How to create a design style guide – thnxz to @CreativeBloQ


(Abstract… full article +INFO Creative Bloq )

A style guide shouldn’t read like the work of a control freak, but nor should it be vague and ambiguous. Paul Wyatt explains how to strike the right balance.

 

Here are (some of the best) tips for ensuring your style guide does the job right in ensuring others do it right.

It doesn’t have to be perfect

Obviously we’d all love to spend time and energy crafting the perfect design style guide for each project. But in the real world, that’s not always possible. If you’re up against a tight deadline and not able to create a style guide with lots of bells and whistles (and examples), be sure to include the most pertinent and helpful information about the brand or piece of work you’re created in the time you do have.

Full article +INFO 🙂

Essential elements

Start off with:

  • a written overview of the company it’s for
  • a rationale for the work carried out
  • information about logos; font usage; colour palette; tone of voice
  • photographic guides
  • collateral information

 

If you have enough time, it’s worth adding some examples of logo and typographic usage as well as links to master artwork/ brand collateral templates and helpful contacts within your agency or company.

 

 Concentrate on the visible

Look around your workplace and you’ll (hopefully) see colleagues who look presentable and are nicely dressed. Quite possibly a large percentage of these people do not have matching pants and socks or bras and knickers. But who cares? You (hopefully) don’t get to see them. Similarly, in your style guide concentrate on the visible and the relevant. Try not to deep dive into creating colour palettes which then have sub colour palettes and then further sub, sub colour palettes which might never be used or seen.

 

Full article +INFO 🙂

 

 Work with a copywriter

Style guide tips
Big, bold words help energise and communicate brand values in an effective visual way

Work with a copywriter to energise and communicate the brand. This style guide potentially will be used client-side by the in-house creative team or sent out to other agencies to be applied in future work.

For your guide to be applied successfully it’s essential to communicate effectively in written form the brand spirit; the reason behind the work; what the guide is there for; and what the brand goals are that the creative using the guide should be mindful of.

Full article +INFO 🙂

 

Anticipate questions

At the end of the guide include relevant contacts and create a group email address should the reader have any queries about the guide and need to get in touch should there be something the guide does not explain. Although if you’ve included all the relevant details in your guide this should very rarely happen.

Also consider creating an FAQ as part of the guide and think about the top 20 questions a creative might ask about a brand when they first approach it. “I hate your logo. Do I have to use it?” is a question which isn’t allowed.

 

Create art-worked examples

Style guide tips
Art worked header examples from the BBC visual language guide

Art-working up examples of creative templates can be a great way to showcase how the guide can be interpreted. Also consider supplying these files for download with the style guide.

What If There Was No Internet? – thnxz to @Creative_Fan


Via CreativeFan

The internet has become a crucial part of our daily lives. We live in a world where social media and electronic gadgets reign. Needless to say, the ever innovating technology has made our lives far easier than it used to be, especially in the field of business and communication.

Imagine the world without the internet. What would happen to the people who are so dependent on it? The blogging world will die and millions of people will lose their jobs. That is not a pretty sight, I tell you.

If you liked our selection, perhaps these other posts will interest you too, Benefits of Mobile Blogging for Designers and Artists5 Traits Every Blogger Needs Besides the Ability to Write,Using Your Blog to Promote Your Business and 7 Tips to Boost Your Blog’s RSS Subscribers.

No More Google

No More Google
Source

Students and everyone else who turn to Google for help will lose their repository of information. This means that they will have to go back to the old way of expanding their knowledge by browsing through the numerous books in the library which could be very tiring and time-consuming.

Full Article

Communication Problems

Communication Problems
Source

Communication will be greatly affected if the internet becomes non-existent. Cellular phones and electronic gadgets will lose their value. People will have to go back to writing telegrams and snail mails. Instead of Skype and webcams, landlines will again be the best means of communication. No more emails and chats for internet-dependent people. Social media sites will disappear and it will be very hard to keep in touch with your loved ones when they are miles away from you.

Full Article

Financial Industry Will Bug Down

Quality Tutorial Designer’s Checklist | langwitches.org


Langwitches Blog

Helping students become quality Tutorial Designers has been on my mind and agenda lately. The reasons are plentiful, from the train of thought “if you can teach it, you know it”, being a vital skill in the 21st century, Alan November’s work “Who owns the Learning?”/ “Digital Learning Farm” to tutorials being an important piece in the self-motivated and self-directed learning of our times.

