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8 Bad Habits That Destroy Your Creativity | Inc.com

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To live a creative life, you must be able to destroy your habits that are killing your creativity.

If you think some people are born creative and you’re not one of them, think again.What makes some people more creative than others is that they nurture their creativity. In fact, experts say that creativity is primarily a learned skill. And like any other skill you want to learn, it requires that you put in some hard work and effort.It’s not enough to just want to be creative–it takes daily dedication to push yourself into original thoughts and expressive ideas. Too often, though, the biggest thing standing in the way may be your own habits.Here eight of the worst creativity killers. If you recognize them in your life, cut them out now…

 

Read Full Article At Original Source: 8 Bad Habits That Destroy Your Creativity | Inc.com

By Lolly Daskal

President and CEO, Lead From Within

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11 Foolproof Ways to (Nicely) End a Conversation | Inc.com

“You’ve just had a really interesting conversation with a potential colleague, friend, or customer. Or maybe you’ve had a chat that was a tedious waste of your time. Either way, the conversation is done and you would like to move on — but you don’t want to seem rude or uninterested. What do you do?It is possible to terminate a conversation gracefully, says Morag Barrett, an HR consultant, leadership coach and author of Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships. Yesterday, I shared Barrett’s tips for starting a networking conversation. Here are her tips for ending one politely:”

BY MINDA ZETLIN

Co-author, ‘The Geek Gap’

Read the Full Article at the Original Source: 11 Foolproof Ways to (Nicely) End a Conversation | Inc.com

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6 Foolproof Ways to Start a Networking Conversation With Absolutely Anyone | Inc.com

“You’re at a conference, a cocktail party, or even an airport departure area. You see someone across the room who could be a potential employer, customer, mentor, connection to other opportunities, or source of valuable information. You need to find a way to talk to whomever it is. What do you do? Starting a conversation from scratch is never easy, but it can be done, according to Morag Barrett, an HR consultant, leadership coach, and the author of Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships. “Relationships are built one conversation at a time,” she says. “You can’t afford to be a wallflower. Take a deep breath. Your success depends on your ability to start the conversation.”Once you’ve taken that deep breath, what do you say? Here are some of Barrett’s guaranteed openers to get you talking with anyone you want:”

BY MINDA ZETLIN Co-author, ‘The Geek Gap’

Read the Full Article at the Original Source: 6 Foolproof Ways to Start a Networking Conversation With Absolutely Anyone | Inc.com

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Staying True to Yourself in a World Where Following the Latest Trend is In

Woman in Blue (1)Everywhere we look there is a new fad to follow. This is no longer a fact of life that’s reserved for teenagers and young adults. Because of the popularity of social media, this is now a fact of life for adults and business owners around the world.

It is very tempting to believe everything that you see on social media. According to social media, everyone from your ex-cousin-in-law to the guy who bullied you in the fifth grade has a successful, almost perfect life and every business owner you see is raking in the dough because their business is just that awesome.

So, what do you do? You try to imitate what you see or, at least, give the appearance of doing so. I’m not talking about the creepy, stalker imitation that we see in the movies – which requires one to have some major crazy genes floating around in their gene pool. I’m talking about trying to model your business or your life after others because you perceive it to be an easy or sure fire way to success and happiness.

As a little girl, like most little girls, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. One month I wanted to train horses, the next I wanted to train dolphins or be an oceanographer (probably not a good idea when you’re terrified of water). But, as I got older, probably around the age of 10, there were two things that I knew.

  1. I wanted to write.
  2. I wanted to help others.

Around that time, I wrote in my journal that I wanted to be a psychologist so I could help people understand themselves. Well, life didn’t take me down that path, but that desire in me never went away. So, a few years ago when I decided to become a life coach, I was only tapping into that same desire to help people that started long ago. It’s simply a part of who I am and although I had never really heard of a life coach back then, after researching it, I knew it was right for me.

