Time planning. The cool version

STOP! Do’nt run away just yet. This is not going to be one of those “How the worlds most sucessful people-impossible to everyone else” tips of time planning. I will take the more mortal human approach as I, myself has most of my life been a lazy bastard.

For starters i just have to say that most of the things that we do in our lives [including time planning] will bring results only if you work hard dedicate yourself to achieve the wanted goal. This post will help people who wants to manage multiple, unrelated tasks.

1. Prioritize.The very basic thing for you is to understand what is that you want to achieve!? What do you want to get better at, and what are the necessery things that needs to be done. Here is an example of my list of things that i want to get better and spend my time with. When you have figure out all the things to improve, cut it down to 3-6 elements, to be more realistic.

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2. The When? For me it has greatly helped to put my top 6 things in a calendar, so i dedicate one day for one thing only. Except tuesday and thursday when also the sports activities.

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3. Reminders. When you have created a routine list, next step is to remind yourself to actually do these activities, because with a new routine you will have difficulties to repeatedly do the assigned tasks. I use google calendar and a Week calendar App on the phone, to receive reminders about the daily tasks.

4. To-do-lists. Even though you have created a great plan with all your activities, it is still a big thing to start and actually do the assigned tasks, therefore i am creating daily and weekly to do lists for the every activity. Depending on how busy you are find the best time when to plan your time. Sounds weird-find time to plan time. But I have found that the easiest way for me is to do, the daily to-do list at school when my mind is starting to function around 10:00 in the morning. The weekly plans i would do on Sunday evenings to have the overview of the whole week. All of these to-do activities i write on a post-it or on the laptop and then put it as a screen saver. Put it somewhere you will be sure not to forget about it.

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5. Do not give up! I know that this advice sounds as useful as a fart in the wind, but do not give up. Keep working, unrelatedly to what are the difficulties and obstacles in your way. If nothing works, maybe the list of things is too long or maybe prioritize the easiest jobs for the start and the end of the week not to feel overly exhausted.

Sum up

Even though i believe that having a long term vision is a deal braker, i do not know if it is productive to plan your time in a very long term as things tend to change to the unexpected. I have created year plans, half a years plans but they just do not work for nothing more than just a paper wate…because my “awesome” idea was to make it on a huge paper covering half of my rooms wall. Thereby, to learn to master your time, start with a day, then a week and then go to planning a month if needed. It will take some effort to make a progress but what doesn’t?

What keeps my productive routine going?

Basecamp – a great project management tool that keeps you updated and helps to keep track with your projects. (Try it. First 60 days it is for free)

Weekly calendar app + sync with the google calendar to have the updates to your phone and computer.

- Using Post-its for daily task reminders. I usually place them on the laptop.

- A weeks calendar printed and attached to my wall just behid the desk, so that i can not avoid.

Keep up the productive work !

How to find Your business Idea?

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After getting out of parents nest, the next big thing now seems to be to open your own business. A lot of my peers are having their small startups and little agencies and most importantly, the big, proud smile on their faces, that they are the owners of a business. Just look at that. And it is more easy than ever to start your own enterprise, with startup incubators on every street corner and loads of enterpreneurship course to attend, society is fueled with the enterpreneur spirit. It is an exciting way of life to get yourself into, I myself get weak in the knees every time i hear someone mentioning words such as “your own business” or “enterpreneur”. It does seems to be a hell of a fun, but before jumping straight into, there are some things to consider first.

Firstly understand why do you want to get into this business. Do you get the satisfaction of doing everything on your own or do you think that not having a boss will resolve all the work related issues? Or you have a great vision of how to change the world. The most important is the driving force inside of you, the motivation that will keep up with the amount of hard work to make it happen. Think about it for a second, and you will answer your own question of why this is such a good idea.

