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Pay attention to your attention!

Pay attention to your attention! – Really that is not a typo!

To achieve our goals and dreams, the ability to harness our power of attention is critical. This has never been truer than in modern time.  Our ability to focus is constantly impeded by pop-up notifications, alerts, texts, emails, and so on.  Each one threatening to hijack us away from the task at hand and derailing our forward progress to success.

Fortunately, attention is a skill; and like any skill it can be strengthened.  You simply need to pay attention to your attention.  Consciously choose where to direct your efforts and take back control. pay attentionHere are some tactics for winning the war on distraction:

  • Each morning jot down your “focus” list. Set multiple reminders for referencing it.
  • Do less, then obsess.
  • Push back against distractions as they arise.

In any moment, we can choose to be successful by giving our 100% focus to the most essential tasks at hand.  Be mindful, be deliberate, and always be strengthening the power of your attention.  Distractions will begin losing their power and you will be on a straight track towards achieving those goals and dreams.

You got this…take charge of your attention!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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You have options – work hard or work smart?

 “Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough, and I can move anything.”  – Greek mathematician Archimedes

That’s working smarter – that’s quality activity!

smart kidLet’s apply this concept to a modern-day project.  Imagine this scenario, you must move a heavy piece of old furniture out of your garage and to the curb.  You have options – work hard or work smart!

One scenario, working hard, would be to solicit a group of friends/family to tackle this project with you.  This would entail having to select and contact multiple people, coordinate a date and time among their varying schedules, and (if you are a good friend) providing some adult beverages afterward for their effort.  This is a perfectly viable option that will provide the desired result, yet it requires a lot of steps.

Another scenario, working smart, call that one friend or family member who owns a dolly and ask to borrow it.  Then you can do the job yourself and save those coveted adult beverages for the remainder of the weekend.  Another option producing the same result but this one demands far less time, energy, and effort – and keeps the fridge well stocked for the weekend.

Admittedly parts of every job will have tasks we can’t just eliminate.  Still, most jobs do have parts we can combine, delegate, or remove.  Ask yourself, “What existing activities of little value should we eliminate?  What existing activities of high value should we increase? What new activities of high value should we create?” 

Reflect on the questions posed above then take action!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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“Work smarter not harder.” – Duh!

The way we approach annual goals, meaning our specific work practices as opposed to sheer effort, does indeed provide greater results.  Think about those goals you have previously identified for the year.  Are you making forward progress?  Is your pace of progress on track?

Confined only by walls you buildWith the mid-year mark approaching, circle back on those goals and key activities being engaged.  Are you working harder? Smarter?  Neither? Both?

If you find yourself working harder, be aware!  You are spread too thin and falling into the complexity trap.  Thus, working smarter holds great truth.  Confirm that you have clear direction, reclarify your goals, and literally focus on “fewer” activities.

The smart way to work is literally “do less, then obsess.”  By no means does this imply slacking off – quite the contrary.  Author of Great at Work, Moten Hanson, sums it up perfectly – “As few as you can, as many as you must.”  By this he means we should do everything possible to discard non-essential activities.  Take the fewest steps – while retaining everything necessary to do great work.  Rather than “do more, then stress” we should “do less, then obsess.”

Reconfirm those goals.  Recognize the most critical activities needed.  Invest huge efforts into each activity and obsess over them!

What will you obsess about?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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Visualize this…

What does a successful tomorrow look like for you?  No really, what does it look like?

VisualizeThe most successful athletes and business people can tell you. They take the time to actually visualize success of their next goal.  Do you ever take the time to visualize what a successful tomorrow will look like for you?  You should – it’s a great exercise!

And once you have that picture in your head, you’ll see that you start planning to make it happen.  It’s just the natural progression of how your mind will flow.  That picture of “success”, whatever it might be, becomes your goal, and one that you don’t want to fall short of.  So, close your eyes – picture success for tomorrow – and start mapping out how you will achieve that success!

Mentally rehearsing success is both easier and more difficult than it sounds: easier because the ability to do so is entirely within your control; more difficult because it requires discipline and perseverance.

Your thoughts matter.  Give more attention to this practice.  Make it your morning routine.

No matter what your goals are for tomorrow, if you want to increase the chances of success, give   visualization a shot.

What dream/goal/ambition will you start with?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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Behind Goal? Channel your inner-infant self!

Do you ever find yourself struggling to make progress on a goal – what do you do?  Act like an infant! …metaphorically speaking.

infante walkingGoals are meant to be big.  They are meant to take time; yet too often we outpace ourselves early on which can be detrimental to overall success.  Ambition turns into defeatism as we begin telling ourselves the finish line is out of reach.  This is precisely the moment where we must act like an infant, because all infants are successful!

