Do you feel like you’re drowning?
This is important because…?
You can’t ignore this
Your Biggest challenge
Is Privacy Management Even Possible?
Isn’t Privacy Our Right?
Not to be paranoid, but…?
This is important because?
- “80% of divorce lawyers use Facebook to find evidence.
- 65% of recruiters frown on job seekers who frequently use profanity in social media.
- 68% of hiring managers have decided to hire a candidate because of something they saw on social media.”
My point is simple. If you know people are going to check you out online, shouldn’t you try to put your best foot forward?
So, How do I do it?
- What is your area of expertise?
- Who do you want to work for? (Your target audience)
- What type of projects are you interested in?
Once you have answered those questions, you can begin to tell your story. Yes, you have a story. When you go to work for your clients as a Freelancer, you have a unique promise of value you’re going to deliver. That’s what you need to communicate.
The Story of You
- Blog Posting
Did you know how you manage your communications can affect your mental health?
Once long ago, in a land far, far, away, people lived in a simpler world. There were only 3 TV networks, one or two daily newspapers in your city, and there was only one telephone on a little table in the entrance hall to your home. News broadcasts were two or three times a day, only lasting about 30 minutes including weather, sports, and financial markets. Who needed something like Communication Management?
Fast forward to 2018.
Today there is an almost endless list of ways to learn what’s going on and to stay in touch.
- 24 hour Cable News channels
- Newspapers, both print and online.
- Cell phones
- Text Messages
- Google +
- You Tube
And on, and on.
Communication is a necessary part of all our lives and, it’s a highly valued skill. But, you can have too much or too little. A 2013 Yankelovich study found the average consumer is bombarded with 5,000 messages a day. 5,000! On average, the human brain is only able to process 5 to 7 bits of information at one time. Trying to stay up with all the sources available to you can cause stress and feelings of being overwhelmed.
So what happens when your brain receives too much information? Well, a recent Temple University study cited in an article in Entrepreneur Magazine ( http://bit.ly/2qcbl6x ), says when your input reaches the overload level, your prefrontal cortex simply shuts down. In essence, you are unable to make rational decisions past that point. Keep that up over time, and your mental health suffers as your anxiety levels go through the roof.
Yet the reverse, cutting yourself off from the outside world causes anxiety and stress as well.
So, What’s the Answer?
Unfortunately, this is something you have to figure out for yourself. This is a recent phenomenon and one that is not being addressed in our education system.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Only review emails once or twice a day. Pick times in the morning or afternoon that suit your schedule. Then shut down your email services outside of those times. This is what I do.
- To the extent you can, do the same with phone calls and text messages. Let incoming calls go to voicemail, then bunch your return calls around the same time each day. As long as you answer calls and texts the same day they are received, most customers and clients are OK with this.
- Limit your news input. Pick two or three TV news shows and online/print newspapers and let that be it. Review those sources once or twice a day. You won’t miss anything. In the current news climate, there is a constant, microscopic, never-ending, examination of every event down to who got a parking ticket. It’s almost never one and done.
The point here is for you to put yourself in control of your life by managing how and with whom you communicate. Narrow your focus to those topics that are important to you. I doubt if you really care if the Volga River floods the town of Astrakhan. The big plus here too is the amount of time you free up to be doing more productive things.
So pick your sources, limit your exposure, and let the rest of the world go by.
Here is an interesting question. How can you learn the skills for a job that hasn’t been invented?
Why would I need to do that?
Here’s why. Futurist Thomas Frey estimates 47% of today’s existing jobs will disappear by the year 2030 (http://bit.ly/2w4whhN ). What that means for you is there is a roughly 50-50 chance the job you’re in today will be gone.
When it happens you will face 2 choices:
1. Be pushed aside into a lower paying job well below your skill level.
2. Become expert at skills required in this new economy, and hire yourself out as a Freelancer.
Your challenge today is you can’t afford to wait until your job disappears. When your job goes, it won’t just disappear from the company you work for; it will be gone from the economy. Without a developed skill needed in the new economy, you will fall into category one. And, there you will stay until you acquire those new skills.
Won’t there be new jobs coming along?
Yes, but…right now, no one knows what they are. Here’s what we do know now.
Robots and improved software technology are replacing people at an ever increasing pace. Robots and software can do predictable, repetitive tasks very quickly, 24 hours a day. What robots can’t do is think. The new jobs coming along will be those that require human judgment.
Your Challenge Today.
