Do We Work

Thoughts on productivity, progress & everything in between.
  • Are you Conditioned for Success?

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    Answer these 10 questions to determine if you are conditioned for success.
     

    1: When you have a great idea, do you
       A: Get excited and tell everybody then lose that level of excitement quickly
       B: Get excited at first but fail to follow through with consistent action
       C: Feel less excited and create & follow through on an action plan

    2: When you get knocked down on your quest of success, do you
       A: Feel depressed, feel sorry for yourself and give up
       B: Need some time to recoup but move forward with uncertainty
       C: Find it, Fix it and forget about it and move forward with confidence

    3: When asking for something you believe in and you get a No, do you
        A: Accept the NO and drop what you believe
        B: Keep trying a few times but then drop it.
        C: Understand that NO means “not yet” and figure out a way to get a YES,

    4: When an opportunity presents itself that you weren’t expecting, do you
        A: Move pass it, without evaluating it, because it doesn’t fit into your initial plan
        B: Evaluate it, but with an attitude of why it won’t work
        C: Evaluate it with an open mind that your initial plan may need to be adjusted

    5: When being around people more successful than yourself, do you
        A: Feel out of place and uncomfortable
        B: Feel OK, but keep from interacting
        C: Engage with them with confidence

    6: When someone challenges your point of view, do you
        A: Argue with them and really don’t listen to them
        B: Listen to them but you are really not open to change
        C: Listen to them; question them to see if it has merit

    7: When someone doesn’t meet your expectation, do you
       A: Get angry and take it personally
       B: Take it personally but find out why it wasn’t accomplished
       C: Re-evaluate what you could have done or said better

    8: When you have that break out moment, (such as making the biggest sale), do you
        A: Get excited, celebrate and then sit back to feel how great you are
        B: Get excited, let others know how special it was and then re-focus
        C: Feel good, but know it’s just a marker you should expect and move forward

    9: When trying to make a point, do you
        A: Go on and on using stories and other references
        B: Explain until the other person gets it
        C: Make sure they commit to the objective of your point first, and then explain why your point works
     
    10: How much is Luck involved in success,
        A: Very much. You need luck to be successful
        B: Luck helps but so does hard work
        C: Very little, it’s about understanding how to be successful

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    Score yourself


    A= 10 points, B=5 points, C=2 points

    Under 30 = Congratulations, you have a high level of certainty.

    30 - 90 = You need to raise your level of certainty.

    Above 90 = You are under-conditioned for success.

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    How to Condition your Mind for Success


    Great, you just completed the questionnaire: “Are you Conditioned for Success?” The answers you choose and the score you received is a way to measure the symptoms that determine the level of an ingredient that must be present and is present in all Successful people. That ingredient is Certainty.

    Certainty is the driving force that pushes you through those barriers we call fear. Certainty allows us to get back up when we are knocked down and helps keep our focus intense and our approach efficient. Certainty creates those powerful feelings of Confidence, Trust, Faith and Positivity.

    Look at the level of Certainty to the strength of the muscle of a weightlifter. The stronger his or her muscle is, the heavier (or more successful) they will be.

    The enemy of Certainty is the opposite ingredient which creates fear, anxiety, stress, anger and self-doubt: Uncertainty. Unfortunately, we are surrounded by and influenced by uncertainty more than certainty.

    “When we condition our mind correctly, we are increasing the level of certainty to the point of positive action towards a large goal that we have not conquered.”

    A long distance runner must condition their body to run long distance. Yes, many can run a shorter distance but our bodies grow tired and we stop. The same exact thing happens to our mind. We are able to push forward and have great days, weeks, months or even years. Yet, we grow mentally tired and become complacent.

    In fact, Certainty, as powerful as it is, has a little nasty side effect called Comfort aka our comfort zone. We make our current situation comfortable and use certainty as a way to create comfort. The correct way is to develop inner certainty which creates any new situation, which is uncertain at first, certain without letting up.

