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Episode 49 -  Life is too short for terrible meetings. We explore how to make them better, whether you run 'em, go to 'em, or avoid 'em. Dive in... Some of the USEFUL stuff in there is: Who invented the meeting Terrible conference calls - an example Why a CNBC article confirms your worst fears - meetings can be rubbish Everything that's wrong with meetings Holding meetings 101 - The basics: Respect your attendee's time Get to the point Consider who HAS to be there Set the agenda Change the location Or even just change SEATS! John Cleese shows us what's wrong with meetings Can you make meetings better if you're invited to them? YES YOU CAN A great article by Tom Catalini - how to avoid meetings that waste your time Book meetings with yourself Find out from the organiser what the purpose is of the meeting Reach out to the other delegates and help each other prepare Why you should sometimes say 'no' Arrive late - or leave early A GREAT Ted talk by David Grady - Worth 6 minutes of your time trust me The radical stuff - what Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and other big players do Empty chair Silent reading time No Powerpoint Not before noon Only on a Wednesday Do 30 mins in 20 Purge recurring meetings Throw out the hangers on Lose the chairs Walk out (if you're not adding value) The research we used for this episode was: The Chicago Tribune/Vancouver Sun -  Meetistotle HBR - Stop the meeting madness Forbes article by Dean Brenner - The Secret To Better Meetings Tom Catalini - How to avoid meetings that waste your time Drayton Bird - Please Read Carefully Before You Even Think Of Attending A Meeting John Cleese - Meetings Meetings Bl**dy Meetings Fastcompany - Business Leaders Share How They Cut Down On Meetings Quartz.com - Top Business Leaders Meetings Project Management Hacks - 7 tips to more productive meetings Inc.com - 9 steps to better meetings CNBC - Jeff Bezos, Mark Cuban and Elon Musk avoid this productivity killer As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!
Episode 3 - You don't need to be faster, just better Social media doesn't have to be a drag, it can be a superb resource, and lively to use if we think about how we're using it. We talk about how to keep up with the ever-increasing social media 'noise' here in this episode. Can you use LinkedIn and Twitter to get better? We think so, and explain how and why you should. This time we take our life in our hands by talking to people on the street, and at least one of them isn't me! Some of the stuff in there is: LinkedIn - should you? LinkedIn claim 60% of the UK's student and working population are connected in this article The We Are Flint survey which gives a different and interesting perspective Some suggestions to get the most out of your time if you dive in to LinkedIn Thank people - they'll appreciate it Take time to set up your profile Join groups - you can get good information Re-share articles - people will notice you Write articles. Come on, you know you want to. After all you know something that no one else does Limit your time on there - I reckon 30 mins a fortnight or month is probably enough Useful info from Forbes.com on setting up your profile and getting the most from LinkedIn Twitter - do you bucket? Some of the numbers I quoted were from this article from Brandwatch Using lists and how it may save your life. Or time. Or money. Ok, maybe not your life, but definitely time and after all time is money eh? Some suggestions for starting your lists: 'Family stuff' - this could include people who tweet about days out, kids clothes, education and so on 'People I want to engage with' - this is self-explanatory. Bear in mind people do see what you've called the list you put them in, so something like 'great connections' or similar may be a good name for this list Local Network People linked to the field you work in (field=vocation, not somewhere sheep graze, unless of course you're a farmer in which case it could be spot on). People linked to the field you want to work in (!) 'Inspirational People' 'Monday List', 'Tuesday List' - this is a different way to do it. Limiting the time you spend online each day My top five tips for new Twitter users:   Do NOT buy followers, or connect back to people claiming to "increase your followers to 20,000!". They are a waste of time, it's pointless and doesn't help you Engage with people, that's a much better way to grow than any 'hack' Remember that we're human (well most of us) and we like to be acknowledged Re-tweet and share tweets, it will grow your connections and show people you're interested in what they're talking about Use Hashtags - they still work. Maximum 3 per tweet though. #After #all #this #just #looks#annoying!!! And my bonus tip - Use the Twitter Hour. Here's a link to a directory from Design That Fits If you liked this episode - we'd love you to come along and subscribe at i-tunes here And if you've not yet been to the website, you can see it here Look forward to your listening prowess next time!
Episode 4 - Omnibus and Interview This week's episode is a longer one, and it's an episode of two halves. The first part is a recap of the things we've covered so far in episodes 1-3. We're planning to do this monthly, to give people the opportunity to listen to one longer episode covering the key take-away's so they can get the 'facts' without the other stuff we do. It doesn't cover everything, and of course you'll miss the fun stuff, but we're trying to help you get this podcast in different ways to suit you. All of the links we refer to are in the relevant shownotes for episodes 1,2 and 3. So if you'd like to find out more about anything we cover, pop over to the relevant episode and it's all there. The second half is a recorded conversation with someone who has come along to talk to us about what their challenges are to 'being better', and how they overcome them. This week I spoke to Lisa Rouse. It may seem like we hit it off really well, that's partly because we did and partly because she's my partner in crime. Lisa talked about the challenges of being a mum, working a full time job, and running a business. If you want to find out more about her business at Frenzyhouse, or the smashing Soundwave art here are some links: Frenzyhouse Soundwaves As it's a longer episode, here are the timings to help you find the bit you want with links to the full episodes 02:11 An introduction to podcasts (From Episode 1) 07:44 Facebook (From Episode 2) 11:35 Twitter (From Episode 3) 17:58 LinkedIn (From Episode 3) 22:08 A conversation with Lisa As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!    
