Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The 5 Productive Morning Routines Of Highly Effective People

Ah, mornings. A good morning routine can seem like it will really set the productivity tone for the rest of the day. Some days you’re dialed into every detail: cooking a big breakfast, experimenting with new hairstyles. Other days… well, you’re slipping into the office through the backdoor with yesterday’s shirt on. It happens.
While a great morning moment can feel pretty magical, there’s more to the perfectly productive day than mystical forces at work. A morning routine that leads to productivity is in fact a science that you can implement in your own life.
But is there a right way to have a productive morning? After analyzing the advice and routines of six top productivity experts, it became clear that there are a few important elements that many successful people include as part of their day to have a productive morning.

Productive Morning Habits That Work For Everyone

1. Wake up at YOUR right time.

We've all heard that morning people are the most productive people: “You've got to be part of the 5 am alarm club! If you've slept in past 6 am, then you're behind already!” or the infamous "The early bird catches the worm!" Groan.
According to a 2012 study published by the American Psychological Association, participants who self-identified as "morning people" reported feeling “happier and healthier than night owls.” One hypothesis from the research, however, is that the typical 9-5 workday is geared to benefit those who function at their best earlier in the day.
While it’s true that many people who wake up earlier are often more productive, that doesn't mean night owls can't have a productive morning that leads to a productive day. Their “mornings” take place a little later, but can be productive nonetheless.
Mike Vardy, productivity writer, speaker, and podcaster, says on his blog, “Look, I’m a night owl – and proud of it. Why? Because despite having many say that my sleeping habits make me less likely to achieve, I prove them wrong. I don’t just do that every once in awhile. I do it every single day.”
The most important thing isn't what time you wake up - it's getting in tune with your body's clock. According to Sleep.org, your body actually knows what it should be doing and when. Don't force yourself to be part of the 5 am club if you can't fall asleep before midnight.
Getting enough sleep and waking up when your body is ready will lead more often to a productive day than forcing yourself out of bed hours before your brain is ready—that's a recipe for burnout. Plus, the habit won't last long. If you're not a morning person, you can't force it and your body will only work with you for so long before it says "no more!"
If you’re trying to figure out your optimal time of day in life, check out this useful guide for finding your most productive hours.

2. Eliminate decision-making tasks in the morning.

Productive mornings tips to help with to-do lists and decision making
Sometimes the best way to have a productive morning is to get a head start on it the night before. Many productivity experts and successful people spend their evenings preparing for the next day because it makes their mornings free to get an early start on important work.
American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault ends his evenings by writing down three things he wants to accomplish the next day.
Planning the evening before is effective because we have a limited amount of willpower and decision-making ability every day. The thought of making too many decisions in the morning will slow you down and drain your brain for the rest of the day. If you can eliminate decision-making from your mornings, you'll have more energy and time to have the most productive morning you can!
So write out your daily to-do list the night before like Kenneth Chenault. Subscribe to the concept that an AM routine can start in the PM: Pick out your outfit. Pack your lunch and your backpack for work. Want to read a book in the morning? Pick it out the night before and put it out somewhere obvious so you see it first thing. If you want to work out in the morning, sleep in your gym clothes.

3. Create a morning routine to focus your mind.

Create a morning routine to focus your mind
Perhaps the most important element of a productive morning is your routine. Nearly every productivity expert recommends a morning routine, although each one is just a bit different! It isn't so much about what is in your morning routinejust that you have one.
According to Claire Diaz Ortiz, productivity expert and author of Design Your Day, the best thing you can do to be productive is to create your ideal morning routine. She explains that how you start your day anchors you and ensures you stay focused on what is most important. You must master a consistent morning routine to achieve your highest level of productivity!
Although there's not one morning routine that works well for everyone, there are some key elements that make a morning routine most effective. If you analyze productivity experts' morning routines, you'll find a few things in common. They mostly all have an element of focus on big picture goals, gratitude, and planning for the day's time. 
Productivity coach Zack Sexton’s morning routine looks like this:
  1. Water (20oz. often w/ lemon)
  2. Cuddles (w/ fiancée Nikida)
  3. Coffee
  4. Meditation
  5. Read something inspirational (often in sauna)
  6. Shower (if sauna-ed)
  7. Look at calendar
  8. Start first journal entry in Evernote (including prompts about something learned, things to be grateful for, and what to focus on for the day)
Kevin Kruse, author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, starts his morning with five minutes of yoga stretches, while doing the following:
  1. Mentally recitation of his personal mission statement
  2. Listing three items of gratitude
  3. Reminder of his three big goal areas (Health, Wealth, and Love)
For each of these goals, Kevin also things of what tasks he’ll do that specific day to get closer to achieving them. "All that takes about five minutes," he says.
You don't need a lengthy meditation routine. Yoga, meditation, journaling, reading or a quiet walk—focus on the outcome, not the practice to get the most out of this special time where you can focus on yourself and center on your heart's content. You just need something that helps you set your mind on what you want to focus on for the day, and set your heart and mind in the right attitude for the day.