After getting certified as a life coach, I decided I wanted more than a certification, so I decided to get a Master’s Degree that focused on life coaching skills because I wanted to be the best at what I was doing. When I felt finally ready to leap out there and start helping people, I realized that everyone was doing the same thing. On social media, everyone was a coach. And, even though I had all the training and education that I needed to do it my way, before you know it, I was pulled into the soiree of doing things just like everyone else. Thank God I realized the error of my actions.

It didn’t take me long to remember that God gave me gifts and talents that are not like anyone else’s, just as he gave each of us unique talents. Along with our gifts and talents, we have been given the ability to use them in our own unique way. This is why trying to be like someone else usually doesn’t end well.  Doing so is virtually impossible to sustain.

It’s perfectly okay to do things in a way that has never been done before. It’s okay to write a new manual on how to get that thing done that only you can do. Others will follow you and maybe they’ll tweak your manual and add their own twists. To me, this is the natural flow of things. There is enough success to go around for all of us. But we can only get there on our own unique path. Modeling your life after someone else’s will lead to disappointment and you undoubtedly will miss out on experiences and opportunities that were meant for only you to have.

Do yourself a favor, ignore the latest trends and instead, be a trendsetter. Be yourself no matter what anyone else thinks of it and no matter how quirky or corny it may seem to others.  And, don’t do it so that you will have adoring followers who want to be just like you. Set the trend for breaking trends so that those who have the pleasure of coming across your path will know that it is okay for them to do the same. I truly believe that you can only truly give your very best to the world when it truly is your best and not someone else’s that’s been imitated. Be true to yourself –  ­and the rest will follow. Contact me for a coaching service if you need help getting in touch with your true self.

 

Diathe Garnes- The Uplifting Woman
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Blocks to Your Happiness Part 2: Demotivation

Demotivated Woman

Hopefully, you have already read the introduction to my discussion on how our bodies often give us warning signs that there is a spiritual, emotional or psychological block that may be affecting us. If not, click the link to check out the first two articles, Find Personal and Professional Peace by Identifying Your Bodies Warning Signals of Blocks Affecting Your Happiness and Blocks to Your Happiness Part 1: Refusal to Forgive.

My definition for demotivation is not being able (for some reason) to fully commit yourself to an act, even though you may want to and may have done so in the past.  When I decided to write my book, She’s About Business: A Business Guide for the Woman Who Needs a Little Know How and A lot of Motivation to Start Her Business, I was inspired because I realized how many women never get their businesses off the ground because they are demotivated. Motivation is a key component to just about everything you’ll ever want to accomplish in your life. From starting a business, to making a marriage or relationship work, without being motivated to take action, most attempts will fail.

We’ve all felt the sting of demotivation before and nothing can kill a plan like having a motivational block. The tricky part of dealing with a lack or loss of motivation is understanding what is causing it. Each time our bodies give us the warning signals (procrastination, decreased productivity, lack of confidence, loss of interest in work that you used to love, don’t care attitude) that we are feeling demotivated, we automatically think that the cause is the same as it was the last time we felt demotivated. The truth is, there are many different causes of demotivation and if you don’t understand and address each cause with the proper strategy, it will be difficult for you to move forward. Here are just a few of the top causes of demotivation and strategies to help you overcome them.

Causes of Demotivation

Fear. This is a big one. Whether it’s fear of success or fear of failure, fear can stop you in your tracks each and every time it rears its ugly head. Although most of us know the dangers of living in fear, it can still be difficult to know when fear is demotivating us. Again, our bodies show us the signs, we just have to listen. Often, when we are fearful of a situation, we will do other small things that lead up to the big thing, but find excuses not to take that final step. An example of this is picking a business name, registering it and even filing for a business license but never actually opening the business.

To overcome demotivating fear, it’s a good idea to sit down and actually write out why you are afraid and figure out which fears are actually worthy of concern and which ones are based on your imagination. Then, dismiss the imaginary ones and find solutions for the ones that are worthy of concern. For instance, if your fear is not being good enough at your trade to open your business, and your concern is a valid one, then take a class or read books on the subject until you are comfortable with your level of knowledge.

