Category Archives: Workplace Tips

Self-improvement advice for your work

We believe the power of words is a magnificent thing

CG&A_LOGO[1]At CG&A COMM, Content is (Still) King

The power of words is a magnificent thing. Out of profound respect of language, the wordsmiths at CG&A COMMUNICATIONS ply their copy-writing skills to craft content that makes an impression and moves people.

In a press interview from a few years ago, company president (and By George Journal editor) Chris George was quoted to explain a strategic approach to writing and content development. “With the explosion of social media in our business and personal space, the PR adage of ‘Content is King’ is increasingly significant for all of us. Anyone with something to say and wanting to be heard must confront the hurricane of images and words that are continuously blasted at us. To get noticed over this maelstrom, you need quality content that is engaging and persuasive.”

“While it’s a fact that it’s never been easier to express yourself, it’s never been harder to be heard, understood, and appreciated,” George observed.

The attention to detail and to crafting core messages has always set CG&A COMMUNICATIONS writing services and advocacy work apart from other PR/GR services. The difference? The scribes within the CG&A network are wordsmiths and advocates first and foremost: from traditional writing of press releases and speeches, brochure copy and documents; to developing social media content with digital press releases and copy for blogs, Facebook and Twitter pages.

CG&A writing has been described as “persuasive”, “engaging”, and “informative.” The company’s services have been described as “reliable”, “empowering”, and “a God-send.”

George says, “One of our favourite quotes is a Ralph Waldo Emerson observation, “To be understood is a luxury.” We suggest organizations connect with our braintrust and let us provide them with that luxury.”

CG&A is providing “the write stuff” with its Communications Concierge Service (a Virtual Assistant who is your personal go-to scribe) and its Communications Tune-up offering.


Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.


Pricing the value(s) of work

work_1The best price philosophy for the value(s) of work I’ve seen was on a business card that read:

“Fast, cheap, good. Pick two.”

This meant you could pick fast and cheap, but it wasn’t going to be good.

Or you could pick cheap and good, but it wasn’t going to be fast.

Or you could pick fast and good, but it wasn’t going to be cheap.

You just can’t have everything!

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

It’s not the critic who counts

CGA Poster Quotes:Finals

Perhaps one of the most motivational sayings is that of Theodore Roosevelt’s “It’s not the critic who counts.”

Through life there are many nay-sayers, but Teddy Roosevelt wisely points out that a man who acts, who presses forward in the face of criticism and failure, is a man who lives and has no regrets.

It’s not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or when the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worth cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

This passage is from a speech delivered by the 26th President of the USA in Paris in 1910. Click here to read the full speech.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

12 Marketing Observations

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is — it is what consumers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook

“Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.” – Jonah Sachs

“Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.” – Seth Godin

“If your stories are all about your products and services, that’s not storytelling. It’s a brochure. Give yourself permission to make the story bigger.” – Jay Baer

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

“Content Will Brand You” – Michael Q Todd

“You need to pick a stories that will resonate with your market. You need to pick a stories that people are going to tell their friends.” – Steve Farnsworth

“Getting the Like is easy. It”s a light action. Anything else requires trust.” Jon Loomer

“You can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything.” – Beth Comstock

”We are past the era of the squeeze page and the hard sell. We have entered a time in history where marketing must be honest and emotional.” – Kent Gustavson

“Content should ask people to do something and reward them for it.” – Lee Odden

“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.” – David Packard

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a can-do EA or go-to writer? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Guideposts to effective social media practices

typewriter3Add Value You will attract and keep great connections with others if you add value to your on-line community. Contribute; be thoughtfully engaging; exchange ideas. Don’t be irrelevant or constantly promoting your brand. Before posting anything, ask yourself “Am I providing value to my community?”

Engage and Exchange – and Listen – Maintaining good, meaningful relationships requires two-way conversations – not  monologues, but exchanges of ideas and feelings. Again, your on-line presence must be engaging. Most importantly, in your conversations, listen to those people who comment on your blog post or are tweeting at you. Always respond… engage.

