Healthy Employee, Productive Employee

The growth of an organisation is determined by the productivity of their employees. The productivity is achieved when the employee is focussed, healthy and has a positive competitive work environment. A healthy human state leads to low absenteeism and better work quality and output. Employee productivity has a direct tie to company wellbeing and the bottom line. Ensuring employee wellness can be a big return on investment for any business. Thus, companies conduct corporate wellness programs creating a culture of health and wellness in the workplace.

Fatigue, flu, and virals are a very common phenomena reported at work places. Issues like diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol are observed in the vast majority of Indians. Erratic work schedules, long commuting hours, work related stress, financial stress, family responsibilities, unhealthy eating etc. can be responsible for the above health conditions.

A company can truly effect a positive change by encouraging healthy eating and more exercise. Companies that show that they care about their employees end up with more engaged and happily employed workers. Providing employees with healthier lunch and snack options, morale boosting activities, fitness classes, relaxation techniques are ways by which a company can work to enhance the eating and lifestyle habits of their employees. Pre-planning and choosing healthy foods and eating them in a timely fashion ensure a constant form of energy to the body to maintain consistency at work. Nutritious food is the main entity which builds the human immune system. It also prevents one from contracting any form of metabolic diseases. Not to forget some form of physical activity and relaxing techniques that can work holistically to work towards a healthier being.

A holistic corporate wellness program not only helps an employee achieve a healthier and fitter life, it proves that the company is willing to take steps to improve employee’s quality of life and happiness. The employee in return is even more motivated than before to work for the company’s welfare. He is in a better mind frame to work, analyse, intervene and take action on time.

A nutrition desk at the workplace is another excellent way to promote individual employee health. An experienced nutritionist can work on the specific health goals of the employees. I.e a sports nutritionist for fitness, a therapeutic dietitian to handle an ailment, a dietitian for weight loss etc. Giving employees access to qualified counsellors can help alleviate an employee’s stress so that they are in a better position to handle personal and work pressures.

Bottom line: A happy, healthy employee is a productive employee.

Arati Shah is an astute nutritionist having expertise in offering all types nutrition to different individuals and corporate.She is one of the top 10 dietitians who can also guide one through weight loss in Mumbai and corporate wellness programs with same efficacy. She heads the Nutrition team in Mumbai and takes personal interest in every client.

Teaching Data Entry to New Hires

So everyone needs training, are we agreed? Agreed! Let’s move on!

Your new hire said they knew it all, typed a million words a minute and were quick as a pistol. After dishing out the assignments and handing over the materials you found yourself analyzing their performance only to discover that you think they might be missing fundamental skills required to get the job done. You may consider to yourself your options at this point. Debating how much time should be shall we say, donated, from your existing workload for teaching the new employee how to do their job correctly. Despite many large companies demonstrating how each new group of employees goes through some training process whether it be a few days or a few weeks, many small business owners tend to ignore this. We can all understand that we hire someone to do the work we don’t have time to complete. There should always be some consideration to how much time you will need to subtract from your own day (assuming you have to do the training yourself) to teach a new hire how to do the job the way you want the job done!

Data entry does not differ from any other job, in that it takes time for beginners to get a rhythm down before they start cranking out the work. The more help you can provide them, the quicker they will catch on and start performing to the level you had hoped. So let’s examine some simple prerequisite skills when getting starting teaching data entry.

  • Typing – Though perhaps not as fundamental as some jobs, basic typing skills and speed will certainly play a role in over all performance.
  • Computer Savvy Understanding basic computer use will probably go a long way with speeding up your data entry.
  • Web Surfing Skills – Again, as simple as this may sound, having the ability to understand and use the world-wide web is probably fundamental.
  • Photo / Image Knowledge – Does your data entry also require photos to be uploaded, or perhaps photos that need editing?
  • Reading & Writing Skills – Let’s face it, despite the simplicity of this skill some, some people have it and some don’t.
  • Tools – Nothing could be as important as the ability to provide the employee the right tools for the job!
  • A Good Attitude & Aptitude – Sadly this process may be tedious for all parties involved.

