Friday, June 21, 2013

5 Steps to Achieve Great Things

Les McKeown recently wrote an article for Inc magazine that outlined what he described as the "First 5 Steps to Achieving Great Things."  In his article, Les is focused on that all-important transition from Good to Great.  There has certainly been no shortage of advice on this transition, and that's because of its importance.  Anyone can become good at something simply through natural talents, but unless there is a conscious effort to become more than that, you will fall short of Greatness.  

Les' 5 Steps are as follows:
1.  Prioritize
2.  Plan Ruthlessly; Execute Relentlessly
3.  Get out of your inbox
4.  Get out of your office
5.  Review, revise, adapt, push on

To achieve great things, you must prioritize where your attention will be focused.  This also depends on how you will define greatness for your particular business.  Prioritization can include making Goals for the Long Term & Short Term.

Plan Ruthlessly; Execute Relentlessly
McKeown defines good planning as having a plan, working the plan, and not being trapped by the plan.  Obviously, you must work the plan in order to achieve your goals, but if you aren't adapting your performance based on your results then you are becoming trapped in a plan.  

Get out of your inbox
Not every email is worth checking the second it is received.  Recent studies indicate that smartphone users check their phone 150 times per day.  The constant notifications from your phone can bring about all sorts of distractions.  A great point that Les makes in his article is that by checking your inbox every chance you get "you're working to other people's agenda, not your own."

Get out of your office
The advice to get out of your office can be taken several different ways.  For example: your business' success in dependent on you getting out there, meeting with clients, and booking new events.  That doesn't all happen from within an office.  

Another way to take this advice is to get a change of scenery now and then.  Becoming comfortable is the enemy of innovation.  The more time you spend in one place,  the easier it is to fall into a routine complacency. 

Review, revise, adapt, push on
After a plan has been put in place, you need to review your success; revise anything that could be improved; adapt your plan to accomidate your recent findings, and push on.

Photo Credit: Squidish
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Monday, June 3, 2013

10 Tech Basics You Think Everybody Knows (But They Don't)

As a software company, we at Inspherio take great pride in making things easier, so we thought we would share these basic tech tips to help you use the web, your computer, and your smartphone more efficiently.  New York Times tech columnist: David Pogue recently presented this TEDTalk about basic tips & tricks that can help you use technology more effectively.  

1. Scrolling
Instead of using your mouse and dragging the scroll bar on the right, you can simply click the space bar to scroll down a page.  Likewise, you can click Shift + Space to scroll up.

2. Quickly Complete Forms
Use the Tab key to quickly move to the next box on an online form.  This is a great deal quicker than moving your cursor & clicking on the next box.  Also, when entering your state from a drop down list, all you need to do is click the first letter of your state repeatedly.  

3. Zoom In / Out
If you are having trouble reading small text on a screen, you can use Ctrl + to Zoom In and Ctrl - to Zoom Out. the + or - can be pushed repetitively to make the text bigger or smaller.

4. Typing on Smartphones
Pressing the space bar twice will automatically end a sentence with a period, add a space, and capitalize the first letter or the next sentence.

5. Quick Dialing
On any mobile phone you can quickly call the last number dialed by tapping the Call or Dial key.  

6.  Interrupt Voicemail
Since we all know how to leave a message after a beep, you can skip the process of listening to the instructions by pressing the carrier's interrupt key.
- Verizon: *
- AT&T, T-Mobile: #
- Sprint: 1

7. Google Tricks
- Google can also be used to Define any word by simply typing the word "Define" in front of any word.  
- If you need to track an upcoming Flight, you can search a flight number to find whether or not it is on time, what terminal it is arriving at and even the gate number.
- Google is even a currency & Unit Converter if you need to convert Dollars to Euros, tablespoons to cups, and much more.

For another fun Google trick, try Googling the phrase: "Do A Barrel Roll"

8. Text Basics
- Double-click to highlight a word
- Don't waste time clicking delete.  Just highlight something & type over it.
- Double-click & Drag to highlight one word at a time.
- Triple-click to highlight an entire paragraph.

9. Enhance Your Digital Camera Skills
To eliminate the shutter lag on your digital camera, you can half press the shutter button to pre-focus the lens before taking a photo.  This trick works for any digital point & shoot camera to calculate focus and exposure.  

10. Presentation Tips
While giving a PowerPoint presentation, you may notice your audience loosing focus.  You can attract more attention to yourself by clicking the B key to blackout the slide while you are presenting.  This does not close the presentation, it simply changes the screen to black.  To return to your presentation, you can click B again.  Similarly, the W key can be used for a whiteout effect.

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