It’s not WHAT you are carrying, it’s HOW you are carrying it

When I was at the supermarket yesterday, I bought loads of groceries, since I only do these types of shopping like once in a month, I get carried on and on ūüôā and at the end, all of the items are placed in commercial¬†bags for me to carry…

I held all of the bags, and started walking, and walking, I live pretty close to the supermarket, and on that day I said that I needed the exercise…

4-5 minutes later, I was very tiered, tiered from the load I was carrying… But wait, the total of items vs their weight is not something a healthy 35 years old male cannot handle! and yet I had to take several stops on my 10 minutes trip… until I reached home.

What happened to me, happened to you before, and I don’t mean carrying the bags, but the entire way that we carry our items that makes a huge difference.

Let’s put it this way: If the entire items, were carefully put in a travel backpack, and the weight was distributed all over our body… not only we could manage to get it going with, we could even fit more and more items!!!

One of the secrets to productivity, is knowing how to distribute and balance your load… You see, sometimes the number of items on your plate might seem reasonable, and manageable, but yet you fail to see that the WAY you are carrying off your items / tasks / responsibilities is not ideal, and will make you feel tiered and you may be in a situation where you can’t continue due to the “unexplained” load you are carrying…

¬†Make sure you don’t carry the burden of the whole world on your shoulders, just in case someone needed them to cry.

~Nema Al-Araby

Our tip for this week is, as always, simple ūüôā … Make sure you pay attention to HOW you are carrying your load, and not only to how many manageable items there are…

Enjoy your Week!

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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

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You are not the center, the center is You

During my path of coaching and assisting people, whether it was on a professional or personal level, if we were in a casual conversation or in a formal meeting, I have encountered a lot of similarities in what hold some people off from realizing their potential, and sometimes in what is holding them from doing any type of progress!

This week’s tip is inspired by the same conversation that I had with like at least a dozen of individuals (with variations of course); the initial versus of the conversation starts with something like:

  • I don’t know what to do …
  • My personal life is going nowhere…
  • My professional life is going nowhere…
  • I’m not the same person I used to be before…

and then it continues¬†on and on, and at some point in the conversation, I would ask “Why can’t you do this… ” and the reply is always similar to:

  • But you don’t understand, how can I do this while THAT is still there…
  • I can’t focus on my work while my Personal life is not working…
  • I can’t focus on My self while I’m having issues at my work…

So to cut it short, here’s what I end up saying:

“My dear <NAME>,

Let me put it this way for you, there are 3 Circles in your life. 1) The Professional Life, 2) The Personal Life & 3) The Private Life.

1) The Professional Life: includes all the work related items, your relationship with your boss, colleagues etc

2) Your Personal Life: includes your family, friends, loved ones, LOVEd one, and your life with them

3) Your Private Life: which includes YOU, how you eat, drink, exercise, what makes you happy, and what makes you sad… etc

All 3 constitute YOUR LIFE, but let’s be realistic, those 3 areas are not the front of the¬†BLADE¬†of a BULLDOZER that you use to CRAFT your life AT THE SAME TIME! ¬†in fact although they are interconnected and interdependent, they are to be dealt with separately.

Of course when you are happy at home, and you are in great physical shape, it would affect your professional life in a positive manner. Of Course, the opposite will affect (and would probably mess up) everything around you. But Hey! don’t make yourself the CENTER of the 3 circles, just understand that The Center is YOU. And you just need to have a mental separation to all 3…

  • You need to Eat healthy, take care of your self, EVEN IF YOUR professional life is not going well.. Don’t Stop Taking care of yourself…
  • You need to take good care of your personal life¬†Even if you have issues at work
  • You need to keep the work related issues… AT WORK….

From what I learned from Successful people, they do that a lot, they have this amazing ability of separating things mentally, if they have issues at home, they don’t make that affect their responsibility and especially their communication with their employees, teams and colleagues… If they have an issue at Work, they don’t bring¬†on the stress¬†home to their family.

If you put yourself in the Spotlight of the 3 circles, you won’t get satisfaction unless everything is solved / working optimally, however realizing that the center is you, makes you work further on developing / handling each aspect separately and enjoy the benefits!