With knowing your Why, you have partly answered the next question which is What, or more of what-you-love?! Do you want to create a pancake shaped notebooks because you think that it would be a funny thing to do so or because their’s nothing like that in the market? Look at the next potential product/service and moreover what do you truly believe in? You should always choose to create your own business because you truly like to devote yourself to a certain thing and make that be your business !

It is easier said than done, but when you have figured out the what is your call and why do you want to do, then their’s nothing else to stop you. Focus all your energy on what you want to achieve and how to reach it, then the results will come – that is an honest universal truth.. as long as you plan your time well and set out priorities for yourself [which is actually my next posts topic].

Everything always comes down to your presonal dedication and reaching quick short term goals in order to motivate yourself for a bigger achievement. But here are some ways of how to Find and turn an idea into a business opportunity:

- Brainstorm. It really does not takes that much time, but once you start you might have it difficult to put down your pen. Sit down, have a time for yourself and simply write down the thing that you love and associations with them. Then leave the topic and come back after 2-3 days and you will see completely another perspective of the subjects as you have uncoceously though about them. Here are tips, from one of the best ones in the creative sector:  http://bit.ly/1fenudJ

- Grow a huge network. Do not compromise on getting to know new people. It will help you to solve most of your problems in any occasion, but knowing a lot of contacts will enlargen the chance of you to get inspiration and a chance to join an on-going startup. A place to start can be at meetups.com

- Attend courses. Sounds over-simplified, but people who do attend any sort of a course are the ones who are interested in the same subject as you are and here you have the chance to get the first approvals of an idea you might have.

- If you have an idea, but some one else already has something similar think of a way of how to make it better, faster, cheaper or more qualitative than anyone else has it in the market.

- Follow trends and tendencies. Maybe you can invent a great mobile app for the 3D printers or the google glasses. Maybe the uniwheel can be made even better. http://thegadgetflow.com/portfolio/solowheel-inventist/ 

 And the most importantly, have a vision. Try to imagine how the world will look like around you, how your family life will be and how will you see other people when your idea will be successfully developed and on-going.

With taking these advice i belive than anyone can turn their ship in the direction of success.

The recipe of success (?)

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Since i left my mothers nest, i always wanted to be successful. Invent the next big thing and quickly become world known and wealthy. With this thought i’ve read lots of poor-people-getting-rich stories and gotten influenced by every single one of them. Few of the big names that i can recall most brithly are Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Anthony Kiedis and most recently Jordan Belfort.

Watching, reading and hearing the stories of these people just makes your heart beat rise and motivation go through the Roof ! All the things that everyone talks about are so simple, yet difficult. Stick to one thing, have a vision, work hard, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something – nothing of this is rocket science but so little number of us has the ability to go through and become our dreams. I know that a lot is possible as long as you keep progressing and going forward, even by little steps but making a step closer to your vision. Just 5 years ago, i had it more than difficult to open my mouth in front of a crowd, but now being in front of an audience is starting to be one of my comfort zones.

So the steps to a successful life (in what ever matter suits you – money, network or power or all those things combined) according to Jordan Belfort (so far my favourite motivational person) are:

1. Have a vision. Do not think of goals but of the world around you would change when you will make your vision come true.

2. Ability to manage your state. It means that what ever situation you are in, you have to be able to keep progressing and that can be achieved by three simple thing:

- Certainty: Be sure what you are doing

- Clarity: Know what exactly to do

- Courage: Act in a fear

3. Beliefs. Make your beliefs as something that would empower you actions and people around you and moreover break the limiting beliefs. Stop thinking, believing that you can not Do something.

4. Standards. Create high standards that you would never settle lower for. You would get to your stated goal until by whatever means needed.

These are just few simple guides to follow to fulfil your desired mission. For the full speech of this amazing guy and amount of enthusiasm that will fill your motivation well click here.

What’s common between Startups and swimming?

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Your heart-rate raises, your pupils become bigger and the smile on your lips is genuine. No, not drugs, but that moment, when you come up with a fantastic idea. You know that it will be the next big thing, it will be the new black orange, that everyone will love and adore. Now it is all about figuring out how to realize that fruit of your imagination.

