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20 Funny Things Everyone Can Do Every Day to Get Smarter

20 Funny Things Everyone Can Do Every Day to Get Smarter

What does being “smart” look like to you?

Hanging out at the library, nose buried in books? Staying up late into the night programming the next killer app? Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory?

Or could it simply be organizing your routine, habits, and practices around getting a little bit smart each day?

Appearances aside, I’ll vote for the latter. Here’s 20 things you can do every day to boost your brainpower. You might look funny, but it might just be worth it…

1. Sprint into work (or school) in the morning

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    Needless to say, our brains are programmed for convenience. Everyone has that urge to park as close to the door of the building as possible. But if you want to give your brain a boost to start off the day, that might not be the best strategy.

    Research has repeatedly shown that intense cardiovascular exercise gets blood and oxygen flowing to the brain, providing enhanced cognitive performance afterwards. It also activates nervous system (and shakes off that “sleepy” feeling), and releases the “miracle-grow” of brain chemicals: brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

    So if you want to seed your dome-piece with the ingredients for building new connections and brain cells quickly, start parking further away than you usually would. On your way into the office (or school) do 1 set of 5×30-second light sprints, with 30 seconds of rest in-between. This little 5-minute routine will get your body and brain ready to tackle the day at full mental capacity.

    2. Wear these at night

    150707-RobertScoble-Bono-glasses

      (Photo: Robert Scoble)

      Little did you know, blue light is making you dumber. Blue light from computer screens, artificial lighting, phones, TV’s – you name it – impairs your body’s ability to release the appropriate amount of melatonin at night, preventing you from falling deeply asleep and damaging the quality of your rest at night.

      So what can you do? Blue light is friggin everywhere.

      Well, you can slap on a pair of these bad boys! Problem solved. Thank you Bono.

      Wearing blue-light blocking glasses simulates the sunset for your visual center, even though you’re still surrounded by artificial light. This signals your body to releases more melatonin, promoting more deep and restful sleep that will leave you mentally recharged. And all without giving up indoor lighting or nighttime Facebook.

      3. Do air squats at your desk

      150702-squat2parallelfarley-crossfit

        You’ve probably heard the news: sitting sucks for you. Not only for weight management, but also, it turns out, for mental performance.

        “With a 1-mph walk after a meal, blood sugar peaks are halved.” ~Tai Lopez

        “Indeed, the best business meeting would have everyone walking at about 1.8 miles per hour.” ~John Medina

        Not only does light exercise stabilize blood sugar levels, requiring less insulin release, and lessening the devastating impact of post-meal crashes, it also keeps a steady flow of blood and oxygen headed to your cranium.

        Now, these guys are talking about walking, but that isn’t always practical if you’re in an office or classroom. So instead, do AIR SQUATS. Work in 20 of these each hour during the day, especially after meals. Yes, you will look somewhat ridiculous, but hey – life is meant to be interesting. And while your co-workers or fellow students are fending off the drool after lunch, you’ll be powering through in peak performance mode.

        4. Carry around a stack of books

        150707-IndiSamarajiva-Books

          (Photo: Indi Samarajiva)

          Reading can make you a smartypants, and no one is a more die-hard believer than author and infamous marketer Ryan Holiday.

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          So according to the man with the famous 40k+ subscriber reading recommendation list, if you want to read more:

          “Carry a book with you at all times. Every time you get a second, crack it open. Don’t install games on your phone–that’s time you could be reading. When you’re eating, read. When you’re on the train, in the waiting room, at the office–read. It’s work, really important work. Don’t let anyone ever let you feel like it’s not.”

          Take it seriously. Go to Amazon, or your local bookstore right now and buy 5 books that interest you. Then, carry them everywhere you go for 2 weeks.

          5. Wear a blindfold and put in earplugs

          150707-KaiMultiblind-blindfolded

            (Photo: Kai Multiblind)

            In a world now, where according to Eric Schmidt of Google we generate more information in 2 days than we did for all of human history up to 2003, it can feel like we’re on maximum sensory overload.

            So it’s not a surprise that things like sensory deprivation tanks have had a major resurgence of late.