Episode 12 - Start your day with a killer morning routine After taking a pause so we can 'be better' - we're back this week with an episode on starting your day in the best way you possibly can. After all, if you're going to be good at things, and have a great day - you're in with a fighting chance if you start that day well. In this week's episode we look at why you should think about your morning routine, how small things can make a difference, and where to find out how successful people start their day.  Some of the stuff in there is: Why you should think about your morning routine Planning to plan from a personal perspective Having a morning routine isn't just for people running multi-million pound operations But if they do it - why shouldn't you? I've done the research in places like Success magazine,  Forbes,Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, David Allen and so on, so you don't have to. Here are some articles for further reading: Success - 10 morning routines of wildly successful entrepreneurs Fastcompany - The morning routines of the most successful people Forbes - Routines of 7 successful but human millennial entrepreneurs What my morning routine is - and why I do it Circadian rhythms and - why they make you feel like you do Your alarm is a conflict, but you can make it work for you Why I get up at 4:50, and why you should get up at 6:37 Laugh, smile - do it FIRST The psychology of smiling Water water everywhere - get it inside you Run for your life - why some exercise every day is a good idea Oy - YOU! (time) Get cold - If it's good enough for Tim Ferris and Tony Robbins, it's good enough for us What 30 seconds in a cold shower tells you about taking things for granted The 6 steps: Alarm - set it with intention, don't snooze Laugh - look in the mirror laugh or smile at yourself, I promise you, it's funny and good Water - half a litre, 16 ounces re-hydrate quickly after you've woken up Activity - walk outside, gym, run - whatever works for you You time - 10 minutes of meditation, yoga, or just taking 10 to stop and think what you want to do today Shower - cold blast, 30 seconds at the end. As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it! Oh yeah, and this time the cover image is by me. Hope you like.
Episode 15 - An introduction to GTD (Getting Things Done) If you only put one new tool in your box, we reckon you should make it GTD. It's not time management, or a routine - it's a way of living. Whether you like writing things on paper, using apps, or you want to develop a full blown new 'task management' system, there aren't many others which are as simple, elegant, and downright good at proper stuff. The clue is in the title - Getting Things Done. This podcast explains why WE like it, why we think YOU will like it, and where to find all the stuff. If you don't know the system, hopefully this is a good introduction to it. If you do know the system, then feel free to visit any of the resource below which may help you remember what a great idea it is.  Some of the stuff in there is: Why we think that GTD (Getting Things Done) is a fantastic approach to getting stuff under control Who this David Allen bloke is Getting stuff under control isn't difficult If you're a paper person, an 'app' person, or a 'system' person - it can work your way David's speech is a nice way to find out what GTD is - here's that podcast Work - Life balance, you don't need to balance That voice in your head (again) and what you can do with it The five steps of GTD and what they are - you can see them in more detail here Where to get all the resource: You could buy the book Listen to the audiobook The GTD Podcasts Other resource: Next Action associates Asian Efficiency The GTD virtual study group If you use Evernote - the GTD step by step guide for setting it up is here The other setup sheets for Outlook, Onenote, Wunderlist etc - are here Nozbe - an excellent app particularly suited to the GTD method And then there's the - Getting Things Done website Some good Youtube videos are here: A nice simple animated summary A detailed tutorial on using GTD with Evernote The fundamentals from GTD themselves Some nice social media contacts - these are the Twitter ones GTD Asian efficiency Next Action Associates Here are some good Facebook pages The GTD study group Getting Things Done As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!
