Feeling Overwhelmed is Your Own Fault

By Beth Stratman

The world moves so quickly these days, it feels hard to keep up. With the proliferation of available information, you can trick yourself into believing that you need to keep up with all the information and happenings. However, it isn’t simply paying attention to everything  that’s going on that makes you productive and valuable and keeps you on track with your business; it’s staying attuned to the things you’ve identified as important and relevant to your business that keeps you productive and on target.

Here are some tips for reducing feelings of overwhelm and keeping yourself on track with the things you’ve identified as important:

  • Get comfortable with the fact that most information is just noise. Just because information is accessible doesn’t mean it’s relevant to you.
  • Determine what’s fundamentally important to maximize your business and yourself. The really important things for business tend to be the basics: mission, vision, values, current goals, key performance indicators (KPIs), key relationships, and professional development for you and your staff.
  • Base your everyday tasks and activities what’s fundamentally important. Look at your calendar. Do your day-to-day appointments and scheduled blocks for projects etc. reflect the fundamentals as they relate to your position? Whether you’re the CEO or the VP of Human Resources, there are things you ought to be doing to further the company’s current goals. Are you?  If you find items that have low value related to the company’s goals, figure out what to do about them, including delegating them to others who have the capability and could grow from the opportunity.
  • Reduce your connection to irrelevant information. Doing simple things to decrease distraction can reduce feelings of overwhelm, like turning off pop-up email notifications, creating email rules that dispense with low priority email messages, and unsubscribing from email lists that you rarely find helpful.
  • Train your staff about your response priorities. Which topics are front-burner for you? What counts as an “emergency” when they should definitely interrupt you? What’s your response time for texts versus email versus phone calls and when should they use each method of communication?
  • Build time into your schedule when you are intentionally available for drop-in conversations.  This presumes that you set aside “do not disturb” time when you are focused on strategic and project work. Having “office hours” when you’re readily available encourages others to access you on your terms, not theirs.
  • Find root causes to other disruptions or time wasters. “Fires” usually occur when they wasn’t a good process in place for handling a situation. Look at ways to create or refine processes for handling most things that are likely to challenge your staff, so they learn to do things without you.
  • Question whether you really need to have or attend the meetings on your calendar. Maybe you do, but it’s good to review whether meetings are really a good use of your time.

Practice seeing through the “charms’ and “alarms” of life to keep your center. Knowing what’s important and saying “no” to the rest is the key to reducing feelings of overwhelm.

Feeling Overwhelmed

The age of experience

We live in the age of experience!

We need to feel in order to “get it”

That is why we need to re-shape the way we teach, we need to re-shape education.

Things have changed exponentially over the years in every field but with education the opposite has happened.

If you were to place a 200 year old doctor in today’s operation room he/she would not be able to even recognize most of the tools. On the other hand, if you did the same thing, get a 200 year old teacher and place in today’s classroom, this person would feel comfortable in that environment.

Pushing information, memorizing and fitting tests standards is not how people learn anymore.

Education now needs to bring experiences, emotions and stories which are like food to our brain. You connect experience with content.

Why do you think games are so popular and by 2020 it is said that our lives will be 80% gamified?

Because they provide experience, story line, emotions and when we learn a process we move into another phase where that process will be modified and then you evolve again to a new level.

Just look at the Pokemon Go craze and see why it is appealing to people of all ages. Virtual little cute creatures can populate a virtual reality environment. You go and discover these creatures like in a treasure hunt, then you help them evolve into other beings. You fight to train them and you join a team which makes you belong. Take into account that this game does not even provide instructions on how to be played. Making mystery part of its lure.

This experience is fulfilling and makes people learn all about the game and its creatures.

Education today needs to be exciting, allowing participation and morph into something else with this participation. It needs to create content around stories and experiences. This is how it is going. This is exciting.

It also need to reach people when they want, how they want and where they want. so the formats cannot be put in a box. They need to blend. In person, virtual, exchanging points of views. Not one expert telling what needs to be done but experts facilitating a process that provides a new experience.

This is true to kids as well with adults seeking to improve their skills.

