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10 Things Super Lucky People Do Differently

10 Things Super Lucky People Do Differently

If luck be a lady, ever wondered how you could better woo her?

Put the stars, moon, and sun in your corner by emulating these things lucky people do naturally.

1. They keep a broad view of what “luck” is.

What is luck to you? Is it finding something you thought lost? Getting a free item or good bargain? Having exactly enough time, money, and energy to procure a desired resource? Knowing the right people to snag that job, date, or team member? A good stock picture right when you need the money? The chance to pause and taste the roses? A lucky person would wave their hand and smile “yes!” to all of the above. Keep an open mind when it comes to what kinds of these are considered “lucky.”

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2. They prepare.

The term “luck” is often applied to those who worked exponentially harder and longer than the competition. Make your own luck by keeping your nose to the grindstone and outworking the field while you train for an event, prepare a brief, or launch a business.

3. They keep an eye out for open doors.

Ever sat on a street and watched dozens of people step over a quarter on the sidewalk, until one stops and picks it up? That single person had their senses engaged, noticed the opportunity, and took it. Whether it’s spare change or a big career break, lucky people remain engaged, constantly scanning the horizon for the next opportunity.

4. They start early.

A “lucky” break is often what occurs after dozens, or even hundreds, of failed attempts. Lucky people begin a pursuit well in advance of their target deadline. If they want to start a business in 5 years, for instance, they keep a notebook of their ideas and observations now. If they want to run a marathon next year, they will go for a jog after work today. If they like that cute lady or gentleman down the row, they will chat this evening in hopes that a date invitation materializes soon.

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5. They connect with as many people as possible.

Few “lucky” incidents are solo. A lucky occurrence usually involves many people, and it can take a village to capitalize upon an opportunity. Those favored folks know this, and keep their well-stocked Rolodexes at the ready and their phone dialing fingers warmed up.

6. They make use of their strengths.

No one is good at everything, and no one has time to become an expert at, well, everything. Lucky people identify, refine, and capitalize on their strengths in business, relationship building, and at the negotiating table.

7. They follow up.

Retailers offer rebate cards because customers frequently neglect to cash them in, and modern bosses hire anyone who can finish a task without getting distracted by technology. Lucky people stand out from the crowd by following up on that contact, closing that deal, finishing that project.

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8. They focus on the positive.

If you find a young person “lucky” enough to have made a fortune in lemonade sales, chances are that it was because that young person spent many days squeezing lemons in the rain. Were they frowning while they did so? More likely, they were squeezing away, thinking how nice it was that they had an umbrella and these handy lemons on which to build their future empire. It’s all about perspective.

9. They cultivate gratitude.

Do lucky people know they’re lucky? You bet they do! Even more, they are thankful for their state every day.

10. They pass it on.

How do lucky people show their gratitude? They pass on their luck, whether emailing around a good coupon, giving that quarter off the street to someone else, or donating their time, energy, and hopefully some of that luck.

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Ready to put these tips into action? Learn How You Can Create Luck in Everyday Life.

Featured photo credit: GF Peck via flickr.com

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The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

“You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

What is the productivity paradox?

There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

He wrote in his conclusion:

“Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

How do we measure productivity anyway?

And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

Possible causes of the productivity paradox

Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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  • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
  • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
  • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
  • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

The paradox and the recession

The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

“Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

Looking forward

A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

“Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

“Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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