At the end of every year, I look back at where I’ve been. It keeps me from making the same mistakes again, and it shows me where my focus has been for the past year. Try it, and you’ll be surprised at the insights you get.

Gather up all your materials. It’s time to do your annual review.

Set up wherever you normally journal or capture thoughts. I use a fresh paper journal each year, and the review goes at the end. That makes it easy to find and review later. Electronic notes work fine, too.

Now, start going through your materials, one at a time, and record your observations. Here are some places to look for insights:

  • Quarterly plans
  • Monthly reviews
  • Goals
  • Paper journals
  • Travel journals
  • Electronic journals
  • Planners
  • Paper notes that are pinned up or laying around
  • Electronic notes on your computer or mobile devices
  • Books you read, notes from books
  • Exercise challenges and measurements
  • Scan through emails from the past year
  • Scan through your social media postings
  • Look at pictures you took over the past year
  • Review projects that were completed (or not)
  • Systems
  • Annual review notes from last year
  • Any other idea capture tools that you use

Take your time. It could take a few days to give everything a proper read. Take notes as you go. Write down anything that occurs to you, like new ideas for projects, where you focused your energy for the past year, and general patterns that...

So, you decided to work remotely. After all, you’ve heard that working from home has a number of advantages:

  • You sleep as long as you like,
  • You don’t have to commute an hour (or two) to work,
  • Your stress level declines, and…
  • You’re more productive.

Sounds wonderful, indeed. Is it true, though?

Maybe those are only myths about working from home?

When I started working as a freelance writer, I noticed that I was happier. I would sleep until 10 A.M. every day, eat breakfast while checking my email and then, work in bed until late afternoon. Those were wonderful days. I didn’t have to hurry anywhere, listen to the awful sound of my alarm going off or attend useless meetings. That time was great.

Yes, you understood it right. That time was great. It no longer is, because after a month of working like that, my productivity, mood and happiness declined. What is the reason?

I started waking up exhausted every single day.

There is nothing worse than going to bed tired and waking up in an even worse condition in the morning. It spoils your whole day.

Is there anything you can do about it? Yes, there is.

Today I’d like to share with you 7 reasons why you are waking up tired in the morning and give you tips on how to fix it.

Let’s begin!

I’ve just finished reading a new book with a different approach to office productivity. Michael Kribus, the author of Visual Pathways – Taking Back Control, posits that the computer screen limits our flexibility with planning and prioritizing work. This book provides a complete system for managing work using your entire desk as a cockpit, rather than just your computer screen.

Something that Visual Pathways addressed that I haven’t seen in other systems is how to handle work emergencies quickly so you can get back to normal. That way unplanned work doesn’t derail you for a few days afterward.

If you want to read the book yourself, Michael has generously offered my readers a discount when you use the promo code at the bottom of this page.

I had the chance to interview Michael over email, and he can explain the system better than me, so here you go…

Can you briefly explain what the Visual Pathways System is?

Visual Pathways was developed as a practical method for personal time management to improve productivity. It offers a holistic approach to better control your time so you can appropriately deal with upcoming deadlines and this will help you achieve your career and life goals.

What problems were you trying to solve when you created this system?

The challenges we all face today in this techno-centric world are overwhelming our minds. We live in a fast-paced world and we’re...

A co-working space is all the rage now for many freelancers, startup companies and even for medium-sized business entrepreneurs. It’s not that surprising though. Co-working spaces offer a cozy and comfortable place to do professional work, set up meetings, and establish partnerships.

Most of all, a co-working space is a more affordable option, especially for entrepreneurs who are still starting out or are still testing the waters of their chosen industry. It is also a good spot for transitioning or growing companies – like those who are shifting from being a home-based team to an office-based one.

The success of a business might also be dependent on the success of a co-working space in terms of environment and management. To know whether or not a co-working space is perfect for your team (or company), you must check out and review the following elements below:

1. Accessible Location

Like any real property, the location of a co-working space matters a lot. This is mainly for the employee’s comfort and convenience. Co-working offices that are near malls, retail shops, or those accessible from residential areas are a plus especially if the company’s workers are concentrated from just the same area.

An accessible location can help save on transportation (or gasoline) costs. A good location can offer a variety of commercial establishments that can help expedite company processes, services and other personal needs. Having...

