All posts by John Paul Narowski

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

Selling in the Digital Age: Technology to Make Life Easier, Productive & Profitable

When it comes to business, technology is a double-edged sword.  Technology is a funny thing; it’s just as easy to be sucked in and overwhelmed, as it is to shun and ignore it.  While technology makes it easier to communicate, transact business and extend your customer base, it can also lead to a few negatives: time-wasted, a disconnect between people and all kinds of complications.

Our job as modern business people is to find the balance in all of this technological mess.  We have to find a way to use technology to increase our productivity and results while not letting the new technologies take away the personal aspects of business.  This can be a daunting task but it’s something that must be controlled if we want to increase sales and business.

There are two specific areas where technological innovation can be implemented to increase our business practices: Productivity and Communication.

Increase Productivity

There are an endless amount of programs and technologies on the internet or on TV that can help you be more productive.  From customer management software, to electronic “To-Do lists” you can easily track what you have to do and what’s going on with your business thanks to modern innovations.

Organizing data by itself doesn’t translate into productivity.  Pareto’s Law says 80% of our results stem from 20% of our actions.  With this in mind, you can use productivity software to identify what is bringing you the results you want and focus on that 20%.  This will go a long way to amplifying your results.

Cheaper and Easier Communication

Do you ever stop to thank the Internet!  It has brought us webinars, web meetings, instant messages, VoIP, Skpe, video conferencing and let’s not forget electronic mail.  You no longer have to fly across the country for a meeting or to close that big deal.  This level of communication has dramatically increased the markets in which we sell and the resources we can tap.

It has also unchained us from cubicles as a person’s “office” can be anywhere.  With wireless Internet, laptops and cell phones you can work wherever you get a signal.  This is great for the road warrior sales force, work at home professionals and telecommuters.

Finding a Balance

With all of this information at our fingertips we can easily get overwhelmed.  Distractions abound in a world where games, music, videos, friends and family are only a click of the mouse away.  It’s easy to start doing too many things at once and not focus on the task at hand.

In the past, technology created more problems than it helped.  Those light on will power and focus often fell victim to the Internet’s time-wasting websites. Well, innovation solved that problem as well.  Many workplaces block time sucking websites like Facebook and YouTube to keep you on task.  You can even get software like Write Room that blocks out everything else but a simple word processor or SelfControl that shuts off the Internet for a pre-selected amount of time no matter what you do.

People Matter Most

It’s also important to remember that business always will be a person-to-person venture.  Just because you can email and instant message, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call.  It’s a lot easier to ignore an email or IM than it is a phone call.  Never underestimate the value of personal contact.  Technology isn’t a substitute for traditional sales methods, it’s merely another tool in our arsenal.


I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

Is Getting a Virtual Assistant Right for You?


The constant development of the Internet, globalization and outsourcing has created an army of virtual assistants who can help you with any task you don’t have time or desire to do.  But how do you know that getting a virtual assistant is the right move?

A virtual assistant is a person who helps your with administrative or other tasks and is not physically located in the same work space as you.  Typically, these workers are used by small businesses, online ventures or other people who have to pay for their own assistants.

The term Virtual Assistant (VA) has become synonymous with outsourced foreign workers that you’d meet when your computer malfunctions or as a telemarketer, but that is not always the case.  Stay-at-home moms, college students, the recently unemployed and full time professional VAs all make up this work force.  Just like any other industry, there are a wide variety in skills, prices and expectations for VAs.

What Can a Virtual Assistant Do For You?


Virtual assistants are perfect for the busy work that you don’t want to attend to.  If you’re running a small business, you’re better off spending your time getting things done and making the big decisions – not sitting around filling out paperwork.  In this case you can hire a virtual assistant to answer phone calls, set appointments, send and answer emails and so on.

Some have more specialized skills that might apply more specifically to your business.  There are VAs for each of these fields:

  • Website content & copy
  • Graphic design
  • Website design
  • Handle your accounting
  • Aid in marketing campaigns
  • Much more

People also commonly use virtual assistants like real assistants and have them attend to non-work matters for them.  This might include scheduling social functions, returning phone calls, arranging for gifts to be bought, dealing with mail, reminding them about loved ones birthdays or anniversaries and many others.