Give More than You Receive – Your social media experience is like any other part of your life – you get what you give – and you get more when you give more. You cannot expect that because you have a Twitter account or a new blog that people will have an interest in what you are doing. There is no magic to gaining attention in an on-line community – simply begin by giving more, and you will find people will notice your efforts.


(ed. – If you missed it, check out the Journal’s recent post: Current Social Media Trends ).


Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted can-do EA or go-to writer? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Pointers on the Perfect Handshake


While at an event in a crowded room last week, it struck me how many people don’t know how to properly shake hands. There is an adage that people judge others in the first 12 – 20 seconds of meeting them. If so, the handshake is an important part of making “that first impression.” Yet, today, perhaps one person in four knows how to properly shake another’s hand.

The root of the problem is that people have not been taught for decades how to shake hands. There are generations of people who don’t know how to properly greet a person standing before them (and, no, it is not a fist pump). The hand shake is another item to add to the fading art of common courtesies.

For those who have never been instructed on handshakes, here are pointers on “the perfect handshake.”

  • Stand. Never shake someone’s hand while seated. Stand up and…
  • Look the person in the eye. Make eye contact while shaking the person’s hand.
  • Take hands out of your pockets – both of your hands!
  • Smile – not a goofy grin, but a genuine, disarming smile.
  • Extend your arm (don’t hold your elbow into your side) and offer your hand with thumb pointing up.
  • Wrap your fingers around the other’ person’s hand and rest your thumb down – and touch palms. In other words, make full body contact.
  • Squeeze firmly – no dead, slippery fish – and no Iron Man Grip. The rule on one’s grip is to respond in kind to the other’s grip (that is unless they just given you a slippery fish – then try to catch it and it’s absolutely alright to flash them a goofy fishman’s grin).
  • Pump 3-5 times and then release. Allow your hand to fall naturally to your side, adjust your footing and stature.


Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted can-do EA or go-to writer? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.



Current Social Media Trends


Here are current trends and statistics in social media that businesses and organizations should be aware of when making their public relations decisions. Although having a Facebook page is often the first step for many, it is important to look at the other available platforms to determine what best connects with the key audiences a business or organization wishes to reach.

Here is a late 2015 snapshot of what is happening on the screen…

Facebook facts

  • Facebook is now the second largest site on the Internet according to Alexa, both in the US and around the globe. The average user spends an incredible 32 minutes a day on the Facebook.
  • Daily active users (DAUs) – DAUs were 1.04 billion on average for December 2015, an increase of 17% year-over-year.
  • Mobile DAUs – Mobile DAUs were 934 million on average for December 2015, an increase of 25% year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) – MAUs were 1.59 billion as of December 31, 2015, an increase of 14% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs – Mobile MAUs were 1.44 billion as of December 31, 2015, an increase of 21% year-over-year.
  • Here are the amazing growth stats for Facebook from 2004 until today: 1 million —2004; 100 million — August 2008; 500 million — July 2010; 1.01 billion — September 2012; 1.393 billion – January 2015
  • Mobile advertising revenue – Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 80% of advertising revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015, up from 69% of advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • Revenue – Revenue for the full year 2015 was $17.93 billion, an increase of 44% year-over-year.
  • Income from operations – Income from operations for the full year 2015 was $6.23 billion.
  • Net income – Net income for the full year 2015 was $3.69 billion.
  • Free cash flow – Free cash flow for the full year 2015 was $6.08 billion.
  • Facebook owns Instagram (bought for $1billion), Occulus Rift (for $2 billion) and WhatsApp (purchase price of $19 billion).