Episode 19 -  Last time we looked at setting goals. But unless you do something about them, they end up being nothing more than good intentions. In this episode we share the resource that's out there to help you do your goals, keep them on track, measure your performance and make them happen. We feature 5 apps, and 5 'paper based' resources - so there's something for everyone! Some of the stuff in there is: Why it's no good just deciding on your goals Apps and mobile based resource can track and support your goals, because your device is always with you We reviewed loads of different websites, blogs and resource to research what apps are out there We (I) found 95 different apps to consider So then I filtered them based on which ones got recommended the most In the episode, I talked about the top 5 - here they are: Coach.me Goals on track Strides Irunurun Lifetick I also promised you I'd link to the top 10 in the shownotes, so here are the next 5: HabitBull StickK Balanced Habit List Way Of Life Next up was 'paper based' resource - sometimes it's just nice to write with a pen Especially if you're in a field (or the field) The Self Journal - here's the link While researching The Self Journal, I came across this video by Gillateen. He's funny and cool My Pro Planner - (link disabled while they re-stock) They had a nice video too - here it is Action Day planners - here's the link Two further bits of resource which are paper based but not journals: Design the Life You Love by Ayshe Birsel - here's the link Field Notes notebooks, my absolute fave - here they are Fisher Space pen, it can write upside down, underwater, in the snow. So if you find yourself upside down in snowy water it's a must. Also if you just want to have a handy small pen, it's also a must. Again - here's the link I also said I'd publish links to all the resource we used for this podcast. Here you go: Lifewire.com Michael Hyatt Entrepreneur.com App Advice.com Buzzfeed The Job Network The Guardian Lifewire (again) Forbes Books Lifehacker Tomas Lau Free Apps For Me Archipreneur Makeuseof.com Inside Source pk.acmgold.com Flightcentre Better Humans NY Times Inc PHEW! As I said - we do the work, so you don't have to! As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!   Cover image from an amazing photographer known as kinkate/Alexandra Gruber. More info here: https://www.pexels.com/u/kinkate/
Episode 24 -  This week we (Lisa and I) talk about using ideas we have looked at before, applied to being a working Mum or Dad or anyone who has to balance work with life. We consider why we tend to keep those things separate, when actually one can help the other. Some of the stuff in there is: How it seems easier to apply productivity solutions to work Why it's different applying them to family or home life The difference between a work meeting, and sitting to dinner with family It all going wrong in the morning How a night time routine directly affects the morning Things to consider for the nighttime routine Setting out clothes for the morning Making lunches Having a defined bedtime Agreed wakeup times The roles each person plays, and how they can impact everyone else The virtuous circle Some good routines and checklists for kids are here Here's Entrepreneur.com's thoughts on end of day routines for adults Other routines or checklists to consider: Meal planning Checklists for items needed on a day out Checklist for items needed on an overnight stay Holiday stuff packing lists Christmas or Party lists - who is doing what Bacon sandwiches 5 ways! How schedules can work for families and working parents The importance of planning for things like: Time together Talking time Family time Homework time Chores and jobs Wunderlist Setting half an hour to look at the coming week together Google calendar - here's a quick start tutorial Goals - why they're not just for work The importance of setting personal and family goals Michael Hyatt's method of setting personal goals Good family goal setting resource at - mytimemanagement.com As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!
Episode 28 -  In this episode we help you prepare for a sharper new YOU for next year, by revisiting the subject of habits. We've produced a compilation episode on the subject, with all the really useful stuff from episodes 5,6 and 7. If you'd like to listen to the FULL episodes, the links are here: Episode 5 (Breaking Bad) where we cover: What are habits? How are they formed according to Charles Duhigg in his book – The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change The notion of cue/routine/reward Bad habits – smoking – yuk! How to stop with – The EasyWay method from Allen Carr The plasticity of our brains and changing habits Podcast resource 1 – Freakonomics Radio – How to be More Productive Changing behaviour – the BJ Fogg Model The notion of Motivation/Ability/Trigger Podcast resource 2 – The One You Feed Episode 91 Why motivation is not the only way to change habits Why you should aim for ‘easy’ Baby steps – or ‘How to design a website just by opening a laptop’ David Allen’s idea of ‘Next Actions’ when tackling a project – GTD Episode 6 (Get Into the Groove) where we cover: New Year’s resolutions, and why they don’t stick – some stats Gym memberships – some stats from Planet Money Apps which can help you with the ‘cue’ and ‘reward’ parts of habit forming For both Android and Apple there’s – Coach.me Prefer simple and on Android? try – Loop Habit Tracker Prefer simple and on IOS (And Android)? try – Habit Bull Why the behaviour and reward cycle is so powerful – Judson Brewer on the TED stage Procrastination and how to attack it Episode 7 (Habits and the Write Stuff) where we cover: Even if you’ve already read it, it’s worth re-visiting – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People The urgent important matrix – Eisenhower version Charles Duhigg – Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business The Peter Bregman Podcast Peter Bregman –18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!
Episode 33 –  We go on a journey from modern day Manchester to 1980’s Rome, and learn how you can solve YOUR procrastination problems. Some of the USEFUL stuff in there is: Who on earth is Bradley Griffin Why is he in Starbucks? (The clue is that the episode is about procrastination) What that’s got to do with 1980’s Italy How a student there had some problems, and why it matters to you how he solved them The Pomodoro Technique An introduction video from Cirillo Company  The basic steps: Step 1 – Get the tools: a timer, a piece of paper, and a pencil Step 2 – Turn off distractions, and be clear on what piece of work you’re going to do Step 3–  Set the timer for 25 minutes Step 4 – Start working, really focus, and just work. During the 25 minutes, if something comes up that could distract you, make a note of it on the piece of paper, and carry on working Step 5 – When the timer goes off, step away from your work Find out more from Cirillo Company on the technique What Lisa and I think about it The more advanced elements The original book – link to purchase the original is here A cool You Tube video by Francesco D’Alessio on aps you can use If I’m not somewhere that I can use a ‘tomato timer’, my go-to Pomodoro App is Tide As always, we’re really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here – i-tunes Contact us on Twitter – we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you’d like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it’s all been worth it!
