The Top 20 Most Shared Life Tips for 2017
Everyone needs shortcuts. That is why we read the stories of successful people. We hope to get insights, tactics, and strategies that can be applied to our everyday lives. Yet with so much information online, it’s hard to get the nuggets of wisdom that can truly make a powerful impact on our endeavors.
So for the final 8 weeks of 2016, I shared top tips via my #CSNTIMTIPS newsletter thread. Many of the tips centered around personal branding, productivity, and mental health. These are my top 20 to get you ready for the new year.
You need to be able to clearly define your value. What’s your expertise? Do you have a sought after skill set? Maybe a unique thought leadership perspective? Whatever you got working for you- make sure you capitalize on it in 2017. Here is how:
- Monetize Your Expertise w/ Eventbrite: Use Eventbrite to issue tickets on any topic you want to teach or discuss. Based on signups, host a free google hangout webinar. If at least 10 people sign up- you can start charging next time and make additional income each month.
- Become an Expert Guru: ‘Answer Quora questions on any topic you deem yourself an expert in. If you see that your answer gets upvoted highly then release a landing page providing 15-minute consulting bookings (Charge $20, $50, or more) for your expertise on that subject and add that link to your answers on Quora. Continue building brand capital with monthly AMA (Ask Me Anything) on several online forum communities.
- Become a thought leader. Everyone has something to share or unique insights and opinions. Start putting your thoughts out there by leveraging the tools to make your expertise known. First, get your own website and publish your thoughts with weekly to monthly blog posts. Copy these posts on amplifier platforms such as LinkedIn Push, Medium, Slideshare. Then use social media to amplify your thoughts with other networks. Consider announcing your blog with Thunderclap to reach 100,000 people or more.
- Access Top Speakers From Home. Chances are, you have to learn from the pros as you build your brand. But many times they speak at high-cost events. Can’t afford to go to some of the top conferences in the world? Connect with top influencers and speakers by tweeting top phrases during their talk via https://livestream.com/ . I’ve connected with celebrities, politicians and top influencers with this strategy.
- Leverage Blogger Research. It kills me to see people spend hours researching for resources to get their company up and running. Yet bloggers across the web are already curating the top conferences to go to, the top free resources to use and the top ecosystems to leverage each day. Stop going straight to Google for one thing. Always start your search process with “Top” + “Whatever you are looking for” + “the year”. If you are looking for free resources then type “top free resources for entrepreneurs 2016“. And just like that, your world just got ten times easier.
Multitasking is not productivity. Effective execution of multiple demands in a timely manner= productivity. The better you get at this- the happier you will be. Here are my top tips on getting this done-efficiently.
- Use a project management tool. Whether its Trello, Google Keep, Basecamp, or Asana- leverage a project management tool to manage multiple projects and easily include collaborators.
- Turn off all notifications on your phone app. I bet you absolutely hate this tip but it works. Notification blinkers on apps like messenger, gmail, whatsapp, snapchat, instagram, twitter etc will always lure you into checking into social media plaforms and wasting at least one hour per day. Yet with no notifications, you can designate times in the day to check on messages across all your apps.
- Schedule out your time backgrounds. Start with your yearly top goals and break it down by quarterly milestones, then monthly execution goals and finally weekly to daily tasks. Too many times people schedule on a day-to-day basis and wonder why they are not hitting their big picture goals in an effective manner. By working backwards, you start to list out specific action steps that will help you achieve your goal and cancel out the stuff that won’t.
- Bucket Email Activity. For those who monitor email throughout the day- you are setting yourself up for unmanageable stress, lost time and extremely low productivity. Some of the best ways to handle email is to either schedule times during the day to check for updates or dedicating full admin hours. I personally check emails 3x a day- in the morning, lunch hour and after dinner at 8pm. Usually this eats 3 hours of my time because 70% of my emails are requests, 20% are opportunities and 10% are random errands. Every once in a while I limit check ups to once a day and do full email admin days to clear out my inbox. (SaneBox does a pretty good job of prioritizing email and eliminating stuff that I don’t really need to look at.”).
- Wake up Before 9am no matter what. This is a controversial one because some might argue that you should create a schedule that works best with your lifestyle. Yet I highly recommend starting your day early for several reasons. Firstly, you give yourself room to get as much done by noon to feel satisfied that there is still the rest of the day to keep progressing on tasks. Secondly, every successful person ever interviewed always highlighted an early morning routine to kick off their day. I myself complete the “Golden Hour” every day. In the first hour that I wake up I do all of the important to do- exercise, tea drinking, reading, meditation, and cooking (I eat 6-7 times a day and need pre-cooked meals ready).
