Three Proven Hacks To Avoid Distractions & Improve Focus

In spite of laying out wonderful plans for the day, many of us are guilty of leaving many of the items in our to-do list undone. When you try to examine what’s keeping you from accomplishing as much as you wanted to, the most likely culprit will be – distractions! All throughout the day, we are bombarded with seemingly endless attacks of things and concerns that steer us away from the things we are supposed to do.
You could have finished that presentation document in two hours if only you did not have to stop every now and then to check your social media feed. Or you could have easily exceeded your daily target quota if you did not prolong those chat conversations. Your productivity can also be affected by factors such as noise, mess, and unpleasant emotions such as sadness and negativity. Needless to say, the key to being more productive is to avoid these distractions by strengthening focus and concentration. The following are simple hacks you can try to do more in a day:

Start by being organized.

Is your work desk filled with unnecessary clutter? The mess will not help you focus on your work. Chances are, you will even feel more distracted and anxious. This assumption is backed by research done by Cornell University saying that clutter can agitate a person and decreases the mind’s ability to act accordingly and stay focused. Thus, if you wish to get more things done, you may want to clean your work area first.

Spend some time meditating.

The ability to focus intently on a task is a trait you can attribute to successful people. Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, and Oprah Winfrey are just a few famous personalities attesting the many benefits you can gain from spending a few minutes of your day in meditation. Incidentally, several studies also prove the many advantages of meditation to physical and emotional health. One study even claims that meditating results in a younger brain. As you build up your brain muscles by meditating, you are also improving your focus and concentration. Thus, if you are struggling to say no to a distracting activity, it is probably a good idea to give those breathing exercises a try.

Drink up!

If your mind is constantly wandering elsewhere while you try to finish a task, there are several options you can try for remedy. Some can suggest drinking coffee, eating sweets, or taking a break. You may “however” get better results by simply downing a glass of water. According to a research, dehydration adversely affects our mind’s ability to think clearly. On the other hand, another study reveals that sufficient water consumption can significantly improve cognitive function. The study says that staying hydrated is an effective way to increase concentration and productivity. So if you wish to boost your brainpower, try drinking more water.

To be immune to distractions can sound like a huge challenge.However, science has proven through their research and studies that there are simple hacks you can make use to stay glued and focused on a task. If so many distractions are keeping you from maximizing your potential and achieving goals, you may want to give the above methods a try.

Glen and Joya BakerThree Proven Hacks To Avoid Distractions & Improve Focus
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Six Ways To Continuously Reap Success & Achieve Excellence

People who chased and found success realized that it is not a journey with a definite ending. Rather, it is a breathtaking destination that leads to more magnificent sights. It can also be likened to a door that opens new pathways to more exciting adventures. The only sensible thing to do if you wish to hold on to your success is to move forward. You cannot stop or move backward because it is like turning your back to a wealth of treasures that are within your reach.

Committing to the following behaviors will help you continuously enjoy victory in life:

Be an early riser

If you see yourself as a night owl, you may want to seriously consider shifting to a more active morning routine. Various studies linking the habit of waking up early to productivity and success may just convince you. A study regarding the behaviors of successful people by financial planner and bestselling author, Thomas Corley, revealed that almost half of the self-made millionaires involved in his research make an effort to rise hours before their workday begins. By starting your day an hour or two earlier, you get ample time to prepare for the tasks ahead and you greatly increase the chance of accomplishing more. If being a morning person proves to be a big challenge, remind yourself of the quotes that “The early bird gets the worm” and “You snooze, you lose.”

Be a voracious reader

The fact that a great number of notable individuals such as Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Gates are self-confessed bookworms may just convince you to pick up that book that is just gathering dust in the corner of your room. Books are source of entertainment and knowledge so setting a time for daily reading is a pleasant way to increase your mental power and nurture creativity. At the same time, the knowledge you gained from reading gives you an edge over others.

Challenge yourself every day

Staying in your comfort zone is like setting up a pigeonhole that restrains your growth and potential. Besides, you cannot totally avoid risks if you wish to achieve something great in life. So liven up your routines by finding ways to push yourself to the limit each day. Simple ways to do this include doing an extra set of sit-up exercises or completing a project in half the time.

Keep on learning

The world is an infinite source of knowledge and learning is a continuous process so there will always be new things to discover. Successful individuals never stop upon reaching their goals. Instead, they keep themselves indispensable by acquiring new skills and honing existing strengths. They also manage to stay a step ahead of the game by keeping an eye on latest trends and breakthroughs.

Always be thankful

Life would hand with you a fair share of problems that make it hard to pursue fruitful living. Successful people though resist the pull of negativity by constantly focusing on the bright side. By choosing to be grateful for everything including difficulties, you can stay inspired and motivated to keep on reaching for your dreams.

Invest on good health

Even with strong willpower, soaring to new heights will be next to impossible if you are physically weak. You need energy and stamina to do extraordinary things so nourish your body with essential nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

The determination and discipline to commit to good habits are vital keys that make the quest to achieve your full potential and enjoy continued success possible. The amount of effort you have to exert in the pursuit of excellence will never be wasted because it will allow you to experience the best that this life has to offer.

Glen and Joya BakerSix Ways To Continuously Reap Success & Achieve Excellence
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Tips For Making Your Mentoring Experience Truly Rewarding

If you’ve ever had someone take you under their wing, then you know how truly rewarding and invaluable a mentoring relationship can be. It can have an impactful influence on someone else’s life. In addition, it is just as much of an important learning experience for you as a mentor as it is for your pupil.

