Cost Of College

The Cost of College: 4 Things You Should Be Doing So You Don’t Waste Your Money

The College Journey…

Here’s a familiar story. You just finished high school, and you’re excited to begin the next part of your journey. The majority of your peers have all gone to different colleges so you’ll be entering this new stage of your life on your own (or maybe with at least another friend). As a college freshman, all of us barely knew what was going on when we started our new journey, and we needed to cram a lot of information into our heads before we started our classes.

The cost of college is tremendous. Here are four pieces of advice every college student (especially freshman) should know, so they don’t waste their money and most importantly their time:

1. Meet People & Leverage Relationships

I have heard this line countless times during freshman year, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that matters.” This may be true but, only to a certain extent. What is truly important is who knows you. You can know a countless number of people before graduating college but, if none of those people are valuable connections who can’t remember who you are, you can’t leverage any of the opportunities they might be able to offer. It is or you to make sure you are making your mark on campus. When meeting someone always ask, “How can I bring value to this person?” Doing this will help solidify that you’re not only thinking about yourself but that you care about the other person. Only after you’ve created value for the person should you then ask them for a favor (the usual one being a connection to a job or some other opportunity).

2. Join a Club or Organization

I believe the majority of valuable information anyone can attain from their college experiences doesn’t just come from their professors, it comes from peers. Once you graduate and join the workforce, no matter what your career choice may be, you will begin to work as a member of a team. The best way to gain prior experience in working in a team (outside of college sports) is to join a club or organization. You will gain invaluable knowledge in how effective (or ineffective) teams are run. Associating the experiences, you get from being a club leader to what your intended career path may be can also help you tremendously. My desired path in life after college is to start my own company and as Richard Branson says, “A company is a group of people.” If you don’t know how to work with people now, clubs are a great starting point outside of the classroom. They also have the added bonus of extending your network.

3. Do An Internship

The best opportunity I had to learn about the practical uses of what I was gaining from my courses came from an internship. The ideal internship (which has nothing to do with getting someone coffee) allows you to learn, as you do the job. As a music major, there aren’t many internship opportunities available for me, so I had to leverage my network to take on another path: digital marketing. From my experience, I learned that the best way to truly know if what you’re studying is right for you, you need to do it. Sitting in a classroom learning theories will never give you the value of experience. And if you’re like me who’s constantly trying to learn new things, do an internship that is completely outside of your field. If it weren’t for the eight-month internship I had, you wouldn’t be reading this (because this website wouldn’t even exist). Consider an internship (paid or free) as the best college course you’ll ever take and not pay for.

Note: Student research is a good substitute for internships.

4. Figure Out What Are Your Strengths & Focus Your Studies On Enhancing Them.

Don’t concentrate on getting a job that can get you into your desired tax bracket. The cost of college is extremely high today, and no one should be wasting their money. The main reason you should be going to college is to learn how to learn and to become an observer of the universe. We are entering an era in which employers are caring less about the degree you have and more about how you showcase what you know. It helps if you’ve gained experience via an internship or research opportunity and if you’ve developed friendships that you can utilize to help advance your career.

If you just work on stuff that you like, and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out. - Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.

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A lesson I learned in college: civics should be a core subject.

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Kenny Soto Photography

Daily Meditation August 27th, 2015

“…The man who loves has no room for anything else.”

Krishnamurti
Think On These Things

It is only through love that we are able to attain insight. Insight into knowing what we want to do (ie. Self awareness) and knowing how to help others achieve what they want. A leader empowers others first before asking to be empowered.
‪#‎Listen‬‪#‎Appreciate‬‪#‎Motivate‬‪#‎Praise‬‪#‎LAMP‬

 

HireOwl Student Spotlight: Kenny Soto

This Student Spotlight was originally posted on HireOwl.

Tell us more about yourself. Elaborate on your involvement in student government and your work on personal branding. Have you turned that into a business? Have you started other businesses? Feel free to mention teams, clubs, and special skills or experience.

My name is Kenny Soto and I am the incoming president of Student Government at the City College of New York. I realized early on that the majority of knowledge that could be gained from college was not from my courses but from the people I would meet. In order for me to gain a large base of connections at my college, I had to market myself. Entering student government was vital because I knew that I would learn the necessary skills needed after college and I have utilized those skills to start my own consulting business for students.

What’s your dream job?

I want to own my own venture capital firm that helps fund education technology startups based in New York City.

