Procrastinate Much? Your Mental Makeup is Responsible + Tips to Succeed

Procrastinate Much? Your Mental Makeup is Responsible + Tips to Succeed

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Does this sound like you?

  • You are used to waiting until the last minute to complete a task, explaining, “I work best under pressure.”
  • You take care of unnecessary and unimportant tasks to avoid taking care of bigger ones.
  • You wait to start a task, telling yourself later would be better – you need to research, prepare, and plan before beginning. However, you never actually reach the point where you are ready to begin.
  • You mentally – and sometimes actually – create scenarios where it is impossible to complete a task. For example, you want to find a better job, but think about how you have put so much into your current job, and, after all, maybe things will get better.
  • You are caught looking at your past. You dwell on past failures or keep analyzing what you have done in your past life and never get as far as completing a current task.

Procrastinators often make an undesirable task so complicated, it becomes almost impossible to complete.

Reluctance to Make a Decision

Seeking Perfection

Self-Doubt

Procrastinators often set themselves up for failure by setting up roadblocks that prevent success.

 

Suggestions we provide will work for everyone. We have included those deemed most successful by those who have managed to stop procrastinating. Additionally, some of our suggestions come from mental health experts who have worked with procrastinators whose problem was so debilitating they sought professional help.

  • Let Others Know You Plan to Complete a Task

Telling others about your plans to complete a task adds accountability. Family, friends, and others will ask how the completion of your task is going whenever they see you. The possibility of embarrassment when you must confess you have not yet begun your task can be a powerful motivator.

  • Decide on the Process You Will Use to Stop Procrastinating

Read our list of ways to stop procrastinating and choose whichever you believe will work for you.  If you are not successful, try a different one. Sometimes it works to combine more than one method.

  • Write Down the Reasons You Procrastinate

Review the section on the personality traits of procrastinators and decide which of those mentioned apply to you. Doing so will help when you map out a personal process for change. You cannot change your behavior unless you understand the reasons behind it. Here are some possible reasons for your procrastination. You may have one, a few, or, if you have been procrastinating for a long time, all of them:

  • Poor physical or mental health
  • Fear of failure
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Insufficient ability to complete a chosen task
  • Unrealistic expectations

 

Methods for Breaking the Procrastination Cycle

Again, not all of these methods work for every individual. You may that one even contributes to your procrastination, for example, making a list is as far as you ever get as you perceive the job as completed once it is listed.

  • Prioritize Tasks

Make sure you are concentrating on getting the right things done. Yes, there is always more to do, but do not think about that, instead, decide what you really need to do.  Make a list and then number the items in order of importance. Work through your list in numerical order.

  • Create a Timeline for Large Tasks

Large tasks often seem impossible to complete, especially for a procrastinator. Break your large task into shorter chunks and then set up a timeline for completion. Set specific dates for completing each chunk of the task.

  • Make a To Do List

Design your to-do list to meet your individual needs. Some people do well only listing items usually avoided, and excluding tasks done every day. Others list everything, as they get a feeling of accomplishment by crossing off items. You may like dividing tasks into groups using time, the similarity of tasks, or days of the week.

  • Eliminate Opportunities to Procrastinate

Get rid of distractions. Turn off the TV, do not answer the phone, and if you are tempted by Facebook or email updates, turn off the automatic notification options.  Some people set up a special place for working on tasks – a designated room, computer, or location – in which they only work on tasks needing completion.

  • Break the Task into Manageable Segments

Procrastination frequently occurs when a task seems just too overwhelming to begin. For example, writing a book seems daunting. However, breaking the task down into steps, such as creating an outline, writing the rough draft one chapter at a time, and revision (after the book is completed!), makes the task more manageable.

  • Create Rewards and Punishments

Reward yourself at milestones on a long task. Take a break and allow yourself to solve a puzzle or read a chapter of a book after an hour of uninterrupted work.  Use larger rewards at the end of completing a large task or at the end of a week of productive work, such as a night out with friends. Establish some consequences if you avoid a task. For example, if you do not exercise three times a week, you cannot shop for new clothing.