We should ask ourselves what we can provide our employee to help them enter that data efficiently, quickly, and most of all enjoyably. Finding the right tools for the job will not only make you as the employer happy because work flow is consistent and faster paced, but also serves to create happy workers. When you don’t have to feel frustrated hitting block after block performing simple jobs, your work day seems to pass more pleasurably.

    • Teaching Typing – I’m going to spend very little time covering this aspect. This is an issue faced by employers dating back to the typewriter. It is important to have someone with some typing skills where data entry is concerned. When faced with someone is pulling the old one finger routine, you most likely have two options. Either send that employee off to the next job in their life, or if you are determined to make it work you can suggest practicing with programs like the ever popular Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. There are also a ton of websites out there that will provide this practice, however I believe that nothing but practice is going to increase speed in this area.
    • Computer Skills – Computer savvy is another topic right away that often times is directly proportional to the time spent in practice. This may be another make or break item on the list depending on your particular needs. If it is a requirement to work with files and folder, pictures and other computer files then sorting those files and basic operations and file structures may be something mandatory for your job. Teaching file structure, naming conventions, and simple utilities such as copy and paste are just some examples of basic computer skills that may be necessary.
    • Web Savvy – In today’s world the internet plays such a huge role in business that it may be just as important as both typing skills and computer skills. Again this may depend on what the exact needs of your job will be, but the ability to surf the web, understand the web pages you are working with, and how to navigate to various website and files may be something required to even obtain the information which is required for data entry! It would certainly put a pin in anyone’s balloon if their new hire was so unfamiliar with the web that they were unable to download required documents and images to enter!
    • Photos & Image Editing – Everything comes down to your needs, and if photo editing is part of the job you may find it challenging to find a data entry expert who is also a graphic artist. I know, you’re saying this can’t be rocket science and I can’t possibly need a graphic artist to do simple little photo edits before uploading my fantastic products! As simple as those edits may seem to you, it certainly requires some skill to edit photos on demand. In addition to finding someone who can do this, you must also keep in mind that you may need to buy software for just this purpose if you do not already have it. If simple edits are all you need, and you just want something that’s full featured and free I highly recommend giving GIMP Image Manipulation Program a chance.
    • Reading & Writing – You might be in luck with this particular aspect as many popular programs like Microsoft Word have not only a spell check features but some rather advanced sentence fragment detection features as well. Google.com can be your friend here as well. Anyone can quickly Google search a word to discover spelling and other useful grammar related information. This even works with other languages in Google too! Other free document writers that are free include Google Docs and LibreOffice Writer. There are dozens if not hundred or thousands of full featured document writers (editors), one of which is bound to do the job.
  • Data Entry Tools
  • – First, you are going to need a comfortable chair. Okay, so I am only sort of joking when I say that (less than half, going down as we speak). Here are some tools I use to make data entry easy for everyone in my office and telecommuting!

Tips & Tools For New Data Entry Employees:

  • ClipIt – I like ClipIt however I recommend the use of any Clipboard Management Software when it comes to doing data entry.
  • The Snippet Tool – The Snippet tools or any quick screen grab software can come in super handy if you have to deal with cropping images and you don’t need a full graphic manipulation program.
  • Adobe Photoshop – This is if you do need a full featured graphical editor. I mentioned GIMP earlier which is a less popular free alternative. Again, when it comes to software applications the possibilities can be endless.
  • Have 2 Monitors – It may sound crazy, it may sound simple, but the power behind using multiple monitors in a data entry environment is priceless.
  • Email Clients & Synchronized Software – Consider using internal company email addresses for the purposes of assigning and tracking projects. Use software synchronization to allow employees to work from home, a different computer, or a different continent!
  • Is Your Data Entry Software Streamlined? – Having a simple streamlined application for your employees to use is key! The easier it is for them to understand and perform, the more they will.
  • Could You Automate Part of the Job? – Sometimes basic data entry can be completely automated, and other times you can automate parts of the job to further simplify the steps required to get the job done.

Remember, it is your job as the employer to do the research, provide the tools, and give the help required to ensure you have the skilled employees you need.

Why Not Use the Tools We Have?

This past week, I was faced with a dilemma. The shrimp I wanted to have for dinner was enclosed in a self-sealing bag. You’d think it would have been a simple thing to open it, right? But no, I absolutely could not get purchase on the two sides of the closure.

