Fifty Productivity Strategy Secrets For 2019-2020

This article from 2014, now it has been updated in May 2019.

Let's Make 2015 Our Single Best Year!

Here are some Productivity Strategy Secrets shared by the movers and shakers, entrepreneurs, technocrats, top chefs, brand advisors, CEOs and top people. I believe you will gain miles from applying any of this strategy. Some you have may have heard, whilst some push you to repeat even more because the ultimate secret is about mastery. Here’s for you.

Productivity Strategy Secrets For 2019-2020:

1. Think and write about what you want to achieve in 2019-2020

2. Own productivity, make effort to schedule what matters to you on daily basis.

3. Prepare RTDL – Real To Do List each night before bedtime or early morning. It helps you plan the day effectively and efficiently.

4. If you come very early in the office, don’t check emails or read news online. Rather spend on thinking of your vision or do uninterrupted work that needs your brain.

5. Start your day with positive thoughts. Think of something really positive.

6. Manage your time insanely because you gotta manage your time.

7. Focus while you are doing something. If you are at work, focus. If you are with your kids and spouse, focus.

8. Scrutinize your calendar for the day. Prioritize and compress if you need to.

9. Delegate and follow up the tasks you ask someone to do for you. They could be struggling to execute and it doesn’t help when you abdicate the tasks.

10. Pray or meditate in between your hectic day. It has calming effects to the brain.

11. Use Post-It notes when you remember something out of your main RTDL / schedule. Don’t ignore it or don’t jump into it immediately (unless its extremely urgent).

12. Compile the Post-It notes by the end of the day and schedule them in your calendar and RTDL.

13. Use alarm clock to wake you up. Your biological body needs 66 days to stabilize and register – chances are you may have variations of biological clock in 30 days so use alarm clock.

14. Ditch the alarm clock and wake up fast head to the bathroom.

15. Take a nap in somewhere during lunch of slightly before lunch. 10-15 minutes is enough – use alarm clock to wake you up. Make a sign on your door or close it completely – uninterrupted.

16. Charge your devices. Don’t let the fear of dying batteries take your energy.

17. Avoid unnecessary phone calls or meetings that you can get someone else do for you.

18. Have a drink eg. coffee, tea, water or juices between 2-3 hours in between.

19. Make sure you drink enough water per day – preferably plain water. How much? Mayo Clinic’s advise is 3 liters for men and 2.2 liters for women. More is fine.

20. Hunker down when you need to complete very important work. Allocate 90-120 minutes uninterrupted for this.

21. Play some sports during the weekdays or find ways to walk the stairs. It helps you think better and it is good for the body.

22. Make team discussions and meetings interesting by removing the chairs. Get everyone a Sharpie and Post-It notes for further engagement. Boring meetings suck more energy than anything else!

23. Ask everyone participates in the meeting why are they present at the 1st place. If they don’t have the answer you are looking for they shouldn’t be in the meeting.

24. Go to bed with a question that you are working in your head – you might get the answer when you wake up!

25. Go somewhere for short travelling – it helps to clean up your thoughts and reenergize your body.

26. Cave in and have private light moment for yourself away from kids and spouse. Do this very privately. It doesn’t have to be a weekend getaway, sometimes a half day by yourself fortnightly is enough.

27. Don’t delegate your motivation to anyone else including best friends, spouse, children, neighbours, parents or anyone. Your motivation is your’s. Own it.

28. Do some art work eg painting, playing music, gardening, crafts, tinkering or singing. It rejuvenates your body and mind.

29. Make time for the people that matters to you personally. It could be your loved ones, parents and besties!

30. Eat same thing everyday helps to improve productivity. Once awhile, it is ok to change the menu.

31. Use productivity apps on your smart devices. Games are not productivity apps. ­čÖé

32. Turn off your television in your busy day. Throw if you can afford to live without it.

33. Set a dedicated time to reply emails. You can try LIFO method – Last In First Out to handle emails.

34. Build a network of friends that see you as who you are. Friends that you can laugh at and laugh at you – freely. It’s fun really!

35. Have a walk once awhile, either early in the morning or evenings. It’s a good distress method.

36. Have breakfast – eat something healthy to start the day.

37. During meeting or discussion, if it is not in the agenda don’t bother to talk about it.

38. Capture your random thoughts when you browse social media or roam around the internet. Some people use Evernote, Mashable, Pinterest.

39. When you are tired, pick the most interesting task and that require not much effort.

40. Have the habit to ask people around you these questions: What next? What else? How so? So what? What if?

41. Make time to read heavy stuffs related to your work and career. It helps you progress further and make more money to feed your passion.

42. If you think to job hop – put your economic needs as number one priority. Unfortunately, some passionate thing you do may not generate enough to get you further. Give it some time to develop. Meanwhile, try to love your career and what you do.

