Thursday, March 29, 2007

How to handle challenges

Alan Downs, in his book The Fearless Executive, mentions this technique for overcoming fears, handling challenges and going after your goals:

Identify the smallest unit of task you can manage with regards to your goal. Then do it. He gives the following example - suppose you are asked to evaluate and prepare a report of all 2,000 stores of your company.

Break the task down into the smallest unit that you feel comfortable in accomplishing. It could be the evaluation of a single store or a small district of stores. You decide for yourself. While doing the smallest manageable task, give it your complete focus and energy. Then move on to the next task.

This is one of the best and most effective ways of pursuing your goals. I had mentioned this same principle in my previous post - Easy way to achieve goals
I am mentioning this same principle again in order to stress its importance as has been very nicely described by Alan Downs in the book.

Are you aware of Alcoholics Anonymous? They use "just for today" technique to overcome drinking habit. They just focus on giving up alcohol one day at a time.

So what's the big challenge that is haunting you?
In the words of Alan Downs : "Stop focusing on the whole of it and focus on one small part that you can do. When you are finished with that, focus only on another part. " Well said Mr. Downs.

Tackling a task step by step can be an excellent strategy for getting things done quickly and efficiently. You need high energy to go through your day and complete important tasks. If you feel low on energy or feel sleepy or lethargic during your day, then you need to check out this resource - 4 Step Sleep Plan for High Energy : Sleep less and have more energy. Be active all day

Stress can be a big hurdle to overcome while doing tasks. Fear of not being able to complete things on time, fear of boss or whatever fear and axiety you feel, can serve as a block to doing things properly. You need to find out ways to handle stress, let go of fears, be positive and focus on the task. If you ever feel anxiety and feel at a loss to control it, then you might find this resource extremely helpful. Do check it out - Anxiety and panic reduction

Popular Books by Alan Downs:
1. The Fearless Executive
2.Secrets of an Executive Coach: Proven Methods for Helping Leaders Excel Under Pressure
3.Seven Miracles of Management
4.Corporate Executions: The Ugly Truth About Layoffs-How Corporate Greed Is Shattering Lives, Companies, and Communities
5.Why Does This Keep Happening To Me?: The Seven Crisis We All Experience and How to Overcome Them

Some Interesting Articles:

1. Handling difficult people, 2. Stay motivated towards your goals, 3. Improve communication , 4. Handling stress 5. Improve listening skills, 6. Improve concentration skills

updates to this blog by subscribing through the form on the top right side of this webpage. You can also email this site's link to your friend through the link at the end of this article.

Friday, March 23, 2007

8 rules for writing well

Earlier I had written an article about 6 step strategy for writing anything faster and more effectively. You may read about it here: How to write well.

Now that you have a simple strategy for writing, let us consider some points which make a good writing. William N.Yeomans, in his book 1000 things you never learned in business school mentions 8 rules for good writing. They are as follows:

  1. Write with the reader in mind
  2. Decide what your purpose is.
  3. Say exactly what you mean.
  4. Keep it as short as possible.
  5. Make your point in the first paragraph.
  6. Use a format that guides the reader.
  7. Write fast - build your writing speed.
  8. Arouse the reader's interest.

The above rules can apply to writing a letter, memo, report or even an article. Before we even begin writing, we need to do these two important things:

1.Ask ourselves :"Who are my readers?" and "How can I write so that they relate to it?"

2. The next thing to do before putting a word on the paper is to make clear the objective we want to achieve while writing. We may do this by writing down :"I hope, as a result of reading this, my reader will ______________________________________________" .
Now fill in the blank with an appropriate response desired from your reader.

There are more important points covered in the section 'How to write well' from the book 1000 things you never learned in business school

Though the author mentions the points with regards to business communication like writing memos, letters, reports etc. they can be applicable to other forms of writing as well. You may want to read the book even if you are not interested in business communications and specially so if you are interested in business communication. The book covers more aspects of business besides communication.

If you found this article useful, get updates in your email by subscribing through the form on the top right side of this webpage. You may also email this article link to your friend through the link at the end of this article.

Earn money by writing content online!

Related Articles:

1.Improve concentration, 2. How to make your business proposal heard, 3. Get most out of a good book, 4. Headache help

Help me win blogging contest. Click here.

