Battling the Enemy with The Big “P”


Procrastination affects work

One of the topics I have in my Smashbook is “A Bad Habit That I’m Going to Break.” Hands down, it’s gonna be: PROCRASTINATION.Guilty about being a victim of that adversary. On a clear sunny day, I am like this machine awakened by my senses, flowing with undercurrent of ideas. My boss (who is so passionate about his masterfully crafted software) is happy, my work productive. Couldn’t ask for more!

But another day, I feel like I’m no ME at all. Invariably, by that time, I’m no longer sure what ticks me – fatigue, negativity, or just pangs of sadness here and there brought by little patterns connected to mid-life crisis… or just being embattled by personal emotion too strong to resist.

My seemingly eternal challenge is to battle the enemy. How can I function consistently with being productive every single week? The answer of course is to HAVE AN OBJECTIVE IN LIFE. Evidently it will add meaning to my work, a pattern of events that will lead to my worthiness as a person which in a chain of reaction will have me reaped more benefits.

…and so in this blank canvass of my life I call 2015, I need to figure out the rhythm of my work to leave no space for the great “P.”

ANTI-PROCRASTINATION TIPS:

1.) Prioritize!

2.)  S.M.A.R.T. Goal-setting

3.) Eliminate low priority tasks

4.) Follow the 80/20 Rule (bring it on, Pareto!)

5.) Consult on my checklist (this always helps!) 

6.) Be accountable

7.) Always think of the benefits when work is done by schedule 

How about you? Any anti-procrastination tips that work for you? Please leave your comments below.

Cooking 2015


smashbook ideas

 After writing 3 PRs, a blog post and a guest blog post, studying keyword phrases,  checking our social media platforms, and getting so pissed about the slow internet    connection, I thought my fingers could no longer hit another key. I closed my eyes  for some seconds, and when I opened them, I turn my  attention to one of my    favorite sites and typed in “journal.” Instantly, the screen was  flooded with  hundreds of images pertaining to the topic. That was when I was introduced to a  term called “Smashbook.” (I’m so ancient, I know!) It’s like a journal but it’s  nowhere near  the “Dear Diary” look. Instead of plain words, you can draw, doodle,  or be more creative. The site gave me topics and ideas on what to write on a day by  day basis. Some of them may strike a raw nerve in me but most of the topics are  really interesting. (At least, I have another thing to get busy with for the next 365  days  of my life).

This early, I’m  looking forward into cooking 2015 with exciting topics. Some of  them are just plain and simple, not really thought-provoking. But what makes a “Smashbook” a really good one is not so much on how artistic the book became but probably more so about the stories carefully engraved on each page, whether it’s through written words, a cute doodle, a painting, song lyrics, book quote or even a small memorabilla. This early, I’m guessing mine will be filled with words as I have like 0% artistic talent. Even so, I hope I can give justice to my newest “recipe” so that looking back, especially in days when the sun dips behind the clouds, I can just read through the pages and remember once again how my life had unfolded and unraveled, one petal after another.

I can start cooking my 2015 Smashbook with these topics:

  • A bad habit I’m going to break
  • A new skill I’d like to learn
  • A person I hope to be more like
  • A good deed I’m going to do
  • A place I’d like to visit
  • A book I’d like to read
  • A letter I’m going to write
  • A new food I’d like to try
  • I’m going to do better at –

I have also added other topics of my own like for example:

  • My Rainy Day Playlist
  • Author Review (instead of book review)
  • “Lakas Maka Good Vibes” Playlist
  • Things I’ll Try At least Once in a Lifetime

BTW, you can also create your own Title for it. Kallista, one of my twins named hers “Me, Myself & I.” Karizza, the other twin named hers, “365 Days of Me.” My sister named hers “Freshly Brewed.” And me? Er… For now I called it, “Smashbook 2015″ hahaha! Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Amuse me! ;)

It is in this context that I look at cooking 2015 , as I sort out what I will throw away and what I will keep at this juncture in my life.

See you all in 2015!

Wrapping up My 2014


2015

Here’s a quick look at 2014 as I’m waiting for its last day to gallop away…

January

Circuit Overseer’s Visit

Month Campaign

Campaign Period: Can The Dead Really Live Again?

