Beating Procrastination - The Never-Ending Struggle

Procrastination did not just begin recently, it has been prevailing since ancient civilizations. The Greek poet Hesiod, mentioned in one of his writings around 800 B.C., cautioning not to “put your work off till tomorrow and the day after.” The Roman consul Cicero called procrastination “hateful” while conducting his affairs. According to APS Fellow Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University, “ Procrastination has nothing to do with time management. Making a chronic procrastinator do something would be like asking a clinically depressed person to cheer up.”

People who are habitual procrastinators exhibit high levels of stress and a low level of well being. Such people feel good even if they experience guilt, stress or have a bad image. Most people fear changes. Procrastination inhibits change which could possibly lead to success or failure and hence, the whole act involves no risk.

None of us wakes up in the morning thinking we are going to procrastinate. It’s a choice, or more precisely a decision that we make each day. It begins with simple things like washing your makeup brushes to doing your laundry and eventually putting off things at work. There is a thin line of difference between laziness and procrastination. Laziness is being hesitant to do something while procrastination is not being able to do something even though you really want to do it.

Emmy Rossum, a Hollywood actress and singer raises the outcry of plenty of people who are immensely stressed and wish to slow down through her song, ‘Slow me down’.

     The noise of the world is getting me caught up.

                 Chasing the clock and I wish I could stop it.

Just need to breathe,

Somebody, please.

Slow me down.

There are certain extremely fearful effects of procrastination. These include losing valuable time, missing great opportunities, failing to achieve your goals, ending your career, lowering your self-esteem resulting in poor judgment and eventually serious health risks. Well, keeping all of this in mind, there are some ways that have been figured out over the years to fight procrastination. Here are some of them:-

  • Take a couple of minutes to write down the things you put off for doing tomorrow.
  • Get at least one of the things on the list done on the very same day you make the list.
  • Give up on being a perfectionist: None of us can be perfect no matter how much we try to do things perfectly. This could lead to stress and disappointment which could eventually sink you deep into depression.
  • Focus more on achievable short term goals more. This would give a sense of satisfaction and achievement that will encourage you to do things on time.
  • Stop blaming yourself for procrastinating and think about what you can do about it. If you feel like doing something at the moment, just do it without getting distracted.
  • Reinforcing yourself once you achieve a short term goal by spending a day at the spa, binge-watching your favorite show inspires you to get your tasks done at the scheduled time.
  • One of the most effective ways to stop procrastinating is by sharing your goals with other people, especially the ones who would stand for you without judging you so that they would constantly remind you to attain your goals.

Martin Luther King Jr, an African American Christian minister, and activist once said, “ You don’t have to see the whole staircase just to take the first step.” Prioritizing and taking that first step is what puts an end to procrastination and begins your journey to success.

 

 

Posted on Feb 17 2020 1:49PM by Academic Team

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Want to retain your customers? Here’s how you do it.

Is it surprising or unusual when sales professionals tend to focus more on acquiring new customers, than retaining the existing loyal ones? No, absolutely not. In fact, you are tempted to channelize all your energy towards acquiring new customers. Obviously, the growth of your business mostly relies on new customer acquisition, right? However, there’s more to it than that. Customer retention is the key revenue generator that most companies tend to ignore. Groove HQ increased their customer retention by 5% and this led to 95% increase in their business profits. According to data from Marketing Wizdom, it was found that due to lack of efficient customer relationship, an average business loses about 20% of its business annually.

 

Here’s a little sneak peek on some popular strategies employed by successful businesses to retain customers: 

Surprise your customers

Everybody loves surprises. Most of us look forward to birthday surprises or surprises from our loved ones or family. This brings an inexplicable joy within us and creates a stronger bond between us and them. It also gives us the notion that they really do care about us.

