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Speed Read Books – And See How It Affects Your Life

September 1st, 2014

Do you ever wonder how different your life would be if you could speed read? Speed reading is a modern-day superpower. Flying is overrated and there’s not much use in spider webbing on any ordinary day. However, speed reading will help you every day. It’s a skill that you’ll use forever once you learn it, and the more you use it the more you’ll understand its importance. Speed reading gives you the power of knowledge.

No one can deny the importance of reading in general, but speed reading offers a whole new level of benefits: it gives you what conventional reading does, only in larger doses.

Speed reading has the power to:

  1. Give you information and facts that can guide your future actions and inform them with wisdom and intuitiveness. The experiences you live through the characters in the books you read provide you with insights that you may not get in your daily life.

  2. Nurture your empathy like no other hobby can.  The silent, listening aspect reading calls for makes it possible for you  to practice your ability to connect with someone, to hear them out, and to have a rational conversation with them, even if you disagree.

  3. Improve your self-discipline by helping you focus. Speed reading requires focus to be effective so by speed reading not only do you learn interesting things, but you also become more self-disciplined. It takes a lot of practice to be able to completely focus on speed reading, shutting off any distraction no matter how irresistible it might be.

  4. Change your life through the books you read. A book is capable of changing your mindset, helping you revise your values and priorities and even offering clarity and solutions when you need them.

  5. Be your one true companion. A good book is always patiently waiting for you to revisit it, to explore new aspects previously gone unnoticed, to fall in love with a misunderstood underdog, or discover a radically outstanding world of new creatures, rules and beliefs. Speed reading gives you all these in larger doses!

  6. Give you a sense of belonging. In a way, reading a book allows you to create a virtual identity as a member of the author’s world. You connect with the author, the protagonist, the era, and the people that make up the community of characters in a book. That’s an experience that nurtures and strengthens your imagination as well as your empathy.

  7. Empower you more quickly than you imagined. You know that knowledge is power and the more you read, the stronger and more influential you become – in your family, your work place, the world.  Speed reading ensures you have all facts to get your point of view across with determination and conviction.

  8. Strengthen your cognitive muscles and improve your overall mental functioning. Speed reading is a demanding cognitive task, and when you practice it your memory becomes more agile, your learning capacity improves, and you prepare the ground for more cognitive stimuli to be accumulated.

Still not convinced why you should speed read more books?

Cross-posted on the Speed Reading blog.


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Top 3 Reasons Why Keyboarding Class Should Be Implemented In Schools

August 25th, 2014

Were you taught how to touch type at school? Do you devote part of each class session to keyboarding practice, or do you move quickly to other IT skills with your class, thinking there are more important things to focus on?

There are many reasons why keyboarding classes should be available for students in schools. Let us give you three.

Typing is a basic requirement for scholastic and professional excellence

Touch typing, or keyboarding as it’s known today, is an essential computer skill. Everyone has their own way of typing; some use the hunt and peck method, others develop a unique way of touch typing that’s efficient but not always as accurate as they want to.

Learning to touch type means becoming an efficient typist who can easily perform online research, type assessments, and take online exams. A touch typist succeeds because their typing skills not only aren’t a problem, they actually facilitate the whole process!

When a student learns to touch type like a pro they become more confident and more likely to perform well academically. Touch typing saves time during homework sessions, and allows students to focus more diligently on learning new things, rather than struggling with their keyboards.

It’s fun!

Tech-based skills generally always fun to learn and use. Most people, and especially most younger children, are enthralled by the possibilities technology provides, and touch typing is no exception. Give a student access to compelling, well-structured typing software and they will start practicing like there’s no tomorrow. Technology piques young people’s interest, and personally I’ve never heard anyone complain about having to practice touch typing. Most people do it every day anyway, so every digital task – chatting online, doing research, writing a paper – is practice time!

