10 Incredible TED Talks About Time Management You Should Watch Right Now

These time-management talks can help improve your productivity.

Just like millions of other people, I’m hooked on TED Talks. They’re innovative, informative and engaging, but these talks are also intentionally short enough to be consumed when you feel like you only have a couple of minutes in the day. You will learn something new or be reminded of a topic that’s essential that you haven’t thought about for a while. TED Talks help to expand your mind to think other thoughts that you may regularly think about. Think something new, hear someone new and change how you relate to the world.

Speaking of time, there are also plenty of TED Talks that can help you step-up your time-management game, or at least change your perspective on this essential skill. The following ten talks that you should watch right now when you have a couple of minutes to spare.

1. Laura Vanderkam: “How to gain control of your free time.”

168 hours. That’s how many hours there are in a week. That’s a lot of time when you view it this way, explains time-management expert Laura Vanderkam during her TEDWomen 2016 presentation.

“If you are working a full-time job, so 40 hours a week, sleeping eight hours a night, so 56 hours a week — that leaves 72 hours for other things,” explains Vanderkam. Even if “you’re working 50 hours a week, maybe the main job and a side hustle,” there’s still free time — 62 hours available. What about putting in 60 hours? “Well, that leaves 52 hours for other things.”

So, why do we keep saying that we don’t have time? Well, according to her research, it comes down to priorities. As one small business owner and mother of six explained it, “Listen, Laura, everything I do, every minute I spend, is my choice.” And instead of saying, “I don’t have time to do x, y or z,” say, “I don’t do x, y or z because it’s not a priority.”

To make this a reality, you need to determine your priorities in life and add them to your calendar. Ideally, this should be done every week, like on a Friday afternoon. As for everything else? Get creative. For example, if you commute to work, use that time to read, listen to a podcast, or clean out your inbox.

2. David Pogue: “10 top time-saving tech tips.”

I think we can all agree technology is often a blessing and a curse. For example, it allows teams to collaborate and communicate with each other, and there is a wide range of productivity-scheduling apps that can help you create a daily routine, develop healthy habits and keep you focused. At the same time, technology can be distracting. In fact, according to RescueTime, on average, we spend three hours and 15 minutes on our phones. However, for top users, daily screen time exceeds four and a half hours.

In this short TED Talk, just over five minutes, tech columnist David Pogue shares tips for saving time on the technology that we use daily. Some of these shortcuts may only shave off milliseconds. But, when put together, these ten keyboard shortcuts and hidden functionalities of your equipment will certainly add-up in saving you time.

Related: How Agile Leaders Help Organizations Thrive

3. Tim Urban: “Inside the mind of the master procrastinator.”

The struggle against procrastination is real, and it’s time management’s greatest foe. But, why do we do this to ourselves? Well, that was a question Tim Urban, founder of the site Wait But Why, wanted to answer.

To better understand his own behavior, Tim went to an MRI Lab. His goal was to study the differences between the minds of a procrastinator and non-procrastinator.

Original article here.

3 Digital Strategies Every Company Should Implement Now

It would be a mistake not to refine your brand’s digital strategy right now, because so many people are stuck at home and spending record amounts of time online.

During a time where customers are scarce and revenue is dropping for nearly every company, a lot of small businesses are considering throwing in the towel. “What can we even do if nobody wants to buy?” they ask. The answer, in my opinion, lies in taking a heads-down approach to building a stronger brand and interacting with customers in ways you might not have entertained before the crisis.

Right now, the big opportunity is that people are making the internet their second home during the quarantine. And that means any business that isn’t taking digital strategy seriously — regardless of how internet-focused their business was before — is leaving a lot of value on the table for competitors to take. 

To get some ideas flowing during this quarantine, I’d like to share three digital strategies you can implement today. They’re simple but effective, and you’ll likely see results if you stick to them in just a few weeks.

Ramp up your company blog with useful insights to help readers navigate the crisis

If there’s one opportunity that I see brands ignore most often, it would be investing in their company blogs, which can not only help you convey valuable information to your followers, but also often help to begin new relationships with prospects. This is especially the case now. Business owners are always on the lookout for tools and strategies to help them get through these tough times — and almost every brand has something to add here. 