            “…flotation may enhance creativity and performance in a manner similar to that of sleep or meditation. Research has shown that during resting states the brain repeatedly rehearses newly learned skills and consolidates recently acquired knowledge for long-term storage. Some studies have also shown that the resting brain is particularly adept at synthesizing information from a wide range of brain areas to solve tough problems – something you may have experienced daydreaming in the shower.” ~Shelly Fan

            Although not all of us have a float tank on hand, you can achieve (to a lesser extent) some of the same cognitive benefits each day by simply wearing a blindfold and earplugs and lying down for a quick recharge.

            Taking 15 minutes after you come home in the evening to spend some time blindfolded and earplugged, not only will enhance your skill acquisition and memory capabilities, but will also give you the space to truly think that seems so hard to come by.

            6. Balance in weird positions

            150707-FrankKovalchek-balance

              (Photo: Frank Kovalchek)

              To say that body and mind interact would be an understatement to a research writer like Alex Hutchinson, who recently wrote a piece on the cognitive benefits of the development of balance and proprioception.

              “It is novelty and unpredictability, rather than repetition, that are essential to keep your brain engaged. A recent study by researchers in Denmark, Finland and Germany compared a group of 15 endurance-trained athletes, like runners and cross-country skiers, with a group of skill-trained dancers, gymnasts and figure skaters…

              Both types of athletes have highly trained calf muscles, but endurance athletes use them repetitiously, in a way that the brain consigns to autopilot. Sure enough, plasticity in the area of the brain that controls calf muscles was no different between endurance athletes and nonathletes. In contrast, the dancers, gymnasts and skaters, for whom autopilot is not an option, showed dramatically higher plasticity: Their neurons were primed to keep learning new motor tasks.”

              So not only should you be getting up from your desk regularly (a la item #3), add in some weirdo balance moves. Stand on one foot. Do some yoga poses. Do this while you’re working, standing in line, etc. and enhance the intelligence of your “body brain.”

              7. Fast like a caveman

              150702-kevinhart-fastingmeme

                We’ve all heard the term “brain food.” But what about the opposite?

                “…we have ample evidence that intermittently depriving organisms of food has been shown to engender beneficial effects on many functions… The antifragility of humans manifests itself in the response with up-regulation of some genes in response to hunger.” ~Nassim Taleb, Antifragile

                Now that mouthful from well-known investor and contrarian Mr. Taleb might not mean too much to you, but what he’s basically saying is: short periods of fasting boost neural activity and mental health.

                Plus thinking about eating is one less thing you’ll be focused on during the day, freeing up mental resources.

                A less extreme option to the full 24-hour fast is a shorter 16-hour intermittent fast each day. So see how long you can go each morning on just coffee or tea, and test how that affects your mental performance.

                8. Agree with people you hate

                Likeability is one of the biggest determinants of who you will, or won’t believe. But unfortunately for the accuracy of your beliefs, whether someone is likable or not has zero to do with how correct they are. So we tend to dismiss the thinking of people we don’t like too much, while holding on dearly to our beliefs which are confirmed by those we are more fond of.

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                Stack on top of that the fact that we have a bias towards information that confirms our beliefs anyway, and you have a recipe for some wacky, illogical thought patterns.

                On the flip side, if you can combat these things you’ll significantly improve your thinking.

                “I never allow myself to have an opinion on anything that I don’t know the other side’s argument better than they do.” ~Charlie Munger

                So next time you’re listing to your favorite radio show, watching a talk on Youtube, or even listening to that co-worker everyone does their best to avoid, flip the script. Surprise the crap out of someone you usually disagree with, and agree with them for a day and see how that sharpens you’re reasoning skills.

                9. Become a notecard weirdo

                150707-wsilver-notecards

                  (Photo: wsilver)

                  How many of us read book after book, blog after blog, but can’t seem to remember or incorporate any of it into our lives?

                  Well back to Ryan Holiday again for our solution: becoming a notecard weirdo.

                  Holiday describes his notecard system (formally called a “commonplace book”), which works by forcing you to record only the most compelling information you find as you read and learn, and organize it in a way that you can easily reference later on.

                  After a month of doing this everyday, you’ll be overflowing with good ideas. So go out and buy yourself some 4×6 notecards, a box, and go to town.