“When you were still a small child, you made your way around the world crawling on your hands and knees. Everyone else was walking, and one day you got into your little head that maybe you could give that a try to. Once that thought appeared, there was suddenly no “maybe” about it: you had to give it a try.  There was no way you were not going to attempt it, fail at it, and then keep attempting it until you mastered it.  Step-by-step, quite literally, we started working to develop the skills needed to walk.” – Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge

Could you imagine if you gave up when you were an infant?  Today you’d be crawling around on your hands and knees as a grown adult.  Of course you didn’t give up then – and you shouldn’t today either!

Embody the relentless determination you had when learning to walk.  Approach your goals moment to moment.  Like learning to walk you should expect to fall.  And just as you did when you were an infant, you get back up and keep working at it.

You first had to learn to crawl before you could walk.  Similarly, you must break down annual goals into smaller (more manageable) milestones.  Begin with a walking pace  towards your goals; and before you know it, you will be running towards the finish line.

This is the power of continuous effort…this is the power of acting like an infant!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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Why over 80% fail: Sound Familiar?

New Year’s resolutions often never materialize…

According to a U.S. News report, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February.  Have you ever wondered why?

habits 2Personally, I believe this to be a direct result of people not setting and sticking with simple daily disciplines.  It’s the little choices, when compounded over time, that either get us closer to our goals or pull us further away from them.  The impact of those choices, for better or for worse, determine our path and ultimately the end results.

“The things you do every single day – the things that don’t look dramatic – that don’t even look like they matter, do matter. They not only make a difference – they make all the difference.” – Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge

Jeff Olson’s assertion makes perfect, logical sense; that simple daily productive actions make the difference between failure and success.  It’s like a bank account where every little daily choice is either a deposit or a withdrawal. For example, want to lose weight?  Commit to just 5 sit-ups and 5 push-ups each morning just before hopping in the shower.  Want to learn more and expand your expertise?  Rather than waking up and watching the news or checking social media, read just 5 pages of a book – on professional development.)

You might be asking yourself, “Could such little actions like reading 5 pages and/or doing 5 push-ups each morning make such a massive impact on my life?”  I am here to tell you -YES!  I know this to be true because it has made a lasting difference in my own life.  When facing long terms goals, approach them with simple daily activities.  Create these little daily disciplines and you will ultimately reach those year-end resolutions!

Ask yourself, “What would my life be like today if last January I had changed just one simple thing?”  The choice is yours!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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This Holiday- Pay Attention to Where You Place Your Attention!

It is a magical time of year but also one of the most hectic.  With all the gift shopping, events to attend, traveling to do; we become preoccupied with many of the wrong things.  In a blink of an eye the joy is being sucked out of the joyous season.

DistractedPay attention to where you are placing your attention.  Like how perceptions lend to beliefs, where we place our “attention” ends up shaping our (holiday) spirits.  The good news, we have more control over where our “attention” goes than what we might think.  Putting more “attention” on the cheer of the holidays is not about chasing away it’s stresses.  It’s about bringing the chase to an end.

The holidays are meant to be a special reminder for us to be in the moment and/or reflect on the many things we should be grateful for – not the growing list of things to do and places to be.   The unfortunate reality is that most of us hurry through this season without taking in the true meaning of it.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  With a little intention and awareness, we can bring back the joy of this joyous time of year.

The next time you find yourself wallowing in holiday annoyances (traffic and long lines) refocus your attention towards all the good the season brings (connecting with friends and family who bring happiness to your life).  It’s not about getting through the holidays but rather making them as magical as they can/should be.  The only change needed is where you place your attention.  The choice is yours!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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Working under the influence – a good thing?

WARNING: you have been working under the influence!

I am not referring to alcohol or controlled substances; I am talking about three internal processes that impact your performance most.

influenceTake a moment and reflect back on your past several days at work.  Now pinpoint a single event that was most challenging or frustrating – we all have one.  You first interpreted the experience that then created feelings which ultimately affected your decision to do (or not do) something.   You were under the influence of perception, emotion, and motivation. 

 According to the studies these three internal processes impact our performance most.  It stems out of the choices we make based on these internal forces – the choices we make!

No doubt, this is a lesson about personal responsibility and accountability.  It is about being answerable to achieving our responsibilities.  You hold the authority over these three internal processes.  This is as simple, or difficult, as deciding how your perceptions, emotions, and motivations will influence your overall mood, actions and performance.

The choice is yours.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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How do you see yourself?

Blog post written by Amber Sutphen, Financial Recruiter, JFC Global

This year, when I was asked to be part of the Professional Development class, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Prior to this class, professional development was something I was doing without even thinking about it. Now I’ve been given the opportunity to take charge of my professional development and look at it from a much deeper perspective.

