first_imgRelated Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Dedicated followers of ReadWrite may recall that a couple of months ago I broke my iPhone 4 and spent a week relying on a Google Galaxy Nexus. I enjoyed my experience, but decided that rather than switch to Android, I’d instead upgrade to an iPhone 5 when they became available. (See My Week With Android, Or Why I’m Buying An iPhone 5.)Well, I hate mail-order, and I hate waiting in lines, so I planned to use my repaired iPhone 4 until I could just walk into a store and pick up the iPhone 5 I wanted. I’m not sure that you can do that anywhere right now, but I had no trouble doing so last week at the flagship Apple store in downtown San Francisco. I know that just about every tech writer on the planet has already weighed in on the iPhone 5, so I’m not going to go into the specs and such. Most likely you all know that stuff already.Instead, I’m going to share a couple points that jumped out at me after using the iPhone 5 in my daily comings and goings. Some of these observations may seem obvious to some, but they surprised me. The Bigger Screen: A DisappointmentSure, the iPhone 5 has a bigger screen, but in my daily use, it didn’t seem that much bigger. For viewing websites and apps, I often didn’t even notice the extra size (and that’s not meant as praise). I was hoping the extra space would ameliorate the screen envy I sometimes feel towards Android devices’ whose screens seem to resemble the Great Plains or the Russian Steppes. No such luck. I still have to squint, or pinch-and-zoom to see what I’m looking at.The extra real estate really came in handy only when I happily put 16 apps in a folder, and stuck an extra row of apps and folders on my home screen. That’s saving me some clicking and scrolling as I navigate the 72 apps I migrated from my old phone to the new one. But that’s about it. There’s still not quite enough room for my fingers when typing, so I still make a zillion errors in every sentence. Autocorrect helps, but only to a point. Too often, it correctly spells a different word than the one I was trying to type.The Faster Processor: A Sweet SurpriseI didn’t think a little extra speed in the chip would make a big difference. After all, it wasn’t like I felt my iPhone 4 was slow. I was wrong. Even on the same Wi-Fi connections I was already using, the iPhone 5 was noticeably, significantly faster. Even after a week, I get a little thrill at how quickly apps and Web pages load and present data. It’s so dramatic that I find myself using my phone more than ever, for all kinds of things that I wouldn’t have wanted to wait for on the iPhone 4.LTE: As Awesome As PromisedAs an AT&T subscriber in San Francisco, speed wasn’t my big problem, connectivity and coverage were. But the LTE service in the iPhone 5 seems to help all of those issues, too. I’m getting much better voice connections in my house (which had been problematic) and suffering fewer dropouts and other connection hiccups. And the speed really is amazing. I have 50Mbps Internet at home (see A Love Letter to the Cable Guy, or How Really Fast Broadband Changes Everything), and we have 100Mbps service at ReadWrite World HQ, but I hardly noticed the dropoffs when relying on AT&T’s network.As noted, the faster speeed is encouraging me to use the phone more, so I’m kind of worried I’m going to blow through my data plan and end up spending more money on service – that would be an annoying unintended consequence, although I’m sure AT&T would be thrilled.The Physical StuffThe iPhone 5 is thinner and lighter but longer than the iPhone 4. But none of that really made much of a difference to me. It still fits in my pocket, still feels good in my hand.What did make a difference is that darn Lightning connector. (See iPhone 5’s Lightning Connector Is A Bigger Problem Than Apple Thinks.) I like the fact that it goes in either way, but it doesn’t seem very sturdy. And even though I spent $30 on the stupid adapter, it still doesn’t work on my iPhone speaker units. It charges, sort of, if it doesn’t fall over, but it won’t play the music. Thankfully, the adapter does allow the iPhone 5 to work with the old iPhone connector kit in my car.Two New CapabilitiesThe two most important new capabilities I got with my upgrade are no doubt Siri and turn-by-turn navigation. I’m finding Siri kind of fun to talk to, but not particularly useful. Too often, she doesn’t understand my request, or can’t find me a decent answer, so just returns a Web search. Yawn. So far at least, I’m asking her fewer and fewer questions. Turn by turn navigation is great, though, even with Apple’s sketchy new maps. But at least for me, it’s difficult to set it up and hear the instructions while I’m driving, so it’s not as useful as I’d like when I’m driving by myself. Of course, my Google Nexus had similar voice commands and navigation features, and they weren’t enough to get me to stay on Android. So it shouldn’t be too big a surprise that these capabilities are not changing my life on the iPhone 5, either.Making The TransitionOne of the reasons I decided to go with the iPhone 5 was my investment in the Apple ecosystem – my whole family uses iPhones and it’s nice to take advantage of some the Apple-only features together, like iMessage and FaceTime. (Sure there are other solutions, but these features work really well within Apple’s walled garden.)Moving to the iPhone 5 wan’t completely seamless. It took a few tries to get iTunes (boy, have I ever mentioned how much I hate iTunes?) to back up my old phone and restore everything properly to the new one. I had help from an iOS developer, which was invaluable to learn about a couple key settings to make the process work – especially the need to encrypt the backup to make sure everything moves over properly. Things would no doubt have been easier had I been using iCloud. Or maybe not. (See Cupertino, We Have A Problem.)Once I got everything moved over, of course, there was zero learning curve. The iPhone 5 had all the same apps and capabilities that I was used to using. I did have to re-pair my Bluetooth connections and call AT&T to change my voice mail password – after two years I had completely forgotten it.On the other hand, I also didn’t get that thrill of discovery or the excitement of playing with something new. The iPhone 5 feels like a sweet upgrade, not a brand new toy. That’s a little sad and ironic, but I’m still happy I made the choice. At least until some whizzy new Android or Windows Phone 8 device comes out while I’m still stuck in the 2-year AT&T contract extension I signed to get the new phone.Lead image by Fredric Paul. Inside image by Pamela Robinson. Tags:#Apple#iPhone What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img fredric paul Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

