Your Goals

“SMART” goals can actually be kinda dumb. So says author and leadership consultant Mark Murphy. He argues that leaders like Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos don’t ask employees to set goals that are “Attainable” and “Realistic” – things they already know how to do. They insist that employees set goals starting with
customer needs in mind first, then work backwards from there. It can be uncomfortable, even nerve-wracking, because it may require gaining new skills. But companies – and leaders – who seek to, as Steve Jobs put it, “make a dent in the universe” stretch themselves and their employees to acquire the skills needed to delight their customers. Most people are capable of doing amazing things – they just need gutsy, challenging goals to get there.

Your Commute

Do you love your commute? I didn’t think so… Here are a couple of ways to make it more productive – and maybe even fun.

1) Tweak your to-do list for the day. Top to-do list apps Wunderlist and Evernote make it easy to get organized across all your devices. And if your commute
involves drive time, Dragon Dictation can help you keep your eyes on the road as you plan your day.

2) Clear your in-box. Gmail lets you do e-mail on any device with a web connection. If you’re driving, you can use ASAM, a free app that reads your e-mails
word-for-word – and lets you dictate a reply. There’s nothing quite like arriving at the office with a clean inbox!

Your Workspace

What can we learn from companies like Google, Facebook and Apple about office design? Plenty, according to a study published in the Harvard Business Review. As it turns out, chance encounters at work affect the bottom line. In a good way… An engineer chats with a sales pro, and a successful new product is born. Or a better way of serving customers takes hold. One company tore out tiny coffee rooms in each department and replaced them with bigger, companywide open areas. Now marketing folks talk with operations peeps; accountants chat with customer service reps. Ask yourself, what kind of outcomes would you like to improve? Redesigning your workspace could transform your real estate from a passive asset into a powerful profit-builder.

Harvard Business Review

Your Body

Okay, so your Numero Uno resolution this year is to get fit and lose weight… You may be tempted to “cleanse” your way to a tiny waistline, just like they do in Hollywood… Well, before you buy that new skinnier pair of jeans, here’s a reality check on a couple of common myths that marketers promote about juice-cleansing your way to a sleeker, sexier you.

Myth #1: “You must detox to get fit.” No. Your body cleanses itself naturally, thanks to your liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract.

Myth #2: “Cleansing is a good way to lose weight.” During the first few days of a juice fast, your body burns stored glycogen, which can show up as weight loss. Yet once you come off a cleanse, if you go back to eating Twinkies and tacos, that number on your scale has a nasty way of popping back up again. Remember, just because Oprah mentions it, that doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy long-term health benefits.

Your Family Time

You may be spending way too much time with your kids. That’s the surprising outcome of a recent study about the quality versus quantity of time we spend with our children. It revealed that the sheer amount of time parents spend with their kids between ages three and 11 has zero effect on how they turn out. What does matter is the state the parent is in when they’re with the child. Time spent reading stories, at dinner or just playing with them makes for happy kids. Time spent watching TV or doing nothing, or when a parent is upset or stressed, has the opposite effect. Bottom line? Don’t count the minutes – make the minutes count.

Washington Post