Morning Motivation – Week of April 22, 2019

It’s a new week once again, friends – are you ready?

As you know, I start each week with some positive words of wisdom, and this week’s are:

Last week, I promised to help you rid your life of some of the distractions that keep you away from being productive. Your smartphone, your inbox and the open tabs on your computer are all open invitations for distraction. You’ll give yourself extra time each day to focus when you silence your notifications, close your inbox and remove unnecessary tabs from your desktop.

If you want to focus, you can’t welcome unnecessary opportunities to intrude on your mental space.

Emails can be particularly intrusive because they often have an unnecessary sense of urgency. There are businesses and organizations that stress the importance of prompt responses to emails, but we can’t treat every situation like an emergency.

Many times, we blame electronics for distracting us from our work, but sometimes our physical body forces us into a state of serial-tasking. For example, if you’re hungry while trying to work, your attention will flip between your hunger and your work until you take care of your physical needs.

In addition, you’ll also want to be sure you’re attending to your health in a broader sense. Getting enough exercise, practicing mindfulness and incorporating regular breaks into your day will keep you from being tempted by distractions.

What works for me is looking at exercise as the gift to myself for doing my work. When 1PM comes around, an alarm sounds on my devices that it’s “me” time. I’ll then get out of the office and go to the gym or for a long walk outside.

People are more likely to login to YouTube or check social media when they need a break. Instead of trying to work and watch a mindless video at the same time, dedicate time for yourself to enjoy this distracting activity. Limit how much time you’ll spend on this break so that your guilt-free distraction time doesn’t turn into hours of wasted time.

Make technology your ally. Apps like Forest help to turn staying focused into a game. Extensions like RescueTime help to track your online habits so that you can be more aware of how you spend your time. One of my favorite browser plugins “The Great Suspender” suspends all of those open windows on your internet browser.

Multitasking is not the key to productivity. The key to productivity is focus. It’s far better to schedule time to focus on each task than it is to try to do everything at once.

Make use of the methods outlined above and prepare to be more effective and less exhausted in the process.

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of April 8, 2019

You know that I start each week with some positive words of wisdom! This week’s positive wise words are:

Last week, I wrote about how humans are incapable of truly multi-tasking, engaging instead in serial switching.

It’s true that you are capable of absorbing information with your eyes while doing other things efficiently. Scientifically speaking, making use of your vision is the only thing you can truly do while doing something else. Think of walking to the street corner, looking at the traffic light while you are walking.

For everything else, you’re serial-tasking. Constant refocusing like this can be exhausting. Worse still, it prevents us from giving our work the deep attention it deserves.

Think about how much longer it takes to do something when you have to keep reminding yourself to focus. That’s one element of why multi-tasking does more harm than good for your productivity.

This element is one of four reasons to stop all these multiple-task-shenanigans: Multi-tasking wastes your time.

Yes, you’re literally losing time with all your self-imposed interruptions! People lose an average of 2.1 hours per day getting themselves back on track when switching between tasks.

You’re decreasing your productivity by as much as 40% with all your many and varied simultaneous tasking activities according to some studies. That’s a significant loss in efficiency. Would you be happy if your surgeon operated with 40% less accuracy and attention while you’re “under the knife?”

I have three other great reasons why you should stop multi-tasking. Next week I will share them with you! Stay tuned!

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of April 1, 2019

Happy Monday once again, friends!

Have you been looking forward to my positive words of wisdom for the week?

As I mentioned last week, the term “multitasking” was originally used to describe how microprocessors in computers work. Machines multitask, but people cannot.

Many people believe they are excellent multi-taskers, despite the challenges of performing two tasks at once. Think of the many times when you do several things at once, like talking on the phone while cooking. Did you ever burn the soup? Or maybe the soup is fine, but the person on the other end of the phone conversation says, “Hey! Are you listening to me?”

Consider the amount of attention that each of these simple tasks requires. One, or both, may be simple enough to be carried out on autopilot. Or, not.

While we may be okay performing simple tasks simultaneously, what about more complex tasks? Can you give full attention to your PowerPoint presentation while watching your favorite movie? Watching it while you work is fun, but maybe you’re making your work more difficult and time-consuming. How many times did you revise that PowerPoint slide while giggling at a favorite line in your favorite movie? I’ll bet it happens often.

Your brain was designed to focus on one thing at a time, not many things.

Your brain compensates when you ask it to latch onto multiple targets, switching back and forth, back and forth. You focus on the more urgent task; the other task slides into the background. Your brain realizes you’ve been neglecting that task, and, switches again. And again.

When you’re bouncing back and forth like this, an area of the brain known as Brodmann’s Area 10 activates. Located in your frontopolar prefrontal cortex at the very front of the brain, Brodmann’s Area 10 controls your ability to shift focus from one task to another. People who think they are excellent multi-taskers are really just putting their Brodmann’s Area 10 to work.