Price vs. Quality


Like anything else in this world you get what you pay for.  Many developing nations like the Philippines, India, China, Pakistan and others supply a lot of VAs to the businessmen and women in this country.  They are usually inexpensive and can be hired for as low as $3 an hour in some cases.

Compare this to the $10 to $35 dollars a U.S. VA might cost you, and you’ll think you’re getting a deal.  However, you may find that the extra price is worth it in the long run.  There are often social, cultural and language barriers that make business more difficult to transact for foreign VAs.

If they are offshore, you will also run into time zone differences that may affect your bottom line.  Plus, even though you’re trying to save time with a VA, you may also find yourself constantly checking their work if there are quality issues.

Try One Out


If you are considering adding a VA to your team, the only way to know for sure if they can help you out is to give it a whirl.  After-all, it won’t cost you much.  Go to or and post a job for a virtual assistant and see who offers their services.  These sites have extensive reviews from people just like you so you can get a good idea of what they are capable of.  With a minimal investment you can try a couple and see what works and what doesn’t.

Without having to worry about insurance, taxes, the overhead of new equipment and other new employee expenses, you can get an assistant involved in no time at all.  The best part is, if you run out of work you just stop using their services.

At some point in your business career you’re going to have to let go and bring others into the fold.  If you’ve started a new business and you’re working out of your basement, a VA might make you seem more professional.  By implanting a VA into your daily routine, you can become more efficient and effective with your business proceedings.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

How to Improve Your Customer Follow-Ups

You likely know just how important it is to follow up with your customers. Not doing so can have some seriously detrimental effects on your sales. But did you know that the wrong follow-up methods can actually harm your efforts? Not only does your customer leave with a bad taste in their mouth, but you can actually create a sense of buyer’s remorse, making that prospect rethink their position entirely.

Obviously, you want to engender a feeling of satisfaction in your prospect or customer – you need them to want to do business with you, not to feel that they could have done better. How do you accomplish that, then? It’s truly not difficult, so long as you have the right tools and methodologies in place. Here, you’ll learn a bit about how to kick your follow-up success rate into high gear.

Mail before You Call

Calling your customer or prospect on the phone is one of the most common forms of a follow-up. However, you should ensure that the person you’re calling has your company’s information in hand before you make that phone call. In order to do this, you should create a mailer and send it to each customer or potential customer prior to making that phone call. It’s a good idea to make several types of mailers, one for each type follow-up – previous customers, current customers and potential customers.

Script Quality

Don’t kid yourself; most follow-up phone calls are based on a script. This is the most efficient way of eliminating all the “ahs, ums, oh’s and hmm’s” that can occur during a phone call, and possibly cost you a client. This is incredibly important. Too many of the above and your customer will begin feeling uncomfortable. Therefore, that script needs to be the best it can possibly be.

However, your script should not be the “be all, end all” of communication with the person on the other end of that phone line. Take the time to customize the script for each call. This might include an accurate purchase history in the case of a previous or current customer. It might include salient points from an initial meeting with a prospective client. The possibilities are boundless, but one thing is certain – if you use a cookie-cutter script, the person on the other end of the line is going to know.


As with anything else in life, the timing of your follow-up is crucial. Too long and your customers will feel that you’re neglecting them. Too soon and they’ll think you’re desperate (that’s bad, even if you are). Set a time for a follow-up call with any prospective customers during your initial meeting and stick to that time. If you are unable to follow-up when you said you would, do so as soon as possible and apologize for not communicating sooner. An apology can smooth away a lot of ruffled feathers.

If you’ll be following up with a previous or current customer, give your mail-out time to arrive before making your phone call. Usually, three business days is sufficient for most mail, though in the case of coast-to-coast mail, you might opt for a week between mailing out the information and that phone call.

With these strategies in place, you’ll be able to tactfully follow up with each lead and turn them into long-term client.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

First Impressions: Three Things to Avoid in Your Online Profile

“Hi I’m Brad!  I love topless bars, beer pong and have a rocky, drama filled relationship with my girlfriend.”  Not something you’d exactly open a sales call with, but if you aren’t diligent about what you post online, this is what you could be telling potential clients.