4. Move around and hydrate.

Health tips for a productive morning routine
Health is important. When you feel great, it will make it all that much easier to handle that alarm. You might not be excited about the idea of a morning workout. Maybe it's hard enough to just get out of bed, let alone run around the gym. But you don't have to lift weights or go for a jog. Simply moving around will get your blood flowing and help you get your day started. Many successful people start their mornings with a little movement, so here are a few ideas to add some more health to your life:
  • Kevin Kruse does a daily 20-minute HIIT session on the treadmill.
  • Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, jogs every morning.
  • Howard Schulz, CEO of Starbucks, bikes first thing.
  • Congresswoman and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi power walks before she sits down to work.
  • Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk works out with his personal trainer.
  • Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary gets on his elliptical or exercise bike.
  • Starwood Hotels CEO Frits van Paaschen runs 10 miles each morning!
While you're moving around (and working up a bit of a sweat), make sure to stay hydrated. What you put in your mug matters: Drinking water in the mornings will kick start your day and give you lasting energy all day long.
Jeff Sanders (author of the 5 AM Miracle and host of the podcast by the same name) says his favorite morning habit is to drink one liter of water within the first 45 minutes of bouncing out of bed. He says: "Hydration is incredibly important, especially after waking up. I always find that this larger quantity of water provides incredible energy and prepares my body for the day ahead."

5. Eat the frog... or the tadpoles.

After you get your personal morning routine organized, it's time to take action for a productive day.
Brian Tracy, author of "Eat the Frog," bases his morning philosophy off of a quote from Mark Twain:
"If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long."
The "frog" he is talking about is your most important task or work—the one you're dreading the most because it's so big and important that it’s looming over you. Building the habit to do your biggest task first can give you a huge boost of accomplishment first thing.
But starting the day with your most daunting task is, well, daunting. It can be too easy to procrastinate, making it even harder to get your day started. Sometimes, clearing away a few small tasks early on can give you the momentum to tackle your frog. In a study of creative work inside businesses, researchers Teresa Amabile and Steven J. Kramer found that making incremental progress, a.k.a. small wins, leads to more productivity in the long run.
Whether you work better by eating the frog, or tackling some small tadpoles first, find your ideal rhythm and get started right away!

Create Your Ideal Morning Routine For A Productive Day

Mornings don't have to be rough. By doing a few focused things when you wake up, you can set yourself up for more productivity throughout the day. If it seems daunting to overhaul your morning routine all at once, introduce one new practice a week and see if you notice improvement.
After all, they say if you win the morning, you win the day. Don't we all want to win at life?

Source: https://blog.trello.com/best-productive-morning-routines

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Six Tips for Successful Sales Training

When I think about our team and what it is that makes them “the very best,” a few things come to mind. They are masters of the fundamentals, or “table stakes,” of training, and they are skilled subject matter experts in Richardson’s content and in selling. Here is how I describe our team:
  • They are passionate about their craft, and it shows in their work.
  • They connect quickly and easily with their learners.
  • They create a risk-free environment for learning, and they earn the right to push participants to stretch beyond their comfort zones.
  • They are subject matter experts, and they are skilled coaches who understand the real challenges salespeople face in the field.
  • They model the skills that they teach while also drawing out best practices from the participants in the room.
  • Most importantly, they tailor each classroom experience to meet learners where they are, which ensures the learning is real. Relevance is a critical success factor in the application of learning.
When a facilitator brings those characteristics together in a Richardson workshop, the result is a challenging, relevant learning experience that prepares and inspires sales reps to engage in genuine, customer-focused conversations that result in high-value, needs-based solutions. When that happens, we can reasonably expect that sales reps will begin developing long-term, trusted advisor-level relationships with their customers. They will close more deals, make more money, and provide better service to their customers.