first_imgRelated Posts This post is part of Hire Education, an ongoing series in which ReadWrite examines technological innovation in education and how it’s reshaping the approaches of universities and students as they adapt to a transforming economy.The democratization of technology wrought by the mobile Web and a proliferation of app stores has made it easier than ever to succeed as an entrepreneur—and at an earlier age than ever before. Which poses a tough question for some high-school students who’ve managed to strike it rich with a hit app: Do they really need to go to college at all?That’s the conundrum facing Ryan Orbuch—a self-described “techie kid” who built a task management app called Finish with a friend when they wanted a way to organize their studies for high school final exams. Finish sells for 99 cents in Apple’s App Store. To date, users have downloaded it nearly 40,000 times. That’s not a bad haul for a couple of kids who just wanted a way to fight procrastination when it came to their coursework. (Yes, so they then went on to build an app instead of hitting the books.) Orbuch has also started an umbrella company called Basil for other projects he is working on.The cherry on top? Finish won an Apple iOS Design Award this year at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference. Orbuch his partner have updated the app for iOS 7 and are planning on expanding it in the coming months. So now Orbuch has a company, some early success and entrepreneurial street cred. If they wanted to, it’s conceivable that they could go find some venture capital funding and take their business to the next level. At the same time, well, Orbuch is a now senior in high school. Their parents expect them to go to college.“It’s something that I’ve thought a ton about, especially considering that I’m applying to college this fall,” Orbuch told me in an interview. “It’s scary. If the future was that black and white, if it were option one—go to school or option two—build stuff, with nothing in between, I’d unquestionably go try to build stuff. I don’t think that’s how it is, though. I think that it’s becoming less and less mutually exclusive, a trend I hope continues.”The Myth—And Reality—Of The WunderkindRyan OrbuchThe history of tech is replete with successful entrepreneurs who didn’t go to college—or who went to college, but dropped out to follow their visions. Steve Jobs is perhaps the most famous in the modern era, but Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is the current poster child for the Billion Dollar Babies Club, since he dropped out of Harvard to build the world’s biggest social network. Zuckerberg’s example has inspired legions of teenagers and young adults to follow in his footsteps. And venture capitalists want to find the next money train built on the backs of naïve visionaries.Billionaire Peter Thiel is the most prominent example. He made his money as part of the “PayPal Mafia” and was one of the first investors in Facebook after Zuckerberg decamped for Silicon Valley. In 2010, Thiel set up a program to turn out mini-Zuckerbergs. His Thiel Fellowship promised young entrepreneurs $100,000 if they skipped college to build the companies of the future.Three years later, the Thiel Fellows don’t have a lot to show for that effort. So far, the only product from a Thiel Fellow that’s gained any real traction is a Binaca-like caffeine spray. GigLocator, a company that aggregated information about music artist and venues, made a small exit when it was acquired. Dale Stephens is fairly well-known as a Thiel Fellow, though that’s mostly because he’s spent a lot of time talking about how he dropped out of school to become a Thiel Fellow—along the way, picking up a book deal for a tome that will elaborate on how he dropped out of school to become a Thiel Fellow and get a book deal.The problem the Thiel Fellows faced has nothing to do with the entrepreneurs’ smarts or drive, which are assuredly considerable. It has to do with the myth of the wunderkind and what it takes to create a successful, visionary product. The pantheon of modern innovators—Jobs, Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, Elon Musk, and so on—have had great timing and a certain amount of luck. They all also had highly skilled companions to help them along the way. Jobs had Steve Wozniak, effectively the father of the modern personal computer. Zuckerberg had Eduardo Saverin and Dustin Moskovitz to help him build Facebook. Gates had Paul Allen along to write code and cut deals that turned Microsoft into a giant company.Vision, drive and natural talent only can bring a would-be entrepreneur so far. Meeting the right people, having the right pedigree and creating your own luck are also extremely important. Such relationships often start in college. (Though not always; Jobs and Wozniak met in high school; Gates and Allen were childhood friends.)Reuters recently published a survey on “Series A” funding for startup companies in the Silicon Valley sphere over the last three years. Of 88 companies, 70 were founded by people that were once an executive at a large tech company or a well-connected small company or graduated from Harvard, MIT or Stanford. Pedigree matters.The lesson? The wunderkinds do best when they partner with other wunderkinds that have experience and connections.Education Of A Would-Be EntrepreneurSmit PatelSmit Patel is a hustler. He came to the United States in 8th grade from Ahmedabad, India. That’s when he got his first computer and fell in love with the idea of being an entrepreneur.As a teenager, he wanted to start his own company, so he dove into the Boston startup ecosystem head first. If you’ve spent any time around Boston startups in the last couple of years, there’s a chance that you’ve met Patel and learned of his burning desire to found a company or be part of a hot startup.Patel isn’t a developer or an engineer. His primary focus has been on communications and marketing. His quest to build a startup company was thwarted time and again by the inability to find a technical cofounder that could help build the product. He wanted to start a Twitter stock market game called Cashtag. It never materialized. Patel needed a Wozniak … and couldn’t find one.Patel has gone back and forth several times over the idea of going to university, getting an internship or starting his own company. He even finally founded a startup to help other would-be entrepreneurs find cofounders called FounderMatchup.“Instead of working on FounderMatchup, which was making money, I was focused on finding the next big idea,” Patel said. “I sucked at knowing the people I should be listening to, how to build relationships and realizing the importance of finding mentors. Essentially these were all lessons that students learn after college graduation and their first job, but [that] I learned that first semester of college.”Patel eventually realized that even though he was smart, driven and crafty, he’d never be the next Zuckerberg. Instead, he’s realized that the best option for future success is a more standard American route: go to college, find an internship and build a network. He’s criss-crossed the country a couple of times between Boston and San Francisco, looking to catch on as an intern at a startup. At 20 years old, he’s actually ahead of the curve. Many young people don’t figure these things out until their mid-20s, if ever. Patel is now a junior at Suffolk University in Boston and has worked recently with inbound marketing firm HubSpot.Pay Or PlayOrbuch and his partner at Finish are a bit of a different story. They already have a product in Finish that is well regarded and making a bit of money. But they face the same question as Patel did in his late teens: Work on building a company or go to college?“That is something I am going to be thinking about over the next few months as I think of college and stuff. So, there are a lot of roads there,” Orbuch said in an interview with ReadWrite earlier this year. “I’d love to go to Stanford, that would be cool. Just to get in … college applications are really terrifying. But, I think it is just such an interesting environment. Even if just for a short amount of time, just getting to meet the people and the social component, it is really hard to replicate outside.”To Orbuch, his choices are fairly clear. He can attempt the college route or continue to build Basil with Finish as the keystone concept. Being a Thiel Fellow could be interesting, he said. It would add credibility and give him access to mentors if he were chosen for the program. “Whether colleges in general want to accept it or not, they are no longer the end-all be-all of ‘future success,’ particularly in the arena of entrepreneurship. There’s more flexibility now than there was when my parents went to school, and I think that’s easy for them to ignore,” Orbuch said.Lead image via Shutterstock.com Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology dan rowinskicenter_img Tags:#Higher Ed#Hire Education#University Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