Episode 34 –  We start a series of episodes on managing your time and priorities even better. This time, we’re looking at a simple way of reducing the amount on your plate in the first place: Saying ‘No’. Some of the USEFUL stuff in there is: Who Evette Huntley Flindt  was Why we’re interested in her first born son What he says about choices – his video is here Why it’s sometimes easier to say ‘YES’ Kenny Nguyen CEO of Big Fish Presentations and why he thinks we should consider ‘NO’ His video about it from the TED stage An article by Kristin Wong in the New York times – May 2017 on the subject Carl Richards also has a view in this article from 2016 Leo Babauta writes great things about goals, habits, simplifying and productivity His blog which has been listed by Time magazine in their best of top 25 blogs – Zen Habits  The article Leo wrote – The Gentle Art Of Saying No The headlines (but we really recommend you read the article) Value your time Know your priorities Practice saying no Don’t apologize Stop being nice Say no to your boss Pre-empting I’ll get back to you Maybe later It’s not you, it’s me THE question you should ask every time: “Why should I say no?” As always, we’re really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here – i-tunes Contact us on Twitter – we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you’d like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it’s all been worth it! One of the tracks featured in this episode was: S Strong – The Rover by S Stronghttps://soundcloud.com/s_strong Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b… Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/DhBCxKQPHiI
Episode 37 - In this final episode on managing your focus and attention, we look at dealing with the stuff that comes up in your day and give you some great techniques and solutions to help you get it done well. Some of the USEFUL stuff in there is: What's led to this episode: Episode 34 - How to say 'NO' to reduce your workload Episode 35 - How to decide what's important when prioritising Episode 36 - How to use 5 key tools to plan your day: A notebook (or somewhere to dump your 'mind') An Action list Buckets A Calendar A Routine BUT DON'T WORRY IF YOU HAVEN'T LISTENED TO THEM - OR PREPARED... There's loads in this one you can use either on its own, or with the structure How does your day look? Are you a canoeist, a balloonist, or a cyclist? PLANNING THE DAY This should take 5 minutes once you've got your template ready I use the questions from Peter Bregman's 18 minutes model: —Review your Action list – what will make this day highly effective? —What can I realistically accomplish in my areas of focus? (From EP35) —What will leave me feeling productive and successful at the end of the day? Then pick 3 things from your Action List and put them into your calendar for today as they are now things which MUST happen on this day How you do this is up to you, but the key is choosing 3 'Important' things to do today If you have more than 3 things, or you're not sure which ones to choose use: The Urgent/Important Principle - A detailed explanation here from Mindtools.com Urgent = It's got a deadline (usually someone else's!) Important = It will help you make progress on one of YOUR bigger goals Ideally you want to pick 3 things which are 'Important' but not 'Urgent' Eating the Frog Choosing the right energy levels Planning in breaks and movement Setting a chime every hour to check we're on course. When it goes off... —BEEP! STOP! Take a deep breath. Then… Am I doing what I most need to be doing right now? Am I being who I most want to be right now? Recommit to how you're going to use your next hour DOING THE DAY Scenario 1 - You are presented with a single simple action to complete Can you fully do this action, completely within 2 minutes? Is it a single item which does not have loads of others behind it? If so - do it as soon as you are presented with it This is the 2 minute rule Use this rule with discretion - don't just default to doing everything as it comes along Solution 1 - If that action can be done completely - apply the 2 minute rule   Scenario 2 - You're presented with a number of tasks and/or some will take more than 2 minutes Stop and think about what each thing means to you - what do you have to do? What is the 'action' you have to do to fully complete this task Break it down into multiple actions if needed Write each action down in a sentence with the 'action' word at the front E.g. "OUTLINE the Redman report" or "CALL the garage to book the car in" If you have a system - put it in there. If you don't - park it by putting it onto a list Solution 2 - Break the task down into a doable action - and put onto a list OR use your notebook/action list/buckets to put it into your system   Scenario 3 - Being presented with 2 or more things which want your attention NOW Use the Urgent/Important Test again The phone is ringing it's your son's school The boss wants a response to an email within 10 minutes A colleague is asking for some help with a task We decided that the school call was 'Urgent' AND 'Important' - so we did this first The boss request - that was 'Urgent', but not 'Important' (in our test) so we did this next Jane's request was 'Important' but not 'Urgent' - so we planned to help her later today when we had time Solution 3 - Use the Urgent/Important principle...
Hi - this is just to tell you, that if you were expecting an episode to drop last weekend, you're right - it didn't! But there is stuff coming next weekend! In the meantime why not have a listen to some past episodes, they're really good - and you must have missed one of them!  Some of the USEFUL stuff in there is: Nothing - but keep your eyes peeled next weekend! As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!