Doesn’t it make you feel efficient and productive when your hands smoothly clickity-clack on the keys with ease and elegance and accuracy? Students will feel the same way.

While the first few introductory classes will be about learning the basics of how to touch type with accuracy and pressing the right key with the right finger, the rest is all fun. You can choose to practice with a wide range of interesting, interactive activities and, of course, typing games.

Typing games is one popular practice activity for typists because it doesn’t feel like practice at all! Touch typing is one of the few skills you will have fun mastering.

A risk-free investment for the future

Technology is omnipresent, and as we talk more about the ever-growing virtual world of the internet and wearable technology, we all understand that sci-fi movies no longer seem so far-fetched. Technology is changing our lifestyles, our health, our education, and our society.

Touch typing is a widespread requirement in many classrooms already, and it is projected to be an even more crucial IT skill in the future. We will be using devices and keyboard-based gadgets more frequently in the years to come, so it’s only sensible to ensure we have the typing skills essential for keeping up with technology and making the most out of it.

Even if in our lifetime we don’t get to truly command our fridge to recommend a recipe by asking it to scan what’s already in our fridge and pantry, touch typing will be an skill both you and today’s students will be tested on in order to qualify for many jobs.

An argument for teaching keyboarding at schools

Keyboarding should be taught at schools, especially when it’s a skill that is not time-consuming or demanding to learn – if it’s done right. For instance, the developers of the well-known keyboarding software Ultimate Typing™ assert that with less than 10 minutes of practice a day, you will be able to see how much your typing speed and accuracy improve in just two weeks.

There are many more reasons why schools should devote some curriculum time to teach students how to touch type, but helping them improve and secure their employment prospects, and boosting their academic performance, are the two most important reasons.


Ultimate Typing EDU is the latest touch typing class especially made for instructors and teachers. Get the cloud version of touch typing software for your school NOW!

Seven Strategic Practices To Stop Procrastination And Be Productive

August 18th, 2014

Most of us struggle with procrastination. Our unwillingness to deal with an unpleasant, fear-inducing, or challenging task means our productivity is severely compromised. However, if we stopped putting off things for later, not only would we feel more accomplished, but we’d actually accomplish more, becoming more successful and productive.

There are many methods of “de-procrastinating” your life that will allow you to boost your productivity in a way that doesn’t feel forced and stressful. We share the 7 most important in this article. Read them now, not later!

Acknowledge your accountability

To make ourselves feel justified in our procrastination we often blame it in external factors: the weather is too nice to stay inside, my other projects are more pressing right now, I will deal with this when I feel more creative or confident. These excuses remove personal accountability out of the picture.

By becoming aware of your responsibility to stop procrastinating, you instantly take the matter into your hands. If you say, “I’m in control, I should deal with that call now,” this is you taking personal responsibility. When you zero in on your accountability, you are making it harder to procrastinate because you know there’s no one else to blame for it.

Accountability might make you feel a bit anxious in the beginning, but in the end it works in your favor, because you will be taking credit for your productivity and the end result!

Work now, play later

It’s easy to put off something because play is always much more fun than work.

The next time you find yourself procrastinating, say this out loud: “If I work now I get to play later on – YAY!”

This seemingly childish negotiation tactic with yourself gives you motivation to complete the task at hand and the liberty to have fun later on. A win-win approach!

Just dive into it already

The truth is, the longer you hesitate before starting a task, the more your mind will fret and twist an easy task into a monstrously big one. In order to prove this point, think about the last time you started a project and found that once you got your hands on it wasn’t as frightening as you thought it would be.

Instead of putting off hard projects, deal with them first, before any others. This will take a lot of pressure off your shoulders and you will feel much better about yourself once you cross the hardest projects off of your list! Stop paying heed to whatever your inner critic tells you.

Focus on the result, find inspiration by looking at your role models, defy all your fears and delve into your projects without over-analyzing them. Remember that the more you listen to your inner critic the worse at procrastinating you’ll get.