Enjoy your Week!

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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

5 Tips from a Frequent Flyer

When I was sitting in the last hour of 2014 evaluating what happened during the year, one thing stroke my attention… I have taken 62 FLIGHTS in 2014!! And compared to 37 flights in 2013… I won’t be counting the miles and hours I spent up in the air instead, I’ll share with you 5 tips that you might find useful next time you’re taking a trip.

1. Be Meticulous when you pack your bags

Whether it was a long flight or a short one, if you were traveling Light or not, packing is important… SOME try to STUFF things in their bags as if they were escaping the apocalypse only to live in a deserted island for the rest of their life J … Irrespective which type of PACKER / STUFFER are you, my advice to you is to be in a state READY to open your bag and add, check or remove anything in a matter of less than 2 Minutes!

For any reason you might be in a long line, and you would be asked about to open your bag… to see / validate something in it… and no one likes to be in this situation, exposing their personal items to the public… So make sure you can do so in 1 minute… and save yourself and others some inconvenience…

One time as I was walking the door of my flat, I discovered that the key to the apartment is in the pocket of my suit stored very carefully in my bag… Yes it happens!

2. Your Passport is your most important asset… Understand it

It does help that you go through your passport and memories important items on it, you WILL be asked in EVERY flight you take to fill a small form that will include your Passport #, its Date of Issuance, Place of Issuance and expiry date. Most of the time, you will need to fill that form before you land, or before you pass through passport control, so it can save you some time and less effort to get your passport from your bag stored in the overhead location or do so while standing in a line or so.

One other thing here, and this may only happen if you’re traveling in the countries of the Middle East and Africa but it’s worth mentioning… Some Local authorities, might HAND-write down some information on your passport, like a number or a code… That you might not pay attention to at the time, nevertheless, they would LOOK for this (again Hand-Written) code while admitting you in… So if you have changed passports or something. This might take you even more time and sometimes some inconvenience.

Also, your passport holds your travel History, and at points, you would be asked (whether in an application or in-person)¬† about a specific date of entry to a country‚Ķ in My case, once I was standing before the passport control in Morocco and the gentleman was sure that I didn’t leave the country the last time I went in, since it does not show on the system‚Ķ so I had to look up the ‚ÄúStamp‚Ä̂Ķ otherwise it would’ve been an additional valuable time to finish the process‚Ķ So MAKE SURE you pay attention when the gentleman perform his procedure on your passport.

3. Be at the airport at LEAST 2 hours before your flight time

I have a good friend, who really Push the envelope on this one, he would literally take his time in going to the airport, and we always fight over why I do the opposite J …

There are numerous cases that I passed through personally that made me confident that the rule of 2-3 hours before your flight time is there for a REASON!!

Let‚Äôs say you forgot something VERY important and you only discovered that when you were in the airport? Let‚Äôs say there were a LOT of people checking in, you can‚Äôt say that ‚Äúyou have a flight to catch‚ÄĚ cause you know, everyone else is in the same shoe as you!

Sometimes, airlines could be OVERBOOKED, so you might arrive and NOT find a place for you on the plane (it does happen). And sometimes, just sometimes, a sequence of unfortunate events could happen to you‚Ķ and make you lose time and more time and more time‚Ķ like the time I was flying to Oman from Kuwait through Dubai, and I had 2 boarding passes, and the gentlemen in the passport control stamped my boarding pass going from Dubai to Oman and not from Kuwait to Dubai‚Ķ and Guess what? They couldn’t let me BOARD, until I had to go BACK to the passport control and fix that‚Ķ Imagine doing that all in like 30 minutes before the plane takes off.

4. Be at the gate exactly at the Boarding time

Also some folks would push the envelope on this one too, so they spend some time cruising around the airport here and there, and wait till the last minute to board the flight…

Sometimes, your boarding gate DOESN’T LEAD YOU DIRECTLY to your plane, but instead to a shuttle that would transport you to your plane; and your plane could REALLY be far from where you THINK it is parked‚Ķ I was flying Emirates the other day, and while I boarded in Dubai, the gate lead to a shuttle and the bus took us on a 25 minutes trip to SHARJAH (that‚Äôs another Emirate BTW) so we could board on the plane‚Ķ So seriously, you wouldn’t want this type of stress of almost-missing your flight because of that nice perfume you saw in the Duty Free.