Well, customers are people and people have emotions. Surprising customers with surprise packages and offers or maybe a small thing as a handwritten greeting would build trust between the businesses and the customers. The only way to make customers stay is sometimes going out of your way to reach out to them and offer those brands or services that are beyond ordinary services. Another way of surprising them could be offering free gifts or discounts without them knowing about it. All of this will inspire them to leave honest feedback about the service or product and instil a sense of belonging in the customers.

 

Knowing Customer Expectations

At present, customer service is more than resolving complaints and responding to inquiries. It is also about meeting Customer Expectations. Well, that’s a tough one. How can someone possibly please somebody who they barely know? The key is to learn and understand what the customers’ desire and set markers to achieve their expectations.

According to Harvard Business Review, “Customers want to be empowered, not controlled. You have to act with empathy.” The markers set and the promises made have to be realistic. Most customers can see through unrealistic promises. Therefore, instead of succeeding in your strategy, you might end up falling flat if you intend to make promises that are unattainable and non-convincing.

The secret to a sustainable business is customer satisfaction. If you fail to offer the product or service at the specified time, you’ve simply a failure as a brand. Negative experiences are difficult to forget and move on. Customers with such experiences live with them for ages.

 

Emphasizing on Customer Feedback Surveys

Customer Feedback surveys are extremely powerful tools for building customer relationship and engagement. They are being given an opportunity to speak out their minds and have their opinion about the brand. These surveys might seem boring and tedious at times, but they are worth it.

The surveys help businesses to make changes so as to bring customer satisfaction by modifying those things that inconvenience them. In certain cases, companies transition from being just average or mediocre to respected and popular ones. Automation software enabling customer feedback and engagement serves a big deal in increased profits in businesses.

 

Calculating Customer Lifetime Value

Customers are the biggest assets of a business or an enterprise. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the key indicator that shows the worth of the customers over a period of time. The value brought in by each customer into the business is called Customer Equity and it is super important for every businessman to consider it. Time will reveal if the customers are there to stay or just leave after staying for a while. Some customers come back around to buy the products or receive the services again. Such repeated buyers are also known as VIP Customers.

CLV determines how much you invest in customer engagement which in turn will increase revenue and sales, thus increasing business profits. Word of mouth testimony by such customers will ensure the growth and expansion of the business as more and more customers begin to flood in.

 

Launching Onboarding Programs

Getting customers’ attention and educating them about the product and services through onboarding programs have been found to be one of the most successful tools in Customer Retention. It helps to prevent ‘burning and churning’ with new customers. These programs comprise of a company representative teaching customers about the products or services offered.

New customers always seem to be frustrated and sceptical about new products. Such programs enable them to use the products or services offered to achieve their goals.

Corporate Social Responsibility- The Branding Factor

Customers are constantly vigilant about the businesses’ activities, messages conveyed and the advertisements of the products and services. They are quick to judge between the companies’ messaging and its actions and figure out the humanity in them. An enterprise or business is more than just a product or service. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the company creates its own Corporate Social Responsibility Program.

Lego has invested more than USD 150 million to make its products more environment-friendly. The measures taken do not have to be competitive or ambitious, but rather cater to the customers’ societal needs and personal goals and express your commitment towards them through such programs.

 

Prioritizing Customer Convenience

The coffee giant ‘Starbucks’ constantly bring out new innovations in marketing especially in the customer acquisition and retention department. In the beginning, the Starbucks founders Zev Siegl, Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker emphasized on the right music and sound as well as the aroma of coffee in their shops to delight the customers and draw them in. They needed just more than that to bring in customers. Therefore, they launched an innovative feature in their Mobile App; Mobile Order and Pay feature. This helped the customers to order their coffee even before they even reached the shops.

One Starbucks customer adds, “Just this morning I parked at my kid’s school, placed my order in the parking lot, took him inside, then walked over to Starbucks and picked up my drink. Mobile Order and Pay can cut 10 minutes out of my morning routine. I told my boss that it’s the reason I’m actually on time for work now”.

Accessibility and identifying customers’ behaviours and needs are the two factors that ensure development of innovative programs for customer convenience.