 February

Karizza became a Regular Pioneer

Karizza

At barely 14, Karizza became an approved Regular Pioneer

March

Last Special Assembly Day

Special Assembly Day

The last Special Assembly Day

April

Vacation in Lubang Island

Lubang Island, Mindoro Occidental

Lubang Island, Mindoro Occidental

May

Bethel Tour

Bethel Tour

Bethel Tour with bible students

June

Kallista became a Regular Pioneer

Kallista

Kallista became a regular pioneer

July

Last 2-day Circuit Assembly

Last 2-Day Circuit Assembly

The last time that we had 2-day Circuit Assembly

August

New leaf turned:

Group reshuffle… Attended Cebuano group… and many more!

20140830_094902

Group Reshuffle

 

Cebuano Group

Attended Cebuano Group

 

 September

Meeting old friends

Meeting old friends

Meeting old friends

October

Meeting new friends… invitation campaign… and more!

 20141018_100145 20141019_100856

 

 

 

 November

Regional Convention

Regional Convention

District Convention was renamed Regional Convention

December

Fun! Fun! Fun!

Bonding!

Bonding!

20141222_073524 20141222_083257

And of course, my 2014 isn’t complete without these…

Bonding time with Papa

Coffee!

20140327_210901

 

 

 

There are also books I’ve read…

 books A Vintage Affair baby proof Chasing Harry Winston If I Stay Mini Shopaholic The Best of Me The Husband's Secret The Storyteller

 

 

 

So far the best books I’ve read this year were The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty and The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.

Learned to play guitar…

Guitar piece

Sirens chords by Cher Lloyd

Started new cross stitch project…

Cross stitch

Started new menu (Spanish style sardines), organized get-together, started hip-hop dance exercise, and more!

I’m also contented with my spiritual goals. First on the list was to read the Bible continuously (at least I reached half of it), and then I got the chance to participate in public witnessing. I also had some bible students who attended meetings and convention and started conducting new bible studies as well.

Professionally, I learned to do guest blogging, downloaded apps needed for the work (gimpshop, QGIS, et.al), reach out to my team mates, understood the concept of mapping application to different industries, and a lot more.

Thank you 2014! Bring it on 2015! I will now prepare the maps and buttons residing in me to navigate another year – if not more fulfilling – at least equally fulfilling this year. :)

See you all next year!

Wednesday Tune


My Religion

(Sonyae Elise)

I believe in you more than myself

Never had this much faith in nobody else

You give me reasons to be secure

In a world full of doubts I’m never unsure

Sacrifice my money, devote all my time

I’m committing my entire life to you

Affect all my decisions

Like my religion…

I would trade all the power I hold in this world

Just to be your girl

I love you like my religion…

I found my truth, you are so divine

We are one in spirit, I could love you blind

Cause I aint gotta see you physically

To know you’re always here with me

Sacrifice my money, devote all my time

I’m committing my entire life to you

Affect all my decisions

Like my religion…

Book Review: A Question of Love


A Question of Love

Plot:

After Laura Quick’s husband Nick just disappeared, she found herself wrapped up in a world where she is the star of her own quiz show. One day, her old flame Luke became one of the contestants and they started to date again. But things became different the second time around – with his 6-year old daughter and an ex-wife always in between them.  Laura became mixed-up with all the questions on whether to start her life with Luke or face the truth about the life she thought she once knew.

The Highlights:

I like the original quiz show idea. I also like the part where Luke suddenly popped up as a contestant. Laura’s sisters had very different story lines yet they somehow connect to the main character.

The Lowlights:

I wasn’t convinced of the reasons why Nick just ran away. When they had a chance to talk again, there was no closure. There were question marks all over.

I remember reading from somewhere (a different source) that “when we cannot change a situation, we must change ourselves.” But Laura’s situation is SO changeable! For instance, the first time that Luke’s ex-wife’s character dropped some hints that she’s leaning to be a “psycho,” Laura should be quick in just running away. All the time that she spent with Luke, she should have read the bold neon sign like a “warning” to her. I mean, come on! I also didn’t like the reason why Laura and Luke broke up the first time. If that reason is being used, there should be no 2nd chapter for the 2 of them.

Tom’s character was never a solid picture from the start and then suddenly up to the last part, he became the significant character. There was really some serious inconsistencies in the story.

