Author: Daniel Covino

11 Productivity Lifehacks

Author: Daniel Covino

Time is finite, but reading this article is the closest thing to a time machine you can get in.

11 productivity lifehacks:

  1. Stop checking your email. How much time do you spend just checking for emails everyday only to find nothing of interest? Replace this behavior with #2.
  2. Set your boss/client as a VIP. Add your boss or that client you are working on a deadline for to the VIP list on iOs or your Favorites on Android phones and get a notification as soon as you get an email, just like a text message. That way you won’t be wasting time wondering if they sent an email.
  3. Nutrition. How many times do you skip lunch, eat junk or drink coffee instead of water? Having all the nutrients and water the 100 billion cells in your brain need is super important. That doesn’t mean just “eating breakfast.”
  4. Abbreviate. Find words and symbols to make taking notes faster. You’re not fully listening if you’re writing and may miss something even more important!
  5. Create checklists and templates for the things you frequently do. Having a checklist of important notes on the routine tasks you do will help you finish everything faster and not forget something small but critical.
  6. Don’t be negative, instead think of improvements. Thinking of making things better will prevent the stress and mental overload from negative thought patterns.
  7. Learn prosocial behavior. Having a solid team is essential and building good relationships through prosocial behavior; a serious lifehack! See my previous article.
  8. Stop asking questions. You can learn a lot from other people but when you’re short on time don’t ponder or ask a human…Google it.
  9. Google better. Use shortcuts like site: to just search through a particular website. Learn to sort searches by date; we often need relevant information not the most popular article on a topic from 5 years ago. Use quotes “search term” to find exact results, not a useless sprinkling of your keywords. Slow webpages and errors can usually be solved using the cache arrow already on almost every website listed in search results. Google Images – it’s much faster to find some things with a picture.
  10. Clean your desk and calm your mind. We think between 300-1000 words per minute…a lot of it is about the junk on your desk!
  11. You don’t need 8 hours of sleep. The optimal amount of sleep is apparently 7.76 hours. Not more or less.

My favorite Google search operators:

site: Get results from certain sites or domains.
Examples: olympics site:nbc.com and olympics site:.gov
related: Find sites that are similar to a web address you already know.
Example: related:time.com
OR Find pages that might use one of several words.
Example: marathon OR race
info: Get information about a web address, including the cached version of the page, similar pages, and pages that link to the site.
Example: info:google.com
cache: See what a page looks like the last time Google visited the site.
Example: cache:washington.edu
- When you use a dash before a word or site, it excludes sites with that info from your results. This is useful for words with multiple meanings, like Jaguar the car brand and jaguar the animal.
Examples: jaguar speed -car or pandas -site:wikipedia.org
" When you put a word or phrase in quotes, the results will only include pages with the same words in the same order as the ones inside the quotes. Only use this if you’re looking for an exact word or phrase, otherwise you’ll exclude many helpful results by mistake.
Example: "imagine all the people"
* Add an asterisk as a placeholder for any unknown or wildcard terms. .
Example: "a * saved is a * earned"

© Copyright Daniel Covino 2016

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Teamwork Secrets

Author: Daniel Covino

The phrase alone ‘teamwork’ often conjures up notions of cheesy motivation posters but it actually is extremely important in an increasingly interdependent world.

‘Prosocial behavior’ is behavior that is done to benefit another person and is performed under a variety of outcome expectations. Prosocial behavior is also a vital component of teamwork, and an ability which can be used to grow interpersonal relationships and encourage synergy among members of a group.

Prosocial behavior helps members of a team engage in higher quality work and discourages decisions based on personal benefit or loss. People who work in teams are highly likely to behave in ways that reflect other’s behavior on the team, increasing the positive impact of prosocial behavior.

Effective teams are dependent on the level of interdependence that occurs between individual members. The need to work together helps to create positive relationships due to the reciprocal nature of teamwork.

The “7 Cs”

  1. Cooperation
    • A team mentality
    • Trust
    • Ability to accomplish goals
  2. Coordination
    • Group analysis of performance
    • Mutual support
    • Accommodation of others needs
  3. Communication
    • Using the best words and phrases to convey a message
    • Confirmation that a message has correctly been sent from one person to another by repeating the sent message and acknowledgment that the intentions have been properly conveyed
    • Clearly conveying a message at the right time in the right way
  4. Cognition
    • Each team member must understand their team and individual goals, what is acceptable and how to deal with issues using available assets
    • Specific duties assigned to each member
  5. Conflict 
    • Addressing issues early
    • Individuals feel accepted and respected by all members
    • Accepting individuals differing means of interpersonal communication
  6. Coaching
    • Teamwork emphasized from the top by caring leadership
    • Clarity in individual expectations
    • Rules, roles and expectations established in advance
    • Teamwork training to inform members about how to engage in effective teaming
    • Encouragment of belonging, shared values and overall satisfaction
  7. Conditions
    • Emphasis on teamwork as being important
    • Teams should deliver a product with where responsibility good or bad is shared equally between all members
    • Positive outcomes are celebrated
    • Teams have the resources necessary to accomplish goals
    • Teams are aware of the conditions most conducive to teamwork

Serena Does Pretty Much Everything

Author: Daniel Covino

Serena Williams is my new favorite person.

I stumbled upon an article recently that mentioned a little habit that she has. What you ask is she doing now to make headlines?

Serena has made all of her passwords positive affirmations.

Serena_Williams_at_the_Australian_Open_2015

She’s seriously always celebrating something. Google her!

It made me wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that she’s been the #1 world ranked female tennis player for the last 150 years.  Continue reading →

You Might Be Looking at the Reason Apple’s $2B Mesa Data Center is Delayed

That’s right, tech giant Apple is still very set on expanding into the blazing hot Silicon Desert tech scene. There’s just one problem…the facility destined to house Apple’s most advanced data warehouse ever is currently occupied by a former tenant. Or well, at least their stuff.

To be exact, the facility is filled with sapphire furnaces…

Continue reading →