With the spread of social media sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter people have been able to post pictures, updates about their lives and connect with friends.  Add blogs and you can easily share your beliefs and opinions with the world on anything you feel like.  While all of this might be great for staying connected and expressing yourself, it may be career suicide.

Whether you’re applying for a job or looking to expand your current client base you need to be aware that most people are Internet savvy enough to at least run your name in a Google search to see what comes up.  Wouldn’t you research your future boss if you had the chance? With hundreds of millions of people on social networks, your profile is inviting many eyes.

If you don’t properly separate your work and personal lives online, you may run into some embarrassing situations that can put a serious dent in your career.  You might be the best at what you do, but if you spent the weekend Tweeting about Tequila shots and partying all weekend, who is going to take you serious as a professional when you return to “office-mode” tweeting on Monday?

Follow these simple steps to insure the social media grenade doesn’t detonate your career.

Clean It Up

If you have profiles on social media sites, blogs or anything else that delves into your private life, then go through them with a fine-tooth comb.  Make sure to remove any tidbits you don’t want coworkers or executives to see.  If you’re job-hunting, this is especially important. With the economy limiting the number of open jobs, you can give yourself an advantage over others that haven’t cleaned up their online profiles.

Make sure to check out your photos, posts and links you have put out there for anything that may be offensive or might call your professionalism into question.  Also, make sure friends who link to you don’t have anything potentially damaging on their pages about you.  They represent you and it’s a smaller world than you think!

Yes, you have freedom of speech in this wonderful country but your political, social or religious views may offend some people in the professional environment. If you want to work under their roof, you’ll have to play by their rules.  Stay away from controversial topics that may make people not want to work with you.

Obey the Golden Rule of the Internet

Going forward always remember, “Once on the Internet, always on the Internet.”  Once that picture of you dancing on the bar is out there, it’s always going to be out there in some form or another.  Take this into consideration before posting anything on your pages.  The litmus test is to ask yourself, “Would I hire the person in this picture?”

Don’t Forget the Little Things

So you’ve erased that lost weekend to Tijuana from Facebook’s archives but don’t forget about what else you are telling people by your online actions.  Constant streams of updates are quite telling if you consider the timestamps that are attached to each message.  You’re telling the world that you waste time online all day.  Unless that’s part of your job description, keep updates limited to after-work hours or maybe lunch.

The sites you link to or the subjects you discuss could also put off potential employers and clients.  Whether it’s fair or not, people will judge you for what you talk about or show interest in.  You want coworkers and employees to judge you on your professional merits, not some dumb comment you made online. If you are constantly blogging about celebrity gossip or going on about trivial topics, some people will think less of you.  Don’t be afraid to be yourself, but make sure your personality appears at appropriate times.

Pleasure to Meet You

Take the time to groom your online presence just like you do for your “real world” life.  You wouldn’t show up to work wearing provocative clothing, showing-off radical tattoos so don’t make your online self do those things either.  Take a deep breath, count to ten and think about what you’re telling the world before you hit that submit button.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

New Feature – Create Custom Fields for Contacts and Deals

We have now added the ability for you to add custom fields to your contacts and deal forms. This allows you to customize your forms with fields that may be missing from the defaults you are presented with. Once you create these fields, they will appear at the bottom of your forms. You might want to add a heading at the top of your custom fields so you can denote where the custom fields begin.


Easy Field Sorting

Simply click and hold on the draggable icon to re-arrange the fields according to your taste. The contact or deal fields will appear in the form exactly as you arrange them here.

You can also sort select box and check box options by clicking and dragging the same icon. Anywhere you see this icon in Karma denotes the ability to sort that content.


Where do the values from these fields appear?


Please keep in mind that if your remove your custom field or option, you will also loose any data that is associated with that field. Our next post will outline the revised CSV import tool, and how you can add CSVs with any field you want. Enjoy and happy customizing.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

Use Twitter to Stamp Out Customer Service Fires

Disgruntled customers are a nightmare for anyone in the service department. One frustrated customer can blow an issue completely out of proportion, sending a company scrambling to put out service fires.  The bigger your company, the more problematic these angry patrons can become.  Small or big, you must handle your organization’s service issues promptly and efficiently. Call centers work fine to resolve a lot of issues, but what do you do when angry customers don’t call in? Most major companies are turning to Twitter for the solution. There are three reasons Twitter is ideal for customer service.