Rating: 2 star

My 2 Cents:

This is the first book by Isabel Wolff that I read. It should be a feel-good story but overall, I thought the story was shallow. It was engaging at first but not even halfway, I found my excitement inch down dramatically. Reading the next couple of chapters, I felt that the author just wanted to end the story abruptly. Pacing was inconsistent all throughout the book. I had to drag myself to finish reading (or just toss ) the story.

I still plan to read another Isabel Wolff book to give her another chance, hoping that I’ll be entertained and satisfied with her next story.

Here’s hoping….

Breakdown, Breakthrough


Don’t be caught in bad memories. Don’t be lulled in sweet memories. Memories can’t be changed, but your future can be.

Good Morning!

I like mornings. They remind me of beginnings, a blank canvass waiting to be painted with vibrant colors. I like to believe that mornings – like beginnings – bring good things that bring hope. Before the sun smiles down at the world, I always want to be the first one to avail of the unfolding moment.

Sadly, not all people are so enamored to welcome the day like I do. Who can blame them? With plenty to do, most people equate living a day with following a set routine instead of looking at it with brimming potentials.

Carpe diem, a famous saying goes. To help us seize the day, practice is needed. The moment that we open our eyes, we should treat the day as something so pristine and practically untouched by anything that has come before it. Is it possible? Yes it is! Remember the days when you just jump out from your bed because you have this idea that is so unique you don’t want anything to come your way – not even brushing your teeth or taking a glance at the mirror – just to do what’s on your mind? It felt great, wasn’t it?

Today, just the thought of waking up still alive, breathing fresh air, and seeing my love ones (still in deep slumber, though) got me excited. And I’m still looking at dozens of weeks more, hundreds of days, thousands of hours, and so many minutes that are out there waiting to be explored and filled up in my heart’s content. Just that thought excites me no less. If that doesn’t. I don’t know what else.

I have much to look forward to this day alone. I know there’s a new moment and opportunities that will greet me today, probably bumping each other shoulder to shoulder, waiting for me to choose and pick the first thing to shape up to experience. But at the  same time, I will humble myself and say a little prayer to accept this gift of today thereby allowing myself be shaped by them.

Everyday, I aim to fulfill these aspirations:

1) To be. To find that part of myself that helps me to be calm and peaceful amidst the darker days. Chaos are here to stay. But I don’t need to stuck in the rut. I can always take the high road.

2) To see. Awareness will help me see things clearly. It helps me determine the right direction to take.

3) To be true. #s 1 & 2 will help me get through it.

These past few years, I have learned that faith in ourselves is a hallmark of who we are. A humble spirit helps to find simple goodness that we can bring out everyday.

As the sun peeps out from the clouds this morning, I finally understood what Jerry Maguire said: “Breakdown, Breakthrough.”

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.  — Jean Houston

3 Business Learnings for Customer Retention From the 56th Grammy Awards


Grammy Trophy

photo credit: billboard

The 56th Grammy Awards held last January 26 was a stunning delight to millions of people around the world. All in all, there were 82 major awards given during the annual celebration of the music industry at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. But most people are not aware that the Grammy Awards are not only for the musically inclined. Even business owners can benefit from watching the event by adopting these business strategies. Among things that they viewed from the artists, performers, nominees and winners can be adopted on how they run their business particularly in building up customer retention.

Here are some of the most important business learnings about customer retention from the 56th Grammy Awards:

The Legends

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr

Photo Credit: Fox News

The performance of the Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, is something that almost all people looked forward to seeing. As they rocked the hall with Starr on the drums playing “Queenie Eye” while McCartney sang, the audience was reminded of the Stars’ impact on them. That night, the Beatles duo was treated special and received the lifetime achievement award. The audience clapped as they bowed their heads after their performance. Some even shed tears. But all of them rocked their hearts out as the award was given. To the Beatles, it was not just a night of thanking the music industry. It was the night they were recognized all over again like the first time they played their music on The Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago.

The Learning

Just like in any company, long-time customers should be treated extra special. Those who have been with you through ups and downs should also be given sort of “lifetime achievement” awards. How do you do that? Try creating some product promotions for them or special discounts. Or how about a hand-written note just to tell them that you value their business?

One other thing that they will appreciate is that if you will find the time to understand the reason why they stick with your business all throughout the years amidst the growing competition. Is it your personable approach? Is it your promotion? Your free delivery? Have a keen eye on details so you would know how else you can enhance your business dealings with your loyal customers.