  • Delegate Some Tasks

Determine if there are parts of a task that you can delegate.  Family members are capable of completing many routine tasks, freeing you to complete a larger, more complicated task. See if someone else may be able to accomplish part of the task, i.e. having what you write proofread by someone else instead of doing it yourself.

  • Choose a Productive Environment or Workspace for Completing a Task

Examine your work area. Make sure you have the necessary tools to complete your task. Your work area should be well lit, with comfortable seating. However, make sure you are not so comfortable you find yourself relaxing instead of working.  It may also be necessary to change the arrangement of your workspace if it becomes less conducive to work after some time.

  • Begin the Task
  • Be around productive people and pattern your life after the things they do to achieve success, especially in those areas in which you tend to procrastinate.
  • Continually clarify your goals. You will never get there if you do not know where you want to go.
  • Do not compare yourself or your ability to others. You can always find someone more creative, faster, smarter, or better able to complete whatever task you set for yourself.
  • Take action. If you cannot tackle the big task, go for the small ones. Get something done each day – something you can feel good about accomplishing.
  • Quit making excuses. You may think you have valid reasons for delaying a task, but learn to be honest with yourself when you procrastinate.
  • If necessary, go to the doctor to remove any physical or psychological reason for your procrastination. Poor health can impede the best efforts.

Do not give up. With time and effort, you can overcome the habit of procrastination and lead a happier, healthier, more productive life.

 

6 Ways to Improve Your Resume and Find A Better Job

6 Ways to Improve Your Resume and Find A Better Job

Hiring managers and recruiters alike say they’ve seen more poorly written resumes cross their desks recently than ever before. Attract more interview offers and ensure your resume doesn’t eliminate you from consideration by following these six key tips:

1.  Format Your Resume Wisely “Do the Hiring Managers” Work for Them

No matter how well written, your resume won’t get a thorough reading the first time through. Generally a resume gets scanned for 25 seconds. Scanning is more difficult if it is hard to read, poorly organized or exceeds two pages.

  • Use a logical format and wide margins, clean type and clear headings
  • Selectively apply bold and italic typeface that help guide the reader’s eye

Use bullets to call attention to important points (i.e. accomplishments)

 2. Identify Accomplishments not Just Job Descriptions

Hiring managers, especially in technical fields like engineering, seek candidates that can help them solve a problem or satisfy a need within their company. Consequently, you can’t be a solution to their problems without stating how you solved similar problems in other companies and situations.

  • Focus on what you did in the job, NOT what your job was there’s a difference
  • Include a one or two top line job description first, then list your accomplishments
  • For each point ask yourself, What was the benefit of having done what I did?
  • Accomplishments should be unique to you, not just a list of what someone else did

Avoid using the generic descriptions of the jobs you originally applied for or held

3.  Quantify Your Accomplishments

Q: What’s the most common resume mistake?
A: Making too many general claims and using too much industry jargon that does not market the candidate. A resume is a marketing document designed to sell your skills and strengths rather than just portray a bio of the candidate.

  • Include and highlight specific achievements that present a comprehensive picture of your marketability
  • Quantify your achievements to ensure greater confidence in the hiring manager and thereby generate interest percentages, dollars, number of employees, etc.
  • Work backwards to quantify your accomplishments by asking, If I had not done X, what could have happened?

4. Cater Your Resume for the Industry

Unlike advertising and design professionals who have greater creative license in designing their resume for those fields, the mechanical engineering industry won’t be impressed and may be turned off by distinctive resume design.

  • Err on the side of being conservative stylistically

Your accomplishments, error-free writing, grammatically-correct, clean, crisp type and paper will make the impression for you

Replace your Objective” with a “Career Summary”

A Career Summary is designed to give a brief overview of who you are and what you do. Most Objectives sound similar: Seeking a challenging, interesting position in X where I can use my skills of X, Y, and Z to contribute to the bottom line. Not telling at all.