Teaching, nor creating (digital) tutorials, may come natural to everyone. There are are several skills involved. which are valuable for our students to learn.

  • communication
    not only understanding content and process, but being able to express and communicate them to someone else. The communication can be accomplished in a variety of media.
  • collaboration
    curating all student created tutorials in one place (ex. wiki) will create a hub, where students can search for tutorials of content, that they need a refresher on and  it creates a depository for students in future years to come.
  • writing
    writing a script is an essential part of tutorial design. Tutorial writing could be considered part of the expository writing and technical writing genre
  • vocabulary
    using  specific vocabulary related to the content explained
  • storyboarding
    “Storyboards are graphic organizers in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing”~ Wikipedia
  • digital storytelling
    a tutorial is a special type of story. It requires the “teller” of the story to engage the “listener” via different digital media
  • networking
    tutorials are meant for others to learn from us
  • digital media
    creating, editing, and mixing of a variety of media forms (text, images, audio, video, etc.) and the fluency to work with a variety of media and switch effortless between them
  • empathy
    the ability to understand and share the feelings (ex. not know how to do something or understand) of another >>>  Leer más “Quality Tutorial Designer’s Checklist | langwitches.org”

Communication Skills: Top 10 Tips for Tough Conversations With Your Boss, Business Partner, Or Best Bud


See on Scoop.itGabriel Catalano human being | #INperfeccion® a way to find new insight & perspectives

I wish had the proverbial nickel for every participant in one of my sessions who has approached me after the program with a comment that began, “Have you got a minute for a question? My boss and I just don’t get along. We need to have a conversation, but he/she…” From there, the story and details diverge.But here’s the commonality: The conflict has been ongoing, stress has clearly altered productivity and results, and both parties have crashed against a communication barrier that seems insurmountable.

If you find yourself in that same predicament, consider these tips for a straightforward conversation that helps you break through that wall of hard feelings and misunderstandings.

1. Realize that two sides can be right. Conflict is not a competitive sport. The other person does not have to lose for you to win.

2. Communicate what happened, what you have concluded about what happened, and how you feel about what happened. Then listen for the same information from the other person. You will uncover hidden invalid assumptions, wrong interpretations, and inaccurate information.

3. Make a conscious choice about whether you will accommodate, compromise, overpower, or collaborate to come to resolution. Backing people into a corner rarely serves good purpose. But you yourself may decide to accommodate the other person’s wishes to “bank a favor” when something is not all that important to you. Remembering that you have a choice in the matter helps.

4. Define areas or issues that you agree on and move forward from there. Refocus on your goal rather than the obstacle. Leer más “Communication Skills: Top 10 Tips for Tough Conversations With Your Boss, Business Partner, Or Best Bud”

Being social when crisis knocks Why and how companies use social media to communicate in a time of crisis


See on Scoop.itGabriel Catalano human being | #INperfeccion® a way to find new insight & perspectives

Over the past years communication patterns have been changing continuously due to increased public demand for information and knowledge. Numerous social networks and websites have escalated and gained the attention of the academics and practitioners, as well as the business society.

Previously scholars researched this field of interest from different perspectives. Thus it could be stated that the emphasis was put on the impact of the certain social media networks in terms of communication strategy. However, no holistic approach has been noticed in regards to why and how companies can use different media simultaneously in order to overcome a crisis situation. This research is aimed at filling the gap within existing literature. Leer más “Being social when crisis knocks Why and how companies use social media to communicate in a time of crisis”

Paul Adams: Future of advertising is ‘many light weight interactions’

Coincidentally, while I was reading Grouped, I found an excellent example of Paul Adams’ theory in practice!My wife asked me recently if I would like to have paneer for the evening snack. It was an unusual choice in a family of South Indian origin, so I asked her when she had learnt to cook paneer. She said ‘Facebook’! Apparently, there was a paneer recipe posted on its Page by Surf Excel Matic, a detergent brand.Let us examine this against ‘light-weighted conversations’ theory:Who did Surf Excel target?At-home-moms with good Facebook presence, who like to cook and take care of the family. Oh, and they’re probably the decision makers for the detergent brand too!