The Repeat Customers

Bruno Mars and Alicia Keys

photo credit: rap-up.com

There are musicians who are obviously the crowd favorites. Just as their names were announced, you could almost hear the audience say, “I knew it!” when Bruno Mars who was awarded the Best Pop Vocal Album and Alicia Keys for the Best R&B Album. So why are some performers already anticipated long before the announcement? Because of their consistency. Throughout 2013, these artists were consistently introducing hit songs one after the other. No wonder, they deserved the deafening applause of the audience.

The Learning

In business, some customers are consistent. It may be over the years or throughout the year that just ended. Perhaps they are bulk purchasers or maybe just paying for your service throughout the year. Whatever it is, these customers should also be valued. How can you do this? Review your records. Before the customers make another big purchase, you can call them up and spend a few minutes, really knowing what they look for in your service. Value their suggestions and feedback. Do they want the bulk orders delivered right at their doorsteps? Do they have specific instructions for delivery? Make an extra effort to adopt their suggestions. Repeat customers like them are a goldmine.

The New Surprises

Grammy New Surprises

Everyone was surprised to learn that new artist Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go Round” was hailed as the Best Country Song. The 26-year old singer-songwriter defeated the much popular yet equally talented Taylor Swift who sang “Begin Again.” There were also Macklemore and Ryan Lewis who were hailed as the “Best New Artist.” Their song “Thriftshop” won as the Best Rap Song. But what seems to be the best surprise is the Song of the Year. Lorde, the 17-year old singer from New Zealand, beat more popular artists like Katy Perry, Sara Bareilles and Bruno Mars with her unique rendition of “Royals.”

The Learning

New customers may also take us by surprise. They may be new but they have already know what they want and what they are looking for. As business owners, you have the responsibility of satisfying their needs. Why not offer them something that they can’t refuse? Experience shows that a package deal is always something worthy of time. Think of other ways to attract new customers, something that they will stick into and never turn their heads and look the other way.

Bottomline

Customer retention, like music, can be easily applied to all kinds of customers – be them a legend, a repeat customer, or a new surprise. The bottom line is to really get to know your customers. Mapline helps with analyzing your customers. Data analysis brings insight that builds customer retention. By adopting these 3 simple Grammy lessons, you’ll be heading to more successful customer retention.

 

Strategy Is No Longer a Game of Chess


Harvard Business Review:

Finally, an article about strategy on widening networks. We at Mapline always believe that strategy can only be effective if companies dig deeper and try to understand networks that may affect their business. They can plot different sets of network (talent, partners, consumers, et.al) on a map and visualize the connections. This simple tool helps companies to bring out the best in strategy.

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

Legendary strategists have long been compared to master chess players, who know the positions and capabilities of each piece on the board and are capable of thinking several moves ahead.

It’s time to retire this metaphor. Strategy is no longer a game of chess because the board is no longer set out in orderly lines. Industries have become boundless.  Competitive threats and transformative opportunities can come from anywhere.  Strategy, therefore, is no longer a punctuated series of moves, but a process of deepening and widening connections.

The first person to think seriously about how businesses function was Ronald Coase.  In his groundbreaking 1937 paper he argued that firms gained competitiveness by reducing transaction costs, especially those related to information.  In his view, firms could grow until the point that organizational costs cancelled out transactional benefits.

In the 1980s, Michael Porter built on this idea and made it more possible for managers…

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Customers – The Real Winners in Small Business Week


Marga Dela Cruz:

Small businesses are the backbone of community. But without the loyal customers. there would be no small business in the first place. We salute you, customers!

Originally posted on Entrepreneurs & Leadership:

“A customer that you inspire, is a customer you will keep.” – Anonymous

On its 51st year of celebrating the National Small Business Week, the US Small Business Administration came up with a timely theme, “Innovate and Inspire.” Small businesses have been the backbone of our community, inspiring new ideas to new businesses to bloom, like chain reaction, extending links to new businesses that fill the needs of millions of customers. They also perpetually giving opportunities to millions for employment. So this week from May 12 – 16, the entire nation is one in supporting this eventful celebration.

During this week, programs, seminars and training are promoted in different states like California, Kansas, New York, and DC. The activities help increase awareness on how small businesses can innovate and inspire. After all, their new tag line is “the lifeblood of our economy.” Recent study shows that this industry provides 2…

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