 

Ensuring the ‘GAP’ between the company and its competitors

Apple is the undoubtedly one of the pioneers in displaying this ‘gap’ through their remarkable strategies and more importantly, their ‘MAC vs PC’ Campaign. The campaign included casting of John Hodgman as the outdated PC and Justin Long as the outstanding MAC. The two humorously argued over which one was better. This campaign was not only controversial but it set apart Apple from its competitors and clarified the kind of customers who would buy Apple products.

The lesson learned from this that it is perfectly fine to make bold choices and stand for what you believe in. Sometimes you might fail along the way and hurt yourself but the result is quite satisfying.

To sum it all up in a nutshell, Customer Retention Strategies deserve an unprecedented amount of attention in order to enable the growth of a business, increase profits and generate revenue. These strategies are what determine whether the customers stay with the company, have great customer engagement and presume to benefit the value of the products and services offered.

 

Posted on Jan 22 2020 12:55PM by Academic Team

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Online MBAs - Are they worth it?

An MBA can offer you a myriad of advantages - an increase in your skills, a pay-hike, and most often, a promotion from mid-management positions to senior management positions. Well, there are only a few people who wouldn't want everything an MBA has to offer. However, the advantages often come with challenges; and in this case, the aspirants may find it quite challenging to balance work, life, and higher education.

Online MBA programs come to the rescue of these people. Internationally recognized and accredited by top universities, these platforms provide online programs to those professionals who aspire to get an MBA degree without having to attend regular classes. Some of these universities are completely based online whereas others have residence weeks on campus, Industrial exposure trips, weekly classes and project work with corporate clients.

According to Ramesh Venkataraman, chair of Indiana University’s MBA & MS programs, a large number of people are doing online programs because they don’t want to end their careers or quit their jobs to get higher education. The quality of students in these programs is quite high and so, these programs are here to stay since they are a very viable alternative to the full-time programs.

 

What could be more convenient than working on assignments or accessing study materials while travelling home from work? Another advantage is that you do not have to be physically present during classes, as you would for on-campus MBA programs. The very fact that the medium of learning is online enables learners to schedule their time so that it wouldn’t hinder their daily activities.

Universities that provide online MBA courses need fewer employees to reach out to the students; hence they are affordable as compared to their on-campus counterparts.  Also, they do not have to provide amenities such as classrooms, libraries, cafeterias or dormitories to the students. The students can also save up on gas money, boarding costs and other additional costs.

How impressive is an online class with great interactivity with not just your professors but also other students around the world! Another benefit is that you get wider access to the study materials and resources. The students have the advantage of one-on-one assistance from their professors and interact with them without having to interrupt their schedule. Online learning tools include video lectures, access to e-library, and several other online resources that can be incorporated into your learning material. Also, you could communicate with learners from across the globe and grow your business network.

What’s in store for aspirants pursuing an online MBA, then? We can sum it all up in  Theoni Kostaki’s (CEO and Owner at Property Pass Real Estate) words, the advantages of an online MBA are clear: accreditation, links to a university, experienced professionals’ on-hand to help, and a rigorous admissions process ensuring a high-quality student body and network.

 

Posted on Jan 22 2020 12:46PM by Academic Team

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I am a Professional, Do I need an MBA?

So, you’ve asked yourself the hard question: Do I really need an MBA? Let me see if I can help you with that answer….

An MBA is an investment of time and money. Most US MBA programs will cost over $50,000, meaning that you should expect a much higher salary to get a return on your investment (a phrase you will completely understand if you have been through an MBA program). The average salary of an MBA in Europe is over $100,000 per year. Obviously, if you could lower the cost of that MBA investment, you would see a higher ROI.

As a professional, you rely on a professional network of people whom you can call upon for advice, assistance, or just sharing thoughts. An MBA program puts you in contact with a network of aspirational degree holders such as yourself. If the MBA program is international, then your new network will extend around the globe, opening professional opportunities on the global, not just domestic, stage.