Hungry and not completely rational, I struggled for quite a while, getting more and more distressed. I tried using a rubber grip that I use to open recalcitrant bottle tops, to no available. Finally, I opened the kitchen drawer where I keep useful tools at the ready and pulled out a pliers. Yes, a pliers. And that did the trick! It enabled me to grab hold of one end while the pliers pulled the other end open.

I was very proud of myself. My solution might not have been elegant but it was functional. And I’ve needed to use the pliers every time since when I was lusting after the shrimp.

This experience made me start to think about the “tools” I have that can make my life easier, yet I forget they exist, and therefore, neglect to use them.

For example, I finally broke down and purchased a garden kneeler and seat to save wear and tear on my knees when I plant or weed my gardens. I immediately put it to use in the spring when I first received it, because I was doing a lot of planting. However, although it is sitting right next to my back door, I forgot that I had it and resumed kneeling on the ground for subsequent planting and weeding. In other words, we have tools available that we overlook, so we make our tasks unnecessarily more difficult.

On a more professional note, I spent a few days this past week developing a response to a request for proposal to conduct a three-day management and leadership training program. I took my typical first step, which is to search my files to see if I have any relevant lesson plans, training materials and/or past training proposals that I can incorporate or adapt.

Since the client wanted specific content that I had not previously addressed, my file search provided insufficient results. My next step, therefore, was to start to Google articles and learning activities on the desired content. I spent hours searching the web, selecting and reading articles to see if they would be useful.

Finally, a simple reference in one of those articles took me where I should have looked in the first place. The reference was for a book of learning activities for teaching management and leadership. I had actually had one of my learning activities published in that book, which was sitting on my bookshelf. An excellent resource had been at my fingertips, but I had forgotten that it even existed.

We are always hustling on to the next thing, assuming that someone else will have the answers if we can only find them, without recognizing that we might already have the tools we need.

What tools do you already have that can make your work and your life more comfortable?

Deborah Spring Laurel is the President of Laurel and Associates, Ltd., a certified woman-owned small business that builds and strengthens managerial, employee development and technical skills through the design and delivery of participatory classroom training on a national and international basis.

Is Lack Of Preparation Adding To Your Pressure?

Twenty-seven minutes and fifty-five seconds.

That’s the time I had to hit-exactly-every week for fifteen years.

27:55. Not a second more. Not a second less. 27:55.

Welcome to the world of television production, where the clock is your master. You’re always aware of it. You go on the air at 11:30pm, every Saturday, whether you’re ready or not. Whether you feel like it or not. And, exactly twenty-seven minutes and fifty-five seconds later, you fade to black. Every week.

You’ve felt the pressure of the clock too, haven’t you? The pitch meeting to the prospective client begins at 8:30am, and you have five minutes to make your case. Your negotiation in Hong Kong has to be completed-successfully-by 3pm on Thursday so you can make your flight to London. You have to be finished cleaning your house by 9:59am because the house cleaner gets there at 10. (Yeah, I know. I never quite got that one either.)

Whatever your particular scenario, you have to produce under pressure, and the clock is ticking.

So how do you do it?
One of the tricks I learned during those fifteen years of television production was to have a Plan B.

My Plan B was a pre-taped comedy piece, about a minute to ninety seconds long. I tried to have one of these scheduled during the last segment of the show each week. This was my safety net. See, we taped our show in front of a live studio audience, and we never knew exactly how much they would laugh. Generally, they laughed a lot, so we would run long. But I was okay with that because I knew that I could always drop my Plan B piece. I had a few other “producer tricks” up my sleeve, but this was the big one.

And because I knew I had the Plan B option, the pressure diminished. Yes, there was still pressure. But because I had thought through the “what if” scenarios and come up with options, I was prepared.

And preparation mitigates pressure.

So what are your “what if” scenarios? If you don’t know them off the top of your head, you need to take an hour and start thinking.

  • What if our primary supplier goes out of business?
  • What if a storm grounds the airplane?
  • What if the house cleaner shows up early?

Then, for each of your “what ifs,” come up with one or two Plan Bs. One or two safety nets. One or two tricks you can have up your sleeve, just in case.Because with preparation comes peace of mind. And when you have to produce under pressure-when the clock is ticking-peace of mind can be a very good friend.