    How we condition our mind has a lot to do with first controlling the behaviors we don’t even realize. When I created the Peak Performance Manual and utilized it with top Professional Athletes, Olympic Athletes and top CEO’s, they were amazed at how effective it was to create success. The reason is, the process is a simple and straight forward way to develop true inner certainty. I want to give you a jump start to developing a higher level of Certainty, which will start the conditioning of your mind. Here are some simple things you can do right now:

    • When you accomplish anything great or get a compliment, accept it rather than explain it.

    • Limit your emotional reaction. Emotion is uncertainty, so let’s keep that ingredient away.

    • Focus on the moment and what you can do now to affect a better outcome.

    • Know why you are great. Whatever you know, you will become certain with and use.

    • Know where you are going in your mind first. Visualize it, feel it and start to surround yourself with it.

    • Dare yourself to do something you have been avoiding.

    These simple steps are a very powerful way to start to condition your mind. I am Certain they work!!!


    Posted by: krisspeers
  • Stress Is Good For You !

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    Believe it not … small amounts of stress is actually good for you. Having said that, Cortisol (The Stress Chemical) is released from your adrenal gland for physical protection. If you were in a burning building and the stress level spiked, releasing the cortisol in your system would give you the burst of energy you need to get out of harms way. The benefit are two fold, one being the burst of energy, the second being the physical exercise that should proceed from the cortisol spike. The danger comes when we have mental stress, and worry about things that we can’t control. The cortisol gets released into system, increasing our heart rate, blood sugars levels spike and blood pressure rises. This can trigger a host of problems from depression, over eating, and a lack of energy. The excess cortisol will also make you crave unhealthy carbs, whichtriggers a fat storing function in the body.

    The effects of higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as:

    • Impaired cognitive performance
    • Suppressed thyroid function
    • Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia
    • Decreased bone density
    • Decrease in muscle tissue
    • Higher blood pressure 
    • Lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, slowed wound healing, and other health consequences.
    • Increased abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body. Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat are heart attacks, stokes, the development of metabolic syndrome, higher levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL), which can lead to other health problems.

    Bear in mind that an appropriate stress response is a healthy and necessary part of life. One of the things stress does is release norepinephrine, one of the principal excitatory eurotransmitters. Norepinephrine is needed to create new memories. It improves your mood. Problems feel more like challenges, which encourages creative thinking, that stimulates your brain to grow new connections within itself. Stress management is the key, not stress elimination. The challenge in this day and age is to not let the sympathetic nervous system stay chronically aroused. This may require knowledge of techniques that work to activate your relaxation response.

    Coming soon to Opus Workspace is Gary Parks; “Opus Maximize your Personal Performance” life Manual. Understand how to use Stress as your personal motivator, managing this could be the the one thing that has held you back.


    Posted by: larstevens
  • Don’t Forget to Remember

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    Memory is a fought for resource. How many things in our lives are trying to get our attention, the media spends billions a year in marketing to get into our memory. So here are a few practical tips to remember the important things in our lives.

    1. Tie a piece of string around your finger :)
    2. Tell people to call you or remind you. *hint* Make sure these people are good at remembering.
    3. Write it down (sticky notes)
    4. Say what you need to do over and over out loud.
    5. Setup a Reminder in Opus

     

    Reminders inside Opus Workspace

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    Reminders are located inside your task in the right menu.

    Reminders are a great way to remind you about a task by sending yourself an email at a selected time and date. You can also use reminders as a start date. All your reminders show up in your calendar.

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    Posted by: krisspeers
  • The Old Fashioned Checklist

    The Checklist is a timeless way to stay organized and on point when it comes to getting things done. Whether your using the list to plan a trip, or a checklist that sits beside your desk that is updated throughout the day. They are always handy and needful.


    3 Tips for Great Checklists

    1. Keep them short and simple. Chances are if your checklist item is too long it means it should be broken up into multiple items.

    2. Keep them actionable. Make sure your item is something you DO, it will keep you from having to remember what needs to get done.