Resolve Customer Service Issues Faster

The primary goal of customer service is to resolve their concerns. Like a traditional call center, Twitter gives consumers the opportunity to connect with the customer service department if there is something wrong with their order or your product. However, unlike a traditional call center, Twitter also allows you to reach out to your customers even if they don’t “call in.”

The Google Example

Take, for example, the Google downtime in May of 2009. As you can well imagine, lots of people contacted Google directly, but millions of others didn’t bother to contact the web giant. However, they did light up Twitter with streams of tweets about the downtime. Google was able to use Twitter to give concerned customers a real-time update of the progress they were making on the problem. It was as if one Google customer service rep was giving the Twittersphere a play-by-play as the Google team swept into action to resolve the issue. Surely there was more than one person running the customer service department that day, but it would have taken hundreds more customer care representatives to handle the communications if Google had not turned to Twitter. Google’s customers could sense the impending return of their beloved search engine and were less apt to bail on the company.

Relatively Inexpensive Customer Service

If you currently implement call centers in your business, you know the expenses they incur. Twitter can reduce this cost quite drastically.

Efficient Workers

A customer service rep can only talk to one customer at a time when using the phone. True, they can switch back and forth between calls, but at any given time they can only talk to one person. However, on Twitter a customer service rep might be simultaneously assisting three or four different customers with one tweet or direct message. Thus, Twitter allows business owners to cut costs by handling the work of three or four call center reps with one Twitter monitor. None of the customers helped through Twitter are waiting on hold, so all of them feel like they are being helped immediately which goes a long way towards resolving their issue and earning their loyalty.  This type of customer service  can only work if Tweeted complaints are dealt with in a timely fashion though. If you leave a complaint unattended for over 24 hours, you lost your competitive edge.

It’s An Opportunity to Save

Does this mean businesses can get away with transitioning all their customer service to Twitter and doing away with their call centers entirely? Of course not, but it’s an opportunity for savvy managers to trim some of the customer service fat and help disgruntled customers in a more timely manner.

Powerful Reputation Management Tool

Customer service has seemingly always been about putting out the fires that naturally arise when anyone does business. But, Twitter gives customer service reps the ability to avoid many of the fires altogether.

Behind the Scenes Service

When problems aren’t happening (which is hopefully much of the time), your customer service reps can be using the company’s Twitter account to add value to your customers’  lives. When Google’s team isn’t putting out fires, they’re regularly posting interesting stuff they find on the web. They also talk directly with followers. In doing this, Google is building trusting relationships with their customers that are more like friendships than business relationships.

Applications & Software to Help

There are also many applications available that allow you to find out what Twitter users are saying about your brand. If you use either Seesmic or TweetDeck, you can have several columns each tracking a different keyword. Charter uses these tools to keep track of what people are saying about the company on Twitter. If someone tweets, “Charter internet is really slow today,” a customer service rep instantly catches the comment and addresses it. The rep will send out a public tweet acknowledging the issue and then ask for a direct message giving details about your service. That way they can help you through any problem you’re having. Of course, you have to follow a user on Twitter in order to send a direct message, so Charter is also building their follower list in the process.

Don’t Miss Out

As with most business models, the old ways of doing customer service aren’t going to disappear overnight. But, if you aren’t using Twitter as a part of your customer service package, you’re missing out on a great way to advance your business.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

Mastering the Art of the Cold Call

Just because we live in a world dominated by technology and the Internet doesn’t mean you can turn your back on tried and true methods of selling like cold calling.

More clients, more sales and more money await those willing to do the legwork needed.  There is business out there waiting for you; all you have to do is go and find it.

<h2><span style=”font-family: ‘Trebuchet MS’; font-size: large;”>1. Get Rid of Distractions</span></h2>

Remember the Phone?