first_imgInternet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Amazon#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#retail#robotics#top#unemployment#workforce center_img Any time a disruptive technology with industrial or productive applications comes into play, the question arises as to whether or not that technology will result in the loss of jobs. This issue has been tackled extensively in the manufacturing sector, but what about retail? Are robots and IoT technologies putting our retail workforce at risk?The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a 7% growth in the retail workforce over a period of ten years, ending in 2024. This is a positive sign for the 4.8 million retail workers in the United States. However, what impact will technologies like those that drive the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and robotics have on the industry is harder to predict.For one, these technologies are being developed at a breakneck pace. In the past year, drones and other automated delivery methods have promised to give online retailers an edge in both speed and reach of delivery. This adds pressure on brick-and-mortar retailers to not only make their stores more appealing to a modern customer base but to find ways to increase efficiency to remain competitive.The impact of these disruptive technologiesTo better understand the plight of the retail sector, we should first examine what has been going on in the world of manufacturing.Manufacturing, especially in the auto industry, experienced a significant shift in employment as automated equipment became commonplace in facilities around the world.Warehouse-level work for online retailers especially are a different story. Robots are already rolling around Amazon’s expansive warehouses, grabbing shelving units full of merchandise and bringing it to their human counterparts which pick items and place them in boxes for shipping. Amazon’s robotic armies haven’t ceased Amazon’s need to hire. Amazon grew its labor force by 47% over a period of a single year, much of this growth occurring in its fulfillment centers.Back in 2012, PCWorld reported on Amazon’s vocational training program enabling employees that were currently working in unskilled warehouse jobs to train for more high-demand jobs. This includes job skills that aren’t directly related to Amazon, such as nursing.While a direct connection between an increase in automation and the decline of U.S. manufacturing jobs is a topic of debate among economists, there is no question that corporations in virtually every sector are actively seeking ways to lower staffing costs while improving efficiency.There’s no doubt that robots change the dynamic of the workplace. For retail workers, robots are being tested as a replacement for some of the many customer-facing retail jobs out there, but they’re in no danger of hitting the mainstream anytime soon. Human customers are slow to embrace a robot rolling down the aisles, asking customers if there is anything they can help the customer find.The perks of a new generation of retail technologiesAmazon, a predominantly online retailer, has offered its own solution to the problem in the form of a brick-and-mortar store that cuts the cashier out of the purchasing process. Customers of the upcoming Seattle-based Amazon Go store will walk in, pick out their item(s), and walk out. The only thing the customer needs to do is load the Amazon Go app on their phone and check in. Their Amazon account gets charged after leaving the store.This process takes advantage of a number of emerging technologies including computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning to track the customer’s movements throughout the store and which item(s) they take off the shelves as you shop. Upon leaving, your Amazon account is charged for any item(s) you have with you as you walk out the door.This has many upsides for customers. Shoppers don’t have to interact with a store employee if you don’t want to. You can rush in and rush out in seconds rather than waiting in line to check out. For the store, it means less overhead. You won’t need as big of a staff, or the staff that you have can spend more time concentrating on providing good customer service prior to checkout.For nearly a decade, technologists have been predicting that technologies such as RFID would enable shoppers to load their carts with goods and bypass the checkout line. Some stores, including Kroger’s, have been testing technologies that would speed up the checkout experience by automating the process utilizing 360-degree barcode scanners.Smart carts with location awareness and integrated RFID readers are already being tested and show a lot of promise. These carts, which include a tablet-like interface can do things like present shoppers with location-aware ads that direct them to a sale or recommend recipes based on nearby ingredients. These carts can even track shopping habits of particular customers and offer directions to specific items.This technology doesn’t inherently supplant a worker. It enhances the customer experience in a way that complements the customer service that can be provided by the human staff. It also provides the retailer with an additional source of revenue through ad sales and upselling.But for every upside….Any time you change a customer’s experience, a level of friction presents itself. Change is very difficult. People, in general, don’t like change if it means they have to learn how to use a new system. Efficiency has to come with a heavy dose of convenience.Right now, supermarkets and grocery stores around the world the United States are taking advantage of self-checkout lanes. These lanes enable customers to scan, bag, and work the register for their own purchase. This enables a single cashier to monitor 6, 10, or more checkout lanes at a time. This means fewer cashiers are needed.Self-checkout lanes are an alternative that these stores are turning to in order to improve efficiency. That creates less demand for cashiers in particular. Employees are often cross-trained to assist with any number of tasks when checkout is slow.The challenge of these self-checkout lanes comes in the form of increased occurrence of theft. Scales that weigh produce at the self-checkout scanner can be tricked by a crafty customer where a trained cashier ensures an accurate accounting for the merchandise being ringed up.Will Reynolds Young member of UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers) said, “Self-checkout lanes are slower and less efficient for customers, despite the misconception that they’re faster. They’re also easy to trick. A single “watcher” can only really monitor three lanes, and even then that’s too much.”Take the challenges of keeping an honest account of a customer’s purchase on a self-checkout lane and cut out the checkout part of this experience. We’ve all seen what a madhouse retail stores can be during sales, such as those held on Black Friday each year. How accurately can cameras and advanced scanning systems track merchandise when it’s being fumbled around in a crowded store?RFID tracking is a possible solution, but RFID-blocking bags and accessories are very easy to acquire.Just as with most technologies, the more convenient you make them, the less secure they become. People are crafty, and they will find ways around these systems. It could be argued that for every cashier replaced by a robot, there would need to be a human standing at the door checking receipts.What does the future hold?Amazon Go’s model is intriguing. If successful, it would become a proof of concept for a technology that would undoubtedly be licensed and/or adopted by other retailers. Go’s model isn’t one for a supercenter or a giant grocery store. It’s a test, with a small retail space in a calm corner of Seattle. Despite some claims in the media that as many 2,000 Amazon Go stores are in the works, the company insists that the checkout-free trial will be anything but a massive brick-and-mortar rollout.So while these technologies are certainly changing the world of retail, the idea that a store would be entirely powered by IoT technologies and staffed by robots is still a bit far-fetched. Beyond the boutique examples of trendy Quinoa restaurants, which still have human attendants present to assist customers with using the technology, the vision of retail stores smattering the landscape devoid of a human workforce remains one of science fiction.For now. Ryan Matthew Pierson Follow the Pucklast_img read more

first_imgThe short answer is yes. Get ready for a transformation of your HR department and I’m talking about making it much better.Do you really want to work at your current level of speed and productivity? AI is the key businesses have been waiting to make this department more effective: Getting more done, pursuing accuracy and playing a more dynamic role in attaining company goals.But of course, it will only happen if you know about and implement these changes. So let’s summarize this so you can get prepared. As AI develops you need to be ready to accept the positive change.Will AI Carry Risks or Disadvantages Too?Of course, no change is only positive. It’s usually coupled with some stress and a learning curve. If you know what to expect though you can be better prepared to minimize the obstacles. Here’s what you need to look out for:You could trust AI to pick the best person for a job but a robot may not gauge certain characteristics that will come to the fore in a personal discussion.Your team may be overwhelmed with technology if not trained well. This often leads to programs uploaded to a system but old processes still begin following. That’s a waste of money.Employees may feel disconnected if they only interact with AI.While these risks are mostly manageable—stay involved and give good training—you run a much greater risk if you don’t implement this: Becoming irrelevant in an ever-evolving market. Do you realize you must use modern technology if you want to be a preferred employer?You want to attract the best employees in the market, right?Will AI Cost You Your HR Position?This is an unfortunate myth. It’s normal to be protective of your job but there’s little foundation for this fear. In general companies view AI and automation as an opportunity to retrain employees to cover other tasks—in conjunction with robots and high tech features—so the company can improve productivity.And here’s an important note: An HR team will play a prime role in preparing companies to implement AI in all departments. Aren’t you responsible for the development of employees in general? That means you now have the privilege of training them for the exciting journey of working with AI.There will definitely be more work rather than you losing your relevance in your company.But then it’s important you keep up with the times. Luckily you’ll revel in these benefits coming your way.The Benefits of AI for Your HR DepartmentSo will it be an overnight win? Probably not.For a start: For AI to be truly effective the machine learning aspect needs to learn from you and your crew what to do. Then certain tasks can be copied, automated and improved because it will be happening faster. You also must get used to new processes and customize the system to your preferences.But if you need some motivation to keep going and embrace this new chapter in business functioning, here are the facts.Benefits for the EmployeeEmployees are always complaining about having too little time to do too much work. For them, there will be no more reason to grumble since AI systems are designed specifically to combat time wastage.One example is automating a process such as leave applications. Instead of booking a meeting with the HR department AI can gauge whether it’s an optimal time to take a break:Are big projects going live at that time?Did other employees book the same time, therefore necessitating your presence on site?Even general HR queries can happen quickly since you can talk to a chatbot instead of waiting for an employee to answer, and humans usually want to make small talk first.The bulk of the benefits will be experienced by potential and new employees. The future of AI in HR is closely linked to the recruitment process. When many aspects are automated applicants will benefit from:Unbiassed first impressions are drawn from resumes and background checks. Robots won’t be prejudiced to race, gender or even personality types so everyone can get equal chances.Fast feedback after applying because AI can work through Bid Data quickly to find the best candidates.Training—for new positions—done by AI will be standardized so new employees won’t get watered down teachings because a mentor is pressed for time.This already helps build a more productive and happy team which will benefit the entire company. This is worth investing in, right?Benefits for the HR Practitioner and TeamBut AI is not only to make the rest of the business function well. Let’s pull it back to the HR department itself.Firstly if a chatbot can answer general queries it frees up loads of an HR team member’s time. More time is also saved when AI can automate repetitive tasks such as logging work hours.But once again the most exciting benefit comes from the recruitment process such as helping you to manage it with software instead of handling paperwork manually. This entire process can be managed from a platform such as Mitrefinch, One system that does it all for you.As mentioned your AI system can identify the most promising individuals from a list of applicants. However its involvement starts much earlier than that.AI can analyse data to determine which skills, personalities and positions are most needed in a company based on performance appraisals & other data. Instead of HR teams sifting through information AI can do this in record time and do it accurately. Let’s face it. Which human can handle the amount of data AI will be able to work through?If you know what type of positions to advertise for you’ll empower your company to become more effective in the long run.Why the drive to get HR departments involved? Because it’s time they play an active role in more aspects of the business. That takes us to the next point.Benefits for the Employer/Business OwnerYou can probably see that AI will make employees more productive but that’s only one benefit for the business owner. He or she can acquire more time and input from the HR team—because they’re less pressured with paperwork—so they can help drive the company towards its goals.Since HR departments work with the most important asset of all—people—this is vital. Ready to prepare your team? AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img James Grills James Grills is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of mobile application development and IoT technology. He is a marketing advisor – currently associated with Cumulations Technologies a mobile app development company in India. AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Themlast_img read more

