Are You Productive?

AreYouProductiveI remember once when one of my direct reports told me “This has been one of my most productive weeks.” He told me about all the projects he’d worked on. He was doing a lot of good work.

I’ve always worked on teams full of talented people who work hard to be productive. Good teams focused on being productive, not just busy. But, the definition of productive often is misconstrued.

(Warning – football analogy)
A “productive” football may chalk up amazing stats – tons of rushing and passing yards, passes completed, yards per carry, 1st downs and more… and yet, all of those stats don’t mean a thing if they lose the game.

Great teams focus on results!

In football, there’s only one stat that matters – the final score. That’s it. Did you win or did you lose?

To win, everyone on the team needs to focus on how their role contributes to overall success. Their focus should always be helping the team win.

The first question to ask is:

“ARE WE WINNING OR ARE WE LOSING?

If you don’t know – that’s where you start:

  • Determine if you’re winning or losing
    • And by how much
  • Document what it will take to start willing –or- increase your lead
  • Develop strategies accordingly
  • Ensure everyone on the team understand how what they do contributes to overall success
  • Then go and do it!

Strategies, projects, marketing plans, and sales materials should all be driving results that contribute to the overall success of the team.

Do the work that drives results. Have the courage to turn down work or projects that don’t contribute to success.

Why focus on being productive, when you can focus on being GREAT!

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2017 Bucket List

2017-bucketlist

My theme for 2017 is Fitness, Fun, & Family. Not necessarily in that order.

  1. Track my workout routine for 60 days
  2. Complete three 100 Pushup Challenges
    • 100 pushups in 24 hours
    • 100 pushups in 5 minutes
    • 100 straight pushups
  3. Bench Press 225 lbs.
  4. No soda for 60 days
  5. Family trip to Hawaii
  6. Attend Las Vegas 7’s Rugby Tournament
  7. Go skiing or snowboarding
  8. Go golfing
  9. Go clay pigeon shotgun shooting
  10. Go stand-up paddle boarding
  11. Go camping with the family
  12. Go snorkeling
  13. Hike Timpanogos Cave
  14. Attend a cultural festival
  15. Coach a youth sports team
  16. Visit an Aquarium
    • Feed penguins
  17. Attend a professional work conference
  18. Attend a trade show
  19. “Read” 8 books
  20. Start a Travel site
    • Reach 100 followers
  21. Write 30 articles / posts
  22. Reach 1,000 Twitter followers
  23. Reach 300 Instagram followers
  24. Spend 1v1 time with each kid, each quarter
  25. Go on a weekly date with Melissa
  26. Take a trip with Melissa
  27. Go on a mini-getaway with Melissa
  28. Visit somewhere new
  29. Help Melissa compete in a triathlon
  30. Help someone achieve their goal or Bucket List item
  31. Attend a play, musical, or concert
  32. Attend a Real Salt Lake soccer game
  33. Attend BYU football games
  34. Visit each of my siblings:
    • Brother in Northern Utah
    • Brother in Southern Utah
    • Sisters in Arizona
  35. Try 12 foods from different cultures:
    • American BBQ
    • Brazilian Churrascaria
    • Chinese
    • El Salvadorian pupusas
    • Food Truck!
    • Greek
    • Indian
    • Sushi / Japanese
    • Thai
    • Italian (non-chain restaurant)
    • Vietnamese
    • Something else?
  36. Do something spontaneous
  37. Go to bed earlier to get more sleep

Bonus Item: Take a trip to Brazil

The Sales and Marketing Gap

pablo-3Why is there a large gap, a seemingly unfillable chasm, between sales and marketing?

Does it stem from different goals (or the perception thereof)?

  • Marketing’s view on Sales’ objective: They just want to earn a commission, and could care less about anything else.
  • Sales’ view on Marketing’s objective: They just want to make things look good, and could care less if it drives sales.

Bridging the gap means having the same objectives – real and perceived.

It starts with larger corporate objectives that individual team goals align with.

Sales and Marketing must explicitly understand how their goals help the overall company, and how they support the goals of other teams.

Sounds simple, right?

Way too often, in companies large and small, this isn’t happening.

Now is the time to develop your 2017 goals.

Corporate strategies must first be developed by executive management. Then team goals can be created to support the larger strategy.

Throughout the year, transparency via regular reporting will give improved visibility into how all teams’ goals support one another – thus bridging the gap.

