The Best Productivity Advice You’ll Ever Get

Inc. offers up some tips on how you can be more effective.

Our culture is obsessed with personal productivity and self-improvement–how to be better, more efficient, more effective. Our quest for continuous self-improvement knows no bounds.

Well, I’ve got the easiest way for you to be more effective, hands down. Quit being neurotic about personal productivity and self-improvement. It’s all just a giant waste of time, which is more than a little ironic.

I’ll let you in on a secret. In the corporate world, we carve out specific time for strategy and process improvement. Why? Because if we didn’t, it would be way too disruptive. Everyone would be distracted and nobody would get any work done.

It’s the same with you, your business, even your personal life. There’s a time and a place for everything, and being constantly on the lookout for ways to be more productive and effective will only ensure that you’re neither. Here are five reasons why.

They’re not very smart goals. Productivity and self-improvement are simply too amorphous and subjective to be goals. How do you know you’ve achieved either one? That’s right, you don’t. And considering the shear amount of useless content that’s generated, posted, and retweeted every day on the subject, it’s guaranteed to be a huge time sink as well as an endless pursuit.

Continuous improvement is disruptive. Granted, there is a Japanese concept called Kaizen that essentially means continuous improvement. But in that context, “continuous” doesn’t mean “all the time.” Continuous change is inefficient. It’s distracting. It’s disruptive. Continuous anything is disruptive, even if it is for the better.

Prioritize. Too much to do and not enough time to do it all? Stressed out over it? Join the club. The best and maybe the only way to deal with that has always been to prioritize. I guarantee that whatever’s at the bottom of the priority list and doesn’t get done didn’t need to get done. The Earth will still turn and the sun will still rise in the morning. Besides, there is virtue to doing less. In many cases, less is more.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That phrase has stood the test of time for one very good reason. It’s almost always true. If you’ve got real issues or problems, by all means, figure them out, deal with them, fix them. If not, then get back to work, finding work, enjoying life, or whatever it is you should be doing. Stay focused.

Forget “everything in moderation.” Yes, that’s an old phrase too, but it doesn’t apply here. I know it’s tempting to think that somewhere between “continuous change” and “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is a sweet spot. Well, it doesn’t work that way. Once you have a strategy and a plan, you need to focus and execute. If it’s not working, then figure out why and do something different.

Don’t get me wrong. There is such a thing as being too rigid and inflexible, especially in this fast-paced world. You should always be on the lookout for competitive threats and open to new ideas and opportunities. I just don’t happen to think that personal productivity or self-improvement qualifies as such.

Perhaps the most important takeaway is this. Just because you’re hopelessly disorganized, not a morning person, have an office that looks like it was hit by a tornado, and haven’t cleaned up your inbox in years, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be broke and miserable.

It just means you’re like a lot of successful and innovative people. It also means you’re human.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

10 Ways to Motivate Anyone

Geil Browning, founder of Emergenetics International, an organizational development firm in the U.S., Singapore, and the Netherlands, discusses how to understand the unique brain and personality types of your employees so you can keep them invested in work and get amazing results.

I am often asked about how I keep employees inspired and productive. It’s an essential question since companies today must accomplish more, with fewer people. The most successful start-ups must be lean, nimble, and fierce.

In a nutshell, you should hire bright, energetic, innovative employees. Then offer them the right incentives–the ones that will impact their personal brain and personality types–to keep them mentally and emotionally invested in doing their best.

It’s impossible to talk about motivation without mentioning Drive, a book by best-selling author Daniel Pink. (His TED lecture was turned into a fabulous video.) Pink notes that people perform best when they are given autonomy, opportunity for mastery, and the belief that their task is meaningful. He says money is not the best motivator, and that employees want to be “players, not pawns.”

Pink believes Google’s “20% time,” in which employees may spend one day a week on whatever they want is a shining example of how allowing intrinsically-based motivations (a sense of accomplishment or purpose) can flourish. Personal endeavors from “20% time” resulted in Gmail, Google News, Orkut, and AdSense. Long before Google–back in 1948–3M instituted the “15% solution” or “dream time,” which yielded both Scotch Tape and Post-It Notes.