5. Be careful when booking connection flights

When a direct flight is not available or is more expensive, a connecting flight is a decent and sometimes rather an excellent choice; just make sure to pay attention of the time difference between your arrival time from your initial flight and the boarding time of your connecting flight.

Let me put it to you in a different way, 45 minutes might SEEM reasonable to you giving you enough time to change planes etc‚Ķ IT‚ÄôS NOT‚Ķ you may need to add an additional Hour to make it reasonable‚Ķ So 1h 45 minutes IS a good time‚Ķ as so many things might happen on the way‚Ķ If you ever took a connection flight from CAIRO per example, (depending on which terminal you would land) the local procedures caused me to MISS my connecting flight 2 times in 1 week!!! And if you ever took a connection flight from Paris, and saw the LONG LINE ‚Ķ REALLY LONG line on inspection‚Ķ and that wouldn’t help when your initial flight gets delayed (it happen with even the best airlines in the world‚Ķ almost frequently for numerous reasons)

On a lighter side, the opposite happen, so always confirm the timings with your travel agent before you accept the flight, I once spent 9 hours in Italy and once I spent 11 Hours in Germany… because I thought that I will arrive at 9 AM and will board at 10:15 AM… and it turned out that I will board at 10:15 PM.

6. BONUS: Enjoy the Experience!

Flying is not a stressful activity, unless you make it this way, if you plan everything in advance, follow instructions and deal with un-expected things as they happen, you shouldn’t face enough issues. It‚Äôs still the safest mean to travel. And an Excited experience as well, so look around, enjoy the variety of people, languages, sounds and colors all around you, make sure you have a headphones on and play your favorite tunes and you would end up inside a movie or a nice story‚Ķ

Have a safe flight and Enjoy your week!

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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

How to talk to people at the right time, to get more things done

One day you wake up in a great mood, you have the day off, you have some errands and places to be in to do some of your administrative work, let’s say paying a bill or submitting a document to your bank and inquire about some offers.

You finish your  morning workout, have a delicious breakfast, watched some TV, dressed up and headed to your destination; It was a beautiful sunny day, and nothing seems to make you thin otherwise.

You reach to your destination and you find a long queue; normally you would start complaining but not today, you’ll be happy to be standing in the queue, and start to connect and smile at everyone… You reached to the clerk after some 20 minutes of waiting, and your turn is there, and you started sharing the positive vibes to that wonderful person sitting before you… But unlike you have expected, the response was not very “welcoming”… That person didn’t smile back, and he or she was not in the mood to even listen to your description of the lovely weather… and Instead he gently (but firmly) ask you to stop talking outside the point of your visit… And the flow starts getting down from there, the glass is half empty, and there are several missing items and you know what… You’re back in the line or even had to go back another day…

Is this week’s tip about Positive energy? or how to deal with negative welcoming people? ¬†No it’s not… It’s simply about Understanding that just because you’re in a specific mood, the other person shouldn’t necessarily share your enthusiasm and that would directly impact the efficiency and productivity in¬†both directions.

‚ÄúA dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē John Lennon

The above quote by JL, would make you think about what was he smoking when he said that, or how motivating… depending on the mood ūüôā

Now although there is no magic trick to make you know when is the right time to talk to your colleague, client or vendor to get things done… Here’s a small trick I use; (Try this for a week and see the result for yourself)

  • Try to call someone you need an urgent¬†response from, Right Before Lunch
  • Try to Pass by someone you need something done from, Right Before the End of the Schedule
  • Go very early and be the first person in Line

When the other person is still Sleepy, is hungry, Tiered  , they have more tendency to finish your request (as fast as possible and) in a very efficient way!

I once passed by X Embassy to apply for a visa at 1:55 PM (when the closing time is 2:00 PM), and guess what, the entire process took exactly 3 minutes!!