Episode 45 -  We've learned amazing stuff about our brains for this episode. We give you 2 great articles, a fab Ted talk AND a smorgasbord of remarkable brain related facts! Hold on to your hat... Some of the USEFUL stuff in there is: We've realised that the SAW that we're sharpening every week is the one in our heads Did you ever notice it in the logo? All the mind-blowing facts in this episode come from this fab article at - bebrainfit.com How many? Phenomenal brain numbers A superb article from Sean Nisil at - Productivityist.com He has written about cognitive load Empty your brain Stop things filling it up You'll thank yourself, feel more relaxed, be creative and your 3 pounds of fat and water will be SHARPER! Lewis Hamilton doesn't drive a Hillman Imp A good news/bad news sandwich around how flexible your brain is What a great article from Lachlan Brown at - Hackspirit.com He tells us 7 activities or hobbies that science says can make you smarter Meditate Learn a second language Read Exercise your body Exercise your brain Learn a musical instrument Cumulative learning A lovely podcast I found via Brit Pod Scene It's called Tourist Podcast - and you can find it here A round of myths and misinformation about your grey matter We end up sharing one of our favourite Ted Talks It is by Anil Seth - his contact details are here And the Ted Talk is here Your brain hallucinates your reality - yep, how weird is that! We end up with the 10 oddest brain facts But sadly it's not all good news Cheer up - it's not the end of the world As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!
Episode 58 –  If you have to remember things, plan things or share things – mind maps can help with that and loads more. We’ll tell you how. Look at all this stuff we covered: What mind maps are Where they came from How they work What YOU can use them for Tony Buzan invented mind maps – he was a character 1970’s BBC tv That idiot Steve In The Field makes another appearance Our research came from here – find out more: Use Your Head from BBC TV in 1974 How to Mind Map with Tony Buzan Hazel Wagner Ted – Mind Mapping Tony’s Ted Talk (featuring elastic band boy) ImindQ – 10 real life uses of mind maps Visual Aids – the research document Science & Technology – Humans process visual data better As always, we’re really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here – i-tunes Contact us on Twitter – we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you’d like to comment on here Finally – the links to the cool people we mentioned at the start – check them out: Lisa LinkedIn Voiceover people Mel’s British voice Carrie’s Voice Debby Barnes Mike Broderick Guy Slocombe Audio production and help Chris Curran – Podcast Engineering School Mike Delgaudio – Booth Junkies Podcasters world – facebook group Podcast Editors – facebook group Smashing podcasts Which Murderer Release the Clowns The One You Feed The Casual Birder Yes But Why podcast Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it’s all been worth it!
Episode 8 - In conversation with Mel Elliott This week's episode is a recording of a conversation I had with Mel Elliott about her world as a successful professional voiceover artist. We talked about the challenges of being a Mum, juggling a busy job with an ever-moving landscape, and her solutions to getting better at what she has to do, in order to spend more time doing what she wants to do. Mel's many solutions are listed below with links to stuff that you can go and look at if you'd like...  Some of the stuff in there is: Never do the same thing twice, once is great - twice automate Templates for email - here's a link to doing it in Outlook Keyboard shortcuts, and YES they can save you 8 days a year - have a look here Routines - get one in the bag before lunch, build half hour buffer at end of the day (when I read the one above at first I thought I'd written a 'half hour buffet' at the end of the day, that also works!) Plan on a Friday - rolling lists in the week Prioritise health and well being Eat together - Some ideas and inspiration here if you're struggling to do it  Full stop on the working day - clock off, end process, blanket, shutdown Put phone away when with kids Get something done if it is as quick to do than put on a list - GTD 2 minute rule James Rhodes book on - How to Play the Piano If you want to hear more from Mel - her voiceover website is here It was great talking with Mel, and I've now got my challenge set to look at how we can prioritise 'me time' without feeling guilty or disrupting our commitments. As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it! Credit for the cover image this week is here - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:D_J_Shin_-_My_Toy_Museum/gallery
Episode 62 –  This is a great episode! In our second look at todoist, we move up to Level 2. Our survey said most of you use paper to manage your tasks. Todoist Level ‘2’ could really help YOU too! Look at all this stuff we covered: We meet ‘Emma’ who has different stuff going on in her life – work stuff, hobby stuff, home stuff – and she manages it all with todo lists on paper and spreadsheets Projects – they’re not just for big things like building hospitals Preparing Lucy’s birthday celebration is a project Learning the guitar is a project Be clear on what the tasks are for your project Why you MUST get flames painted on the Volvo How todoist can help you manage projects Why you might consider the premium package A sentimental ‘lockdown’ reminiscence of going for a coffee Labels – grouping ‘like’ tasks together Batching – a great way to work Deciding which tasks to do when My labels: 5 min job 10 min job full focus low energy phone pc Using todoist’s fabulous ‘natural language’ to set up multiple recurring tasks and put them in the right place at the right time: “Choose colour of #flames @pc on Saturday at 3 pm“ “Check Facebook every weekday at 9 am #social @mobile“ Karma – why it’s vital, but all other task managers miss it out Gamification Neopolitan Ice Cream bar charts (this is mine)… Emma has now: Grouped all her different activities into projects Set up recurring tasks Created labels so she can batch tasks together Learned guitar Gained a sense of accomplishment and achievement Here are the links and the resource we used: Projects – a great video guide from Carl Pullein Todoist’s video on labels Foundations video – including viewing tasks in context An overview of what you can do with Premium A good article on batching. Note the name of the provider – I read it as “Metal Learners!” As always, we’re really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe on apple podcasts by going here – apple podcasts Contact us on Twitter – we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to the home page, and then you can go onto the episode you’d like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it’s all been worth it!