Twitter facts

  • Twitter has a truckload of cash in reserves at $3.5 billion, and at the current burn rate will be around for another 412 years (according to USA Today).
  • 320 million monthly active users
  • 500 million tweet are sent per day
  • 1 billion unique visits monthly to sites embedded in tweets
  • 80% active users on mobile
  • 79% of accounts outside of US


Instagram facts

  • Instagram has now passed Twitter in the user count.
  • Instagram has 420 million users
  • Users share 70 million photos a day
  • Instagram is considered the most important social network by American teens than any other network at 32% vs 24% for Twitter and Facebook at 14%.
  • Facebook’s bought Instagram for $1 billion on April 9, 2012. At the start of 2015, it was valued at #35 billion.


WhatsApp facts

  • Just hit 1 billion users
  • 7oo million pictures get shared on the platform daily
  • 100 million new users are added daily
  • More than 100 million videos are shared daily
  • The average user send more than 1000 messages per month on WhatsApp
  • Average user checks the app 23 times per day
  • Founded in 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton. It’s core philosophy is simplicity.
  • Facebook bought it for $19 billion on Valentine’s Day, 2014 after beating Google’s offer of $10 billion.



  • Snapchat launched in 2011 and today there are 100 million active daily users
  • 8,796 snapchats are sent every second
  • Snapchat is reputed to have 5% of the overall selfie market
  • 18% of all social media users in the USA use Snapchat
  • 30% of all US. millennials use the network
  • 41% of teens 13-17 use Snapchat
  • 11% of teens use snapchat more than any other platform


Google+ facts

  • There are 2.2 billion G+ profiles
  • Only 9% have any publicly posted content – that’s 198 million that published
  • 37% mentioned that those activities were comments on YouTube videos
  • Jeff Bullas observes that Google+ is attractive for its key features Hangouts.


Pinterest facts

  • Pinterest started in 2009
  • 100 million users
  • 80% are female


Blab facts

  • Blab started in 2015
  • Live streaming video app that allows up to 4 people to be the hosts
  • Viewers can comments while watching


Periscope facts

  • Periscope was launched in March, 2015
  • App that allows live video streaming from the app on your mobile phone
  • Periscope was acquired by Twitter for $86 million
  • People are watching 40 years worth of live video every day
  • (Live streaming video from the mobile took off in 2015 with the launch of Meerkat, Periscope and Blab.)


Flipboard facts

  • 72 million monthly users
  • 36 million use it every week
  • It is in more than 20 languages
  • Users flip through 8.2 billion stories a month
  • The app integrates news from media outlets from around the world and presents it in a magazine format.
    Flipboard does allow sharing, content publishing and comments.


To gain further insights on the social media trends of the day, read Jeff Bullas’ work. He compiles the facts and interpret the trends. Read his observations of these stats by clicking here:

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted can-do EA or go-to writer? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Top-10 most commonly confused words

The Merriam – Webster on-line dictionary has put together a very useful top-10 list of the most commonly confused words. Here they are:

Flaunt / Flout
Affect / Effect
Deserts / Desserts
Stationary / Stationery
Flak / Flack
It’s / Its
Pore / Pour
Fewer / Less
Flounder / Founder
Principal / Principle

Here’s the link to the Merriam-Webster presentation.


Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.


10 rules for crisis management

We are often asked advice about our rules of communications during a crisis. It is best if organizations plan for crises before they hit as a little bit of preparation will pay off ten-fold. Here are 10 rules CG&A COMMUNICATIONS promotes to assist with crisis management:

1. Write it down! Before a crisis occurs, draw up and distribute a comprehensive crisis communications plan. Always have a plan on paper.
2. Know who will speak. Designate a small list of possible spokespersons and ensure they have training to give media interviews. The objective in responding during a crisis is to have a single voice, not a chorus.
3. Organize yourself. Establish internal communications lines to ensure fast, accurate information when a crisis does occur. Prepare a list of inside and outside people to inform of a crisis. And, ensure all employees know where to direct media inquiries.
4. Make good first impression. When the issue breaks, there must be an immediate meeting with senior management to determine the stance to take with the public. You have two critical hours to effectively respond. Your challenge is to define the issue accurately, deploy constantly changing tactics, and anticipate reactions.
5. Prepare for media. Spend time briefing designated spokesperson(s) and ensure message lines are tight and clear.
6. Be pro-active. Get out in front of the issue/event and make a public statement. No comment is no response and silence is anything but golden.
7. Keep everyone in-the-know. Remember to keep your own house informed. Distribute statement to staff and other key people.
8. Keep the channel(s) to media open. The media must know who the spokespersons are. An inquiry number should be made available to send and receive messages. In a crisis, it is essential that you are honest, accessible, and forthcoming.
9. Always stay ahead of the issue. If the crisis is on-going, release periodic statements or hold periodic media briefings/news conferences.
10. Never follow a list of ten golden rules. Each crisis is unique and requires special tactics to ensure the issues are dealt with effectively. Do not limit your options in answering to your crisis. A creative, pro-active plan is your best offense.



Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

50 striking verbs

writingBy George offers 50 striking verbs to add a lift to your next memo or conversation.

abolish / advance / arrest / assault / berate / choke / collapse / crawl / edge / elude / emerge / engage / erupt / expedite / flaunt / flog / fumble / gnaw / gouge / grapple / gyrate / hang / haul / hurl / inflict / launch / lunge / mangle / muster / pander / parade / persuade / placate / plunge / repel / rub / salute / scrawl / snare / spear /stifle / subdue / tackle / thrash / touch / trounce / undertake / undo / unite / usher


Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.




SM Content that Pops


Today there is just too much to read. Across the social media platforms, there is too much see.

That is why, when you get a set of eyeballs on your content, you had better ensure it leaps off the screen and pulls the reader in. It needs to offer a sensation. It needs to be very good writing. It needs to be memorable. Your content needs to pop!

Here are some suggestions to craft captivating your social media:

  • Write real good stories – interesting, topical; posts that capture the readers’ interests or make readers take a moment to think
  • Grab your readers’ attention – with punchy headlines and subheads, pull quotes and an interesting graphic; use all tactics to first capture their senses
  • Package and re-package – be consistent and persuasive in delivering your key messages; make your storyline compelling; and, re-package and re-post materials
  • Deliver multimedia – enrich your printed word with images, video and audio where possible; create graphics – perhaps an infographic or a stylized pull quote

An average reader might spend only seconds on your page to determine whether they will invest any more time in reading your content. Even then, in a few seconds, if the content is not engaging, they will click elsewhere. There must be a lot at play if you are to attract a reader through your piece.

For more tips on writing good social media content, By George Journal has many writing tips in their archives. Click: Tagged “writing”

On Being Late

The Bard once observed, “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”

It is too bad more people didn’t subscribe to Shakespeare’s sense of courtesy when it comes to arriving on time for a meeting. Can you think of anything more bothersome in a workday. It’s really disrespectful of someone’s time.

Brent Beshore, entrepreneur and Founder/CEO of, recently wrote about people being tardy in an excellent article: 5 Minutes Early Is On Time; On Time Is Late; Late Is Unacceptable

Beshore lists a number of reasons why being late is unacceptable. Here is that list.

Disrespectful: Being on time is about respect. It signals that you value and appreciate the other person. If you don’t respect the meeting’s participants, why are you meeting with them in the first place?

Inconsiderate: Unintentionally being late demonstrates an overall lack of consideration for the lives of others. You just don’t care.

Big-Timing: Intentionally being late is about power. It’s showing the other person, or people that you’re a “big deal” and have the upper-hand in the relationship. It’s also called being a dick.

Incredible: No, not in the good way. When you miss meeting times or deadlines, your credibility takes the trajectory of a lead balloon. If you can’t be counted on to be on time, how could you possibly have credibility around far tougher tasks?

Unprofitable: Let’s consider a scenario where five people are holding a meeting at 2 p.m. Your sauntering in ten minutes late just wasted 40 minutes of other peoples’ time. Let’s say the organization bills $200/hour. Are you paying the $133 bill? Someone certainly is.