And not only this would help you out tremendously, being the first person in line & going early would certainly give you more Buffer to ask more questions and respond to any missed requirement.

Have a nice week!

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Image courtesy of  Boaz Yiftach / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

The More you Sweat in Peace, The Less you Bleed in War

While Growing up,  I used to rely a lot on Famous Quotes to bring my spirit up and keep me motivated to dream big while there were lots of reasons for not to.

One of these quotes was an ancient Chinese Proverb that goes like this

The More you Sweat in Peace, The Less you Bleed in War

This week’s tip would mean different things to different people, but there’s a common truth that I heard about famous musicians which distinguishes ¬†between how amateurs and professionals approach practicing;¬†Amateurs Practice Until They Get It Right; Professionals Practice Until They Can‚Äôt Get It Wrong. And in his book, Outliers,¬†Malcolm Gladwell (who interviewed¬†famous figures like Bill Gates on the topic) repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours.

Bill Gates

So if you dream to become a Future leader, you need to start practicing leadership skills and qualities while you’re still an amateur… at some points in time, some people will laugh at you, even your close friends will find you weird. But at a certain point, you’ll get your shot and guess what? you’ve practiced all your life for it and you’ll be more than ready!

Amateurs Practice Until They Get It Right; Professionals Practice Until They Can’t Get It Wrong

So our tip for the week is simple, start practicing when it doesn’t matter… So you get it Right when it Does.

Enjoy your Week ūüôā !

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Image courtesy of JJ Harrison /  Canberra Capitals vs Logan Thunder, Australian Institute of Sport Training Hall, Canberra, Australia

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

Wake up and smell the coffee, then finish your tasks!

Whether you’re a morning person, or an evening person, this post is irrelevantly yours ūüôā

I’d like you to picture yourself in the following scenario:

You’re back from work / school, after a long day filled with activities and your brain power’s status is “battery low”, and you still have this project / report or whatever that you need to deliver the second day… (Let’s say you need to email it at 9 AM, and it’s already 9:00 PM now)

Option #1: you make yourself a coffee and start working on it till 2 AM, send it and then go to sleep

Option #2: you go to sleep and wake up at 5:00 AM, work on it till 7 AM and send it.

 Which option would sound more like you?

Well most of the persons I’ve worked with, would go for Option #1 almost always.

The Tip for this week, is to CHOOSE OPTION #2 ūüôā … as Simple as that.

 

 

Time To Complete a task

With almost everyone,¬†the same task that would take you 1 hour to finish in the morning, would take you 2 if you do it in the afternoon and almost 4 if you keep it till the evening time. Why is that?? ¬†(and JUST FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS Sentence as the Brain is far more sophisticated to describe) Think about your¬†brain as a Garbage bag, once it’s filled with so many things from your daily routine, your computing power will be using the remainder of its capacity… Which would obviously take more time.

So next time just try to crash and get a good night sleep, and wake up early… Smell the Coffee, and then finish your tasks.

Have a nice week!

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Samer Chidiac

 

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

 

Don’t wait the right mood to do the task… Just do it!

How many times have you been in the situation where you still have a task to finish, but you keep delaying it because simply you don’t LIKE¬†to do it, or because you’re¬†“waiting for the right mood”. So you procrastinate hoping that one of 2 things happen:¬†either the task will magically disappear¬†or¬†you will get the inspiration and the mood will suddenly appear..

Well to be honest with you, in my line of expertise, this is identified¬†as a¬†MAJOR time waster, and there’s no one who managed to explain it better than Brian Tracy in his book “Eat that Frog” and here’s a bit on how it goes:

Imagine that you have to eat a LIVING Frog on your desk, and of course since this task is so disgusting and “painful” to do, you would keep pushing it to the end of your todo list. But the reality is that you will keep thinking about it and how difficult it will be to do that task ¬†even if you’re doing something else.

The Right thing to do is to EAT THAT FROG which is the task that you don’t like to do… And eat it as quickly as possible ūüôā . Then you’ll be confident that nothing would be as difficult or disgusting as¬†this one.

My Tip to you this week is the following:

If you’re not in the Mood to do a task… DO IT ANYWAY… even if you have to do it while nagging.. or by feeling annoyed and disgusted… JUST DO IT!