Episode 2 - Escape the Tractor Beam In this second episode we look at social media and how to consider using it to help us be BETTER at what we do. We also go out on location, and take our life in our hands! It might sound like I'm on a mission to upset the apple cart when it comes to social media, and I guess I am a bit. Taking control of your use is the key - after all, we don't want external things to control us do we? In this episode we cover: Sending messages from the future Thinking differently about what successful people do - and stealing it to help us Why some social media is rubbish How to break the vicious circle using technology Ditching the 'News Feed' (it's the secret Tractor Beam) The difference between Profiles, Pages and Groups - did you know? How Arnie came back through Facebook Getting outside - go on, do it now (well after you've finished listening eh) We use bad grammar in one section - did you spot it? We did it on purpose, honest guv'. Why the PowerPuff girls are messing with your head   Some further information is available from this selection of carefully selected links: The Telegraph article from 2015 on how much we actually use social media - Telegraph Apps to help you reduce the time you 'waste' on your phone and social media - Breakfree An article from the Guardian on the march of Facebook - Guardian PEW survey on Social Media use in the USA where they use the word 'Math' - PEW Arnie's page on Facebook - Arnie An excellent article by Peter Bregman about how (and why) to STOP multitasking - HBR One of my fave podcasts - TED RADIO HOUR   And if you'd like to listen to the first episode, or subscribe or look at other things - the website is HERE
Episode 7 - Habits and the written word In the last of our series on habits, we look at the written word and where you can find potentially life-changing advice if you're happy to spend a little bit of time diving into these excellent books. Sometimes, you can't get a quick solution or a hack. Sometimes you've got to put a bit of work in, and read a book. And BOY do we think it's worth it!  Some of the stuff in there is: Even if you've already read it, it's worth re-visiting - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People The urgent important matrix - Eisenhower version Charles Duhigg - Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business The Peter Bregman Podcast Peter Bregman -18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!
Episode 5 - The first in our series on habits. Good/bad/ugly? Get your habit making kit here. What are your habits? Are there any you're embarrassed about ? Would you like to share? I hope not! Habits are interesting and our subject for the next few episodes. This week we cover where there is podcast resource to help you work on your good habits and look at some alternative ways of moving away from the bad ones. (no not that one, we don't cover THAT one in this episode!) Some of the stuff in there is: What are habits? How are they formed according to Charles Duhigg in his book - The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change The notion of cue/routine/reward Bad habits - smoking - yuk! How to stop with - The EasyWay method from Allen Carr The plasticity of our brains and changing habits Podcast resource 1 - Freakonomics Radio - How to be More Productive Changing behaviour - the BJ Fogg Model The notion of Motivation/Ability/Trigger Podcast resource 2 - The One You Feed Episode 91 Why motivation is not the only way to change habits Why you should aim for 'easy' Baby steps - or 'How to design a website just by opening a laptop' David Allen's idea of 'Next Actions' when tackling a project - GTD As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!
Episode 22 -  We're having a look at sleep this time. We learn why sleep is important, how a lack of it can literally kill you, what happens when we do get sleep and how to achieve it. There's also a liberal sprinkling of nonsense from 'Steve out in the field' which he thought was a good idea: Some of the stuff in there is: What can happen if you don't get enough sleep There's a really interesting animation - by the Ted team here Why only a few people can survive on low levels of sleep The risks you expose yourself to even after only being awake for 18 hours National Geographic's experiment - This is your brain on no sleep How many people die in sleep related crashes each year - the numbers are astonishing Further reading from Forbes here  The health consequences of missing out on just an hour's sleep a night The Telegraph Article 5 definite benefits from getting enough sleep: You’re better able to focus and learn You feel happier You’re more productive You’re less hungry You won’t get sick as often The Sleep.Org article is here What happens when we sleep? The sleep cycles: Non-REM sleep - Four stages REM sleep You can read more detail on the cycles - in this BBC Science Article How sleep literally washes our brains! Article from the National Institute of Health in the US on sleep The solutions to getting more sleep in today's busy world: Routine - Establish a wind-down routine to include turning your device off an hour before bedtime, an end of day journal, warmth bath, read a relaxing book. Here's a routine from the Huffington Post Mindfulness, yoga or relaxation techniques - Any of these can calm your mind more generally. Here's a link to find out about the headspace app This one is about 10% Happier This podcast called 'Sleep with me' may help you to sleep also Caffeine curfew - Did you know that caffeine has a half life of 6 hours? Here is some reading. Stopping caffeine at 1 or 2pm will definitely help Invest in good quality sleeping stuff bed, mattress, pillows, pyjamas, cassettes you can put a small one into... Exercise - This article explains why a regular exercise routine can help you sleep Ditch the devices - The blue light can trick your body into thinking it should be awake, and the buzzers and beeps (or even the thought of them going off) can delay the onset of sleep. Apps - There's loads out there to help you manage the supportive habits you want to develop. Here's the link back to our episode where we featured them. Further reading:  Here are two more articles which formed our source and make for useful further reading: The Daily Telegraph - 25 Tips To Help You Sleep Better Sleep.Org - 7 Habits Keeping You Awake As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!  The amazing photograph we've used this week is by the artist Abdou Moussaoui. You can see more of his work here, here's really fab... Pixabay