                  10. Study hot-dog eating contests (and other weirdness)

                  150707-dj0ser-kobayashi

                    (Photo: dj0ser)

                    Now, you may never have eaten more that 2 or 3 hot dogs in a sitting, but in 2001 Takeru Kobayashi smashed the world record of 28 in 12 minutes and ate a whopping 50!

                    As the Freakonomics guys Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner talk about in their book Think Like a Freak:

                    “What question were his competitors asking? It was essentially: How do I eat more hot dogs? Kobayashi asked a different question: How do I make hot dogs easier to eat?”

                    The takeaway here is that it’s not always coming up with the right answer that makes you smarter, but asking the right questions.

                    So try it for yourself: search youtube for weird off-the-wall contests and games that you can study. Here’s Kobayashi’s 2001 record video. You can learn a lot by watching the strategy of people like Kobayashi in hot-dog eating, and people like Arthur Chu in Jeopardy. Study how they look at the world and what questions they’re asking.

                    11. Hang out with toddlers

                    160702-toddler-meme-you-mean-to-tell-me-spoons-dont-actually-sound-like-airplanes

                      If you’ve ever spent more than 30 seconds around little kids, you quickly realize that their filter for bad ideas is permanently turned off. They haven’t yet developed that “internal regulator” that edits ideas before they fly out of your mouth, and this allows them to generate the most interesting, off-the-wall ideas you’ve ever heard.

                      This is the essence of creative intelligence, and toddlers are masters at it.

                      Now, you’ll never be able to quite reach their level of ridiculousness, but you can get close. Set aside some time (early in the morning or late at night usually work best) and turn off your filter. Write down 10 horrible, off-the-wall ideas each day. Over time, you’ll start to see weird and wacky ideas pop up that just might be brilliant.

                      12. State the obvious

                      Another one from the Freakonomics guys: “don’t be afraid of the obvious.” Usually the “next big idea” comes from studying what’s right in front of you.

                      As Paul Graham, founder of famous startup fund Y Combinator says (from his post How to Get Startup Ideas),

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                      “The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It’s to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself.

                      The very best startup ideas tend to have three things in common: they’re something the founders themselves want, that they themselves can build, and that few others realize are worth doing. Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Google, and Facebook all began this way.

                      …Which means, strangely enough, that coming up with startup ideas is a question of seeing the obvious. That suggests how weird this process is: you’re trying to see things that are obvious, and yet that you hadn’t seen.”

                      Next time you’re thinking about <INSERT YOUR THING HERE>, ask “why” to the most obvious aspects of your experience. Why does it take so long at the post office? Why do we like watching TV? Why does food taste good? Whatever you’re trying to figure out. Really think about the question and don’t filter your answers (see #12).

                      13. Bet against yourself

                      150707-bark-betting

                        (Photo: bark)

                        As much as we like to romanticize the “aha” moment of genius, much of the learning or skill development process is just making daily progress, regardless of how you feel. The problem is, when you don’t feel like it, it’s hard to overcome low motivation and put in the work to make progress.

                        So what we can do instead, is create artificial incentives that get you VERY motivated VERY quickly. Make it so that the negative outcome of NOT doing what you know you should be doing is SO PAINFUL, that you essentially have no choice but to get to work.

                        This is what economists and psychologists call “commitment devices” – and one of them is as simple as betting against yourself.

                        Next time you REALLY want to make progress on developing a new skill or learning something new, use a site like Stikk or Beeminder to throw down $5, $10, $50, even $1,000 which will swiftly disappear from your bank account if you don’t meet your target. If that won’t get you moving I don’t know what will.

                        14. Tell wild stories

                        Joshua Foer, 2006 U.S. memory champion, and author of bestseller, Moonwalking with Einstein, developed the ability to successfully recall entire randomly shuffled decks of playing cards, from memory in minutes.

                        How did he, and other memory “athletes” accomplish these incredible mental feats? They get really good at telling memorable stories to themselves, which are connected to what they’re trying to remember.

                        Because the human brain is built for storytelling, the more things you can link together into a narrative, the more readily you’ll be able to recall them later on.

