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35 Things They Should Have Done A Better Job At Teaching Us In School

35 Things They Should Have Done A Better Job At Teaching Us In School

In school we learned, or at least we were taught the required curriculum. This was true for K-12 as well as college. But there are some things which everyone should know how to do that they didn’t focus on as much as they should. My list of 35 things they should have done a better job at teaching us in school consists of money, communication, attitude, philosophy, leadership, entrepreneurship, human relations, and every day things we all need to know.

1.  Never spend more than 70 percent of every dollar you make.

You have to have some kind of guide line/budget and 70 percent is a number that I have found works for people. Sure this number will change the older you get and the more money you make, but by sticking to this percent early in life will set you up for later in life.

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    2.  What to do with the other 30 percent.

    Take 10 percent and donate it. If you get in the habit of donating and giving back you will always do this and it gets you in the habit early in life. Then take the next 10 percent and save it. Take the last 10 percent and invest it. Invest it into something that generates a return.

    money-saved-in-piggy-bank

      3.  Stay out of debt.

      We all know this but we didn’t talk about it to the depth that we should while in school. Find a way every time to pay with cash, never borrow money.

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        4.  Become Genuinely Interested in other people.

        When you become genuinely interested in others it shows. The other person sees that you care about them and want to know more about them.

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          5.  Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

          Sure we all think that we do this. However, think about the last time you were in a disagreement with someone, maybe it was your spouse or a colleague at work. You were probably more focused on being right than trying to honestly see things from their point of view. When you try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view it shows that you care about them.

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            6.  Listen more than you talk.

            Think about the last conversation you had with someone, who talked a lot. When you let the other person talk more you develop a better relationship with them. Most people love to talk, let them do the talking and just listen, you never know what you will learn.

            listening

              7.  Pay cash if you can.

              Rich people have enough to pay cash. If you can pay cash you can usually negotiate your terms and a better deal.

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              loan-sharks

                8.  Profits are better than wages.

                Being that I am motivated by money this would have made sense to me. Earning a wage, especially a high wage is great, but when you own something and you can earn a profit from it is better than wages. Whether it is your own company or you have equity in a company, profits are always better than wages.

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                  9.  Get into the habit of spending 30 minutes a day exercising.

                  Sure in school you have gym class. But as you get older you have to make this a priority in your life. Nothing can happen if you don’t have good health.

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                    10.  Find a mentor.

                    Talk to people that do what you would like to do and spend lots of time with them learning from them.

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                      11.  Read more books.

                      Never stop reading books. After you get out of school you can read the ones you want to read and not the one you have to read.

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                        12.  Soon, the people in your high school won’t matter.

                        They should tell you that the people you are in high school with will most likely not matter to you 5 years from the last day of high school. Lebron left Cleveland and won two championships.

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                          13.  Pick one area that you can become extraordinary in and never do anything else.

                          Decide early what you want to be great at. Then put all of your eggs in that basket to become the best in it.

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                            14.  Keep a journal.

                            Take notes of the lessons and the wins in your life in a journal and then look back on them for future guidance on how to have more wins and less lessons.

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                              15.  Do whatever you can to get exposed to sales at a young age.

                              The skills you learn as a sales person will prepare you for everything in life. All organizations need people who can sell, so you are always marketable and the skills you learn as a sales person will serve you well in almost any other position you attempt to work in as well.

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                                16.  Don’t ever try to impress others.

                                The only person that matters in life is you and your family. Be the best to yourself and to them. Don’t try to live up to what other people want you to be.

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                                  17.  Time is more valuable than money, you can earn more money, but you can’t earn more time.

                                  We all have 24 hours in a day, use your time wisely and be sure to invest your time into something worthwhile.

                                  time-vs-money

                                    18.  Fail as quickly as you possibly can.

                                    Try as many things as possible early in your life, even if you fail. The more failures you have, the more opportunities you have to find out what you want to do and enjoy doing it.

                                    failure-in-business

                                      19.  While making decisions think about the impact of that decision 1,2,3 or even 5 or 10 years into the future.

                                      All decisions have consequences and costs associated with them. The more you can think about how the decision affects your future, the better decisions you will make in the present.

                                      thinking-about-the-future

                                        20.  Develop your personal brand.

                                        Decide early on who and what you want to be and then live your life accordingly.

                                        Personal-Branding-MarketingThink.com-@GerryMoran

                                          21.  Your network is one of your most valuable possesions.

                                          Meet lots of people and maintain those relationships, you never know when you may need those relationships.  

                                          social-networking_business

                                            22.  Check the oil in your car.

                                            Unless you were born with a silver spoon, you will need to know how to ensure your car has enough oil so you can keep it running.

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                                              23.  Learn how to cook on the grill.

                                              Eventually you will want to have people over for a grill out, and then you won’t want to kill anyone with undercooked food.

                                              Summer-grill-party-BBQ-jpg

                                                24.  Learn how to changing a flat tire.

                                                Never get stuck with a flat tire. To change a tire is easy to learn and everyone eventually has a flat tire.