That is our quest at Curious Mondo. Bring a new type of education while at the same time allowing people everywhere to get access to this exciting way of learning and allowing them access to the expert and access to help guide each course.

Education Concept

All Eyes Are Watching You

By Annette Pieper

I was riding on the back of an all-terrain vehicle through a forest of quaking aspen in central Utah a while back, enjoying life in the outdoors, kicking back and taking in the scenery. As we drove along through the quaking trees, I noticed how the knot holes in the aspen trees look like eyes. Suddenly, it felt as if a million eyes were watching me. It was kind of eerie.
It dawned on me that in business, as you put yourself out there and market yourself; a million eyes are watching you. You have much greater influence than you realize, especially with social media and web based presence. As your exposure grows, so does the amount of eyes watching you. Even if people are not in direct contact with you, as in signing up for your newsletter or becoming a client or customer, they are still watching. They may be spreading the word about you and your business as well in either a positive or negative manner.
Is that a spooky thought for you? Exciting? Here are a few tips to make sure that you stay on the exciting side of the equation and not the spooky side.

Social Media:

Do not air personal family, friend or business conflicts on twitter or Facebook. There are approximately 350 million users on Facebook and even if you have only 30 friends, your posts show up with those friends, they have the opportunity to share your post on their wall so your post may end up being viewed by thousands of people. Furthermore, anyone that you have unfriended can still see your posts and anyone who has sent you a friend request, even if you have not accepted it can see your posts. And what about twitter threads. Whew…that could add up to a lot of people.
Keep your complaining to a minimum if at all. It’s ok to write about a frustration but add the upside or silver lining at the end. What did you learn? What’s good about it? Inspire people rather than expire them. There’s enough negativity out there, do not feed that fire.
Make most of your posts value added or as a positive connection point. Social media is about connection. It gives us an opportunity to add value and support to others and to receive it in return. It gives us the opportunity to connect with people outside of our local community so keep it on the positive side.
Networking:

How you show up at a networking event has a great effect on how you are perceived. I was on a tele-class for professional speakers the other day and the teacher said that people make 11 assumptions about you in the first 11 seconds of seeing you. WOW! Eleven assumptions, probably before you even blurt out a word. Be sure to dress how you want to be viewed. If you are a plumber and you want your potential market to view you as a hard working individual, then nice jeans and a polo shirt with your company logo on it may be the right combo. If you are a Real Estate professional or accountant, probably office/casual would suffice. Watch the shoes, people notice worn out shoes. Sure, they may be comfortable but seriously, make sure they send the right message.
Grooming is important. Hair, nails, teeth, breath, body odor, they are all important. Many times we don’t think people will notice the small details. Wrong! Sometimes the small stuff stands out like a big sore thumb.
How you speak is important too. Speak with confidence and passion about your business. Focus more on the other person rather than throwing up all over them about your business. Have you ever experienced that? The person you are talking to is not really interested at all in creating business relationships, they are just interested in letting you know about their business and not interested in yours at all. It’s all about them and they just throw up all over you. Gross! Let that not be you.
Videos:
Be sure that your videos are relevant to your business. Don’t post your personal family videos to your business channel unless you are tying it into your business.
Make sure that your videos portray the image of you and your business that you want people to perceive. Remember the eleven assumptions in eleven minutes can happen on video too.
Don’t film in a disorganized environment such as a messy office. Clean it up or find a better spot to film, unless it is relevant to the message being shared.
These are just a few ways that we show up in front of people. If you have a website, eyes are watching you there too. Pictures that you are tagged in may just show up in Google images. When was the last time you Googled yourself? Just for fun, Google your name or go to Google images and type in your name and see what shows up. It may be eye opening.
As you market your business online and off, keep in mind the people who are watching you and the assumptions they may be creating about you. Set your intention to show up as positive and inspiring others. To quote from the Spiderman movie “With great exposure comes great responsibility”…oops that’s my quote.

social media

Check Annette Pieper’s training at Curious Mondo

Does Your Back Ache From Bending Over Backwards for Your Employees?