Name your favorite employer you’ve worked with, and why. 

My favorite employer has to be SCORE NYC, based near City Hall in New York. The reason why is because through the eight-month internship they provided me I have been able to learn more about the issues that plague so many entrepreneurs. Having the chance to see retired executives coach and mentor current CEO’s (startup founders) has shown me what it takes to execute and create a scalable and successful business.

What are the top ways you have benefited from working while in college? 

The best benefit I have gained while working in college would have to be learning the theories from college classes and implementing them in a pragmatic way. The most important lesson I have obtained is that knowledge gained is useless unless you put what you’ve learned into action and test the theories you’ve gained. A college degree only serves to show an employer that you can handle a certain set of tasks given with a specific deadline. If you want to stand out, you must take extra steps so people can see you as an asset.

When not in class, you can usually be found:

On my free time, I am usually writing on my blog, taking photos across the city, or working with my Fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon doing volunteer work and reading business books.

If you’re looking for a job I highly suggest checking out HireOwl immediately!

Personal Branding Tips For College Students

A Personal Branding Campaign Is Vital For College Seniors & Graduates 

Have you ever wondered what was the exact number of job applications you’ve completed, that have never received any attention or have gotten a reply? If I had to estimate it, the number of applications for me would be over 120. Searching for a new job can be a very depressing process, especially for recent college graduates who need to pay off their student loans and want to start an independent life. The value of a college degree still stands, but it is steadily declining each year.

There are more than 2.8 million college graduates entering the workforce this year alone. That’s only a small fraction of the competition you’ll have to deal with if you factor in the rest of the citizens that are also competing for your dream job (or any job for that matter). So, what can someone do to help increase his or her chances of employment in today’s noisy job search environment?

The Hiring Process

I dread job hunting simply because of all the deterrents that exist that stop me from becoming employed. For starters, there are resume tracking systems that allow hiring managers (at large corporations such as Twitter, Apple, and Google) to sift through thousands of applicants so that only 10 to 20 resumes ever end up on their desks. And get this—the very first thing a hiring manager does today before they even view your resume, is Google your name. That means that online reputation management is now more important than ever before.

Every one of us produces content on a daily basis, whether it is a status update, video, or a photo and all of it is being indexed the very moment we post it (and it never gets removed). Think about it; your name is a keyword that is going to have all the relevant content related to it readily available when someone searches you. Remember that photo you took at your spring break party that you deleted after posting it by accident? It’s still in Google Search’s archives. But don’t fret, there are things you can do that can help you increase your job hunt success!

Why do you need to build your personal brand?

First impressions are no longer made based on face-to-face interactions. Before you are even invited to an interview, you need to pass the “online tests” that are imposed on you. Hiring managers are supposed to acquire the best potential team members possible. To make a good impression, you need to create and manage your own personal brand. Sadly, LinkedIn is not enough to show whom you truly are. Not only as the ideal employee but also, as a really amazing person. Your personal brand needs to be a combination of your resume, your LinkedIn profile, and most importantly your very own personal website (ideally, firstnamelastname.com).

The question that you need to ask yourself before you even apply for a job is “what is my value proposition?” thinking through the eyes of an employer. If you do not present yourself online as someone who can provide added value to their company, they will not waste their time interviewing you. They must ensure that your personality is a good match for whatever team you are applying to join.

There are college students that have honors, several awards, are a part of many clubs and organizations and have completed many internships. At the end of the day, you will always be in competition for the jobs you apply for, so you need to add as many key advantages as possible to get yourself in front of the employment line. It’s time you leverage your online presence to stand out from the crowd.

How to build your personal brand

The first thing you must consider is that resumes aren’t as important as what a potential employer sees online. The most important thing you must do is create a website. You don’t need to learn how to code to create one now; there are many content management systems that can allow you to post content and design your website very quickly (such as SquareSpace and WordPress). The biggest investment you can ever make as a college student is buying a domain and hosting your website.

I have had my website for almost a year now, and it has allowed me to show who I am as a young professional in a much grander way than a resume ever will. What you should think about is how you are currently conveying to an employer (and everyone else), who are you and what makes you so unique. Why are you more of a potential asset to the company than the other thousand applicants who applied last month?

If I were hiring someone, and I saw two resumes with the same skills, job experience, and degree (even though GPA or school doesn’t bring much merit anymore), if one candidate had a website, and the other didn’t—I would definitely giving the first interview to the applicant who has their own site.

