Innovation Management will be dropped as a subject

Lately I have been quite inactive with my blog. This has to do with my vacation to Los Angeles and something else. I want to elaborate more on the “something else”.

The main reason is that I was not sure who my target group is. This became clear when I viewed the subjects I wanted to talk about. The three subjects at this moment are:

  1. How to manage innovation with a scientific point of view
  2. The latest advances in the field of technology
  3. Tips and tricks on being more productive

Lets suppose there are people who are into these 3 subjects. I asked myself the following questions to be sure that this group is a good target group:

  • How big would this group be?
  • Would they like the order of my posts (first subject 1, second subject 2, third subject 3, etc)?
  • Could I go deep into some topics without confusing other people?
  • What about people who like subject 1 more than subject 2?
  • Do I have a competitive advantage?
  • Who are my competitors? And what are they doing?

The conclusion is that the target group is too small, the subjects are too big and competitors are  doing it different (most of the times they have chosen one subject)! And so, I wanted to change the purpose of the site.

Before I did anything I asked myself some questions:

  • What do I want to write about?
  • Who do I want to reach?
  • Is it a profitable niche?
  • Does it fit with my career goals?
  • How should I do it?

This ensued a lot of thinking and followed in the following conclusion

I want to write about the Master of Innovation Management which I will be following. I want to reach people who are into Innovation Management. The readers will have an appetite for knowing the latest developments in that field. I will offer tools, case studies, reports, thoughts, my opinion on that subject. Furthermore, I believe it is a profitable niche and it fits my career goals.

My plan is to exclude this subject from the list (and thus from the website) and continue with the other 2 on this website. I will start a new website that’s about my journey in the Master of  Innovation Management. I will post a link to it in the near future ;)

How to choose what to do in a given moment

How to choose what to do in a given moment

What will you be doing next? What would you do if you had the choice between emailing a friend or calling your sister? My bet is that your answer depends on your intuition if you don’t have a proper preplanning, but is it bad to go with your intuition?

Well, you can feel much more confident about your choices when you have a proper planning. It will give you more trust in your actions. You will not hesitate what to do, because you have made a conscious decision to schedule the one before the other. It will also increase your speed and effectiveness.

How to choose what to do in a given moment

The reality is that you have more to do than you can possibly do. You just need to feel good about your choices. So how do you do that? Once you know that you are able to do something, you have to choose something to do and a lot of things of not to do. How do you choose one activity of your list and feel good about it?

David Allen has developed a model that will be helpful in your decision-making about what to do. However, this model does not give you a clear answer about what to do. It will rather help you in framing your options more intelligently.

How to choose what to do in a given moment

Use the Four-Criteria Model to choose  what to do in a given moment

There are four criteria you can apply, in this order:

  1. Context
  2. Time available
  3. Energy available
  4. Priority

Context

This is the first step to choose  what to do in a given moment. Start by eliminating activities that you can’t do in the moment due to restrictions. Some activities require you to be somewhere or to have something. You can’t do an activity when you are not at work or and when you don’t have your laptop with you. This will automatically limit your choices about what you can do in the moment.

Time available

This is the second step to choose  what to do in a given moment. Start by estimating how much time you have and which of your activities fit in that time slot. You cannot call someone for half an hour when you have an appointment with someone else in 10 minutes. This will automatically limit your choices about what you can do in the moment.

Energy available

This is the third step to choose  what to do in a given moment.How much energy do you have? You cannot start to plan your vacation when you feel weak and drained. Some activities require a reservoir of fresh, creative mental energy and others need more physical horsepower. Eliminate the activities that are out your league at that moment.

Priority

This is the fourth step to choose  what to do in a given moment. The remaining activities are now in line with the given context, time and energy. This is the moment  to use your intuition and choose the one that has the highest priority to you.

Of course, you have to know which activity has the highest priority before you can choose that one. Don’t you have your priorities set and are you having trouble to choose what to do next? Then don’t forget to subscribe because I will talk more about this subject in future posts.

Conclusion

Use this model to choose what to do in a given moment. However, this model is also useful when you plan your day or week. This is because adequate planning requires you to keep the context, available time, available energy and priorities in mind. I do however start with prioritization of the activities before I start this process.

Question: What tactics do you use to stay focused?

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photo credit: Lori Greig via photopin cc

multitasking

Are you still multitasking?

Sure, everybody calls a friend and does something else while talking, but are you multitasking when your busy with something complex?

Did you know that you are degrading your clarity and depleting your mental energy by switching activities. Studies have shown that there is a switching cost to pay when your switching between activities.

It is very hard to stay focused when your phone goes off all the time with notifications or calls. So, there are a couple of things you could do to avoid this kind of things to happen.

  1. Put your phone on „Do not disturb”.
  2. Change the notifications you receive in the settings of your phone. Don’t let apps notify you all the time with something new. Only check the news when you have time for it.

Also shut down your mail client in order to stay focused and get work done. Open it only at certain times during the day when you have time for it. I for example open the mail in the morning before I start, around 12 and sometime during the midday.

 Another useful approach is to cluster similar activities together. Set your day up to do work that are similar after each other. There are fewer transitions needed when related tasks are grouped. So read reports, memos and articles one after another instead of scattering these activities throughout the day.

Another powerful way to stay focused on an OS X machine is by using the application selfControl. I have written more about this here.

Question: What tactics do you use to stay focused?

Subscribe to my newsletter to stay updated!

photo credit: JPDaigle via photopin cc

selfControl

Stay focused by using this one app on your mac

Do you know those times where you really want to get work done and your ready to go, but then something happens and now your reading stuff you did not even wanted to read in the first place! And this does not stop at the first page, your trapped in a loophole of clicking on links. You realize after an hour that you just waisted a lot of valuable time.

Does this sound familiar? Well if it does, I got the solution for that problem!

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How far would you go to impress your friends?

This video illustrates perfectly how you can show off a perfect life, while the opposite is true. You might say that this is not you and while that is true, most of the times we only post good things and try to show off to others.

I believe that most people run two lives, one digital and one offline. And it is easy to get addicted to all the likes you get when you post something great. This keeps you coming back for more likes, because likes have the power to give you the feeling of social acceptance.

Furthermore, people cannot unlike posts on Facebook. Even though they can negatively comment on it, these can be easily deleted. This gives you total control of your timeline (your digital self image), which is different in the real world.

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