Tag Archive for: how to be more successful

What Google Headquarters Taught Me About Productivity

Paula & Jay with Gopi at Google

Last week I decided to use the 4th of July weekend as an excuse to go on vacation. I have always wanted to go to San Francisco and figured now was the time. My husband Jay and I toured around the city — saw the Golden Gate Bridge, walked up Lombard Street, strolled along Fisherman’s Wharf and even tasted some amazing wine in Napa and Sonoma Valleys.

While there – we were amazingly lucky to get a tour of the Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA. That’s about 50 minutes south of San Francisco. Anyone can check out the grounds but to get a real look inside the buildings an employee has to take you around. I was lucky to be introduced to Gopi Kallayil by a mutual friend and he was our very gracious host. He’s the Chief Evangelist at Google for Brand Marketing — isn’t that the coolest title ever? Read more

Be More Productive With An Accountability Buddy

friendsIn 1898 Norman Triplett conducted a study measuring the speed of cyclists. He noticed that when the cyclists’ speeds were faster when racing against each other rather than against the clock alone. He then replicated this study with people of all different ages, doing all different tasks. The results where always the same.

We perform much better when in the presence of others.

Accountability works very similarly. We are more likely to complete a goal if we are held accountable to it by others. So how can you get started? Here are some high-tech and lo-tech solutions: Read more

3 Secrets To Skyrocketing Your Revenue

Time and money.  Those are the two things we all want more of in our lives.

I started this blog to help people get back their precious time.  Showing you how to do more in less time and get back to the stuff you really love doing – like hanging out with your family and going on vacation – has really been a privilege.

But how about making more money?

This is something I want to know about too!  I’ve become a sort of accidental entrepreneur with my book Listful Thinking being released.  I never realized that writing a book is like having a little business.  Now that I’ve gotten the entrepreneurial bug – I’m hooked and I’m excited to grow ListProducer.com into even more! Read more

Productivity Tricks We Can Learn From Politicians

elephant donkeyI always try to find productivity inspiration wherever possible.  And the race for the presidency is no exception.

Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio recently announced a bid for the White House.  And the usual eye rolling about non-stop campaigning is starting right along with it.

Now, without getting political, we should be asking why, if the election isn’t until late 2016, are they even bothering to start campaigning now? What do they gain from it? What does starting a major project early do for them? Does it actually help?

The simple answer is yes. A lot.

Using these candidates as a template, we can break down the different stages of getting a long-term project done:

Goal setting: Undoubtedly, long before they announced, these candidates and their team mapped out a pretty solid plan for the campaign. You need to have a hyper specific end goal in mind for any project.

What would that look like for any of these candidates? Surely not “Be elected president.” That is much too vague. More likely it would be something like “Achieve X number of votes”, or “Win states A, B, and C in the election.”

When you are setting your own long-term goals, remember to keep them as specific as possible. For example, if your goal is to lose weight you should have a specific number in mind. Be honest with yourself about what you really want.

Plan of action: Not only do you need a firm goal, but you need to understand how to break it down into manageable subgoals. For the Democratic presidential candidates, this might mean swaying certain swing states such as Ohio, while not spending very much time in liberal California. Likewise for the Republicans, states such as Texas are pretty “safe”, so they might try and spend more time winning over Florida’s votes.

Your own plan of action should have an equally well-defined path. Think about the day to day – what would be a realistic way to achieve your goals? For example, if you want to exercise more, would you do something every day, or on specific days of the week.

Prepare contingencies: If each candidate doesn’t win the state they deemed as most pivotal — then what?  How do they regroup and refocus their attention? That’s the key — this is all predetermined with “if/then” scenarios laid out in advance.

In your own planning, you need to prepare for unforeseen consequences. I firmly believe in always having a backup plan.

Set things in motion: Perhaps strangely, this step is last on the list. The beauty in planning out for long-term goals is that it takes a lot of the guesswork out of the process. While we are only hearing about these candidates’ plans recently, they’ve probably known about this for months or even years. They certainly weren’t going to start campaigning until plans were set in stone. That gives them the freedom to dictate how the campaign will go, and not have the campaign dictate to them how it will go. The same thing should apply to your own goals.

How do you prepare for your own long-term goals?

The Unusual Hobbies of Successful People

Sir_Richard_Branson_photo_by_Priory_StudiosSome people think you have to give up your hobbies to be productive – but that’s not the case. In fact, hobbies can help become even more productive, as I’ve written about before.

Did you know that many successful people have a hobby of some kind? I have a whole pinboard dedicated to celebrities who enjoy list making just like me. Other celebrities have some more unusual hobbies, here are some of my favorites:

Meryl Streep – She’s known for playing a wide variety of characters, but at home Meryl likes things a little more mundane. Rather than going out to fancy parties, she prefers to stay at home and knit. In an interview with The Record she explained – “I live a very unspectacular life. I love to sit on my chair in the living room and knit. Or I cook or read a book. I’m a very frugal person.” Knitting can be a very repetitive task, but that gives your mind a chance to wander and be more creative.

Stanley Kubrik – I’m always on the lookout for a good note pad, which is something Stanley and I have in common. Those who were closest to him often mentioned his love of stationery. He once apparently bought 100 bottles of brown ink because he heard they where going to discontinue the line. Collectors are often very organized people, they also understand the importance of research.

Sir Richard Branson – This famous entrepreneur is an avid list maker just like me. Many entrepreneurs like to unwind through exercise, but for most this is normally with a round of golf. Branson prefers a little more adventure and is often spotted kite-surfing. He enjoys it so much he has broken a couple of world records. Branson is the oldest person to kite-surf across the English channel in fact. Also in 2013, he organized the largest parade of kite-surfers to complete a one-mile course. Sports are a great hobby for keeping you healthy and helping you to understand the importance of perseverance.

What are some of your hobbies?