How Personalized Candy Boxes Enhance Your Product Beauty

Assorted candy packaging for the delicious candies

Candy boxes wholesale is easily available for very reasonable prices for assorted wrapping and boxes. With the assorted packaging option available your delicious candies no longer need to be packaged in the ordinary and unattractive packaging. Get the assorted boxes and attract kids and buyers of all ages to try each one of them, buyers are attracted to variations even in the same products and are easily bored. Candy boxes for sale online are ready-made and are not constructed according to your requirements, you can get customized packaging for the same budget and within a very short time and you will have the option to get your product customized from the core. So you no longer need to compromise on the box packaging.

Display the candies in the box

These boxes are as gorgeous as the candies itself; your manufactured candies and their attractive design can be made a part of the packaging. Give the packaging a display cut out on the top of the box so that the candies are easily visible from inside the box. Such designs with a simple addition of ribbons and embellishments and slightly smaller in size are great wedding candy boxes. Before you begin to work on the packaging you should list down all the reasons why people buy candies so that you can manufacture the boxes to fulfill all the needs. Window candy boxes, however, are always a hit and you can never go wrong with a display window in the box.

Different sized candy boxes for different needs

With the custom candy boxes, bars of all sizes will get a box according to their size. Custom packing enhances the beauty of your product ten folds and also increases their use and need. Candy box in sizes and different packs are necessary because there are different reasons why candies are bought. Some are for kids so a large pack and many bars can’t be given to the kids but some candies are exceptional gifts so they need to be fuller in sizes and packaged accordingly. Custom made packaging boxes are a winner and they make it easy for the buyers to always choose your product once they try them.

Easy to access candy boxes

Candy packaging must always be something that offers easy access to the candies inside the box as well as providing safety to the candies. The candy boxes should be chosen with care, the packaging supplies, packaging design and inserts also need to be carefully designed to provide an extra layer of product safety.

Extra ordinary candy packaging in bulk prices

The type of design or the amount of customization does not affect the budget you have and the manufacturers accommodate your requests within the given budget. Wholesale candy packaging is available to give candies a great designed packaging and offer wholesale rates for maximum customization.

Candy wrapping and boxes made of Kraft are very economical and highly customizable which is further cost effective once bulk candy packaging is ordered. Candy packaging ideas around the internet will help you explore one of a kind innovation in the packaging. This innovative packaging is easily accessible and you can design a different type of candy box packaging for your entire line of candies.

Is Winning Awards Critical for Business Growth?

The accolade does not actually reflect your competency in any respect. But still it’s a proud moment for you, and like others, you followed the pattern.

Next year more people hurled on stage with more accolades and more handshakes but during this period the bubble around your accolade bursts. You realized that your business does not stand out on this accolade and it seems trivial.

This post is not intended to make you feel desist on your achievements but to accomplish or serve the purpose of growing your business on a larger scale as well as acknowledging people associated with it.

This post is also intended keeping in mind that no award can justify any work in the true spirit because every work has different parameters. So, how can an award do justice for two different works which is done under different parameters and different circumstances which are being nominated or compared! The fundamentals itself are wrong.

So it’s not just about the credibility of awards (which is also an issue in the case of some awards), but it’s a question of judging work on the equal ground, which is impossible for any awarding organization to provide.

Have any clients asked you that we will give you a brief or award a work only if you have won awards in the past? Has any purchase officer told you that we would give you higher cost if you have won awards?

So the value of awards is only to ego massage yourself, your clients and employees, in turn, show off to their bosses. That’s the real value.

But when we are talking about business growth, it all boil downs to the competition of ideas, creativity, cost, experiences and bandwidth of operations, resources, etc.

Hence, participating in a race to win awards is just like climbing uphill that does not have a peak.

6 things to do for business growth…

1) Make a bond with the guild

Do not remain in exile despite of your marvellous work. Circulate your work to maximum people related to your industry. Not necessarily to your clients only. Reaching out to them and create a bonding with the same group which can skyrocket your business.