Being the boss is tough. With all the information available on how to motivate and engage employees, without being a micro-manager or a bully, it can be a bit confusing trying to determine what exactly an effective boss is like today. A big part of becoming a good boss is understanding and creating healthy boundaries.

What is a boundary? A boundary is an imaginary line that exists between you and your employees. It marks the difference between your organizational role, authority, responsibility and status, etc. and theirs. And by virtue of this, it defines acceptable behaviors in a given situation, and it gives you permission to tell others what to do and what to expect of them as they do it.

How do you know if you have unhealthy boundaries with employees? If your boundaries at work are non-existent or too loose, you’re probably the type who is very concerned about whether your employees like you. That is, your primary desire, motivation, and basis for your decision-making centers on making your employees like you. And because you want them to like you, you believe if you take care of them and even protect them, they will like you more and work that much harder. After all, it’s all about relationships, right?

Yes, it is about relationships – healthy ones – with good boundaries. Boundaries that recognize and communicate that you are not your employees’ equal at work and that it’s your job to tell them what to do and to provide them information about why they need to do it and how well they did it. If you are overly concerned with being liked, you’re focusing on you and not on the company’s goals and interests (which is the job of management). (This is called co-dependence or “letting the tail wag the dog”.) In short, you are not fulfilling your role as boss and are bending over backwards too far.

If you find yourself walking on eggshells around employees in the pursuit of their happiness and at the expense of the company’s interests . . . . If you balk at requiring/asking your employees to do the not so fun parts of their jobs . . . . If you are avoiding a conversation about performance or conduct issues because you’re afraid you might upset an employee. . . . here are 4 things you can do to create healthier boss/employee boundaries:

  • First, consciously step into your role as boss with no apologies. This means, you are the “decider”. It’s your job to set expectations and sometimes to have difficult conversations: that’s what you’re paid to do. You don’t need to be a jerk about it. Just be as clear as possible. Your employees already expect this by virtue of your role as the boss. The authority and permission to tell others what to do is built into the boss/employee relationship. (Repeat: you don’t need to be a jerk about it.) They’re waiting for it because even they know when they are pushing boundaries. They are probably surprised you haven’t already addressed certain issues with them.
  •  Second, strive to be respected instead of liked. You might be able to do both, but garnering respect first and foremost forms the basis of a healthy boss/employee relationship. To gain respect, you must be firm, fair, and consistent, so your employees know what to expect of you on a regular basis. And yes, your employees won’t like everything you hold them accountable to, but they’ll understand it and expect it.
  • Third, don’t actively seek to be friends with your employees. They might be great people, but to maintain a healthy leader/employee boundary, you shouldn’t see each other tipsy at happy hour or know minute details of your current or past relationships. Concentrate on the work  with occasional superficial chit chat.
  • Fourth, get better at handling conflict and hard conversations. Being the boss means you will deal with situations where most people don’t want to change the way they do things. Conflict abounds. When you shy away from conflict, you’re trading the possibility of something new and full of potential, for staying stuck in the present situation that you may think is safe but which reflects your inability to adapt and your lack of faith in others to do the same.

To better cope with the discomfort of being the boss, find peers – other managers, business owners, CEOs – to commiserate and celebrate with. It can be lonely being in charge, and these peers can relate to the trials and tribulations of being a boss and offer advice and support.

Your employees were hired to accomplish work in your company. They don’t mind doing the job – they applied for it. And healthy, defined boundaries will create clarity, making your work together easier and more productive.

Beth Stratman

Beth Stratman is an author, speaker, consultant, podcast host and one of the instructors at Curious Mondo. Check one of Beth’s training on Creating a Distraction Proof Workplace

Is Corporate eLearning Worth The Investment?

Companies of all sizes are now beginning to see the advantages of moving their corporate training online.

Corporations now report that eLearning is the second most valuable training method that they use. This is no surprise, given that eLearning saves businesses at least 50% when they replace traditional instructor-based training with e-Learning. Not to mention that eLearning cuts down instruction time by up to 60%.

