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I Have 10 Books to Make You a Boss Lady. Do You Have 5 Minutes?

I Have 10 Books to Make You a Boss Lady. Do You Have 5 Minutes?

It was not all that long ago that women did not have a place in the business world. Many of us have heard from our mothers and grandmothers about their secretarial positions. But now things have shifted and you could work for a female CEO and even become one. Granted, women only make up about 7% of the number of CEOs right now, but it’s certainly more than in our grandmothers’ days.[1]

While the opportunities are there, the know-how can sometimes be difficult to learn. How do we climb the corporate ladder and reach our business goals? While there isn’t necessarily a hand-book, there are plenty of books written by successful women who offer valuable insight as to accomplishing our professional dreams.

Recommended Reading for Willful Women

For each of these books, we’ll dive into what the book is about and what career advice can be learned from reading it. Don’t worry, no one expects a book report.

The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

    This New York Times Bestseller tackles the biggest issue faced and feared in the workplace: Gender Inequality. Kay and Shipman give inspiration and practical advice needed to confidently bridge the gender gap experienced in the day-to-day lives of women.[2]

    This is a recommended read because it teaches the thing we all want to be masters of: Confidence. Rather than adopting a “fake it ’til you make it” attitude, The Confidence Code teaches you how to truly believe in yourself and be successful in the workplace.

    Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill it in Your Career. Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht

      Licht has done PR for some of the most notable designers out there, so she knows a thing or two about being a successful female. The best advice comes from experience, and boy, does she have it! Licht uses the things she has experienced first-hand to give advice, inspiration and a little bit of tough love.

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      Leave Your Mark is great for someone just starting off in their career and also for those who feel they are doing pretty well for themselves. It also sheds light on successfully marketing on Social Media which, in this modern world, is vital to success in business.

      Bossypants by Tina Fey

        Tina Fey is hilarious, talented and by all accounts super down to earth. But she’s also a remarkable business-woman. Fey was never handed anything, especially her success in comedy. She had to work hard every day to get to where she is not. Her book details the uphill battle she fought but also empowers the women readers.

        This #1 National Bestseller is a must-read because it proves, page after page, that no matter how many times people tell you that you can’t do something, or they doubt your talent, you can achieve anything. Fey especially highlights how we should laugh all the way to the bank when it comes to people putting us down.

        Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

          via Amazon.com

          If you ask a female entrepreneur what book she would recommend, it would most likely be this one. Lean In has been the entrepreneur’s bible since it was released. Sandberg shares advice on getting the salary you deserve and how to believe in yourself.[3]

          This book covers all of the important basics and is definitely a must for the female employee who wants to do more. Sandberg helps you drop that self-doubt and really lean in to your potential.

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          Leading from the Front: No Excuse Leadership Tactics for Women by Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch

            via Amazon.com

            These authors spent years in the U.S. Marine Corps, instantly breaking any stereotype you may have had about women writers and entrepreneurs. The tough duo learned a lot about leadership in their time serving and are sharing it with their readers.

            This book is a must for women who want to know how to take action and be successful without any fluff. With a foreword by Paula Zahn, a successful woman herself, Leading from the Front is chocked full of helpful info that will have you at the top in no time.

            Women in Tech: Take your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories by Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack

              via GeekWire.com

              Accomplishing your career goals as a woman is filled with setbacks. Accomplishing those career goals in the tech industry as a woman is even harder. With only 5% of leadership positions in tech being held by women, it can seem discouraging to pursue much of anything.

              If you’re a woman in tech, this book offers advice from female professionals on how to succeed. Yes, this is a male-dominated work field, but there are women out there trying to change that. Wouldn’t you like to be one of them?

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              Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting what You’re Worth by Mika Brzezinski

                via MSNBC.com

                This book, like the other books on this list, really delves into how to ask for the right salary and feel you’re valued as an individual and employee. The unique thing about Brzezinski’s book is that it discusses how to do it no matter where you are in your career.[4]

                Many women are afraid to ask for a raise. Whether they’ve been a great employee for one year or ten, that request is always overshadowed by excuses and self-doubt. Brzezinski asked for more late in her career, and she explains how you can, too.

                Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus

                  via Amazon.com

                  Do you freeze up in a job interview when asked what you’re good at? Do you feel bad bragging about your strengths? Or maybe you’re great in the interview, but when it comes time to ask for that promotion, you feel cocky listing out all you’ve accomplished. If any of these sound familiar, you need to read Klaus’ book.