The next 10 are from my favorite articles of the year
- Leverage Tools that Manage Key People in Your Life. “CATHY ENGELBERT CEO, Deloitte One Note allows me to put different tasks [involving] each of my executive-team members in a tab. That way when I talk to them, I can be more effective, because the five things I wanted to talk to them about [are right there]” (Fast Company)
- Put everything on a calendar. Many write out their tasks in separate folders, documents or emails. Yet placing your tasks in your calendar not only forces you to put a time frame on execution but it also is a great timeline review of completed actions that can expose progress or procrastination. (Entrepreneur)
- DECLUTTER YOUR DESK. People with neat offices are more persistent and less frustrated and weary, according to a recent study in Harvard Business Review, which found that a clean desk helps you stick with a task more than one and a half times longer. (Fast Company)
- Learn to manage your Yes (s) by creating an agenda for every meeting (Including Phone Calls) and also LEARN TO SAY NO When you’re growing a company, every next step is up to you. But those limitless possibilities can be both a blessing and a curse. With limited hours in a day, it’s okay to turn down opportunities and say no to requests that won’t help you reach your business goals.
- Let Your Team Make Decisions. “Nothing curbs productivity more than a team of people who need to run every decision by you,” agrees Eli Portnoy, founder of Sense360, a behavioral data firm. “The best way to free up your time is to give people the perspective, context, and guidance so that they can fully own their domain and make decisions.” (Fast Company)
- “Using your phone, tablet or computer in bed.Most of our favorite evening devices — laptops, tablets and mobile phones — emit short-wavelength blue light brightly and right in your face. This exposure impairs melatonin production and interferes with your ability to fall asleep as well as with the quality of your sleep once you do nod off” (Entrepreneur)
- Waiting to act until you know you’ll succeed.Author Jodi Picoult summarized the importance of avoiding perfectionism perfectly: “You can edit a bad page, but you can’t edit a blank page.” (Entrepreneur)
- Comparing yourself to other people.When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from comparing yourself to others, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When you feel good about something that you’ve done, don’t allow anyone’s opinions or accomplishments take that away from you. (entrepreneur)
- Your patience is wearing thin.When we have no work-life balance, we often start to lose our temper quicker and hold on to resentments a little tighter. If you find yourself getting short with coworkers or the cashier getting your change, once in a while that’s normal, but take note if it starts to happen daily or multiple times a day. Try starting and ending your day with a daily gratitude list to train your mind to focus on the positive. (Forbes)
- Limit Screen Time: Especially TV. The average adult watches 2.8 hours per day of television, according to the American Time Use surveyfrom the Bureau of Labor Statistics…..”Television mesmerizes people and turns them into intellectual spectators. It feeds passivity and makes you less engaged. During the first few days we were at a loss for what to do. It had been our routine to watch whatever is on TV after dinner, and suddenly we were both dumbstruck for ideas. So we went to sleep at 8:30 p.m. Then a new routine kicked in. We started cooking together, took the dogs on longer walks, completed tasks around the house that had been on the to-do list for too long, and had great conversations over a glass of wine.” (Fast Company)
If you like these top tips, join the newsletter for more nuggets in 2017 and follow #CsntimTips.
- Fast Company: Five Productivity Tips For People Who Work For Themselves (As a freelancer or solo founder, staying on task is tough when you’re your own boss. These “solopreneurs” share their secrets.) https://www.fastcompany.com/3066093/work-smart/five-productivity-tips-for-people-who-work-for-themselves
- Fast Company: The Secrets of the Most Productive People: 2016. (Ten top performers reveal how they squeeze the most out of every day) https://www.fastcompany.com/3065435/secrets-of-the-most-productive-people/secrets-of-the-most-productive-people-of-2016
- Fast Company: How Giving Up TV For A Month Changed My Brain and My Life https://www.fastcompany.com/3060491/your-most-productive-self/what-happened-to-my-brain-after-a-month-without-watching-tv
- Entrepreneur Magazine: 10 Bad Habits You Must Eliminate From Your Daily Routine (When it comes to productivity, the little things make all the difference. Quit sabotaging yourself with these bad habits.) https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/284214
- Forbes Magazine: 9 Signs You Have No Work-Life Balance http://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelritlop/2016/11/01/9-signs-you-have-no-work-life-balance/#7a33fc431773
- Fast Company: 15 Habits That will Totally Transform Your Productivity https://www.fastcompany.com/3051540/secrets-of-the-most-productive-people/15-habits-that-will-totally-transform-your-productivity