HCI Blog

Five ways to keep yourself motivated (and how not to do them)

Getting something started or something done can be a challenge at times, even more if you are an entrepreneur or work by yourself.

Motivation is always necessary at some point during your professional work hours and during the time span of your professional life.

Here are five ways on how to get yourself motivated and also what you should not do them:




1. Take a break

Short breaks never hurt anyone! It will do you great good in fact. Get of your chair if you have worked for hours on end. Stretch yourself, go make some coffee and have a look outside the window for a few minutes.

Don’t do: Go outside to your nearest coffee shop and pick up a magazine or your mobile. This will easily eat up a whole hour of your work time without you even noticing.


2. Use your calendar

You don’t necessarily need a paper agenda for this. The internet offers a wide variety of tools for this such as Google Calendar. Alternatively, you can use your cellphone. As soon as you get a task, put it on your calendar!

Don’t do: Never look at your calendar after you put a task on it.


3. Set deadlines

If possible, get things done before they are due. This will leave you sufficient time to double-check and re-do anything if necessary. Also, you could turn in things earlier than promised in order to cause a good impression!

Don’t do: Set deadlines which are too tight and unrealistic for yourself.


4. Set Goals

Set daily goals for yourself. If you happen not to finish something, make it your starting point the next day. This will assure that you have a steady pace at which things get done and you will hardly get lost or stuck.


Don’t do: Never set goals you’ll not accomplish!


5. Tempt yourself

Suppose you have an important upcoming event on your personal agenda. You will probably want to clear up time for it. This will motivate you to stay on track and get your tasks done within the correct timing.

Don’t do: Constantly need motivation to get anything done.

Money and ethics: The things leaders do for wealth

The pursuit for money leads individuals to do things which they may have never imagined themselves doing. Unethical acts which can be simple labeled as stupid are done with the only objective of acquiring more money. To many, this is the only objective in their personal and professional lives.

All over the news we occasionally read about big companies whose CEO and other high-ranking executive get involved in financial scandals or fiascos all for the sake of money.


Putting all of the pieces together leaves one major question unanswered: How is it that these people who are highly capable and intelligent leaders allow their judgment to become so clouded that they are willing to risk their names and their entire career for money? How much money is enough for them?

This phenomenon was more frequently observed during the 80’s in the United States, when stock brokering was a highly lucrative business if you knew how to play the game. The final objective of every stock broker was to amass as much capital as possible in order to spend on luxury goods. But, many of them were miserable in certain aspects.

Money can’t buy happiness, especially if you were unhappy before you started running after money. If you worry about small things now, you will worry about bigger things later when you have more money. This is part of the person’s individual nature, and not their state of poverty!

Here is where people tend to confuse things a lot. Of course, it is common in today’s modern society that the concepts of money and success are confused and even at times seen as synonymous.

Instead of looking for the easy way to the top (which can be seen as a lazy man’s path) you should seek for the joy of within the struggle. Nothing is more rewarding than reaping the fruits of your own toil.

So next time you read about a scandal or see a big time CEO being arrested for embezzlement or money laundering, stop and think to yourself: What is my relationship with success and wealth? Where do I want to reach? How will I get there?

Stop and remember: That CEO could’ve been you.

Six tips on how to transition to a new job

A time comes in your professional life when you may feel the urge for change. Your current job position no longer appeals to you and you feel that it would be better for your career that you change jobs.


It is common for this to happen at later stages of your professional life, when you are around 40 years of age, for example.


See here six tips to transitioning jobs:


1. Don’t look for the job, let the job find you. 

Firing CV’s all over the place is not a good idea. People will not give you the attention necessary to find a job. First, you need to find out about an actual position you are seeking at another company rather than distributing CV’s to everyone you know. Having a specific position in your sights will make this transition easier.


 2. Don’t constantly modify your résumé
Besides having a Linkedin profile, you should have a printed resume with a maximum of 2 printed pages. The information should be clear and concise. Also, you should only update it when you have some major change in your professional life.