Self-talk needs to be positive, uplifting and optimistic. Inspire yourself with some pep talk and see how easy it is to confidently tackle your tasks one after the other.

Adjust your work environment

It’s very likely that your environment nurtures procrastination. You can create a productivity-boosting desk in a few easy steps:

  • Place a green plant or flower on top of it.

  • Put your phone away or in silent mode so that it doesn’t disturb your workflow

  • Block access to the websites you know you visit  when you’re procrastinating

  • Have a personal, uplifting item in view to keep you motivated (a photo, a keepsake, the tickets to the concert you’ve promised yourself as a reward for finishing)

  • Have an inspirational quote to keep you focused.

Tell others about your procrastination issues — be in the fight together

A struggle shared is a struggled halved. Sharing your concerns with fellow procrastinators will help you keep each other motivated and inspired to get your task lists under control.

Have regular talks where you give pep talks to each other and brainstorm new ideas on how to eliminate procrastination and boost productivity.

Stop making up excuses

Finally, stop yourself from making up excuses. As we’ve said before, we tend to over-complicate things by over-thinking them, when in reality they’re very easy to tackle.

All you need is to have a clear, intuitive hierarchy of your priorities and check upon them often. It’s possible that new circumstances call for goal revision so be open to redefining your goals and keep your productivity levels soaring.

Improve Your PR Content Writing In Five Easy Steps

August 11th, 2014

Online content helps improve user engagement on social media platforms, remind consumers of your presence, authority and relevancy, and boost sales and profits – when done correctly.

Writing promotional public relations (PR) content for social media, blogs, websites, and other marketing purposes has its own set of rules you will have to follow. Apart from style, language, and other tips, there are practical parameters you need to adopt to instantly improve your PR-related content writing. We share 5 of them in this article.

Be alert and rested but not hyped.

Coffee is good, don’t get me wrong. But depending on caffeine to brainstorm ideas and create engaging copy is a deal with the devil.

You don’t want to grow dependent on (I decided to avoid the phrase “addicted to”) caffeine, because any level of productivity that depends solely on chemical stimulation is at best an erratic one. Instead, get up from your desk and stretch every 20 minutes, hydrate regularly, and take brief walks around the office to get the blood and ideas flowing. Caffeine is overrated.

Immerse yourself in inspiration.

Sitting at the same desk day after day will eventually have a toll on your writing, which will end up stale and derivative, just like your unchanging surroundings. To spice up your writing and give it more impact, amp up the “new” factor. Sit in the lobby with your laptop, go to an empty meeting room, or go up on the rooftop to write. Whatever breaks your routine will be enough to activate more innovative and imaginative writing.

Check your email often

You didn’t believe I’d actually say that, did you? But when I say “often” I mean “only on a regular schedule.” You don’t need to click every thirty seconds to see if you have new messages – that’s just procrastination. When you set a schedule for checking into the computer, you’ll keep yourself from being distracted.

Keep all electronic distractions away. Switch off your phone, sign out of social media, block the tempting websites you’ve visited so often. You know the drill. The fewer distractions you’re struggling with, the more relaxed and prolific you’ll be. If you know you have important messages coming in, set your timer to check every hour, but no more often.

Cultivate your empathy

Marketing has many principles you should follow, but only one is timeless and overlaps all mediums.

The most important principle is learning to really understand your audience and give them what they’re after. In other words, to empathize with them. Online marketing is different from conventional marketing in some ways, but you still need to listen to your audience, understand their concerns, fears, and desires, and, through your PR writing, deliver a message that resonates with them.

Get more emotionally intelligent and you will increase your social sensitivity. You will be able to grasp what lies beneath what’s being said and what people actually starve for.

This will help you deliver PR writing that will emotionally resonate with your audience and make them more eager to hear you out.