                                                a_man_changing_a_flat_tire_on_a_car_royalty_free_080707-057154-462016

                                                  25.  Don’t be a complainer, ever.

                                                  I have never been around anyone who likes to be around someone who likes to complain. If you want to be a person people want to be around, don’t complain.

                                                  Complaint-Department

                                                    26.  Always do more than you get paid for.

                                                    Never do just what is asked of you, but always do more. This will allow you to be different because most people don’t do this. You will see the benefits in your career and in your income.

                                                    going-beyond-competition

                                                      27.  Ask for what you want.

                                                      Some people just never ask, so they never get anything. Getting into the habit of asking even when you know you won’t get what you are asking for, allows you to create the habit of asking which is the skill that is important.

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                                                        28.  Never post pictures online when you have been drinking.

                                                        This didn’t apply when I was growing up, but it does now more than ever. Put your smart phone away if you have been drinking, nothing good ever happens with your phone while drinking, unless you are calling for a ride.

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                                                          29.  Seek excellence in everything you do.

                                                          Sure we all learned that we should always do the best we can do. But excellence is different, excellence makes you better than average. Don’t be average.

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                                                            30.  Find out what your strengths are.

                                                            I remember teachers saying that I needed to focus on developing some of the areas I was weak in. Identify your strengths and passions as soon as you can and focus on them.

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                                                              31. Give credit to others.

                                                              Nobody likes someone who takes all the credit. Even when you have done something to be recognized for find a way to give credit to someone else who helped you get there.

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                                                                32.  Get to your point across.

                                                                Considering most people have a 9 second attention span, getting your point across in any interaction is critical. Don’t take too much time to make a simple point.

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                                                                  33.  Use people’s names.

                                                                  Use a person’s name whenever you can. At the restaurant, the bank, and anywhere else. This requires you to ask for their name and remember it. Remember that a persons name is the sweetest sound in any language to that person.

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                                                                    34.  Tip correctly.

                                                                    Yes, there are percentages in any business that you should adhere to. My advice is always tip for the service you received. If it was great service, tip more than normal, if it was average service tip an average percentage, and if the service is bad, ask for a manager. You are doing the business a favor by telling them.

                                                                    Tipping-the-USA

                                                                      35.  Know that fear is just an emotion.

                                                                      “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” – Steve Jobs

                                                                      I think this quote sums it up on how you should approach your fear.

                                                                      steve-jobs-quote

                                                                        Now that we know these things we have to put our knowledge into action. How are you going to start applying these 35 things they should have done a better job at teaching us in school?

                                                                        Featured photo credit: Why didn’t I learn this? via thingsiwishiwouldhavelearnedinhighschool.com

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                                                                        Brian Willett

                                                                        Helping people challenge and overcome their own status quo

                                                                        Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits Quotes By Highly Successful People that Will Motivate and Inspire you How You Can Be Successful With or Without a College Degree 35 Things They Should Have Done A Better Job At Teaching Us In School 12 Things Highly Uninspired People Do

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                                                                        1 We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why? 2 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away 3 How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits 4 14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress 5 11 Things You Can Do to Increase Employee Productivity

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                                                                        Last Updated on January 6, 2021

                                                                        14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                                                                        14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                                                                        Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

                                                                        In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

                                                                        For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

                                                                        For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

                                                                        Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

                                                                        Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

                                                                        Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

                                                                        How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

                                                                        Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

                                                                        1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

                                                                        Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

                                                                        For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

                                                                        2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

                                                                        Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

                                                                        Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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                                                                        Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

                                                                        3. Create a System

                                                                        Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

                                                                        This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

                                                                        You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

                                                                        Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

                                                                        Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

                                                                        4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

                                                                        We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

                                                                        If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

                                                                        Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

                                                                        Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

                                                                        5. Use a Ratings Scale

                                                                        Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

                                                                        Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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                                                                        It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

                                                                        6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

                                                                        This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

                                                                        You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

                                                                        You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

                                                                        7. Offer Feedback Forms

                                                                        Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

                                                                        First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

                                                                        Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

                                                                        You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                                                                        8. Track Cost Effectiveness

                                                                        This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

                                                                        Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

                                                                        Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

                                                                        9. Use Self-Evaluations

                                                                        Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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                                                                        Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

                                                                        10. Monitor Time Management

                                                                        This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

                                                                        Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

                                                                          The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

                                                                          While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                                                                          11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

                                                                          We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

                                                                          Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

                                                                          For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

                                                                          Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

                                                                          Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

                                                                          From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

                                                                          12. Utilize Peer Feedback

                                                                          This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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                                                                          Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

                                                                          Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

                                                                          It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

                                                                          13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

                                                                          When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

                                                                          Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

                                                                          Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

                                                                          14. Use an External Evaluator

                                                                          Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

                                                                          They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

                                                                          While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

                                                                          Final Thoughts

                                                                          These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

                                                                          The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

                                                                          The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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                                                                          Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

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