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10 Simple Productivity Tips To Organize Your Work Life

10 Simple Productivity Tips To Organize Your Work Life

Have you ever come home late, exhausted and tired after spending your whole day at work, but when you asked yourself what was the result of your day, you didn’t have an answer? You just feel like your productivity was around zero.

If so, ask yourself this: Was that day all about checking your emails, answering the phone, and spending time in marathon meetings? Such situations can happen often in this fast-paced world. It is so full of different distractions. This is why we must take care of our productivity.

Productivity is not about working more. It is just the opposite: working less, in less time, with more effect.

Time

Organizing your time is the first crucial step to take in order to boost your productivity. Using your time wisely means that you have time for work, leisure, along with also having time for your family and friends.

At the end of the day, we all have 24 hours in each day. It is up to you how you are going to use them.

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1. “Eat that frog”

“Eat that frog!” simply means you do your most important task first. After completing your most important task, you will fill fulfilled and satisfied for the rest of the day.

By practicing this habit, you will also avoid one of the biggest enemies of productivity — procrastination.

2. Put time limits on your work

No matter what I do, whether writing an article, shooting a video, or working on a marketing campaign, I always put a time limit on my work. That means that I decide in advance how much time I am going spend writing an article: I set it to a certain number of hours and not a minute more.

If you want to increase your productivity before you start writing a letter to your customer or learning online skills or any new task you start, put a time limit on your work. You will see how effective you will become after setting a specific amount of time to do the job.

3. Break your work down into sessions

Your brain and your body are impressive machines — but don’t overuse them. Studies show that your brain’s effectiveness significantly decreases after 45 minutes. Make a habit of having five- or ten-minute breaks every 45 minutes. Stretch your body and allow your brain to regenerate. Doing so will help you to start each hour fresh and increase your productivity.

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Space

There are many studies that show how the right lighting, the right temperature, and a clean workplace affect your productivity. But don’t limit your thinking just to your physical space. Think of space as your entire working environment, including your virtual space.

4. Don’t be addicted to your mailbox

Checking your mailbox every 30 minutes or setting an automated email checker makes you completely reactive — as opposed to being proactive — and thus significantly decreases your productivity.

Tomorrow, when you go to work, resist checking your email as the first thing you do in the morning. Instead, work on your most important task first. After that, you have plenty of time to do all the little things.

5. Write it down

What I learned from reading the biography of Sir Richard Branson years ago is that he always carries an old-fashioned paper notebook with him. Why is this habit so beneficial and why it can greatly affect your productivity? When a new idea pops into your mind, you can quickly write it down in your notebook.

So, write those ideas down in your paper notebook. That means all of your ideas — otherwise you will just forget them (yes, your smartphone will also get the job done). These little ideas can make a big difference in your work.

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6. Choose five priorities each day (and no more)

Multitasking is another thing which can greatly decrease your productivity. The best way to avoid it is to choose only five priorities each day and stick to them strictly. This will make you a proactive person — you won’t be distracted by 100 other “urgent” things.

Mindset

Your mindset can do wonders for your productivity. With the right mindset, you just know what’s the right thing to do and what has the best effect on your life. Mindset can have the biggest impact on your productivity, so it is well worth working on.

7. Use affirmations

Actually, we all use affirmations all the time. Different thoughts are crossing our minds constantly. The question is: are you using positive ones?

Start telling yourself things like: “I am successful,” or  “I attract ______________ (insert whatever it is that you are dreaming of).” Use these affirmations first thing when you wake up and repeat them throughout the day. They will affect your confidence — the more confident you are, the more effective you are.

8. Imagine your end result

Before you start your workday, don’t just rush into your work. First, imagine the end result you wish to have. By doing this, you will tap into your subconscious strength and empower your productivity.

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9. Read inspirational books

Inspiration is food for your mind. Just as you shower every day to cleanse your body, you should shower your soul with inspiration every day. Read inspirational books, watch inspirational videos, and listen to inspirational audio. When you are inspired, you work with an ease and your productivity will rise substantially.

10. Think good thoughts before you go to sleep

I am sure you have already experienced having bad dreams after watching a horror movie before you went to sleep. Why? Because your subconscious mind is very receptive to your thoughts in the last 45 minutes before you go to sleep.

So, before you go to sleep, think of your next day’s goals, your life dreams, or read a good motivational book. In that way, you will fill your subconsciousness with positive thoughts. Your subconscious will reciprocate by helping you to have increased productivity.

Featured photo credit: Steve wilson via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 5, 2019

5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

Businesses rely on talent to generate and sell value. Without skilled people to create its products, manage its operations and execute its strategies, a business would inevitably fizzle out of the game and leave better-staffed competitors to take the field.