Six Skills for training excellence

To be among the very best in any profession takes hard work and a solid grasp of the core fundamentals, or the “table stakes.” Once you have mastered those, you can set your sights on reaching the next level.
Here are six foundational skills that a sales trainer needs to be successful:
  1. Passion: Great sales trainers are passionate about supporting the success of sales professionals. Passion is emotion, and emotion is a key element to learning and memory. A trainer who is passionate, learner-focused, and has subject matter expertise can lengthen the forgetting curve. A passionate trainer who receives a thank-you note from a participant who applied the learning and had success is a fulfilled trainer.
  2. Relatability: Sales trainers must have an innate ability to connect with and relate to sales professionals quickly and genuinely. Doing so helps foster trust and provides a safe environment for participants to stretch, allowing them to be vulnerable in learning. When a learner feels comfortable trying something different and knows he or she won’t be embarrassed by making a few mistakes, the learning sticks. Mix in some humor and, by the end of a day, solid business relationships are often formed between trainers and participants.
  3. Credibility: Credibility in a sales trainer has two components: successful sales experience and expertise in training. Sales professionals are more receptive and willing to listen to someone who has real sales experience. A great trainer knows what a sales rep faces on a daily basis and can empathize with the pressures of the job. The trainer can, and should, draw on his or her own personal experience to emphasize key learning points and help a sales professional prepare for a selling situation he or she has not yet encountered. Trainers with selling experience anchor the learning in reality. When you blend that with a sound sales training methodology and strong facilitation skills, sales reps receive a deep, rich, and relevant learning experience.
  4. Draws out best practices: Great sales trainers know how to transfer knowledge to learners, and they are also skilled at creating an environment where individuals learn from one another by drawing out and sharing best practices. When a learner attaches a new concept to previous experience, he or she begins generating thoughts on how to apply the concept in the real world. Additionally, great trainers are always learning something new from participants that helps them stay on top of their game.
  5. Learner-focus: Richardson’s methodology is centered on being customer-focused. In the classroom, the participant is the trainer’s customer. Remaining learner-focused is a critical success factor for a trainer. To accomplish this, it is important to take the time to prepare to deliver a tailored learning experience. Good trainers show up for training workshops with an understanding of their learners’ unique selling situations. The very best trainers adjust the learning experience appropriately, from a knowledge and skills perspective, to meet the audience where they are. They know when to slow down or go deeper into content, and they know when to push harder to help all learners achieve at a higher level, stretching them in a safe way. Word choice plays a big role in remaining learner-focused. It is subtle, but word choice can dictate the level of engagement. Great trainers stay learner-focused by using inclusive language, like “we,” “our,” or, “let’s” versus “I.” For example, they will say this:
    “In this activity, our goal is to be sure we …”
    “Let’s practice the skill of prefacing.”
    Instead of this:
    “OK, now I want you to …”
    “Here’s what I want to see …”
    “I always …”
    When a trainer executes a truly learner-focused workshop, participants are left feeling that the facilitator is one of them. We often hear that participants in our programs are surprised to learn that the facilitator wasn’t an employee of their organization. That’s a compliment that demonstrates how effectively our facilitators prepare and focus on customizing the learning experience to meet the needs of the audience.
  6. Classroom Management: Classroom management, sometimes referred to as the mechanics of a seminar, refers to a trainer’s ability to navigate all of the moving parts associated with a training day to deliver a smooth, rich learning experience.Preparation is a critical success factor. It’s important for a trainer to create a plan to accomplish the learning objectives of the workshop. A few things to consider when planning: develop a well-timed agenda; prepare smooth transition statements to move from one learning module to the next; prepare instructions for activities to ensure clarity on roles and to ensure they accomplish desired learning outcomes; and a plan for how and where you might use a story to emphasize a key learning point.And because, as they say, “the best laid plans …” it is also important for a trainer to be able to make course corrections. For example, it may be necessary to accelerate or decelerate the timed agenda based on the needs of the audience or an unanticipated delay. It’s also important to have the ability to resolve a technology glitch and/or minimize the impact of a disruptive participant while also handling all of the “known” moving parts that may be designed into a program. Classroom management is a challenging foundational skill. A great trainer is able to address these things seamlessly while also delivering a rich learning experience.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Technolgical History ATT

