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Why Every Successful Person Thrives on Negative Feedback

Why Every Successful Person Thrives on Negative Feedback

Have you ever made a mistake that could have been avoided if only you’d listened to someone else? We’ve all done it. Even large corporations mess up from time to time.

Take the cautionary tale of Facebook Home. Launched in April 2013, Facebook Home was billed as an application that would change the “look and feel” of a user’s phone. Specifically, it was designed as an app that would transform a user’s default phone screen into a Facebook wrapper. The idea was that users would be able to interact with Facebook any time without having to log in to an app.[1]

    Unfortunately, the app’s creators didn’t recognise that Android phones make extensive use of folders, widgets, and other components that the Facebook team overlooked.

    On the face of it, this seems surprising. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Facebook would have the technical knowledge required to build an app that works for Android. Yet, according to one theory, the team made an embarrassing error that proved to be their undoing. They focused on what would work for devices running iOS, not Android, simply because the team personally used iPhones.[2] Their perception was skewed in one direction only, meaning they overlooked the needs of many customers.

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    Getting feedback isn’t always fun, but is vital

    What could have averted the Facebook Home calamity? Two things would have made all the difference. First, regular testing across iOS and Android systems would have identified problems. Second, Facebook should have collected customer feedback as they developed the app.

    However, humans often have an innate aversion to criticism. We don’t like to be wrong, and even if criticism is constructive, we can experience it as a personal attack. In fact, our fear of criticism can lead us to blame external forces and other people for our mistakes. In other words, we make external attributions. We would rather blame luck, other people’s errors, and circumstances beyond our control rather than face the fact that we have made a mistake.

        In some cases, people become so closed off to outside input that they no longer consider anyone else’s perspective.[3] This often happens to leaders who have already enjoyed a degree of success, and have become overconfident as a result. Their power means that they can shut everyone else down, and fire people who don’t agree with their opinions and decisions. They reject other people’s feedback, and refuse to take criticism on board. This trap is called the Hubris Trap. It may be the biggest, most dangerous obstacle to effective leadership. [4]

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        The cost of avoiding criticism

          Someone who avoids criticism because they want to maintain their self-image as someone who is right risks stunting their personal and professional growth. When we deny personal responsibility and instead blame external factors for our failures, we are letting ourselves off the hook. If you don’t believe that your success lies within your own hands, you won’t be so inclined to put in the effort required to make your projects successful.

          If you don’t seek out criticism and feedback, your product or service is at risk of failure. Even if the product is of high quality, it will never be profitable if no one wants to buy it. It is possible to spend months or years developing a new product, only to see it flop because it has no audience. The consequences can be disastrous.

          Take Facebook Home as an example. Originally, Facebook had planned to charge users $99 for a two-year subscription, but due to a lack of demand, this price dropped to just $0.99 within a few weeks of its release. The company also had to restructure their company. In short, the Facebook Home team made a mistake that cost the company a considerable amount of money and effort.[5]

          Take criticism like an expert

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            Truly successful people know how to accept criticism without taking it as a personal attack. Their self-confidence means that they are comfortable evaluating feedback from others, and deciding whether to act on it. They do this without falling into the trap of assuming that a single negative experience or failure means that they themselves are beyond redemption.

            Get used to anticipating negative feedback

            There will always be someone out there who doesn’t like your work or your approach. The sooner you can get used to the idea that everyone is subjected to criticism and that it’s possible to be criticised and keep your self-esteem intact at the same time, the happier you will be. It’s OK to fail! Give yourself permission to get things wrong every now and then.

            Keeping your ego in check is difficult, but taking an objective look at a piece of criticism or feedback will benefit you in the long run. After all, how will you know where to begin improving yourself or your work otherwise? If you think about it, criticism is useful because it gives you actionable points. For example, “You did so well!” is less helpful than “Your presentation was good, but your speaking voice was a little too high.”

            Be aware though, some criticism is unhelpful. Check out this guide to help you decide whether someone’s feedback is sensible.

            Get feedback quickly

            You should aim to get feedback on your work and ideas as soon as possible. The sooner you get feedback, the sooner you can put things right! The Facebook Home team received feedback, but only after the product was launched. By then, it was too late. Just think of how much money, time and embarrassment they could have saved if they had asked their audience to trial the product before launching it.

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              There isn’t a successful person alive who hasn’t been on the receiving end of criticism at some point. If you are going to commit yourself to a project or business venture, you need to be prepared for negative feedback. However, as long as you know how to accept it, criticism needn’t hold you back. In fact, it can be the best gift you ever get!

              Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

              Reference

              More by this author

              Leon Ho

              Founder & CEO of Lifehack

              What Are The Top 7 Priorities To Have In Life? Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes And How to Tackle Them Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Overcome It) How To Be Successful In Life: 13 Life-Changing Tips 11 Best Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life

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              Last Updated on February 17, 2021

              50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time

              50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time

              If you feel like you don’t have enough time to do everything you want to do, maybe it’s time to check-in with your time management skills.

              No one is born to be very good at time management, so that’s okay if you think you’re bad in it. But everyone can learn to boost their productivity and achieve more!

              Here are 50 ways to increase productivity and add hours to your day.

              1. Set a Timer

              Estimate the time you need to tackle different tasks and set a timer for each of your tasks. How you go about this is up to you as there are many different ways. There is the Pomodoro technique where you focus on a task for 25 minutes followed by a five minute break afterwards.

              In the event that you have a task that will take much longer than that, you can consider one of the many timer-based apps. One that comes to mind is Clockify. It’s used for freelancers and entrepreneurs alike, however it’s a good way to be setting yourself a timer. It provides reports and you can serve as a project manager of sorts too. Best of all, it’s free.

              2. Eliminate All Distractions

              Distractions include the phone, email notifications and having multiple web browsers open on the desktop. Just as it’s important to be organized offline, it’s key to have things organized online as well. This free guide End Distractions And Find Your Focus is a good tool to help you. With this guide, you’ll learn how to get rid of distractions and boost productivity. Grab your free guide here.

              You can also learn more on how to get rid of all distractions in this guide: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

              3. Listen to Music That Boosts Productivity

              Distractions should be avoided, but sometimes a bit of music in the background can help you focus.

              Of course, it doesn’t need to be heavy rock music, but a bit of Beethoven may do you some good.

              Here’s a complete guide to help you pick the right music for better productivity: How To Maximize Your Productivity With Music: A Complete Guide

              4. Find Meaning in What You Do (And Love What You Do)

              Enjoying what you do is the ultimate way to increase your productivity.

              If you aren’t sure what you love doing yet, don’t worry. Leo Babauta has some unique ways to help you: How to Find Your Passion

              5. Prioritize your tasks ahead of time.

              By listing your tasks in order of importance, you can make sure that you finish all of your most important tasks during the day.

              Learn a unique technique to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster.

              6. Batch Similar Tasks into a Single Batch.

              Tasks like blog writing, phone calls, email and errands can be grouped into a single batch. You will save time by completing similar tasks in one session. One way to help you with organizing all of those things is through the app Todoist. It’s an easy and simple way for you to plan out your day, set reminders, and group all of your most important tasks in a convenient spot.

              7. Complete Your Most Dreaded Tasks First Thing in the Morning.

              Whichever activity you are dreading the most is probably the one you need to complete first thing in the morning.

              Many people tend to check emails in the morning because after checking a list of emails, they feel fulfilled. But that’s just an illusion of having achieved more.

              Doing simple tasks like checking emails first in the morning is bad for you. Instead, do the difficult tasks because you have more energy in the morning to tackle them!

              8. Reward Yourself for Finishing a Big Task

              To stay motivated for whatever you do, reward yourself every now and then.

              Keep track of your small wins and milestones and celebrate them. So whenever you struggle about your progress, you see how far you’ve come!

              Find out more about this 2-Step Approach to Self-Motivation: Track Small Wins and Reward Yourself.

              9. Don’t Multitask

              Research has shown that multitasking is not productive. If you think you can multitask, think again.

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              For optimum productivity, focus on one thing at a time.

              10. Step Away from the Computer

              The Internet has become one of the number one distraction. To increase your productivity, try to do as much of your work offline as possible.

              I do this a lot when I try to brainstom new ideas and have found it to be very beneficial to simply unplug.

              11. Use Focus Tools

              Make good use of apps and technology to help you remove distractions.

              Here’re 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools to help you stay focused. This way, you’re not distracted by the web, e-mail, or IM.

              Also, join the free Fast-Track Class – Overcoming Distraction, and you’ll learn the one simple method to work even when you’re surrounded by distractions. Join the free session now!

              12. Just Start

              Often times, starting is the hardest part. People tend to wait for the perfect time with perfect condition to start. But there’s no perfect condition.

              Once you get going, you will quickly get into a rhythm that could last for hours.

              13. Find out Your Productive Hours

              Everyone has a certain time of the day in which they are more productive than others. For me, it’s the morning.

              Find out when your prime time is for productivity and optimize your work schedule accordingly.

              14. Keep a Notebook and Pen on Hand at All Times

              This way, you can write down your thoughts, to-dos and ideas at any time. The key is to get everything out of your head and onto paper. Your subconscious mind won’t be reminding you about it every other second. Another consideration is getting the app Evernote. Not only does this save you on ink and paper, Evernote is a convenient place for you to jot down notes and thoughts and then share them with the team. In certain circumstances, this can prove useful if you’re the type of person that has a lot of ideas that you want to share.