Give it the time it deserves

Sure, you have many other urgent tasks to handle, and spending 3 hours on a blog post seems like a luxury no one can afford, especially you. If you want PR writing that converts clients and increases sales, however, you need to give content the attention and time it deserves.

If it sounds impossible, go for quality instead of quantity. Post less often, but make sure when you do post, it’s something that is worthwhile. Each post you publish needs to provide answers to people, food for thought, or a new viral video to share with friends. Quality will never let you down, so devote ample time to your PR writing. Don’t regard it as an unimportant task, because it won’t pay off.

To recap, don’t depend on caffeine to keep you going, avoid as many distractions as possible, change your environment often, immerse yourself in inspiring contexts, and don’t ever take writing too lightly.

 

Ultimate Vocabulary guarantees to help you increase your vocabulary knowledge! Learn more words and apply them in your writings.

Review Sites Give Honest Feedback on Ultimate Typing™

August 4th, 2014

Ultimate Typing™ helps you improve your touch typing speed and accuracy. That’s what eReflect, the software’s developer, asserts. What do others say, though?

“Intuitive and advanced learning software with easy to use interface” – Typing Lounge

Typing Lounge has released a review on Ultimate Typing™ in which the reviewer gets to the bottom of the software’s features, tools, and technologies.

The goal-focused structure of the program is appraised by Typing Lounge, whose reviewer gives Ultimate Typing™ 9 out of 10 for goal management. As the review notes, the software is designed to be a tool for helping users achieve personal excellence. The typist is urged to practice until they’ve fully mastered their preset goals – and then to set new ones.

Typing Lounge praises the software’s adaptive learning approach, its video tutorials, and its advanced progress tracking tool designed for easy charting of the user’s typing improvement.

TopTenReviews awards Ultimate Typing™ its 2014 Silver award

Ultimate Typing™’s balanced focus on both typing speed and typing accuracy was the winning point that convinced the TopTenReviews editors to give the program their Silver Award.

The editors at TopTenReviews made sure to congratulate eReflect’s developers for their rigorous approach to teaching typing that consists of a step-by-step training module and video tutorials for guaranteed typing mastery.

Vocabulary Building editors declare Ultimate Typing™ “Outstanding”

Ultimate Typing™ helps people at any typing skill level to further improve their keyboarding abilities. From beginner typists to advanced users (people who type at 95 words per minute or more), the software has something to offer to everyone.

From interactive, fun typing games to structured, step-by-step lessons, typists can see concrete proof of their progress towards improved typing performance – just one of the reasons the Vocabulary Building editors used the word “outstanding to describe the Ultimate Typing™ system.

Software Review Boffin gives Ultimate Typing™ a five-star rating

Software Review Boffin awarded Ultimate Typing™ its Gold five-star award, stating that the typing tutor is the best one on the market at the moment.

The reviewer at Boffin analyses its top five features: the video tutorials and progress tracking features, its user-friendliness, the software’s multiple user account option, and the multitude of lessons and games available.

Ultimate Typing™ is praised for the quality of instructions and its groundbreaking user-friendliness, something not matched by any other software interface.
Its integrated progress tracking and reporting technology ensures the learner is aware at all times of how much progress they’re making, giving them a sense of direction as to how fast they’re learning and what they need to practice more on.

The reviews provided by third party review sites and organizations are testimony to the software’s effectiveness. Do you think you could use some typing skills improvement?

Cross-posted on the Touch Typing Software blog.


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Spelling Software Examined By Various Software Reviewers

July 28th, 2014

Are you a good speller? If you said “yes” then you’re already far ahead of the crowd – these days, not many people are confident or proud of their spelling skills. Heavy users of texting abbreviations and internet lingo in particular often feel their spelling skills have become somewhat rusty.

That’s why there’s a definite shift towards the use of spelling software, programs that help people improve their current skills, or learn how to spell starting with the basics.