Capstone Consultants is on top of the national leader board for cell phone sales, but we wouldn't be here without the inventors of the past. Today I want to take a look at the awesome innovations from AT&T.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell rushed to the patent office to claim his invention of the telephone. Before that, the only way to have a conversation with someone in real-time was in person.  Now, it’s hard to imagine a world where technology isn’t driving our communications. This invention led to the creation of AT&T.
Say you learn about a new technology that’s coming out this year. That technology started off as an idea or concept long before it becomes a prototype. Then the potential for a prototype is brought about by design and engineering. The idea or concept goes through many stages before finally hitting the market. 
If our AT&T scientists work hard for months to develop the actual new technology, think of our intellectual property groups as “future tellers” working years ahead to predict technology needs for a more connected world.
Check out when key technology breakthroughs actually happened.
  • 1926 – Sound Motion Pictures
AT&T brought sound to Hollywood in the 1920s with the invention ofSound Motion Pictures.  By creating a way to synchronize sound and picture, actors’ voices matched up with their moving lips! In 1926, Warner Brothers premiered Don Juan, the first full length film with a synchronized sound track of music and audio effects.
  • 1929 – Broadband Coaxial Cable
Similar to our current-day need to switch to a software-defined network to handle massive mobile video traffic, 1920s AT&T engineers recognized the open wire and cable in use at the time couldn’t carry the high frequencies needed for the broadband systems of the future. Enter the broadband coaxial cable, the first broadband media. It made higher-capacity long distance circuits possible.  But it also led to intercity transmission of moving images, which paved the way for television.
  • 1947 – The Transistor
The transistor is an indispensable component of most devices we use today. It made the marriage of computers, devices and communication possible.  It’s light-weight, tiny and doesn’t overheat – like its precursor the vacuum tube.  The transistor, and the eventual creation of integrated circuits that contained millions of transistors, served as the foundation of modern electronics. Without this invention we would still have phones in our cars, but your phone would weigh around 80 pounds!
  • 1954 – The Solar Cell
The first practical solar battery, consisting of an array of several strips of silicon (each about the size of a razor blade), could only convert 6% of the sunlight into useful energy. Just a few years later, solar cells of this design powered AT&T’s Telstar 1, the first active communications satellite launched by NASA.
  • 1969 – Unix
AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories researchers devised the UNIX computer-operating system in 1969. Just 2 years later, UNIX became the first truly portable computer operating system, designed to work on a wide range of computers. In the 1980s, UNIX and its variants became the most widely used operating system underlying the internet. Today, UNIX and its descendants continue to be the backbone of the internet, running on devices ranging from smartphones to supercomputers.
  • 1972 – Automatic Switching for Mobile Communications
One of the first inventions that allowed us to stay connected on the go is Automatic Switching for Mobile Communications. The technology lets your cellphone automatically transfer from one tower to another as you’re driving down the road.
  • 1988 – TAT-8
TAT-8 was the first fiber-optic cable that stretched across an ocean and had a capacity of 40,000 calls. That’s 10x more capacity than its thicker and heavier precursor, which used the older copper coaxial cable technology. AT&T, British Telecom and France Télécom led the consortium that built TAT-8, which spanned a seabed distance of 5,846 km between North America and Europe.
  • 1995 – Machine Learning
We pioneered a new breed of machine learning algorithms, including Support Vector Machines and AdaBoost. These algorithms are the heart and soul of all machine-learning research worldwide. Today, you’ll find these as large-margin classifiers for natural language processing and data mining.
  • 2001 – Natural Voices
We released AT&T Natural Voices, an advanced text-to-speech (TTS) engine providing human-like speech in a variety of voices and languages. Our work surrounding the properties and analysis of human speech dates as far back as 1936, when a scientist at AT&T Bell Laboratories invented the world's first electronic speech synthesizer. It required an operator with a keyboard and foot pedals!
  • 2012 – NetBond
We launched AT&T NetBond®, a service that taps software-defined networking technologies so businesses can bring the cloud within their VPN network. The benefits? They can avoid exposure to the public internet and mitigate security and performance risks. AT&T NetBond exists because of Research’s patented IRSCP (Intelligent Routing Services Control Point), an early SDN technology.
  • 2013 – ECOMP
ECOMP is the engine that powers our software-centric network. A system like ECOMP allows us to build our next generation cloud-based network in a vendor agnostic way, giving us great flexibility for deploying network function virtualization in our new software defined network. And it lets us rapidly on-board new services that our customers want. ECOMP is one of the most challenging, complex and sophisticated software projects in AT&T’s history.
After taking a trip down memory lane, think about the technology you use the most and why it’s important to you.
AT&T has a rich history of delivering keystone technologies – all made possible by the work of inventors with a keen eye for identifying opportunities and acting quickly.