What Employers Want To See

Considering that a degree is no longer the only thing needed for your professional success, there has to be something else that you can do to increase your chances of landing the right job. The key to doing so is leveraging what you already use every day: the Internet.

In our culture, all of our attention is now focused on our mobile devices, so we must know how to use this to our advantage. The purpose of creating a personal branding campaign that includes a website, great LinkedIn profile, other Social Media channels, and a resume that speaks to an employer is to show your value proposition. The key to success after college and beyond is to consistently showcase (online) why anyone should give a damn about you.

Building these things is fairly easy; the main issue is committing your time to get these things done. If you aren’t being hired for the job, someone else will be!

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Recommended Articles:

1.     The College Degrees And Skills Employers Most Want

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3.     What I (Really) Wish I’d Known As A Freshman In College.

Kenny Soto Daily Habits Article

How Your Daily Habits Affect Your Success

Personal Success begins with your habits.

As a leader or anyone aspiring to become successful, we are all responsible for our own personal success. Oftentimes people aren’t able to be successful because they are completely unaware of how their daily habits affect their future. There are many things in our lives that are outside of our own control but, the one thing we do have a say over are the daily habits we choose to adopt every day.

You are your choices.

There have been many times when I have heard people I know complain about their lives. I would hear the usual statements, “I hate where I am at in life” or, “I am only in this situation because I don’t know the right people.” What many people don’t realize is that the reason they are stuck where they don’t want to be is because of their daily habits. What makes matters worse is most of us cannot see how our daily habits affect our lives because the basis of our habits is around processes and not outcomes. Focusing on what could you gain from making a decision hinders you from focusing on what matters. The reason why the majority of us are only focused on outcomes are because others have taught us since early childhood that what is more important is reaching a specific goal and not how we get there. Just because I get an A in a course doesn’t mean that I can actually apply my knowledge effectively on a daily basis. For many of us, the outcome of our total success is not determined by how we reach deadlines but from how effective was our process in achieving our tasks and what do we learn to increase our productivity the next time.

Effective habits save time.

The answer success does not lie in asking yourself what you need to do, but instead who you need to become. Once you have that answer, realize that you are not that person right now because when you compare your current self to your ideal personal persona, the difference is how you spend your day. Some people believe the on approach to getting to where you want to be is by using self-affirmations like in The Secret to attract success to you. I am not saying that self-affirmations aren’t useful, in fact they can be very powerful. What I am saying is that a more practical way of approaching success is adopting productive habits. This creates a structural foundation in which you can achieve that success mindset. To create that structure you need to be self-aware of what are your current habits and how other people and outside factors sway your choices on what daily habits you adopt over time.

Distractions are your biggest enemy.

One big factor that determines what daily habits you decide to adopt is codependency. Codependency is when you tend to act or feel a certain way based on whom you interact with (my interpretation of it). The reason this dysfunctional behavior is detrimental to your daily success is because most of us don’t notice our codependent tendencies when we interact and spend time with others. Jim Rohn best describes this when he states, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” As we become more hyper-connected to people through the Internet, it is now more important than ever to be aware when we are being codependent with those we are spending our time with (offline and online). In the event that you cannot do so, then you should make sure you are spending your time with people who are practicing successful habits daily (at least those habits may rub off on you). Codependency is related to why you aren’t as successful as you want to be. This is because you are allowing the habits of others govern your own. Although, this may not always be the case if you are already aware of how others in your network affect your chances of success. It helps significantly if you are learning what habits are you adopting from other people.

 

You should always be aware of what habits you currently have that may not be leading to who you want to become. Researching and meeting successful people who can mentor you are very helpful ways to figure out productive habits you can adopt yourself. However, it all comes down to self-awareness. Make sure you are auditing your habits on a regular basis and calibrating them accordingly. If you don’t create a daily regimen yourself, outside factors are doing it for you.

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Kenny Soto Getting Paid to Read

An Entrepreneur Mindset: How I Made $70 Getting Paid to Read

Anyone can be an entrepreneur.

When we think about entrepreneurs we often picture the daring innovator creating the next big platform to solve a major problem. This is mainly because of how the media portrays the mainstream entrepreneur (i.e. all entrepreneurs are like Richard Branson or Steve Jobs). Personally, I believe being an entrepreneur is something much simpler than that. An entrepreneur is someone who can identify an opportunity and tackle it. Below is how I saw a potential opportunity getting paid to read, seized it, and succeeded.