MBA professors have international networks already. Getting to know your professors will not only extend your professional network but will begin relationships that will last your entire career.

Having an “MBA” after your name carries significant credibility when you are providing consulting services, applying for jobs, or seeking promotions. You have proven that you can set difficult objectives, set milestones, and achieve those objectives in the face of any obstacles that may get in your way. Moreover, the broad business content you will learn will be applicable and relevant in many situations, preparing you for just about any eventuality.

In other words, an MBA is a professional designation that sets you apart. Now, all you have to do is to find a program that is accessible, affordable, and flexible enough to meet your needs.

Posted on Jun 6 2019 2:50PM by Admin

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Online Learning & Its Impact On Learners

Technology advancement since the last decade has brought enormous opportunity for education to be spread to all corners of the globe. Basic as well as higher education is no longer restricted to a privileged few, it has spread its tentacles to all sections of the society, privileged, as well as under-privileged. Today a virtual class, which is in real time can be conducted from any geographical frontier and can be accessed by people residing in any part of the world. This has been made possible through the medium of online learning platforms, as it opens up new realms of learning for aspirants located anywhere in the world. They can now interact with access to knowledge and information to fulfil their aspirations of acquiring high quality educational qualifications at a very low cost. 

Online learning has opened up the vistas for acquiring education degrees right from a school degree to a doctorate for the global society as a whole. Whether you are from a rural rea or a city, or a young student trying to acquire an educational qualification, or a working professional, or a person with disability, or from any nationality and from any part of the globe, the advent of online learning is the new horizon for any learner, where learning has no boundaries. It caters to all kinds of people representational systems, as well as their learning styles, whether auditory, visual, kinesthetic (based on emotions) or auditory-digital (based on logic). Online learning platforms provide all these representations through its real time inter-active self/ or blended learning resources.    

In a self-learning environment, the student can learn at his/ her own pace within the available timelines, whereas the blended learning means give the student a platform to interact and clear all their doubts/ queries that they may have with the nominated guide or facilitator. It also gives the ability for a student to access information from any part of the world, also gives him/ her the advantage that if a virtual meeting or class is missed out, the recorded sessions are always available for access at a convenient time. One of the big advantage which comes the student’s way is the low cost of acquiring a higher qualification, as well as easy access to the program at his/ her place and time of choosing.

The online learning resources available are vast in the form of E-libraries, Learning Management Systems (LMS), materials and assessments availability, online interaction with the guide, recorded sessions, videos, articles, blogs, etc. A student does not have to go anywhere, just logging on to the online platform from anywhere can make him/ her access all this information in real time. 

The impact of e-learning on learners is tremendous. It gives great flexibility and self-responsibility to the learner to study at his/ her own pace. It gives a diverse and vast amount of information to students to increase their knowledge, skills and abilities through good use of the online resources. It helps them to communicate with the best resources available world-wide, which also increases their critical thinking and evaluation skills. In a survey conducted by the Learning House, 44% of online students reported improvements in their employment standing, by obtaining a full-time job within 12 months of graduation, and 45% reported a salary increase, including a career progression. Where onsite courses and programs are exorbitantly expensive, an online similar program with same certification comes at a very low cost, which enables all sections of the society to upgrade their knowledge and qualifications. The e-learning market is expanding exponentially and it is estimated that it will soon be touching $ 300 Billion this year.  

Westford Education Group is the pioneer in devising and conducting online programs in the Middle East. It has developed its indigenous LMS and a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) interface to support all its online students. The delivery of online teaching through the latest e-classrooms, coupled with its LMS provides a force multiplier to any student registered for an online program, to acquire the requisite knowledge and qualification he/ she is seeking. Its facilitators and faculties are experts in their domain areas and world class, they are spread across different geographical boundaries to take the online students to a journey of fulfilment and gratification, with a human touch. Westford Education Group is the new beacon for future learning through its innovative and creative online learning programs. Let’s embark on this journey together, in partnership, where we will help you fulfill your aspirations of acquiring the most important commodity for you on this planet earth…….your higher education.