  • Grab a hiring manager’s attention right from the beginning, remembering you
    have only 25 few seconds to make a good impression

Spend time developing a summary that immediately gets their attention, and accurately and powerfully describes you as a solution to their problems

 Network. Network. Network.

For unemployed candidates, handing out resumes should be a full-time job. The majority of mid- to senior-level positions are filled through networking, so contact absolutely everyone you know in addition to recruiters who are in a position to hire you or share insights. Networking can include

  • Personal business contacts, people you’ve worked for or who worked for you
  • Vendors and sales representatives you’ve dealt with in the past five years
  • People listed in the alumni directory of your alma mater

With a solid resume in hand, you’ll greatly increase your odds of earning a closer look and getting that interview.

Looking for networking opportunities? Visit Women in Biz Network 

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Leigh’s Top Tips:

Do ensure your Linkedin profile is up to date  – READ -> How Women Are Selling Themselves Short on LinkedIn here

Question to ask yourself? Does your social media show your thought leadership? If not, start writing or posting videos that brand your knowledge and shares your passion.

13 Essential Business Tips for Entrepreneurs

13 Essential Business Tips for Entrepreneurs

Always make sure there is and will be enough cash in the bank.

Period. The most common business-failure mode, hands down, is running out of cash. If you know you’ve got a cash flow or liquidity problem coming up, fix it now.

You can’t fire bad employees fast enough.

You just can’t. Just make sure you know they’re the problem, not you (see next tip).

The problem is probably you.

When I was a young manager, my company sent us all to a week of quality training where the most important concept we learned was that 90 percent of all problems are management problems. When things aren’t going well, the first place to look for answers is in the mirror.

Your people are not your kids, your personal assistants, or your shrink.

If you use and abuse them that way, you will come to regret it. Capiche?

Learn to say “yes” and “no” a lot.

The two most important words business owners and founders have at their disposal are “yes” and “no.” Learn to say them a lot. And that means being decisive. The most important reason to focus – to be clear on what your company does – is to be clear on all the things it doesn’t do.

Listen to your customers.

It boggles my mind how little most entrepreneurs value their customers when, not only are their feedback and input among the most critical information they will ever learn, but their repeat business is the easiest business to get.

Know when and when not to be transparent.

Transparency is as detrimental at some times as it is beneficial at others. There are times to share openly and times to zip it. You need to know when and with whom to do one versus the other. It comes with experience.

Trust your gut.

This phrase is often repeated but rarely understood. It means that your own instincts are an extremely valuable decision-making tool. Too often we end up saying in retrospect and with regret, “Damn, I knew that was a bad idea.” But the key is to know how to access your instincts. Just sit, be quiet, and listen to yourself.

Protect and defend your intellectual property.

Most of you don’t know the difference between a copyright, trademark, trade secret, and patent. That’s not acceptable. If you don’t protect and defend your IP, you will lose your only competitive advantage.

Learn to read and write effective agreements.

You know the expression “good fences make good neighbors?” It’s the same in business. The more effective your agreements are, the better your business relationships will be.

Run your business like a business.

Far too many entrepreneurs run their business like an extension of their personal finances. Bad idea. Very bad idea. Construct the right business entity and keep it separate from your personal life.

Know your finances inside and out.

If you don’t know your revenues, expenses, capital requirements, profits (gross and net), debt, cash flow, and effective tax rate – among other things – you’re asking for trouble. Big trouble.

You don’t know what you don’t know.

Humility is a powerful trait for leaders, and that goes for new business owners, veteran CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and everyone in between. More times than not, you will come to regret thinking you knew all the answers.

Read more here 

Should I connect with my Competitors on Linkedin?

Should I connect with my Competitors on Linkedin?

(Advice from INC magazine)

LinkedIn is giving its users bad advice.

Especially if you want to generate more business or discover new sales opportunities using the platform.

Here’s the rub: By suggesting users only connect with people they already know, LinkedIn is actually doing the opposite of what makes the platform so powerful – the depth and breadth of your connection list.

Put simply, the more people you are connected to on LinkedIn, the more visibility and reach you have on the platform.