first_imgTrends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Tags:#business#Digital Lifestyle#productivity#psychology#work-life balance Lesley is a seasoned web writer, specializing in sales copywriting and storytelling. Currently blogging at Bid4Papers, she also contributes to publications on business, marketing, and self-growth. Follow @LesleyVos on Twitter to see more works of hers. Lesley Vos In today’s rapidly changing world, we are in constant search of instruments and techniques that would make us more productive. We understand: do more, better, and faster if you want to succeed in business and life.Productivity influences our self-esteem.We believe: the more productive we are, the more others will respect us and consider us professionals, able to balance work and life and, for all that, stay sane and happy. So we crave for stellar productivity. We want to join those “perfect” people, who’ve conquered the digital business world, mastered the art of time management and discovered the “in perpetuum” of energy in ourselves.But the devil is in the detail. In chase of superduper productivity for stellar business management, we sometimes miss another attribute that, if left unattended, can nip all endeavors in the bud.Perfectionism.When I decided to write this article and thought on its working title, the first coming to my mind was “Why Perfectionism Is a F**king Evil.” Such a connotation occurs due to my negative experience with this personality trait. Now I understand that excessive perfectionism was the reason for giving up my business idea and startup launch: I compared myself to competitors rather than the yesterday me, which made me lose motivation at long last.Now I’m looking for it again, combining the process with the research of perfectionism and its direct influence on our overall productivity.What’s Wrong With Perfectionism for Productivity?I must confess that every time I face a new feature or phenomenon — I go to Wikipedia and read a very first paragraph to understand if I need this new knowledge, actually. And that’s what the encyclopedia said about perfectionism:“A personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting high-performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations.”Such a definition doesn’t explain if perfectionism is good or bad, but we can’t blame Wikipedia here. Psychology itself has no uniform response to this question.In his book The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson says that DSM provides so washy criteria today that every person can find about ten mental disorders during self-diagnosis. The same story is with perfectionism: one can judge about its harmfulness only by its concentration in a human body and how much it affects that body’s functioning.In other words, perfectionism can be healthy and unhealthy.Everything is more or less clear with unhealthy perfectionism: it can either bring you to a mental disorder or is the symptom of that disorder. Or, it can take a more complex form and combine both. Perfectionists are more vulnerable to depression, anxiety, and insomnia.But we often use perfectionism when describing a hardworking and ambitious person, striving for self-growth and success. Here perfectionism serves as a virtue. “I’m a perfectionist!” we say proudly, forgetting about a hidden feeling of dissatisfaction that follows perfectionists in footsteps. As a result, we grow the habit of looking for gaps in our work because we consider perfectionism a must-have for personal and professional development.But what we really do is killing our productivity at its very source.Yes, perfectionism itself can be the effective instrument for digital productivity growth; but its mechanisms are toxic: in plain English, a perfectionist bullies himself and experiences stress. For a person with an unstable psyche, this can lead to disease.Somatics is here too: there are, as a minimum, 20 ways stress can affect our bodies, including heartburn and high blood pressure. For those with stronger nerves, constant stress doesn’t do any good either: guilt feeling for own imperfection disappoints, makes unhappy, and slows us down.The problem with perfectionism is that it’s difficult to control. Good things come in small packages, and if you allow perfectionism to get the better of you — you’ll lose a war for success. Your positive self-image is scientifically proven to influence productivity. If you want to live a full, happy life — make sure your perfectionism is healthy.Nine warning signs that your perfectionism is not healthy.1. You are Always Unhappy with the Result of Your WorkThe difference between a desire to do business well, putting the most efforts to succeed, and perfectionism lies in your striving for the artificial ideal. We all know that it is impossible to reach the ideal (it does not exist), but there’s a world of difference between knowing something and using this knowledge in practice.Perfectionists often face the situation: no matter how hard they try and no matter how creative they are, they feel they could do it better or faster. Other times, they understand they did everything great but blame themselves anyway: “I had to spend so much to do this!” For perfectionists, “ideal” businessmen are those doing tons of tasks fast and with minimum efforts.Sounds familiar?Stop it. Productive doesn’t mean “Jack of all trades.” Don’t devalue your experience and don’t be afraid to admit you’ve done a great job.2. You Value Others’ Opinion Above Your OwnOne way or another, we think about what to do or how to behave if we want to look good in the eyes of competitors. You’ll hardly find a person who would 100% screw a public opinion. But again, there’s a world of difference between thinking of others but yet respect own desires and valuing their opinion above your own.Is any of these thoughts yours?“Okay, I’ll work extra hours tomorrow. Everyone is waiting for me to do this, right?”“I need to check this document one more time — funds won’t come to those mistaking.”“I need this yet another tech to try: it’ll make me look more active, smart, and up-to-date.”Thinking like this, you move closer to the moment when you don’t understand which decisions are yours and which are made just because “this is the way the things are done.”If you see that you sacrifice own comfort and well-being for what other people think about you, it’s time to stop and wonder if your excessive perfectionism is worth it.3. You are Afraid of Imperfect Results, so You Can’t Start ActingSome call perfectionism among the top reasons for procrastination: sometimes we fear failure so much that we put off doing work until it is too late. And while some experts disagree with this statement, many of us are familiar with it: the paralyzing feeling that nothing will work and the fear of a big project.As far as you understand, such a situation is self-defeating:The longer you postpone, the more you risk to take it at the eleventh hour and sacrifice the quality because of short deadlines. Just remember that doing something “imperfectly” is anyway better than doing nothing at all.4. You Do Everything Longer than You CouldThis feature seems to have nothing to do with perfectionism, but still…People who are prone to perfectionism often place high demands on themselves and everything they do. And it happens to lead to the opposite results: instead of doing it well, a person re-checks everything over and over again, tries hard to fix every minor bug, and eventually spends longer time on a task.And what do we have as a result?Productivity suffers, you are in stress, the impostor syndrome sneaks up on you… It can be difficult to let the situation go. Just try to understand: your departure from perfectionism doesn’t mean you’ll do your job bad. Sometimes it’s enough to do it passable rather than correct it time and again.5. Every Mistake Seems the End of the WorldNo matter how hard we try, mistakes are still waiting for us in business, relationships, and other areas of life. Yes, we hardly get pleasure from them, but we know: a valuable experience comes along with failures. The main thing is to understand what went wrong and learn from it.The problem is that the brain of perfectionists doesn’t think so.They perceive every little mistake as yet more proof that they are “imperfect.” They may dwell on that mere defeat, think of it over and over again wondering how wrong they were and what they could do to change or save the situation. As far as you understand, such an approach doesn’t lead to digital productivity and stepping stone to success but self-torture and depression.It’s okay to do a gap analysis for avoiding the same traps in the future, but don’t sacrifice your time for mully-grubbing. You cannot change the past, so why cry over spilled milk?6. You are Afraid of Discussing Your FailuresBesides the fear of failure and anxiety about what others think of you, perfectionism brings another fear:You don’t want to tell others about your business problems and worries. And though it may seem insignificant first (“My problems are my problems, why to discuss them with others?”), you risk losing constructive feedback and help we all need from time to time, and especially when going through dark times.Others can help you test the waters from a different perspective, see the details you would probably miss yourself, take a look at the situation from a different angle, and come up with the best possible solution faster and with least loss.7. You Expect Others to Be PerfectPerfectionists are strict with themselves. But they often make the same strict demands to others, as well. As a result, business communication and relations suffer: far from everyone will agree to make peace with restrictions and bounds just to meet the expectations of others.So, it’s time to think of managing your perfectionism if:you consider your business flimsy just because it doesn’t look like an ideal picture in your head;you consider surrounding people good, all in all, but you think “they could be better if they did this or that.”The mere fact a person doesn’t fit into your certain expectations doesn’t make him bad. It makes him real.8. When Someone Gives Credit to You, You Think They are WrongIf you disagree with people every time they give you credit, thinking they are wrong and you did nothing special to deserve it, here’s the bad news for you:Big chances are, you’ve lost yourself in the endless race for being ideal.When was the last time you rejoice over a sincere compliment from a nice person? Don’t underestimate your work, skills, and goals on the way to success. Don’t compare your achievements with those of neighbors, Facebook friends, or minor competitors. Compare yourself with yesterday you, and work on better, more productive you.9. You Overextend YourselfThis one is not about perfectionists only. It often happens to most people who can’t organize time: they seek to assign tons of tasks, do more in less time, but then miss deadlines and damn the whole world. However, excessive perfectionism may play a cruel joke here as well:It happens when you think you can do everything and even more, faster and better, and then find yourself buried under the mountain of unfinished tasks in your midnight office.There’s nothing wrong with your desire to grow professionally and be more productive, as long as it doesn’t prevent you from the comfort and work-life balance.“Okay, So What Can I Do?” You AskPractice useful criticism and analyze your business results in view of yesterday you rather than delusive ideals. Stay ambitious and work on self-development, but change approach a little.Let’s take the Jiro Dreams of Sushi documentary by way of example:An 85-year-old sushi master has been cooking it for his whole life, and it comes as no surprise that his sushi is the best and most delicious in the world. But this fact doesn’t prevent Jiro from self-growth and mastering his skills again and again. Instead of the “it’s never enough” formula, he chooses the “it’s enough for today” approach.The author of The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown approves it. She investigates vulnerability and explains perfectionism as the unwillingness to accept ourselves for what we are:“Perfectionism is not about striving for excellence or healthy striving,” she says. “It’s the ultimate fear, a way of thinking and feeling that says this: ‘If I look perfect, do it perfectly, work perfect and live perfect, I can avoid or minimize shame, blame, and judgment.’”So, stop it.Besides, the popular 10,000 Hours theory claims that if you don’t lie on a sofa all day long — but, you work — regularly and consistently, with no waiting for inspiration — success will come. You must admit that it is better to learn and grow in an emotionally comfortable environment. And remember:Tons of tasks don’t determine your value, a missed deadline doesn’t make your friends stop loving you, and “something” is often better than “nothing.” Related Posts What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culturelast_img read more

