How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the “2-Minute Rule”

Most of the tasks that you procrastinate on aren’t actually difficult to do — you have the talent and skills to accomplish them — you just avoid starting them for one reason or another. The 2–Minute Rule overcomes procrastination and laziness by making it so easy to start taking action that you can’t say no.

There are two parts to the 2–Minute Rule…
• Part 1 — If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now.
Part I comes from David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done. It’s surprising how many things we put off that we could get done in two minutes or less. For example, washing your dishes immediately after your meal, tossing the laundry in the washing machine, taking out the garbage, cleaning up clutter, sending that email, and so on. If a task takes less than two minutes to complete, then follow the rule and do it right now.

• Part 2 — When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.
Can all of your goals be accomplished in less than two minutes? Obviously not. But, every goal can be started in 2 minutes or less. And that’s the purpose behind this little rule.

The most important part of any new habit is getting started — not just the first time, but each time. It’s not about performance, it’s about consistently taking action. The 2–Minute Rule isn’t about the results you achieve, but rather about the process of actually doing the work. I can’t guarantee whether or not the 2–Minute Rule will work for you. But, I can guarantee that it will never work if you never try it. Anyone can spare the next 120 seconds. Use this time to get one thing done. Go.

This article was originally published on JamesClear.com. James Clear writes at JamesClear.com, where he shares science-based ideas for living a better life and building habits that stick. To get strategies for boosting your mental and physical performance by 10x, join his free newsletter.

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Case Study: Residential Real Estate Company

Abilita can help you navigate the complexities of your telecommunications services. Independent and objective, we represent you.  Read below for a sample case study that led to significant cost reductions and more efficient processes.

Case Study: Residential Real Estate Company 

Abilita consultants reviewed a Real Estate Company’s twelve corporate locations. The review included elements of people, process and technology: phone systems and services, wide area network, hardware and application software, answering service and reception desk, security and disaster recovery.

As a result of the review, a redesign of the Company’s technology infrastructure was proposed, accepted by and project managed by Abilita. The communications redesign included:

  • Streamlined processes for answering service, reception and appointment desk
  • Security and Virus protection across the network
  • Outsourced IT maintenance for onsite issues for all branches
  • Disaster Recovery solutions
  • Hoteling for real estate agents
  • Remote and Call Center users can seamlessly be an extension off the phone VoIP system

Whether it’s reducing costs, resolving billing errors, or taking away your telecom headaches, contact your Abilita consultant to find out how we can help!

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WAN Summit – At The Intersection Of Technology And Business

Taki Remtulla, Abilita CTO, returns to the WAN Summit in New York this April as a panel discussion Speaker/Moderator. The WAN Summit brings together corporate WAN strategists and service provider executives to discuss common challenges, gain new perspectives, and to build business relationships with potential suppliers, customers, and peers.

Key IT trends, such as cloud services, virtualization, collaboration and big data are impacting the evolution of the enterprise WAN. The WAN Summit will review these issues along with the ongoing migration of applications to the cloud, the limitations of the public Internet and the impact of networking issues on application performance.

For details on the WAN Summit, click here.
To view Taki Remtulla’s profile page and contact information, click here.

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5G: The Promise and the Impact

There is an old Chinese saying that goes, “May you live in interesting times.” Certainly, anybody utilizing communications technology would have to agree that we are indeed living in not only interesting, but complex times.

Arguably the most immediate impact on your network and business in the next several years will be 5G. If you believe everything you read and hear, 5G is the panacea that will solve all of your communications problems.

The reality is that 5G will be a disrupter and a game changer, and it will most likely touch every form of business communications technology. To understand how this will impact your business and your network, read the full article I wrote on NoJitter.