In the event that you’re stuck on what to write about, ask yourself: “How has my brand been responding and adjusting to the new conditions?” From there, you can speak candidly about your business’s struggles and your successes. Your readers are going to appreciate your candor and actionable advice because we’re all figuring this situation out for the first time.

Company blogs typically have multiple calls to action; after all, you want to demonstrate that the problem you’re talking about in your article can be solved by a solution your company provides. But keep in mind that some of your prospective customers might be tight on budget and be put off by an overly sales-y piece.

Related: Make Your Branding and Marketing Content Pop with This Easy-to …

Using email, re-engage former clients without being aggressive

While it’s true that many companies are scaling their budgets back during the health crisis, that doesn’t mean companies won’t spend money on products and services that help increase revenue. This is especially the case for your company’s former customers, especially if you served them well in the past but the relationship didn’t work because the timing wasn’t right.

But unlike re-activation emails pre-crisis, you really want to make sure that what you’re offering could be immediately helpful to the business you’re reaching out to. You certainly don’t want to waste someone’s time pitching them something they don’t need or add to their list of stressors.

Here’s what I’d recommend:

1. Lead with establishing a touchpoint — perhaps a mention of your previous working relationship

2. Show your value — not what you do but rather how that customer could benefit

3: Don’t hard-sell or push for a phone call, but definitely ask about interest at the end

Related: 5 Ways Brands Can Reinvent Their Digital Marketing Strategy

Help your community and let people know about it through PR

With all the negative news coming out about the health crisis, and how it’s tearing communities apart, now’s the time for your brand to do some real good. Showing your brand’s empathy for other members of the greater community is going to be something people remember you for. And while it makes sense that businesses shouldn’t do good just to gain press coverage, I disagree that companies shouldn’t try to secure press coverage if they’re doing the work. Afterall: Publicizing what you’re doing to help inspires (or puts pressure on) other brands to also do their part. 

Take, for example, how some small businesses are distributing hand sanitizer to their communities amidst the shortage. When you’re able to find something that’s missing and fill that gap, don’t be afraid to reach out to reporters with the goal of inspiring others to do the same. Remember, however, that reporters and editors are receiving a high volume of emails from publicists and brands just like yours. 

The pitching process is nuanced, but if there’s big takeaway it would be to do more due-diligence than usual and really familiarize yourself with the stories a writer or editor is interested in covering right now. Then, keep your email short with three key points:

1. Who you are (no more than 1 line)

2. Why your story is relevant (no more than 2 lines)

3. Who it impacts (no more than 1 line)

4: Why people should care (no more than 2 lines)

And then be patient. I would recommend holding off on following up until three days of non-response.

Related: Digital Culture Strategies That Strengthen Winning Teams

Original article here.

6 Ways You Can Support Black Businesses Long-Term

Want to see lasting diversity and equality in your entrepreneurial community? Here are some ways to put your time, money, leadership and know-how to work on evening the playing field for minority-owned businesses.

In the weeks since George Floyd’s death, the country has been reckoning with our legacy of racial inequities. Many people have been taking a good hard look at themselves, and many are trying to figure out how they can help. Entrepreneurs tend to be hands-on doers and problem-solvers, so when a deep systemic issue has been identified, business leaders look for solutions. And according to Connie Evans, the CEO and president of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, that’s what makes entrepreneurs so valuable to the cause of racial equity. “Business owners can help their local government leaders think more creatively and more entrepreneurially to solve some of the problems that they’re seeing in their communities,” Evans told Entrepreneur.  

Evans has been advising governments, business owners and nonprofits — from presidential administrations to the World Bank to the Senate Small Business Committee — for 25 years. She was the first black woman to be elected to the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and has also served on the U.S. Treasury Department’s CDFI Advisory Board. When we asked her how the entrepreneurial community can translate their convictions into actions, she had six suggestions. 

1. Use your buying power to support minority-owned businesses.

Evans says, “Your readers should think about looking to find and support black-owned and Latinx-owned businesses with their consumer dollars. That’s a very important thing that any reader can do. If you’re in a community where there aren’t many minority-owned businesses, or you’re not sure where they are, there are black directories out there and organizations that can link them to black businesses.”

We have listed a number of them here.

2. Write letters to your national and local representatives.

“Your readers can also use their voices and their pens to write to their representatives,“ Evans says. “And I don’t just mean to Federal congressional representatives. There are lots of regulations and laws at the state and local level that represent real barriers for minority businesses.”