first_imgNow, put the film flash in a track above your video footage. Change the blend mode for the film flash from “Normal” to Screen” (see After Effects screenshot below). This will drop out the darker part of the film flash and leave the brighter areas.Video and Light Flash Elements SeparatedVideo and Light Flash Elements Combined in AEFor a different look, change the After Effects blending mode for the film flash from “Normal” to Multiply”. This will drop out the brighter part of the film flash and leave the darker areas.There may be times when you completely want to strip out the black background behind a light leak or other light effect.  For example, stock footage of explosions, gunfire, smoke, fireworks, etc. is often laid on top of black.  In the following example I used the screen blending mode to remove the black background behind a shot of smoke.Got footage of isolated film grain?  Lay this over your footage and again use “Screen Mode“.  Now, you’re footage looks like it was straight out of an old 8mm camera!  With the screen mode applied to a light flash or film grain clips you can experiment with the opacity to dial the effect up or down.In After Effects you can cycle through each of the blend modes by selecting a layer and holding down shift while tapping + or – (note: this only works on a regular keyboard, not the number pad).Blending modes provide an excellent way to stylize your footage with unique looks and effects – with screen mode being particularly helpful for instantly “keying” out your black background.  Try blending modes with still to give your videos a cool layered or textured effect.  Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with them! Create complex looks by using Blending Modes in Adobe After Effects & Premiere Pro.Blending modes let you combine videos in a more complex way than just adjusting opacity.  In this post, we take a look at how you can use the ‘screen’ blending mode in your video editing work.  The following examples are done in After Effects, but these techniques will also work in Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, as each of these applications allows you to apply a blending mode to your video clips.Click image for larger view:Using Modes to Composite a Film FlashFilm flashes and light leaks are often used to add a burst of color and style to video footage.  With a quick search online you can find light leaks and flashes for your projects as standalone video clips (*see the link below for free downloads).   Several commercial film flash and light leaks come with an alpha channel (transparency) already keyed out.  Typically these files are videos rendered in the Animation or ProRes 4444 codecs.  However, many isolated light leaks have a solid background and no alpha channel (maybe just a solid black background).  Here’s a way to blend them together with your video footage.*Check out this roundup to download a bunch of free light leaks and flashes to use in your video editing projects.Blend modes (also called blending modes or composite modes) are broken into categories. In After Effects click on “Normal” under Mode and you will see the whole list of  available blending modes:Anything in the “Darken” category” drops out the brighter part of the image.Anything in the “Add” category” drops out the darker part of the image.Anything in the “Overlay” category” adds contrast and tends to look like a gradient overlaid on top.last_img read more