Enjoy your Week ūüôā !
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Image courtesy of anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

Take the time to rest… Don’t be at the office when you’re at home

One of the first things you will learn when you’re an entrepreneur is that the notion of office hours doesn’t apply to you; you could be staying up late, waking up late working on a¬†weekend… Working from your living room or from a¬†Caf√©… Things just don’t follow a specific rule.

As workplaces evolved, we’re seeing that the trend of working from home or let’s say taking your work outside the office is becoming more and more trendy than before, with all the technology that connects people, and brings the world closer… You could be doing your day-to-day office work and yet be somewhere completely different and what was once solely available to entrepreneurs is not available for almost everyone.

This is a slippery-slope advantage, that made things easier and yet more challenging, as the more you can work from home, the less you would be able to disconnect from your work environment… It did start with the blackberry phenomena, and never ended afterwards!

This week’s tip is¬†about how to take the time to REFRESH and to rest… but this time, the Right way!

I know lots of people, who can’t wait till they go to the beach¬†while they are still at the office, and when they are at the beach they start thinking of the office, and the trend continues at home, at the gym, outing with family and friends… and the list goes on and on…

Once I was being hosted at a Morning Show on TV talking my time management book, and I was clarifying that we don’t notice lots of times that we don’t enough dedicate time to rest and refresh! it seems that all of our time is occupied with “Stuff” that we need to take care of, people we need to be with, and things we need to worry about related to work, life etc…

What I said then, and here it is now… “When you’re taking some time to REST… Then REST and¬†Don’t Work… When you’re at the beach, ENJOY being there, and Don’t be worrying about what will happen at work the¬†next day”, some people don’t even have the luxury of a 2-day weekend and they need to achieve that level of REST in just 1. Well guess what! Some people have 10 days vacation, and yet they still feel NOT relaxed..

Relaxing is almost considered as a state of Mind and not a time-bounded activity… But the key to be successful in this, is to give each¬†slot of your¬†time its worth… when you’re at work, WORK… and when you’re with family or friends.. Indulge in the moment and enjoy it, as if it’s your last!

Enjoy your Week!

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Image courtesy of Stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

Better Late than Never

I’ve published this post on Tuesday intentionally ūüôā … To prove this point.

So many times, we get delayed for one reason or the other in submitting a proposal, fulfilling a task, finishing a job and so on… We reach to a certain point where we cross the original deadline or let’s say appropriate time. And that point would leave us with 2 choices: 1) forget about it¬†2) continue and deliver on your promise “Late”.

Ok, so let me tell you a random something about your brain. One of the primary ways your brain keeps itself motivated is with a chemical called Dopamine. It’s the feel-good hormone that makes drugs so popular, but it’s also an important part of the self-regulating system that makes you productive. So the more you finish tasks the more Dopamine your system has and therefor the more accomplished you feel and therefor more HAPPY you become ūüôā

Now pretty much what you would be feeling when you have just passed the deadline (whether you had all the right reasons or not), is a combination of guilt, sadness and anger. And mostly no matter what your decision will be (to proceed or not to) regarding the late task in hand it WILL be affecting your productivity; and it will be delaying so many other things, because a part of your brain will still be thinking and being emotional about it and that alone will be decreasing the energy you will have to fulfill other tasks.

So the tip for this week is simple,

  • Keep in mind that until that particular task is completed (even later on) you won’t be able to be at your Full Productive Capacity.
  • Sometimes you may be able to deliver more than expected and that MAY save you, and turn things around.
  • it’s Super important to ACKNOWLEDGE the situation with the other party, Ignoring that the mistake is not healthy and will turn back on you some other day! just Face the Music and apologize¬†if it’s your mistake or share the reasons if it’s not.

Enjoy your Week!

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Image courtesy of imagerymajestic  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

When is the Right time to do a task?