Grieving or Sorrow from a loss. For various reasons, many people don’t like admitting that they are grieving. When there is denial about grief or sorrow, there is not an opportunity to heal it. Unattended to, grief can become demotivating. Grief isn’t only about the death of a loved one. Grief can be due to the loss of a relationship, job, way of life or idea that was held in high regard.
Many people suffer grief when they let go of a lifelong dream that they have held onto, but that now seems more evident to be out of reach because of their life choices or situations. This leads them to become demotivated to do anything more.

To overcome demotivation grief or sorrow, you have to allow yourself the time to heal. The healing process actually takes a lot of work both mentally and physically so, take good care of your body during this time, making sleep, plenty of water and eating right priorities. Counseling may also be necessary to deal with this type of grief. If you are a believer, it is also a good idea to get in touch with your spiritual self and connect with God to seek His guidance and support. Keep a journal and keep track of your feelings paying close attention to the days you feel your worse and the days when you feel your best. Make note of the underlying thoughts or events that triggered your mood. And lastly, find someone who you can talk to who won’t judge but who will be honest with you. Again, a counselor may work as a sounding board or a close friend or relative.

Not being clear about what you truly want. We often mix up what we truly want with what others want for us or for themselves. Have you ever looked to someone else who has been successful at something and tried to emulate their process? That’s not a bad idea, but the danger is that we can often lose site of the way that is best for us in our effort to reproduce something that was meant for someone else. Sure you may want something similar, but the way of getting there could be totally different. You can become demotivated by trying to do something simply because it’s a good idea or because it worked for someone else, but is not something that you actually want to do.

To overcome being demotivated by not being clear about what you truly want, simply be honest with yourself and everyone else about your true desires for your life or business. Don’t try to be something that you’re not. Articulate want you want very clearly and actually put it in writing. Study it and make sure that it remains in line with where you want to go. It’s okay to tweak it from time to time as long as it remains true to what you want at any given period. Realize that this is your story and you can write it differently than anyone else’s. I believe that when we are truly honest about what we want, we are closest to our true purpose.
  

 

Image courtesy of  [Witthaya Phonsawa] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Diathe Garnes- The Uplifting Woman
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LinkedIn- The Modern Day Resume

logolinkedinAre you “linked in”? If you’ve never heard of LinkedIn or you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you are behind the times and could be missing out on some great employment opportunities. As of 2014, 300 million people use LinkedIn—100 million in the US alone. 40% of users check it daily. Ask any potential employer and they will tell you that looking you up on the Internet is one of they things they do for prospective employees. You want your LinkedIn profile to be one of the first things they find.

Why is LinkedIn so important? Your LinkedIn profile is the modern day resume. You can have more information in an easy-to-view format that many more businesses/professionals can use to view your potential as an employee. You can also use it to find other people for your own business. You can join groups of other people in your field, or a field that you are interested in working in. You can reach far more potential employers than you would with a paper resume and trying to get it submitted to companies you are applying to.

I am not suggesting you get rid of your paper resume. This is an important document that potential employers still expect to see. However, adding a link to your LinkedIn profile gives them the option of seeing more about you, including your photo, your outside interests/volunteer work, all of your skills beyond what might be required of the specific job you’ve applied to, and groups/charities you support. It gives you a little something extra than 1-2 pages can cover.

It’s not hard to make a profile, and paying for the premium service really isn’t necessary in my opinion. If you need help, you can find information on the Internet, ask friends with profiles, or call the number on the LinkedIn website. There are a few things you should keep in mind when making your profile:

  1. Definitely include a photo, but make it professional looking. According to statistics, profiles with a photo are viewed 11 times more often than those without. A good idea is to get a photo professionally done in an outfit that you would wear to an interview. Do NOT use a picture of you at a party or super far away, for example.
  1. Make sure you fix your privacy settings. Just like other social media sites, you can decide how private you want your profile to be. Think about who should have access to your profile, and if people should see who you have viewed.
  1. Edit/update your profile often. None of the information should be out-of-date. If you do new training, or join a new organization, or get a new job, these things are very relevant and should be on your profile.
  1. Do not use LinkedIn as another social media outlet. Do not link your posts from Twitter or Facebook and vice/versa. LinkedIn needs to remain professional!

