Iliyana's Blog

My Time Management Secrets that'll Boost Your Productivity

[fa icon="calendar'] 21-Nov-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Project Management

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Over the last few years, various people who wouldn't know each other have called me "the machine" on certain occasions.

I suppose I should take it as a compliment as it refers to my ability to complete a ton of work quickly and also to manage a very active personal lifestyle at the same time.

I'm not going to lie, I've learned how to get a lot of stuff done, systematically and well. And to be honest, it's all about time management. That's the secret.

Which is why today I'd like to share with you how I manage my time. Hopefully, these time management tips will allow you to boost your productivity and peace of mind too.

5 Secrets to Better Time Management for More Productivity

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Two of the Best TEDTalks I've Seen Lately: Happiness & Leadership

[fa icon="calendar'] 31-Oct-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Leadership

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Admit it, you love TEDTalks. 

I do too. I'd love to have the opportunity to do a TEDTalk one day. In fact, this is in my 30 before 30 list where I've added things I want to do or achieve before I turn 30. 

Lately, I've been traveling a lot (pretty much every week) and as such, I've found a new way to spend the spare time at the airport. Instead of working on my laptop and dealing with emails or reading the next business book, TED has been a saviour. You all know how we've moved to interactive content formats - video has probably become the most favourite learning and entertainment vehicle for us. 

So what I want to show you today are two rather unorthodox TEDTalks that I saw recently because I believe they can both inspire and provoke you personally and professionally. 

The lines between work and personal life are blurring and as I always say, I believe we should be striving for work-life integration and not work-life balance. If you are not happy at home, you are not going to do well at work. Conversely, if you have troubles at work, you'll probably bring these back home. 

The two speakers are very much opposites in pretty much every aspect so watching the two videos one after another is quite impactful in two different ways. You'll see what I mean.

Let's start with happiness; then we'll get to the leadership lessons from war. 

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The 7 Essential Questions for Better Business Communication

[fa icon="calendar'] 06-Jun-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Brands and Business, Leadership

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I recently finished listening to The Coaching Habit: Say Yes, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier. (It's funny to say "listening" instead of "reading" but hey, in our busy lives we optimise everything and so when I walk to work, I often listen to books. Thanks, Audible!) 

The book was written for managers to help them be better leaders, communicate more effectively with team members, provide better support and coaching and so have more impact. Achieving this comes down to seven key questions that the author identifies as the essence of leading. 

I believe, though, that these seven questions can be an effective technique in any business relationship that requires communication. 

When speaking to customers (especially over the phone or Zoom or skype), these seven questions can help you get to the bottom of what the problem really is and how you can help. The same applies to consulting. I've always said that the best form of consulting is question-asking.

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Rethinking Our 2017 Values: The Road Ahead

[fa icon="calendar'] 10-Jan-2017 09:00:00 / by Giles Hutchins posted in Personal Development, Sustainability

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Today we have a different post, a guest one by Giles Hutchins to open our eyes for the future and rethink our values as we approach the new year. 

Aware thinkers and leaders know what’s at stake. The global issues are too prominent to ignore. Whether it’s mass migration, political extremism, governmental incompetence, violence towards minorities, banking collapses, or evidence of stress and mental illness in epidemic proportions, we cannot ignore the fact that we are living in a time of upheaval, volatility and uncertainty.

The very planet itself is changing in character – with global water shortages, rapid soil erosion, marine species on the verge of collapse, Arctic sea ice at record lows, and a warming atmosphere which threatens the biosphere on which we all depend.

In today’s global conditions, ignoring the global issues facing humanity is ultimately a self-destructive existential choice.

Those opting to pretend that the status quo can be preserved as it is – or was – are blind to the facts of huge shifts globally, already occurring and set to increase. They also overlook the extraordinary human challenge afforded this generation. The ancient Greeks called such a time Kairos, a supreme moment of history, an incredible opportunity to step forward which if not adequately acted upon will pass us by.

This supreme moment asks us – demands us – to get radical and deal with root causes.

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Mastering Emotional Intelligence with 17 Simple Exercises

[fa icon="calendar'] 13-Dec-2016 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development

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At the beginning of 2016 I set myself a goodreads challenge to read at least 30 books this year. 

I'm well on track, mixing the books between business-related ones around marketing, PR, strategy, and fictional novels. 

In addition, I've also noticed a trend towards books on personal development and particularly Leadership and Emotional Intelligence or the ability to recognise, understand and manage our own emotions and recognise, understand and influence those of others. 

I've written about these topics on a few occasions throughout the year so you might have also noticed that passion of mine. 

Keeping up with my books challenge and staying faithful to my latest passion, I finished two books on Emotional Intelligence last month: Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Emotional Intelligence: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Emotions and Raising your EQ by Ian Tuhovsky.

As much as I loved Daniel Goleman's insights, his work mainly covered the theory behind Emotional Intelligence (which is definitely needed and is the first stepping stone), I felt I was ready for more practice. This is why I picked the last two books as they were heavily focused on applying those learnings. 

I've found some of the exercises that were suggested in them particularly useful and relevant to my current state within my personal and professional life. 

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