Ok, I’m going to tell you a Time Management Secret! it’s one of the trade secrets that highly productive¬†individuals use; and as much¬†Clich√© it may sound… It’s True!¬†

Successful & Highly productive individuals’ Time Management Trade Secret is:

“They Perform¬†Their Tasks at the Right Time”

Now it’s a fact that we all have different levels of energy throughout ¬†the day (and night); did you ever hear that someone is a Morning, Evening or a Night person? when he or she¬†just feels the energy flowing all over them¬†at a particular time of the day? well that’s true about all of us, you may just not realize that yet.

For a long time, how I applied this secret was pretty straight forward, I can do almost anything between 7 and 10 AM or 10 PM to almost 1 AM… Those 2 slots are the highest points of energy I have… Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t do any work outside these times, I just schedule my most important tasks to be done, during these times. (And in case you were¬†¬†wondering, YES, 5 days / week, I wake up at 5:30 AM ūüôā ) .

Now since “High Energy Levels” exist, there should be “Low Energy Levels” and “Medium Energy Levels” and of course some External factors to play these levels up and down, Like Happiness, Sorrow etc…

The essence to that secret, is that your productivity in these times would vary a lot, even doing the Same Task:

So let’s say a Task would take you 1 hour to finish:

  • in your High Energy Mode: it will take you 30 minutes to 1 hour to be done
  • in your Medium Energy Mode: it will take you 1.5 to 2 hours to finish
  • in you Low Energy Mode: it will take you 3-4 hours to finish

Ever wanted to finish a pending task after a long day, and it seemed like it was NEVER going to be done, so you simply slept on it, and the second day, early morning, it was done in a RECORD time?

Our tip for this week, is to try to Discover WHEN is your High Energy Level, and then to simply Schedule your most important tasks of the day, to be done during this time… ¬†and Save Valuable Time! ūüėČ

Enjoy your Week!

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Image courtesy of Stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

Time Management Tip: Make your Free Time Pay Off! (Including a Bonus Audio Feature)

‚ÄúThe best things in life are free. The second best things are very, very expensive.‚ÄĚ ~ Coco Chanel

Everyday, and almost everywhere, no matter how well off¬†or modest you are, the word “FREE” always gets your attention with its special sound, as your mind will automatically linking it¬†to a specific happiness.

Well Free isn’t necessarily Free, ūüôā ,¬†you see Free means that something / someone else took care of the charge and you get to enjoy it for free but of course it doesn’t mean that it has no value!

In this week’s tip, we’re going to tackle¬†Free Time, ¬†

So let’s say you need to do a group of tasks today (both personal and professional), how much does it cost you in terms of time to finish all of them?

(Sample)

  • Meeting with John = 1 Hour + 30 Minutes x 2 (Transportation to and from the meeting location)
  • Internal work at the company = 4 hours
  • Resting = 2 hours
  • Reading a few chapters of a book ¬†= 1 hour
  • Working out = 2 hours
  • Having lunch = 1 hour
  • Watch my favorite TV = 30 minutes
  • Call the cable company = 15 minutes

If you do them sequentially you will need around 12 hours

Looking¬†at your tasks ¬†and especially on the CONTEXT of your tasks, you will notice that calling the cable company does not need to happen while sitting in the office, but you can take that call while driving to meet John, as well that it would be a good opportunity to meet John Offsite so you decided to meet him over lunch instead of the office and so on…

Check out This Tip to assist you to take a different look at your task

What Just happened?

By looking in a smart way to your tasks they will look a bit like that

  • Meeting with John
    • 1 Hour Meeting (can also happen over lunch)
    • 1¬†Hour¬†Transportation = 1 Hour driving or taking a taxi + 1 Hour free to use the¬†mobile or listen to an audio book
  • Internal work at the company = 4 hours
  • Resting
    • 2 hours Resting = 2 hours of Rest + 2 hours FREE to watch TV / Read a Book
  • Reading a few chapters of a book ¬†= 1 hour
  • Working out
    • 2 Hours = 2 Hours Working out + 1 FREE hour to Watch TV or Listen to an Audio Book
  • Having lunch = 0¬†hour
  • Watch my favorite TV = 0¬†minutes
  • Call the cable company = 0¬†minutes

So you can finish the all of the tasks above in less than 8 hours

This way you’re making the Time committed originally to another task, PAY for your task. The possibilities would be virtually¬†endless in how much extra time can you get per day without using any more resources of your self…

All you need to do is Plan your tasks well in advance.. ūüôā !