I know you’re reading my message, thinking, “But I can juggle multiple tasks!” Tune in for my next message to see why that may not be true.

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of March 25, 2019

Are you ready for the start of another great week, friends?

You know that I start each week with some positive words of wisdom, and this week’s are:

When you hear the word “multitasking”, images of highly efficient and successful people most likely come to mind… but what if I were to tell you that our common belief about multi-tasking, as the end-all-be-all of good work ethic, is all wrong?

I’m anti-multitasking–at least for people.

Did you know that the term “multitasking” was coined to describe how computers operate? Computers are excellent at multitasking, but humans? Not so much.

Now, maybe you’re thinking: “But, Carlos, I am GREAT at multitasking!”

I imagine you are pretty good at accomplishing multiple tasks at the same time. But, my argument is this: If you focus on one task at one time, you can be much better at everything you do.

There’s a dark side to the conveniences of the Digital Age. With smartphones that function like handheld computers, it has become increasingly difficult to leave our work behind. Sometimes it seems like we’re expected to be accessible 24/7.

How often are you ever focused on just one thing? Most of us try to meet these demands by multi-tasking.

Many of us have bought into the myth that we can achieve more through multi-tasking. In the next few weeks, I’ll show you how you can accomplish more work in less time. Spoiler alert: multi-tasking is not the answer.

Don’t miss my message next week: “Why is multitasking a myth?”

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of March 18, 2019

Happy Monday again, friends!

I love to start each week with some positive words of wisdom, and this week’s are:

Last week I started talking about the clutter that we all have in our heads that crowds out the great thoughts that come to us on a daily basis. I sad that I would share with you my simple solution, so here it is:

I take a “thoughts” journal notebook everywhere that I go. Every time I have an idea, I write it down in my journal. Every time I think of something I need to do, I write it down in that notebook. Every time that I have a meeting, I keep my notes in the journal. Then, about twice a day, I grab my notebook and prioritize what needs to be done, and then actually do it or delegate it (delegation and leveraging is where the actual power is).   

This keeps my head clear of the clutter, gets rid of the feelings of being overwhelmed, and frees my mind to plan even more massive results for our business and my life! Then I simply start prioritizing which of those activities will give me the biggest most massive results, and I actually get them done (or have them done for me).

All this by simply investing in a $10 thoughts journal. I used to buy mine locally, but my local stationary store stopped carrying this particular type of journal, so I get it from, you guessed it, Amazon.

By the way, I carry this journal everywhere that I go, including to meetings, coffees, lunches with referral partners and friends, and Toastmasters. When I go to bed, it is on my night stand because it helps me clear the clutter before I go to sleep (which gives me a great night’s sleep!) I have also found that some of my best ideas have come to me while sleeping and I write them down as soon as I wake up.

Take action and make it happen! I would love to hear some of your best ideas too!

Next week, why multitasking should be a “four letter word!”

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of March 11, 2019

Happy Monday friends!

You know that I start each week with some positive words of wisdom, and this week’s are:

For the last few weeks, I have been talking about “the next big thing.” Now let’s talk about one of the biggest “time sucks” in your business – the clutter in your head.

Here’s how the problem works – you have all these great thoughts going on in your brain, but they are likely to be all jumbled up and mixed in with the “I have to go pick up my laundry” type of thoughts as well.   

You see, your brain doesn’t have the ability to prioritize thoughts regarding what’s most important.   

When you think, each thought is given equal weight, even though we all know that “to bind 150 new home insurance policies this month (in the insurance world) or get more listing appointments (in the real estate world) or get more of the pre-approvals into underwriting (in the mortgage world) is much more important and pressing than the “I need to get a new file folder for the office” type of stuff.  

Unfortunately, our brain doesn’t give one more weight than the other as far as occupying space in our head.  

What’s worse is that when we have all those thoughts tumbling around in our head, we keep running through the list of what we need to do, and it keeps the brain occupied doing that instead of coming up with solutions.  

Then with all these “problems” with no “solutions” going on in our head, we start feeling anxiety and overwhelmed…which leads to more clutter in our heads and less action actually being taken.  

Next week, my simple solution to dealing with my disparate thoughts.

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of March 4, 2019

It’s a new week, friends!

Are you ready to face what new challenges the future holds with the help of my latest motivational quote?

So, this week I want to answer the following question from my message last week: what should you do when the “next big thing” starts coming around the corner? Here are a few examples of what I have been doing to keep up (and thrive) with video-based marketing.

First, it’s okay to be baffled (I was before I started posting a video a day, click to view my Youtube channel). Second, it’s okay to feel like you want to run away and hide. Third, don’t worry that you don’t know much about it. Very few do, but it is so simple today to record and post a video.

Here’s an interesting article that my friend Ryan Hanley, the Chief Marketing Officer at Bold Penguin posted last month on the “5 ways to improve your YouTube strategy.”