 

Anil Ahluwalia

Academic Director

Westford Education Group   

Posted on May 13 2019 9:04AM by Prof. Col(Retd.) Anil Ahluwalia

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MBA’s and Africa.

Africa is a rich continent which has been targeted for development by major global powers, such as China, Europe, and the USA. And this is more than just resource extraction, such as oil/gas, mining, and other natural resources. It is about the fact that Africa will have the largest global labor force by 2040, ahead of either India or China (Global Consultancy PwC). Unfortunately, it is a workforce that has some serious educational challenges, not the least of which is an enormous gap between corporate requirements for an MBA educated workforce and the number of MBA-qualified candidates that will be available.

In order to bridge this gap, foreign universities and post-secondary education providers have had to step in to support Africa’s university infrastructure which has been overwhelmed: Africa boasts 28 of the world’s 30 youngest populations and that population will double by 2050. However, sub-Saharan Africa’s enrollments in higher education institutions is only 7% of the 40% who enroll in secondary education. American and European higher education is highly valued, but it is also very expensive, effectively pricing out most young people who need it the most.

Athena Global Education (AGE) offers an affordable, internationally recognized, fully accredited MBA to Africa. By partnering with well-known and recognized accredited universities in Europe and the USA, AGE will help bridge this “education gap”, offering relevant and practical post-graduate programs in Business, Health Care Management, Supply Chain and Logistics, and Operations Management, among others. It is AGE’s mission to offer an MBA to anyone regardless of income, work/family constraints, or learning styles. Rather than “resource extraction”, AGE is focused on “resource creation” in the form of human capital that can meet the challenges of the next 20 years.

Posted on May 10 2019 1:16PM by Dr. William Painter

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Welcome to official blog of Athena Global Education

I was teaching an MBA class when one of my students approached and asked if this was all really worth the effort. I knew he had been struggling with issues around his family, his career, and with the course itself.  

It wasn’t the first time I had been asked this question.   

Taking on a path of instruction at the graduate level is a serious choice. It requires dedication, commitment, hard work, and support from others. And that hard work definitely pays off. 

Typical MBA graduates earn significantly more than their undergraduate degree counterparts. In the US, the increased salary and bonus earned by an MBA graduate will return all costs of tuition, loss of salary, and other costs associated with graduate education within 3.5 years. And that’s just for starters. 

75% of MBA graduates shift career paths to their advantage. They report higher job satisfaction and more mobility. MBA graduates can work in many different fields, such as health care, hospitality, retail or technology just to name a few. And they can hold a variety of positions: CEO, CFO, CTO, EVP, VP, or other senior management post.   

Getting a graduate level education and holding a graduate degree is a life-changing experience. Increased earnings potential, better job satisfactions, greater mobility all add up to a better life for you, your family and your community.  

AGE offers several MBA alternatives and all are delivered online in a flexible provisioning that suits your work and life schedule. We try to remove as many of the unnecessary burdens as we cab, such as tuition costs and scheduling conflicts, and leaving you focused on what is important: academic excellence. Take one module or take three. It’s up to you.  

So, the answer is “YES!” It is worth it. And AGE makes it easier than ever to achieve this life milestone.  

Stay tuned to this blog as we explore MBA’s, online education, career trends, and student spotlights. 

Peace out, 

 

Posted on Apr 24 2019 12:05PM by Dr. William Painter

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USA
Athena Global Education LTD
500 Willow Street,
Suite 510, Council Bluffs,
Iowa 51503, USA
Phone : +1 712 283 6085

MIDDLE EAST
Athena Global Education FZE
Block L-3, First Floor,
P O Box 519265,
Sharjah Publishing City,
Free Zone, Sharjah, UAE
Phone : +971 55 667 7221

UK
Athena Global Education LTD
The Sherrington Building, Magdalen Centre,
The Oxford Science Park,
Oxford OX4 4GA. UK
Phone : +44 186 578 4545