Episode 23 -  In this episode, I've researched 152 different productivity and efficiency tips, to find you the best. These 9 will make a big difference to how much stuff you can get done - freeing you up to spend more time doing the stuff you really WANT to do. Enjoy! Some of the stuff in there is: How Eating The Frog will mean you actually get things done Why you should Ditch The Phone to concentrate Automate Or Eliminate - how they can save you time The Brainscape.com study on shortcuts saving you 8 days per year Michael Hyatt's book - The Virtual Assistant Solution What Clutter can do to reduce your productivity and how to sort it -  according to Forbes Batching What it looks like in - Getting Things Done by David Allen The Pomodoro technique - some more info here Looking After Yourself - what Lifehack.com says about a 2005 study How we covered morning routines - in episode STP012 And the importance of sleep - in episode STP022 Taking Breaks How it increases performance according to a study - from the University of Illinois To-do lists don't work - we explain the difference between 'to-do' and 'Must-Do' Peter Bregman's version from his - 18 Minutes Book What Josh Kauffman says about 'MIT's' in - The Personal MBA The Force Multiplier - Killer Schedule How to make it actually work What 2 things - and ONLY 2 things should be on your schedule The other tips which didn't make the top 9 - but were still useful: The 2 minute rule Planning email - covered in episode STP020 Make goals - again covered in two previous episodes STP018 and STP019 Killing your darlings Have fun! As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!
Episode 26 -  In this episode we have a look at the humble checklist. In today's complex and sophisticated life, we often have equally complex solutions. However, sometimes there's still a place for the simple checklist. It can be a lifesaver, and in certain circumstances - literally. Some of the stuff in there is: Why should we consider checklists Who uses them Our brain, and why it needs help at times We considered the Psychology Today article on why we only retain certain information What you've got in common with an airline pilot, a doctor, a diver - and me The solutions we come up with to make allowances for our brain's limitations Beans The tragedy which caused the airline pilot checklist to come into existence The Art Of Manliness - their ideas about checklists Atul Gawande author of - The Checklist Manifesto Gawande's Ted talk Malcolm Gladwell's review of his book You can order The Checklist Manifesto from Amazon UK here Or you can order it from Amazon USA here That bumbling dufus and his report this week My checklists - the podcast, travelling Ideas about what you could consider making simpler with checklists Cleaning routines Morning routine Checklists for Kids in the morning Xmas Day Photographer/Filmmaker's checklist Holiday checklists - packing or actions before the holiday First Aid kits Entertaining Finances Networking Blogging or online content checklists How to manage them - from paper to apps Evernote - here's a tutorial to show you how to create them Nozbe - this shows you how to set up a template Wunderlist - here are some ideas Alternatives to Wunderlist when it eventually goes :-( Atul's guide for creating strong checklists As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!
Episode 27 -  In this episode we turn the tables on Steve. Lisa interviews him to find out about the podcast journey so far, what influences the content, where the ideas come from and, importantly, to ask for your input on where you'd like it to go from here* Some of the stuff in there is: How Steve doesn't know the difference between Paddington Bear, and Winnie The Pooh Why Steve is interested in his podcast stuff How we both use it day to day GTD (You can get the book here) Morning routines - Featured in Episode 12 End of day routines - We looked at this in Episode 13 Gratitude - A link to the Harvard Health article on how impactful it can be Managing e-mail - Episode 20 covered this Structuring your day the 18 minutes way - Order the book here Apps like Evernote and Nozbe The positive impact on life of using some of the Sharp ideas Why the podcast started The voiceover to podcast journey - Steve's voiceover website link if you're interested What Steve would have done differently if he did it all again What we've learned The podcasts Steve listens to For fun Poorly summarized - This is the episode on Middle Aged Twerking! Adam Buxton Super Pee Pee time on Sondcloud WTF with Marc Maron For inspiration Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History Be Reasonable More Perfect The One You Feed Radiolab Hidden Brain Ones which cover similar subjects to 'Sharp' The Productivity Show Next Action Associates Lead To Win GTD How the podcast has changed in the 8 months Steve-In-The-Field. What's he for? How we choose the subjects Who we're aiming the podcast at Why Steve gets passionate about how the same people in the workplace will tell you that they think the most important thing is 'communication', and then send terrible e-mails Where the podcast is going How YOU can get involved and help us! *EVEN IF you've not had chance to listen to the full episode yet, at this point we'd really value your input and ideas on what you'd like to see more (or less) of as we go forward. You can send a message to the website here. Or you could direct message us on social media here: Twitter, Facebook or Instagram Or you could send us an e-mail to sharppodcast@outlook.com YOU DECIDE! As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!