About Maggie Pancheva: I’m a writer and certified productivity ninja for Hibox. We provide a platform for teams and companies to communicate internally with ease, manage tasks and boost overall productivity.

We’ve all been there. It can strike first thing in the morning, just as you’ve sat down with a piping hot cup of coffee, ready to start work. Or it can be the middle of the afternoon, and you’ve already had a day of meetings and emails to get through. As soon as you’re alone, and you need to think – you’re stuck.

Your brain just won’t work. Whether it’s a blank sheet of real (or virtual) paper you’re staring at, or thousands of lines of coloured code: you just can’t think. Your mind: totally blank. Empty. Nada.

And somehow, that’s all you can process in the moment. The one thought you can actually muster is that – paradoxically – there are no other thoughts.

For whatever reason, your brain has – annoyingly – decided to stop functioning. It can prove disastrous, whatever you’re working on. Long-term, personal goals can feel light years away. And if it’s a concrete task to complete, with a real deadline, and someone depending on you – it’s all the worse. You can feel the panic setting in: you truly want to work, and finish the task at hand, but you...

Featured image by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Morning routines aren’t just for personal development buffs. They’re for anyone who demands more productivity from their days.

Morning routines help achieve the following:

  • Save time by being more organized
  • Eliminates “what should I do?” procrastination
  • Reduces stress
  • Creates a sense of accomplishment first thing in the day
  • Primes the mind and body for a productive day
  • Uplifting and energy boosting

Routines develop habits which put us on autopilot. By adding positive habits to our days we can eliminate over thinking about what to do and actually get things done. The biggest benefit however is in how a morning routine primes the mind to do more.

Getting our routine done first thing creates a sense of accomplishment. One accomplishment always begets another, so starting this way makes it easier to get more done. It can set a positive frame of mind which carries on through the rest of the day.

It’s also a warm up:

Just like in any sport, a warm up is required to prevent injuries and get the body and mind into a flow state. This helps athletes reach their maximum performance levels. How is it that so many people understand the importance of warming up for an athletic performance but neglect warming up to have awesome days?

Your morning routine is your success and happiness warmup for the day.

Pause and breathe

During especially stressful times it’s easy to wake...

“Remote working is awesome!”

This is what every digital nomad would say including me and only because it’s true.

I have been doing remote work for this amazing tech company located in Maryland, USA for over 2 years now and to be honest, I am insanely loving it. I wouldn’t last 2 years if I didn’t love what I’m doing and if I didn’t believe in my boss, product, or company, right?

The best and worst thing about working remotely – or being a digital nomad – is time.

The Pros of Working Remotely 1. You’re in control of your time

What I really love about my remote work is how I’m in control of my time. When I feel productive, I work. When I feel unproductive, I don’t work.

You may be saying right now: what do you mean you don’t work when you’re unproductive? So you still get paid when you’re not doing any work?
Not exactly.

Just like any other office employee, I still have to work 8 hours a day – whether I feel productive or not. The thing is, when I feel unproductive, I take a break for a moment or an hour until I regain that let’s-hustle-and-produce-more-good-results feeling.

You’re probably saying right now: so you think being productive is a feeling?...

Guest Post by Denis Geoghegan

Whether you work as a freelancer or from an office, today’s workplace can be challenging. There’s the tight deadlines and competing demands on our time. Add other demands, such as the media showing us adverts with perfect people, social media showing us the fun others are having, and our family vying for our time. It’s no wonder so many people want to stop feeling overwhelmed.

We feel overwhelmed when the sheer weight or volume of things we have to do feels too much for us. Some people may experience this as feeling like they’re simply doing a poor job in every area of their life. For others it may mean they are irritable, eating poorly, lacking focus, or suffering from stress-related headaches.

If you do find yourself suffering from feeling overwhelmed and stressed then here are some steps that should help.

Step 1: Get Your Priorities Straight

With so many demands competing for your time it’s important to set clear priorities so you’re really clear about where you will and will not spend your time.

One way to do this is to set some big goals for 5 years time. Perhaps you want your job to look different, or you want to get in shape,...

About Raymond Magno: I’m just a blue-collar family man operating a bio hazard cleaning business. I grew up in a farming community in Maine, worked as a radioman in the Coast Guard and then as commercial salmon fisherman in Alaska before falling in love with my wife. We got married, moved to Los Angeles, had a little baby boy. Along the way I found my passion where I never intended to look, and success was waiting for me to open the door.