There’s no question that intrinsic motivation is essential. However, I do not agree with Pink that all extrinsic motivation (raises, bonuses, commissions, awards, titles, flex time, and other perks) is harmful. A skillful entrepreneur keeps employees motivated with a combination of both.

That said, there is no cookie-cutter approach to motivating your people. What inspires one person may leave the next cold. When you understand an employee’s thinking and behavioral preferences, you’ll be able to maximize his or her enthusiasm. This will help you get your workforce aligned and moving in the same direction, and you’ll see incredible returns.

1.   Analytical types want to know that a project is valuable, and that their work makes a difference to its success. They need a leader who excels in a particular area, and whose expertise they believe benefits the group. They prefer compensation that is commensurate with their contribution. If they have done a tremendous amount of work on their own, don’t expect them to be happy if you reward the whole team.

2.   People who are “structural” by nature want to know their work aids the company’s progress. They prefer a leader who is organized, competent, and good with details. They like to be rewarded in writing, in a timely manner, in a way specific to the task. An encouraging email is appropriate to communicate with them.

3.   Social people want to feel personally valued, and that what they are doing has an impact on a project. They go the extra mile for a leader who expresses faith in their abilities. They prefer to be rewarded in person with a gesture that is from the heart. If your own preference is for written communication, send a handwritten note to a particularly social employee.

4.   Innovative employees must buy into a cause. To them, the big picture matters more than the individual who is leading the charge. They prefer to be rewarded with something unconventional and imaginative, and would find a whimsical token of your esteem very meaningful.

5.   Quiet staffers don’t need a lot of fanfare, but they appreciate private, one-on-one encouragement.

6.   Expressive people feel more motivated when assignments are openly discussed and an open door is available. They like public recognition, with pomp, and ceremony.

7.   Peacekeepers hope everyone will move in the same direction. They’ll never demand a reward or recognition, so it’s up to you to offer it.

8.   Hard-drivers are independent thinkers. If they agree with you, they’ll be highly motivated. They will let you know what they’d like as an extrinsic reward, and they tend to want whatever it is right away.

9.   Those who are focused team members must have confidence in the leader and in the project, or their motivation may falter. They want know up front what kind of reward they can expect. Make sure you follow through on whatever is promised.

10.   Flexible people go along with the team, as long as a project does not contradict their morals or beliefs. They’re also happy with any kind of recognition.

Watch for the weakest link among your employees. If you have a slacker who consistently does less than everyone else but seems to get away with it, this can dampen the motivation of everyone else.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

How To Improve Customer Service

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Why Should You Sit Up Straight?

For people who spend the day staring at a computer screen, slouching is fairly typical. But what is it doing to your spine, if anything? An article from the Wall Street Journal discusses if we need to sit up straight.

Stop for a second and notice the way you are sitting. Back curved, shoulders slumped, maybe legs crossed? For people who spend the day staring at a computer screen, this position is fairly typical. But what is it doing to your spine, if anything? Do we need to sit up straight to focus, like that mean math teacher once insisted? Here’s some straight talk from one expert, Mladen Golubic, medical director for the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute.

Degrees of Comfort
Little research has been done on the best way to sit upright. One American meta study in 1999 concluded that sitting at an angle of 110 to 130 degrees was optimal for spine comfort. A Scottish study published in 2007 found that leaning back at 135 degrees is ideal to prevent back strain. While interesting, this sort of precision may be impractical for most people, Dr. Golubic says.

Sitting to Death?
His clinic sees patients with multiple chronic illnesses. Nearly all of them sit for long periods each day. The term Sedentary Death Syndrome was coined by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in 2002 to address the growing consequences of a seated lifestyle. “There are studies on Sedentary Death Syndrome that show that sitting for hours can cause anything from lower back pain to high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity,” he says. In other words, no matter what position you’re sitting in all day, it is pretty bad for you.

