at cute pictures of cuddly animals.

Functions of the brain play a large role in how and why people are productive at work or not so productive. A series of experiments conducted at a factory outside of Chicago from 1924-1932, later dubbed the Hawthorne Effect, revealed that worker productivity increased due to the psychological stimulus of being singled out and made to feel important.

“This intervention makes sense for the average person since on average people (consciously or unconsciously) feel a bit insecure and have vulnerabilities of self-esteem, and therefore, any intervention which reduces that insecurity and improves self-esteem (especially if not implemented in a childish manner) is going to improve mood, reduce anxiety, improve motivation and improve productivity,” said David M. Reiss, MD, a psychiatrist with more than 25 years of experience. “If the ‘singling out’ is done in a way that feels parental, people who are basically more dependent are generally more likely to respond positively, whereas people who are more narcissistic will feel demeaned and it will be counterproductive.”

He added that people with extremely low self-esteem may feel that they don’t deserve the attention, triggering conscious or unconscious guilt or anxiety that may be counterproductive. People who have mild narcissistic tendencies, which includes the average person, will thrive on the attention; people who are severely narcissistic or antisocial may smugly feel that it’s about time they are recognized which could result in resentment, a subtle counterproductive rebellion or a reaction to ‘rest on their laurels’ after the attention and ‘ease up’ rather than becoming motivated to be more productive.

Keeping Busy vs. Being Productive
Workers dread hearing the term “busy work.” The accepted meaning of busy work among Americans are assignments or projects designed to take up time, but that aren’t necessarily constructive or productive.

The problem with busy work, other than frustrating employees and possibly lowering company morale, is that people often mistake being busy with being productive. Even if some work evokes a sense of urgency, it doesn’t mean it’s productive. This blog identifies some common nonproductive tasks such as checking emails, holding meetings, and reading/updating social media. These tasks are important, but can be endless and time-consuming and the problem doesn’t lie so much in the task itself, but in the amount of time dedicated to doing it.

Using the scenario of a person being able to sort through more than 200 emails in less than 15 minutes if needed, he questions why it takes hours every day to check half as many emails if there’s no need to do so.

He deduces: “I believe it’s because you’re accepting email as an interruption and stopping something productive to respond. You’re focused on accomplishing something, just about to have a breakthrough, and [you receive an email]. It’s from your boss, colleague, or grandma. You stop what you’re doing and respond.”

These slight interruptions break concentration and focus, and if they happen several times a day, can significantly impact one’s level of productivity. In order to be productive, why not:
• Only check emails a few times per day.
• Minimize time spent on the phone.
• Keep meetings brief or stay out of them completely.
• Stop “keeping yourself updated” with news and blogs.
• Stay off social media.

However, there are numerous jobs where constant use of social media and perusing of blogs for different trends is the norm, even expected.

Individuals that work extensively with computers, may be part of a growing number of digital-era workers who use two or more computer screens. Whether working at the office or at home, multiple monitors allows users to look at multiple data streams with simply a shifting of the eyes.

There have been studies that find multiple monitors can increase productivity. But experts maintain it really depends on the type of work a person does and the characteristics of the person.

“Multiple screens may actually be less distracting in that [the average person] who is going to wonder what is happening in another area (i.e. on a different screen) will have a tendency to switch back and forth more frequently out of curiosity, which may decrease productivity or even be tiring – probably most of the time checking the other screen will not provide anything useful,” he said. “If all the information is immediately available, a simple glance over may provide reassurance that nothing important is being missed rather than having to actually stop what they are working on and change screens which may allow for better focus and productivity and may reduce a subtle anxiety regarding possibly missing something.”

The psychological effect of multiple monitors on an average person, Reiss said, is that they’re likely to make a person feel more important, thereby improving self-esteem, creating a feeling of respect from employers, and increasing motivation and productivity.

One’s psychology does effect one’s productivity.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2015. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.