2) Nestle your admirer

Enlist a group of your secret admirer because they are your trump card. Without your knowledge, they refer you or your services to their personal groups. They are capable of bringing referrals to your work quickly and propel up your success ratio.

3) Get feedbacks for your service

It is a core element of your business growth and brings a true reward to your work in a real sense. Consumers envisage “feedback” as to give insight on product service or quality received from you, but ultimately it brings recognition to your work. With a technology-laden business architecture, it is easy to reach your audience and seek for “Reviews and Ratings” on an industry portal. The more you are reviewed and rated, the more you can fetch work from the market.

4) Market your services on social media

All great companies are good at marketing. There are 50 shades of marketing on social media, you have to figure it out which one will strike you as a business deal. Unlike old techniques, where service providers manually reach out to clients and vice versa to promote their services, online platform can be a viable solution.

5) Recurring business from top clients

Loyal consumers are guaranteed revenues for the business. If you don’t have a business model that entice recurring business, then you are at risk of being left behind. Enrolling client to “newsletter subscription” is one way of doing it. Automatically renewed subscription are more preferable than periodic renewal. Besides subscription other factors that attracts recurring business include maintenance contracts, monthly support agreements, contract renewals, etc.

6) Lessen employee’s attrition rate

For any business, stability is a major factor, and this is very much related to employee’s attrition rate. Most of the time employees contribute towards company success, but seldom company thinks about employee’s success. If a company develops a good working place for employees, it automatically circumvents the attrition rate. Design a business model that rewards employees work besides monetary allowance – for instance, create an employee’s achievement pin board – that is shared among the fraternity, build an employee forum, where they give their ideas, provide the opportunity for career and personal growth training and education.

Ultimately, winning awards can never deliver business growth; it is the result of various aspects of business forces working together that counts.

Measurement Defines the Goal

In thinking about the impact of measurement on accomplishment, I read 50 books and listened to 10 more last year because I kept track of them and thus was able to reach my goal. I know I would not have accomplished that without the record-keeping, as tedious as that may be. Simply because measurement is tedious and boring does not make it worthless, in this as in so many things.

Some things simply cannot be measured – customer loyalty, for example. Reichheld wrote, “what gets measured ‘creates’ accountability. With no standard, reliable metric for customer relationships, employees cannot be held accountable for them and so overlook their importance” (2006, p. 17). Instead of measuring the quality of our customer relationships, all we can measure is time and expense, which are inadequate descriptors. While we can resolve to devote a particular amount of time to an activity there is no way to ensure that the time is well-spent.

Fans of Eliyahu Goldratt will recognize this as a common theme in his books (The Goal, The Haystack Syndrome, It’s Not Luck, Reaching the Goal, Beyond the Goal, Critical Chain, Theory of Constraints, and especially Measurement Nightmare). I love Goldratt because his style is so easy to read, unlike, for example, Clayton Christensen’s denser prose.

Goldratt provides in-depth business research and analysis in the context of a fictional company. In The Goal, he uses a Socratic-method system to address constraints or bottlenecks in manufacturing. As the characters discuss the issues, the reader is learning about the keys to enhancing productivity through improved communication.

Clayton Christensen’s books, from The Innovator’s Dilemma (1997) to the most recent Competing Against Luck (2016), are no less valuable but tend to be a much more difficult read. They are more theoretical than Goldratt’s fictional application of business doctrine to particular problems.

Alternatively, Fred Reichheld’s The Ultimate Question (2006), combines the readability of Goldratt with the solidly-grounded business analysis of Christensen in discussing how to reach the goal of achieving measurable and meaningful performance objectives. Doing so is a never-ending quest, and business leaders as well as academics will continue to spend our lives searching for meaningful metrics. Reichheld spends much of his time addressing “bad profits,” which are profits earned at the expense of customer relationships. In short, you can rip a customer off but are unlikely to maintain the relationship after profiting at the customer’s expense.

All three authors are great, but Reichheld has something unique to say which all of us in business will do well to hear – short-term profits are often long-term disasters.

How To Keep From Crashing When The Engine Stops

The single-engine Cessna 172 was about 1,500 feet above the Pacific Ocean when that engine stopped.