As a residential house cleaner who found his specialty in cleaning crime scenes and unattended deaths, it wasn’t something that I set out to do in life. In fact, it was probably the furthest from my mind as a career. After retiring from the Coast Guard, for several years I worked as a commercial salmon fisherman in Alaska. But as much as I loved being out in the ocean and running my own business, I was barely getting by. At a $1 a pound from the fish processor, there was hardly anything left after paying for all the expenses.

Once I got married I had to come to terms with the sobering truth that passion and ability have nothing to do with each other. Just because you are passionate does not mean you are good at doing it.

Imagining that...

A lovely Irish couple stopped me on the street the other day to ask for directions. They were looking for a museum on the other side of town. The way the man was holding the limp paper map, it was clear they didn’t know where they were.

When we make plans for the future, we’re like that wandering couple. We may know where we want to go, but we need to find out where we are on the map to set out in the right direction.

Even if you aren’t trying to make plans, sometimes life just feels crazy and out of control. We don’t know where to start. We get overwhelmed with everything we have to do, and picking up somewhere feels like we’ll drop something else.

How to get a handle on where you’re at now, so you can get where you want to go

I have a method for getting a clear picture of my commitments and desires. Once I know where I am on my map, I can make realistic plans.

This method has helped me see my situation clearly when I’ve been overwhelmed. What you’ll have at the end of this process is...

photo credit: pexels

Some experts will tell you that multitasking is the way to success. Others will tell you that it scatters your brainpower resulting in compromised performance on all fronts.

The reality is in fact an eclectic mix of the two. Yes, you will have to manage multiple tasks in order to be successful, and yes it will affect your performance if not done well. A fine balancing act is necessary to make multitasking work.

The great news is, though, that almost all successful people you can think of, have had to multitask their way to success at some point in their lives. If they can do it, so can you.

There are ways to multitask efficiently and organize your priorities in a way that lets you rock at all of them without losing your mind. Not enough people have the luxury to dedicate all their attention to only one thing. You will have to manage several different commitments at once. So whether you are a freelancer, entrepreneur or the next Elon Musk, an organized approach will let you get more done without stressing you out.

1) Prioritize

Among all the things you need to do this week or this month, there is one thing you need to do now. It is absolutely essential to start each day with a list of priorities so you know...

Header Image Credit: Corinne Kutz,


Have you ever had those moments when you thought you’ve only spent a short time doing something, but then you find out later you’ve been doing it for hours? When you’ve gotten so immersed in a task that time and everything else around you seem to fade away? The state you’ve experienced during those moments of complete concentration and enjoyment is called flow.

The state of “flow” or being “in the zone” was first introduced by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi back in 1988. According to Csíkszentmihályi, it is a complete immersion of self in experiences; a state when your full attention is focused on what you’re doing and there’s no room in your awareness for conflicts and contradictions. It’s when you enter a blissful state where time is irrelevant and all that matters is what you’re currently doing or what’s in front of you.

In Csíkszentmihályi’s study using the Experience Sampling Method in the early 1970s that involved recording the daily activities and experiences of a number of subjects. He found that flow generally occurs when a person is doing his or her favorite activity. But apparently, no matter how much you love doing a particular task, it’s still not that easy to get into the zone. For one to enter the state of flow, there are various factors that must...

What is the role of productivity in life? Why is it so important? And why is it so hard to be productive sometimes?

Well, productivity is the ability to do more outputs using the same number of inputs during a specified time period. It is the measurement of an organization or individual’s performance. Productivity simply reflects the effectiveness of workers while doing their jobs.

Productivity is essential to the growth of an individual or company in order to attain success. Who doesn’t want to be successful in life? However, there are factors that can affect it. Worker productivity is influenced easily by the surroundings in a negative or positive way.

Here are some creative ways you can utilize these environmental elements to your advantage.

Music: Power Up Your Productivity With Song Magic

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” –Albert Einstein

It has been observed that listening to music affects the brain in various ways. A study from the University of Birmingham, England and research from Teresa Lesiuk stated that listening to music while working is an effective way to improve mood and work productivity.

Did you know that listening to music can stimulate productivity?

This is because music enhances the brain by stimulating brain chemicals which increase neurotransmitters called dopamine. Dopamine is the pleasure, happiness and feeling-good chemical...