Disorganized: If you can’t keep your calendar, what other parts of your life are teetering on the edge of complete disaster? Being late signals at best that you’re barely hanging on and probably not someone I want to associate with.

Overly-Busy: Everyone likes to equate busyness with importance, but the truly successful know that’s BS. Having a perpetually hectic schedule just signals that you can’t prioritize, or say “no,” neither of which is an endearing trait.

Flaky: Apparently some people just “flake out,” which seems to mean that they arbitrarily decided not to do the thing they committed to at the very last minute. Seriously? That’s ridiculous.

Megalomaniacal: While most grow out of this by the age of eight, some genuinely believe they are the center of the universe. It’s not attractive. Note, this is also called Donald Trump Syndrome. Do you want to be compared to Donald Trump?

So, “Don’t be late for your next meeting!” It’s not that you have to follow Shakespeare’s suggestion to show up three hours beforehand, but you may wish to set your watch 10 minutes fast and enjoy the walk into the meeting.

Three Parables for Management Training

The Eagle and the Rabbit

An eagle was sitting in a tree resting, doing nothing….. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, ‘Can I also sit like you and do nothing?’ The eagle answered: ‘Sure, why not.’ So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up. 


The Turkey and the Bull

A turkey was chatting with a bull. ‘I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree’ sighed the turkey, ‘but I haven’ t got the energy.’ ‘Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?’ replied the bull. They’re packed with nutrients.’ The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.


The Frozen Bird

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and quickly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story: (1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy. (2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend. (3) And when you’re in deep shit, it’s best to keep your mouth shut.


This T.G.I.F. joke is one of our favourite reposts and it concludes the BGJ selection of articles to prelude “#onwardupward” – a special feature to appear this weekend to help us all prepare for our post-Labour Day challenges. Click into the Journal this weekend – and prepare yourself!



A Dozen Great Quotes on Managing Time

  • Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves. – Lord Chesterfield
  • The common man is not concerned about the passage of time, the man of talent is driven by it. – Shoppenhauer
  • Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much can be done if we are always doing. – Thomas Jefferson
  • If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got. – Lee Iacocca
  • It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about? – Henry David Thoreau
  • Never let yesterday use up today. – Richard H. Nelson
  • To do two things at once is to do neither. – Publius Syrus
  • The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something. – Carl Sandburg
  • Don’t wait. The time will never be just right. – Napoleon Hill
  • The Future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. – C.S. Lewis
  • Realize that now, in this moment of time, you are creating. You are creating your next moment. That is what’s real. – Sara Paddison
  • You’re writing the story of your life one moment at a time. – Doc Childre and Howard Martin


Again, as you will have read through the last couple of weeks, By George Journal is posting a series of instructive articles entitled “#onwardupward” to help us all prepare for our post-Labour Day challenges. Look for our daily articles and a special feature on this series on the holiday weekend.

(ed. – These quotes are a repost and they first appeared in the BGJ in Fall 2012.)

3 “Must-Haves” for Success

Successful people think differently and, in doing so, approach their days differently. They all possess three key thoughts that make a huge impact on their ability to succeed.

1.  Successful people all have a purpose. The clearer you can see your target, the more likely you are to hit it. High performers do not do things “just because”, abut on purpose, with a purpose. When you know why you do what you do, you will have more power to do it.

2.  They choose a positive attitude. One of the most important decisions you make every day is the attitude you are going to have when you walk out your door. As Sir Winston Churchill put it, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

3.  And they recommit to their course every single day. One reason the average person doesn’t achieve their goals is because life catches up to them and they allow “things” and “stuff” to keep them from the things they want to do. Start each day by thinking the thoughts of Henry Moore: “I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s.” Every day, recommit to the things that matter most and picture in your mind’s eye your end goal many times each day.

There’s more to read in By George Journal on “success“.