Ultimate Spelling™ is one such spelling improvement solution that helps people master this essential skill. A variety of impartial reviews on Ultimate Spelling™ make it immediately evident that Ultimate Spelling™ can help people master orthography in little time and with minimum effort.

Ultimate Spelling™ receives 2014 Excellence Award by TopTenReviews

TopTenReviews is an opinion leader in software reviews, trusted by thousands of readers worldwide. Ultimate Spelling™ along with 8 other spelling improvement software went under rigorous scrutiny by the TopTenReviews editors. The evaluations culminated with the release of the TopTenReviews rankings and awards.

eReflect’s Ultimate Spelling™ was awarded the top place along with the company’s Gold Award and the 2014 Award of Excellence. Ultimate Spelling™’s competition made do with the second and third places, confirming the effectiveness of Ultimate Spelling™ in improving people’s orthography quickly and effortlessly.

The combination of cutting-edge tools, a personalized learning approach, and a dictionary-size word database were some of the reasons why Ultimate Spelling™ was awarded the TopTenReviews 2014 Excellence award. The editors at TopTenReviews gave Ultimate Spelling™ a score of 9.88, with a 10/10 rating for its progress tracking report technology and range of features.

Vocabulary learning site heaps praise on Ultimate Spelling™ for its effectiveness

While TopTenReviews was conferring excellence awards to the spelling improvement software by eReflect, the editors at Vocabulary.co.il (part of the Vkids company) were preparing their own review of the software.

As the editors note in their introduction, text-speak has made many people sloppy language users and this can have its toll on how efficiently people use language, in speech as well as in writing.

To offset bad spelling skills and habits, Vocabulary.co.il suggests trying Ultimate Spelling™. Their review of Ultimate Spelling™ ends with this quote: “Whichever way you look at it, Ultimate Spelling is learning to spell made very simple, and does exactly what it says on the packet.”

The Ultimate Spelling™ reviewers analysed the program’s features and integrated technology, focusing on its progress tracking tool and its all-encompassing approach to learning spelling, one that caters to young spellers as well as adults.

Its comprehensiveness and rigorous no-nonsense approach to spelling mastery are two other features of the Ultimate Spelling™ the review praised. In fact, Vocabulary.co.il made a point to recommend using Ultimate Spelling™ for learning how to spell, in view of its breadth of activities and structured yet customizable learning experience.

What seems to have impressed many reviewers of Ultimate Spelling™, Vocabulary.co.il included, is the sheer size of its word database (over 142,000 words, more than any other software reviewed). What seems to be even more impressive to most reviewers is the program’s in-depth approach to word mastery.

The program doesn’t simply teach the spelling of a word and stop there. It allows the learner to truly master a word by offering more information about the word, not just its spelling. The user is provided a chance to learn the word’s pronunciation and its definition(s), and the system even offers multiple usage examples for each word so that the learner can confidently and correctly use the words they’re learning to spell.

Cross-posted on the Spelling Software blog.


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Ultimate Vocabulary Software Evaluated By Range Of Reviewers

July 21st, 2014

Ever wonder what people who speak with such ease and charisma have done to become so influential and alluring? More often than not, their vocabulary has great depth and breadth, and they’ve mastered language use and enriched their language with concepts, ideas, and nuances so they can make every sentence accurate, colorful, and vibrant.

A speaker is effectively a painter. The more competent you are in mixing verbal colors, creating new variations and hues, the more impressive the end result will be. This means that the more constricted your word palette is, the less colorful and interesting your speech becomes.

Ultimate Vocabulary™ is like a variegated palette that equips people with the colorful words they need to speak accurately, masterfully, and above all effectively.

Ultimate Vocabulary™ is developed by eReflect, a leader in self-education software. The program has been evaluated by numerous high-profile organizations and companies. The reviews provide proof of the software’s effectiveness.