first_imgDoes the new Object Removal Tool in DaVinci Resolve 16 stand up to Adobe’s Content Aware Fill? Here’s what you need to know.At NAB 2019, we saw several new features added to Resolve. And while we weren’t overloaded with new features for the color page, we did get Resolve’s counter to Adobe’s Content Aware Fill tool — object removal. And it pretty much does the same thing. It removes an object from your image by adaptively blending the data from surrounding pixel information.Admittedly, as a traitor to Premiere Pro, I was slightly jealous of After Effects gaining a feature I use weekly in Photoshop. Sending video clips back and forth from Premiere Pro to After Effects is a far easier task than making a round trip from Resolve to After Effects. And Resolve’s clone patch tool isn’t a perfect substitute. Thankfully, as of Resolve 16, we Resolve users can now rejoice about having a similar tool. Or can we?How to Apply the Object Removal ToolTo apply this effect, we need to be on the color page. This is our shot, and that grizzly structure ruining our view needs to be removed.Depending on where you place the object, the removal tool can cause headaches for later adjustments. For example, let’s say you build a clean plate. The object removal tool will base the information on the current color data on the screen. Meaning, if you grab a plate, remove the object, then later revert the color temp on a previous node, the area that has been removed will stay the color that was grabbed. You could quickly grab a new plate, but personally, I would prefer to remove the object either at the start of the grade or at the end. This will help you avoid issues at a later time.Before we add the object removal effect to a node, we need to create a mask around the object that needs removing. Do this by opening the power window and selecting a mask appropriate to the shape of the object. Often, it’s easier to create a mask using the pen tool to minimize excess removal.If your object moves, you would also need to track the movement, which can be done by opening the tracking panel and simply hitting track forward. Following these steps, we create a new node for the object removal. But, we need to add an outside node-link, which we can do by connecting the blue square to the blue triangle. We’re doing this so the node with the object removal only has to analyze the masked portion (an outside node is typically used to correct the inverted area of the previous node’s matte).With the outside node linked, we’re going to add Object Removal found in the Effects Library and hit Scene Analysis. Resolve will now start analyzing the image for pixel information. This is where you can get up, make a coffee, and take the dog for a walk. This tool is very processor heavy, and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to obtain real-time playback with the effect active. When complete, your image will likely have a gray matte where you placed the mask.You now need to select Build Clean Plate. This will patch the mask area with a data plate mimicking the surrounding pixels. If you feel like the job render isn’t that great, you can increase the search range. Increasing the range will give Resolve more area to pull pixel information. Conversely, if the adjacent areas have a lot of colors that aren’t similar to what you’re trying to remove, you can decrease this amount.Now, we don’t have official information on the difference between the two blend modes. But, by taking information from other tools in the Resolve Library (that also has an adaptive blend mode), it’s likely that adaptive blend uses pixel data from the source, but will blend the edges of the target area with color and lighting data from the surrounding area. Therefore, you can switch to that if your removal plate isn’t clean. Let’s take a look at the removal.Looks pretty clean, right? Well, this is a 600×300 GIF and clarity isn’t the strong point. But, if you pay attention to final moments before it loops, you can see a dip in the horizon.This was a super simple removal, and still, we had an error formulate toward the end of the clip. Since the release of the 16 beta, the general online consensus had been: “I can’t seem to get a good removal.”It works, but it also kind of doesn’t. However, the trouble starts to rise when you try to remove an object from an ever-changing background. Take this shot, for example, of a couple accidentally walking into the frame. The woman in the yellow coat also stands in front of the waves in the background and then walks back out of the shot.The theoretical director says, “I want those people gone.” And, following the same steps as before we get this result, which is entirely unusable.The object removal tool, in premise, felt like the ultimate weapon to fix shots as in the above photo. However, I feel like you need a straightforward object with little color difference between the pixels. For example, a white plane against a blue sky, or a black bird against an orange sky. And then, if that’s all you need to replace, you could maybe use the patch replacement tool. We’re still in the Resolve 16 Beta, so I can’t be too punishing. But at the moment, it does seem like a proof of concept tool rather than a fully-fledged working asset.However, in the beta press release, it doesn’t state that it’s a work-in-progress. I think the demo from the Blackmagic video is very generous with its result, as the Blackmagic forums and social media are filled with people who can’t seem to get a proper removal. Or, as we saw here today, the results are mixed.The official manual has yet to be updated for the beta. Users are speculating that more information on using this tool correctly will surface, as, at the moment, nobody knows how to use an external plate (which is an option within the dropdown menu). However, the beta release notes suggest the following:The ResolveFX Object Removal plugin can be used in the Color page to quickly remove unwanted objects from the clip. In order to use this plugin, an alpha mask of the object needs to be fed in and “Use OFX Alpha” needs to be enabled on the node with the plugin.Want more on DaVinci Resolve? Or more on film production in general? Check out these articles:A Rundown Of The Edit Page Changes in DaVinci Resolve 16The History and Power of Sound Design in the Film IndustryProduction Tips: Working With a Color Checker on Your Next ShootFilmmaking Fads and Trends: Don’t Let Them Bother YouHow to Upload to YouTube Directly from DaVinci Resolve 16last_img read more

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now You can travel along in a straight line your whole life. You never have the breakout results you want. You never have really horrible results either. Your results in business and life are right smack in the middle of the bell curve, a lot of people produce better results, and a lot of people produce something less.If you want breakout results, you have to find your pivot point, that point where you change and your results go straight up from there.Have You Finally Had Enough?The fastest way to get to your pivot point is to hit rock bottom. When you finally can’t take it anymore, when the failure to produce some result suddenly overwhelms you with unbearable pain, you’re ready to pivot.Hitting rock bottom increases your willingness to give up your beliefs and try on new ones. Rock bottom forces you to start taking actions that you had long been avoiding. You can pivot from there. You can bounce off the bottom.Most people never reach the point where they are so uncomfortable that they change. That’s why they travel along in a straight line for so long. Sometimes their whole lives.What about the people that you know that pivot and produce breakthrough results without ever hitting rock bottom? Some, but not many, find mediocrity too painful to endure and make the pivot without hitting bottom. But there is another way to pivot.Are You (Finally) Inspired Enough?You don’t have to hit rock bottom to find your pivot point and make changes. You can have a positive, enlightening experience inspire you to change.You can discover that you have a vision of yourself that is far greater than any vision you have had until that very moment. You can experience that moment of clarity where you realize you are capable of so much more than you’d imagined.Some people find inspiration and they just catch fire. They are rolling along with the pack, and then “Bam!” They break out of the pack and start producing outsized results in business and life.Two ChoicesYou can make mediocrity more painful. You can look at the top 20% and decide that it’s too painful not to be where they are, not to have the success that they have, not to have the security of being a top producer. Make a list of what you are missing. In that pain you can find your pivot point.Or you can find inspiration. You can choose a bigger vision of yourself, set way bigger goals for yourself, and take massive action around that vision and those goals. You can catch fire yourself. In that fire you can find your pivot point.Find your pivot point. Achieve your breakthrough.QuestionsAre your results in business and life what you want them to be?Have you settled into the warm, comfortable bath that is mediocrity?Do you have enough pain to change your beliefs and your actions and find a pivot point, a point where your new actions produce greater and greater results?Is your vision so inspiring that you catch fire and improve your results? Does it move you to move mountains?What would need to change for you to find your pivot point?last_img read more

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Imagine a delivery driver at the beginning of the 20th century. He delivers goods using a horse and carriage. His company scratches together the money for an automobile. But the delivery driver refuses to use it, saying, “I don’t want to learn to drive one of those things. What’s wrong with a horse and carriage?“Or imagine this: It’s the early 20th-century and a company installs a telephone. Imagine a person in leadership resisting the phone, saying, “I’m phone illiterate. I’m just not good at the phone.” So this leader asks the young people around him to take his calls, relay the message to him, wait for an answer, and then call back on his behalf.Just reading those two scenarios you realize how ridiculous both of these ideas are. You aren’t going to continue to make deliveries using the horse-drawn carriage once the automobile is available. You aren’t going to resist the telephone, either. Why, then, do so many resist new technologies?If you aren’t learning to use the new technologies at a very high level, you’re hurting yourself, your company, and your clients.Hurting YourselfYou can’t be productive and efficient without using the new business tools. You can’t do the work necessary to your job without being efficient at email, web-based software programs, cloud-based software programs and, yes, social media.If you can’t use PowerPoint to share ideas, if you can’t use Excel spreadsheets to share financial ideas, and if you can’t share these documents using the cloud, you’re standing in your own way at work. If you can’t connect with your clients and prospects where they live on social media sites (oh, yeah, they’re already there), then you are preventing yourself from succeeding at a higher level.You cannot succeed without mastering the tools of the trade.Hurting Your Company Your also a burden to your company.Your company is full of nice people that can help you with your work. But it isn’t the nice people at work’s job to do for you what you should be able to do for yourself. They have their own work to do, and your lack of ability with the modern tools of business can’t be allowed to make others around you inefficient.It sure as Hell isn’t your sales managers problem that you can’t, won’t, don’t like, or don’t believe you should have to use your sales force automation. Or generate your own proposals. Or generate your own price quotes.Your lack of ability and desire to learn the tools hurts your company.Hurting Your ClientsYour inability to use the tools is a burden to your clients, too.The fact that you can’t use the digital tools to provide them with the documents and information they need makes you difficult to business with. They don’t want you to bring them another stack of paper.It’s not their problem that you don’t know how–and refuse to learn–to send them a calendar invite. That’s how your competitors send them invitations to meet.Can’t have a meeting online using GoToMeeting, Skype, or VSee? This is equivalent to not being able to have a phone call because you don’t know how to use a phone. Seriously.So you don’t like social media? Fine. But your competitors do. And they’re actually connected, listening, and engaging with your clients online.But, wait! It only gets worse. You can’t program your own website? You can’t create and edit pages on your company Intranet? You can’t record and edit audio and video content on your own? You’re falling woefully far behind.Take classes. Hire internal trainers to teach you (not to do the work for you). Learn to find your own answers on Google and YouTube.QuestionsWhat technologies do you resist because they make you uncomfortable?What technologies do you need to gain in competencies to improve your effectiveness?Which technologies do you believe you can ignore?Do you believe that any technologies have replaced older technologies?last_img read more