Posted by Venkat | http://blog.recommend.ly

Paul Adams, the Global Brand Experience Manager at Facebook and the author of ‘Grouped’, makes an interesting point about the future of advertising. I stumbled upon a video presentation of his at the fMC recently. That got me interested enough to buy his book, ‘Grouped’ which was a subject of much controversy between him and Google.According to Paul Adams, every marketer should have three things in his new knowledge set to be able to tackle the rapidly evolving customer behaviorin a connected world:

  1. Social behavior : Marketers should understand the ‘Why, What, Who, How’ of communication and how people observe, share and act within their networks
  2. Networks: The social networks are here to stay and marketers need to understand how they work in order to succeed
  3. How people think is affected by their biases, perception, non-conscious brain, past etc, relationships and interactions between people and products

Social behavior : Anatomy of communicationWhat caught my attention was his analysis of social behavior behind online communication, which I took the liberty to rename “Anatomy of communication”. Here’s a graphic representation of what he says: Leer más “Paul Adams: Future of advertising is ‘many light weight interactions’”

Create a Buzz on LinkedIn — Without Buzzwords

Instead of stuffing your profile with buzzwords, use the new year as an excuse to clean out your profile and improve the way in which you showcase yourself. Highlight your skills, previous roles you’ve had and recommendations from those who’ve worked closely with you as key starting points to a better LinkedIn profile.


Melanie Wright | http://socialmediatoday.com

Since it’s early in the year and many of you have made resolutions to really use your LinkedIn profiles this year, we thought it would be a good idea to go over what NOT to do.

This past December, LinkedIn posted a blog that listed the top 10 overused buzzwords in LinkedIn profiles in the United States. At first glance, it’s easy to see how users get confused with the term “buzzword.” After all, it does sound like a good thing to use them to set you apart from the crowd. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

According to LinkedIn the top 10 most overused buzzwords in 2011 were:

5 Tips to Better Optimize Your PPC Budget

Whether you are trying to acquire new customers, generate more leads, or simply sell the product, paid advertising can come to your rescue. The advantage of paid advertising is that people are alreadysearching for your product/service. As opposed to conventional marketing, a paid search audience already has the intent to buy or learn more about your product.

Apart from the benefit of having qualified traffic, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has many other positives. First off, it is easy to start. Setting up your account is simple; you can start off with a budget that you are comfortable spending. Secondly, PPC offers flexibility. You can test out different versions of ad copy, headlines, and call-to-actions. Lastly, paid ads are great way for increasing brand awareness. Even if people don’t click on your ad, just showing up in the search results for your key terms builds trust factor and brand recognition.

However, there are challenges involved in paid advertising. With more marketers turning to PPC advertising, the paid search space is becoming competitive.


http://451heat.com

Whether you are trying to acquire new customers, generate more leads, or simply sell the product, paid advertising can come to your rescue. The advantage of paid advertising is that people are alreadysearching for your product/service. As opposed to conventional marketing, a paid search audience already has the intent to buy or learn more about your product.

Apart from the benefit of having qualified traffic, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has many other positives. First off, it is easy to start. Setting up your account is simple; you can start off with a budget that you are comfortable spending. Secondly, PPC offers flexibility. You can test out different versions of ad copy, headlines, and call-to-actions. Lastly, paid ads are great way for increasing brand awareness. Even if people don’t click on your ad, just showing up in the search results for your key terms builds trust factor and brand recognition.

However, there are challenges involved in paid advertising. With more marketers turning to PPC advertising, the paid search space is becoming  competitive. Leer más “5 Tips to Better Optimize Your PPC Budget”

10 Essential Guidelines for Freelance Collaboration

In the same way that you would research a potential client, learn all you can about a potential collaborator. Study their LinkedIn profile and other online profiles. Read any testimonials and recommendations they have received to see what past clients think of their work. Review their portfolio to get an idea of the type of work they produce. Remember, if you work together on the same project, your reputation will become linked with that of your collaborator.
Guideline #2: Provide Details

Once you have selected a freelance collaborator, provide them with as many details as you can about the job. Be specific. Remember, if the freelancer is working in a different specialty from your own, they may need entirely different information to get their job done. Give them an opportunity to ask their own questions and make sure that they get their answers. The more your colleague knows, the better able they will be to fulfill their part of the project.


