Friday, May 30, 2014

Being Focused Means Being Productive - Inc. Magazine

Picture and article by Inc.Magazine

By: Stan Washington
Date: May 30, 2014

As I sat down to start my day I immediately opened email. This was my first mistake.  Distraction after distraction I got caught up in becoming very busy.  I looked up and the day was half over.  I worked hard and got nothing done!

Here is what Inc. Magazine says to do:

You may believe that you're productively multitasking as you bounce between your smartphone, tablet, and laptop. The fact is that you're just being distracted. The words productive and multitasking should not be allowed in the same sentence. Single-minded focus is key to productivity.
Distractions like texts from employees or "urgent" emails from clients are time-consuming all on their own. But did you know that it takes up to 28 minutes for your brain to refocus after being interrupted? Wow! A two-minute interruption can lead to a full half-hour gone down the drain. Eight little distractions and half your day is shot.
These 5 steps can send your productivity levels through the roof, and none of them involve multitasking--or email.

1. Set expectations for yourself.

It's easy to drift off into social media, get stuck cleaning out your inbox, and even be drawn to mindless computer games. This is most common when you are unclear or uncertain about your next steps.

Update your task list on a regular basis and assign each item a few very specific, actionable steps leading to completion. With this powerful weapon in hand you will not have to make any decisions about your next steps. This alone will boost your productivity exponentially.

2. Set expectations for others.
If you create a culture that says your door is literally always open, you are asking for trouble. We teach others how to treat us. If your employees, clients, family members, and friends get a favorable response from you each time they interrupt, they will continue to steal your time and attention. You and your business deserve better.
Create specific times for your open door policy and stick to it. Go ahead, have those difficult discussions with the people in your life--being self-employed doesn't mean you have leisure time on your hands seven days a week.

3. Be aware.

Multitasking is nothing more than a procrastination technique. When you are uncertain about your direction or unhappy about having to take on your next task, an interruption feels like a relief. You may tell yourself that a client needs an answer right away or that you'll disappoint an employee if you're not available immediately, but you know it's not true. If you are constantly jumping from one thing to the next without completion you are avoiding something. Ask yourself why. Once you have your answers you can take meaningful action to do and complete more.

 Your Business Productivity Tool! 4. Turn off notifications.

If you're working on your computer, close any windows you don't need. Then turn off social media notifications, and shut down email, for goodness sake. There are very few things that can't wait an hour or two. It feels good to be needed, but it feels better to be successful.

5. Use a timer.

Your brain can focus intently on a task for up to two hours at a time. Imagine what you could achieve in two uninterrupted hours! Many of my clients say that once they apply these productivity rules they accomplish more in a single morning than they previously did in an entire week. Set an old-fashioned timer for one hour and get to work. Then, set it for five minutes and take a break; stretch your legs, change your environment. Take the timer with you so you don't wander off or get stuck in an unnecessary conversation. The timer rules! Now, give yourself one more uninterrupted hour and feel the magic!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Growing Your Business through Workshops

Stan Washington, President of Honor Services Incorporated, is a major innovator in technology but attributes his success to the art of writing, coaching, and communicating.

Ex-McDonald’s executive, turned coach and resume writer, returned to technology as president of a cloud database company. After retiring from leading the nation’s 14,000 technology locations at McDonald’s, Stan struck it out on his own coaching and resume writing for transitioning military personnel in a contract he landed with the Air Force. It all happened through a workshop he gave. He wants to show you how to grow your business doing the same.

One hour webinar is $19.99 for members and $29.99 for non-members. All webinars are recorded.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Internet Explorer - It's safe to go back into the water!

By: Stan Washington
Date: May 13, 2014

In April the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement that Internet Explorer had vulnerabilities.  This scared the already nervous population of internet users and they began flooding away from IE in droves. I am a long time Microsoft user so this news made me do a little research.

The real issue was the support of the Windows XP operating system, said a  Microsoft spokesperson. People need to upgrade in order to remain secure. Here is that news item:

If you wish to go back to Internet Explorer do this first:

Check for updates.  This security patch was not pushed because a large portion of IE users were not affected.  Check for updates and apply any pertaining to the operating system and Internet Explorer.  If you don't see updates, you were probably fine.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May Business Growth Events

Daring Communication
Get unstuck, be brave and bold with your clients. Communicate effectively during coaching sessions. Practice courage and vulnerability to say what is underneath the conversation.

Sandy Mitsch, MCC, CPCC

Moving Your Business to the Cloud
How to safely move your business processes to the cloud and increase your business
Join May 13th for this FREE webinar
Email: to save a space 

Stan Washington, President

Resume Writing Academy Begins
Whether you are seasoned or just starting, Career Thought Leaders has what it takes to add powerful techniques to your skills.
Join them May 16th for this great learning experience!

Wendy Enelow / Louise Kursmark, Founders

Inventors Town Hall Meeting
Ideas, Innovation, Inventions is what the Chicago Inventors Organization is all about.
Join them May 24th for a wonderful time of sharing!

Calvin Flowers, Founder

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Moving Your Business to the Clouds

Participants will learn:

  • Growing your Business Using Contact Management
  • Do It Yourself Email Marketing
  • Importance of "List Management"

Interested? Please send an email to  But Hurry! Space is limited!

Honor Services Recognizes Young Entrepreneurs

By: Stan Washington
Date: May 1, 2014

Do you have a business idea? Well you better hurry up and get it implemented because I see a group of very bright individuals who are headed in the right direction. I was recently asked to be an "evaluator" of presentations at the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA). Not knowing what to expect, I said "sure."

When I arrived, I was greeted by smiling teens who have aspirations of attending some very prestigious universities. As I sat in the classroom, I was literally blown away! The students spent the entire day presenting to us and they tackled topics like homelessness, food deserts, poverty and equity in women employment.

They pitched websites and other entrepreneurial ventures that could not only make money for themselves but resolve some heavy social issues and increase the wealth of the recipient group. Here is what I noticed:

  • They were energetic
  • Nothing could stop them
  • Innovation was paramount
  • They were sponges to trying something new

I then returned back to my office and wondered if I still had these qualities.  I mean, do I think I can still tackle the world or has the world beaten me up and robbed me of my sponge?! Their energy renewed me and made me realize, I'd better get moving, otherwise I will be left in the dust by the next wave of brilliance.

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