Top Ten Reviews editors award the 2014 Excellence Award to Ultimate Vocabulary™

A trusted software reviewer, TopTenReviews.com, has recently published its vocabulary building evaluations and has announced that Ultimate Vocabulary™ is at the top. The software was awarded both the Gold and Excellence 2014 awards by the editors of

TopTenReviews, proof of its unrivaled effectiveness.

With an overall rating of 9.9, the editors praised the software’s interactive, fun games, its breadth of lessons and activities, its cutting-edge, user-friendly technologies, and of course its larger than usual word database of over 142,000 words.

Word-Buff gives a verdict on Ultimate Vocabulary™’s effectiveness

Word-Buff is yet another established and trusted education-related specialist. Ultimate Vocabulary™ remained high on this reviewer’s list as well. The site’s owner, Derek McKenzie, teases apart every feature and tool of the software, mentioning both the pros and cons of the vocabulary builder only to finally conclude, “Compared to other programs Ultimate Vocabulary is by far the most sophisticated vocabulary builder I’ve used to date.”

Ultimate Vocabulary™ helps people expand their active vocabulary

In an in-depth interview with Marc Slater, managing director of eReflect, the company that developed Ultimate Vocabulary™, Slater discusses the advantages of owning a rich lexicon, and concludes that one way people can make a timeless investment in their own self-improvement is to improve their vocabulary with the help of a vocabulary builder.

The combination of ready-made, expert-developed word lists and the ability of each user to create their own word lists gives learners the both essential guidance and free rein to have the ultimate learning experience, one that leads to new vocabulary mastery.

Cross-posted on the Vocabulary Improvement blog.

Different Speed Reading Software Reviewed, Find Out Who Ranks #1

July 14th, 2014

Do you ever wish you knew how to read two, three, or even more books in a matter of hours? People who’ve mastered the art and science of speed reading have done so, thanks to one speed reading program.

Several software reviewers have evaluated a range of speed reading software systems that help students learn how to speed read, and the decision is unanimous: 7 Speed Reading™ by eReflect is by far the most comprehensive and effective speed reading software on the market.

TopTenReviews names 7 Speed Reading™ its Gold Award Winner

One of the most thorough appraisals 7 Speed Reading™ has ever received comes from the TopTenReviews editors, who gave the software an overall rating of 9.95. The editors concluded that this software is a feature-rich and user-friendly speed reading program.

The TopTenReviews editors highlight other advantages of 7 Speed Reading™, such as its progress monitoring tool and its multiple user account capacity.

For 2014, Top TenReviews finds 7 Speed Reading™ the most effective and comprehensive program available. Compared with the features, tools, and technologies of other speed reading improvement programs, 7 Speed Reading™ seems to defy every one of its competitors. Its suitability for people of all ages and reading levels is another hard to miss benefit of the program, say the reviewers.

As the TopTenReviews editors point out, 7 Speed Reading™ offers a targeted yet balanced learning solution for people who wish to speed read, ensuring learners improve both their reading speed and reading comprehension.

Spreeder praises 7 Speed Reading™ for offering a personalized learning experience

In a detailed review of 7 Speed Reading™, Spreeder analyses the software’s progress tracking tool, revealing the ways in which it’s more than just progress monitoring. Its ultimate goal is to offer each learner a premium, customized learning experience designed to boost their reading speed. More specifically, as the Spreeder editor reveals, “In testing their product, eReflect discovered that this customized learning approach increased results by over 163%, and reduced the required effort of students by over 221%.”

Typing Lounge confirms 7 Speed Reading™’s premium quality

Typing Lounge is a typing skills authority, but the editors are concerned with all aspects of language improvement, including reading. The site has released a series of speed reading software reviews in which the top position is reserved for 7 Speed Reading™, eReflect’s reading and comprehension improvement program.

The review by Typing Lounge is objective and thorough; the editors pick apart all its features, sorting them into pros and cons for their readers’ convenience.
The software’s user-friendly interface, its wide variety of games and activities, and finally its ebook library that numbers more than 600 ebooks are the main highlights Typing Lounge emphasizes in their review.