                  Klaus discusses self-promotion and how awkward it can be. She teaches you how to brag in a way that doesn’t make you uncomfortable. It’s highly recommended reading if you often don’t feel like you’re allowed to boast about the things you’re proud of.

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                  Getting from College to Career Rev Ed: Your Essential Guide to Succeeding in the Real World by Lindsey Pollak

                    via Amazon.com

                    I remember how vague and ominous it always sounded to me when people would talk about “The Real World.” Those three words were tossed about frequently while I was in college and seemed to be there to instill fear about getting a job, let alone a career, once I graduated. Now that I’m in “The Real World,” I can tell you it’s not always as scary as it sounded…but sometimes it is!

                    Pollack’s book addresses the harsh transition from school to salary and helps you tackle the changes. With her suggestions, you’ll be accepting job offers in no time.

                    How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life by Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston

                      via Amazon.com

                      If it’s true that leading by example is the best way to lead, then the women discussed in this book will make you a phenomenal leader. This book uses real-life examples of some of the most successful women in the world and touches on how they became successful and stay successful every day.

                      This book is ideal for the woman who wants to be inspired by the stories of other women and appreciates finding common ties between herself and those she idolizes.

                      Think of me while you’re sitting in your corner office!

                      No matter what success looks like to you, know that you can achieve it. Make it easier by grabbing a few of these books. Don’t be afraid to jot notes on the pages and put bookmarks in all the chapters that really speak to you. This is your journey to success, no matter how you define that. You’ve so got this!

                      Reference

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                      Heather Poole

                      Heather shares about everyday lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on December 9, 2019

                      7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

                      7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

                      The world has become a very distracting place, you don’t need me to tell you that. Where once we could walk out of our house or office and disappear into our own world with our own thoughts, we are now connected 24 hours a day to a network that’s sole purpose is to make us available to anyone and everyone at any time they choose to disturb us.

                      Of course, it is very easy to sit here and say all you have to do is turn off your electronic devices and just allow yourself several hours of quiet solitude; but the reality is far harder than that. There is an expectation that we are available for anyone whenever they want us.

                      However, if you do want to elevate yourself and perform at your best every day, to produce work of a higher quality than anyone expects and to regain control over what you do and when you will need to regain some control over your time, so you can focus on producing work that matters to you…

                      The good news: You do not have to become a recluse. All you need are a few simple strategies that will allow you enough flexibility in your day to stay focused to do the work that matters and still allow you to deal with other people’s crises and dramas.

                      Here are 7 ways you can stay focused and be less distracted.

                      1. Find out When You Are at Your Most Focused

                      According to research, brilliantly documented by Daniel Pink in his latest book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, our brains have a limited capacity to stay focused each day.[1]

                      From the moment we wake up to the time we turn in for the day, we are using up our brain’s limited energy resources and, depending on the time of day, we will be moving between strong concentration and low concentration.

                      This means that for most people, their optimum time for sustained concentration and focus will be soon after they wake up. For others, it could be later in the evening—a kind of second wind—but that is rare.

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                      Once you understand this, you can take time to learn when you are at your best and to protect that time on your calendar as much as possible. If you can, block it off and use that time for the work you need to do that requires the most concentration each day.

                      2. Get Comfortable Using ‘Do Not Disturb’ Mode

                      We have the ability to switch our electronic devices to do not disturb mode. Where all notifications are off and your phone or computer will not alert you to a new email or message.

                      Now after testing this function for a number of years, I can happily report that it does work.

                      When I sat down to write this article, I put all my electronic devices to do not disturb, closed down my email and began writing. I am safe in the knowledge that until this article is written, and I turn do not disturb off, there will be no interruptions or distractions.

                      Of course, it is not really about whether do not disturb works or not, it is whether you are willing to turn it on or not.

                      Most people believe they have to be constantly available for their boss or customers. This is not true at all. What has happened is because of your always available status, you have conditioned these people to turn to you first whenever they have a problem.

                      You are not actually helping them at all. You are preventing them from having to think for themselves and develop the skill of problem-solving. By not being so readily available, you help them a lot more.

                      What it comes down to is your boss and customers are going to be far more positive with you, if you deliver your work to the highest quality and on time than you being available 24/7. Trust me on that. I also tested that one.

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                      3. Schedule Focus Time Every Day

                      This technique is a lot easier than you may think.