This is the reason why ambitious companies go great lengths to attract top talent,[1] shelling out millions of dollars in the process and bending traditional work policies just to bring highly skilled but demanding candidates into the fold.

Clearly, the contours of business are changing. But so are the demographics of work.

Millennials have become the dominant generation in the job market in terms of population, and some have already transitioned into leadership roles. Most millennials consider opportunity to learn and grow more important than overall compensation.[2]

Companies also today expect employees to come equipped with razor sharp business acumen.[3] Unfortunately, there is an alarming discrepancy between the actual skills businesses need and those currently possessed by job candidates.

To stay in the game, employers need to continually upgrade their training and skills development strategies to cover the entire employee lifecycle.

What are Learning Management Systems (LMS)?

Learning management systems are software-based solutions for authoring, presenting, consuming, storing, and tracking educational content and training materials. These systems aim to centralize all instructional content (e.g., lessons, training modules, instructional videos, presentation slides, worksheets, online quizzes, ebooks, takeaway notes, etc.) in one place.

LMS enable instructors to design and deliver learning experiences to students, with the added capability of evaluating the effectiveness of the instructional materials and grading the learning progress of students.

On the other side of the equation, learners use LMS to develop skills and acquire new knowledge virtually anytime and anywhere via the different channels and content formats made possible by digital technology.

Over the years, a wide range of features and technologies have been integrated into learning management systems to help enhance the experience of training designers, instructors, and learners. These include cloud and mobile technology, artificial intelligence, responsive design, scheduling, gamification, data analytics, and interoperability with other applications.

5 Best All-Purpose Learning Management Systems

There are dozens of LMS vendors catering to the general market or to specific segments such as K-12 learning, higher education, and corporate training.

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With so many options available, selecting the right LMS solution for your needs can be complicated and costly, especially when you end up adopting a platform that doesn’t exactly match your goals or requirements.

Short of conducting a comprehensive audit of your needs and finalizing a learning roadmap, the safest bet would be to adopt full-featured but affordable LMS solutions.

Based on user reviews, here are the 5 best LMS to help people gain knowledge, build skills, and achieve mastery:

1. Canvas Network

Launched by Instructure as an open source software in 2011, Canvas is an end-to-end cloud-based service originally engineered for the education sector.

Widely adopted for K-12 and Higher Ed learning, Canvas can be repurposed for anything that involves an instructor, a subject matter, and a student.

Used around the world by people of all ages and organizations of all types, Canvas arguably has the largest learning and support community in its class. It works on desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones.

To get a glimpse of the platform’s fresh interfaces, you can visit the Canvas Network, a learning community that provides educational and instructional materials created by colleges, universities, corporate businesses, independent course developers, and other knowledge-sharing entities around the world.

Hosting hundreds of interesting topics from data science to horticulture, the learning network also serves as evidence to the scope, capabilities, and popularity of the Canvas LMS platform.

Canvas is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure, which enhances the platform’s reliability, speed, scalability, and overall online performance.

Additionally, platform adopters enjoy a low-risk environment since cloud-based solutions require no hard stops for version updates, upgrades, or system migrations.

The Canvas website does not show a price matrix but says the service adopts a simple formula for computing fees: a one-time implementation fee and an annual subscription fee based on total number of users. It also promises free basic services for teachers who want to use the platform.

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In addition to Canvas, Instructure also offers Bridge (an LMS designed for corporate environments), Arc (a video platform for online learning), and Gauge (an assessment management system).

Check out this video if you want to learn more about Canvas Network:

2. Google Classroom

This free service from Google aims to improve the teaching and learning process using cloud technology, web apps, workflow simplification, and seamless communication between students and instructors.

Using Classroom, educators can easily create and schedule classes, distribute assignments, send feedback, and grade quizzes all in one place. By streamlining processes, Classroom helps teachers save time and organize classes more effectively. Both students and teachers can also work using any device anytime and anywhere.

Classroom works perfectly with other Google tools, having been launched initially as part of Google’s G Suite for Education. This LMS solution taps Google Drive for content storage and distribution, as well as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for the creation and sharing of instructional materials. Meanwhile it integrates Google Calendar for scheduling and Gmail for communication.

With G Suite, other communication channels such as chat messaging, video conferencing, and a dedicated website are enabled.

Easy to set up and manage, Google Classroom is free to use. One of my very first courses was actually hosted on Google Classroom.