Improving vocabulary skill: Vocabulary building activity

Having a good vocabulary is very important as it assists in communicating your ideas properly. If you want to write or speak well then you have to concentrate on increasing vocabulary. The more command you have over words, the better can be your writing or speech.

It is recommended to focus on and devote some time regularly to expand your vocabulary.Here are just a few ways you can increase your vocabulary:

1. If you are unsure of any word, you encounter while reading or speaking to someone, refer the dictionary. Constantly referring the dictionary is a good habit.

2. Read extensively. Read a lot and whenever you come up with any word you are not familiar with, look up its meaning in the dictionary. Its advice-able to do this for every new word you encounter, even if you have to do this for 20 words per page. You may write down the meanings near the words in the book itself with a pencil.

3. While looking up a word in the dictionary, also see its pronunciation and proper usage with the help of an example sentence. Most good dictionaries do provide an example or two for each word.

4. Also look up the synonyms and antonyms for the word. By noting down the synonyms you can expand your vocabulary further and it also helps to avoid repeating the same word while speaking or writing as you can include its alternatives if you have to say the word more than once in a sentence or paragraph.

5. Crossword puzzles, scrabble and other word games can be helpful for increasing your vocabulary.

Do You Make Embarrassing Mistakes in English? Click Here.

Related Articles on this website:

1.Write faster and better, 2. Tips to improve concentration, 3. Tips for a good speech, 4. Learning from failures, 5. Improve communication skills, 6. Improve listening skills

Some Related Resources:

1. Importance of good vocabulary
2.Importance of vocabulary.. again
3. Tips to improve vocabulary
4.How to write an essay
5.Improve your English Skills
6. Get paid to write content online
7. 7 Minutes a day to improve speech and writing - confident grammar

If you found this article useful, get updates in your email by subscribing through the form on the top right side of this webpage. You may also email this article link to your friend through the link at the end of this article.

Help me win the blogging contest. Click Here.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

How to make visitors stay longer at your blog

Do you want visitors to stay longer at your blog and browse through more pages? If so, then consider the following suggestions :

1. Provide valuable content:
This is a no-brainer and is the first and foremost condition to make people want to stay longer at your site and even come back to it later. If they are fed with rubbish, it takes them less than a second to close down your site window or browse to some other hopefully better site.

Before posting any article on your blog, ask yourself : "What benefit does this post provide to my readers?" Then make sure your post provides the desired benefit to your readers. Keep doing this for some time and soon your blog may get a very loyal fan following.

2. Related Articles:
After good content, the next important thing would be to make your site easy to navigate so that people don't find visiting your site too inconvenient.

One thing I have done at my blog is to add 'Related Articles' section at the end of each of my blog posts. Earlier I did not make use of this technique but am happy with the results after this change.

Make a list of 4-5 similar or related articles from your own blog and provide links to each, at the end of all your articles. This list would provide useful direction to the user.

Rather than depend on the visitors to navigate your site by themselves, take them by the hand and guide them to areas of their interest.

3. Have more categories (tags):
If you look at the right hand side of my blog, you can see a list of categories. Try to make this list big so that people can easily find articles of their interest. Having more categories can improve the navigability of your site and save valuable time of your site visitors.

4. Have more specific tags:
While naming your categories (tags), be as specific as possible. Earlier I used to have a tag named 'self-improvement', but later I began to be more specific in naming my categories.

I still have self-improvement tag, but I also have further tags like 'people skills', 'stress', 'sleep n energy', 'success', 'writing n blogging', 'learning tips', 'public speaking' etc.

Instead of having 100+ articles under 'self-improvement', you now would have a few articles under specific sub-categories making it easier for site visitors to find articles of their interest.

Have more categories(as mentioned in tip #3 above) and be specific in labeling them. You can also make use of tag clouds to attract reader attention, like the one I have at the bottom of this blog. You may generate tag clouds free of cost through sites such as :,

5. Involve the reader:
Make your site interactive by getting readers more involved while they are reading your articles. You can increase reader involvement by asking questions or getting the reader to think about a topic. You may have discussions on your site, encourage comments from readers and reply to those comments.

One more feature you can add to your blog that increases user involvement is to ask them to rate your articles on a scale of 1-5. You can install this rating feature for free from the site: You may notice that at the end of all my articles, there is an icon called 'Rate it'. Just click on any of the star to give your desired rating for my articles.