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton

cat_sees_lion_in_mirrorAs a member of this class, we are asked to evaluate ourselves. Using the book “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” we have been taking time out of each class to delve into different strategies to improve our emotional intelligence (EQ). We have learned that developing our soft-skills and managing how we react to different situations is a huge part of professional development.

One section of the book focuses on Self Awareness which is “having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation and emotions.” Before this class, I didn’t spend much time thinking about this topic. Throughout the day I’m being pulled in different directions, handling multiple job orders and going light speed.  I never really took the opportunity to check in with myself.

At the start of this class, I decided I would begin writing in a journal. I try to write in it almost every day and overall it has been a very positive experience. If you are wondering how to go about emotional journal writing, here are some tips:

  • Find a special spot that is neat, clean and comfortable
  • Before writing, allow yourself to relax and to reflect. Ask yourself: What did I do today? How did it make me feel? What lessons did I learn?
  • When ready, start writing. Don’t be too critical. No one is judging.

The process of writing down my feelings and what is going on in my life has given me a clearer picture of my emotions. It has allowed me to become more mindful and more in-tune with myself.

Sure, there are days when I don’t feel like writing, but what I’ve found is that even when I don’t feel like it, I am always glad I did. It is interesting to reflect back on my day and also to look back at entries I made.  I plan to continue with it, and it will be cool when I can look back a year, two years ago, etc.

There are a ton of benefits to emotional journal writing! It can definitely relieve stress. It also serves as a reminder of some mistakes you’ve made, moments you want to remember, and accomplishments you are proud of. It forces you to be aware of your actions and behaviors. It can also turn into your own personal brainstorming session where you come up with new ideas that open up the door to new possibilities.

If you have ever considered starting a journal, my advice is to do it! It will give you the ability to see the big picture. It is a great tool that could help you achieve higher self-awareness and continue to develop in both your professional career and personal life.

Happy writing!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

The greatest compliment I can receive is a referral from readers.  Please SHARE my blog with your network.  Thanks for not keeping us a secret!  

 

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What Does Professional Development Look Like?

What does Professional Development mean to me…

By Jen Silvetti, JFC Workforce Branch Manager

Honestly- I didn’t know what it was until I started working at JFC. Every other job I have had in my career, was just that – a job.

I showed up on time every day and worked to the best of my ability. I had no idea when coming to JFC that my professional and personal world would have been changed so drastically.

I started almost 4 years ago…I still was showing up on time and working to the best of my ability.  Then, after a year, I heard a knock at the door- it was opportunity. (I know it sounds cliché doesn’t it.)

If you know my personality I am one to take advantage of any opportunity and will not shy away from the inherent challenges – no regrets!  This meant stepping into the role of Branch Manager and in the very branch I was working in.

Wow- can you imagine?  …Managing those that I called my team just the week before. What was I getting into?  I will admit, it took some time to find my way.  Just trying to understand more of the staffing industry, since I was new to this work just the year prior.

My previous life of corralling preschoolers and probationers,.  Neither prepared me for this new world of Staffing and Management- wait yes it did.

I was not managing, I was coaching. Everything I have done up until this point has shaped me in some way. My life has created a virtual tool belt. I wear this tool belt every day and you have no idea what tool you will be called to use.

Since working with Jimmy, our Chief Enthusiasm Officer and the JFC work family, I have been provided with a never ending supply of tools.  What I needed to bring to this new role was a desire to learn and grow, not to mention being vulnerable.  That is the running joke in many meetings but it is so true of me. Being afraid to make mistakes and fail…or as someone that I met just recently referred to them…as opportunities, not failures.

How cool is that?

With this mindset, you have nothing more to do than grow. All these years, I had no idea that being vulnerable was even “a thing” until I heard it and read more about it. I had always thought that this was a sign of weakness and a flaw. I had been deemed a “weak link” years ago at a previous employer- I admit I was young and inexperienced when having to deal with at-risk youth right out of college. Since working at JFC, I am able to embrace it and know that it is merely something to be conscious of and continue to work through. Vulnerable by many means, “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.” Susceptible yes- but you must have the courage to face it.

 

Over the last few years, I have learned how to cope, manage and coach in my development. JFC has provided such a variety of ways to do this. I have never in any workplace felt so respected and encouraged. I feel safe enough to make mistakes and question things as long as I still have the openness to keep getting better and receive feedback. Also, I am no better or worse than anyone else. These skills that I have learned and continue to learn not only help me the 40 hours a week at work, but with everyone that I come in contact with. I am so excited and passionate about my growth, I love sharing it with others anytime I can. As you can imagine, not everyone is open and vulnerable. But I will continue to learn and share as much as I can and thank you to JFC for showing me how important Professional Development is and should be in any environment.

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