                        So next time you want to remember something, tell a friend about it, but create a wild and wacky story to go along with it. Learn about the origins of the idea and tell it in the most colorful way possible.

                        15. Write off-handed

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                          Da Vinci was famous for his obsession with ambidexterity, and even wrote in his notebooks from right to left and backwards. But was he just an obsessive freak, or is there really a method to his madness?

                          It turns out that by writing with your off-hand, you can activating the opposing hemisphere of your brain that doesn’t usually get as much “attention.” There’s also some evidence that this improves the connection between your analytical “left-brain” skills and your more creative “right-brain” skills.

                          Regardless, what we definitely know is that by changing things up (and forcing yourself to concentrate on writing with the opposing hand), can get you out of a mental “rut” and force you to make new connections.

                          So try this: spend 15 minutes each day writing some percentage of your notes off-handed. Or try using the mouse, brushing your teeth, throwing around a football with your off-hand as well. Anything to activate that new motor pattern that doesn’t feel “comfortable.”

                          16. Roll around on balls

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                            (Photo: upsidedownsphere)

                            Jill Miller, yoga and fitness pioneer, is an advocate of what you might call an “unconventional practice” – i.e. rolling around on balls.

                            Miller call this “body mapping” – developing proprioceptive sense of the different parts of your anatomy, which improves your kinesthetic awareness.

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                            As she says in a recent interview:

                            “It can enhance the mobility of your soft tissues and awaken your proprioceptive sense (body sense)…

                            …They help you map your own anatomy and befriend it. Mapping yourself is empowering, it helps you to distinguish and differentiate your different parts so that they cooperate better as a whole. Each body part and YOU become more intelligent…”

                            So if you want to improve your “body intelligence,” incorporate this into your routine: roll around on a lacrosse ball or tennis ball for 10 minutes each night before bed. Focus on the “sticky” spots where you experience pain or discomfort and spend more time working the soft tissues in those areas.

                            17. Go to bed when your grandparents do…

                            …but still get up when your friends do.

                            150702-weknowmemes-grandparents-on-thanksgiving-meme

                              Getting a ton of sleep (7-9 hours) is largely underrated, but is essential for effectively consolidating new memories and forging newly developed neural pathways from whatever you learned that day.

                              “A full night’s sleep includes a large dose of several distinct brain states, including REM sleep – when the brain flares with activity and dreams – and the netherworld of deep sleep, when it whispers to itself in a language that is barely audible. Each of these states developed to handle one kind of job, so getting sleep isn’t just something you “should do” or need. It’s far more: It’s your best friend when you want to get really good at something you’ve been working on.” ~ Benedict Carey, New York Times reporter and author of How We Learn

                              So take a play out of your grandparent’s book and hit the sack earlier than what’s considered “socially acceptable.” Instead of setting a morning alarm, work backwards 9 hours and set a “bedtime alarm.” Your new and improved brain will thank you.

                              18. Eat the same meal every day

                              You know that feeling when you come back home from a long day at the office or in the classroom? You feel so drained you can’t even figure out what to eat for dinner. This is the feeling that comes from complete and utter willpower depletion: you’ve used so much mental energy during the day making decisions, thinking, and solving problems, that your gas tank is now empty and you’ve become the equivalent of a “lump on a log.”

                              On the flip side, preserving willpower throughout the day can be a huge cognitive advantage. And one way to do that is to not make tiny decisions throughout the day about trivial things.

                              “According to Professor Baumeister, one simple way to preserve your banks of mental energy is by not wasting it agonising over needless decisions. He cites the case of president Obama, who generally only wears blue or grey suits so that deciding what to wear is one decision he doesn’t have to make.” ~Josh Naish, DailyMail

                              In the same way as the president approaches his wardrobe strategy, one thing YOU don’t want to waste that valuable executive power on is decisions about meals.

                              So instead of leaving it up until just before you eat to decide, pick a meal that you could see yourself eating every day for lunch. Plan out a week’s worth and make it in batches each Sunday. In this case, boring is good, because it means you’re not using valuable brain power making your meals “interesting” and you can spend that power on the more important stuff.