By laura
http://designm.ag/freelance/10-essential-guidelines-for-freelance-collaboration/


Freelance
collaboration is on the rise. Increasingly, teams of freelancers are now doing the work that in-house departments used to do. Graphic designers are now working on teams with writers and programmers.

But many freelancers are used to working alone. Collaboration definitely requires freelancers to make a few adjustments.

In this post, I’ll provide ten essential guidelines to help you put the pieces together for freelance collaboration. If you enjoy this post, you may also enjoy reading 15 Questions to Ask Before Collaborating.

Guideline #1: Do Your Homework

In the same way that you would research a potential client, learn all you can about a potential collaborator. Study their LinkedIn profile and other online profiles. Read any testimonials and recommendations they have received to see what past clients think of their work. Review their portfolio to get an idea of the type of work they produce. Remember, if you work together on the same project, your reputation will become linked with that of your collaborator.

Guideline #2: Provide Details

Once you have selected a freelance collaborator, provide them with as many details as you can about the job. Be specific. Remember, if the freelancer is working in a different specialty from your own, they may need entirely different information to get their job done. Give them an opportunity to ask their own questions and make sure that they get their answers. The more your colleague knows, the better able they will be to fulfill their part of the project. Leer más “10 Essential Guidelines for Freelance Collaboration”

7 Common Project Management Problems (And How to Solve Them)

It doesn’t matter how talented you are, if you can’t manage your projects, then you will struggle to achieve success.

To help you avoid that undesirable outcome, here are seven project management problems that designers and developers often face, as well as how to deal with them when they arise.

1. Your Client Gives You Vague, Ever-changing Requirements

Fickle clients can be a huge hassle. If a client doesn’t know what they want until a certain stage is complete, then schedule those decision points into the project as milestones. It is important to have a clear path mapped out from start to finish because it forces the client to be specific with their requirements, as well as keeping the project on track.

Be clear at the outset about what your task is going to be on the project and how much leeway is available. If you will need to be compensated for big revisions or changes in direction, then set a clear outline about the number of adjustments you can make before you need to charge more. If you can, quantify these adjustments with a number; it makes it much easier to keep track of things.
2. Your Client is Slow with Communication

People are busy, but it’s tough for you to move forward on a project if you can never get answers from the person you’re working with.

The good news is that you will drastically increase your response rate if you do a little bit of work ahead of time. Instead of waiting for the back-and-forth discourse to finally take place, simply start moving in the direction that you think is best and then seek verification. This strategy makes it easy for your client to quickly say yes (or no).

Here is an example:


by James Clear
http://sixrevisions.com/project-management/7-common-project-management-problems-and-how-to-solve-them/

It doesn’t matter how talented you are, if you can’t manage your projects, then you will struggle to achieve success.

To help you avoid that undesirable outcome, here are seven project management problems that designers and developers often face, as well as how to deal with them when they arise.

1. Your Client Gives You Vague, Ever-changing Requirements

Fickle clients can be a huge hassle. If a client doesn’t know what they want until a certain stage is complete, then schedule those decision points into the project as milestones. It is important to have a clear path mapped out from start to finish because it forces the client to be specific with their requirements, as well as keeping the project on track.

Be clear at the outset about what your task is going to be on the project and how much leeway is available. If you will need to be compensated for big revisions or changes in direction, then set a clear outline about the number of adjustments you can make before you need to charge more. If you can, quantify these adjustments with a number; it makes it much easier to keep track of things.

2. Your Client is Slow with Communication

People are busy, but it’s tough for you to move forward on a project if you can never get answers from the person you’re working with.

The good news is that you will drastically increase your response rate if you do a little bit of work ahead of time. Instead of waiting for the back-and-forth discourse to finally take place, simply start moving in the direction that you think is best and then seek verification. This strategy makes it easy for your client to quickly say yes (or no).