43. Keep promises so you don’t have to spend time remembering what you said.

44. Once a while, bend the rules and make big change for creativity and innovation sake. You don’t know your limits until you push them.

45. Keep some really nice, inspiring, motivating, captivating or whatever that will make you light up again during your down time. It could videos, music, letter, photos, mementos, books, lectures, articles etc..

46. Look your best when you are at work. Wear make-ups, spray perfume and dress well. It matters on how other perceives you at work place.

47. Stick to deadlines – earlier is better but don’t screw up your deadlines.

48. Discipline your emotion, nonetheless be direct in your comments.

49. Reframe your lost opportunities and do it at your own time, privately. Seize the right opportunity when you see it. Don’t play the waiting game.

50. Always stay hungry and stay foolish. Keep learning and adopt action bias. Do Think Leap.

Good luck and let’s make 2019-2020 our best years!

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The EIGHT Leadership Beliefs

Leadership is both art and science. It means it is unique to that person yet it can be learned methodically from one person to another. My journey to learn about leadership is about the same, i saw what my leaders do and i follow. I practice the good ones and congruent with my own values that I appreciate. In the process I also learn to let go some leadership characteristics that I found later to be excessively manipulative and with prejudice. Besides, through reading and observing how other leaders and followers interacting, I learn a great deal as well.

Now, I have learn to form up my own leadership characteristics and styles that I call Leadership Beliefs. There are EIGHT of them, I have to do a deep thinking to really extract out these beliefs. It is deep seated inside me and direct the way I respond (sometimes react) to situations in my own life and see the world. When I apply them it looks natural to me, nevertheless I do hope to refine them over time. The reason I do this is to codify these beliefs so I can remember during challenging assignments and projects. Nothing beats writing it down and drill it into the mind!

“Leadership demands us to make tough choices.”

1) Powerful conversation can change life

I always look for different and powerful conversations in my life. I had a number of them although not many people are open for it. Powerful conversation makes you think and usually push you to greater heights. Words can be life changing.

2) Have a vision, it’s very important. What’s your WHY?

Simple statement that we call vision can help you believe in what you do in trying times. Without, I find myself go with the flow then drown in the “busy-ness” of day-to-day things. Have your WHY, then your How and What will follow suit.

Here’s my WHY: “I am the source ENERGY to CREATE MORE and BETTER touch points for leaders to create more and better touch points to make the world a better place.”

3) Develop people and yourself

It is easy to give┬ásomeone opportunity, however to provide enough support to make that someone successful or excel a different matter altogether. Often, as leaders the opportunity we give is work in disguise but we also need to relentlessly ensure the work get’s done. I am in the opinion that only with sheer commitment to develop ownself can a leader gives more to develop others. Leaders are readers.

4) Do leap when behind

Sometimes, I get assignment that is spiralling down and waiting to go bust. When this happens, i don’t wait or go by the books. I push things and step on some people toes along the way (sorry). Some people like to see something to fail and you happen to be there. The goal is to make the leap, because playing catch up not going to make it.

5) Free up knowledge

This is my life tagline. I am not a fountain of knowledge (too strong a word to describe me) but i know i have something extra. A lot of knowledge is either too deep in someone’s brain or the organization’s bureaucracy, it is wasteful and a sin to let this continue. Knowledge gives power and we can make a difference in the market place.

6) Think big, start small

You probably noticed my blog’s tagline carries this. I love to dream about something big, and i also have learned the hardship to do something big. Thus, i believe starting small would allow room for improvement and creativity. During the small stage, i usually spend a lot of time experimenting and testing hypotheses. The moment it’s ready, scaling up would just about adding resources. This belief also lead me to introduce significant innovation in products and processes throughout my career.

7) Be situationally pragmatic

Dealing with many people from different levels and in many situations demand great communication skills. While some leaders suavely good at this, i tend to stumble. I used to get carried away when i had conflicts with co-workers and colleagues. Surprisingly, i had very few problems with my leaders/bosses. The rule of thumb is to relentless be honest and pragmatic. As the equilibrium point moves, so does your pragmatism.

8) Stay hungry, stay foolish

I borrow this from Steve Jobs. I even wrote something about it in this blog, read here. I suggest you read from that post. Another learning from this belief is to run my own race. Sometimes when things don’t go my way, i get entagled with perception trap about how the grass is greener on the other side ( it’s always had right!). So, when that happen i have to realize quickly that my time will come and i just have to be patience with my mind and hands open.