The Perfect Pose
Body posture determines the efficiency of your breathing. “Relaxed, straight sitting”—with the core strong, shoulder blades active but not tight and spine erect—”expands your chest, allowing you to take in a larger breath…and you’ll have more energy and focus,” Dr. Golubic says. To achieve this, sit away from the back of your chair so you don’t slump, with your feet placed firmly on the ground. He sometimes sends patients home with a blue dot to put on their computer screens as a reminder to sit up straight and stretch and take a deep breath when they feel pain. There is also an app called PostureTrack that alerts users when they’re slumping.

Slump to a Hump
It’s not as though slouching will give you a hunchback in a day, but “if you do this day after day, and your muscles are not strong, the whole skeleton changes,” Dr. Golubic says. “I’m not aware of any studies that look at the changes in the volume of organs like the liver and spleen when you sit straight or slump forward. But we do know that when you slouch, you project an attitude of depression and low motivation.” When you sit up straight, he adds, “psychologically, your attitude is better.”

Core Message
If you’re not used to sitting up straight, you may feel lower back pain—an indicator that you need to strengthen your core and work on general fitness. Dr. Golubic almost always advises his patients to start yoga: “The first thing we learn in yoga is how to sit properly.”

Walk, Don’t Sit
The bottom line: How you sit is less important than how long you sit, Dr. Golubic says. He tries to get up from his desk often, doing “walking meetings” with colleagues and taking phone calls outdoors. “If you cannot walk,” he says, “At least stand.”

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs in throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

8 Things Really Successful People Do

An article from Inc. discusses eight things the most successful people are meticulous about getting right. Most people claim to want success. But not everyone is willing to do the hard work and the smart work to get there. Often opportunities present themselves and because people are distracted, they miss them or give up on them before things fully develop.

Truly successful people don’t leave much to chance. They are disciplined and focused.  They constantly seek new methods to achieve more, in bigger and faster ways. Listed below are eight different practices that will help you concentrate your efforts on rising above the tide.

1. Make Materialism Irrelevant: Fancy cars and houses are all well and good, but many foolishly focus on the byproducts of success, rather than concentrating on building sustainable success in the first place. Establish a bare minimum for your material needs, and then you can enjoy the benefits of success, debt and stress free.

2. Enhance Knowledge: Success comes faster to those who are open, active learners. The higher up the success ladder you climb, the more complex the systems and opportunities that are presented to you. Absorb all the information you can and if you sense a gap you can’t fill, connect with people who have the knowledge you need.

3. Manage Relationship Expectations: People in your life require time. Successful individuals attract folk and so they have to carefully regulate the time they can spend with others. It’s hard to limit the time you share and still make people feel important. Make choices about the people who matter to you and determine how you each can get value from your interactions. Then make sure they understand your limitations so they don’t take it personally when you can’t be present.

4. Practice Emotional Self-Awareness: Not all successful people are calm and nice. In fact, many can be volatile. But most are very aware of their tempers and idiosyncrasies. They know how to use their emotions to get what they want from life and work hard to make sure feelings don’t become a detriment. Know yourself and learn how to let your emotions work for you in positive ways.

5. Commit to a Physical Ideal: Everyone has a vision of their own perfect body. They don’t have to be fashion models or athletes to be happy. But physical health is a consideration in their life and it’s a big distraction when it gets out of whack. Determine the body you believe is worth working for and set a game plan to achieve and maintain it.

6. Gain Clarity About Spirituality: There are many highly successful people like Richard Branson and Warren Buffett who don’t consider religion to be important or relevant. But they have a clear point of view as to the role spirituality plays in their life. Find your own way to be at one with the universe and be clear and deliberate in how you practice.

7. Adhere to a Code of Ethics: Really successful people live by rules. They may not be the rules of others, but consistency is important for them to maintain power and stability. Their individual view of how the world works is the basis for how they believe people should be treated and they will defend it until their dying day. Determine your ethical lines and broadcast them loud and clear so people around you know where you stand.

8. Focus on Time Efficiency: Prioritization is a key component of success. You can’t reach your pinnacle if you are wasting time on distractions. Integration of activities frees up time for greater achievement. Spend your time on activities that are fun, enlightening and productive and soon you’ll have gained hours to reap the benefits of success.