There are plenty of other sources that can help you with setting up your profile (links to the two I used for this article below). If you have any personal experiences/advice, please share!

 http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-few-important-linkedin-stats/#.VE0CxiiRnww

http://memphis.styleblueprint.com/lifestyle/linkedin-the-modern-american-resume/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo source: http://wersm.com/linkedin-has-a-new-sharing-button/

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How to Work Effectively at Home, Part III

If you work from home some or all of the time, or if you are thinking about it, these tips are for you. Please see Part I and Part II of this article if you missed them over the last couple months!

  1. Drink plenty of water and don’t starve yourself. It’s easy to forget to eat or drink enough when you are really busy. Having a water bottle on your desk is a good way to make sure you stay hydrated. I know water is boring, but drinking a sugar-packed drink like soda or juice is bad for you! If you absolutely cannot stand plain water, get some of those no-calorie flavor packets. Having small (healthy) snacks available are also a good idea. I personally like almonds because they are not messy, but you can do whatever works for you. Those “100 calorie” packs from the grocery store are good too. Your body and mind will work better if you take good care of them!
  1. Be careful what you listen to while working. Music or TV can influence your mood/be too distracting. Try different types or channels to see what works for you. Personally, I work better in silence or with soft instrumental music. If I have my iTunes on “shuffle” I get distracted by trying to find songs I like. And I definitely can’t leave the TV on!
  1. Designate certain days for certain work. Some things have to be done every day, like checking email. Other things can be done at certain times, like filing your papers or doing your accounting. Set aside specific times for different tasks that aren’t happening every day. It will help you stay focused and organized. Don’t forget brainstorming days, too!
  1. Constantly evaluate your schedule. Set aside some time to go over your schedule. What is working? What isn’t? Be honest with yourself. If you have a partner or children, involve them in the discussion. Think about ways you can better use your time or be more productive. Don’t be afraid to try new strategies!

 

Do you have any other ideas? Let us know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of [BrianHolm]/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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How to Work Effectively at Home, Part II

ID-100201395 (1)More and more women are taking the leap into entrepreneurship. Also, more and more companies are moving their employees into work at home positions to reduce overhead and overall costs. Both of these factors are leading to more women than ever working from home, either part of the time or all of the time.

The benefits of working from home are so great that it’s important that anyone who gives it a shot is successful at it. That’s why we decided to create a three part series of office tips to help you work effectively from home. Here is Part II and if you missed Part I last month, do yourself a favor and go back and read it as well.  Part III will be available next month and the complete series is designed to help you make the most out of working from home either for yourself or for someone else.  Enjoy!

  1. Keep your desk/workspace clean and organized. A tidy workspace promotes a tidy mind. It also saves you from having to search for things, making you even more productive. Purchase drawer organizers for effective filing. Take some time each week or each month to inventory your papers/supplies to see what you need and what you don’t. If you don’t have a calendar or running to-do list, you need them!
  1. Keep lists. A good thing to start doing is keeping three lists of three. The first list is three things that you have to get done today. The second list is three things you’d like to get done today, but aren’t essential. The third list is three things that need to get done in the future. This helps keep you on track and provides a list of readily available tasks to work on if you have extra time in your workday.
  1. Don’t stop working if you’re having a bad day. There will be days when you don’t feel like your usual creative, productive self. Do not use this as an excuse to take a day off. Force yourself to get as much done as you can. Even if it’s just smaller things. Take a SHORT break and walk around the block or go out and grab a coffee. If you quit for the day when things get hard, it will make it even harder to get back to work the next day. If you’re always stopping when you feel frustrated, you will never get your work done.
  1. Don’t go back to work after you’ve finished for the day. Even if you get a fantastic idea, jot down the main points quickly and leave them on your desk. If you jump into a new project after you’ve already put in a full day’s work, you will mess up your whole schedule. You need those hours of personal time to do other things that are important, like eating a good meal, getting a full night’s sleep, spending time with family, exercising, and relaxing. Trust me, your creative mojo will not disappear overnight.

