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The Best of Lifehack: January 2012

The Best of Lifehack: January 2012

    At the end of the first week of every month, we’re going present the best of what Lifehack had to offer in the previous month. We know our readers are busy — not just with other aspects of their lives, but also reading articles elsewhere — so if you’ve missed out on some of what we brought to you last month, now’s your chance to catch up.

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    So, without further adieu, here is The Best of Lifehack from January 2012.

    Searching for the Perfect Productivity Tool

    One of the newest contributors to Lifehack, Jan Makulec, discusses why it’s not necessarily wrong (or right) to have found your perfect productivity tool…and searching for it isn’t necessarily the time suck that many say that it can be.

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    How I Use GoodReader

    GoodReader is an incredibly versatile app, and Lifehack editor Chris Smith dives right in and suggests how you can get the most out of what for most is a very under-used app on their iPad or iPhone.

    How to Become Clutter-Free for Greater Happiness and Productivity

    Ciara Conlon is timely with this post on how to get rid of clutter so that you can improve your productivity and be happier as a result. January isn’t just a month for resolutions; it’s a month of “clearing the decks” too.

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    5 Management Practices That Kill Employee Productivity

    Yet another new addition to the Lifehack contributor ranks, Marissa Brassfield writes about a few management practices that will do more harm than good to your team’s productivity.

    How to Develop Mental Toughness

    Mike Martel serves up a great piece that has a greater impact on your productivity (and confidence) than we’d all like to admit: mental toughness. He explains how mental toughness can be developed — and why it’s important to do so.

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    Productivity Made Simple: The Series

    Karol Krol puts together a stellar series — especially appropriate for the beginning of the year — on how you can get into the GTD system with a simpler approach. The series is broken down into several parts:

    1. Productivity Made Simple: Where to Start with GTD
    2. Productivity Made Simple: Selecting What to Do Next with GTD
    3. Productivity Made Simple: The 7 Main Elements of GTD
    4. Productivity Made Simple: The Key to GTD – Your Daily Graph of Activity
    5. Productivity Made Simple: How to Keep Your Projects from Killing You

    If you’re still looking to become more productive this year, you can’t go wrong with this series — or with any of the articles in The Best of Lifehack: January 2012 edition.

    (Photo credit: Golden leader of business team via Shutterstock)

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    How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

    How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

    If I was a super hero I’d want my super power to be the ability to motivate everyone around me. Think of how many problems you could solve just by being able to motivate people towards their goals. You wouldn’t be frustrated by lazy co-workers. You wouldn’t be mad at your partner for wasting the weekend in front of the TV. Also, the more people around you are motivated toward their dreams, the more you can capitalize off their successes.

    Being able to motivate people is key to your success at work, at home, and in the future because no one can achieve anything alone. We all need the help of others.

    So, how to motivate people? Here are 7 ways to motivate others even you can do.

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    1. Listen

    Most people start out trying to motivate someone by giving them a lengthy speech, but this rarely works because motivation has to start inside others. The best way to motivate others is to start by listening to what they want to do. Find out what the person’s goals and dreams are. If it’s something you want to encourage, then continue through these steps.

    2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

    Open-ended questions are the best way to figure out what someone’s dreams are. If you can’t think of anything to ask, start with, “What have you always wanted to do?”

    “Why do you want to do that?”

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    “What makes you so excited about it?”

    “How long has that been your dream?”

    You need this information the help you with the following steps.

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    3. Encourage

    This is the most important step, because starting a dream is scary. People are so scared they will fail or look stupid, many never try to reach their goals, so this is where you come in. You must encourage them. Say things like, “I think you will be great at that.” Better yet, say, “I think your skills in X will help you succeed.” For example if you have a friend who wants to own a pet store, say, “You are so great with animals, I think you will be excellent at running a pet store.”

    4. Ask About What the First Step Will Be

    After you’ve encouraged them, find how they will start. If they don’t know, you can make suggestions, but it’s better to let the person figure out the first step themselves so they can be committed to the process.

    5. Dream

    This is the most fun step, because you can dream about success. Say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if your business took off, and you didn’t have to work at that job you hate?” By allowing others to dream, you solidify the motivation in place and connect their dreams to a future reality.

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    6. Ask How You Can Help

    Most of the time, others won’t need anything from you, but it’s always good to offer. Just letting the person know you’re there will help motivate them to start. And, who knows, maybe your skills can help.

    7. Follow Up

    Periodically, over the course of the next year, ask them how their goal is going. This way you can find out what progress has been made. You may need to do the seven steps again, or they may need motivation in another area of their life.

    Final Thoughts

    By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to encourage the people around you to achieve their dreams and goals. In return, you’ll be more passionate about getting to your goals, you’ll be surrounded by successful people, and others will want to help you reach your dreams …

    Oh, and you’ll become a motivational super hero. Time to get a cape!

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    Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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