6. External links in new window:
You may want to provide links to other websites so that readers can get additional information about a topic. External links can be helpful in adding additional value to your content by pointing visitors in a useful direction. However, on my blog, I usually make external links open in a new window so that people do not leave my site even while browsing the other webpage.

7. Faster Loading:
One more important factor for your blog or website is the time-factor. Your site should not take forever to load up. Visitors may just not have the time, patience or the inclination to wait. I personally don't like sites which take a long time to load up due to heavy graphics and stuff present.

As far as I am concerned, a clean professional look and valuable content are far more important than catchy designs or heavy graphics. By no means am I suggesting to keep your site dull. Infact a good looking site can attract people. But do not over-do it.

The above tips may be helpful in making your visitors stay longer at your site. You may not notice dramatic results, but there should hopefully be satisfactory improvements after implementing these strategies.

Which of the above strategies were you already using on your blog or website and what has been the result of using that strategy?

Related Articles:
1.Write faster and better, 2.Tips for a good speech, 3.Improve concentration, 4.How to get the most out of a book, 5. Improve listening skill, 6.Make your business proposal heard

If you found this article useful, get updates in your email by subscribing through the form on the top right side of this webpage. You may also email this article link to your friend through the link at the end of this article.

Earn money by writing content online. Click to learn more.

The easy way to achieve goals

The easiest way to achieve goals is to break them down into small parts which you can do easily. If you have any goal which you feel difficult to achieve, it is important that you break it down so that it becomes more manageable for you.

If you don't break down goals into smaller parts, then you are likely to feel a lot of difficulty in going after them, and there will be a risk of giving it up soon if you encounter a lot of initial obstacles.

That is why break each big goal into small parts. While breaking down goals, make sure that each part is easy for you to do. You should feel and believe that you can achieve this particular part easily.

If after breaking down a goal into a smaller parts, you still don't completely feel you can achieve a particular task with ease then you need to break it down even further till you absolutely feel confident of achieving it with ease .

This is very important - you should feel the task you are going to attempt is easy to do. If you consider it difficult, then break the task down more and more till it becomes easy. In this way you will face a relatively difficult task in small steps rather than all at once, so that it now becomes easy for you.

Once you have successfully completed one step, go to the next step. Consider achieving your goals as step by step process with each preceding step leading to the next one.

Successfully completing a task, no matter how small it is, would increase your confidence. You can now attempt the next task with more confidence than before and so on.

Instead of attempting to eat the whole meal in one big gulp, it is better to eat it in smaller bites which are easier to swallow. Likewise is the case with setting and achieving goals: divide your goals into smaller parts and make sure each part is something which you feel easy to do.

All the best!

Related Articles:
Solve problems by writing down, 2. Are you failing despite persistence? 3. Learn from failures, 4. Managing stress, 5. Improving listening skill, 6. How to stay motivated towards your goals, 7. headache help

If you found this article useful, get updates in your email by subscribing through the form on the top right side of this webpage. You may also email this article link to your friend through the link at the end of this article.

Earn money by writing content online. Click to learn more.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

How to get the most out of a good book

There are many good books out there and some of them contain a lot of useful information. Are there any strategies you can use to derive maximum benefit out of a book? I am presenting below a few strategies which have been useful to me:

Read it more than once:
If the advice given in a book is good, it helps to read it more than once, even several times. The first time you may miss some important tips. It helps to develop the habit of reading good stuff several times before putting down the book.

Sometimes it is better to read a good book many times over than reading several different books.

Concentrate properly while reading:
The following exercise should help you read with more concentration. Every time you finish reading a page, stop and recall what you have read. Then take a look at the page to see if you have missed some points while recalling. If you keep doing this, soon you may develop strong concentration skills so that you don't miss much while reading.

Highlight useful points:
Whenever you come across any point which you think might be useful, underline it with a pencil. After finishing the book, you may want to go through the highlighted texts again to remind yourself of the important stuff in the book.

Write down some notes:
In addition to underlining points in the book, you can write down notes in your own words about what you have understood about a particular tip, suggestion or topic. This will not only confirm whether you have understood the point clearly or not, it will also help you in remembering it better because of repetition.