Lauren Raines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of [gameanna]/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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How to Work Effectively at Home, Part I

ID-10041079With more and more companies decreasing their overhead by creating work-at-home positions and with more people becoming entrepreneurs, more women are getting the opportunity to work from home. Working from home in an experience with numerous benefits, but it does come with its own set of unique problems as well. At home, it’s difficult to separate yourself from your work and personal life. Finding a quiet place without distractions can be impossible. The list goes on.

  1. Define your workspace. Do not just work in whatever room you happen to be in at the time. Set up an office in a spare room or in a relatively quiet section of your house/apartment. Having a door you can close would be best, but if that’s not possible, use a privacy screen to symbolize the separation from your workspace and the rest of your home.
  1. Have designated work hours—and stick to them! If you find that you are more productive in the morning, tell yourself that you will get up at 5:00AM and work until noon, for example. If you are more of a night owl, work from after dinner until 2:00AM. Experiment with what works best for you. You don’t have to work all of your hours at once, either. You can work in 2-hour chunks if that works better for your schedule. You also need to make sure your family knows when you are working so they don’t interrupt you for non-emergencies. Closing the door helps with this.
  1. Don’t stay in your pajamas. You might think that working from home is great because you don’t even have to get dressed in the morning, but this is actually a bad thing. Getting up, taking a shower, and putting on actual clothes helps get you mentally ready to work. Staying in your pajamas keeps your body in bedtime mode, which can slow your progress at work.
  1. Get off social media. Unless your job requires you to be on your social media sites, do not even open your Facebook, personal email, personal text messages, Twitter, Instagram, or any other websites that do not have to do with your immediate work. It’s best to have a separate email account and phone for work, but obviously, this isn’t possible for everyone. The point is avoiding things that will distract you from working. Save these things for short breaks, your lunch hour, or for when you are finished for the day.

 

Lauren Raines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of [Ambro]/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Office Tip of the Month: Dealing with Deadlines

ID-100264714Most of our jobs include projects with deadlines. Whether you are the one assigning the project, leading the team, or working to complete everything on time, these four simple tips can help you and your coworkers stay on track.


 

  1. Be Specific. Name the specific date and time for the deadline. Clearly outline what the project is and any special instructions for completing it. If you are the one doing the project and you do not know what you should be doing, do not be afraid to clarify things with your supervisor. It saves everyone time in the long run. Another good idea for larger, long-term projects is to follow up verbal assignments with an email putting everything in writing. Sometimes, people think they’ve been clear about what they want, but the person they were talking to didn’t get the intended message.
  1. Clarify Priorities. If several projects need to get done simultaneously, prioritize the tasks in order of most important/time sensitive. Telling someone to get things done “ASAP” is not very useful because it creates confusion about what is most important. Think about it: If everything is top priority, then nothing is top priority. If you don’t know what the top priority should be, don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor what he/she wants you to focus more of your efforts on.
  1. Don’t Set False Deadlines. Setting an earlier deadline because you don’t trust people to get projects done on time creates unnecessary tension in your workplace. If your employees realize you’re doing this, they will not be motivated to meet your fake early deadline. They will also probably resent the lack of faith in their abilities. On the other hand, telling someone you need something by next week but then returning the next day to ask for the finished product is not effective either. It goes back to being specific about what you need. If your supervisor does things like this to you constantly, try talking to him/her about it. If that doesn’t work, you can try to go through HR, but you may have to find another job if your boss is just too unreasonable.
  1. Establish (and Update) a Schedule. Sometimes life gets in the way of our plans. For longer projects, it’s a good idea to schedule deadlines for each piece of the project so people don’t get behind or get overwhelmed. You can do this for yourself (with your supervisor’s approval) if they don’t do it for you. Weekly (or monthly, as appropriate) feedback meetings are a good way to make sure everyone is on track and discuss possible problems. If your supervisor or team leader doesn’t schedule these, feel free to shoot them an email detailing your progress and confirming that you are doing the right things.

 

By Lauren Raines for Uplifting Woman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles]/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net