Ultimately, really successful people live their lives by design instead of default, so if you want to be one of them, dedicate time and effort to determining the plan for your preferred future and execute that plan in a focused and consistent manner.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Recent Survey on Tech Trends in Commercial Real Estate Yields Surprising Results

A recently conducted a survey at The News Funnel gauged the commercial real estate industry sentiment as it relates to technology trends. Some of the results were not so surprising, but one thing really stood out. The main takeaway from survey was how many exciting new websites are being launched on a regular basis creating a real tech revolution in the industry. Another things that was really surprising was the amount of respondents who said they are still getting the majority of their news and information from their desktop devices as opposed to mobile. It’s completely contrarian to what’s obviously happening in the tech sector in general as mobile is taking the tech world by storm. Old habits die hard, but if someone can get the industry to adopt to a mobile solution, they will have the field to themselves.

Here were the major findings of the survey:

Which data and information website is used the most by industry professionals?
CoStar was chosen by 60% of the survey followed by Real Capital Analytics and LoopNet in a virtual dead heat for second place.

Which new real estate tech site are you most impressed with?
A virtual tie between View The Space and OfficeSpace.comCompStak was selected as the third most impressive site. Other sites that were chosen were RetailMLS, 42Floors and TheCapRate.

Which aspect of the industry is experiencing the most exciting innovation?
More than half of the survey respondents selected “news”, followed by “marketing” and “space search”.

Which area is lagging the most in regards to tech innovation?
“Data analysis” was the answer most given followed by “marketing” and then “property management”.

When asked which sector of the industry is experiencing the most innovation residential or commercial?
Almost 70% of the survey said “commercial”.

Finally, and most surprising, What type of device you use to access real estate information?
83% said their desktop while only 17% said mobile.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

5 Reasons to Schedule More Business Lunches

Have an important meeting? Here are five reasons to do it over lunch, and some tips to make the most of it from an article at Inc.com.

You finally get connected to the person you have been pursuing. Maybe it’s the client of your dreams. Perhaps it’s the mentor you always wanted. Maybe it’s that perfect recruit or potential partner. It doesn’t matter, you want them to listen and they have agreed to give you time. Now you need to put the odds in your favor. You need to invite them for lunch. Here’s why, and how:

1. You’ll Control the Environment
Their office is their territory: their colleagues may interrupt you, or they may be distracted by calls or emails. Even if they agree to come to your office, you don’t want any distractions there either. Besides, being in your territory may prompt them to put up their guard. You want them at ease. You want the environment to work for you. You can control the entire atmosphere at lunch.

Tell your prospect that you will arrange things and send them the info on where to meet.  Pick a restaurant that is quiet so they can hear you. Ask their food preferences and find an appropriate setting–be it trendy or classic, elegant or casual–that reflects the impression you want to make. Pre-arrange with the wait-staff (pre-tip, and learn their names) to take special care of your table so the focus is on your business at hand. Now everything is on your turf and your prospect can be wowed by your style, initiative, and way with people.

2. You’ll Be on Equal Footing
I hate going to someone’s office and sitting in front of their desk. They sit in the power position and wait for you to perform. Half the time, their chair sits above you, making you feel small and insignificant. With a little planning at lunch, you can keep the power equal or maybe even in your favor. Preview the restaurant you choose and designate a table that you like with the headwaiter. Make sure that you can see the door and have your back to the wall if at all possible. You should be seated so that you are at an equal height and are the most obvious focal point from their view.

3. You’ll Have Captive time
In a typical meeting, the business agenda controls the time frame. If you only have 20 minutes of substantive discussion, you will find yourself dismissed once you make your point. Lunch is different. Eating is an expected social experience and few people schedule a lunch for less than 60 to 90 minutes. Leave the laptop at home. A paper presentation works best at the table and your prospect can take it home. Once you are done with a brief description, move on unless the prospect wants to delve further. Unless you offend, you will both be there for the whole meal, so use the extra time to connect socially. People do business with people they like. Now you have the time to help them like you.