For example, at the local level: 

“Business owners and businesses of color have more difficulty accessing new markets,” Evans says. “And all governments, whether you’re local or state, have contracting opportunities. Oftentimes those contract opportunities go to very, very, very large businesses. So, you could petition your local or state government to break up these big bundle contracting programs so that smaller and black-owned businesses can have access. That’s a very important one, and it’s something that can be done easily if there is will and demand. And there are examples out there of cities that have done this.”

Evans continues, “Another thing at the state and local level is removing the barriers for how businesses get licensed. In many places, you have to jump through 50 different hoops and go to three different places and all of those things. Those are just barriers to people without as many resources.”

More details from the original article here.

Why Empathy Is One of the Most Overlooked Skills in Business

It was a sunny day in April. The air was crisp and the walk ahead of us enjoyable.

I stared at the beautiful Embarcadero situated near our San Francisco office, feeling grateful for working close to such a stunning view.

Then I shifted my gaze over to Tim, my walking mate for the afternoon. We were on one of many walking meetings we’d shared over the past year. But this time was different.

Tim, a normally talkative employee, was dragging his heels and appeared disgruntled whenever I asked for status updates. He kept his head down, answering only in curt replies.

Something was off.

As his supervisor, I could have easily approached his behavior with a stern stance, by grilling him, or asserting my authority. But 14-plus years of entrepreneurship have taught me one thing: A harsh, adversarial response is never the answer.

Instead, I slowed my pace and asked him how things were going at home. “Is everything OK?”

Tim confided then that his father had recently had a stroke, and that he was taking turns spending nights at the hospital, leaving him tense and run-down.

I nodded. “I’m so sorry, that sounds very hard.”

“How can I support you?” I offered.

We spent some time talking over how to alleviate some of his load at work, and even scheduled some days off for him to be with his family.

After our conversation, it was as if a weight had been lifted. In our meeting afterward, he began eagerly participating, even offering feedback I hadn’t asked for.

Showing genuine care and concern only took a few seconds of my time, but it was enough to let Tim know that I was on his side. 

Related: How Companies Are Leading With Empathy

One of the most overlooked skills in business

Empathy — the capacity to recognize and understand other people’s feelings, to “put oneself in someone else’s shoes” is a critical leadership skill. Common sense tells us that it’s a basic human quality most founders would have in their arsenal, but in fact, it’s one that many leaders often get wrong.

In a commencement speech on June 15, 2014, American business magnate and philanthropist, Bill Gates, stood before an audience of Stanford grads and spoke of channeling optimism into a conviction to make things better.

Original article here.

6 Cyber Threats You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Investing in cybersecurity infrastructure now can mean big savings down the line, but you have to know what you’re up against first. 

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As if your business didn’t have enough to worry about right now, the spectre of cyberattacks looms larger than ever. While it may seem like big names bear the brunt of digital disruption, the reality is far scarier: More than 40 percent of all cyberattacks are directed at small businesses, according to data published by Verizon.

Now more than ever, small players can’t afford to have their core operations disrupted. Investing in cybersecurity infrastructure now can mean big savings down the line, but you have to know what you’re up against first. Understanding the kinds of cyber threats out there is the first step to protecting yourself — and your company — against them. These are six of the most common.

1. Ransomware 

Ransomware, or software that publishes private data or otherwise harms your business unless a cash reward is given, has quickly become one of the biggest threats to small businesses. According to IBEX, an IT training firm and Verizon’s NDR platform partner, ransomware now accounts for more than a quarter of all malware-related breaches. 

Many business owners will be tempted to simply pay a ransom for things to return to normal, but any business that’s breached once can be breached again. While antivirus software is necessary to prevent the most sophisticated attacks, simply keeping your operating system up-to-date can go a long way toward preventing low-level ransomware incidents.

Related: 6 Cybersecurity Must-Haves for Your Business

2. Phishing

When Microsoft’s security team warns that a “massive” phishing scheme is currently threatening operations across the country, you should probably pay attention. Phishing is any attempt to gain sensitive information by posing as another user or administrator, and it’s rampant in today’s digital economy. The only way to safeguard against phishing is to totally secure any and all internal communications within your company. Email encryption, vigilant user management and regular channel management are all absolute musts.