I have been unemployed for over a year because I choose not to work in an environment where there is no growth or learning. However, many of my family members and peers urged me to go and search for a place of employment. After months of struggling nothing seemed to fit, I was either under-qualified for the positions I was applying to due to lack of experience or I was over-qualified. This is because my resume shows that I am someone who only works well when having the opportunity to lead a team (which doesn’t happen often working retail).

I then stumbled upon a wonderful freelance application called TaskRabbit. TaskRabbit allows you, the professional, to work on your time for a pay you decide. And, best of all, you carry out tasks you choose; not arbitrary tasks that have nothing to do with your skill—unless of course, you’d like to.

Waiting on line and turning pages.

My personal favorite task on TaskRabbit is Waiting on Line. A client hires you to wait on line for an item they simply don’t have the time or effort to do and you, the Line Waiter, is compensated for their time. The opportunity I saw in this was that I needed to find a way to stay productive while getting paid to do something boring. What I decided to do is create a reading list that I would literally “crush through” while doing this specific task. I am essentially getting paid an average hourly rate of around $15-20 an hour to read books I love and simply deliver a ticket or wait until someone contacts me. This is how I plan on paying for my college textbooks next semester. However, I would have never been able to do this if I sought out that traditional 9-5 or part-time job to cover myself. Instead I saw an opportunity and created value by gaining revenue and learning at the same time (and reading is so much fun for me).

I  believe that we have the potential to do the things we love such as reading books and be able to also make money on the side. The only factors stopping our entrepreneurial mindset are our fears of taking risks, being different by thinking outside the box, and just trusting your imagination. Who knows, maybe I’ll figure out how to make revenue by having others read books and summarize them for me. I am certainly content with spending my summer getting paid to read.

If you want to do something similar to this you have to get out of your comfort zone. The world is changing at an exponential rate, meaning that there is an abundant amount of opportunities just waiting for you to grab them. You just have to get up and try something new. If you fail figure out why and try a new approach, it is just that simple.

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kenny soto successful meetings post

The Two Essential Parts of a Successful Meeting

Meetings can be a chore but, are necessary.

Whether you are a team executive or a new employee eventually you will have to conduct or be a part of a team meeting. Now I have attended meetings in multiple school clubs and if there is one thing I have noticed is that, not all meetings are effective. After much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that there are two aspects of a meeting that can make it so it either goes well or everyone in the room is wasting their time: an agenda and minutes. I didn’t know at first, the importance of both of these things but, after seeing what happens when a team goes with them it definitely has shown me why both are extremely important to a successful meeting.

An agenda is your Gandalf, leading you to Mordor.*

When I became the secretary for my fraternity I didn’t have much training so I had no idea what was expected of me during the first executive meeting. It was a daunting experience, one that doesn’t seem as scary now. I realized however that I would have a big impact on the way our team would be organized very early on when the president of our organization asked me to start writing the agendas for both the executive and chapter meetings. Now first and foremost, I am still debating over whether or not one person should ultimately decide what is on the agenda for any meeting or it should decided on by an agenda but, at the end of the day there needs to be a discussion about something (if not, why not just have meetings about what should be on the agenda too). Regardless, one thing is for certain: no matter what your team’s overall objectives are, they have to be organized to save time. I have witnessed meetings that go nowhere because we either have oversight on important topics that need to be covered or because we didn’t have enough time in the meeting to discuss it. I personally have adopted the Steve Jobs way of conducting a meeting: if there is no agenda, please do not waste my time.** Agendas are not the end all be all, there also needs to be room for discussion on topics not on there if circumstances come to it. However, keep in mind that an agenda should consist of key items that need to be addressed by the team in order to move forward (all other items should be secondary to the teams goals). An agenda helps meetings go smoothly and save a tremendous amount of time, time that can be spent actually doing what was discussed during the meeting.

Write minutes. Then read them!