3. Time your conversation


Studies indicate that the best way to get a message through during an interview is to tell a story about yourself which last from 60 to 90 seconds. This will cause the person who is interviewing you to remember the story you told her. It is not a good idea to be extremely brief once selling yourself. Short dialogue will not be as memorable.

4. Discover how you can serve others

Instead of talking about yourself, find out the needs of a company or a position. Give suggestions as to how their needs can be met and their problems be solved. Recommend interesting reading materials online and books which might be relevant to them.


5. Host informal networking events


Try to create a small event where you can gather a few people and eventually let them know that you are looking for a new position.


6. Give yourself some time to rest

Don’t be constantly hunting for a job every single minute of your day. It can be quite demotivating expecting to find the perfect position for days on end. Take a break and recompose yourself.


Five signs that show you may have lost your leadership touch

Leaders may with time lose their touch. A constant self-awareness and occasional leadership coaching is necessary. If not, leaders may begin to display several negative characteristics which will only make his teams life more complicated within the work place.

See here five characteristics that display that you may have lost your leadership touch:

1. You need to always be in control

This is usually synonymous to centralizing everything on you alone. Every single decision needs to go by you. This will make your team lose efficiency and not necessarily make your work become perfected.

2. Delegating with strings attached

As said before, centralization results in inefficiency. Delegation is necessary! But some leaders delegate with string attached.

In other words, there is no problem in doing what you want as long as you do it the way your boss wants you to do it. Micromanaging is a wall to progress in teams.



3. Loyalty at all costs

You demand unquestionable loyalty and respect from those around you even if you have not earned these.

Eventually, you will have people speaking out against the way you conduct things and demand that they chose who they will side with.

In the end, this can be summarized as plain and simple intimidation.

4. Keeping your image at all costs

Bosses that seem distant may also not display emotions or admit that they are wrong.

At the same time, all of this distance from employees may be a reflection of problems in your personal life!

5. “I’m your boss, not your friend”.

Bosses who say this will come through as being ruthless and unfriendly.

It is common for bosses like this to typically humiliate others in public in order to assert their own position of dominance.



Five steps to becoming a strong leader

Leadership is a value of great importance to the world, independent of the setting. Every organization requires leaders to direct and lead.

But leaders aren’t created with the snap of a finger; leaders must be developed over time and cultivated within the organization.

Here are five steps that must be taken to become a strong leader:



1. Requires effort and dedication

Leading is not as simple as it seems. Proclaiming out loud that you are a leader doesn’t simply make you one.

Leadership requires focus and practice. It is a habit which must be developed and refined over time. With time, you will learn to see the bigger picture and know exactly how to behave in the environment you live in..

Characteristics you will need to develop include good communication, commitment and specially self-awareness! And remember, you will never stop learning how to become a good leader, the process is eternal and ongoing for the remainder of your professional life.

2. Multitasking functions

The job position or job title of “Leader” does not exist. If you are leading within your company, you most likely have a handful of other functions to perform.

You will have to handle people from within and from outside of your organization, including peers, team members and even customers. Therefore, you must be capable of managing all of these people and all of the functions involved with your position.

3. Don’t overload yourself: delegate

Through delegating, you as a leader are empowering your team. You can’t simply do every single function on any given project. Delegation is central to the success of any organization.

Delegation must be focused and directed. You must know well your team and their capabilities. Through this, you must correctly place the best person possible for a specific task.

Some leaders think that once they delegate, they no longer need to attend to that specific demand of a project or task. Wrong! Leaders need to make themselves available to assist after delegating!

4. Communication is everything!

Leaders must know how to communicate! To some, this comes as a natural talent. To others, it may require practice and development. But the most important part of being a master communicator is being open to feedback!

Rather than being able to express yourself, it is just as important to be able to listen to others!

5. Embody your vision of leadership

Leaders must embody the values they want employees to adopt.

They must be role models to those who they lead!

No great leader ever got anything done without inspiring and empowering others. Leadership can’t happen in a vacuum.