Reduced training costs
One of the most significant advantages of online corporate training is that it actually reduces training costs. There will no longer be a need for printed training materials or even on-site facilitators, given that all of the information an employee will need can be found within the online training platform.

Rapid deployment of content
Online training can be delivered quickly and conveniently, so that employees are able to acquire new information or skill sets almost immediately.

Offers employees the opportunity to access information when they need it most
Online training also gives employees the chance to access important information or reference materials whenever and wherever they need it.

Gives employees the opportunity to learn at their own pace
Employees who have access to asynchronous online training gain the ability to go at their own pace. They don’t have to rush through the content that is being presented in a corporate classroom setting or move at the pace of their co-workers. They are given the opportunity to acquire and fully absorb what is being taught before they move on within the online training course.

Eliminates the need for on-site instructors
Undoubtedly, one of the most notable benefits of online corporate training is that there is no longer a need for an on-site instructor. That means that you will no longer have to pay for travel and/or accommodations for the instructor(s) neither you will have to allocate valuable working hours for corporate class instruction.

Boosts employee productivity
If you’re wondering whether your online corporate training investment is worthwhile, then just consider how much it can boost your employee productivity.

Reduced employee turnover rates
Happy and well-informed employees are employees who are more likely to remain loyal to your organization. By giving them access to round-the-clock online training and self-paced learning modules, they can further their professional goals and feel motivated to improve their on-the-job performance.

Looking for a eLearning Content Development Company? Contact us today

Pokemon Go Tips, Tricks and Cheats

This is a free virtual class you don’t want to miss.

Gotta master that Pokemon Go game.

We’ve got you covered. The best tips this Friday

Pokemon Go Virtual Class

pokemon go

Gourmet Cooking While Camping

We are having a lot of fun around here. Three of the Curious Mondo team members are teaching the class on Gourmet cooking while camping.  Of course, the camping part is done in the studio.

So far we had some minor flood and fire scares but the food looks awesome!

Here a few pictures:

Gourmet desert

gourmet food

Tomorrow the final class of Gourmet cooking while camping, but you can always get it on-demand

Virtual Learning Can Be Tricky

We live in a moment where adults know they need to sharpen their skills constantly if they want to remain competitive and with a sharp brain. They might seek further education  because their profession requires continuing education, might be because they want to be better prepared to execute their job or because they have an entrepreneurial desire to build a business, or make an existing business grow. Is virtual training the way to go?

When they look for further education it is natural that they will look for online options. After all, if they find the right course they can self-pace their education, get relevant knowledge and apply it fast.

This big need we have as a society has opened the doors for many companies to provide e-learning. They may call it in different ways: Virtual training, continuing education, further learning, self-paced courses.

It seems like a simple formula: Put some videos there with some content and sell them. The shorter the better since it looks like there is a lot of content and quality behind it and you can even hide that under the term micro-learning that seems the way to go for young adults seeking self-directed learning. It also can be quite cheap. You can get a membership for $0.90. Paradise right?

The reality is quite different.

Overall E-learning has a dissatisfaction rate of 83%. Really high. This means people go through the course and are not happy at the end. The reasons behind it are mainly no access to the expert or instructor for questions and the quality of the content.

What is really happening is an overflow of companies selling videos packaged as courses. Quality is usually really low as well as not often relevant or updated content. Re-purposed content now packaged as online courses. Because they are sold at very low prices, expert crank videos like crazy in order to make some money.

Never the term “You get what you pay for” was so true.

Since many companies have many investors and a lot of money to spend on social networks, it looks like they are the way to go.

I suggest that before you spend your hard earned money in one of these companies, you check customer satisfaction rate, number of refunds, consumer reviews. It is going to be eye opening!

So what is the solution?

We deeply believe Curious Mondo has created a different format that is extremely transparent.

Our courses go through a process in order to be approved. We create the course with the instructor following a structure.

We control the quality of the classes since they are all produced in our studios.

We only use instructors that have real -life experience in the topic.

When the courses are created, we use livestreaming. During  livestreaming, classes are open and free to anyone.

