1-Minute Strategies: April ’11

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Network by sharing online content, using the appropriate “share” buttons. It’s one way to build your personal brand and network with others. For example, advises J.T. O’Donnell on Careerealism.com, use the LinkedIn “InShare” button to share professional content.

Could you be addicted to anxiety? Some people actually seek anxiety, according to a Newsweek article, because they feel it makes them perform better. “If they feel a sense of calm, they get bored; they feel empty inside,” says Harris Stratyner, a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Try this radical solution to unproductive meetings: no chairs. In Bob Sutton’s book The No A**hole Rule, he points to a study that showed that people in meetings where everyone stood took 34% less time to make an assigned decision, and  the decisions were just as good as those made by groups who were sitting down.

Unhappy with what shows up when you google your name? Build your profile on business social-networking sites like LinkedIn, as these results tend to rank high on Google searches. You can also subscribe and post to industry groups, or write blog posts and submit them to established blogs.

Be explicit when asking for a favor. Say, “I have a favor to ask.” It immediately lets the person know what to expect, and it implies that you’ll be returning the good deed someday.

Gain a feeling of accomplishment and progress by keeping a one-sentence journal, says Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. “Two years ago, I started keeping a one-sentence journal because ... I just don’t have the time or energy to write a long entry—even two or three times a week. I like keeping a one-sentence journal because it helps keep happy memories vivid, which boosts my happiness.”

Stuck with negative, unmotivated colleagues? Use the situation as a chance to sharpen your soft skills, such as composure and remaining upbeat. Be the person who brings homemade brownies. Learn about your peers’ families and interests, always looking for what you have in common. At the same time, measure what you say to minimize what you reveal about your personal life: It can be used against you later.

Read better and faster by reading more. Speed-reading courses preach a form of skimming that doesn’t help comprehension or retention. The best way to pump up the pace is to read a lot— for pleasure. In a 2001 study, subjects who read assigned texts increased their speed an average of 18% and comprehension by 11%. Those who read texts of their own choosing improved speed by 87% and comprehension by 33%.

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