DENNIS GOODHART
TELEPHONE: 646-308-1580
DGOODHART@ABILITA.COM
NEW YORK, NY

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The Telecom Consulting Playbook: How The Game is Won

Great sports teams don’t just go out and play the game, they have a strategy. Coaches work with each other and their players to develop skills and put a plan in place to ensure the entire team succeeds. Your telecommunications consulting firm should do the same. If you want to save money on your telecom expenses, you have to play it smart and work as a team. Good telecom consultants will have at least four plays in their telecom playbook:

  • The Audit Maneuver: A thorough telecom audit allows your business to recover overages from your telecom provider for billing errors and unwanted services. Your audit will also provide a complete inventory of your devices, lines, circuits, and features so you can stop paying for things you don’t need.
  • The 2-Part Contract Conversion: when it’s time to renew telecom contracts, it’s tempting to keep what you have. However, as retention pricing is rarely as good as acquisition pricing, it’s important to submit a RFP (request for proposal) when the contract is nearing its end. If you don’t have time, or you simply want an expert who does it all the time, your Abilita consultant can help. We are intimately familiar with pricing schedules, tariffs, service guides, and telecom contract terminology, making us the best resource to help you through this process.
  • Project Management Blitz: Technology upgrades and company growth require efficient project management leadership and tools. We can help with decision-making or simple strategy.
  • TEM Formation: As new services emerge, telecommunications expense management can become a challenging task. Excess charges and unwanted services have a tendency to crop up even after your initial telecom audit. Monthly audits can help you stay on top of your telecom expenses.

Finally (and don’t worry, we’re almost to the end of this sports analogy), football teams have a head coach and an assistant coach for a reason. These two people work together for the good of the team, and while they depend on one another, it is the head coach who ultimately calls the shots. If you’re ready for an assistant telecom coach, or to receive your free telecommunications audit, contact your Abilita consultant.

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The Myth and Magic of Deliberate Practice

In recent years, the study of hard work has developed into a scientific pursuit named “deliberate practice”- focused and effortful training as the recipe for success. To demonstrate an example of deliberate practice, here is a little-known story about how Joe DiMaggio acquired his exceptional ability to become one of the greatest hitters in baseball history.

As the story goes, a journalist was interviewing DiMaggio at his home and asked him what it felt like to be such a “natural hitter.” Without saying a word, he dragged the reporter downstairs. In the shadows of the basement, DiMaggio picked up a bat and began to repeat a series of practice swings. Before each swing, he would call out a particular pitch such as “fastball, low and away” or “slider, inside” and adjust his approach accordingly.

Once he finished the routine, DiMaggio set the bat down, picked up a piece of chalk, and scratched a tally mark on the wall. Then he flicked on the lights to reveal thousands of tally marks covering the basement walls. Supposedly, DiMaggio then looked at the journalist and said, “Don’t you ever tell me that I’m a natural hitter again.”

We love stories like this—stories that highlight how remarkable success is the product of effort and perseverance. To maximize our potential, we need to know when deliberate practice makes the difference between success and failure and when it doesn’t.

The Deliberate Practice Myth

The myth of deliberate practice is that you can fashion yourself into anything with enough work and effort. While human beings possess a remarkable ability to develop their skills, your genes set a boundary around what is possible.

Experts have discovered that our genes impact nearly every human trait including short-term memory to mental processing speed to willingness to practice. Some researchers have estimated that our genes account for 25-35 percent of differences in performance.

So where does this leave us?

While genetics influence performance, they do not determine performance. Do not confuse destiny with opportunity. Genes provide opportunity. They do not determine our destiny. It’s similar to a game of cards. You have a better opportunity if you are dealt a better hand, but you also need to play the hand well to win.

If you can’t win by being better, then win by being different. By combining your skills, you reduce the level of competition, which makes it much easier to stand out regardless of your natural abilities.

The Magic of Deliberate Practice

Sun Tzu, the legendary military strategist who wrote The Art of War, believed in only fighting battles where the odds were in his favor. He wrote, “In war, the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won.”

Similarly, we should seek to fight battles where the genetic odds are in our favor. If you aspire to maximize your success, then you should train hard and practice deliberately in areas where the genetic odds are in your favor (or where you can overlap your skills in a compelling way).

Deliberate practice is necessary for success, but it is not sufficient. The people at the top of any competitive field are both well-suited and well-trained. To maximize your potential, you need to not only engage in consistent and purposeful practice, but also to align your ambitions with your natural abilities.

Regardless of where we choose to apply ourselves, deliberate practice can help us maximize our potential—no matter what cards we were dealt. That is the magic of deliberate practice. It turns potential into reality.


This article was originally published on JamesClear.com. James Clear writes at JamesClear.com, where he shares science-based ideas for living a better life and building habits that stick. To get strategies for boosting your mental and physical performance by 10x, join his free newsletter.

