Quick Tip #2 – Remember your Ideas

How many times have you thought of a great idea but were unable to recall the details when you were ready to act on it? Let’s face it, great ideas can come to us at odd times: while we’re driving, in the shower, or lying in bed. If we don’t take the time to note them right away, there’s a good chance we’ll forget them. In today’s tip, I’ll talk about a couple ways you can avoid this situation.

Quick Tip #1: Using the library

I am addicted to the library. Where else can you get books, CDs, DVDs and audiobooks for free?

If you’re on a tight budget, the library is a great resource for giving you access to materials that aren’t in your budget. And you’d be surprised at the selection as the latest bestsellers and blockbusters are often waiting on the shelves for you.

Some ways you can use the library to become an Overnight Sensation:

  • Request materials through the intra-library loan system. I live in Massachusetts and I’ve had things come from as far as Illinois.

The Unexpected – it can be good or bad

A few weeks ago, I came across a web site that had the audio of speeches from the 2006 TED Conference. TED stands for Technology, Education & Design and the organization behind it describes the conference as an “invitation only event where the world’s leading thinkers and doers gather to find inspiration.” I listened to two of the speeches – they we each by a well known person that I know quite a bit about. I really liked one speech and really disliked the other, which I expected would happen. What I didn’t expect was that each speech had an effect on me which was the complete opposite of what I expected.

Obey the Time Limit

One common mistake that many novice and some “expert” speakers make is to ignore the time limit. Most offenders only go over by minute or two where others wait until they’re practically booed off the stage to finish up.

In general, this is very poor practice and if you’re being paid to speak or even speaking for free for a non-profit, it unlikely that you’ll be invited to speak for them again. If you’re giving a presentation at work, your co-workers may feel become annoyed at you. Think about when you’ve been in the audience and the presenter went way over time. It’s never viewed positively.

Procrastination – Silent Killer #1

It’s so easy to put things off. Something more exciting can come up or maybe you’re just feeling lazy. Why do something right now when you can do it later? How can one procrastinate, let me count the ways:

  1. Putting something important off to watch TV, surf the web, play video games, etc…
  2. Instead of doing what you know deep down needs to be done, you pretend something else is a higher priority and do that task instead.
  3. Putting something you don’t want to do off indefinitely with the hope that you may never have to do it.

Lose the “but”

The word “but” often causes trouble in interpersonal communication. Consider the following statement: “You did a great job, but….”

Of course, you expect to hear something negative next and the part about doing a great job is forgotten. Instead, try this “You did a great job, and if we could just fix this one issue, things will go even smoother next time.” Another alternative would be to replace the first comma with a period and delete the “and.”

The power of “Must”

One word can turn an impotent goal into an effective goal. Consider the following “goals”:

  • I’d like to be financially independent.
  • I want a bigger house.
  • I hope I get promoted this year.

Just changing a word or two makes your goals more effective. Consider these changes:

  • I absolutely must become financially independent.
  • I must have a bigger house.
  • I must get promoted this year.

Adding “must” makes your goal more definite. Committing to a date is the final step of defining a goal. Exact dates are better than “within 5 years” or “by next November” as you may have forgotten the date you set your goal.