For some, the idea of mentoring can be intimidating. Perhaps you think you don’t have enough experience or time to be of value to your mentee. But instead of thinking “Why me?” change your mindset and instead think “Why not me?”.

Here are three tips to ensure your mentoring experience is truly rewarding, for both you and your mentee.

Make Yourself Available

Have you ever worked in an office that has an “open door” policy? While it is great in theory, oftentimes these well-meaning policies never come to fruition. Many have had their fair share of being shut down by their superiors or mentors who always seem to be too busy, despite having an “open door” policy.

So when it comes to your mentees, make yourself available to them and easy to reach. They are looking to us for feedback and its important to let them know that you care and are there for them. This can go a long way in building trust in your mentor-mentee relationship.

Share Your Experiences and Expertise  

Chances are, you’ve had many times throughout your career where you’ve run into challenging situations. Some of our most trying times and failures can be when we learn the most. Sharing these experiences with your mentee can be big teaching moments, especially when it comes to showing how even our failures can be our successes as long as we learn from them.

There is always value in the experiences you’ve had, whether professional or personal, that can be vital to your mentees growth. You are the expert, and the knowledge you impart will help your mentee apply it to their own situations.

Be a Sounding Board

While mentees look to us for guidance, it is important to be actively engaged and listen when they present their obstacles to us. This helps us as mentors to be best equipped to guide them through difficult situations.

Being able to give sound advice is important in mentorship; but having the discipline to be patient and truly interested in their dialogue is equally as important. Oftentimes there is just as much for us to learn from our mentees as there is for our mentees to learn from us. And having an open ear is just one way to achieve this.

There’s no shortage of people and professionals who need additional guidance in their lives. Mentorship is highly rewarding and helps to develop your leadership skills, which ultimately translate to your professional career. And perhaps more importantly, sharing your insights through mentoring is incredibly rewarding to your mentee and enriching to their life.

 

Glen and Joya BakerTips For Making Your Mentoring Experience Truly Rewarding
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Asking the Smart Questions: A Lesson for Success

Voltaire got it right when he said, “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” In mentoring, as in life, asking questions is the primary way we learn to do better and be better. Questioning things we don’t understand is the most effective way to enhance learning, develop critical thinking skills, and build trust between the question-asker and the question-answerer. The key to success, however, is knowing when and how to ask the right questions. It’s knowing that while it may be true that there is no such thing as a stupid question, there is such a thing as a smart question. So yes, some questions are better than others, and those who ask smart questions are more likely to be the best at what they do because they learn in the best possible way as well.

But what makes a question a smart question?

First off, it is a question asked with intention. It is directed at understanding a specific goal, concept, or idea and is asked in fine detail. It is well-informed and relevant in such a way that it does not sound willfully ignorant. Does this mean you must be an expert to ask a question about a specific idea? No, but it does mean that you have to have done your homework. You have to have researched the information enough to understand the basic foundation of your question so that it is coming from an analytical perspective. A smart question may be framed with the phrase “Can you explain more about X, so that I may better understand Y?” You should know exactly the kind of information you are looking for so that your question creates clarity and you don’t end up with an open-ended answer.

A smart question is also not laced with judgment or asked in a condescending or undermining manner. It should be founded in facts and respect and asked out of honest curiosity. Smart questions express a certain level of empowerment and ownership towards the person to whom you are directing your question. For instance, “Based on your experience, what do you think is the next step?”

More than anything, a smart question is one that is asked to learn something you didn’t know before, and it is asked in a way that acknowledges the ideas and opinions of others. It offers thought and a fresh perspective and encourages others to see things in unpredictable ways. It pushes others to think critically, analytically, and creatively in hopes of provoking inner reflection. For example, consider asking something along the lines of “What did you learn from previous trials that made this one successful?”

As all things in life, timing is everything and asking a smart question is no exception. Make sure to consider the timing and relevance of the conversation and ask your question in a way that further encourages or propels the discussion forward.

By following these guidelines to ask the smartest question, you are ensuring the smartest response.

Glen and Joya BakerAsking the Smart Questions: A Lesson for Success
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How to Do Less and Lead More

In most modern businesses, there are essentially two types of leaders. Of course, to be fair, there are thousands upon thousands of ways to classify and slice and dice and categorize leaders, but for the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on two major trends in business leadership. First of all, there are leaders who lead by example; they’re hands-off, and they’d prefer to work themselves to the bone in the hopes that their followers will emulate them. Secondly, in the opposite camp, there are leaders who take the time to lead intentionally. They don’t seem to be doing quite as much as their overactive counterparts, but what you don’t see is the commitment to excellence they embody through their subtle methods.

All of this is not to say either way is necessarily the “right” way to lead, but there are some notable benefits to the method of hands-on, subtle leadership. It’s all in the art of doing less and leading more.

So, how do you do less and lead more? It’s certainly not a simple feat. It takes finesse. It takes communication. More than anything, it takes dedication.

If you’re going to commit to doing less for yourself, if you’re going to put a stop to simply leading by example, then you need to go all in. You need to be there 100 percent in every respect for your followers, for your mentees, for the people you help and coach.

How do you go all in? There’s really no set way to go all in, but at the core of the principle is the idea that this is a calling. To be a leader is a unique vocation, and it’s one that very few truly receive and even fewer answer.

When you feel compelled to lead others, and you answer that call, you have to be willing to make it a priority.

At the end of the day, you will ultimately be doing so much more as a leader, even if you’re nominally doing less. You may not get the glory for your own work, but you’ll have something even better: the satisfaction of knowing you truly led.

Glen and Joya BakerHow to Do Less and Lead More
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