After an evaluation of the program’s features such as its training modules, the touch typing video tutorials, and its progress tracking technology —all of which contribute to an accelerated reading speed — Typing Lounge remarks, “7 Speed Reading™ software is perfect in every way.”

The overall rating 7 Speed Reading™ received from Typing Lounge is 9/10.

So far, 2014 has been a star-studded year for 7 Speed Reading™, and it has been receiving appraising and approving reviews by many respectable organizations and review sites. The combination of features, the latest technologies, and the developers’ passion for educational technology all contributed to 7 Speed Reading™ becoming a top ranking speed reading program.

 

Cross-posted on the 7 Speed Reading blog.


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Five Key Attributes For Hiring: What Business People Should Consider In Employees

July 7th, 2014

What qualities should you look for in a potential candidate? Should they have amassed geek-level knowledge in their field? What about the qualities of being morally resilient and empathetic? Do you really need people with leadership skills, or candidates that can be proactive and tech-savvy?

The truth is, every business requires a specific set of attributes they are looking for in a candidate. We’ve narrowed it down to the five key attributes that all candidates ideally should exhibit, no matter the business or field they’re in.

Self-knowledge

This seem like a generalized attribute, but it’s an important one to look for in candidates. People who are aware of their limitations, weaknesses, and strengths are more flexible and eager to improve upon them.

If a candidate cannot stand up and own up to their mistakes, how can you expect them to correct a mistake, and learn to avoid it in the future?

People with increased self-knowledge are often aspiring, honest individuals that don’t seek to cover up their mistakes. Instead, they acknowledge them and make an effort to correct them. This is the kind of individual you want  to be part of your business.

A disposition and ability to learn

Always opt for candidates with a disposition and ability to learn. People who feel they know everything already are less likely to want to sit down and devote time to learning more. Their know-it-all attitude impedes future self-development and they won’t be adding any value should you integrate them in your team.

Those with a learning ability and eagerness for the process, however, are full of potential human resources. They are willing to devour new knowledge and skills because they strive for excellence.

Emotional intelligence and humility

It’s okay to be ambitious and assertive. But if these attributes are an employee’s only qualities, then that’s not enough. In fact, it can be a negative. Businesses need to look for people who can exhibit emotional intelligence in the form of humility, no matter their personal or professional aspirations.

Those people who are always after credit, rewards, and applause will do anything to keep themselves in the spotlight. They will always overshadow the efforts of others because of their unquenchable thirst for recognition.  Pursuing success is commendable. Humility, however, balances things. It reminds people when the time is right to step down, to interfere, or to give others an opportunity to try.

It takes emotional aptitude to know when to take a step back and when to claim glory. It takes courage and self-confidence to admit to your own mistakes. These are the attributes that a progress-focused company should want its employees to exhibit.

Failure

Yes, you want the most promising perfectionists to be part of your business, but the problem with people who never fail is that their learning opportunities were very limited in the process.

Failure means people taking risks, people believing in their visions and striving to make them come to life. More importantly, failure equals learning. It’s only through trial and error that we achieve success.

So don’t look for people who never fail. First, anyone who says they’ve never, ever failed are probably not telling the truth. And second, finding out what happened to a person after a failure is a way of learning about their resilience and whether they have that essential won’t-stop-trying attitude that will help your business keep moving forward.

Lastly, people who don’t claim to be all-successful are those who tend to be wiser. Their mistakes were life lessons that guide their future efforts and they demonstrate their tendency to take accountability for their failures and not blame others for them.

Enthusiasm

If you cannot see passion and enthusiasm in a candidate’s eyes, move onto the next person. Without enthusiasm, there’s no way an employee-to-be will be a good, long-term asset for your company.

People need drive and passion to excel, and if the candidate you’re looking at doesn’t have these, don’t expect them to excel at what they do.

