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Knowledge Hack: Consume Podcasts

Knowledge Hack: Consume Podcasts

Your time is important. Your attention is even more valuable. So, why are you listening to whatever your radio pours into your ears on the ride to and from work? At your desk, if your company is forward thinking enough to have a fairly reasonable internet policy, why not swap out the chatter of coworkers with informative podcasts related to your industry?

Myths to Dispel

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  • You have to have an Apple iPod to consume podcasts — They’re great rigs. I have a generation-one iPod. But you can do this with a thumb drive, your computer’s hard drive, burn them to CD. There’s no iPod required for podcasts.
  • They’re so hard to find — Not true any more. There are great services like Yahoo! Podcasts, the iTunes Music store software, Podcast.net, and a gazillion more.
  • They’re all about tech and geek stuff — There are beer casts, knitting casts, all kinds of “lifestyle” podcasts, comedy like it’s going out of style, music shows, how to speak Chinese, whatever. There are heaps of sports casts, lots of commercial products that have come into the podcast space for free to try out the promotional value.

Great Shows

I listen to a lot of tech and business podcasts, because those are in my line of work. If you want some of the shows I think are great and are worth a listen, let me point you to their pages:

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Why Should You Listen?

Podcasting is a great way to stay current with your industry, learn more about things that excite you (there’s lots of craft, drawing, language, and more courses online now), and use some time that is typically reserved for “whatever’s on” to more advantage. In several business situations, I’ve found that my having listened to a tech podcast suddenly became relevant. Once, I told our local Intel representative something his CEO had announced reecently that he wasn’t aware of yet. There’s a reason to tune in.

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Some people use their commutes for downtime and listen only to soothing music. That’s fine, too. There’s no reason to fill every waking moment with information. However, if you choose to consume something more like traditional radio, this is a great alternative to help you stay current and maybe learn something new. Did I mention that several colleges are putting up courses online for free as well?

What’s your take? What are some of the great podcasts that I didn’t post in my list? What’s YOUR podcast about?

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Last Updated on October 9, 2018

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity

Most of you made personal, one sentence resolutions like “I want to lose weight” or “I vow to go back to school.” It is a tradition to start the New Year with things you want to achieve, but under the influence resolutions are often unrealistic.

If you’re wondering when will be a good time to write a mission statement, NOW is the time to take a personal inventory to make this year your most productive year ever. You may be asking yourself, “How am I going to do that?” You, my friends, are going to write personal mission statements.

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A large number of corporations use mission statements to define the purpose of the company’s existence. Sony wants to “become the company most known for changing the worldwide poor-quality image of Japanese products” and 3M wants “to solve unsolved problems innovatively”. A personal mission statement is different than a corporate mission statement, but the fundamentals are the same.

So why do you need one? A personal statement will help you identify your core values and beliefs in one fluid tapestry of content that you can read anytime and anywhere to stay on task toward success.

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For example, Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire came to the realization that he had lost track of what was important to him. After writing a personal mission statement, we saw him start his own business and he got the girl, Renee Zelleweger. Not bad, wouldn’t you say? A personal mission statement will make sure that, through all the texting, emailing and constant bombardment of on-the-go activity, you won’t lose sight of what is most important to you.

Mission statements can be simple and concise while others are longer and filled with detail. The length of your personal mission statement will not be determined until you follow this simple equation to create your motivational springboard for 2008.

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To begin your internal cleansing, you will need to jot down the required information in the following five steps:

  1. What are your values? Values steer your actions and determine where you spend time, energy, and most importantly, money. Be specific and unique to yourself. Too much generalization will not be as effective. It is called a “personal” mission statement for a reason.
  2. What are three important goals you hope to achieve this year? Keep your list of important goals small and give them a date. It is better to focus on the horizon and not the stars. Realistic goals are keys to ultimate success.
  3. What image do you hope to project to yourself? How you see yourself is how the world will view you. Think about this carefully. Your image should encompass what you look like and feel after you have achieved your goals.
  4. Write down action statements from each value describing how you will use those values to achieve your three goals. Start with “I will…”
  5. Rewrite your statement to include only your action statements. Make portable copies for your wallet, car or office.

If you followed the steps above, congratulations! You have just written your first personal mission statement. Your personal statement will change over the years as your goals change. You can have more than one statement for the different compartments of your life such as your career, family, marriage, etc.

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Writing a personal mission statement is an effective method to ensure your productivity is at its peak. It is an ideal tradition to start so that when next year rolls around, the outdated practice of resolutions will be something you permanently left in the past.

Featured photo credit: Álvaro Serrano via unsplash.com

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