I still don’t know why it stopped. All I know is that I was the pilot and the sole occupant of the plane. I had just taken off from a small airport in Western Washington. The pre-check had been routine. The takeoff had been uneventful. The sky was blue, the wind was calm. It was a beautiful day for flying.

And then the engine stopped.

What would you do? How do you react when the pressure’s on? How can you make sure you’re at your best when it matters most?

Leaders face pressure all the time. Pressure from above to deliver results. Pressure from below to motivate and inspire. Pressure from the clock. Pressure from the budget. And, of course, pressure from the “real world” outside of the workplace: the spouse’s upcoming surgery, the kid’s braces, the car’s flashing “CHECK ENGINE” light. And a leader is expected to produce under pressure, no matter where it comes from.

Some of these pressures are predictable, like the report that’s due every Monday at 9 am. Some are unpredictable, like when the single engine of the airplane you’re piloting stops at 1,500 feet above the Pacific Ocean. But the answer to both is the same:

Preparation.

Anyone who’s ever trained for a pilot’s license will tell you that that training includes dozens and dozens of simulated “engine out” exercises. The instructor, without warning, pulls the engine back to idle and says, “Your engine’s just gone out; where are you going to land?” Do this drill often enough, and it becomes a part of your subconscious. To this day, when I’m flying commercially from one speaking engagement to another, I’ll sometimes look out the window and ask myself, “If I were flying this plane and the engine(s) went out, where would I land?”

That’s how you produce under pressure. That’s how you ensure you’ll be at your best when it matters most. You practice. Over and over again. You do mental drills. “What would I do if there’s a delay in the supply chain?” “What would I do if my number one producer got an offer from our biggest competitor?” You prepare.

Pilots routinely prepare for the unexpected. So do professional athletes. And military commanders. People whose jobs require them to produce under pressure are continuously preparing.

Shouldn’t you be too?

When my engine stopped, I went into “automatic react” mode. I trimmed the plane for maximum glide ratio. I tried a restart. When that didn’t work, I initiated a 45-degree bank turn back to the runway-not knowing if I would make it or not, but knowing that this angle of bank gave me the most distance relative to altitude loss. I mentally went over the procedures in case I had to perform what is humorously called a “water landing.”

Fortunately, my calculations worked, and I made it back to the runway (with just inches to spare).

But it wasn’t due to luck. It was due to preparation.

So-what will you do when your engine stops?

Office Design to Improve Productivity

Sometimes, adding chalkboards and whiteboards can seem handy, but there is more than you can do to improve your office space. Here are just a few office design tips to help improve your overall productivity.

1. Idea Storage

One of the worst things that can happen for creative people is that they have a great idea but do not have anywhere to write it down, and they lose it. There is also the chance that you will end up doing a huge amount of research on a topic that you are not going to use. Whiteboards and notebooks are a great option for writing your ideas down, so you can continue to work on your main task for the day.

2. Remove the Clutter

It is important that you are regularly cleaning your office. Clutter comes from your creative mind working, but it can make focusing and getting your work done difficult. You should make sure that you have enough storage for all your items and that you have access to your most used objects.

3. Bring in Some Nature

We are biological creatures, so we should be spending some amount of time outside every single day. However, being inside all the time has a huge effect on our work. While it would be nice to spend a lot of time outside, for most jobs, this is not really possible. If you cannot take your work outside, why not bring nature to you? Try opening the shades and letting fresh air. This could help you feel more energised and help you get more done. Plants can also be a great option to add to your office, you just have to remember to water it.

4. Table and Chairs

We have all experienced having to sit at a table and having to consistently having to readjust to be comfortable, so we could focus on our work. This is why you should take the time to find a desk and chair that both fits your body and the way that you sit. This can take some adjusting to if you are working on an office where you do not have control over when items are ordered. If you are working at home, try to sit in chairs that you are thinking about buying for around 30 minutes to find out if they are comfortable for you.

There are many office items that you may need in your office that you could be overlooking. Whiteboards and noticeboards are great tools that most people overlook until they need these items. However, you should only add items that you think you are going to need regularly to your office, so you can save space and make the room look less cluttered.

What Are You Not Doing?

When you see someone you haven’t seen for a while, how do you greet them? We often ask “how have you been doing?” We also start with “what have you been doing,” particularly of other business owners or co-workers.