One of the popular and ever growing ways to transfer a great idea into a product or a service is to create a startup (company). A startup begins with a mix of excitement, uncertainty and foolish courage, which is why I compare it to swimming, or to be precise – the process of learning How to swim. There are those, who are too afraid to get in the water and those who will jump on there heads in despite of what anyone else is saying.

The first type of people will observe everyone else in the water, look if it is the right temperature, test if the water is not polluted and then realize that they have the sunscreen on their skin so then can’t actually go in the water after all. .. So they have spent the whole time in the world by making observations and research but never gotten their fingers wet. Similar to ther startups who are all about scouting all the market niches, considering all the possible scenarious of what could go wrong, but withouth putting out there products first versionand testing it they will never figure out if the idea was that brilliant in the first place.

The second type are the crazy ones. Without having any idea of  how to swim, they will jump from a springboard and then see what happens. Some get lucky that a life guard is nearby and takes the braveheart out of the water. Some might not be that lucky.. And again same thing with a startup. Inexperienced amaterus jumping right in the exciting “real life” with no idea of the first steps to take and most commonly avoiding any kind of a management tool. Mostly the only way will lead to a downward spiral and out of the business as quickly as it was started.

Probably you can tell that the way to go is to aim in the middle in between of these two examples. To get started you will have to conduct research while simultaniously developing a way of how to test your observations and assumptions. So in the very core you have to figure out the hypothesis that you want to prove right or wrong and then test it. Your success will matter of how quickly you are be able to test your hypothesis and accordingly adjust your furthure actions. Number one reason for startup failure is incompetence and a way to avoid that is by constant attempts of testing and adjusting your work.

So don’t hold back your ideas, and be brave to put them out in the world.

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Sources:

1. http://www.statisticbrain.com/startup-failure-by-industry/

2. http://theleanstartup.com/

3. Images are taken from https://federicodecalifornia.wordpress.com/tag/vintage-swim/

Until next wednesday.

Advertising. The Evil big brother or an adviser angel.

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Ever since i came across this magical word – Advertising – i have tried to understand how to approach it.

I always admire a 30 second TV-spot or a poster that has the ability to break out of the overfloated, everyday clutter and stop You for a second. Stop you and slightly twist your opinion about a specific car brand or make that juicy, refreshing strawberry flavour ice-cream taste as it has never tasted before.

For now I will leave out the rocket-science research that has come before-hand to make you pick up that exact candy bar or share your holiday story on a travel website. But just think for a moment, what a truly wonderful world we are living in right now. All these smart guys (marketers), have transformed our lives in such way, that the universe knows what we want even before we know it.

While I am checking my email an add appears, showing the exact type of shoes that I search for during the last week and now those are 25% off ! What a lucky day. Then I check facebook and I spot that a group of my friends have “liked” this amazing event, that is sponsored by the local beer brand. What a great coincidence that also I saw the exact same event, that’s just amazing. But before closing my laptop i have to choose a present for my moms birthday and I check the website i did two days ago, to find the perfect cooking book. I choose the book, set it in my shopping cart and Bamm(!), who would have guessed that with this exact cooking book people are also buying a set of fancy kitchen towels. What a great idea, I must take two of those sets then. Oh, what a lucky day for me, right?

Or… is that all just a well planned set of schemes played out by marketers to get exactly Your attention and Your coines to role away from Your  pocket. I love the new brands that are coming up and the new media trends in society that forces every brand and company to be as transparent as air. But again, the marketers are  becoming ever more clever. It seems that now less and less companies are trying to stuff their messages down our throuts but have you noticed that people around you are becoming the brand ambassadors. And it works, oh it works just so well. Wouldn’t you feel a big desire to buy a pair of shoes that your buddy recomended or a sweater that your girlfriend approved?