4. You’ll Create a Shared Experience
The two of you are there together. Make your prospect feel comfortable. Make sure your etiquette is refined. Mirror their behaviors so they are not embarrassed. You have the chance to find common ground and bond. Create a memory that becomes the basis for your future relationship. Let it be an awesome experience you both recall with fondness. Clearly address the need for meeting. Find ways to make it entertaining and creatively generate an unexpected moment that wows your prospect. Call the chef in advance and arrange for a special dish.

5. You’ll Do Them a Favor
Pick up the check!!! It may seem obvious but many business people are inclined to split bills today. Going Dutch is not an option if you want retain power. You want your prospect to feel obligated to you even if only for the lunch. Make sure you have that advantage when the meal is finished. The best way to assure this is to give the waiter your credit card privately before the lunch even starts. You can decide whether or not to tell your prospect up front that this experience is on you, or wait until the end as a surprise. Either way, you’ll put them in a position of gratitude at the end, leaving you open to pursue the next steps.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Five Ways Robots Will Change Real Estate

A recent article from InmanNews discusess how robots could have an impact on real estate. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s not. Robots are about to be everywhere, including real estate. Robots are in the wild, cleaning up nuclear waste, sanitizing hospital rooms, and entertaining us all. How will they impact real estate? It’s anyone’s guess at this point, but here are five ways robots could impact real estate within the next five years.

1. New telepresence robots, like the ones from Double Robotics, will finally let us be in two (or more) places at once. Control the robot from your iPad and communicate face-to-virtual face with co-workers and potential clients. Send a telepresence robot along to an open house. Invite brokers and clients to attend previews from the comfort of their home or office. The possibilities of telepresence are limitless.

2. Robots like Romo could lend a helping hand. Need exterior shots? Send a Romo out to the street for wide angle views. How about a cameraman for your video? Check. Need a BPO? A Romo with some simple software can canvas a street and send back data while you meet with clients.

3. How about a robot who can issue conditional approvals and underwrite loans in real time? Robots with natural language processing could collect data from a client interview and, connected to an underwriting engine, produce financing options and approvals in minutes.

4. The issue of private drones is unfolding in front of our eyes. Federal, state, and local governments are racing to issue guidance on drone use; but no matter the outcome, drones will become fixtures in our skies. Depending on how legislation shakes out, drones could be used for aerial views, home fly-throughs and more. This is already happening with remote controlled quadcopters. The machines will handle it with a few taps on your iPhone tomorrow.

5. Robots could make finding the perfect home a breeze. Imagine a robot that could use information about your client, their Facebook interests along with some simple questions about their income, to query and sort MLS listings for the perfect place for them.

Of course, how exactly the future will play out is anyone’s guess; but one thing’s for sure, robots will be a part of it.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Mobile Usage in Commercial Real Estate Up 61%

Technology in the commercial real estate sector moves at a far different pace than residential real estate, because the type of consumer is far different, and far fewer, and the professional needs of industry insiders are typically met by older software that may not be sexy and may be clunky, but transferring to another system is often regarded as a waste of time for a fast paced industry.

That said, devices in the pockets of professionals and consumers have evolved dramatically, and mobile use is on the rise, up 61 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, according to inMotion Real Estate’s recent report which also forecast that mobile use will double by 2016.

The report notes a 225 percent increase of mobile visits as a percent of total website visits in 2012 compared to 2011, marking a rise not only in smart device ownership, but in mobile usage in the commercial real estate industry.

The top five mobile brands in the commercial real estate industry are Apple, followed by HTC, Samsung, Motorola, and RIM (Blackberry). The most commonly used devices were the iPhone, iPad, Sony Ericsson LT 15i Xperia Arc, HTC EVO 4G, and lastly, the Motorola Droid X.

Interestingly, the rise of tablets are also forecast to be a substantial part of the commercial real estate industry, which makes perfect sense as professionals often spend a considerable amount of time in the field.

Apps and technology are in the process of catching up with mobile devices, and we suspect that the devices are what will help professionals to make the transition from older tools to the newer, slicker, more time-saving apps of today. Having watched the rise of tech tools for residential real estate professionals who tend to be faster to adopt, it is foreseeable that an app and tech tool surge is on its way.

 

 

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs in throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.