    3. Keep them beside you at all times. Having a list on your desk when your at work or home won’t help you. It keeps you from adding to the list, and it keeps you from crossing items off the list when your done. (Advantage for checklists on phones or computers ex. Opus Workspace)

     

    Checklists in Opus Workspace


    Checklist items are a great way to add small to-dos to any task or workspace. Conveniently located in the middle of your screen, just click and add items and press enter, and check them off as your done.

    Note: Any user that has access to the task or workspace sees the checklist items


    Posted by: krisspeers
  • Getting Things Done

    It’s hard to concentrate when you have a lot on your mind and there’s a lot to do. Here are a few tips to keep you more organized to better concentrate on the work at hand.

    1. Make a list of daily and weekly tasks. (Write it down)
    2. Decide what’s most important. (Prioritize) 
    3. Divide tasks throughout the week or month. (Due Date)
    4. Review your list daily
    5. Take action…


    Tasks inside Opus Workspace

    Tasks are located in the left bar menu under “My Tasks”

    WHAT IS A TASK

    Tasks are basically things that need to get done. They can be things you need to do for yourself, or things someone else has to do for you. Just like writing an item on apiece of paper, the more clear and actionable the item is, the better.

    Example of a poor task name: Call George
    Example of a better tasks name: Call George Re Sales Report

    Just the name Call George will force you to try and remember what you’re calling him about. Poor task names will also tempt you to procrastinate because you’re not sure of the context of the task.

    HOW TO ASSIGN A TASK TO SOMEONE ELSE

    The Tasks section includes the tasks you have created for yourself, and also tasks that have been assigned to you, as well as tasks you have assigned to other Opus users. You can assign a task quickly by selecting Assignment in the right side menu inside your task. Tasks you have assigned to others will remain in your Task list so you can always see the status of the task.

    TASKS INSIDE A WORKSPACE

    Tasks can be added to a Workspace from within a Workspace, or can be added later by DRAG and DROP (simply click your mouse down on the tasks avatar, hold, and drag the task where you want it to go).

    TASK COLLABORATION

    You can collaborate on your task to provide feedback, updates, and files or simply keep the team up to date on that task. Comments are always front and center inside Opus.

    TASK COMPLETION

    When your task is completed, be sure to complete it by selecting the checkbox beside the task name in the list, or selecting the complete button in the task details. If you were working on this task with someone else, that person will receive an email that the task was completed.


    Posted by: krisspeers
  • Starting Your Day Right

    Starting your day off right is what separates many people from having a successful day.


    When we designed Opus Workspace we had the start of persons day in mind. So we built the “LaunchPad”. The LaunchPad is the perfect way to start your day before you start working.


    The LaunchPad is your home screen and it gives you a view of all your Tasks and Workspaces with end dates, and incudes your local weather and any video messages you might have received. It also has an inspiring wallpaper background that changes every week.

     

    So don’t waste the beginning of your day, use the LaunchPad and find out what’s ahead of you, and plan your day accordingly. Your co-workers and clients will thank you for it.

     


    Posted by: krisspeers
  • The Differences Between Goals and Dreams


    Don’t confuse your dreams with goals. Dreams occupy your mind, but goals change your reality.

    Here is the differenece between Dreams and Goals:

    1. Goals are something you are acting on. Dreams are something you are just thinking about.
    2. Goals have deadlines. Dreams are just, well, dreams.
    3. Dreams are free. Goals have a cost.
    4. Goals produce results. Dreams don’t.
    5. Goals have a finish line. Dreams never have to end.
    6. Goals require hard work. Dreams just require your imagination.


    Setting Goals with Due Dates in Opus

    Due dates are located inside your Workspace or Task in the right menu.

    If at all possible, it’s always a good idea to assign due dates to tasks or workspaces.

    Here are some advantages:

    1. The Task or Workspace shows up in your calendar.
    2. Easier to manage your commitments.
    3. Increases your chances of finishing.

