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What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day


BY KEVIN PURDY | fastcompany.com

How much does the first hour of every day matter? As it turns out, a lot. It can be the hour you see everything clearly, get one real thing done, and focus on the human side of work rather than your task list.

Remember when you used to have a period at the beginning of every day to think about your schedule, catch up with friends, maybe knock out a few tasks? It was called home room, and it went away after high school. But many successful people schedule themselves a kind of grown-up home room every day. You should too.

The first hour of the workday goes a bit differently for Craig Newmark of Craigslist, David Karp of Tumblr, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, career writer (and Fast Company blogger) Brian Tracy, and others, and they’ll tell you it makes a big difference. Here are the first items on their daily to-do list.

Don’t Check Your Email for the First Hour. Seriously. Stop That.

Tumblr founder David Karp will “try hard” not to check his email until 9:30 or 10 a.m., according to an Inc. profile of him. “Reading e-mails at home never feels good or productive,” Karp said. “If something urgently needs my attention, someone will call or text me.”

Not all of us can roll into the office whenever our Vespa happens to get us there, but most of us with jobs that don’t require constant on-call awareness can trade e-mail for organization and single-focus work. It’s an idea that serves as the title of Julie Morgenstern’s work management book Never Check Email In The Morning, and it’s a fine strategy for leaving the office with the feeling that, even on the most over-booked days, you got at least one real thing done.

If you need to make sure the most important messages from select people come through instantly, AwayFind can monitor your inbox and get your attention when something notable arrives. Otherwise, it’s a gradual but rewarding process of training interruptors and coworkers not to expect instantaneous morning response to anything they send in your off-hours.

Gain Awareness, Be Grateful

One smart, simple question on curated Q & A site Quora asked “How do the most successful people start their day?”. The most popular response came from a devotee of Tony Robbins, the self-help guru who pitched the power of mindful first-hour rituals long before we all had little computers next to our beds.

Robbins suggests setting up an “Hour of Power,” “30 Minutes to Thrive,” or at least “Fifteen Minutes to Fulfillment.” Part of it involves light exercise, part of it involves motivational incantations, but the most accessible piece involves 10 minutes of thinking of everything you’re grateful for: in yourself, among your family and friends, in your career, and the like. After that, visualize “everything you want in your life as if you had it today.”

Robbins offers the “Hour of Power” segment of his Ultimate Edge series as a free audio stream (here’s the direct MP3 download). Blogger Mike McGrath also wrote a concise summary of the Hour of Power). You can be sure that at least some of the more driven people you’ve met in your career are working on Robbins’ plan.

Do the Big, Shoulder-Sagging Stuff First Leer más “What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day”

Top 10 Most Popular Stories Of The Week


 

fastcompany.com

Here are the stories you read, tweeted, status’d, and shared this week.

This week’s stories feature some future tech in the form of computer glasses that will help you navigate through life, and the latest innovations in 3-D printing. And then there’s Don Corleone, who has an offer of leadership advice you can’t refuse.

Don Corleone1. An Offer You Can’t Refuse: Leadership Lessons From “The Godfather” 
Fast Company

Lydia Dishman makes you an offer you can’t refuse, advice fromThe Godfather.

Paper Ball2. The Dirty Little Secret Of Overnight Successes 
Fast Company

Josh Linkner finds fortune in failure and makes the case for never giving up. Leer más “Top 10 Most Popular Stories Of The Week”

Why User Experience Is Critical To Customer Relationships

Some of the biggest trends today–mobile, geoloco, social, real-time–are changing how consumers discover and share information and connect with one another. Technology aside, consumers are driving the rapid adoption of technology because of the capabilities that are unlocked through each device. From self-expression and validation to communication and connections to knowledge and collaboration, new opportunities unfold with each new device and platform.

As smart and connected technology matures beyond a luxury into everyday commodities, consumer expectations only inflate. As a result, functionality, connectedness, and experiences emerge as the lures for attention. For brands to compete for attention now takes something greater than mere presences in the right channels or support for the most popular devices. User experience (UX) is now becoming a critical point in customer engagement in order to compete for attention now and in the future. For without thoughtful UX, consumers meander without direction, reward, or utility. And their attention, and ultimately loyalty, follows.

The CrUX of Engagement Is Intention and Purpose

Brands as a whole suffer from medium-alism, where inordinate value and weight is placed on the technology of any medium rather than amplifying platform strengths and ideas to deliver desired and beneficial experiences and outcomes. Said another way, businesses are designing for the sake of designing, without regard for how someone feels, thinks, or acts as a result.

Thankfully, there’s a cure for medium-alism. UX is the new Rx for most new media deployments. From social networks to mobile apps to commerce to digital, experiential strategies form the bridge where intentions meet outcomes. By starting with the end in mind, UX packages efficiency and enchantment to deliver more meaningful, engaging, and rewarding consumer journeys.

It’s easier said than done, however.

UX is an art and science, and it is all but ignored in the development of new media channels where customers control their own fate. If the appeal of an app diminishes, it’s removed from the device. If a brand page in a social or mobile network no longer delivers value, a customer can effortlessly unlike, unfollow, or unsubscribe. If the rewards for taking action on behalf of a brand–think check-in, QR, barcode scans, or augmented reality plays–are intangible, or gimmicky without intent, customers will simply power off. And, if a consumer cannot take action in your favor, within their channel of relevance, with ease and elegance, value or ROI will forever escape your grasp.