Start thinking today about what you want to do when your present job disappears. Do you want to stay in the same industry? Do you want to do something entirely new? Do you want to be a Freelancer in some area you’ve always been passionate about?
Start thinking about jobs in that field that need some of the following skills:
1. People management
2. Complex Problem Solving
4. Coordinating with others.
5. Emotional Intelligence.
6. Service Orientation
Get wild here. Use your imagination. Perhaps you can repair robots or find hiccups in software programs. Maybe you could be someone who helps decide what functions could be automated.
It doesn’t have to be that technical. You could become a Freelance journalist, or a copywriter, or an author.
My point here is that whatever you choose, you need to start your education today. Read books. Take courses online. Go to college at night. Do whatever it takes to be ready when the pink slip comes.
The New Reality
Here is an inconvenient truth about the economy of the 4th Industrial Revolution. We all must become lifelong learners. Human knowledge is doubling every 13 months and that time frame is getting shorter and shorter. Our education system can’t keep up. So, we are going to have to do it on our own. Here is the good news. Learning new stuff is a lot of fun.
Choose something to learn about. Start now. Then, you’ll be ready to move up and on when the big day comes.
Thomas Frey in his latest blog ( http://bit.ly/2yFqvos ) states that distraction management is one the 12 personal skills you will need in the future to be successful. Really? How did something like distraction management get to be such a big issue?
What has technology done to us?
In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone. This was the first “smart” phone capable of carrying applications other than just phone calls and voice mail. At the time, it didn’t seem like such a big deal. Now it seems to have grown into a many-headed, uncontrollable monster.
Smartphones now deliver text messages, email, twitter feeds, Instagram messages, video streams, and instant news updates. Phone calls and voice mail now are a minor part of the service.
Why is this a bad thing?
Turns out we are paying more attention to our smartphones and other electronic devices than is good for us. Frey, in his blog post says, “The average smartphone user checks their phone over 220 times a day.” In addition, “The average Millennial exchanges 67 texts a day. It takes 90 minutes to respond to email, most will respond to a text in less than 90 seconds.”
Here’s another quote from Frey, “An average person has five social media accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes a day perusing these networks.”
What this all adds up to is a state of constant interruption throughout our day. And…when we are constantly interrupted, our productivity declines. Drastically!
But, I’m a Great Multitasker
Well…maybe not. It turns out multitasking is actually bad for you. I wrote a blog on this some time back ( http://bit.ly/2iSvhoj ). In it, I cited studies showing multitasking decreases your productivity by around 40%. This means it takes much longer for you to complete each individual task.
Further, studies show multitasking increases stress and increases the chances you will make a mistake. Added to that, it turns out once you’re interrupted it will take about 25 minutes to return to your original task. http://nyti.ms/2AbTdu6 Talk about ways to waste your day.
So, How Can I Fix This?
Slow down. I know this sounds counter-intuitive. But, if you slow down and concentrate on one task at time, you will actually complete the task faster with fewer mistakes. Doing this will also increase your productivity because you will complete more tasks in a day,
Couple this with planning your day to control distractions. Here’s a good list to start with:
- Turn off your cell phone. Or, at least, put it on “do not disturb” and stick it in a drawer. Most calls don’t have to be answered right away. Set aside time to return calls twice a day. The same goes for text messages.
- Only read emails once or twice a day. Set aside time to read and respond.
- Shut down your internet browser. Again, pick times to review social media and news sources.
- If you are in an environment where there are other people around, find some soothing instrumental music to listen to with earbuds. Baroque classical or a program that promotes relaxing alpha waves is best. This shuts out background noise. Also, if others see you listening to something, it discourages them from interrupting you.
These time-consuming distractions will only get worse in the coming months and years. If you want to increase your productivity and decrease your stress levels, you have to start now to take control of your day and your workflow.
The 4th Industrial Revolution is upon us!
How are we going to do that?
This Has to Change
Having Fun at Work
Why is Complex Problem Solving so Important?
Complex Problem Solving Defined
- Identify the problem. This is not always as easy as it sounds. The problem itself may be buried beneath a number of adverse effects showing up in a system.
- Identify the causes. These could be the task itself, or systems control issues, equipment, people, even personality clashes, or any combination of these factors.
- Look for solutions. Here is where human judgment comes in. You will evaluate possible outcomes and seek the one that produces the most desirable solution. Here you may wind up settling for the least bad outcome you can find.
- Make a decision and put it in place. Pick an answer and go for it.
- Evaluate feedback. Is your solution working? Or not? Use feedback to adjust your solution to achieve maximum results.