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Written by Andy Trainer – Tue 01 Dec 2015
You’ve pretty much all heard of Google Analytics, right? But do you understand it? If you are a GA newbie, possibly not. We do run some great one day Google Analytics courses here at Silicon Beach (beginners and advanced), but if you just want to dip your toe in and learn some of the lingo read on.
Before you get down to the nitty gritty data, graphs and conversion rates, you must first know your Bounce Rate from your Benchmarking. So we've gathered up all the gobbledygook and it’s meanings to help you get to grips with it. We don’t want you to end up like this cat. So let’s get started…
Written by Andy Trainer – Wed 08 Apr 2015
Chances are, if you’re reading this at work you could (and probably should) be doing something else with your time. I’d love for everyone to read from start to end, but take a step back and spend two minutes tackling one of your smaller tasks and then come back. Set the pattern for productivity early in the day and carry that work ethic with you until you’ve finished!
Still here? Great!
Here are 5 Time Mnagement Practices for the Digital Age.
Why not find out more about our Time Management training course?
It’s amazing what you remember from when you are a child.
For me, it's “eat the frog”.
I spent many teenage years agonising over things that just weren’t important in the grand scheme of things - horrible, menial tasks that wouldn’t result in anything more significant than a nod of approval from your least favourite biology teacher.
I would go to my mother during my distress and tell her my tale of woe. Her response? “Eat the frog”, get it done now and put it behind you. There’s no need to spend the rest of the day worrying about those unpaid invoices when you could spend an hour doing it now. Sure, it will be a gruelling hour, but you will feel far better having done it and can instead focus on other tasks with the stress off your back.
“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first”. - Mark Twain
Bill Murphy Jr's 'Mark Twain was a Marketing Genius' is a great piece on a man far ahead of his time.
After setting up the day’s training in the morning, I sit down and plot out which tasks need to be completed on simple lined paper. By all means use a program like Evernote, or an excel spreadsheet, just take the first step to tackling workload and write it down.
We are all guilty of seeking complex answers to simple questions. Civilisations have functioned for thousands of years without the latest voice planner. You’ll get more satisfaction from physically ticking items off a checklist than you will from any spreadsheet.
By the time you’ve thought of what you’ve needed to do, opened the software/spreadsheet, created a table, typed in each item and saved the document to your desktop you could have already tackled the first task of the day. A window on your computer screen quickly gets lost in the mass of emails and proposals. Write it down – get it done.
You are employed (hopefully) to do a job. Said job entails work. No getting around it, there’s no miracle cure for procrastination. But realising that you have a time management issue is the first step to overcoming it. If planning and preparing aren’t doing the trick then maybe the answer is time management training. We all know that feeling after a particularly inspiring email from the manager or the latest TED talk, that new found enthusiasm drives us to work 50% harder that day. But it’s easy to lapse back into old habits. 50% becomes 40% as the weeks progress and eventually you’re right back where you started.
Our Time Management training will teach you life skills to maximise productivity and get the most out of your time.
Clean away your worries; it’s as simple as that. We’re not just talking about stray coffee mugs. Either deal with that paperwork now or put it back in the filing cabinet so you can apply yourself to it later when there are fewer distractions.
If you don’t have the time or space to do it right, when will you have the time to do it again?
Check out Lifehack's 'Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools'
Much like the planning stage of your day, organise your desk to suit the day’s needs. If you don’t need it in the immediate future, then there’s a better place for it. Tidying your desk and focus on one thing at a time.
We never said it was rocket science.
So the marketing department weekly meeting happens every Friday. This time, go in prepared.
What am I going to be asked – this week’s events, current state of projects etc.
Covered the main points? Instead of waiting till the end of the meeting as you usually do and having to rush the rest of the day’s unfinished work, test the water and see if there is a point during the meeting that you could leave at with the rest of the department. Of course, be sensible, but we all know how some meetings are prone to dragging on a bit.
Make sure you’ve taken plenty of notes! But don’t leave them in the midst of the rest of your desk mess! Do next week’s checklists in advance, prioritise the tasks on your daily checklist in order of urgency. There’s a difference between something that’s urgent and something that’s important. (Eisenhower's Urgent/Importance Principle)
Tomorrow you will wish that you had done it yesterday.
Take active steps to complete your work before it becomes overwhelming.
Written by Andy Trainer – Tue 25 Nov 2014
You've been here before, the last time you and the client spoke you didn't exactly see eye to eye. Now months of negotiations are at risk and potentially big figures in profit too.
Don't make that call. Re-evaluate where you are in negotiations and see what you can take from these killer tips to close that deal.
Negotiations are all about your relationship with the client. If you're seeing your role in negotiations as an opportunity to make money at the expense of the client then you're looking at it all the wrong way. Negotiations are professional relationships. Benefits should and can be mutually profitable whilst retaining a relationship with a client that will last years.
Our Negotiation Skills training will give you the knowledge and tools necessary to be able to conduct any negotiation as a competitive and collaborative negotiation.
A good deal might not revive a bad relationship, but a good relationship can revive a bad deal.