              15. Write a Blog to Chronicle Your Own Personal Development and Achievements

              The blog keeps you accountable and always working towards self improvement and personal growth.

              When you write down all the small achievements you’ve been having, you’re also more motivated to move forward.

              And you know what, this is how I started Lifehack too! What also helped me in starting Lifehack is WordPress, which allows people to set up a website for free. WordPress has simplified a lot of the process of building a site to the point that virtually anyone can build a website now.

              16. Write out a To-Do-List Each Day

              I like to plan my day the night before. This way, I can get started on my most important tasks as soon as I wake up. The Full Life Planner is a nice tool to help you organize your days and get things that matter done. Check out the planner here and start to plan your day ahead easily!

              Make sure you don’t make any of these common to-do-list mistakes!

              17. Write Your Most Important Tasks and To-Dos on a Calendar.

              The key to good time management is knowing where to be and what to be doing there at any given time. Effective calendar management goes hand in hand with good task list management.

              Learn here How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space.

              18. Reflect on Your Productivity Constantly

              As you go throughout your day, repeatedly ask yourself:

              “Am I currently making the best possible use of my time?”

              This one simple question can be an excellent boost to your productivity.

              19. Get up Early Before Anyone Else

              I know it could be difficult for some to wake up early in the morning but nothing beats a quiet house!

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              Here’s How to Start Your Day at 5:00 AM and some Simple Things Early Risers Do to make waking up early easier.

              20. Get Plenty of Sleep

              When you work online, sleep can become a long lost memory. However, it’s important to get plenty of sleep so that your working hours can be as productive as possible.

              Try out this night routine which I highly recommend for productivity: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

              21. Exercise

              Research has shown that midday exercise boosts productivity and morale in the workplace.

              Take a short walk at lunch or do some simple stretches during your break to maximize your productivity.

              Here I have some exercises recommendations for you:

              22. Outsource as Much as Possible

              If you want to achieve more in less time, learn to delegate or outsource work. Here are just a few of the companies that will help you outsource your everyday tasks:

              Also, read this guide to learn how to delegate effectively: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

              23. Set Some Exciting Goals

              Without worthy goals, you will never be motivated to get things done.

              Set goals that are challenging and achievable. The best goal setting framework is a SMART goal. That said, there are other tools that can help you out as well. For example, The Dreamers’ Guide To Reaching Your Goal is a great guide to help you set and reach goals effectively. Grab your free guide and learn how to make your goals happen this year!

              24. Tell Other People About Your Goals

              When you tell others about your goals, you will instantly be held accountable.

              25. Listen to Podcasts

              Listen to educational podcasts or audio books while you’re driving to work, cleaning the house, exercising, or cooking dinner.

              Audio learning has the power to add hours to your day. Not to mention, your cranium is sure to thank you for it.

              Some recommendations for you: 11 Podcasts To Inspire Yourself

              26. Read David Allen’s best-selling book Getting Things Done

              This is one of the most important productivity books you will ever read. Read it, apply the tips in your daily lives and get more things done.

              Here’re more great books about productivity too: 35 Books on Productivity and Organizational Skills for an Effective Life

              27. Learn to Speed Read

              When you can read faster, you will read and learn more! Check out these 10 Ways to Increase Your Reading Speed.

              You can also make use of the app OutRead to help speed up your reading speed!

              28. Learn to Skip When You Read

              When you’re reading a book, just read the parts that you need and skip the rest. But you have to read with a purpose.

              Learn how to make it work here: How to Read 10X Faster and Retain More

              29. Focus on Result-Oriented Activities

              Pareto’s law (also known as the 80 20 rule) states that 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs. This means that 20% of our actions result in 80% of the results.

              We must find the 20% that is creating the 80% of our desired outcomes and focus solely on those activities.

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              30. Take a Break

              You can’t always be working at optimum productivity. Instead, you should shoot for working in short bursts at your most productive times.

              31. Start a Polyphasic Sleep Schedule

              What is polyphasic sleep?

              Polyphasic sleep is a sleep pattern specification intended to compress sleep time to 2-5 hours daily.[1] This is achieved by spreading out sleep into short (around 20-45 minute) naps throughout the day. This allows for more waking hours with relatively high alertness.

              While you can learn more about it here, you’re recommended to take some naps during the day to recharge your energy too.

              32. Learn to Say “No”.

              We can’t do everything and therefore we must learn when to say no in order to save our sanity.

              Learn the Gentle Art of Saying No from Leo Babauta.

              33. Go on an Information Diet

              Most of the world lives on information overload. We must eliminate mindless Internet surfing.

              Stop reading three different newspapers a day and checking your RSS feeds multiple times a day. Otherwise, you’ll never get anything done.