Here is an example: Leer más “7 Common Project Management Problems (And How to Solve Them)”

Doreen Lorenzo: Clients Don’t Deserve Surprises

A World of Tweets: Data visualization Frog created to show tweets from across the globe.
According to advertising maven David Ogilvy, “Great hospitals do two things. They look after patients, and they teach young doctors. We look after clients, and we teach young advertising people.” It’s an apt comparison. Like doctors, creatives are regularly called upon to educate their clients, and a good bedside manner is crucial.
Client relationships are the bedrock of innovation at Frog Design, a global innovation firm founded in 1969. To name just a few of Frog’s accomplishments: they partnered with Apple to create the revolutionary Apple IIc in 1982; they designed the highest grossing e-commerce site of its time, Dell.com, in 2000; and, more recently, they created the popular Roku Netflix video player.

So how do they do it? We sat down with president Doreen Lorenzo for a conversation about how Frog “looks after clients” and “teaches young designers” – and how both of these elements play into the company’s remarkable ability to create break-through products.


 

A World of Tweets: Data visualization Frog created to show tweets from across the globe.
According to advertising maven David Ogilvy, “Great hospitals do two things. They look after patients, and they teach young doctors. We look after clients, and we teach young advertising people.” It’s an apt comparison. Like doctors, creatives are regularly called upon to educate their clients, and a good bedside manner is crucial.
Client relationships are the bedrock of innovation at Frog Design, a global innovation firm founded in 1969. To name just a few of Frog’s accomplishments: they partnered with Apple to create the revolutionary Apple IIc in 1982; they designed the highest grossing e-commerce site of its time, Dell.com, in 2000; and, more recently, they created the popular Roku Netflix video player. 

So how do they do it? We sat down with president Doreen Lorenzo for a conversation about how Frog “looks after clients” and “teaches young designers” – and how both of these elements play into the company’s remarkable ability to create break-through products.
Leer más “Doreen Lorenzo: Clients Don’t Deserve Surprises”

The Five Levels of Communication in a Connected World

In the digital world in which we live, it has become too easy to send emails, ping people via instant message, text, tweet, etc. Upon reflection, I think I’ve been too haphazard about how I communicate with my colleagues, clients, friends, and family. Oftentimes, an email about a problem should have been a phone call. And sometimes a phone call should have been an in-person meeting.
Knowing what to say and when to say it is not enough. In the modern day, we must decide HOW to communicate. [Más…]
Consider the five levels of communication:

Level 1: Message into the Ether
Snail mail and email have a few things in common: They can be of any length, and they are not conversational. Emails and letters are sent out, and then new messages are composed and returned. Sometimes it takes days or weeks before a response arrives. Since emails and letters are not conversational (they lump all points together rather than go point, counterpoint, point, etc…), there is a HIGH LEVEL of misunderstanding with this medium of communication. As many of us know, little issues can escalate over email.


In the digital world in which we live, it has become too easy to send emails, ping people via instant message, text, tweet, etc. Upon reflection, I think I’ve been too haphazard about how I communicate with my colleagues, clients, friends, and family. Oftentimes, an email about a problem should have been a phone call. And sometimes a phone call should have been an in-person meeting.
Knowing what to say and when to say it is not enough. In the modern day, we must decide HOW to communicate. Leer más “The Five Levels of Communication in a Connected World”

Creative sites? Yes, but maybe unusable

It’s a hotly debated issue on several forums and blogs of the sector and that often divides the mass of web designers in two different and opposing factions: I’m talking about the aesthetic aspect of a site and on how it’s appearing in one way rather than in another can enhance or on the contrary limit its potentialities and effectiveness.

A site must only give information and has to do so in the most direct and simplest way possible, as someone says. This is true, but –replies somebody else- it is also important how such information is transmitted and how through shapes and colours, stimulates the curiosity and the interest of the consumer. [Más…] Who begins as a graphic is more likely to believe also that the web design is first of all communication and as such there are strategies and aesthetics needs that cannot be denied: that particular font is more elegant and capable of capturing the attention in one precise point of the layout, this combination of colours makes more confident the reading, that background image has nothing special, but it’s attractive and makes the page more appealing.

Communication , yes, but in a creative way because showcases on the web know how to sell and attract consensus, as already required by a billboard or by a leaflet. Communicate and if possible surprise, dare, create something new and unique , experiment with styles and colours and create something that is not only simple to use but also –above all, perhaps- beautiful to see.

On the other hand, where the concepts of aesthetics and of the “appearing” are just little concrete theories – the idea that a good graphic isn’t a crucial detail of a functional site is becoming more and more popular, indeed. It’s rumoured that graphics are almost an useless distraction, a disorder that make the pages of a site heavy, not accessible, less usable, slow to upload, …etcetera, etcetera.