Act on it:
Finally, the most important point to get the maximum benefit out of any book is to act on the good advice presented in it. Unless you implement what you have read, you cannot get true benefit out of any book, no matter how good it is.

Help me win blogging contest. Click here

Related Articles:
1. Tips for giving a good speech, 2. Tips to improve concentration, 3. How to learn any subject better, 4. SQ3R strategy for reading textbooks, 5. Tips for writing better and faster, 6. How to develop interest in any subject

If you liked the article, get updates in your email by subscribing through the form on the top right side of this webpage.
If you liked the article, you can email this site's link to your friend through the link at the end of this article.

An effective way to solve problems

One of the best ways to solve problems is by writing them down. When you write down a problem and some possible solutions, you can get more ideas than you previously had. You may gain better clarity about the problem and new ideas can pop into your head.

The process is simple - just make the habit of writing down any problem, goal, your to-do list etc. One more advantage of writing is that you can overcome the problem of forgetting as important things might slip away from your mind when you are involved in some other activity.

Writing about your goals, problems and their possible solutions also helps you in focusing better and hence you can make more mature and intelligent decisions.

Just take a pencil and paper and start jotting down any thoughts you have about the problem at hand. You should write whatever you are thinking and not think about what to write. This is the most important point to remember.

Keep writing down all thoughts you have in your mind about a problem. After a few minutes of writing, you may feel much better about the problem as you have uncluttered your mind by putting your thoughts on paper.

If you were previously confused about the problem, your confusion may have lifted a little bit or you may have got some new ideas to try out for overcoming the problem. Keep adding to these notes if new thoughts about the problem arise.

A final piece of advice:
Think about some current problem in your life which you may have been trying to solve from some time. Try writing it down on a piece of paper or open a word processing document and start typing away. You may be surprised at how much more effective this is than just trying to solve it in your head.

Hey help me win blogging contest by reading and commenting on my blog. Click now.

Related Articles:

1. Develop listening skills, 2. Dealing with negative people, 3. Tips to improve concentration, 4. Tips for a good speech, 5. Tips to prevent headaches

If you liked the article, get updates in your email by subscribing through the form on the top right side of this webpage.

If you liked the article, you can email this site's link to your friend through the link at the end of this article.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

How to make sure your business proposal is heard by the other person

Here is a very important tip when you are going to present a business proposal to someone or while trying to make a sale.

Suppose you are meeting the manager of a company to present your business proposal to him or to explain about your product, make sure that you do not start your presentation before you are properly seated with him in his office.

If you become hasty and impatient and try to start your speech as soon as you meet the manager while standing or walking with him, it gives the impression that you are being too eager, overly excited or it may provide the impression that you do not value your own proposal much. How many salesmen do exactly this - they start pitching people even before the handshake is complete.

Make sure that you and the manager are seated properly in his office, relax for a couple of seconds before you begin your speech. This way you are showing that what you are going to present is important and valuable.

If during your speech, you find the manager getting disinterested and if he starts doing some other work like signing papers or looking at some object or studying some paper, stop yourself from going any further. Stop as long as its necessary to get back his attention.

If you continue your speech while he is busy with something else, there might be the risk of him missing some important piece of information which could be useful in you getting the deal. So, make sure that he hears everything you are saying. When he starts doing something else, stop your speech. He will notice it and re-focus his attention on you.

If he asks you to continue while he is doing some thing else saying that he is listening to you, do not oblige to his request. In this case you can politely ask him to finish his work then you will continue further.

Tell him that you do not mind waiting for him to finish his work so that you have his undivided attention. Such a statement should immediately catch his attention and he will likely feel that you value your proposal too much to just let it finish without bothering if someone is paying attention to it or not.

Imagine the effect it is going to have on him when he realizes how serious you are about your proposal and also imagine the opposite effect it will have if you just blabber without observing whether anybody is really listening to you or not.

Hey, help me win blogging contest. Read anc comment by clicking here

Interesting Articles:
1.Simple tip to improve self-esteem,
2.How to stay motivated towards your goals
3.How to learn new skills fast
4.How to self-study

Also check out these resources:
1. Memory Improvement
2.Get Fit while you sit. Easy workout program for busy professionals.

If you liked the article, get updates in your email by subscribing through the form on the top right side of this webpage.
If you liked the article, you can email this site's link to your friend through the link at the end of this article.