Show Up and Stand Out

Here’s just one example: With 433 million members in 200 countries, LinkedIn has one of the planet’s most powerful internal search engines.

And the more people you’re connected to on LinkedIn, the better chance your profile has of showing up high on searches related to the products or services you provide.

Think about it this way: If a Small Business Owner (let’s call him “John Doe”) hops on LinkedIn because he need to find a CPA in Chicago, John is likely to type “CPA Chicago” into the LinkedIn Search bar to see what results come up.

If you’re a CPA in Chicago, having those keywords (“CPA” and “Chicago”) in your LinkedIn headline, summary and profile sections tells LinkedIn’s Search Engine that your profile is a relevant result for John’s search.

However, LinkedIn will give preference to 1st and 2nd degree connections of John Doe, because in LinkedIn’s mind someone that John Doe knows (meaning a 1st or 2nd degree connection) is going to be more relevant.

So LinkedIn filters John Doe’s “CPA Chicago” search result in this order:

  • Do any of John Doe’s 1st degree connections have those keywords (“CPA” and “Chicago”) in their profile?
  • Do any of John Doe’s 2nd degree connections have those keywords in their profile?
  • Do any of John Doe’s 3rd degree connections and everyone else have those keywords in their profile?

See how this works?

The more people you’re connected to (especially other Small Business Owners in Chicago), the better chance you have of showing up on the first or second page of search results that John Doe sees when looking for a CPA in Chicago.

And keep in mind, this is just one example of the power of your network’s depth and breadth on LinkedIn. There are many others (such as publishing content on LinkedIn or appearing in the news feed of your connections with status updates, comments, likes, shares, etc.) that I don’t have time to dive into here.

Who Should You Connect With on LinkedIn

So unless the person inviting you to connect is an obvious spammer, you should accept his or her invite.

More important, you should be proactively searching for and connecting with key prospects in your niche or industry.

Long story short, the more people you are connected to on LinkedIn, the better.

And, lest you fret, you can adjust your user settings to “protect” your connections so that nobody else can see or access them (even your 1st degree connections), along with your personal email, phone and so on.

Go ahead and connect with your competitors, too – they can see everything you’re doing on LinkedIn anyway. In addition, being part of a competitor’s LinkedIn network means now all of his or her customers are one step closer (as 2nd level connections) to getting to know you.

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Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheet

Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheet

Content courtesy of Make a Web Site Hub

Twitter Image Sizing Tips

 

Profile Photo: 400 x 400 pixels / Displays at 200 x 200 pixels (a maximum 100 KB file size)

It is often said that the “first impression is the last impression”!
Your Twitter profile picture is your main identification mark that will be visible to everyone. It will be visible on your home page, on the Twitter stream of your followers whenever you Tweet and so on.
Since it represents you or your brand, the image should be of the highest quality.

Header Photo: 1500 x 500 pixels (a maximum 10 MB file size)

You can use an eye-catchy, creative image for your high-resolution header photo on your Twitter profile page. As a business, your Twitter page header photo should be in sync with your logo, tagline and brand.

In-stream Photo: 440 x 220 pixels (a maximum 5 MB file size for photos and 3 MB file size for animated gifs)

You can post up to four pictures along with your tweets on this platform. For every in-stream picture, an image link is created which takes up the Twitter character space. You simply need to maintain the 2:1 ratio of the images which can be reduced to a smaller version to effectively fit your follower’s stream.


 

Image Sizing Advice for Facebook

 

Cover Photo: 820 x 310 pixels (a preferred maximum file size of 100 KB)
You can edit and add creative images as your cover photo that represents you or your business in the correct sense. – Appear on page at 820 x 310 pixels
– Anything less will be stretched.
– Minimum size of 399 x 150 pixels.
– Smartphones display as 640 x 360
– For best results, upload an RGB  / JPG file less than 100 KB.
– Images with a logo or text maybe best as a PNG file.

Profile Picture: 180 x 180 pixels
Unlike the cover photo, which only appears on your Facebook page, your Facebook profile picture will be seen on your page, on posts where you comment, on the timelines of others where you post messages, in search results of Facebook’s Open Graph and so on. In short, it represents you at most places on the largest social networking platform.

