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Continuous improvement, your secret weapon

Stephen Covey, in his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", one of the best- selling books internationally, talks about the importance of keeping up to date, he calls it: Sharpen the Saw. And now that we have time, what better chance to do so.

What does the concept Sharpen the Saw mean?

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the story of the lumberjack: sharpen the saw, if you don’t, we share it here with you:

There once was a lumberjack who showed up for work in a sawmill.  The salary was good and the work conditions even better; therefore, the lumberjack decided to use all his experience.

The first day at work he met the foreman, who gave him a saw and designated a work area to him.  The man, excited, came out of the forest and in just one day he had cut down eighteen trees.

- Congratulations, the foreman said; keep it up.

Encouraged by the foreman’s words, he decided to improve his own record, so he went to bed early that night.

In the...

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Actions to take during uncertain times

It’s undeniable that we are going through times of great uncertainty, just a few weeks ago we were joking about Friday the 13th, we would receive our checks a couple of times a month and perhaps we were making travel plans for Spring Break, Holy Week, Summer, etc. 

And suddenly, only a few days after, we are in complete uncertainty.  We don’t really know what’s happening, many businesses, especially small ones, are closing, cutting staff, and maybe you’re wondering if you’re going to have a job next month and on top of these questions there’s the stress and even fear about what’s going to happen tomorrow.

Like in any unexpected situation, we go through a moment of shock (we don’t understand what’s happening), after a period of denial ("this is not going to happen to me”) or the opposite, many people panicked and that’s the reason for the incredible lack in the supply of toilet paper (I still don’t have...

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The art of saying NO

focus saying no Mar 16, 2020

Nobody likes to be the bad guy of the movie, many times we find ourselves saying YES to something because we feel obligated, or because we are the type of people who like to please, although we really want to say no, since we know that if we commit to more things, we’ll set aside other things that are important to us. 

You’ll say, how do you think I’ll be able say no to my boss, who is asking me to do this by tomorrow, or to my friend who is asking me for a favor, or for whatshisname that is asking, etc. etc. etc.?

To tell you the truth, between your job, your projects for this year and your daily obligations that have to be taken care of, you have very little time to do the things that you want and need to do, imagine if you add more?

We can believe that the things we want to do for ourselves can be set aside in order to deal with this new commitment, but let me tell you, that’s the worst mistake. 

For example, as I’ve seen on many occasions,...

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Write down your ideas and get better results.

balance focus habits strategy Mar 09, 2020

In this dynamic and changing world, if we don’t prioritize, we’ll go crazy.  
There are times when I’m driving and I remember something that I have to do, or I’m listening to a podcast or an audiobook and I hear an idea that seems interesting enough to investigate, I’m listening to a co-worker and he or she gives me a tip that I jot down to look into later…

Throughout the day, thousands of opportunities to generate interesting ideas for your business will present themselves, however, this can be overwhelming if we don’t have a system to write all of this down and give them priority.

One of these ideas could be very valuable and if you don’t write it down you could lose incredible opportunities.
  
“Emprendedores” Magazine  shared a recent study which mentions that if you take just five minutes to write down your pending tasks, you could fall asleep faster.  Researchers supervised a group of college...

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Do more in less time, the best productivity technique

Efficient time management and successfully maintaining your focus during certain periods are 2 activities that are in crisis, and they need all our concentration to help them.

Nowadays we have more distractions around us, which leads to fragile and sensitive periods of complete focus, which in turn astonishingly affects our ability to execute tasks in an ideal turnaround time and generates stress and frustration among those who perform them 

And it seems that the whole world demands more and more from us, it expects us to multitask at all times in order to take advantage of the 24 hours of our day and thus execute all of the pending tasks on our To Do List, and they are not enough to get rid of that list which gets longer day by day. 

A few years ago, in the 80´s to be exact, an Italian named un Francesco Cirillo developed a time management technique called “the Pomodoro technique” which consists of designating periods of time of ...

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More Time? or More Focus?

If you had a bank that would deposit $86,400 into your account each morning and that wouldn’t let you keep any cash and that every night would withdraw the portion you didn’t use that day … what would you do?  Take out every $ every day of course, and use it to your advantage, right?

Well, I have news for you, we all have a bank just like that and it’s called TIME.  Each morning it deposits us 86,400 seconds.  Each night, it registers as a loss any amount of time we failed to invest towards a good purpose, like visiting a client, closing a sale, solving a problem, resting, spending time with the family, improving a skill, etc. 

Moreover, what’s left at the end of the day doesn’t roll over to the next day, what we accomplished stays there, what we wasted also stays there.  Each day it opens a new account for us.  A new opportunity to take advantage of it or to waste it, we decide what we spend or invest that time...

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The Art of Getting to the Point

communication focus Sep 16, 2019

What does it mean?  It means that we must get to what’s important, to what is really the heart of the message, and not talk just to hear ourselves talk, it means to focus on the basics, on the essential point.

On many occasions, I don’t know if it’s happened to you, you are talking with someone who goes around and around the issue and ends up not telling you what he or she wants to say, or maybe you find yourself in a situation that’s perhaps uncomfortable or complicated, and you don’t dare say things directly, and while trying to be “politically correct” or “polite”, you beat around the bush, or offer thousands of irrelevant...

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The cost of Distractions

distractions focus Aug 19, 2019

First of all, I want to say that distractions are not all that bad and that statistically, distracted persons have the great potential to find solutions to problems in ways that are unique and different.  With that being said, today we will talk about the cost of distractions while we are performing our jobs.  Distractions can help or affect us in different ways, and normally happen suddenly, at a bad time, and unexpectedly.  However, there are things we can do to avoid getting distracted and meet our objectives despite them.  In order to be able to work and classify our distractions, you must be very aware of them and follow these suggestions:

1.        Identify the type of distraction:

Distractions normally behave like noise in your mind and lead to not being able to concentrate 100% on the task or responsibility at hand.  This noise can come from your own thoughts, or from something or someone external. ...

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Saving money? What for?

focus planning saving Aug 12, 2019

Very few people these days are in the habit of saving money.  Not only for future purchases we would like to make but also to be prepared for a future that’s full of uncertainty and changes.  It’s important to consider that for younger people in different countries in Latin America and the world in general, we will find a huge difference regarding retirement funds we will have access to.  There have been many changes that affect the new generations, therefore it is very important to learn to save from an early age and thus have financial security later in our lives.

These days where we’re surrounded by credit cards, we somehow think that the available funds in these cards are ours already and we spend without moderation.  We don’t make a budget for our expenses and then we have difficulty fulfilling our financial responsibilities, pay our credit cards, pay other debts, and we don’t have the chance to enjoy the fruits of our efforts.

...
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Avoid working when overwhelmed

focus Jun 24, 2019

Feeling overwhelmed is by definition a saturation of thoughts that create worry, fatigue and stress and it is then that our brain, in order to protect itself from overload, avoids having thoughts that could give us clarity to look for solutions, take action, and think properly.

The highly regarded university UNAM recently revealed a study where Mexico is one of the most toxic countries in the world when it comes to working in companies (almost 85% of companies in the country are ranked this way), this taking into account the actions companies take for taking care of the people and how they ensure both their physical and mental well-being, as well as their plans for motivation and personal development, and although it may sound very simple, it’s not, since this leaves us among one of the countries where they rate of psychological disorders and mortality due to stress at work is one of the highest in the world.

Now, the most common factors for stress at work and the ones that...

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