As you will have read through the last couple of weeks, By George Journal is posting a series of instructive articles entitled “#onwardupward” to help us all prepare for our post-Labour Day challenges. Look for our daily articles and a special feature on this series on the holiday weekend.

(ed. – This is a repost and it first appeared in the BGJ in July 2014.)

Rudy Giuliani’s thoughts on leadership

Through this past week, By George has tweeted many quotes and insights relating to leadership. To follow up on our Twitter activity at @ByGeorgeJournal, here are six principles of crisis leadership from Rudy Giuliani, a man who has provided this world with a demonstrative definition of leadership. Giuliani’s six principles:

1. Have a Vision – having a plan and the ideas to make it a reality are the most important qualities a leader can have. You cant lead other people unless you stand for something.

2. Be an Optimist – When people follow, what theyre following are hopes, dreams, fulfillment of dreams. Theyre following solutions to problems.

3. Have Courage – Courage is managing fear. Its not the absence of fear.

4. Put in Hard Work – Hard work doesnt necessarily mean putting in long hours it means relentless preparation. Whatever the undertaking, you need to put the time into thinking through its every facet and the consequences of taking different routes. Relentless preparing for whats expected will help solve problems when faced with the unexpected.

5. Understand the Value of Teamwork – Learning how to compensate for your own deficiencies through teamwork is the mark of a successful leader. If you can figure out what those things are that you dont do well and you can get people to balance them with their strengths, your organization just got better.

6. Be a Communicator – You have to be able to get your ideas from you to other people a leader has to be able to teach the plan to other people.


By George Journal is posting a series of instructive articles entitled “#onwardupward” to help us all prepare for our post-Labour Day challenges. Look for daily articles through the up-coming weeks – and a special feature on this series on the holiday weekend.

(ed. – This article first appeared in the BGJ in Fall 2009.)



5-sure-ways to get more out of your day

1. Get Out of Bed Earlier: Get up 30-60 minutes earlier each day and take that extra time to do something important – before the daily grind. Set your thoughts and your attitude for the day by reading, exercising, planning.

2. Tackle the Important Tasks First: Make “to-do lists” and prioritize your tasks. Set a specific amount of time aside, focus your attention, and stay locked on the important task(s). Smaller, less urgent tasks can wait… concentrate for the full amount of the time allotted the tasks(s).

3. Stop Checking Email/Twitter/Facebook etc Regularly: Control your impulses and curiousity to check your e-mail, etc. Don’t check your connections first thing – and set a schedule to check them only 2-3 times a day. Set specific time aside to deal with e-mails, etc.

4. Reduce Interruptions: During your “productive” time slots, keep your door close. Resist any social media or procrastinating activities. Let your calls go to voicemail. Share your need for privacy with your co-workers.

5. Make Time for Yourself at the End of the Day: Free up 20 or 30 minutes every evening. Spend this bit of extra time on something important to you. Relax your mind with a pleasurable pursuit.

By George Journal is presenting a series of instructive articles entitled “#onwardupward” to help our readers prepare and be better motivated to meet their post-Labour Day challenges. (This article was first published in the Journal in September 2012.)  Look for daily post through the up-coming weeks.

10 self-motivating thoughts

By George presents a short list of constructive thoughts to repeat to yourself so that you might make the most of your day. These positive, motivating ideas will help you reconnect with your passion(s) about what it is you do best and all those things you wish to do better.