Shared Image: 1200 x 630 pixels
You can engage your friends or business followers in meaningful conversations by sharing useful images on your Facebook timeline. These will appear in the news feeds of your friends and followers. Check this post for more information on image sizes for Facebook

Shared Link: 1200 x 627

Image Guidelines:
– Recommended upload size of 1200 x 627
– Square Photo: Minimum 154 x 154px in feed.
– Square Photo: Minimum 116 x 116 on page.
– Rectangular Photo: Minimum 470 x 246 pixels in feed.
– Rectangular Photo: Minimum 484 x 252 pixels on page.

Facebook will scale photos under the minimum dimensions. For better results, increase image resolution at the same scale as the minimum size.

Event Image: 1920 x 1080 px
Image Guidelines
– Facebook will scale down to minimum dimensions: 470 × 174 pixels.
– Shows in feed: 470 × 174 pixels.

Highlighted Image: 1200 x 717 pixels
Image Guidelines
– Will appear on your page at 843 x 504 pixels.
– Choose a higher resolution at that scale for better quality.


 

Image Sizing Guidelines for Google+

Profile Image: 250 x 250 pixels
Again, this picture will be your identity across the Google+ network. Even though the dimensions are for a square image, your Google+ profile picture appears as a circle. So, you need to take special care of how your image looks without the important parts being cut out.

Cover Picture: 1 080 x 608 pixels
You can use a large picture representing your brand, logo and business tagline as your Google+ cover image.

Shared Image: 497 x 373 pixels
You can share images on your Google+ posts and indicate the specific “circles” with whom you want to share the image and for whom it may be more relevant. Remember, such images (along with the associated text) are likely to turn up in the Google search engine for search queries related to your posts or business.


Instagram Image Sizing Rules

 

Profile Picture: 110 x 110 pixels

Photo Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels

Video to Stories: 750 x 1334 pixels

On Instagram, you can upload a video to your timeline or share it to Instagram stories. The correct size to use will be determined by where you publish it.

The maximum duration of the video should be 10 seconds.

Landscape Size: 1080 x 566 pixels

Portrait Size: 1080 x 1350 pixels
Instagram portrait size recommended: 1080px x 1350px. However, Instagram will show it as a 600 x 749 pixel image.

Photo Thumbnails: 161 x 161 pixels
For all types of Instagram images, you need to maintain an aspect ratio of 1:1. So, all your images will appear in square dimensions. You need to take special care with the image quality because limited text content is shared on this platform. It is more about the pictures and visuals!


Recommended Image Sizes for Pinterest

Profile Picture: 165 x 165 pixels
A Pinterest profile picture may not be as important as that of Facebook or Twitter profile pictures. However, you still need to use a nice one. After all, anyone who arrives at your board or pins through the keyword search will probably have a look at your profile too.

Board Display Image: 222 x 150 pixels
Use eye-catchy images for posting on the relevant Pinterest boards.

Pin Sizes: a width of 238 pixels (with scaled height)
Though these are the dimensions for your Pinterest pins, expanded pins will have a minimum width of 600 pixels. You can post larger images (as only the width is fixed, while the length can be scaled further up) for better engagement and more re-pins or likes.

 


Optimisation Rules for Tumblr Image Sizes

Profile Image: 128 x 128 pixels
You can use a good looking square profile picture that visually represents you or your business on Tumblr. It will appear on your profile page, next to the button to “follow” you when someone lands on your page and as thumbnails next to your posts in your follower’s feeds.

 

Image Posts: 500 x 750 pixels
You can post images with up to 10 MB file sizes (except for animated gifs which should not be more than 1 MB). You can thus upload really high-quality pictures for your Tumblr posts.

 

 

YouTube Image Sizing Guidelines

Channel Cover Picture: 2560 x 1440 pixels (for desktop), 1855 x 423 pixels (for tablets), 1546 x 423 pixels (for smartphones), and 2560 x 1440 pixels (for TV)

The sizes are optimised for the different platforms as YouTube videos are often streamed using any of the above mentioned platforms. Also, the video channel cover image should tell your viewers more about the kind of videos that they will probably be able to view on your channel.