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The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is coming, whether you like it or not. Over the next four years, we are likely to see a revolution in how we live our lives… and also how we manage and operate our businesses. By 2020, Gartner Inc. estimates over 26 billion connected devices with more than half of major new business processes and systems incorporating some element of IoT.

So What Is the Internet of Things?

IoT is essentially a network of devices that have Internet connectivity built into them, allowing them to send and receive data without human intervention. You are probably familiar with smart sensors like the Nest Thermostat, wearables like the Apple Watch or Fitbit, and Google’s self-driving car project. Waze, OnStar and Google Maps use IoT technology to locate and track your device, and feedback information based on your location and prior established likes and dislikes.

Many other industries are developing new technologies using IoT to improve their products. Some examples:
• John Deere is using IoT to boost the efficiency of prepping, planting, feeding and harvesting with the goal of improving per-acre crop yields.
• Rolls Royce aircraft engines send real-time data on the engine’s function back to monitoring stations on the ground to help detect malfunctions to help prevent aircraft disasters.
• Microsoft constantly collects data on features being used for its products to make smart decisions on how to develop their software.

How Your Business Will Change

You don’t have to worry about the Internet of things suddenly appearing one day and making your company obsolete – it will gradually develop over time. Think about where you were 15 years ago and where you are now. You have likely invested in things like wireless Internet, mobile devices, analytical software, cloud storage, virtual servers and more. This adaptation and progressive nature will allow you to stay on pace with the development of IoT.

Some factors to consider:

1- There will be more data to manage: all those interconnected devices will mean a lot more data than you currently track. IoT has potential to deliver in-depth metrics about your customers and their behaviors, your employees and how they work, and even details about how your own business operates. This is all worthwhile information … but you need to be prepared to handle it, with data analysts and business intelligence software.

2- Security becomes even more important: with more data and new types of data available, it will be more important than ever for your company to supplement these new technologies with additional security measures and preventative action techniques.

3- Business opportunities abound: many unique business opportunities will arise out of the growth of IoT. Potential areas include improved customer service and personalization; the ability to address real-time threats, improved process optimization, and more accurate and effective forecasting.

4- Remote work will become even more feasible: it will become even easier to manage your business remotely.

5- Increased complexity in systems: The more ambitious and complicated the project, the greater the schedule overruns. IoT projects may take longer to implement. You could have a hard time keeping all your integrated devices updated with the latest software and connected to the network; this will be both expensive and intense in terms of IT needs.

6- Some industries may fundamentally change when IoT becomes mainstream. Pay close attention to how your industry develops, and be prepared for some major changes. The sooner you start thinking about the future of your firm, the more proactively you’ll be able to prepare.

As technology continues to evolve and becomes readily available to small businesses and consumers alike, processes will become more efficient and life more comfortable. Regardless of how well you understand IoT and its potential benefits, it is important to remember one thing: The future is bright.

Now is the perfect time to contact us and set up an appointment with your Abilita consultant to discuss and plan how to use and implement this new technology and get your business ready to adapt to these changes gradually.

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Tips for Managing Stress During the Holidays

Stress is a natural part of our daily lives. It can be triggered by pressure to meet deadlines, too many time demands, illness, or other serious life changes.

During the upcoming holiday season, here are some steps that can help you learn to better cope with stress:

  • Set priorities: Decide what must get done and what can wait.  Learn to say no to new tasks if you are overwhelmed. Plan ahead to avoid last-minute shopping or other stressful situations.
  • Learn when to say no: Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity.
  • Stick to a budget: before you go shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.
  • Stay in touch with people who can provide emotional and other support. Ask for help from friends, family, and community or religious organizations to reduce stress due to work responsibilities or family issues, such as caring for a loved one.
  • Volunteering your time to help others is a great way to lift your spirits and broaden friendships.
  • Take a breather: make time to do relaxing activities you enjoy, such as outdoor activities, listening to music, watching a movie or reading a good book.
  • Avoid dwelling on problems: focus on what you have accomplished, not what you have been unable to do.
  • Don’t abandon your healthy habits: get plenty of sleep and exercise regularly. Just 30 minutes per day of moderate walking can help boost mood and reduce stress.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season and a Prosperous 2017.