  1. Write your most important goal(s) down and be sure to look at it (at least) five times a day. Repeat your goal(s) to yourself when thinking of your next activity.
  2. Constantly picture yourself beyond your current circumstances. Dream of where you will be once you have succeeded in what you are doing.
  3. Spend your time around those who lift you up and encourage your vision, not belittle it. Pick your company wisely.
  4. Treat others how you want to be treated. Make every person you come in contact with feel good and you will get this treatment in return.
  5. Eat (and drink) to win. Eat healthy; stay away from junk food. Hydrate with water; drink less soda and/or alcohol.
  6. Exercise daily. Get a workout in at some point throughout your day. It gets your blood pumping and recharges your brain activity.
  7. Read something besides work-related materials 15-20 minutes daily. Just as our bodies need physical exercise, our minds need to stay mentally fit.
  8. Spend time in solitude to just think and visualize – and be sure to cut off all distractions. Think about yourself and who you wish to become. Forget your FB or text messages.
  9. Daily, think of five things you are grateful for… Be grateful for what you have and you will eventually end up having more.
  10. Keep a journal. Each day, record your thoughts, ideas and strategies.

In the days ahead By George Journal  will be posting inspirational and motivational articles to help our readership get in the right frame of mind for their post-Labour Day challenges. We will be referring to this series a “#onwardupward”. Check back with us right through Labour Day for posts to guide you through a full 360 degree review of your work goals and habits. In the end, it is hoped you will be better prepared and motivated to meet your challenges through the Fall months.


14 Habits of Exceptionally Likable People


Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970) was an American author, one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich (1937), is one of the best-selling books of all time (at the time of Hill’s death in 1970, it had sold 20 million copies). Hill’s works examined the power of personal beliefs, and the role they play in personal success.

In his works, Hill denoted 14 habits of people who are so likable that others go out of their way to help them. Here are those habits of exceptionally likeable people:

1. They develop a positive mental attitude and let it be seen and felt by others. Those who choose to be positive set themselves up for success and have better reputations.

2. They always speak in a carefully disciplined, friendly tone. The best communicators speak deliberately and confidently, which gives their voice a pleasing sound.

3. They pay close attention to someone speaking to them.

4. They are able to maintain their composure in all circumstances. “Remember that silence may be much more effective than your angry words.”

5. They are patient. “Remember that proper timing of your words and acts may give you a big advantage over impatient people.”

6. They keep an open mind. Those who close themselves off from certain ideas and associate only with like-minded people are missing out on not only personal growth but also opportunities for advancing their careers.

7. They smile when speaking with others.

8. They know that not all their thoughts need to be expressed. The most likable people know that it’s not worth offending people by expressing all their thoughts, even if they happen to be true.

9. They don’t procrastinate.

10. They engage in at least one good deed a day. The best networkers help other people out without expecting anything in return.

11. They find a lesson in failure rather than brood over it. “Express your gratitude for having gained a measure of wisdom, which would not have come without defeat.”

12. They act as if the person they are speaking to is the most important person in the world.

13. They praise others in a genuine way without being excessive.

14. They have someone they trust point out their flaws.
Read more in the Business Insider:

Hat’s off to the wise fool

Roger von Oech is an author, inventor, and consultant on stimulating creativity in business. His blog featured an intriguing post: “Think Like a Wise Fool.”

Von Oech writes:

Carrying the strategy of “looking at things differently” to extremes brings us to the realm of the Wise Fool, the being for whom everyday ways of understanding have little meaning.

It’s the wise fool’s job to extol the trivial, trifle with the exalted, and parody the common perception of a situation. In doing so, the fool makes us conscious of the habits we take for granted and rarely question. A good fool needs to be part actor and part poet, part philosopher and part psychologist.

And throughout history, the wise fool has been consulted by Egyptian pharaohs and Babylonian kings, Chinese emperors, Greeks tyrants, and Hopi Indian chiefs.

Here’s what a wise fool can accomplish by making us re-look and re-think our work:

  • reverse our standard assumptions
  • notes things that other people overlook
  • be irreverent
  • be cryptic
  • be absurd
  • challenge viewpoints by taking the contrary position

von Oech concludes his post by pointing out: “The great benefit of the wise fool’s antics and observations is that they stimulate our thinking. They jolt us in the same way that a splash of cold water awakens us when we are drowsy.”

By George recommends this post and the blog for those who wish to place assumptions in question and refocus their thinking.