The general comment, lavished almost as an alibi? “Maybe the sites I do aren’t really that appealing , but at least they’re usable!”, as if one thing could exclude somehow the other.

The reality is that an effective site is yes a usable site and easy to consult, but not only. A white page with textual content, without images and with an elementary browser, is certainly easy to use and to read, but what would the web be if every site was a white screen containing text and nothing else? What would a commercial spot be without the beauty of images at high emotional impact , or without an appropriate background noise? And we should also ask ourselves: but what do we really remember, for example, of these ads, what stroked us, the subject –even if it was a detergent or a car doesn’t care- or the sounds, the words and the colours with which it was advertised?

We already know the answer.


It’s a hotly debated issue on several forums and blogs of the sector and that often divides the mass of web designers in two different and opposing factions: I’m talking about the aesthetic aspect of a site and on how it’s appearing in one way rather than in another can enhance or on the contrary limit its potentialities and effectiveness.

A site must only give information and has to do so in the most direct and simplest way possible, as someone says. This is true, but –replies somebody else- it is also important how such information is transmitted  and how through shapes and colours, stimulates the curiosity and the interest of the consumer. Leer más “Creative sites? Yes, but maybe unusable”

Awesomely Effective Email Communication

The real purpose behind communication is the exchange of information in a way that both parties involved clearly understand the shared intelligence. If the email messages you send aren’t clear, then the recipients of those messages will not be clear either, and they will not be able to interpret what you want or what they need to do as a response to the email.

Think about the number of times you have received an email message that made you wonder what the sending person meant — or why you even got the message in the first place. Now on the opposite end of the spectrum, think about the times you’ve sent an email that returned to you with a bunch of questions because you didn’t take the time to write it clearly. This is where productive communication breaks down with office email. This is the snag.

Productive communication can be greatly improved by implementing a simple mental checklist that you can run through before you hit the “send” button for each and every email that you write. This simple set of rules will grade your email (so to speak) and let you know whether it has passed or failed the test. The process is designed to help you think about what it is you are trying to communicate before sending the email off, ensuring that the recipient will understand what you are striving to communicate. In addition, by writing more effective email messages you will greatly reduce the quantity of emails you receive each day.

The process is called the PASS process of effective email communication. The PASS process will assist you in writing clearly defined emails that produce effective action on the side of the recipients.


autoroute à emails...

Most organizations believe email is one of their biggest productivity snags even though email is probably the most important office communication tool available.  The technology has eliminated many of our personal boundaries. Some of us have even allowed email to drive our actions when in reality, our communications should be driven by our goals and the tasks required to accomplish them. What we have forgotten is the fact that email is a communication tool.

The real purpose behind communication is the exchange of information in a way that both parties involved clearly understand the shared intelligence. If the email messages you send aren’t clear, then the recipients of those messages will not be clear either, and they will not be able to interpret what you want or what they need to do as a response to the email.

Think about the number of times you have received an email message that made you wonder what the sending person meant — or why you even got the message in the first place. Now on the opposite end of the spectrum, think about the times you’ve sent an email that returned to you with a bunch of questions because you didn’t take the time to write it clearly. This is where productive communication breaks down with office email. This is the snag.

Productive communication can be greatly improved by implementing a simple mental checklist that you can run through before you hit the “send” button for each and every email that you write.  This simple set of rules will grade your email (so to speak) and let you know whether it has passed or failed the test.  The process is designed to help you think about what it is you are trying to communicate before sending the email off, ensuring that the recipient will understand what you are striving to communicate. In addition, by writing more effective email messages you will greatly reduce the quantity of emails you receive each day.

The process is called the PASS process of effective email communication. The PASS  process will assist you in writing clearly defined emails that produce effective action on the side of the recipients. Leer más “Awesomely Effective Email Communication”

Build Your Future: Invest in Yourself

My friend (and writer of brilliant blog, Exile Lifestyle), Colin Wright, once said to me (paraphrasing), “You can never go wrong with investing in yourself – that way, everything that you learn and have can go with you. You can invest in three ways – your health, your network, and your knowledge, and all three are necessary to be successful.”

Wiser words have never been spoken.