This generation of business leaders and marketing personnel seems to prefer instant messages and emails to communicate with their potential clients.  While convenient electronic communication may be quicker, it just doesn’t work well when you’re trying to convert a prospect into a client.  Cold calling not only gets your foot in the door, but the strategy also creates a first impression that can help you generate an identity in the mind of your client.

Boost your cold calling game with these simple tips:

  • Make Your Calls in the Morning:  Cold calling prospects is a great way to start your day off.  Baseball players wing heavier bats in practice, so their regular bats will seem lighter during gameday.  You can do the same with your selling muscles.  After a few cold calls to start the day, every other sales duty will be be a piece of cake.  By calling early you also have a better chance of eluding “gate keepers” and getting right to hard working professionals like you who get in the office early.
  • Numbers Game:  I once had a college professor who was also a real estate agent.  He said he got one “Yes” for every thirty “No’s”.  Every time someone told him “No” he got excited because that meant he was one call closer to a “Yes”.  The more people you call the more prospects you’re going to convert into clients. It’s as simple, but as complex as that.
  • Be Persistent: Many prospects take several calls to finally get sold on you and your offer.  Make notes, follow up and track your progress with everyone on your list.  There will be a lot of “No’s” but that shouldn’t deter you from continuing on.
  • Research Ahead of Time:  By researching your prospect and their company through the Internet before you call them you will have a huge advantage during the initial conversation.  Even something as simple as knowing where they are located can make you stand out in their mind.
  • Don’t Read a Script:  While having an outline of what you’re going to say in front of you is a good idea, you never want to come off like you’re reading from a script.  Use your outline as a guide and never, never, ever read straight from it.

Cold calling is not everyone’s favorite aspect of their job but if you’re serious about increasing your sales and delivering the results your bosses are looking for than you need to master it.  Follow these simple steps and you’ll up your phone selling game by leaps and bounds.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

New Feature – Shared Events with Google Calendar Integration

We know what its like to have various company and personal calendars strewn about your workflow, and wanted to solve this problem with Karma. We have just added the ability for you to create and share company calendars through Karma. In addition to using a shared calendar to schedule and plan events, you can also import your calendars from Google.

Once your Google calendars have been imported into Karma, any changes made will be reflected on the Google calendar page. You can also create Google calendars from within Karma, rename them, change their color or remove them.


I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

Customer Service: More Than Just Putting Out Fires

Every business person worth their salt knows the statistics on customer retention and the importance of customer service.  This area of business always seems to receive flowery words and big promises in mission statements and employee manuals but often falls short in real world situations.

Customer Service: A Necessity

Unfortunately, many business owners see customer service as just another expense item in a budget.  It seems like many of us come from sales backgrounds so naturally our attention is drawn to obtaining more revenue.  As sales and management professionals we often obsess over revenue sources and relegate customer service to auxiliary importance in our businesses.

Yet, we forget that a huge part of the revenue equation is customer retention.  Customer service should be looked at more than just putting out the fires of dissatisfaction though.  If you’re simply reactionary you’re always just chasing the last problem and not getting out in front of the causes.

People will go out of their way to do business with people they know and like, no matter what the other guy’s price is.  So how do you encourage near fanatical devotion amongst you customers and keep the revenue stream from drying up?  I’m a big fan of not reinventing the wheel; I find people who do things the best and emulate them.  If you’re looking to up your customer service game then you need look no further than

Follow the Leader:

The online shoe and clothing retailer, which was recently purchased by for close to $1 billion, is widely respected as the king of customer service.  Their corporate culture, policies and training are all geared to produce an environment where workers feel good about providing great customer service.  This devotion to superior customer satisfaction has allowed them grow by leaps and bounds with relatively no traditional advertising costs.

Here’s some examples of how you can implement customer service in your business:

  • Blow Expectations Out of the Water: When a customer called to ask if she could return a pair of boots she had purchased for her recently deceased husband even though it was past the regular return period the rep not only took the boots back with no shipping costs but sent flowers to the man’s funeral.  If you’re aiming for the status quo then that’s what you’re going to get.  While that may keep costs a little lower you’re not going to get the customer loyalty and repeat business you’re looking for.
  • Provide the Proper Environment: gives their customer service reps the power to do almost anything a manager can do.  They are well trained and told to “use their best judgment”.  They are not judged on call time, efficiency or any other criteria.  Don’t talk big about customer service but then hamstring your reps with goals that send the wrong message.
  • Customer Service is an Investment, Not a Cost: Yes, you can squeeze every last penny out of your customer service department but the long term effects will be disastrous for customer retention. pours money into their customer service department and make sure there are enough well trained reps ready to answer calls 24/7 in their outstanding fashion.  This has paid off in spades with much of their business coming from word of mouth.