For further information on the topic, feel free to listen to¬†this Free Chapter from my national best selling book “The 10 Unbreakable Rules of Time Management”

Enjoy your Week!

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Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

Choose your Complicated Password using 3 Simple Steps

The highlight of the internet over the past week was a very serious internet security threat that they call “HeartBleed“… and the reason this threat is very serious has to do with it being undetectable! so imagine someone being able to impersonate you or hack into you account and goes out undetected… Now That’s serious!!

This week’s Tip is a Bit Techy, but based on experience, non-technical folks have had issues with the subject of choosing strong passwords since a long time and some of them¬†even when they do find a “strong” password, they use the same password¬†everywhere… Now here’s a small strategy for you:

1.Understand the difference

In the computer language, (especially when it comes to passwords), ¬†the word¬†Simple¬†is different than simple ¬†and Hello is different than HELLO. That is called Case Sensitive… so The UPPERCASE¬†is treated differently than the lower case. and an example of Special characters ¬†is: ¬† _ – ¬†$ % ( ) @ ! ¬† and so on

So when you are Asked for a Strong password, mainly the first thing you need to think of, is to Change the case on your word  and mix it up with some special character. Like per example: marryhadalittlelamb becomes M@rryH@daL!ttleLAmb

2. Pronounce it Locally

English is not my native language and same goes to a lot of people, nevertheless I mostly write my password in English (or Latin) characters; now in order for you to chose a difficult to guess word as your password, you can simply chose one word from your native language and write it down as you pronounce it in Latin characters.. Some examples:

Spanish: Urgente is pronounced UrKhente

Russian:¬†—Ā–Ņ–į—Ā–ł–Ī–ĺ is written spasibo and pronounced spasiba

Arabic: ō≠ō®Ŕäō®Ŕä is written Habibi and pronounced 7abibi (where the 7 is a simulation to a ō≠ in arabic)

So here’s an example for a father who’s son is name is Nader and born in 2010:

I Love my Son Nader 2010, will become: B7eb-ibni_N@Der2010

3. Use different passwords for different websites

Most of the times, people use the same password for different websites, because they fear to get overwhelmed with the number of passwords they need to remember and risk forgetting them. It’s a Valid concern, but not a cautious one… here’s how you can succeed in remembering it:

Facebook: B7eb-ibni_N@Der2010*Facebook!

Twitter: B7eb-ibni_N@Der2010*Twitter!

¬†and so one… Just add an¬†* and a¬†! to the website you’re setting it up for, and you can even change the position of the site-name as well to be within your password ūüėČ

Remember, changing your password is always recommended to be done periodically. So why don’t you enjoy and have fun while doing that!

Enjoy your Week!
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Image courtesy of phanlop88 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

Increase your productivity in 30 seconds!

Most people look at Time Management as being a hard-to-learn discipline that is optionally added to their personal life or required to their professional life as they grow,  rather than being a skill that would help them benefit the most out of their life (whether personal or professional).

In this week’s tip, you will learn a simple trick on how to change the way you look at your To-Do items in order to dramatically increase your productivity ¬†and the nice thing about it, is that each time you will apply this trick ¬†won’t take more than 30 seconds!

Let’s not make things very complicated, if you just look at your to do list, you will find items that would probably look like this:

– Write a report
– Call X,Y,Z
– Bring ABC from the Supermarket
– Meet with X,Y,Z

and the list would go on, and the list above applies to the tasks that you know in advance, but what about the interruptions that happen WHILE you’re doing another task, let’s say when one of your staff knocks on your door and interrupts your meeting to ask you about something… How to deal with that?