 

3 Apps to Keep You Motivated

Motivation appsSix months ago I decided it was time. Time to get serious. Time to stop making excuses and start making real change. Time to get in shape! Yeah, that’s what everyone says in January, right!? Most people want better health, more energy and to feel a sense of accomplishment. Well, I’m happy to say I’ve stuck with it for six months now. I’ve lost 25 pounds, built muscle and increased my overall stamina.

My focus has primarily been strength training with some cardio. And, for most of the time I’ve done a pretty good job eating a healthy diet.

It hasn’t been easy, but there are a few key factors that have contributed to successfully keeping me motivated.

Having a workout buddy has been crucial. Rain or shine he picks me up at 6:15 am to head to the gym. Thursdays he’s quite chipper as those are dedicated “Shoulders day” for us. For the record, I hate shoulders day. #Ihateshouldersday

Technology has been my other secret weapon to staying consistent with both daily workouts and healthy eating. While there are countless apps available I’ve found three apps especially beneficial for staying motivated. All three apps have a free versions and are available for Android and iOS.

Make My Plate#3 Make My Plate

This beta app provides detailed meal planning, recipes, and shopping lists. Simply input the daily calories you’re targeting – including macros, and the app creates three meals, plus two snacks daily. Even if you don’t follow it religiously the app gives plenty of meal ideas, so you don’t get stuck eating plain chicken and broccoli every day.

One of my favorite features is the Restaurants sections. Make My Plate gives you suggestions and nutritional information for forty national fast food, fast casual and full-service restaurants. A perfect resource for when you’re on-the-go.

 #2 BodySpacebodyspace1-675x449.png

This app is an extension of the BodyBuilding.com website with articles, exercise tips and a supplement store. The app allowed me to pick a workout routine based on my fitness goals. It gives me a daily plan with detailed exercises including videos to ensure you use proper form while lifting to guarantee maximum results. From novice to pro that app has all the workout routines and advice you need.

#1 My Fitness Palmy_fitness_pal_logo

Now owned by Under Armour, this is my #1 app for keeping a daily food log of everything I eat. Helps me ensure I’m getting a high amount of protein, while keeping fats down and managing carbs effectively. I enter my weight on a weekly basis to visually see my progress. Yes, I even enter the cheat day calories so I know how much I’ve got to work off the next morning.

Motivational blog articles and recipes can also be found in the app. And of course, a link to buy Under Armour gear.

MyFitnessPal syncs with my FitBit to track my steps and approximate calories burned, adjusting my daily calorie intake from food. It’s pretty slick! I don’t track my workouts here, but the functionality exists.

Here’s the next six months of success!

DJ

 

How are you using technology to keep you motivated?

2016 BUCKET LIST

2016 BucketlistReally nothing too crazy this year, but still a lot I’d like to do. Not officially on this list but something I’d like to find a way to do is travel to this Brazil this year. it’s not exactly in the plans, but hoping to find a way and make it happen.

  1. Get a job
  2. Attend a trade show or marketing conference
  3. Give a public speech, talk or presentation
  4. Travel internationally
  5. Visit a new state
  6. Go on a trip with Melissa
  7. Travel to a soccer tournament for Brendon
  8. Travel to Arizona to visit my sisters
  9. Spend a day at the beach
  10. Go on a family campout
  11. Go to a zoo or aquarium
  12. Go Snorkeling
  13. Go stand up paddle boarding (lots!)
  14. Go on a family picnic up the canyon (roast marshmallows)
  15. Attend a play or musical
  16. Attend  a cultural festival
  17. Get a gym membership – for the first time in my life
  18. Lose weight – get down to 210 lbs
  19. Stick to a 90-day workout routine
  20. Go mountain biking
  21. Hike Timpanogos Cave
  22. Coach one of my kids’ sports teams
  23. Play on an indoor soccer team (again)
  24. Attend a Real Salt Lake game
  25. Have a water balloon fight
  26. Take the family sledding
  27. Go fishing with my boys
  28. Get off automatic mode on my DSLR
  29. Try a new food or new cuisine
  30. Try a new restaurant
  31. Take Melissa horseback riding
  32. Have a candle lit dinner with Melissa
  33. Help someone move in
  34. Help someone move out
  35. Finish the home office (it flooded again)
  36. Read 4 books
  37. Listen to 12 audiobooks
  38. Write 20 blog posts
  39. Reach 100 total blog followers (82 on Jan 1st)
  40. Gain 93 new Twitter followers (507 on Jan 1st)
  41. Write 2 chapters in a book
  42. Prepare a will

Notably absent from my list this year is to go ice fishing. I tried to add it three years in a row and it just never happened.