Everything is progressing with the speed of light and one trend overcomes another. Shopping has never been so easy to do as it is now and it sure is great to have some of your choices made for you, but where is the limit of when it becomes too creepy? I will leave that question for you to answer and please be clever next time when you see a discount coupon waiting for you. It might not be as innocent as it might appear.

Until next Wednesday all my lovely fans.

Creative Collaborations

I think that my fingers would get really, really tired to write here all the things that i have started and never finished.

That seems to be my curse, or i am just the next lazy fuck in the row. But last April i thought that if i would tell everyone about my next project, i would feel more responsible for it and actually make it to the end. Didn’t happened. My urge to do something admirable is enormous but to focus my energy on one thing and one things only is a challenge.

So this September, when i started a semester at a new school (Copenhagen school of design and technology), i proposed an idea to my classmates to do something extra after classes. I said ”Let’s work on something and maybe even finish something together”. Today (after 3 months) we are 9 people meeting once a week and we have started to develop a platform called “Creative Collaborations” which helps young creatives (as us) to finish their unfinished projects. And it might come to you as a surprise but one of the unifying factors among us is that each of us has an unfinished project.

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We have already been a part of Innovation festival called “Afsniti” (afsniti.dk) where we received a lot of great feedback and guidelines for the potential future company. Our long term goal is to create a collaborative community that has a huge professional network and a wide range of skillsets to apply for your unfinished project.

5 good reasons Why this is a good idea? 

1. Because by working together we can generate inspiration, motivation and personal growth.

2. Networking is more important that ever, and our platform will provide a direct and indirect ways to grow your network.

3. The best job is the one you created, and we are building a platforms that is for people who are willing to collaborate and by successful engagement, create potential future jobs.

4. We are boosting education. Besides a finished work, you will learn the process of progress. How is it possible to finish anything you have ever started(?).

5. Creativity is not something that that is created in agencies by people with funky glasses and color socks. The real power is in a crowd – In a community.

I read from a good friends blog (http://despreneur.com/) that blogging is a great way to promote your own brand. So the message that totally makes sense and that you should take away from this story and is that:

1. I have found my productive motivation source

2. I am open for any job possibilities, where i can express my professional abilities

3. You should like our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ccollaborations

All the best,

Rihards

Future of Advertising

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p.s. I’m not promoting Sony. It’s just a nice image..

So far i thought that first ad was done by some french guys in 17 century but in a book (that describes digital marketing in an Amish level) i read that somewhere in Pompeii  (seventh or sixth century BC) there was found a Penis on a wall and that has been a sign of the very first advertising to the oldest profession in the world. Intriguing right? What’s more interesting and scary is what will the advertising turn into, when all the technologies will “take over” our dear planet the earth. [1] ; [2]

Will it be people walking around with google glasses (or more possibly lenses) and with voice commands going via endless online markets? Or will everything get down to it’s core and ultra simplicity where will no labels exist, but all the buildings and spaces will be assigned with world-know and self-explanatory symbols?

I do hope that all of us will remember that advertising (communication between two parties, where one will do everything to convince the other to make a purchase) is about human interaction. And even though location, time and data amount will not be an obstacle, I would still like to assume that the word-of-mouth will always be top-notch.  Please let’s be humans, with the technologies to help us Do things faster and more efficient but not to create some kind of substitute for the basic human truths.

The cover of Sherry Turkle book “Alone Together ” says it all.

In this universe of invisible wires and connections we tend to forget the necessity of real-human interaction and meaningful conversations. I believe that future Advertising agencies (and nearly any enterprise) will exist if they will find a purpose of Why (?) they do what they do. Because if we take away all the technology that helps some to be better than others, if the building of modernization will collapse, then the first ones to rise will be the ones with a great foundation – purpose of what they are doing. [3]

Bottom line – Find a timeless purpose of what you Do.  It will helps Us, advertisers as well.

 

 

You’r welcome.