Put a Customer Service Plan in Place

No matter your business’s size if you’re not looking at customer service this way then you’re going to run into problems.  No matter how great your sales engine is it’s easier and more profitable to retain the customers you already have.  Sit down and review your current polices, attitudes and environment when it comes to customer service.

What can you do encourage more repeat business and fanatical customer loyalty?

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

Five Things You Can Do Right Now to Increase Productivity

Living the connected life does not mean you have to tolerate the distracted background noises. It seems like the modern world stacks the deck against us when it comes to getting things done.  We are bombarded with distractions from cell phones, the web, instant messenger, radio and every other modern convenience you can think of.

Between work, family and chasing long forgotten sanity, our lives are packed to the brim.  There just aren’t enough hours in the day!! (Hint: If you have a time-machine, please send it my way.)

So how do you stay productive when you’re surrounded by technology and people that constantly fight for your attention?  Follow these simple rules and you’ll be on your way to a manageable life.

1. Get Rid of Distractions

Sounds simple enough, but if take a step back and look at your work space, I bet you’ll find distractions you never knew were there.

    • Start with your computer’s desktop.  How many browser windows do you have open?  Do you have your personal and work email open at the same time?  How many folders, spreadsheets and documents are on your desktop?  Put everything in its place and only have open what you’re working on right then.  Try to not even let things run in the toolbar if you can avoid it.
    • Need to pound out that sales letter but just can’t quite stop yourself from rating songs on Pandora or checking your ex-girlfriend’s relationship status on Facebook?  The use Write Room — a simple word processor that goes to a full screen so all you have is the black background and your green words.
    • Let your phones go to voicemail.  Man invented caller ID for a reason, check to see if it’s someone you need to talk to and answer accordingly.

2. Avoid Time Bandits

We’ve all experienced the “FWD: Soooo Funny – Check it out” email chain.  We all have people that send us distracting, “funny” emails that bog down your productivity in favor of the latest gossip or funny YouTube video.  These people are typically guilty of engaging you in office politics and chit chat gossip as well.  Sometimes they even want to show you their latest gadget.  Like sharks in the water, Time Bandits can smell when someone is looking to slack off and will be there to help you waste your time. Cue the Jaws theme song.

While being anti-social is not a good policy, identify these people and stay away from them when you need to crank something out.  Being upfront and honest with these bandits is another option; “Sorry Tom, I really have to get back to this report.”

3. Do One Thing at a Time

business woman #14

Our society seems to encourage multitasking and respects those that do it successfully.  Studies show that multitasking does not increase productivity and at its worse can be very dangerous; just think about texting and driving!  Focus on one duty at a time and give it your full attention.  You’ll get through it quicker and produce a better result.

4. Prioritize

Make yourself a “To Do” list and attack it head on by doing the most important thing first.  Work like you only have a three hour work day.  If you had to get something done in this super short day, what would it be?  Even if you get nothing else done during the day, you can reflect on that one instance of high productivity.

If you’re having a hard time figuring out the most important thing on your list, identify what you want to do the least.  Knock that bad boy out first thing in your day and the rest of the day will be a walk in the park.

5. Individualize

What works for some people doesn’t work for all.  Finding what works best for you is the key to productivity and self-actualization. Take these basic guidelines and individualize to meet your unique needs and situations.

Some people find complete silence deafening and ultimately distracting.  If you’re one of these, then play some music in the back ground to keep you going.  Many workers find that they are more productive at a certain time of the day.  Identify your “work zone” and plan to tackle the most important stuff in those hours.checklist

Get ‘er Done

By following these simple steps even the most daunting inbox will seem like a trip to the break room.  Find what works best for you and don’t let others steer you off the path to true productivity.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.