Going beyond the classroom environment, Google offers G Suite Enterprise for Education for large institutions. This suite provides enhanced search and analytics capabilities as well as advanced tools for enterprise communications.

3. Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment)

If budget and capability equally top your list of LMS adoption criteria, then Moodle might just fit the bill. Which is to say there’s none (i.e., bill).

Moodle is a free and open-source learning solution for distance education, workplace training, flipped classrooms, and other pedagogical environments.

It is also a full-featured LMS supported by a robust community and a thriving developer ecosystem. Not surprisingly, Moodle is used in more than 15 million courses by more than 130 million users in 230+ countries.

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Among other things, Moodle enables administrators and educators to create a dynamic and dedicated website to host organic, easily accessible, and highly customizable courses that can be experienced on desktops and mobile devices anytime and anywhere.

Moodle provides a personalized and intuitive dashboard as well as a host of collaboration tools for content designers, teachers, and learners. A universal calendar, an efficient file management system, an automatic notification system, multimedia integration, and a progress tracking tool all come with the package.

Check out this video if you want to learn more about Moodle:

4. Absorb

This platform recently bagged PC Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Award for Best LMS.

Co-designed and built by former course authors, Absorb takes learning experience to the next level. This turnkey LMS solution is responsive, full-featured, and highly customizable for maximum impact.

Course developers can orchestrate a wide range of experiences depending on audience or learning situation. In addition to surveys, polls, and e-commerce integration, Absorb supports formal online learning and certifications standards such as AICC, SCORM, and Tin Can.

The user interface can also be modified to match the learner’s location, group, or department, allowing for a different look and feel for customers, channel partners, management trainees, and newly hired employees.

Absorb supports all personal computing devices from desktops to mobile phones. There are also native or hybrid apps for iOS and Android.

The only possible drawback to the platform’s powerful feature set is its pricing. The service reportedly implements a flat, one-time setup fee depending on your business and training requirements. According to the site, any plan comes with a dedicated success team for your account.

Although small companies are welcome to try, midsize to enterprise-scale organizations are probably the best segment to readily adopt this LMS solution.

Take a look at some examples of Absorb in this video:

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5. Watershed Collaborative

Created by a group of educators, this nonprofit rethinks the priorities of an LMS, asserting that too many systems miss the most essential elements of what makes learning stick. They promise a better user experience – emphasizing Learning before Management and System.

Watershed aims to support an inquiry-based learning experience through an integrated mix of online and in-person learning strategies and interactions designed expressly for teams – including collaboration, reflection, and dialogue.

While Watershed was founded initially to serve the K-12 education market, the company has since expanded its scope to cater to all types of teachers and learners with its video-rich, state-of-the-art platform.

If you’re a mission-driven educator, content creator, institution, or business, this LMS may be the one for you.

Watershed specializes in assisting you with the instructional design of courses and provides content production services to ensure top-quality video assets with lasting value. Their LMS makes it easy for course creators to continuously update and tailor content to support small and large groups, while ensuring the technology and instructional strategy supports communities of learners.

Pricing varies based on products and services, but revenues support the nonprofit’s ability to make its platform and courses available at little or no cost for high-need educators and educational settings.

Honorable Mentions

There are dozens of LMS vendors in this growing market and the brands included in foregoing list are by no means the only viable options for companies or learning institutions looking to upgrade their learning infrastructure.

Many other excellent services are worth checking out. These include:

  1. Docebo is an LMS designed for hyper-engaging students, employees, customers, and other learners. The system helps organizations identify and resolve competency gaps with strategic learning interventions.
  2. Cornerstone OnDemand is a talent, training, and performance management solution offered as an SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). This service enables learners to create personalized playlists of instructional content.
  3. Lessonly is an LMS solution that makes it easier to recall and reinforce whatever skills or knowledge you have learned through quizzes, coaching, and constant practice.
  4. Skillsoft is an online training and corporate learning platform developed by a two-decade old and billion-dollar company with the same name.
  5. D2L BrightSpace is a learning management system that has all the basics for delivering excellent, rich-media experiences for classroom or workplace training.

Conclusion

There are many ways to learn but some are more effective and meaningful than others. Whether you are a teacher looking to enhance classroom learning or an HR manager creating a long-term talent development plan for employees, the key to impactful learning is to understand and bridge the needs of learners, the goals of your institution, and the actual capabilities of the learning tools you are considering.

Note that using multiple LMS platforms is possible although not recommended. On the other hand, adopting other learning solutions beyond LMS (such as podcasts, mentoring, and onsite in-person workshops) may significantly improve learning outcomes. Always go for products and plugins that seamlessly integrate into your core LMS tool.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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