Episode 30-  In this episode we help you prepare for a sharper new YOU for next year, by revisiting the subject of routines. We've produced a compilation episode on the subject, with all the really useful stuff from episodes 12 and 13. If you'd like to listen to the FULL episodes, the links are here: Episode 12 (Hello Good Morning) where we cover: Why you should think about your morning routine Planning to plan from a personal perspective Having a morning routine isn't just for people running multi-million pound operations But if they do it - why shouldn't you? I've done the research in places like Success magazine,  Forbes,Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, David Allen and so on, so you don't have to. Here are some articles for further reading: (Success link removed as article has since been taken down) Fastcompany - The morning routines of the most successful people Forbes - Routines of 7 successful but human millennial entrepreneurs What my morning routine is - and why I do it Circadian rhythms and - why they make you feel like you do Your alarm is a conflict, but you can make it work for you Why I get up at 4:50, and why you should get up at 6:37 Laugh, smile - do it FIRST The psychology of smiling Water water everywhere - get it inside you Run for your life - why some exercise every day is a good idea Oy - YOU! (time) Get cold - If it's good enough for Tim Ferris and Tony Robbins, it's good enough for us What 30 seconds in a cold shower tells you about taking things for granted The 6 steps: Alarm - set it with intention, don't snooze Laugh - look in the mirror laugh or smile at yourself, I promise you, it's funny and good Water - half a litre, 16 ounces re-hydrate quickly after you've woken up Activity - walk outside, gym, run - whatever works for you You time - 10 minutes of meditation, yoga, or just taking 10 to stop and think what you want to do today Shower - cold blast, 30 seconds at the end. Episode 13 (Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me) where we cover: How your 'start of day' and your 'end of day' routine support each other, and support you getting stuff done Why Forbes.com say how you end your day is critical - in this article Michael Hyatt says, "The right activities before you sleep can set you up for success the next day" in this article The two groups of 'end of day' routines - the workday one, and the dayday one Why it's even more important to have a defined end of day process if you do work which doesn't have its own clear end to each day THE END OF WORKDAY ROUTINE: A great template for a 7 step routine from todoist.com - the full article is here 1. Clean up your physical and digital workspace 2. Review your to-done’s 3. Write out tomorrow’s to-do list 4. Set yourself up to “Eat Your Frog” first thing in the morning 5. Confront the things you’ve been putting off. (Break them down and choose one 'next step' for tomorrow) 6. Set a time to end your workday and stick to it 7. End on a high note: Forgive yourself Show gratitude Do someone a favour My personal end of workday routine (from 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done) looks like this: Spend 5 minutes asking yourself these key questions: How did my day go? What went well? What were my challenges? What did I learn today? About myself? About others? What do I plan to do - differently or the same tomorrow? Who did I interact with? Anyone I need to update? Thank? Ask a question? Share feedback with? THE END OF DAY (DAY) ROUTINE: Set a 'turn off your screen' time - and stick to it What Scientific American say about - using screens before bedtime Coffee - did you know it has a 'half-life'? - The effect of caffeine on sleep Wind-down time, take it seriously Take the time to work out how long you need to start...
Episode 43 -  What makes us happy? Lots of things. Whether being happy means getting through things quicker, spending more time focusing on what's important, or being inspired - here are some ideas. Some of the USEFUL stuff in there is: A recommendation from Charles Duhigg (Author of Smarter Faster Better and The Power of Habit) It was this excellent piece by Alice Boyes at Harvard Business Review: Why we fail at focusing on what's important How to change that Schedule time for them Isolate the most impactful bits Anticipate and manage your feelings of anxiety Spend less time on unimportant tasks Prioritise tasks that will reduce your number of urgent/unimportant tasks Pay attention to what helps you see and track the bigger picture A podcast recommendation we've made before - 10% Happier Being happy doesn't just mean laughing, it can also come from feeling uplifted The latest episodes of 10% Happier do just that, give them a listen If you want to just get things done in the day we found a resource with 5 quick tips It was compiled by Ashley Stahl at Forbes.com We've covered these tips in various guises before, but they are worth revisiting and checking in with ourselves by asking, "Do I do these well?" Stop multitasking Take breaks Set small goals Take care of the biggest tasks when you are most alert Implement the two minute rule Question - What are you doing when you are happiest? The answer may not be what you think We look at and listen to the Ted Talk by Matt Killingsworth He explains how he created an app that 15,000 people responded to From 650,000 reports, he learned that there is one thing we're doing more than anything else when we are happy You'll have to watch the talk, or listen to the episode to find out! As always, we're really grateful for your help in supporting this podcast. To do this you can: Rate or subscribe at i-tunes by going here - i-tunes Contact us on Twitter - we are @sharppodcast here Connect with us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sharppodcast/ Share with at us on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sharppodcast/ Post comments on the website. This link will take you to home page, and then you can go onto the episode you'd like to comment on here Thanks EVER SO MUCH for listening. If we help you to BE BETTER at what you do, then it's all been worth it!
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Podcast Details

Started
Feb 16th, 2017
Latest Episode
Jun 18th, 2020
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
73
Avg. Episode Length
29 minutes
Explicit
No
Order
Episodic

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