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The Domino Effect

The Domino Effect states that when you make a change to one behavior it will activate a chain reaction and cause a shift in related behaviors as well.

Many of the habits and routines that make up our daily lives are related to one another. There is an astounding interconnectedness between the systems of life and human behavior is no exception. The inherent relatedness of things is a core reason why choices in one area of life can lead to surprising results in other areas, regardless of the plans you make.

The Domino Effect capitalizes on one of the core principles of human behavior: commitment and consistency. This phenomenon is explained in the classic book on human behavior, Influence by Robert Cialdini. The core idea is that if people commit to an idea or goal, even in a very small way, they are more likely to honor that commitment because they now see that idea or goal as being aligned with their self-image.

The Domino Effect not only creates a cascade of new behaviors, but often a shift in personal beliefs as well. As each tiny domino falls, you start believing new things about yourself and building identity-based habits.

The Rules of the Domino Effect

The Domino Effect is not merely a phenomenon that happens to you, but something you can create. It is within your power to spark a chain reaction of good habits by building new behaviors that naturally lead to the next successful action.

There are three keys to making this work in real life. Here are the three rules of the Domino Effect:

1. Start with the thing you are most motivated to do. Start with a small behavior and do it consistently. This will not only feel satisfying, but also open your eyes to the type of person you can become. It does not matter which domino falls first, as long as one falls.

2. Maintain momentum and immediately move to the next task you are motivated to finish. Let the momentum of finishing one task carry you directly into the next behavior. With each repetition, you will become more committed to your new self-image.

3. When in doubt, break things down into smaller chunks. As you try new habits, focus on keeping them small and manageable. The Domino Effect is about progress, not results. Simply maintain the momentum. Let the process repeat as one domino automatically knocks down the next.

When one habit fails to lead to the next behavior, it is often because the behavior does not adhere to these three rules. There are many different paths to getting dominoes to fall. Focus on the behavior you are excited about and let it cascade throughout your life.

This article was originally published on JamesClear.com. James Clear writes at JamesClear.com, where he shares science‐based ideas for living a better life and building habits that stick. To get strategies for boosting your mental and physical performance by 10x, join his free newsletter.

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How to Avoid and Protect against Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious program that infects your computer and then locks your screen or encrypts your files. Then a “ransom” is demanded to release your data. Most ransomware arrives as an email attachment, along with a message encouraging you to open the file. You could also browse to websites that push malware onto your system without your knowledge.

This particular form of malware is tricky because these emails appear to be legitimate and can be professionally written with proper grammar and spelling. They could embed known trustworthy website links into the email message which may infect your computer.

Once the ransomware has infected your system, your files are locked with an encryption key that is only known by the attacker. Then you are prompted to pay the criminal to provide the key or else they’ll destroy your decryption key. Often there will be a limited time to pay the ransom, typically within a few days. The criminals are not typically interested in your data at all; they simply want you to pay off the ransom.

While there is no 100% safe method to prevent ransomware from entering your system, there are ways to lessen your chances of being attacked and losing your data. The best way to secure against this threat is to prevent ransomware from getting to your system in the first place. Here are some recommended tips to protect your data:

– Regularly update your software, programs, and applications to ensure you have the latest versions. Software companies and hardware companies are constantly updating their systems with new security measures to protect against the latest vulnerabilities. Use Windows update and enable automatic updates for all programs.

– Be very careful about opening email attachments. Be very wary of clicking links in emails, as they may take you to a malware website.

– Back up important files using the 3-2-1 rule: create 3 backup copies on 2 different types of media with 1 backup in a separate location.

– Don’t enable macros. Ransomware can also be distributed in Office documents that trick users into enabling macros.

– Train and retrain employees in your business. Your users can be your weakest link if you don’t train them how to avoid malicious emails and other threats.

– Do not open e-mails that invite you to participate in surveys, contests or other events from companies that you usually don’t deal with, or names you don’t know.

Cybercrime is a highly competitive, multi-billion-dollar business. Ransomware attacks are becoming an increasing global problem with highly sophisticated and malicious attacks against organizations including NASA, law enforcement agencies, universities and health-care institutions. Even small companies are targets.

Understanding ransomware and taking steps to prevent it will go a long way to protecting your company from this threat. For professional assistance with understanding how to secure your network against ransomware and other network attacks, contact your Abilita consultant.

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