Clarkwinking

 

References below :

[1] http://www.history.com/topics/pompeii

[2] http://amzn.to/XfTyUR

[3] http://amzn.to/1cgmYLZ

Beware! Assumptions in advertising +more

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It is a damn tricky thing those assumptions, they really are.

Assumptions are great when you need to have this creative spark, spontaneous impulse, that feeds innovation. “I assume that This thing might work in this condition..  Let’s try !’ And why not? The childish approach, the game and play is one of the most creative ways to act, think and in the end create a product.

But when it comes to communication between two or more parties (or a dialogue with a  client), making assumptions is a reeeeeally slippery slope. This information that we have accepted to be true is dangerous (yes it is that bad) to your enterprise and clients wealth.

Imagine you developing a pitch, presentation, or God forbid already a product that is based on the things that you have assumed. How ridiculous that is? It just once again underlines the importance of research and the essentiality to master the art of questioning. Suck, squeeze or maybe more appropriately – question out the right information you need from the client.  Do not make assumptions.

 

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But it is a difficult nut to crack. Even more because we do make assumptions every single day, about every single thing. It is so deep in our subconscious that making assumptions is equal to a habit. Like touching your hair when you are thinking or sniffing food before eating . It is difficult, but not impossible to change this kind of behaviour.

And this of course applies not only to enterprise environment. Assumptions will poison your friendships and relationships and even getting to know new people will be complicated, because we have assumed something that is often very incorrect.

 

I am looking at this problem from a different perspective and i would say that the solution is to boost your self-esteem and thereby gain more of self confidence. Assumptions arouse because we are too shy, incompetent  and just want to get pass an issue or a question and the easiest way out is to make an assumption (accepting in our mind that we already know the truth) rather than digging down to the core problem. But If we are confident, competent and wise, we will continue, only when the problem is completely understood. We will have the courage to ask and patience to research the question until it’s answered.

 

A tiny self-boosting exercise  (I borrowed from Brian Tracy’s book “Psychology of Selling”) you can start right now.

Simply repeat after yourself “I like myself”, “I like myself” and do it as much as you want several times a day.

When you have repeated this sentence enough you will start to believe that it is true. All of us have experience in the opposite way when we have told ourselves that we can not do something until we actually start to believe that we can not execute this action. “But i can’t dance”, “I can’t speak up in a presentation” or “I can’t make a Tracy Morgan impression in a public toilet”. We think we can not do all these things just because we have said them enough times that it has reside in our subconscious and every time we come to think about dancing or speaking up in in presentation it would only give negative connections.

So start boosting your self-esteem, and say that you Can Do it (!) and it will help you achieve your goals easier and make less assumptions because you will be more self-confident and be more present, accepting the reality and be eager to figure out the actual cause of problem.

 

I assume i need to write more often.

So stick around, or you’ll be sticked around.. a bit of my humor there.

Find what you love and stick to it.

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My good friend Tomas and his friend is having a project “Dare With Us”  ( http://darewithus.com/ ) where they are following their dream to travel around Europe, and who knows, next time around the world?

But “Dare With Us” project is much more than that. Tomas and Justas are encouraging people to follow their dreams, step up their biggest fears and challenging everyone to find the courage to do what they have always wanted.

So referring to their project this post will be about how did i found my passion and how can you follow your dream(s) if you are not already doing it now.

It was time to finish high school when i realised that my time in my parents sweet nest is soon to expire.  After that it still took me nearly 2 years to realize what i want to do.

It was a snowy day before christmas, i was bored to death and i was browsed through the amazing world of the Internet when i stumbled upon a stop motion video.  It seemed pretty cool, so i had to try to make a little movie myself. I took some picture made a 10 second video, nothing very significant happened.

A month later, with only more concerns about my future, on my shoulders i decided to give a try for a little movie more. This time i took it a bit more serious and believe it or not, some people actually liked it. Or at least they told me they did. Anyway i got a kick of motivation to create some more videos, and ideas, just started to burst in front of me.