BY FC EXPERT BLOGGER BRIAN SOLIS | http://www.fastcompany.comUser experience is a priority that should, in some way, find a home within the design of any new-media strategy.

This is part one of a limited series on the need for brands to employ UX in new-media strategies to improve customer experiences and engagement.

With the explosion of social media and smart devices, customers are becoming incredibly sophisticated, elusive, and empowered. As a result, the dynamics that govern the relationship between brands and customers is evolving.

But even in this era of engagement and “two-way” conversations, the reality is that the relationship businesses hope to have with customers through these new devices, applications, or networks and their true state are not one in the same. In fact, it is woefully one-sided, and usually not to the advantage of customers, which for all intents and purposes still affects businesses.

Rather than examine the role new technologies and platforms can play in improving customer relationships and experiences, many businesses invest in “attendance” strategies where a brand is present in both trendy and established channels, but not defining meaningful experiences or outcomes. Simply stated, businesses are underestimating the significance of customer experiences. Leer más “Why User Experience Is Critical To Customer Relationships”

The World’s 50 most innovative companies

Welcome to our annual guide to the businesses that matter most, the ones whose innovations are having an impact across their industries and our culture. Click a company name to view the entry, or determine your own ranking of the top four companies using a series of quizzes, games, and brainteasers.


http://www.fastcompany.com

Welcome to our annual guide to the businesses that matter most, the ones whose innovations are having an impact across their industries and our culture. Click a company name to view the entry, or determine your own ranking of the top four companies using a series of quizzes, games, and brainteasers.

  1. 1

    Apple

    For walking the talk

  2. 2

    Facebook

    For 800 million reasons to share

  3. 3

    Google

    For expanding its hit lineup

  4. 4

    Amazon

    For playing the long game

  5. 5

    Square

    For making magic out of the mercantile

  6. 6

    Twitter

    For amplifying the global dialogue

  7. 7

    Occupy Movement

    For embodying all the traits that make a Fast Company

  8. 8

    Tencent

    For fueling China’s Internet boom–and boldly moving West

  9. 9

    Life Technologies

    For speeding up genetic sequencing

  10. 10

    SolarCity

    For brightening up the sun-power business Leer más “The World’s 50 most innovative companies”

Self-Image Is The Key To Success In Business And In Life

“There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.”–Napoleon Hill

It has been conclusively demonstrated that individuals who expect to succeed at a given venture are more likely to do so than those who expect to fail. Positive expectations work as a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy–those who expect to succeed are more likely to do so, thus maintaining and reinforcing their expectation for success.

Today, we are going to take this analysis one step further and address the underlying cause of these expectations.

The expectations we have for ourselves are largely determined by our self-image. The opinion you have of yourself directly impacts your expectations and thus your chances for success in ventures of all sorts.


http://www.fastcompany.com
BY FC EXPERT BLOGGER ETHAN HALE
This blog is written by a member of our expert blogging community and expresses that expert’s views alone.

“There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.”–Napoleon Hill

It has been conclusively demonstrated that individuals who expect to succeed at a given venture are more likely to do so than those who expect to fail. Positive expectations work as a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy–those who expect to succeed are more likely to do so, thus maintaining and reinforcing their expectation for success.

Today, we are going to take this analysis one step further and address the underlying cause of these expectations.

The expectations we have for ourselves are largely determined by our self-image. The opinion you have of yourself directly impacts your expectations and thus your chances for success in ventures of all sorts.  Leer más “Self-Image Is The Key To Success In Business And In Life”

The New Digital Tribalism

Virtual assistants are widely regarded as silly things. Remember Clippy, from Microsoft Word? People basically danced on his grave.

But virtual assistants are actually important. As online learning becomes more prevalent, “helpers” in the form of avatars play a key role in instruction. A new study, forthcoming in Computers in Human Behavior, starts there and goes beyond the mere relevance of digital buddies to reveal a few things about personality, gender, and race in the virtual realm. As it turns out, people prefer avatars that are similar to them.

Tara Behrend, an assistant professor of organizational sciences at George Washington University, and Lori Foster Thompson, an associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, studied a sample of 257 people who interacted with some kind of helping avatars. On the whole, people reported higher engagement with avatars that looked like them, in terms of race and gender. They also learned better from the avatars when the helpers appeared to hold similar opinions about success. Learners who preferred striving for a a personal best (measured against prior performance), rather than an absolute best (measured against others’ performance), learned more when their avatars measured success the same way.


BY David Zax

Avatars, they’re just like us! Or should be for maximum effectiveness, according to recent studies. Right or wrong, race, gender, and attractiveness matter in virtual incarnations.

avatars

Virtual assistants are widely regarded as silly things. Remember Clippy, from Microsoft Word? People basically danced on his grave.

But virtual assistants are actually important. As online learning becomes more prevalent, “helpers” in the form of avatars play a key role in instruction. A new study, forthcoming in Computers in Human Behavior, starts there and goes beyond the mere relevance of digital buddies to reveal a few things about personality, gender, and race in the virtual realm. As it turns out, people prefer avatars that are similar to them.

Tara Behrend, an assistant professor of organizational sciences at George Washington University, and Lori Foster Thompson, an associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, studied a sample of 257 people who interacted with some kind of helping avatars. On the whole, people reported higher engagement with avatars that looked like them, in terms of race and gender. They also learned better from the avatars when the helpers appeared to hold similar opinions about success. Learners who preferred striving for a a personal best (measured against prior performance), rather than an absolute best (measured against others’ performance), learned more when their avatars measured success the same way. Leer más “The New Digital Tribalism”