Here are some of the benefits of this model: Anyone, anywhere in the World has access to continuing education for free. The classes are interactive and fun to watch- not just an expert in front of a camera, people can ask questions and leave comments, the host will pass them to the instructor and the instructor answers and address concerns right away. The courses become even better than when they were planned because the audience participates.

We provide 30 days access to the instructor if you invest in the course while it is been live streamed.

Full transparency and confidence in the quality of the content.

Our courses are not short, because they go in depth. Some are over 10 hours long (real continuing education), but when they go on-demand, the videos are broken into 20 min each. So it is easier to go through the content. Since we provide unlimited access, you can watch then as often as you choose.

Of course we also provide support material like charts, spreadsheets, extra content in different formats.

All of our training programs are  Available on iOS and Android. You can get training from any device you want.
You also get a Certificate of Completion.

We make learning fun, easy, interactive and aligned with your needs.

Our job is not to provide thousands of courses, our job is to empower people to become all they can become.

As always, it is your choice!

further learning

Crafts is a healthy industry

Want to know why at Curious Mondo we always bring online courses related to arts and crafts? Because it is a growing industry and can offer people a great side business, offers stay-at-home moms a way to bring home some extra cash or create a healthy business for her family

Here are a few facts:

According to the Craft Yarn Council, which estimates that $1 billion is spent on yarn in the United States alone each year. That amount is expected to grow along with the do-it-yourself Renaissance that has folks brewing, beekeeping, canning, spinning, gardening and knitting with vigor.

People are also seeking in unprecedented numbers to make a livelihood from their crafting passions, experts say. Last year, 1.6 million people sold $2.39 billion in goods on Etsy.

working mom

Teaching Millennials

According to some predictions, by 2020 half of all classes will be taken online.

Firstly, eLearning engages students into personally relevant experiences. Moreover, it encourages development of essential skills for the 21st century: creativity, critical thinking, meaningful collaboration.

Finally, it enables simulation. In other words, eLearning creates authentic atmosphere and deepens the understanding of real-world issues by fully engaging students.
More so, this is the way Millennials want to learn

 

How we learn

Let’s take a look how our brain processes information and how we learn:

  1. Our brains do not have the capacity to multitask. For years, multitasking has been considered an all-important skill.
    However, research has found that our brains don’t actually have the power to multitask.
    According to a 2009 study that was conducted in Paris, the participants’ brains actually worked at half capacity when they were asked to multitask.
    In essence, one hemisphere concentrated on one task, while the other focused on completing the secondary task.
    As such, it typically takes the brain twice as long to complete an assignment or task, and your error rate goes up by about 50%. This is because we aren’t “multitasking” at all, but “context switching”.
  2. Multimedia tools improve our brain’s memory power.
    It’s been proven through multiple research studies and surveys that multimedia in eLearning, such as images and video, not only engage the learners but also help them to actually remember what they’ve learned.
    Research cited in a report by Michelle Chau cites a number of examples of how interactive learning tools, such as ebooks, lead to improved knowledge retention. According to research, students who used ebooks that contained sound effects, music, audio narration, and images were able to retain and recite more information than those who were simply given traditional textbooks.
    Utilizing these ebooks also led to group collaboration and peer interaction, as the students did not have to sit quietly on their own and privately read the text.
    elearning
  3. Our brains work best at certain times of the day.
    Giving learners the ability to learn anytime, anywhere with eLearning courses has its own unique set of advantages. One of the most significant advantages is the opportunity to tap into the power of our brains at times of peak efficiency, such as just after taking a nap or when first waking up in the morning.
    A study conducted by German researchers found that quick naps could allow a learner’s brain to acquire and retain information more effectively.
    During the study two groups of participants memorized cards that contained illustrations. Then, they asked the first group to take a nap, and the second to remain awake during a 40 minute break.After the 40 minutes had passed, they had the participants memorize another set of illustrated cards. Those who took a nap during the break remembered roughly 85% of the images and patterns, while those who stayed awake only recalled 60%. It is believed that napping allows information to be moved to the brain’s long-term memory storage centers, leading to improved data retention.
  4. Game play helps to exercise (and motivate) our mental muscles.
    Believe it or not, playing games is actually good for your brain. Not only does it help to engage learners in the eLearning process itself, but it also serves to remedy the boredom that so often leads to unsuccessful learning experiences. A report that was released by Leicha Bragg of Deakin University details a study that was conducted in three different schools, which involved 240 students.
    According to the research, students were more motivated to learn mathematics when the information was presented in a gaming format. Even their attitude toward the subject changed, as did their confidence regarding the various concepts involved. The students were also more motivated to learn the information, which improved their overall success and alleviated the boredom that is often associated with repetition (especially relating to problem solving).
  5. Our brain prefers images over text.
    Adding visual elements to eLearning courses enhances knowledge retention. According to neuroscience research that is referenced in John Medina’s book “Brain Rules”, participants in studies only remember about 10% of information presented orally when they are tested 72 hours after instruction. However, that number jumps by about 65% when an image is added to the learning process. The basis of this idea lies in the “Pictorial Superiority Effect”, which suggests that visual input is more likely to be recognized and remembered.

