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5 Ways to Transform From Mediocrity to Excellence

5 Ways to Transform From Mediocrity to Excellence

A shooting star…

Who doesn’t want to be the next “thing” to hit it to the next level; whether it’s in your career, business, finally having 1k followers on Instagram or even the next step with your boo. Many of us have excelled, passed the status quotient in school, and even landed jobs in our field (nowadays that can be a task, all by itself). We always express a promise in whatever we do. Though we have the ability, we may have found that we have hit a glass ceiling; but we may also be surprised that we build it ourselves.

How can we push through our limits in order to reach the full potential that is waiting to burst out of us?

1. Own Up

Our first lesson comes from one of the most popular songs of the 2000’s; Shaggy’s “It wasn’t me.”  After being busted for cheating, Shaggy’s lady runs down a list of reasons that she KNOWS (and evident as hell…) that he is cheating on her. But in typical fashion Shaggy results to …DENY….DENY….DENY…..DENY! Literally finding himself in the girl, looking with her two eyes, and Shaggy continues with….It wasn’t me.

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wasnt me

    Have you ever found that a problem or issue wasn’t your fault, no matter how obvious it all was?

    Hiding (or better yet lying) from the truth in fear of damaging your “image.”

    When we own up to our faults, it then always helps us shift to discover a problem, instead of wasting time finding people to pin it on. It also shows that you are willing to take the initiative. Even though you were wrong, people will respect you more for being real and owning up to it. A weight will be lifted off your chest, as you no longer have to walk on pins and needles waiting for someone to “figure you out.”

    2. Right Time

    When someone is waiting for the “right time” it reminds me of the jumping rope. There you are, catching the rhythm of the rope, to find the perfect time to jump in. But since the variable of the turning rope is not in your hands, it is either too slow or maybe the rope is just a tad short; you wait and wait for the “right time.”  Now everybody is cursing you out because you are taking too long.

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    waiting for

      The fact is that it is never going to happen unless you just jump in.

      Waiting for the perfect opportunity to speak up in a meeting, tell a new project idea to your boss, or starting a new business; will never come. You will never have just the time you need, or even have the guts to say “boss man, this isn’t working.”  Just like the jump rope, you have to jump in and figure it out when you get there.

      Extraordinary only happens when you ACT, good ideas that stay in your head do you no good…

      3. It has to be Perfect

      Let me just look over this one more time. 

      Then ‘one more time’ turns into another week; another week, that you could have been preparing for the next project but you’re too busy making sure that this one is PERFECT. Perfection is just a myth that society has created in order to stall time. We place it on our resumes bragging as if it is a trophy; but in reality it shows signs of low confidence. Another way of saying that “I’m not quite yet ready to be judged by the world, let me continue to work on it.”  Instead of perfectionism, how about we strive for a trait that is obtainable. Excellence! Excellence is giving it your best.  Your superiors will be delighted that you are no longer wasting time but completing work at a higher standard.

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      perfect

        4. Stand Out

        The crowd. As children, our parents taught us to be leaders and not followers; but somehow when we became adults, that message was lost in translation. What they forget to tell us is that standing out from the crowd can have its downfall. Speaking out for injustice (#BlackLivesMatter), disagreeing with what the majority say in meetings, or even trying something new; could all be ridiculed from ‘the crowd” because it is different.  This alone can cause people to keep their mouths shut and keep it moving with everyone else.

        At times, all it takes is to be different and use your voice, you never know how it may encourage others who were once frightened to follow. It also allows your organization to have those honest conversations about new policies or products they might be launching. In the long run, they will be happy that you opened your mouth.

        5. Feel like it

        There are two times in life that we often complete the task; when we just do it, and when we “feel like doing it.”

        Though we become “doers”, it becomes a habit in who we are as people. Completing tasks when you “feel” like it works, but what happens when you no longer do? It just sits there; the best recipe to become mediocre.

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        rock

          While you wait to get the feeling, the “doer” in the office has already completed it, making a name for themselves, while you continue to wait until you “feel” the urge to complete the task. Opportunities present themselves to the ones who are already prepared (they won’t have to get ready because they stay ready).

          If you find yourself hitting this glass window, take a look at these factors and get out of your own way. Uncover the potential that lies within you, and go out to claim all that is meant for your life.

          Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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          Jasamine Hill

          The Millennials' Life Coach

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          Last Updated on April 8, 2019

          22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

          22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

          Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

          Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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          1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
          2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
          3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
          4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
          5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
          6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
          7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
          8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
          9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
          10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
          11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
          12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
          13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
          14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
          15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
          16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
          17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
          18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
          19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
          20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
          21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
          22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

          Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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