The answer is simple, as of today the trick is to expand the To-Do list (whether planned or un-planned) to have 4 items associated to it:

  • Related to?
  • Time to Execute
  • Urgent / Important
  • Context

New To-Do Perspective

So when you view your next task, you need to ask yourself (and preferably write down the answers)

  • Why should I do the following task?: per example To which project this is related; most of the times we are faced with Tasks that does not add value to our core personal or professional objectives, and therefore you can simply ignore the task all together.
  • How Long will it take to execute: divide it in 15 minutes chunks, even if it takes less… Practice makes perfect in this ūüôā and the general rule is that if it can be done in less than 2-5 minutes, then you can finish it immediately.
  • When is the deadline for this: How urgent and Important this is? (is your friend’s Facebook status is about her new outfit or about her mother’s passing away??)
  • What’s the context: do you need to Drive somewhere to finish it? do you need to be in the office? do you need internet? is it a phone call?

Once you practice the above method, things will start getting done more and you will be able to easily manage your time, and take better decisions on how prioritize your tasks.

Have a great week!
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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

5 PowerPoint tricks excellent speakers use flawlessly

Delivering an excellent presentation depends heavily on the speaker’ support materials, and how he/she uses them effectively. One of these tools (and probably one of the most famous ones) is Microsoft PowerPoint.

I have been doing presentations and public speaking for over 12 years now, and performed before thousands of people worldwide, and I can tell the tricks that would capture the attention of the audience, and in this week’s tip, here’s 5 simple tricks you can use to transform your presentation style with.

1. Automatically Play Videos: Multimedia Always do the Job and¬†using Video / Audio within your presentation has an impressive effect on your audience and I’ve seen even “boring” speakers capture the attention of their audience when they play a video. Just use the following Trick for that: Make the Video Play Full Screen and “Play Automatically” rather than “On Click”. Choose High Definition videos and make sure your audio is well heard across the room

2. Use Presenter View: now although this may seem an obvious tip, but believe me when I tell you that most speakers don’t use Presenter View, and they just Duplicate their screen. Luckily with the Latest version of PowerPoint 2013, it is Set by Default to use Presenter View and for all the right reasons

PowerPoint-2013-Presenter-ViewYou see the new presenter view is an amazing work of ART for presenters… it’s so well designed with features that would make the presenter shine without having his audience know what’s happening.

in-slide-controls

Couple of my favorite features would be: Using the Zoom Tool to zoom on a specific section in the slide, using the Pen & Laser to literally write notes on your slide and¬†See All Slides where you can actually navigate between slides in real time, without the audience seeing that happening. And when you are in a situation that you will need to SKIP some slides or refer back to a previous slide (Like the CEO Suddenly Decided to jump on stage and say a word)… you can do that Smoothly!

How-to-navigate-your-slides-in-PowerPoint-2013-01

3. Use Video Backgrounds: a lot of speakers would be emphasizing on a specific idea by illustrating it with a Video and some would just say: “like what we’re going to see in the next video”… Here’s 2 mini-tips: 1) unless your audience are in kinder garden, don’t announce what you’re going to do 3 seconds later.. and 2) use Video backgrounds when possible; you can start playing a video while muting the audio to avoid distraction, and add items on top to highlight the points and make it start automatically while you keep on talking…

Video Background

4. Design LESS: they always say LESS is MORE… and in Presentations, try not to put all of your wordings into the slide and the READ your presentation to your audience, but use the Technique that all the legendary speakers (like the late Steve Jobs) use… Just 1 photo and 1 sentence can sometimes do the trick… Just make sure you photo fill a good portion of the screen and your 1 sentence is very visible (choose a nice font to go with it as well, rather than the default fonts)

set-and-execute-your-goals-main-page

For the above image, I used a combination of the same image 3 times, and applied a filter on each and let PowerPoint offer me Visual Aids ūüôā

5. Embed background Sounds in your presentation when needed: sometimes your presentation is done in a modest environment with no support of audio/visual engineers and extra screens to display the text for you and all of the things that Executives have in their events… But that shouldn’t stop you from performing an emotional talk and engrave the echo on an idea in your audience’ heart. It is very simple with PowerPoint, just choose a good soundtrack and Insert it in your slide and use the Fading / cropping tool to match it to your tone, and the Volume shouldn’t be louder than your own voice. and Voila!¬†

Audio in PowerPoint

There you go!

Present like a Super Star and make a long lasting impression ūüôā

See you Next week & Cheers,
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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project