                      First, you figure out when you are least likely to be disturbed. For me, that is between 6 and 9 am. for a lot of my clients, they find the first 90 minutes in the morning at their workplace is when they are not likely to be disturbed. This is important because you want to be building consistency.

                      Most people start their day by checking their email and other messages. While they are doing that, they are not going to be bothering you. Now there is no rule about when you should be checking your email. The chances are email is not going to be where you want to spend your most focused time, so you can decide to check your email at say 10:30 am.

                      Dedicate 30 minutes from 10:30 am to 11:00 am for email processing and use the first 90 minutes of your day for doing your most important work. You will surprise yourself by how much work you get done in that ninety minutes.

                      4. Plan Your Day the Night Before

                      One of the inevitabilities of life is there is always a plan for the day. The choice is whether the plan you have is a plan of your own making or not. If you don’t have a plan, then the day will take control of you. Other people’s priorities, urgencies and dramas will fill your day. As the late Jim Rohn said:

                      “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

                      If you take control and make it a habit to plan out what you want to accomplish the next day before you go to bed, you will find yourself staying more focused on your work and be less likely disturbed.

                      Now when I say plan your day the night before, I do not mean you need to spend an hour or so planning and mapping out every minute of the day. Planning your day should only take you around 10 to 15 minutes and you only need to decide what 10 things you want to complete — 2 “must do” objective tasks and 8 “would like to do” tasks. What I call the 2+8 Prioritisation Technique:

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                      Do not be tempted to go beyond 10 tasks for the day. When you do that, you do not have enough flexibility in your day to handle crises and other unknown issues that will pop up throughout the day.

                      When you do not build in flexibility, you will soon stop planning your day. Only plan tasks that will have the biggest positive impact on your work and projects.

                      5. Learn to Say “No”

                      I am sure you’ve been told this before. We are wired to please and this results in us wanting to say yes to every opportunity that comes our way. The problem is we cannot do everything and every time you say “yes” to one opportunity, you are saying “no” to another opportunity. You cannot be in two places at the same time.

                      Jay Shetty shared an inspiring video on JOMO “Joy Of Missing Out”. Here’s the video:

                      Rather than allowing ourselves to be succumbed by FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out), we should replace that ‘fear’ with the “joy” of missing out. Because of our need to please, we say yes to things we really don’t want to do; yet when we do that, we miss out on doing things that bring us joy—creating something special, spending time educating ourselves and just having some quiet alone time with ourselves.

                      Learn to say “no” every time you get a notification to your phone. Ignore it. Learn to say “no” to your colleagues when they want to gossip. Learn to say “no” to volunteering when the thing you are being asked to volunteer for does not excite you. Just learn to say “no”.

                      By saying “no” to opportunities, distractions and interruptions, you are saying yes to better and more meaningful things. Things you do want to focus your attention on.

                      6. Create a Distraction-Free Environment for Your Focused Time

                      This has been possibly the most powerful tip I learned when it comes to focusing on what is important. Have a place where you do only focused, high-concentration work.

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                      Now this place needs to be clean and only have the tools you need to do your work. If it is writing a report or preparing a presentation, then it needs a table and a computer, nothing more. Files, paper and other detritus that accumulates on and around people’s desks need to go. A clean, cool and well-lit environment is going to do a lot more for your focus and concentration than anything else.

                      The dining table in our home is where I go for undisturbed, focussed work. I take my laptop or iPad, and only have my writing app open. Everything is closed down and the computer is in “do not disturb” mode. There is nothing else on the dining table just my computer and my water tumbler.

                      Because that is my designated focus area, I only go there to work when I have something that needs total focus and concentration. I am there right now!

                      7. Be Intentional

                      The reality is, if you absolutely need to get something done then you need to be intentional. You have to have the intention of sitting down, focusing and doing the work.

                      There’s no magic tricks or apps that will miraculously do all your work for you. You need to intentionally set aside time for undisturbed focus work and do it. Without that intention, you can read as many of these articles as you like and you still will not get the work done.

                      It is only when you intentionally set yourself up to do the work, turn off all notifications and do whatever it takes to avoid distractions will the work get done.

                      The Bottom Line

                      The strategies and tips I shared in this post will go a long way to helping you become better at focusing on the important things in your life. No matter what they are, you are in control of your time and what you do with it and where you spend it, never give that control away to anyone else.

                      Protect it and it will be your servant. Give that control away and it will become your master and that is not a good place to be.

                      More About Staying Focused

                      Featured photo credit: Manny Pantoja via unsplash.com

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