Happy 2016 – Hope you can do and achieve all of your goals or Bucket list items this year.

– DJ

3 Tips for Managing Summer

window outsideSummer is here – warm weather, barbecues, and outdoor activities.

The beautiful thing about living in a state like Utah is the four distinct seasons. We enjoy cold snowy winters, mild springs, hot summers and cool falls. The downside, the joys of summer come and go very quickly.

Working during the summer months can prove challenging. With the kids out of school and late summer nights, there’s so much to do including swimming in pristine pools and retreating to clean mountain air (yeah, it’s a Utah thing). With so many fun things to do in the summer overworking yourself and your team seems… wrong.

So, you need to take the time to enjoy the season.

I’m not talking about personal time off (PTO) for vacations, but that’s important too. Instead I’m referring to the way to be highly productive at work, while enjoying summer.

The key then is to find the right balance between work and play. Yes, I’m still on this quest for balance.

3 Tips for Managing Summer:

  1. Accept it: Instead of fighting the situation, accept the fact that it’s summer. Life may run a little different for a few months. That’s okay – embrace it! That means not becoming frustrated. Enjoy this time of year.
  2. Take Advantage of the Weather: The allure of sunny skies and warm sunshine is tempting. Look for ways to get outside a bit. Examples include:
    • Offsite team lunches – a way to both get out of the office and get people offsite where they’re more inclined to relax a bit.
    • Visit key contacts – Jump in the car and go visit people. This may include top accounts, prospects, partners, or vendors. The extra rays will help boost your Vitamin D levels, while strengthening relationships in ways only possible through face-to-face meetings.
    • Take it Outside – A lot of heat and a little sweat will make you appreciate the refreshing A/C once back in the office. For example, eat your lunch at a park or take your 15-minute break by strolling outdoors.
  3. Switch-up Your Schedule: Instead of the normal 9-5 schedule, mix things up a bit to take advantage of summer weather.  Arrive early, stay focused, get a ton accomplished, and then leave early. You’ll get your work in and still have plenty of time for summer recreation late afternoon and evening. I find a ton can be accomplished from 7-9am, before most people have arrived at work. Another option to consider is requesting a few times during the summer to work 4-ten hour days, allowing for the occasional 3-day weekend.
    • Note: Make sure to clear it with your supervisor first – a good leader will see the wisdom in allowing you to do this, and may even decide to do the same.

Bonus Tip:

Plan for and Enjoy the Weekend: Don’t go to bed Sunday night thinking “Dang, I didn’t do anything all weekend long”. Plan ahead to spend weekends outdoors – enjoying the weather, having fun, being active and spending time with friends and family.

Maximizing summer can make it the best time for both your work life and personal time.

Now, get back to work – then feel free to take off a bit early today!

 

Photo cred: Idea go

Ripped Jeans, Productions Lines and Sushi

sushiIYou may be asking what these three things have in common. The answer is nothing – nothing at all. There is no correlation between them. So why did I name this blog accordingly? Well, life throws things at you that are unexpected.

A few weeks ago my morning started with a conference call on my cell phone. During the call I began walking around the building to get my blood flowing. At one point I unconsciously began to sit down on a box in the warehouse when… RIP. My jeans split, right in the crotch. Not good! Here I was, new to the job and now I’m gonna be known as ripped-pants guy. Ughhh! I assessed that the rip wasn’t TOO noticeable. I’d try to stay seated at my desk and walk around as little as possible.

An hour later I got a call requesting help in the production warehouse. A huge project required all-hands-on-deck to help out on the production line. “Me? On the production line? But I’m a marketing guy!” I thought. Nonetheless, I’ve always tried to be the kind of person willing to do whatever, wherever to help out. So I headed to the line started to marking displays and drilling holes. Oh yeah, power tools! Took about 30 minutes to get the gist of things, but once in a groove we were off to the races making 400+ displays.

Just before taking a break for lunch, I got a call from a friend from Brazil who was in the States visiting. Spur of the moment we decided to meet for lunch at a local sushi restaurant. Mmm gotta love sushi. We had a great lunch and caught up on old times, plus had some amazing sushi and lots of it.

Then back to the office for more production line work until the end of the work day. I even survived without anyone noticing I’d ripped my jeans – or at least everyone was nice enough to not laugh in my face about it.

None of what happened that day was planned or expected. If ‘Variety is the Spice of Life’ then that was one spicy day. I laughed to myself as I drove home. See, driving into work I mentally planned what would happen and what needed to be accomplished. The day was nothing like I thought it would be. Life rarely is.