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How To Be The Master of Your Dreams

How To Be The Master of Your Dreams

Many people all over the globe dream about doing great things but never really get down the achieving them. In my viewpoint, these people aren’t foolish, laggards or cowardly: they merely have yet to find out ways to turn their dreams into reality. Dreams, like fire, are very powerful, but one is better off if the dream is one’s servant rather than one’s master.

Dreams are part of our lives and we cannot wish them away (as they are often in our subconscious minds), but as human beings we would rather fantasize than actually experience the challenges of what living out our dreams might entail. We know that living our dreams means we have to fight failure, frustration, monotony and long days in order to welcome success, jubilation and recognition, and as if our dreams know this, they encourage us to focus on the positive facets of realizing them. It’s as though we have sieves that filter out the difficult tasks and events that could stop us from achieving our goals.

Positive and Negative Aspects of Our Dreams

Well, no one is against dreaming here: in fact, dreaming is a pretty important aspect of our lives. We  should all have a vision that results from a dream we wish to attain, and it’s important to develop smart objectives of what we want to achieve in our lifetime. It is here that dreaming comes to our assistance by helping us shape our vision as well as our objectives. Dreams themselves are not bad at all, but they can be detrimental when one is stuck on a vision or objective that clearly cannot work out. For example, imagining that your lover will come back to life after they pass on may help with the healing process in the short run, but it will not bring the dead to life. After some time, that dream had better stop to pave room for other, more realistic dreams.

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In the case of dreaming about unrealistic events, dreams become your master, rather than your servant. Dreaming can also become your master if they stop you from taking that initial step in making your dreams come true. If you feel lady luck has to confirm something before you can to forge ahead with action, then you are clearly the servant. Fantasies are your master when you can’t change your dream to accommodate the random challenges that life tosses at you.

Ways in Which Dreams Can Control You

There are other ways that your dreams can control you: they master your behavior when you find a pure, unadulterated variation of your goal, and refuse to adjust to it because it is not what you had envisaged. Perhaps an alternative plan has presented itself, but because you are so transfixed on the initial dream, you still insist on following it and ignoring every thing else. Seeking the perfect time, or seeking the ideal situation, is precisely how your dream gets delayed or unachieved.

Setting Yourself Free

If you want to turn your life around and become the master of your dream then you must reflect back upon the points above and figure out who the master has been. Is it you or your dreams? If your fantasies have been in control, then you need to find a way to free yourself from their bonds.

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To do this, the first thing you need to do is to make decisions, and apply them. Remember that so long as you are unsure about what needs to be done, you won’t have the ability to move forward with your goal. If you wish to move forward, you simply have to choose a direction, and move towards it: any decision you make will spur you into action. At this point, don’t worry if your decisions are disastrous—if your decision produces a bad result, you can always change direction later on.

It’s also important not to over-analyze your vision. We often have a bad habit of focusing on how much cash we might make, or what awards we might get, immersing ourselves in case studies, etc. That in itself is okay, so long as we don’t get stuck there. In over-analyzing dreams, you will procrastinate a lot and fail to realize the goal you had in mind. Instead of analyzing all the “what if?” aspects of recognizing your ambition, make solid choices that will help you achieve them.

Self-Awareness and Detachment

When pursuing your dreams, it’s important to not compare yourself with others. You’ll never have the ability to attain the kind of success that someone else has already accomplished, and no-one else will be able to accomplish the kind of success that you might potentially accomplish. Each journey is an individual one, so focus on achieving the success that is only feasible for you.

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Ultimately, to win at mastering your dreams, you also need to detach yourself from the outcome and remember that you are just participating in the process. What will come of out of your efforts is not only up to you, as there will always be external factors. What you can control is your own effort in pursuing your goal.

Keep in mind that dreaming is good, but just like anything else, too much of it can be harmful. Daydream in moderation, but don’t let those fantasies keep you from accomplishing your dreams themselves.

If you follow the simple suggestions above, you will undoubtedly help your dreams become reality.

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Featured photo credit:  Painting the world. Smiling girl on grass with a paintbrush via Shutterstock

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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

    Reference

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