Only few months after being on the path of creating videos i said to myself  : “Video !  I want to make the best video world has ever seen”. Quite ambitious i, i know.

Soon after that i started my studies and became really interested, nearly obsessed with advertising and everything around that. In a short period my interests expanded with graphic design, social media, enterprise, art, blogging, photo, i created a facebook page to motivate others and so on.

Suddenly i had more interest than i could have ever imagined, but still in the back of my mind the video stays as The goal to achieve.

A piece of an advice from me. 

1.Do not stop looking !

If you haven’t decided yet, what will you connect your future with, keep f*cking looking for it!

Try different things, visit different places and seek for an action. One thing will lead to another only if you will get you ass up and do things.

2. Stick to what you love. 

If you have found something that brings joy to you – stick to it. Sooner or later it will lead you to a conclusion if that is something for you or not.  So when you have found what you like, and you know that it is the right thing for you learn to organize your work, to get the most out of your actions.

3. Be patient.  

When you start a new exciting thing it is important to do things in their order and do not rush anything. One thing at the time now and when you will be more than comfortable with that juggling with 3 balls will not be that difficult at all.

4. Challenge yourself !

For those who have all the life planned ahead already – get out of you comfort zones, try the unusual. You never know what hidden talent you might have. Give it a try. I always have in mind Wayne Gretzky quote: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take” !

5.  Have Fun!

Even though i definitely do not look like a person who’s having any fun in his life when i am working on something, but always remember to keep the serious-ness within your works quality not necessarily in the process of making it !

I know, i know, all these advices makes you sick, do this, keep doing that, don’t do that, But why don’t you give a try? Ask yourself what do you want to achieve,  who do you want to be?

darep.s. Visit their freshly baked blog at: http://darewithus.com/blog/

5 effective ways to increase your Pen..manships skills

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Just finished reading a book called “Advertising concept and copy” and now i am trying to practice my headline writing skills! Did it worked? At least draw some attention hopefully because i will not be writing here about penmanship either how to increase your junk.

But if you still want to know some of that here’s a link for you:  http://bit.ly/Wtx12g

As any skill / ability nearly anything Can be improved with a practice. One of the thing i would really love to learn is how to avoid to make assumptions. If we think about it, isn’t it crazy how disturbing it might get? 

A real life example, that happened about a week ago.

I was back home [in Easter Europe], in a clothing store and i always faced to condition from a salesman. Either she or he wouldn’t notice you at all, and you can wonder around, poke your nose or fart in a distant corner nobody would seem to notice you as long you wouldn’t mind bothering them. Or if you would walk in a shop that’s a class too nice for you (judging  by the clothes you wear at that moment) salesman, would talk to you in that high, snobbish voice, making me feel less significant and you wouldn’t even dare to look at the price tags to avoid the “oh, he can not afford that” looks. 

So with these two assumptions in my head i walk in one of the clothing stores and by the first look i see the woman packing out clothes of the box, gives me not the most welcoming look and i don’t even bother asking her where to find something, but try to do it myself.

After i’ve searched throughout everywhere i finally went to her and asked if she could help me find this pants, but a size bigger. That moment just opened up like a flower in an early spring morning, and with a with big smile said yes, of course. Even she couldn’t help me, she called to another shop and “reserved” a pair of pants for me and wished me to have a great day.

This might sound like i am a little girl, wining about the “first world problems” but the key message i want to get through is that You Have to Brake the Assumptions of any kind. 

It is more than a big thing, and it is not realistic to not make any of them, cause we are doing that in a subconceious level, assuming, that this girl, is a boring person because of her outfit, assuming that this guy is having an easy life because of what kind an image he has created around him. 

All these little things just trash around heads, and make to many bias about everything.

Try to think of a person as about a blank peace of page until you get to know more, when you can actually “Draw a picture” of what the people is like.

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I have to put in some hipster-hippie pictures, cause that’s what all blogs are doing you know ! And also to make it look bit more pretty.

Stay nice and stay cool !