We ask ourselves:

What am I going to do today?

What did I do yesterday that can come off my list?

It’s a great feeling to tick a task off a list.

What can I do next?

The doing makes us feel productive, so much so that any plan might be a good one, as long as there is “doing” happening.

We have our to do list and our plans and we march along the path we have set for ourselves. The focus is on what we decided to accomplish and how we intend to meet our targets. Other possibilities are no longer in our line of sight.

We don’t see the mountain to the right of us when we are staring at the trail (or the mountain lion either).

I was recently speaking with a client who was struggling. We spoke about what she had been doing, but the struggle really was a result of what she had not been doing.

There was a laundry list of actions she had been taking. However, a more essential list of steps exists. These are ideas outside of her awareness, that she may or may not have considered, but that were not part of her current plan.

Whether she was not aware, or was avoiding or procrastinating was not immediately important. She was not asking herself the question – what am I not doing that could make a greater impact?

Often our challenges are a result of what we are not doing. The actions we are taking are just not making it happen. If you are not seeing the results you want, reflect on what you are not doing that is crucial but difficult.

If you can’t see what you could be doing that would make a difference, get help from other people, books, or any resource that can offer tips and best practices and honestly examine whether you are excluding activities that are creating great results for others.

I’m not advising blindly copying what others do, or taking advice because it’s worked for someone else in your industry. However, you don’t know what you don’t know, so learn more and see if an action outside of your plan, and potentially out of your comfort zone, might make a significant difference.

Here are a few examples:

If you are spending most of your time behind your computer, perhaps you have not had enough of the actual conversations that would lead to sales or job interviews. Relationships are everything, and one can only go so far in the virtual space. What you might not be doing is picking up the phone which could be a vital leap forward.

Perhaps you are currently employed and planning to start a business. Are you talking to people about your idea and networking, or are you keeping it a secret until you leave your current position?

You want to scale your business but you are doing everything yourself, including the work that is not your expertise and that you are overqualified to do. You are not hiring the help that could move you exponentially forward.

What are the reasons you might not include the most potentially rewarding tactics in your daily operations? Below are some common reasons people don’t do what needs to be done.

Procrastination and Delaying – You will do it, as soon as… There are many reasons to procrastinate and put off a project, a hire, or starting something new. Oftentimes, procrastination is equated with perfectionism. Without getting into the many reasons people procrastinate, Tim Urban humorously explains what goes on in the brain from his perspective in this TED talk. More importantly at the end, he highlights the cost of procrastination.

Vulnerability – Plain and simple, showing up in certain ways makes one feel more at risk for criticism, rejection and other potentially painful experiences. Spending time comparing oneself with others only makes it more difficult to show up authentically and take charge. What is the worst case scenario? You get stung, maybe multiple times? You will never know how much people might embrace you or what you offer if you are focused on the potential rejection.

Avoidance – You may avoid the exact moves that will propel you forward because you haven’t adjusted your identity to BE that person who is taking the actions you are avoiding. Rethink who you are as you move along, so you can accept yourself in an unfamiliar form.

Allowing Interrupters – You are likely a nice person and when others in your life need something, you stop and attend to their needs. It’s allowing the urgent to supercede the important. In this case, it’s an easy way out of breaking through your own insecurities and fears. It’s “positive procrastination,” and therefore easier to justify. The other justifiable one is learning instead of doing.

Bright Shiny Object Syndrome – We have all experienced when a new idea comes to mind, and it is so good and so clear that you don’t even feel like you need to write it down because there is no way you could forget such a gem. It is all consuming for a day or more, but then another idea of equal brilliance shows up. The first idea is old news and has lost the initial magic and becomes back burner material, if you remember it at all. Ideation is a great strength unless you can’t commit, then ideas are distractions.

I’m willing to bet there is an idea in your mind to move your career or business forward that you have considered, maybe many times, and have not tried. Decide to try one activity or business tactic that you are not doing now and see what happens.

Michelle is the CEO and founder of Limit Free LifeĀ®, a coaching and personal development company designed to help clients discover and transition into careers or business ventures that satisfy their souls. As a former CPA, business consultant and now a certified business coach,she combines a strong background in finance and transition management with an intuitive coaching style.