first_imgAbout once a year, I review all of my projects, initiatives, and tasks to determine what is still relevant. That description isn’t accurate enough to explain this process. The right way to say it is that I file a form of bankruptcy, admitting there is no possible way I am going to do everything I accumulated as projects, tasks, and interesting ideas over the last year.I archive Omnifocus, my task manager, and I start with a clean instance.Why BankruptcyIf you track all of your tasks as I do, you get a wonderful sense of control and certainty. No loose ends, nothing escapes. In time, however, as lists get longer and projects multiply, you reach a tipping point where you nose-dive into a sense of overwhelm. The list of projects and to-dos grows long enough that it becomes useless to you, even if you are as buttoned-up as I am when it comes to reviewing my tasks and planning your weeks.The reason for the bankruptcy is that it allows a complete and total do-over. It’s a clean start, enabling you to do the vital work of deciding what you want, and designing your life. It lets you delete all of the things you no longer wish to do or need to do. You also give yourself the time to look at the projects, initiatives, and tasks you are most excited by and reimagine them.Left UndoneThere is no way you can do everything you want to do. It’s likely that you can’t even do everything you need to do (I offer as evidence your email box that presently holds hundreds of unanswered emails and the tasks you would have liked to complete last week, but didn’t). You are always going to have things that you are not working on because something else is more important.Over time, the importance of some things degrade. Whatever the reason, if they have remained undone, maybe it’s okay that they stay that way. If you want to eliminate a sense of overwhelm, deciding to leave certain things undone releases a lot of the pressure you feel. Removing them from your view and starting over without considering the items you intend to go undone is liberation.Changing Your FiltersOver time, things change. What once made sense for you is no longer of any interest. The fact that you completed one project may eliminate the need to work on another project that you might have wanted or needed to do. You may have changed your priorities, or you may be compelled by external events to do something that wasn’t even on your radar.One way to think of this is to imagine filters. Over time, your filters either get clogged up with too many large particles, or they wear out and let everything through. At some point, you have to replace them. Your new filters can eliminate all the things that you no longer want to let through, protecting you from spending your time on things that don’t matter instead of investing it on what matters most.To-Don’t List FiltersNo doubt you have a to-do list. It might be as primitive as a legal pad you rewrite every day, or as sophisticated as a modern task manager (like Omnifocus). But I am doubtful you have a “to-don’t list,” a list that is equally—and some cases, more—important.I don’t answer all my emails every day. I scan my inbox three or four times a day for anything important enough and time-sensitive enough to require my attention. I process all emails twice a week on Wednesday and Saturdays.I also don’t take meetings that are not work-related during working hours as a way to ensure I have time for businesses and my clients. Because I don’t allow these things onto my calendar, I have a lot of early morning meetings (very early), and a few calls early on weekends (when everyone who may happen to be in my home is asleep).These filters are a set of workflow rules that prevent you from losing the time you need for your priorities and designing the life you want.Routine MaintenanceThere are other filters you can create to gain greater control. You can establish routines that eliminate many things that pop up in your life. A standing meeting with someone on your team can allow the person you need to speak with from having to call you or email you, saving those communications for an allotted time (I am big on this strategy, as it allows you to give you time for what’s significant).You can also aggregate your work, doing all the tasks in some category at one time (that’s what I do with administrative work). Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now If you don’t have a process for collecting all of your projects, initiatives, and tasks, you are always going to feel overwhelmed. You are also going to forget many things you need to do.If you don’t plan your weeks using some hierarchy of values that allow you to determine what you should give yourself over to, you will end up wasting time.If you don’t look at all of the things on your list of projects and task lists, ruthlessly eliminating those that no longer make sense, over time, those lists become meaningless. If you haven’t done something that should have been done a long time ago and it hasn’t made a difference, maybe it doesn’t matter.last_img read more

first_imgThe Bombay High Court on Tuesday rejected the appeal filed by Lt Col Prasad Purohit against the special court order rejecting his bail in Malegaon blasts 2008.A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi was hearing the appeal filed by Lt Col Purohit seeking for bail after the NIA filed its supplementary chargesheet dropping charges of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act against him.The Bench reserved the order on February 17 and said the appeal is dismissed on merits and that trial court should not be influenced by this order.On September 26, 2016, Special Judge S D Tekale at the City Civil and Sessions Court rejected his plea by that “prima facie” there is evidence and a case against the Col. The court said, “Considering all the facts as well as peculiar circumstances of the case, nature and gravity of the offence coupled with restrictions imposed by provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), he is not entitled to be granted bail on this ground,” the judge said.He has charges of murder, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony on him. He is also being charges with relevant sections under The Arms Act, The Indian Explosive Substance Act, and UAPAlast_img read more

first_imgYoung Bengal, a breakaway faction of the CPI(M), is planning to launch a political party. Prasenjit Bose, founder-member and convener of the organisation, who was expelled from the CPI(M) in 2012, told presspersons about the possibility on Saturday on the sidelines of the second annual convention of Young Bengal here. The organisation, a platform for the youth, was founded in November last year.“I am not ruling out the possibility of setting up a political party in future. We are keen on actively intervening on the current political scenario in West Bengal,” he said. Mr. Bose, a former convener of the research unit of the CPI(M), was expelled when he questioned the party decision to support the UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee in the presidential election.last_img read more

first_imgAfter facing criticism that it favours only Yadavs while in power, the Samajwadi Party (SP) is now attempting social engineering in Uttar Pradesh through a rainbow coalition of smaller backward and Dalit castes, to challenge the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.The support of the Bahujan Samaj Party proved decisive for the SP in winning the Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats in the recent Lok Sabha byelections.The two parties are yet to reach a full-fledged alliance, but the byelection win was the first victory for Mr. Akhilesh’s experiment in social engineering.A gambleIn Gorakhpur, the SP gambled on an outsider — Pravin Nishad, 29, son of Nishad Party president Sanjay Nishad, who commands a considerable presence among the riverine Mallah caste (OBC) and its various sub-castes such as Nishad and Kewats in eastern U.P. The alliance in Gorakhpur was not a one-off though. The Nishad Party had, in December 2017, extended full support to the SP in the Sikandra Assembly byelection in Kanpur. The SP lost the seat but made huge gains in vote share. In the 2017 Assembly election, the Nishad Party managed to secure over 5.4 lakh votes in the 72 seats it contested, mostly in Purvanchal, and is capable of turning the results in favour of the SP.Another major caste the SP has been wooing is the Pasi community, the second largest Dalit caste in U.P. After roping in former BSP general secretary and Pasi face of the BSP Inderjeet Saroj last September, the SP soon inducted another prominent caste leader and BSP founder, R.K. Chaudhary, and former Minister Shyamlal Rawat. Their entry strengthens the SP in the Allahabad-Lucknow region.Mr. Akhilesh has confirmed the support of the Janwadi Party (Socialist) Party, which commands a presence among the Noniya Chauhan caste in eastern Uttar Pradesh. Another important OBC caste bloc on the SP’s radar is the Maurya (Kushwaha-Sakhya-Saini) community. Naval Kishore, son-in-law of Swami Prasad Maurya, State Minister and former OBC face of the BSP, joined the SP on Saturday.last_img read more