    “A Goal without a due date is only a wish”.


    Posted by: krisspeers
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    Prioritize Your Tasks with Drag and Drop

    Don’t let everybody you work with determine your priorities. Manage your own list of priorities.


    How To…

    1. In your task list, click on the Avatar (Picture Icon) and hold, and drag the task in any order you see fit.
       
    2. You can also add your tasks to your existing Workspaces on the right.

     

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    Posted by: krisspeers
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    Your Email Is Not Your To-Do List

    Most of us if we are honest feel the need to be more efficient and better organized at work. A common mistake people make when they are making changes to becoming a better worker is to use the same tools they already use for other new things.

    Using a tool for the purpose other than it was originally designed for entails a very high cost in terms of efficiency and time, especially for the demand in daily maintenance.

    There is an endless number of great software to help you be more organized and remain more efficient. Evernote, Google Calendar, Email, and the list goes on and on.

    One of the most common practices, especially in the corporate world, is to use the email as a to-do list. If it is your case, let me give you some reasons why you should stop doing it now:

    1. In your email there are only tasks imposed by others. You do not control your email, other people do. You just react to the things coming. Where are the actions coming out from your side?

    2. Email is a huge source of distraction. Having it opened with notifications turned on, opens your up to a world of distractions, replying and deleting emails.

    3. In your email, tasks are never well defined. An email arrives with information includng the subject that you cannot change. When you check your email list for things you need to work on, subjects named “Re: Re: Re: Can you help?”  Can become confusing and overwhelming for your brain.

    4. One Email Doesn’t = One Task. In fact an email can lead to several tasks, some not even related to each other. You can never have a clear sequence of what you need to do, and you cannot delete or move the email until all the work is complete.

    5. You cannot prioritize, organize or easily search through email. Except for creating a slew of folders, your email is all in one folder, your inbox that keeps growing and growing. Setting deadlines, priorities, are complicated through email.

    Separate your email from your task management. When you are checking your inbox, just capture the necessary actions in your task manager.

    www.opusworkspace.com


    Posted by: krisspeers
  • Team Building

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    Many of us have experienced company “get together’s”, but we can often confuse these with corporate team building. Having a pizza party is not team building.
    Before designing your team building event, it is important to determine of course, what you want to get from the event.  In essence, you start backwards, 
    Let’s say that the “buddy system” is not working very well.  That is, you have a co-worker that is committed to helping another co-worker but things just aren’t jiving well.  There are a few things that need to be identified before moving forward with a solution.  Let’s take a brief look:

    Challenges
    Consider the perspective of the employee that needs the help.  Maybe they’ve lost confidence and trust in their co-worker?  Does self-doubt factor in to how the other employee might be feeling?  What happened that caused this co-worker to fall short in assisting where they were needed?
    Now you have identified two key elements and know what needs to change.  
    Solution
    Designing a better way of delegating tasks and creating a high level of commitment when accepting a task, will strengthen the working relationship.

    There are rich resources online to help in selecting the best corporate event for your team.  The challenge is to continue to create a better workplace. This comes with implementing strategic protocol in office behavior. 
    After a team building event, it is imperative to upgrade office protocol.  This is when everyone is feeling the positive effects of the team building activity.  
    For example, if the office manager is demanding things be done at the last minute and heightening stress on the team, the solution is to design a paradigm shift.  This allows the manager to truly understand the pressure placed on the team.  By changing the title “Manager” to “Servant”, it allows the team to use their Manager/Servant as a support structure and as a resource.  
     
    The simplicity of changing a title in the office can give employees a different perspective on that person and their position. It can also change the view of the manager. Becoming a servant to your team doesn’t mean they are not held accountable, in fact it raises the level of certainty and accountability in the team. Changing this simple thing can actually become an ongoing team building event, that gets confirmed daily! 

    Great leaders never take from their people, they serve! 

    Larry Stevens CEO, Opus Workspace 

    Posted by: larstevens