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If You Can Stay Calm Even in Hard Times, You Will Be Successful

If You Can Stay Calm Even in Hard Times, You Will Be Successful

Breathe in for a count of 5… breathe out for a count of 5… and breathe in… breathe out… Feeling calmer? You probably do feel calmer. Now tell me. Why don’t you do this when things are tough? Do you forget to do this when you feel the world is falling apart?

What is it that you need to do to take back control?

“When adversity strikes, that’s when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.” – LL Cool J.

I believe we all have the strength to overcome any situation we find ourselves in. Research tells us there is a strong relationship between a calm mind and being successful. The result of what we do in that difficult moment makes the difference between success and no success. Below you will learn exactly what to do to stay calm. Some strategies will sound strange, others make obvious sense and just need to be implemented.

1. Stop Whining, Move Forward!

“The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.” –
Barack Obama

An excellent way to stay calm and to get back control over the situation is to simply stop whining. Sound a little harsh? I’m sorry. But in your heart you know this works. When you continue to whine, you will not look at what happens. You will only be busy with the way you feel. This is not helping you move forward!

2. Stop Talking To Others

“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.” – Oscar Wilde

The moment you face hard times, you will probably receive a million thoughts, ideas and solutions from other people. They share them because you ask for them, or simply because they want to help you. But stop and have a really honest look inside. You know exactly why you are in this situation. Do what you feel it is you need to do next. It is probably the best advice you will use.

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3. Stop Thinking About What Happens And What Else Will Go Wrong

“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” – Zig Ziglar

This doom-filled thinking is not really helpful. Better to know what happened and understand your current situation. Then, start plotting your way towards your solution. As Will Smith said: “There’s no reason to have a plan B because it distracts from plan A.” Use all your energy to move away from the problem using one strategy at a time.

4. Stop Eating, Start Drinking

“Drinking water is like washing out your insides. The water will cleanse the system, fill you up, decrease your caloric load and improve the function of all your tissues.” – Kevin R. Stone

Yes, you read this correctly. No need to eat a little more (you don’t need comfort, you need to think straight). You need water, and lots of it! No coffee and no beer or any other alcohol. You need to flush your system. Drink slowly. Drink warm water… Slowly… Feel how the warm water goes into your system. Then start working again.

Continue to keep your brain and body hydrated. Doing that helps you think better. Aren’t we made of 60% water? Refresh!

5. Stop Doing What You Do

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

If you continue to go on the path you chose, you will only make things worse. The moment you find yourself in a difficult situation, you need to STOP and identify what is happening. The moment you do that, you can plot better actions. This will improve your situation. Always be aware of this. You need to be conscious of the things you do and what their results are.

6. Stop And Listen To Chuck Norris

“A lot of times people look at the negative side of what they feel they can’t do. I always look on the positive side of what I can do.” – Chuck Norris

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I told you that you should not listen to anyone and follow your own path, right? Perhaps this is the only exception to that rule. Chuck Norris is not just a really cool person. He also has many ideas about solving problems.

7. Stop Thinking, Start Feeling

“The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.” – Oprah Winfrey

I know that the moment you face problems, your emotions are running wild, right? What to do, what happens next, will I survive… Many thoughts and ideas are running through your mind.

What if you stop feeling stressed or scared? What if you start feeling blessed for this learning opportunity? What if you feel strong and inventive? What if you felt you have all the answers to resolve this? Would that change things?

Start feeling with ALL your emotions!

8. Stop Moving Forward

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

Huh… didn’t you just read that you have to move forward? You most certainly did! How does this tip help you then? Well… you have to stop identifying forward with the direction you were heading. Start thinking about forward as a way to move in the direction of a solution. Perhaps forward is sideways, or even backwards! Change your perspective and start moving again.

9. Stop Learning, Start Doing

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” – George Herbert

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Some people want to know exactly what to do to get out of their difficult situation. They want A to Z, all the steps. Knowing what to do from the beginning till the end. Mastering those steps is great. But it won’t bring you in the place you want to be. You need to take ACTION! Do something. Do ONE thing. Think first, than act. Most people remain in a state of pain and thinking. They are afraid to take action. You know this now, so act on it!

10. STOP

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” – Orson Welles

Stop doing anything and everything. Remember the breathing from the beginning? Do that. Learn to breath slowly, consciously. Stop doing what you do. Stop doing anything but breathing. After you did that for 10, 20, 30 seconds… you start doing something. Getting to a calm state of mind is not something you do by running around and by having negative feelings. Calm = Stop. Stop is the beginning of your new start. Calm can only starts when you are in control of your state. It is exactly that calm start of mind that will transform your difficult situation in a success.

11. START

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Francis of Assisi

Practice being calm. Start your days with it. Remind yourself to remain calm during the day. Calm is a great place to start moving forward, left, right or even back. Start is however the thing you have to do to move from difficult to calm to progress.

There you go. 11 practical ideas to create calmness in your life. Some are really focused on becoming calm again. Others can be used to move away from the difficult situation at hand and focus your mind.

A calm mind is a mind which is in control.  A stressed mind takes control over you. A calm mind is there to serve you.

ACTION POINTS:

Now for the most important part. How can you use this today to improve your calmness no matter what the circumstances.

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Learn to stay conscious of what you think, do and feel. This is hard in the beginning. Still, you have to remind yourself about this. The easiest way is to add little reminders around you in your environment. Sticky notes on your computer, reminders on your phone. Looking at your children or your co-workers. Associating items in the office to look at how you feel. When you do that, you will become more aware of what you do and how you feel.

Then the main point. You will run into situations where calmness might not feel like your first priority. Needless to say, and you obviously know this already… these are exactly the situations where you need to stay calm. How you act that moment has a huge impact on whether or not you will be or feel successful.

Pick one idea, or perhaps two ideas from the list above. Use them as your backup strategy to create calmness in your life again.

And if nothing else works…

Breathe in… breathe out… breathe in… breathe out…

Featured photo credit: http://pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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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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