online courses

Source: Elearningindustry.com

How adults learn

As adults we need to keep learning, sharpening our saw. Not only to stay competitive, in the market but also for health reasons.

Here is an infographics giving some insights on how adults learn.

elearning-for-adults

Now, do I need to tell you Curious Mondo offers the best e-learning platform for adults?
Don’t forget to check our upcoming classes that you can watch for free and our on-demand courses.

The Curious Mondo Awesome Team

Delivering live online courses not only requires quite a bit of equipment but also a lot of people involved. Besides being able to perform well during classes in order to create an awesome product, the team also needs to work in synchronicity. It is really a team effort.

The team at Curious Mondo knows how to achieve the right balance and without them the courses would not happen.

We want to show you and allow you to get to know these amazing people. In this video, you will get to know part of our team. We also have Mary our assistant, Petar, our film editor and Lisa Henry.

Say hi!

 

Curious Mondo: Bringing a New Approach to ELearning to a “Curious World.” Press Release

Salt Lake City, Utah. April 2nd 2016. Mother and daughter team Shahar and Nashlah Boyayan have been working with business owners and entrepreneurs for most of their lives. They know how important it is to keep current on what’s new in the world of business education. This is what prompted them to establish Curious Mondo, the Curious World an e-learning company focusing on an interactive and informal way to bring knowledge to and increase skills of the viewer through live streaming.
These live streaming courses are interactive and at no cost. Experts in their fields of business, the arts, and technology present topics to the worldwide viewing audience. Viewers are motivated to interact throughout the course with their questions to the instructors through the Curious Mondo chat group or through social media on the Curiuos Mondo Facebook page.
“Knowledge can make a business grow and empower people to start a new journey in their lives”, said Shahar Boyayan, co-founder along with her daughter Nashlah of Curious Mondo. “How many of us would benefit from learning a new skill and turning it into a secondary income? This is a large part of the reason why we founded Curious Mondo, so that those viewing will gain information that is relevant to their specific situations, apply what they have learned, and begin to realize results right away.”
Both Shahar and Nashlah are self-made business professionals, launching their first business, Buzzboosters, a marketing consulting company that specializes in Brain Based Marketing for Small Businesses in 1999, shortly after arriving in the United States from Brazil with no more than a “suitcase and a teddy bear.”
“We want people to have open doors to achieve their dream, to conquer new possibilities, and not have to struggle in the way we did. We believe Curious Mondo provides that gateway for people through this type of learning opportunity,” said Nashlah.
The Boyayans are firm believers that “learning is an adventure” and should be fun and interactive. They have recruited the best instructors in their fields on a wide array of topics to meet the demands of the “new world learner.” During these live events, participants are encouraged to ask questions and communicate their doubts that are addressed by the experts. At the end of every course completed by the viewer and where the activities are implemented, they will receive an electronic certificate of course completion.
To learn more about Curious Mondo, please visit curiousmondo.com, on Facbeook at Curious Mondo and Love Photography | Curious Mondo.###