 

Video Uploads: 1280 x 760 pixels

You know that YouTube is a video sharing site and not an image sharing one. So, you need to maintain this resolution (about 16:9 aspect ratio) for the videos that you upload.

 

 

Image Size Optimisation for LinkedIn

Personal Background image: 1584 x 396px

Standard Logo: 400 x 400 pixels

Profile image: 400 x 400 pixels
– Recommended between 400 x 400 & 20,000 x 20,000 pixels
– Minimum 200 x 200 pixels
– 10mb maximum file size / JPG, GIF or PNG files only

Linkedin Brand / Company Pages Image Sizes

Background image: 1536 x 768px
Recommended:1536 x 768 pixels.
Minimum size of 1192 x 220.
Maximum 4MB.
Appears as 1400 x 425 pixels.
Image types include: PNG, JPG or GIF.

Standard Logo: 400 x 400px
Image Guidelines
– 400 x 400 pixels recommended
(300 x 300 minimum and resized to fit).
– Maximum 4 MB (Square layout).
– PNG, JPG or GIF.

One of the two brand logos that you should be uploading to LinkedIn is the business logo. This is the bigger of the two and is going to show up right next to your brand name on your LinkedIn homepage. This image also appears in the “Companies you may want to follow” section, so the more enticing the photo the more likely the followers!

 

Business / Career Cover Picture: 974 x 330 pixels

Image Guidelines:
Minimum 974 x 330 pixels.
Maximum 2 MB.
Landscape Layout.
PNG, JPG or GIF.

At the top of this page sits a banner that is bigger than any of the other images on LinkedIn. You can use this space to choose a picture that speaks to your company in order to attract some great potential employees.

Square Logo: 60 x 60px
Image Guidelines
– 60 x 60 pixels (resized to fit).
– Maximum 2 MB.
– PNG, JPG or GIF.

This is the brand image that shows up when your company is searched. Make sure you use something recognizable to your brand to make sure customers know which company they want to click on.

Business Banner Image: 646 x 220 pixels
Image Guidelines
– Minimum 646 x 220 pixels.
– Maximum 2 MB.
– Landscape Layout.
– PNG, JPG or GIF.

Banner images is one of the newest and most prominent of the images that you can use on LinkedIn. This image appears when a user visits your brand’s homepage. Since this image is located on your homepage it’s likely the visitor is actively searching for your brand, so use this opportunity to reel them in with a great image.

Standard Logo: 400 x 400px
Image Guidelines
– 400 x 400 pixels recommended
(300 x 300 minimum and resized to fit).
– Maximum 4 MB (Square layout).
– PNG, JPG or GIF.

One of the two brand logos that you should be uploading to LinkedIn is the business logo. This is the bigger of the two and is going to show up right next to your brand name on your LinkedIn homepage. This image also appears in the “Companies you may want to follow” section, so the more enticing the photo the more likely the followers!

 

How to Size Social Media Icons Correctly

How to Size Social Media Icons Correctly

When you are setting up a new brand on social media platforms two things are important. For one, you will want to try and secure the same handle across social media platforms. Most importantly though is securing the same handle for Twitter and Instagram for ease of cross-posting.

Instagram

Your profile picture will display as 110 x 110 pixels in the mobile app. However, the profile picture will appear slightly larger on web so it is suggested you upload an image that is 180 x 180 pixels to maintain a high-quality image in both settings.

Facebook Icon:

Your Page’s profile picture:

Displays at 170×170 pixels on your Page on computers, 128×128 pixels on smartphones and 36×36 pixels on most feature phones

Twitter 

Profile photo (recommended dimensions are 400×400 pixels)

Linkedin Company Page (same as Profile Icon 
300×300 Pixels
Youtube
Google+ is where the icon on Youtube comes from 250×250 pixels
You will need to set up a Google+ account in order to set up a Youtube Account.