              The key is to limit yourself only to information that you can immediately take action on. Here’re some simple tips you can try: 10 Simple Productivity Tricks To Manage Overloaded Information

              34. Organize Your Office

              The piles of paper around your desk can be a huge barrier on your productivity. Optimize your time by organizing your office, setting up a system and dumping the junk.

              Check out these 21 Tips to Organize Your Office and Get More Done and 20 Easy Home Office Organization Ideas to Boost Your Productivity.

              35. Find a Mentor

              By modeling after those who have already achieved success, you will save yourself a lot of time and energy.

              A good mentor is hard to find, so here’s a guide to help you: What to Look for in a Mentor

              36. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

              With technology’s help, you can double your work efficiency. Even better, you learn all the shortcuts when using technology, for example keyboard shortcuts.

              When you use keyboard shortcut, you gain 64 hours every year!

              Not sure what shortcuts to lear? Check out these 22 Tricks That Can Make Anyone A Keyboard Ninja.

              Besides learning the shortcuts, you can also create keyboard shortcuts with AutoHotKey.

              37. Improve Your Typing Speed to Save Time

              Do you know you can save 21 days per year just by typing fast?

              You don’t really need to take some serious courses to type faster, try these typing games online:

              38. Work from Home and Avoid the Daily Commute

              If your job is a flexible one, consider working from home. This saves you the commute time and you’ll find yourself more energetic throughout the day as you have saved the long ride.

              Take a look at these tips to help you stay productive while working from home:

              How to Work from Home and Stay Ultra-Productive

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              39. Get Rid of Time Wasters

              Common time wasters include Instant Messenger, video games, Flickr, checking your stats 10 times a day, television and extraneous Internet surfing.

              Don’t rely on your willpower, make use of some of these useful tools to help you stay focus: 10 Online Apps for Better Focus

              40. Plan Your Meals in Advance

              Plan out all of your meals a week ahead and make your grocery list accordingly. This allows you to focus on the necessary – saving you time and money. You can also save yourself even more time through a wide variety of apps. One app that I find helpful is Mealime. It’s an app that provides you with a wide selection of recipes and also a convenient spot for your grocery list as well.

              Considering the fact that over 4 million users have this app, it goes to show that there is a good selection of meal plans that you can follow and that the app is friendly to use.

              41. Cook Your Meals in Bulk

              When you cook your meals in bulk, you will have plenty of leftovers. This can avoid having to cook everyday.

              Find out more about how to make cooking in bulk works: Once a Month Cooking: Productivity Hack or Overrated Time Suck?

              42. Protect Yourself from Unnecessary Phone Time with Caller ID

              The minutes you spend on picking up unnecessary phone calls are time wasted. You can prevent that from happening.

              Check out this detailed guide how you can deal with those unnecessary phone calls: How To Lose the Useless Items that Weigh Down Your Day – Cellphone Calls

              43. Take Shorter Showers

              This one may sound silly but it’s actually something I struggle with. I spend up to 30 minutes in the shower. Think of the time I could save simply by speeding up a bit.

              44. Save the Trips to Bank by Taking Direct Deposit

              Many employers now offer direct deposit. If yours does, then be sure and take advantage of it and save yourself from a number of trips to the bank.

              45. Auto Pay Your Bills

              How many times have you been worried about whether you missed the bills deadline?

              Auto paying your bills will save you time and eliminate late fees and increased interest rates.

              46. Shop Online

              Whenever possible, avoid going to the store. When you shop online, you can be more focus about what you’re getting.

              47. Speed up your Internet With a Broadband Connection

              Many people are aware of the slow speed of internet but aren’t doing anything about it. In fact, this is the number one Internet time-saver!

              If you must use dial-up, then you can use accelerators like Propel and SlipStream to double or even triple your speed.

              48. Keep up the Speed of Your Computer

              If you’re a Windows user, use Windows hibernation feature to avoid the slowdown of exiting and restarting Windows.

              Or maybe, consider switching to Mac as there’re plenty of Advantages You Probably Don’t Know About Switching To Mac From PC.

              49. Turn off the TV

              The average American watches more than 4 hours of television every day. Over a 65-year life, that’s 9 years glued to the tube.

              For better health and productivity, turn off the TV. Here’re 11 more reasons to tell you to stop watching TV so often.

              Turn off the TV and you are sure to get more out of life.

              50. Use a Tivo or DVR

              This can help you cut an hour-long television show down to just 40 minutes. You can save time while not missing the fun.

              So, here’s the ultimate list of techniques you should learn to boost productivity. Pick the techniques that work for you and make them your daily habits. As time goes, you’ll find yourself being a lot more productive.

              More Time Management Tips

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

              Reference

              [1] Medical News Today: What is biphasic and polyphasic sleep?

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