Brain Based Way to Be More Productive

This is something I work on every day. If somebody asks me to do something, sometimes their lucky if I remember what it was half an hour later. I get distracted easily. But the research consistently shows that we’re at our best when we’re focused on one thing at a time.

Sometimes you have to multitask. Sometimes your job is interruptions or multiple balls-in-the-air juggling. But as much as you can. Do one thing at a time.

Multitasking is evil.

A Brain Based Method for Being More Productive by Inc.

Learn From the Best

Surrounding yourself with the best people you can find, people who will challenge you and make you better, has always been a fast way to get to where you want. It will make you happier, more productive, and more successful in the long run. Doing the same with other entrepreneurs also works.

Learn From the Best from Inc.

They Would Rather Watch Paint Dry

According to this Inc. article, your employees would rather watch paint dry, move to the Antarctic, or get a mullet haircut than got to another of your meetings. It’s an interesting infographic, and the alternatives to even having meetings are worth considering.


Before you consider throwing out the baby with the bathwater, consider first if there’s anything you could be doing better, including running a more effective meeting itself. Or maybe work on the underlying trust, conflict, and commitment issues, a lá Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

17 % of Your Employees Would Rather Watch Paint Dry

How to Persuade During a Crisis

You may not be the right messenger, show both sides, find common ground.

How To Persuade Employees During a Crisis from HBR

Sometimes You Just Have to Get Started – Setting Goals That Get Done #4

Part Three of  Series that begins with Setting Your Intent and Deciding What You’re Not Going To Do

Castle Mountain, Alberta

Forget the first step, what’s the next step? And what tune are you going to sing to keep the pace?

If we never started something knowing 100% how we were going to get it done, humankind wouldn’t have reached the moon, mapped the human genome, or climbed Mount Everest.  Sometime the best way to do something is to just start and figure it out along the way. You might not be able to figure out the entire puzzle, but you can usually figure out where the next piece fits.

If you know what needs to be done next, even if that means ‘figure out how to do that part”, then that’s enough to get started.

Here’s the key: When I say “next step”, I mean what physical, tangible, visible action are you going to take? Are you going to pick up the phone and call somebody, or sketch out the design, or visualize what the deliverable / goal / accomplishment looks like and commit that paper? Are you going to cut, shape, fabricate a component? It’s shape model? A part? Are you going to have the contract reviewed by a lawyer, sign it, and hang your shingle out? Start a web page, order stock, arrange a photographer?

What are you going to do? What is the thing that is going to happen?

Here’s an exercise of for extra points: List your three biggest, or most important, projects. Then list the next step for each.



What to Leave Out of Your Résumé

Plain, concrete language is emotional are persuasive. Catch phrases and clichés dilute your credibility. Be brutal when editing your résumé.

6 Great-Sounding Phrases to Remove From Your Résumé – Rhett Power

Define the Job, Not the Person

When looking for the best person for the job, describe the job. Not the person. Better yet, describe what success for that job looks like.

Lou Adler Group – Originators of Performance-based Hiring

To Hire Better People Define the Job Before You Define the Person

10 Ways to Reduce Your Stress

I practice six out of ten of these. What does this say about me? (reaches for stress ball…)

How Science Can Teach You to Stay Calm by Lolly Daskal

The Easiest Way to Promote Gender Equality at Your Company

I believe that women need to learn to use three phrases, and I hope that my daughters have learned them as well:

  • Please don’t interrupt me / I’m not finished
  • I already said that, and
  • I don’t need you to explain that to me.

But women can’t do it all themselves. So this is a great rule for you, meeting chair-person, to enforce.

The Easiest Way to Promote Gender Equality at Your Company – Laura Montini

Simple Criteria for Choosing a Mentor

Anybody who wants a more successful career should find an experienced and trusted adviser or three. Personally I have my own little board of directors, whom I call my “Brain Trust.” And today I’m having lunch with a former boss who is now semi-retired but still a valuable network resource.

What should you be looking for in a mentor? How do you find an experienced and trusted advisor to help you have a more successful career?

First, be clear about your own intentions and expectations. What are you hoping to get out of the relationship? Are you working on a particular behaviour or skill? Are you wanting to improve your leadership skills, get promoted, or land that big contract?

A mentor is more experienced and knowledgeable than you. A mentor is a successful model of the career you’re envisioning, but distant enough from your own job, chain-of-command, or team / department / company that they can give you an objective perspective of your situation.

Their own self-interest does not play into any advice or feedback they give you. Nor will you hold back sharing important details with him or her for fear of it affecting your career, deal, or company.

A mentor is willing to spend time with you, coach you, and introduce you into his or her network. A mentor genuinely cares about you. They may even become a friend, but not necessarily.

You should respect your mentor, and work at establishing and maintaining the relationship. You’re getting more out of it than they are. You should be willing to invest the time and effort required. Treat it like the professional commitment that it is.

Your mentor will be honest (and kind) with you, push you out of your comfort zone, and ask you the questions that might make you squirm. A mentor will help you grow. If you’re not going to take their advice, then don’t waste their time.

In the end it’s your decisions about what actions to take or not. That never changes. Just consider that what got you to where you are might not get you to where you want to go next. Commit to making the changes needed to reach your goals.

Try This

If you don’t already have one, make a list of three potential mentors including what you would hope to learn from them. They don’t necessarily need to be in your network already. How will you approach them?