Investing in yourself is the true way to improve yourself. If you trade your time and effort now for increased skills or knowledge, relationships, and better health, your results will multiply in the future. While we all have to do what is necessary and proper to maintain equilibrium – keep working at our jobs, for instance – we should be leveraging our spare time for self-investment instead of wasting it on things that truly don’t matter.

Taking an attitude of investing your time in yourself now will result in payoffs later. The key is to discriminate between what is investing and what is not – because more things can be considered “investing” than we think. Being social – talking to just about anyone – is investing because it improves your communication skills, extroversion, and builds relationships. And, yet, many people like being social because it’s fun. Investing doesn’t have to be boring – in fact, by pursuing what you’re interested in, you can invest in yourself very effectively.

However, no amount of intellectual or emotional investment is worth it if we don’t invest in the first pillar: health.
The Importance of Health

Your health, first and foremost, determines how effective you are. How you treat your body determines your mood, your ability to focus, and how you treat others. In short, how you feel determines how you behave – and the best way to feel great is to live a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some simple ways to invest in your health:

* Exercise Often: Engaging in exercise makes you burn calories, lose weight, feel good, and stay mobile. It’s the catch-all for good health, in my mind. Make sure to switch things up to keep your body adapting and to make things more interesting; don’t do the same workout 5 days a week.
* Eat well: People will tell you different things, but as long as you maximize your green vegetable and fruit intake, while minimizing processed foods, you’re eating pretty well. Buy organic produce as often as you can: the difference in things other than price – like taste and nutrition – is very noticeable. Eating smaller meals and sticking to “natural” foods like nuts, fruits, veggies, and meats is a nice rule of thumb, though you can eat some carbs as well to give you energy that lasts throughout the day.
* Sleep well: Figure out what you need to function at your best, and make it your mission to get that much sleep every night. This is simple but the hardest change to implement, in my opinion, but the rewards are great. Don’t get cocky – your body does need sleep. Give it the rest you deserve.


Photo credit: Arkady Golod

My friend (and writer of brilliant blog, Exile Lifestyle), Colin Wright, once said to me (paraphrasing), “You can never go wrong with investing in yourself – that way, everything that you learn and have can go with you. You can invest in three ways – your health, your network, and your knowledge, and all three are necessary to be successful.”

Wiser words have never been spoken.

Investing in yourself is the true way to improve yourself. If you trade your time and effort now for increased skills or knowledge, relationships, and better health, your results will multiply in the future. While we all have to do what is necessary and proper to maintain equilibrium – keep working at our jobs, for instance – we should be leveraging our spare time for self-investment instead of wasting it on things that truly don’t matter.

Taking an attitude of investing your time in yourself now will result in payoffs later. The key is to discriminate between what is investing and what is not – because more things can be considered “investing” than we think. Being social – talking to just about anyone – is investing because it improves your communication skills, extroversion, and builds relationships. And, yet, many people like being social because it’s fun. Investing doesn’t have to be boring – in fact, by pursuing what you’re interested in, you can invest in yourself very effectively.

However, no amount of intellectual or emotional investment is worth it if we don’t invest in the first pillar: health.

The Importance of Health

Your health, first and foremost, determines how effective you are. How you treat your body determines your mood, your ability to focus, and how you treat others. In short, how you feel determines how you behave – and the best way to feel great is to live a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some simple ways to invest in your health:

  • Exercise Often: Engaging in exercise makes you burn calories, lose weight, feel good, and stay mobile. It’s the catch-all for good health, in my mind. Make sure to switch things up to keep your body adapting and to make things more interesting; don’t do the same workout 5 days a week.
  • Eat well: People will tell you different things, but as long as you maximize your green vegetable and fruit intake, while minimizing processed foods, you’re eating pretty well. Buy organic produce as often as you can: the difference in things other than price – like taste and nutrition – is very noticeable. Eating smaller meals and sticking to “natural” foods like nuts, fruits, veggies, and meats is a nice rule of thumb, though you can eat some carbs as well to give you energy that lasts throughout the day.
  • Sleep well: Figure out what you need to function at your best, and make it your mission to get that much sleep every night. This is simple but the hardest change to implement, in my opinion, but the rewards are great. Don’t get cocky – your body does need sleep. Give it the rest you deserve. Leer más “Build Your Future: Invest in Yourself”