We can discuss what constitutes a successful meeting for hours but, if there is anything I will always be convinced is needed to keep a team coordinated it has to be writing meeting minutes and ensuring the whole team reads them after. The importance of a well constructed minutes document is very underrated. Minutes allow for those who couldn’t attend the meeting to stay informed and allow for your team/company to better organize information for weekly editorials and board reports for your customers and the entire staff. One key to team success is communication and you cannot achieve that if there aren’t any meeting minutes that can be reviewed at any given time. Minutes are not just to keep a record of all team discussions but, are also a good indicator of how productivity over time is shown (in a qualitative manner). The more information delivered in the least amount of time can be shown as the team optimizing itself (comparing analysis gained from minutes to actual data, let’s say number of conversions made on a specific campaign can be a more accurate way of determining this). One of the secretary’s greatest responsibilities is to make sure the team’s minutes are accurate and well-organized, and that can only be insured if people read them!

As a leader, you should never be caught dead in a meeting that doesn’t have an agenda set at least 24 hours ahead of time and someone ready to take the minutes for the meeting. Everyone’s time will be wasted, meetings are not just set for discussions on  ideas and tangents but, rather discussing the team’s overall goals and strategies that will be created and implemented to achieve them.

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*Lord of the Rings reference, I hope you didn’t need to read this to know that.
Option Paralysis Kenny Soto

3 Decision Making Strategies to Counter Option Paralysis

Simple decision-making strategies to increase your productivity

Every business professional needs to be effective in completing their tasks but, they can be stumped when a difficult situation arises. Perhaps a client is not satisfied with your product or a key founding partner wants to leave the company. One of the biggest deterrents to making the right decision in any scenario is option paralysis: not being able to make decisions because there are too many options one can choose from. One quick fix to this issue is being impulsive and going with your gut but, this can often times backfire. So what can one do, to stop option paralysis? Below are several decision-making strategies in which you can help optimize your decision-making and make sure you can make the right choice in a timely manner.

 The power of SWOT

From my own experiences in business I have seen most people use SWOT when working on a business plan and not in everyday life. SWOT, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, is a great decision-making strategy used by most business professionals when planning a new business venture such as the launching of a new product line or a merger.  I use this decision-making strategy to quickly see the bigger picture before I make any important decision. Whether it be choosing what to prioritize during the day or who I should do business with to maximize my profit, using this model can help tremendously with speed and productivity.

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Political support
  • Funding available
  • Market experience
  • Strong leadership
  • Project is very complex
  • Likely to be costly
  • May have environmental impact
  • Staff resources are already stretched
Opportunities Threats
  • Project may improve local economy
  • Will improve safety
  • Project will boost company’s public image
  • Environmental constraints
  • Time delays
  • Opposition to change

Example from: Business News Daily

Using this strategy can also help when explaining to your team why you decided to go a specific route. Having a diagram of how you came to your decision will help when explaining why you thought your decision was best for the group and it can help when reflecting on how the decision effected your business when looking back.

Trust your team

Whenever a decision seems too much to handle, remember that you are not alone. Seeking advice is always a really simple way to make sure you are not being complacent in making an important decision. Asking for another person’s perspective can often times enlighten you and show you others ways you can handle specific issues that you may have never considered. One of the reasons it is always best to surround yourself with people who do not think like you is so you can expand your mind and constantly learn different ways to approach any given situation. Never forget the power of the many in making a decision, one person can only see so much. Another positive of making difficult decisions through the advice of others is that you get to see how your team members will make decisions in your absence. It is very important to know who you should trust with the responsibility of making choices for the team in the event of an emergency when you are not able to be there and supervise the situation. It also shows who can possibly become your successor if you ever decide to leave the team and venture off into something else.

Flip a coin

This is the last resort way I make my decisions if I find myself thinking too much about pressing matters. I keep it simple and flip a coin. If it lands and I do not agree with the decision then I know that is the one I have to make. I don’t necessarily let the coin decide for me, I just let it solidify my decision. Do not under any circumstances leave anything up to chance. Just use this tactic to make sure that all doubts are subdued and you can assure yourself that you are doing what you believe is best.

I like to limit my decision-making strategies to these three because as “option paralysis” can deter you from making a decision, the same effect can happen by having too many strategies to work around it as well. Keep things simple when you can so you can go through your life and professional career in a fluid and productive way. You save yourself countless time by keeping these decision-making strategies in mind.

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Blog post image about organization

Organization: A Leader’s Obsession

We are subjected to a constant barrage of tasks and responsibilities. Every day, we have to complete before the end of the day, as a leader, completing all these objectives each day sometimes feels insurmountable, there never seems to be enough time during the day to complete everything.  In one of my earlier articles, I went over the essential qualities a leader should have. One skill a leader needs in, order to succeed (and stay sane) is organization.

Fall in love with your calendar.