3. Inside Jobs

Some of the business world’s most notable hacking scandals, from Sony to Ashley Madison, weren’t caused by sophisticated outside agents; they came from within. As much as you may trust your team, it takes just a single frustrated employee to expose catastrophic amounts of your company’s data.

Unlike the other entries on this list, the solution to internal cybersecurity is more about pastoral care than digital. Openly communicate with your workers about the sensitivity of the data they have access to, and always be open to listening to the difficulties your team may be going through. You’ll never be able to have complete control of your employees, but you can always give them a way to make their voices heard.

4. Denial-of-Service

Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks boil down to malicious actors directing extremely high amounts of traffic and server requests at your business’s website, grinding its functions to a halt in the process. Cyberprotection firm Corero reports that the majority of DoS attacks are small-threshold, meaning they’re meant specifically to disrupt small business activity.

Boosting server capacity and at-hand computing power can help mitigate the effects of DoS attacks, but the only way to prevent them outright is by fullying investing in digital services that stop them in their tracks.

5. SQL Injection

Kingfisher Technologies reports that 26 percent of all small businesses have suffered from a SQL injection attack in the last year, yet it’s likely the least talked-about threat on this list. SQL injection is slightly more sophisticated than some of the other entries here, but it essentially means inserting code from the database-focused language SQL into a site, manipulating data retrieval in the process. 

Older languages, such as PHP, are particularly susceptible to SQL injection attacks, as are sites and applications that don’t receive regular updates. Preventing SQL injection is something you’ll want to leave to the experts, but keeping things as up-to-date as possible never hurts.

Related: Eliminating Cyber Threats in 2020: Why Enterprises Need to Rethink Cyber Security

6. Email-Based Attacks

Several of the cyber threats on this list can originate from emails — 91 percent of cyber crimes do — so it’s crucial to keep your email platform completely locked down. Email-based attacks aren’t a specific type so much as they’re a method of attacking.

Email encryption is an absolute must, but the need for security doesn’t just stop there. Ensure that all of your employees know not to open attachments from emails outside your organization, and be careful to check for email addresses written similarly to ones within your own company. 

The threat to business cybersecurity is nearly ubiquitous today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. Investing in digital protection now is an investment for the future — an investment you can’t afford not to make. 

Original Article Here.

SEO How-to, Part 4: Keyword Research

Keyword research is the process of analyzing the search-engine queries of real people. That data — a window into the desires of searchers — is a gold mine for search engine optimization.

This post is the fourth installment in my “SEO How-to” series. “Part 1: Why Use It?” addresses the importance of search engine optimization to ecommerce. “Part 2: Understanding Search Engines” covers the basics of how search engines function. “Part 3: Strategy and Planning” explains how to set up your SEO program for success.

Keyword research is the SEO foundation for all of the content on your site. We can mine keyword data and then analyze it to understand how to fulfill searchers’ needs.

Keyword data consists of a word and a number. The example below, from Google Keyword Planner, shows how many times per month people search for keywords that are related to “book store.” The data pairs a specific word or phrase (such as “book store near me”) with a number (“301,000”), showing the average number of monthly U.S. searches in the last year.

Read original article here.

This Smartphone Video Kit Puts a Professional Spin on Your Zoom Calls and Webinars

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic shut down nonessential businesses, the remote workforce was increasing in the United States. Remote work has grown by 159 percent over the past 12 years, and according to the most recent numbers from Gallup, more than 60 percent of workers have developed an affinity for it. While your office may not shut down entirely, the world certainly seems to be trending towards a less hostile attitude towards working from home. But with that flexibility also comes responsibility. If you’re touching base with your team from home every day, you should do so with the right tools.

Original Article Here.

7 Lawsuits to Watch Out For Right Now

As businesses re-open, many may be opening their doors to legal troubles. Make sure you’ve stayed on the right side of the law throughout the crisis.

We’re living in uncertain times in every sense. But in coming months, one thing to keep a particularly close eye on is how the legal landscape will evolve. In the wake of the global health crisis, there are likely to be many lawsuits filed. And while most business owners have done everything they can just to survive these difficult times, that desperation may come back to haunt them if they aren’t mindful of potential legal issues. Here are some potential allegations to keep in mind as you move forward with recovery.

Original Article Here.