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3 Action Items to Increase Your Productivity

In a new study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a group of researchers surveyed 58 random people in a shopping mall. These researchers asked the participants to recall the decisions they had made that day. Then the researchers asked the participants to solve some simple math problems. They found that the more decisions a participants had made, the less likely they were to solve the problems.

 

There appears to be a price to making decisions – we become less productive as we make more decisions. And boy, do we have to make a lot of decisions today!

A six item grocery list
Picture yourself in a grocery store holding a list with six items – orange juice, bagels, Philadelphia cream cheese, Crest toothpaste, Coke, and lettuce.

In 1970, with that list you would have had a choice of 50 items. By 1998, you would need to filter through 250 different products just to get all the items on your list.

This comes from the spectacular book, Simplicity Marketing: End Brand Complexity, Clutter, and Confusion by Steven M. Cristol and Peter Sealey.

Think about it – that was 1998. Do you think it’s any better now?

3 bigg action items to simplify decision making

#1 – Make a list that’s specific.

So specific in fact, that you could send someone else and get exactly what you want. Studies show that people who shop with a list don’t buy as many impulse items so they tend to spend less money.

More importantly, it saves you time and mental fatigue as the studies showed.

#2 – Set a time limit when you’re making a major decision.

Before you begin doing research for a bigg decision, set a time limit. Once you’re satisfied with your findings or once you reach your time limit, make a decision.

As an example, we recently set up the web site for Bigg Studio, a sister company to Bigg Success, for audio production services. We needed to decide on the design for the site. There were an endless number of possibilities. We chose one that fit our criteria and moved on.

Here’s another tip that we love – get out your magic 8 ball. Ask it if you made the right decision. Look at its answer and see how you feel about it. This taps into your intuition about the decision which makes getting to the decision you’re most comfortable easier.

If you like this idea, here are a couple of links you might find helpful:

#3 – Become a partner in stress relief for the important people in your life.
Get to know the preferences of the people who depend on you, like your customers, your co-workers, your boss, and your significant other. Weed through all the options and present them with just a few.

The authors of Simplicity Marketing make the point that

“the next generation of positioning successes will belong to those brands that relieve customer stress.”

So there’s a significant opportunity in the future for people and companies who are able to simplify things. This applies not just to your company brand, but also to your personal brand.

This is one of the things we try to do here at Bigg Success. We try hard to sort through all the information out there and deliver to you those few things we’ve found to be the most important.

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The Other Pause that Refreshes

By Bigg Success Staff
04-07-08

Career Builders

In 1929, Coca-Cola proudly proclaimed that Coke was the pause that refreshes. In your communication tool box, you can also use a pause to refresh. 

That is, you can pause to refresh.

Pause when someone is talking to you.
When you’re having a conversation with someone, one of the most important things you can demonstrate is that you are listening attentively. After they make a point, pause before you reply to show them you’re listening carefully.

Pausing also insures that you don’t interrupt them. Perhaps they’re just catching their breath before continuing. By giving them a second or two, you’ll know if they want to add to their point or if they’ve truly completed their thought.

It also gives you time to fully digest what they said so your response will be better. For example, you may need to ask a follow-up question to clarify something you didn’t completely understand.

Pause when you are talking.
You can use pauses to your advantage when you’re doing the talking as well. Pausing gives them time to fully comprehend what you said. For example, you may see something in their body language or facial expression that suggests confusion. Follow-up to make sure they understood your message.

Sometimes, by pausing, they’ll immediately interject a question or a point. Perhaps they didn’t understand something you said. If you continue talking, they’ll be mentally trapped with the point that needs clarification, so they won’t hear you anyway. Pause to give them time to ask questions or make a point.

Pausing when you’re talking also signals that you’re not a conversation hog. You show them that you’re interested in a two-way dialog and that you value their input. 

Pausing is a useful communication tool for both sides of your conversation. Use it to build trust and make sure your message is understood. Too many people are so focused on what they’re saying or going to say that they fail to actually communicate. Pausing is refreshing!

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