No Need for Facebook Apps?

After writing about my frustration with Facebook's decision to separate it's Messenger feature into a separate app, I continued to read about both sides of the argument.

Though I still don't plan to download the Messenger app, I also decided to delete the regular Facebook app from my Android phone as well.

One of my online colleagues mentioned that many of the security/privacy issues people are worried about with the Messenger app already exist with the regular app.

That wasn't my reason for deleting the app through.

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The Number One Reason to Have a Twitter Account

I can remember the moment when I first signed up for a Twitter account.

It was December of 2009 and I was attending the Do It With Drupal conference in New Orleans, LA and one of the speakers was talking about keeping up with event details and postings via Twitter.  They encouraged us to sign up if we had not yet created an account and I did it.

At first it seemed a bit silly, but after a few days, I was starting to get the hang of it. 

Now that it is 4.5 years later, I wouldn't say that I'm a pro at Twitter, but I have a much better grasp of how to use it and how to get a better experience from the tool.

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7 Useful Things to Do With Evernote

It is no secret that I am a fan of technology and productivity.  If there is a website, software program, or app that can make my regular tasks easier, I'm up for it.

One of my favorite programs is Evernote.

If you haven't used it before, you're seriously missing out on something that could help you to remember and access important things every day.

I use Evernote in a number of ways, but in this post, I'll just share 7 useful things that you can do with it.

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How to Easily Create Blog Posts Throughout the Day

If you have a smartphone that has a voice recorder, it's pretty easy to create blog posts throughout the day.

Being an "ideas" person, I always have a ton of ideas for blog posts and if you're the same way, it's a good idea to get those ideas out of your head and into a digital format.

Whenever you get a free second during the day, you can take out your phone, start your voice recorder or recording app and talk about the topic for a few minutes. 

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Focus On One Thing

Multi-tasking can be great if your focus is on one primary activity.  One example of this is working on a website or creating a graphic while listening to podcasts.

The primary task (website or graphics) can get most of your attention while the secondary task (listening to podcasts) only requires that you listen.

In other instances, though, it's nearly impossible to do two tasks successfully at the same time.  

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If you're writing a book, but you keep checking in on social media, you'll likely be distracted.

One thing that I have heard from many successful people is to work in time blocks or chunks.  These time blocks may be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or even an hour.

However much time you choose, set a timer and focus on one task for the alloted time.  

When I have worked this way, I have gotten so much more done.  

Instead of focusing on writing a book, updating websites, answering emails, checking in on social media, my attention is devoted to one task that I can do well.  

Writing every day is an important goal to me, but whenever I get bogged down into so many other tasks, it doesn't get done.  

Today is the day that I get back to focusing on one thing — one thing per time chunk, one major project per day, one larger project per week.

I can do it and you can too.

Questions:  What are some of the projects that you are working on?  Do you find it difficult to stay focused on just one thing? 

5 Benefits of Peace and Quiet

Have you ever noticed how loud the world can be?  I'm not necessarily referring to it in an auditory sense, but moreso the constant activity.

It may be the noise of your television, your cell phone, your email, your Facebook account, your Twitter account, your boss, your clients, or it may even be your spouse, children or other relatives.

If you let them, so many of these sources of noise can fill up your day.

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One thing that I have learned while studying successful people is that these people value times of peace and quiet.  They know that it can be some of the most productive and enjoyable time they can experience.

Here are 5 benefits that I have experienced from peace and quiet:

1)  It gives you time for uninterrupted prayer – When you're talking to the creator of the universe, isn't it great to have time to focus and, more importantly, to listen for His voice?  Prayer is essential in the life of a Christian and it's hard to do with lots of distraction and noise.  I believe this is why so many people have times of prayer early in the morning, before the day starts racing away.

2)  It is a great time to study God's word – I have found that reading the Bible during times of peace and quiet can allow me to comprehend more and to gain a greater understand of what I have read.  Though I don't experience peace and quiet every time I'm reading, I make a concerted effort to get this done before anyone else in the house is awake.

3)  It provides time for reflection on what is important – During prayer time and reading the Bible, I often take time to think about the awesome blessings that I have been entrusted with so far in this life.  This includes my wife and children, my other family members, my friends, and even the material possessions that we have such as a house and our van.  Without the distractions of the day, I can spend time being thankful for "the little things" that show me how much God loves me.

4)  It gives time for action instead of reaction – During times when I oversleep or decide to rest for a while longer, I usually find myself reacting to everything that comes at me instead of setting the pace of the day for myself.  Think about it.  If you wake up and start checking emails, looking at social media, or have to check on a crying baby, you are in response mode.  Your email tells you a message that someone else wants you to hear – whether it's about a sale at a store, a news alert, or maybe even an event.  I find that starting out in the peace and quiet allows me to take action such as writing blog posts, working on a website project, or even writing a book.

5)  It provides time for "noticing" things – Author Andy Andrews talks about this in some of his books and sometimes on his podcast.  Becoming a "noticer" is something that anyone can do, if they just quietly observe things and look for the things most people may miss.  While enjoying peace and quiet, you may be able to hear things that you usually overlook, such as birds chirping outside.  You may also be able to hear things that allow you to take preventative measures.  Sometimes I turn off the radio in my van and put the windows down to just listen.  If you never do this, you may miss sounds that could warn you of something before you need a costly repair.  It's an intentional process, but it is one that is beneficial. 

Question:  What are some of the benefits you experience during times of peace and quiet?

 

Done Is Better Than Perfect

I have a confession to make.

During the past few years, I have set ambitious goals and then I have not accomplished them.

Do you want to know why?  It wasn't because I didn't have the know-how.  It wasn't because I wasn't smart enough. In most cases, it wasn't even because I didn't have the resources or money.

The reason why I didn't accomplish my goals was because I was concerned with perfection.  

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One Step At A Time

It's the beginning of the year.  You know what typically happens at the beginning of the year? Right. Many of us set huge goals and establish that THIS will be our year.

Somewhere along though, our insanity kicks in and we somehow realize that doing the same thing, the same way will produce the same results.

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