I would not survive college if I did not follow my iPhone calendar. The key to success is to follow the four D’s of success:

  1. Do it
  2. Delegate it
  3. Defer it
  4. Drop it

This is the formula I use to rank each item on my calendar. With all the goals a leader has throughout the day, they aren’t effectively supporting their team if they are doing all the work. A leader who does what he promises is necessary, however, being able to delegate tasks to your team  (you can see other qualities every leader should have here). Another thing to always remember is that if something can be done tomorrow, worry about every thing that is important today. To help with this you have to set up criteria for what exactly is important in order of 1-5. Using a simple ranking system, such as: Family chores, School Work, Internship, etc. The easiest to defer anything is to set a list of priorities during the day, week, and the month. Finally, always remember that successful people always say no. You can not accept every thing people ask you to do. This is how leaders over extend themselves, they say yes to everything and that is never ok. The key to time management is to consistently understand that it is impossible for you to do every thing that you want to. Always focus on doing one important thing at a time.

Get a task journal to build infrastructure for your organization goals.

To stay on track of everything I have to do during the week I keep a journal that I write in when I arrive home everyday. The point of the journal isn’t to just write what you have done and what you haven’t done, it is so you can record the process of how you completed each task. Understanding how to improve on each process so you can complete  similar tasks in the future more efficiently is some thing I highly suggest doing if you are a very busy person. It also helps with making sure you aren’t wasting too much time on one specific thing; knowing that you can come with better approach to reaching a goal after studying how you’ve done things beforehand is really helpful.

To stay organized make sure you do the bare minimum.

There will be days where you can’t complete all things you want to do but, they need to get done. The best practice is to do the bare minimum on the tasks that aren’t necessarily as important as the other tasks you need to complete. Just because something has to be done immediately doesn’t mean it is more important than your other tasks. If you keep this in mind you will save yourself a lot of time and stress and keep yourself organized.

If you found this article useful, click here to subscribe to my newsletter: SUBSCRIBE

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digital dieting kenny soto

The Importance of Digital Dieting

Not all time spent on the net is healthy.

There are thousands of fitness programs, gyms, and personal trainers out there that work solely for one purpose: keeping your body healthy. Unfortunately, there haven’t been any services created (at least to my knowledge) on how to manage the Internet and specifically mobile, bingeing. There have been some startling statistics on the amount time we are all exposed to digital media during our daily activities.

1. Let’s talk and interact.

It has become increasingly common for most social gatherings in life to consist of people talking to each other while simultaneously having their phones in their hands. I never noticed this small little fact until I spent a day without my phone. I could not help but, be slightly irritated when I would speak with my friends and they would constantly check every notification they had. It became increasingly more apparent that this was an issue when I worked retail and saw that one of the employee rules was not to take out your phone while behind the counter. It slowly dawned on me that perhaps a lot of people were not monitoring the amount of time they spent on the internet (it doesn’t show any immediate side effects when you are using it). Speaking from my personal experience, I have learned that  both professionally and socially, it is rude not to engage with who you’re talking with in any situation. Part of digital dieting is learning how to support some level of self-control when interacting with others in the non-virtual world.

2. The Internet is a tool.

I recently had an engaging conversation with a new acquaintance of mine about what are some the most important subjects the urban youth in New York has to learn. I mentioned digital dieting to him, and we spent a considerable amount of time discussing our views on social media and video streaming platforms (what happens to most of us when running through a rabbit hole of videos and posts). There is a vast amount of articles everyone has access to that is just waiting to be absorbed. As opposed to just scrolling through “memes” and photos of your old friends, subscribe to magazines and news articles. I am in no way promoting that you deactivate any of your social media accounts; I am only suggesting an alternative to your regular digital routine. Consider how you will utilize your time before interacting with your phone the next time you begin that initial interaction with it.

3. Give yourself time to enjoy your surroundings.

There are so many moments that we miss daily because our necks are spent bent down looking at screens. I have been a victim of this for some time now. There are so many beautiful things that occur while I am walking through Central Park or Brooklyn and I miss them because I am tweeting about my walks. Mobile phones have certainly helped countless people and industries; all I am suggesting is that we become more aware of our usage of the Internet. Perhaps this may seem a little extreme but as an experiment leave your phone home for a day. It will show you how dependent we have become on our little tiny pocket boxes.

Time is your most precious commodity, and you need to maximize all the time you have, especially when using the internet.

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