Written by Andy Trainer – Thu 20 Nov 2014
When you ask any group of workers what motivates them to come to work, at least one and probably most will include 'money' in the response. Pay is a big issue for most people and is certainly a reason why people go to work, even sometimes staying in jobs they don't like. But is it a motivator?
Herzberg's Two Factor Theory suggests that there are two different sets of factors that determine job dissatisfaction and job satisfaction.
|Satisfiers/Motivation Factors||Dissatisfiers/Hygiene Factors|
Written by Andy Trainer – Fri 14 Nov 2014
The Johari Window model, devised by American Psychologists Ingham and Luft during a research period at the University of Los Angeles in 1955, is a behavioural model which aims to boost group relations through individual self awareness and mutual (group) understanding.
The model is a combination of the first names of Joseph Luft and Hari Ingham; they’re remembered over fifty years later which shows what good workplace relationships can achieve.
The Johari Window model is particularly useful in assessing group relations with other parties. Despite being published over fifty years ago, the model is still relevant in the work place today. This is due to current popular workplace emphasis on cooperation, inter-group development, interpersonal development, soft skills, behaviour and the influence of these factors.
The ease of using the Johari Window Model to understand relationships between employees and the employer within the Psychological Contract is an invaluable benefit to businesses.
The model is, on the face of it, is as simple as it appears. Its application in the workplace is slightly more tricky, but we’ll get to that later.
Written by Andy Trainer – Tue 17 Jun 2014
Effective personnel management is one of the hardest tasks for any manager but it's also one of the most important.
Managing large teams can feel like a never ending task. The minute you think you have a grasp of the team's availability and capabilities, something changes and it can feel like going back to square one.
You need to approach the different aspects of personnel management in the right order, at the right times, for the best chance of success.
In this post I outline my 5 Steps to Effective Personnel Management. Read through and see how they compare to your processes.
Written by Andy Trainer – Fri 30 May 2014
Project Management Software. Helpful tool or just another complication?
From free online apps to enterprise solutions, there are hundreds of tools for collaborative and personal projects.
We want to know what the project management community really thinks about PM software.
Do you use free or paid software? Has PM changed for the better or worse?
We don't require any personal information and all answers will remain anonymous unless you agree for us to use a quote.
MS Project is the most widely used tool for managing projects, but how does it shape up to the latest online apps?
Written by Andy Trainer – Tue 29 Apr 2014
Jess Stephens, Managing Director at TagPoints blew away the judges to win the Silicon Beach Training Startup Competition in Brighton, Tues 22nd April 2014.
Competing against two other strong finalists in Sweta Chattopadhyay (Localfunded) and Jenni Macdonald (Precision Paraplanning), Jess gave a strong presentation highlighting the potential for TagPoints to grow which clearly impressed our judging panel; Darren Fell (Crunch), Caraline Brown (Midnight PR), Lisa Reynolds (Let Me Do That For You) & Mike Herd (Sussex Innovation Centre).
The judges were "blown away by the capability of the business and how fast it could scale" and while impressed by the other finalists, TagPoints were the clear winner on the day.
TagPoints now has the support of sponsors Silicon Beach Training, Crunch Accounting, Midnight PR and Clear Business Development to help grow the business and realise their ambitious plans.
Written by Andy Trainer – Mon 14 Apr 2014
This tutorial is an extract from our popular 1-day Advanced Excel course. Lookup formulas are one of the most asked about topics so we decided to put together a short tutorial.
Lookup tables provide a way of producing numbers or text that cannot be calculated with a formula. For example they could look up a salesman's commission dependent on what has been sold (Example 1), or the amount of discount available to a customer based on the amount of goods ordered (Example 2).
Excel has two Lookup functions; Vertical and Horizontal.
VLOOKUP looks down the vertical column on the left side of the table until the appropriate comparison is found.
HLOOKUP looks across the horizontal row at the top of a column until the appropriate comparison is found.
LOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, range_lookup)
HLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, row_index_num, range_lookup)
Written by Andy Trainer – Tue 08 Apr 2014
Now you can test your knowledge of PRINCE2® with our interactive PRINCE2 Quiz!
Split into 11 bite-sized parts, this quiz tests your understanding of PRINCE2 2009 Themes and Processes.
Our PRINCE2 quiz is ideal for revision for your PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner exams or for testing your knowledge before coming on a PRINCE2 course.
To work through our PRINCE2 quiz, use the links below:
For comprehensive instructor-led PRINCE2 training, examination and certification, delegates should attend one of our public PRINCE2 Foundation training, PRINCE2 Practitioner training or the full qualification PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner in Brighton, UK.
Head over to our PRINCE2 Resources page for more help with your PRINCE2 revision.
This PRINCE2 quiz is written by Silicon Beach Training and does not represent real PRINCE2 exam content.
ITIL®, PRINCE2®, PRINCE2 Agile®, MSP®, M_o_R®, P3O®, MoP®, MoV® courses on this website are offered by The Knowledge Academy, ATO of AXELOS Limited. ITIL®, PRINCE2®, PRINCE2 Agile®, MSP®, M_o_R®, P3O®, MoP®, MoV® are registered trade marks of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.