Learn – I spent the last week of January in Las Vegas with some amazing cutting edge marketers of insurance (yes insurance marketers and not insurance agents or brokers). What I learned can be used in real estate, mortgage, legal, construction, really any business space.

I am putting together some TOTALLY FREE information on how to use video, lead funnels and landing pages in your business that I can share with you. If, however, you choose to go it alone, there are all kinds of options to help you: books, videos, audio, blog posts, etc.

Imagine – Start asking yourself this question: “If my current and future clients are watching video to learn all about insurance and what they need to have for coverage, how to purchase a home or what they need to know about applying for a mortgage, what will happen to my competitors that are so entrenched in the old way of marketing and do not use video (or have much of an online presence) in their business?”

The answer? Your competitors will be less relevant everyday and will be waiting on the sidelines watching you eat their lunch.

Interact – Everyone’s in the same boat when a next big thing comes along. It’s okay to ask questions. What makes EVERYTHING work better in these moments is “sharing” with others and figuring stuff out with other people.

That’s what to do. And not just for video, for everything! For life. For thriving. For moving to next levels instead of playing the old game.

Let me finish with this: “There is an expanding segment of our population and  and a shrinking segment of our population. Who are you going to base the future of your business on?”

That’s our role. All of us. Okay?

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of February 25, 2019

Welcome to the new week, friends!

Are you ready for another motivational quote? This week’s words of wisdom are:

Last week I told you that you need to be ready to jump on board when people you trust start shouting about a massive shift. I’m telling you right now that the next big thing is… video!

I know that it’s not new, but it’s here and you should be using it in your business. It has changed real estate, insurance, mortgages… everything! As we advance in our businesses, people will only do business with people that they have seen on video — I believe this to my core.

Why is this? Because video eliminates all of the “reading and misreading” someone’s message. Have you ever read an email or text and thought, wow, that sounds awful, but maybe that was not the intent of the sender? Video eliminates all of that.

Here are some statistics on video:

  • 1 billion hours of video is watched each day
  • 576,000 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every day
  • 61% of US companies have a Youtube channel
  • This video has almost 6 billion views
  • 1.8 million Americans are earning $ from their Youtube videos
  • 180 million hours of video are watched on Youtube every single day
  • 85% of homebuyers and seller prefer to work with an agent that uses video
  • Homes that are listed and have a video with it have 4 times more inquiries
  • Including a video in your emails increases your open rate by 75%

Like I said, you might not directly work with video, and you might not have the appetite to learn it. But this HAS and will continue to impact you and your business. Video is changing things.

Next week I will share three things to do when the “next big thing” comes around.

Have a great week!

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of February 18, 2019

Hello, friends!

I love to start each week with words of wisdom, and this week’s are:

There’s a reason it’s hard to see the “next big thing.” Most of us can only ever perceive the world as it is right now. Remember, Henry Ford famously said that if he asked people what they wanted, they’d have said faster horses.

Do you remember life before phones were stuck in our hands almost 24/7? Remember life before scrolling and swiping endlessly? Remember life before Google? You probably do, but could you have PREDICTED any of this? No. Neither can most people (me least of all).

But when it happens — when something huge happens — when you start hearing people you trust shouting about a massive shift — it’s time to dig in and learn a bit.

One of those shifts is happening right now. I will tell you all about it in my message next week.

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of February 11, 2019

Happy Monday once again, friends! And Happy Valentine’s Day!

As you know, I start each week with some positive words of wisdom, and this week’s are:

In last week’s message, I started talking about how you should use storytelling in your business to set yourself apart from your competition and to brand you and your business. I started laying out a few steps that will help you use the power of storytelling in your business. I only got to #1 last week, but here is the entire list:

  1. Show, Don’t Tell – Don’t talk about yourself. Instead, use stories that convey your expertise and values, maybe even showing the “superman” side of you.
  2. Use Stories as a Problem Solver – Humans use stories to make sense of the world around us. As your prospects struggle with the problems they are facing in their lives, you can use stories to answer important questions. How can you help? Why should they buy from you?  Well-crafted stores can show people the benefit of choosing your product or service.
  3. Be Relatable by Sharing Other’s Stories – Set yourself apart from your competition by talking about your customers, not yourself. Use clients’ stories to help undecided shoppers relate to your clients. When satisfied clients talk about you and praise you, it is more credible than anything you could say.

People love stories. Use stories to get and keep the attention of your prospects and referral sources and create an emotional connection with them. We make decisions emotionally, so when you take advantage of stories, you will be able to influence others thoughts, behaviors and maybe even buying decisions.

Although the human brain is able to process emotional and observational information, research has shown that emotional responses are stronger than rational responses and therefore decision making isn’t logical, it is emotional. Research has also shown that emotional response to an advertisement has far greater influence on a person’s intent to buy a product that the ad’s content does.

This means that when you use storytelling in your marketing, your audience is more likely to have an emotional response and remember your message!

That is it for this week!

Carlos