first_imgAn MLA of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Assam has been served a notice to prove his citizenship amid the exercise to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that is nearing completion. Kishore Nath and six members of his family were served the notice on Friday by the Foreigners’ Tribunal No 1 on suspicion of being doubtful voters. Mr. Nath, 53, represents the Barkhola Assembly seat in southern Assam’s Cachar district.Other members of his family served notice include his wife Nilima Nath and four brothers. “We shouldn’t have received this notice as we have been living here for three generations. I believe some mischief was done during a verification process during 2008-2012 when the Congress ruled,” Mr. Nath said.last_img read more

first_imgManipur University Vice-Chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey has said that he “fails to see any plausible reason” behind the agitation on the campus since May 30 to force him out.Sniffing a design by “those who stand to gain by my ouster”, he also said that leaders of students and teachers at the forefront of the stir have no qualms about putting the academic career of scores of students at stake.‘Open for discussions’“I am being accused of misusing funds, being whimsical, incompetent and being away most of the time. My doors have always been open for discussions, but no one wants to talk or point out where I have gone wrong,” Prof. Pandey told The Hindu from Manipur capital Imphal.“They [Manipur University Students’ Union] locked the administrative block and examination rooms while I was away on work related to the university. They did not state the reasons for the lockdown,” he said, claiming the student leaders forced some dean and teachers to sign resignation letters in order to intensify the stir against him.He refuted charges that he has been spending more time away than for running the university. “Yes, I have been to Delhi often, but for ironing out certain things left undone by my predecessors. These include efforts to get accreditation from the National Council for Teacher Education for Bachelor of Physical Education (BPEd) course,’ he said.However, some tribal students’ organisation in Manipur said that Prof. Pandey was being hanged without a trial. “It is now crystal clear and evident that their (agitators) only desire is to remove him unconditionally, which means he’s been judged based upon his origin,” Michael Lamjathang Haokip of the Thadou Students’ Association, said.On Saturday, the Joint Tribal Student Bodies, Manipur, announced a counter-shutdown in the State’s hill districts to protest the goings-on in the university affecting the academic activities of the students.last_img read more

first_imgAhead of the unveiling of Sardar Patel’s giant statue over the Narmada on October 31 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Gujarat government has flagged off Ekta Yatra, which would be taken out across the State to spread Sardar Patel’s message of unity.Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Friday flagged off the Yatra at Bardoli, where Sardar Patel launched his ‘Satyagraha’ against the British. Launching the Yatra, seen as a soft launch of the BJP’s campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha election in Mr. Modi’s home State, Mr. Rupani said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken up Sardar Patel’s mantle and struggle on the world stage.Thin attendance “Sardar Patel united 562 States and became the sculptor of united India. The Ekta Yatra is also aimed at uniting all communities in the country, setting aside all differences on various fronts,” Mr. Rupani said at a thinly attended rally in a small town near Surat.The Yatra, in the run-up to the unveiling of the 182m tall statue — the world’s tallest — named Statue of Unity, is meant to connect with the masses and project the Congress as a party that cared only for one family while underplaying the contributions of other freedom movement leaders like Sardar Patel. During the Yatra, a prototype of the Statue of Unity is being carried through the length and breadth of the State, covering 5,000 villages through the 26 Lok Sabha constituencies.last_img read more

first_imgRevisit AFSPA The time has come to review the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Manipur but it cannot be completely lifted as yet, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said.“I want to request the Centre to lift it, but we have borders with foreign countries and the insurgency movement is still a little bit there. Right now I cannot claim that AFSPA can be totally removed,” Mr. Singh said in an interaction with a group of visiting journalists from New Delhi in his office.Cover to ArmyHe said any review has to consider these factors. AFSPA, which gives immunity to security forces operating in insurgency-hit areas, has already been lifted from a 34 sq km denotified zone in Imphal.On the improved situation in the State, Mr. Singh stressed, “The present situation in Manipur is totally different compared to the past.”Also Read  On the cases in the Supreme Court over alleged human rights violations Mr. Singh said that justice has to be provided to everyone and observed, “Dealing with counter-insurgency in Manipur and Nagaland and the North East is very difficult. It is not similar to what is happening in Jammu and Kashmir.”In Jammu and Kashmir, he said, the terrorist is coming from outside but in Manipur he is from the same State and country and “identifying who is who is very difficult.”“Sometimes mistakes from the security forces also happen. I cannot say totally that they are doing all the things right,” Mr. Singh said, stating that the Supreme Court is looking into the matter.Hearing a PIL plea over 1,528 alleged cases of extra-judicial killings in Manipur between 1979 and 2012, the Supreme Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation’s SIT to probe 95 of them.Also Read  ‘A necessity’Commenting on the need for AFSPA, Maj. Gen. V.K. Mishra, General Officer Commanding of the Army’s 57 Mountain Division headquartered just outside Imphal said that for security forces to function, it was a “necessity.”He said a number of activities are sustained over a period of time to keep insurgency in check which includes operations, enquiries and searches and as a result some arrests were done and recoveries of war-like stores were made.“Now if we don’t have AFSPA, how do we do all this? If these processes have to be carried out, then AFSPA is a necessity,” Maj. Gen. Mishra said.A few months back over 700 Army personnel moved the apex court seeking protection in counter-insurgency areas under AFSPA and its non-dilution.This development came after moves by the Home Ministry to reduce the footprint of the AFSPA in the North East.A senior defence official in South Block said AFSPA was draconian in the past as the situation then demanded it to be so in dealing with the secessionist movements but has been diluted over the years as the situation improved. What is AFSPA, and where is it in force?last_img read more

first_imgBihar Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar is out to destroy me, NDA ally and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha said on Monday, following the reports that legislators of his Rashtriya Lok Samata Party MLAs may switch to JD(U). Mr. Kushwaha, called on opposition leader Sharad Yadav who had walked out of JD(U) last year. Calling Mr. Yadav as his “marg darshak” or mentor, Mr. Kushwaha said the meeting was merely to discuss the issues related to social justice.Mr. Kushwaha has threatened to walk out of the National Democratic Alliance if he is not given three Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming parliamentary elections. “Nitish Kumar has a habit of breaking parties. I do not know why he has come down to destroy Upendra Kushwaha and his party. But no matter what he does he can not harm me,” Mr Kushwaha said. There are reports that RLSP MLA Sudhanshu Shekhar met newly-appointed JD(U) vice president Prashant Kishor. He, along with another legislator Lalan Paswan. are speculated to switch loyalities to JD(U). Mr. Kushwaha said the BJP must intercede in this ongoing tussle between him and Mr. Kumar. “We are both in NDA and we are supposed to work together. I do not think Nitishji should do all of this,” he said. Mr. Kushwaha has also sought a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah to raise the issue.last_img read more

first_imgOdisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday inaugurated and laid foundation stones for developmental projects worth over ₹250 crore for Kandhamal district.Mr. Patnaik reached Kandhamal district by helicopter on Sunday afternoon and attended a youth rally of the Biju Yuva Vahini. Around 30,000 activists of the BYV from Kandhamal, Boudh, Ganjam and Gajapati districts attended the rally held at Kandhamal stadium in Phulbani.The developmental projects include a bridge on the Salandi river costing ₹15 crore, renovation of the Khamarikhol-Gudimaska road at a cost of ₹8 crore and ₹7 crore worth piped water supply projects for the Baliguda Notified Area Council.last_img read more