Self-knowledge, an ability to learn, enthusiasm, humility, and the resources to cope with failure are the five key attributes you should be looking for when interviewing for your business. Of course, other qualities and skills will also make it to the list depending on the industry your company belongs to, but these five are the essential attributes you’ll want your future employees to absolutely have.

Time Management Skills – The Pomodoro Way

June 30th, 2014

Are you a master of time management, or do you find your to-do lists overwhelmingly unrealistic?

If you’re honestly trying to be more productive and time-efficient, but you find that distractions are hard to resist to and you cannot seem to focus for more than 15 minutes straight, no matter the task, you’re probably frustrated and overwhelmed.

Does this sound familiar? If so, then you should try the Pomodoro technique. It’s a unique time management technique that boosts your productivity and makes task completion fun and rewarding.

Pomodoro is a straightforward time management technique that’s free and doesn’t require any fancy equipment or investment. In fact, you can start practicing the Pomodoro technique right now.

But first, let’s see what it entails.

Essentially, you need a kitchen timer set to 25 minutes. You’ll use the timer to create a time period – a “Pomodoro” – during which you focus your entire attention to the task designated. It’s that simple!

However, six parameters need to be in place for you to become a true Pomodoro technique master. These six objectives need to be mastered one by one. You shouldn’t jump onto the next without fully mastering the previous, to ensure best results.

  • Pomodoro Task

Decide on the task you’re going to Pomodoro. How many 25-minute chunks do you need? Plan this according to the effort it will take, the complexity of the task, and your own productivity on any given day. These will help you make a good estimation of the time involved.

  • Protect your Pomodoro

Know your enemies. Is it Facebook? Your parents calling for the 7th time this morning? Protect your Pomodoro from these distractions!

  • Pomodorize your activity

How many Pomodoros are needed for a specific task? 2 Pomodoros? Half a Pomodoro? Examine your task and estimate the time it will take to complete it. The more specific you can be, the better.

  • Recapitulate and Review

Ensure you don’t spend your Pomodoro(s) all on doing the task itself. It’s also important to allow time for recapitulation of the task and reviewing what you’ve done to make sure each goal is met and each project completed in its entirety.

  • Create your to-do timetable

Plan a timetable according to your to-do list, or whatever other method you find most useful (for example, an hourly schedule). Just remember that when you’re making a chart or list, you need to make it a Pomodoro-based timetable with the exact Pomodoro number for each task. If you’ve made sure to allot enough Pomodoros to each task, you will be fine.

  • Set a personal goal

What’s your ultimate goal with any given task? Preparing a top-notch report? Finishing your dissertation before June 25th? It doesn’t matter what your objective is as long as it’s a personal one aiming at helping you become a better, more efficient or skillful person.

The Pomodoro technique was developed back in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo as a way to achieve better time management. The defining characteristic of the Pomodoro technique is the many brain breaks you take between tasks.

Breaks

For each Pomodoro completed, you need to take a 5-minute break. For every 4 Pomodoros (100 mins) you need to take a 15- to 20-minute break.

The idea is that the more brain breaks you take, the more motivated and focused you will be at a given task.

A break triggers your mind to rest and come back more resilient and effective.

The brief focus on a task completely unrelated to a project (you can wash the dishes for your five-minute break, for example) and this change in focus helps you return to a project with a clear mind and a can-do attitude.

How does it improve time management?

The Pomodoro technique keeps you focused and ensures you don’t linger on unrelated distractions. It allows you to work at the most efficient pace possible.

Having a timer next to you provides a subconscious sense of urgency, encouraging you to get focused.

In addition, you become accountable. Since every task is quantified according to how many Pomodoros it takes, you are forced to stick to your schedule, something that also boosts your productivity and efficiency.

By learning to respect work flow you’ll manage to accomplish more in less time without necessarily damaging the outcome. Try it!