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Tips_Hiring A Marketing Manger

Just get the recruitment consultant to do it for you can be the easiest way or check around with your friends for personal recommendations (referral) or check with your staffs whether they have anyone fit for the job. But what exactly you need to look when hiring a Marketing Manager. Emmmm..I won’t ask HR practitioner because they will refer to the job description which usually is unusual and impractical if you really know the job of a Marketing Manager. I never ever in the position of a Marketing Manager (by title), but I am a marketing man and consultant by profession, therefore with this little knowledge that i accumulated over the years, been at the client side and consultant side, reviewed numerous marketing literature and went through diverse marketing campaigns, i humbly said that i know exactly what we need to look for in hiring a Marketing Manager.

This post was derived from a conversation that i had with a close friend who lives in Malaysia who recently was interviewed and interviewed (2 times) and going to be interviewed (the 3rd time) as a Marketing Manager for a herbal company. He sounded frustrated but i think he needs some time to realize that we can’t impose our skills to a company until they see value to what we have i.e. our competencies. The moment i said that, he said Ahaa!! i think i know what i can do. I hope he doesn’t stalk the employer, but i am sure he wouldn’t do that.

Marketing Manager job is not really a big thing because they are likely to report to Marketing Director or Chief Marketing Officer or the Managing Director himself. Whatever it is, as a Marketing Manager (the job is management function) it requires the candidate to do product launching, public relation and advertising. Right? Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! This was what happened to my friend because towards the end after he explained what his experiences were for total 6 interview hours, all he got was “i think we need a person who have launched product before and you know that down there it is really different.” Fortunately my friend didn’t went ballistic because otherwise he would have lost the 3rd opportunity too, which is interview with the CEO.

Check out our Marketing Plan e-Book!!

For a true Marketing Manager job, here are the criteria that i think pertinent with the job that coming:

1. Strategist
The Marketing Manager must have a strategist mentality and mindset. It means, he needs to concern about strategy first before even thinking about his implementation. Being a strategist must have “the end goals” first. It means we need to know whether do we have what we want and strategy is how-to achieve it in less time, more profits, faster delivery etc..

2. Thirst for Information

Successful marketing is about getting the right information at the right time with the right implementation and corrective measures. A Marketing Manager has decision making role, therefore having enough or extra information is vital. Information here means not just own industry but complemeting, substitute and so on. Marketing Manager that cannot comment on other industry is myopic and narrowed minded. Therefore, if your Marketing Manager only know herbal industry, don’t hire him!

3. Cross Industry Knowledge

Do you know the early use of Internet is for military purposes. Whereby the Pentagon send secret mail to another recipient. What happen to Internet now? As you can see, knowledge from other industry or stream can be used, duplicated, modified and so on for another purpose. This is true when we have prepaid, postpaid, bundle, break bulk, revenue management, price discrimination etc..These are examples of strategies used in marketing that are adopted from cross industries. Not knowing these and if a Marketing Manager doesn’t know this, it is wasteful!

4. Maturity

Many equate maturity with age. Certainly it comes with age but not necessary particular age. My friend happened to be 30 years old, MBA graduate and a strategy consultant. he has done numerous marketing projects including implementation and monitoring, also involved in a few portal and blueprint strategic levels. When he was interviewed for a marketing position, he was told he was too young to think “strategically but somehow you impressed me but i still don’t trust you”. My friend just smile and said perhaps “you are too long here and not looking other than your job or i am just a plain genius.”. The HR Director stunned and abruptly ended the interview. Surprisingly my friend is called for the 3rd interview with the CEO!

5. Bird’s Eyeview

Being in marketing role is not just about the product or service you provide. it’s about looking at the customer, operation, manufacturing, finance, HR, sales, pricing, advertising and distribution channels. In other words, Marketing Manager must be able to see all these interactions at play and assist in shaping it to meet the customer needs. Because marketing is dealing with the customers and customers are KING, therefore having someone that is a strong communicator, deliver results and able to see the total business is crucial. Some people are strong only at communicating but lousy manager. A solid Marketing Manager must see total, so he can contribute.

6. Believe in the Product

My friend was asked, “how much percentage can you give of your believe to our product?” my friend was stunned and mentioned “if this question going to make or break my interview, it will not break me”. He continued, “because i have tasted or even see your product in reality. But based on information that i have gathered, people that lead this company and online entries in blogs, i think around 70-80%”. They asked, ‘why don’t you believe 100%”. I personally think this question is an insult because how can you believe in a product that you haven’t tasted or touched? But as a Marketing Manager, especially after you touch and taste the product, you need to ask the customer whether they like it or not. It is ok if you don’t like it, but the customer must agree with it. They buy from you so we need to listen to them.

I can add few more but this post going to be too long. I shall continue. ­čÖé

Meanwhile, i am 99% ready with my Marketing Plan e-book and shall launch it in less than a month. Woowhhoooo!! Check the book out on Facebook/Mike Entreprenovator and our blog