                              19. Sell your TV and delete your Netflix account

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                                It’s almost become a counter-cultural movement in itself. “We don’t even OWN a TV,” has become a status statement – an attempt to display sophistication and intellectualism. But despite the cliche, think about it.

                                TV rarely provides the entertainment we think it will, but at the same time it doesn’t really allow us to shut off and allow the sympathetic nervous system to take over, which is essential to re-booting your brain after a long day of use.

                                So try it. Sell your TV or unplug it. And delete your Netflix account so that you’re not as tempted to watch shows or movies on your computer. Just don’t go around telling everybody about it…

                                20. Stare at the wall

                                150707-MikeTidd-TM

                                  (Photo: Mike Tidd)

                                  Here’s something true for most of us that we don’t usually stop to think about: often can’t stand to be with ourselves.

                                  Our own thoughts tend to drive us crazy, so instead of sitting there and listening to the anxious chatter that’s going on between our ears, we fill every minute with content and distraction. TV, music, podcasts, books…

                                  That’s all well and good, except that part of coming up with ideas and developing an intuitive intelligence is being aware of our own thoughts and paying attention to them.

                                  So instead of immediately jumping on email or checking Facebook in the morning, spend 15 minutes, before your day has been corrupted by interruptions and other inputs, sitting quietly and observing your thoughts. You might be surprised by what great ideas bubble up.

                                  Featured photo credit: JD Hancock via flickr.com

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                                  Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                                  How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

                                  How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

                                  Time is a great leveler isn’t it? We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Even if you’re self-assured, the day may never feel quite long enough.

                                  Why is it that some people can be so much more productive and achieve so much more in a typical day, while others struggle to achieve anything apart from feeling time crunched and overwhelmed?

                                  Everyone I know and work with wants to make the best use of their time. They want to learn how to be more self-assured, happier, and work less—all while growing in their career.

                                  How effectively we use our time—and how we actually work in our business—can make a huge difference to the amount we accomplish in a day or week. It can also make us more focused and more confident.

                                  Do you want to have more thinking and creative time? Do you want to spend more time working on your business rather than working at or in your business? In this article, we’ll show you how.

                                  Get More Done by Gaining Confidence

                                  What if you had a strategy for making the best use of your time that brings you more joy and allows you to focus on the biggest activities and opportunities in your business? You may find the following outline below to be helpful:

                                  1. Create an Exciting Vision

                                  If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you get there?

                                  You want to be more productive and spend more time getting the right stuff done. Well, you need to create a compelling and exciting vision of your future.

                                  What does this future look like? How will you feel when you get there?

                                  Creating a new vision, especially one that is a lot bigger than where you are right now, has a way of igniting your passion. It may be something that feels hard to achieve, but every step you take towards that bigger vision will certainly build your confidence.

                                  Create a vision board to feel more self-assured.

                                    Commitment to this vision, and accomplishing continual daily progress depends on your ability to look at any situation you’re faced with or currently in, feel self-assured, and see something bigger ahead.

                                    Also, when you know where you’re headed, you will instinctively start to see all the new opportunities and connections that will get you there.

                                    Make a vision map to get you started on the path to better productivity. This doesn’t have to be fully actualized, but you should know at least what direction you are heading.

                                    2. Build a Strategic Plan

                                    Once you have your future vision mapped out, the next step is to build a strategic plan to get you there.

                                    Your future vision may be for 3 years or 5 years, or you may choose a longer time frame. Any timeframe over 3 years may feel like a long way away.

                                    You may wonder how you are ever going to feel confident and motivated on this bigger future years from now when you feel as though you have so much to accomplish today.

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                                    The first step is to decide on some specific goals for the next 12 months. Don’t list too many or you may begin to feel overwhelmed.

                                    The magic number for me and my clients is usually five annual goals.

                                    These are big goals that will create massive change in your business and life and bridge your current situation to your bigger future; accomplishing these goals one by one will help to increase your confidence on a daily basis.

                                    3. Get on Goal Planning

                                    Get yourself a piece of blank paper and a pen and divide the paper into 4 columns: A, B, C, and D.

                                    Ask yourself the question: What is great in my business and life right now? Write these things down in Column A. This might be a couple of things, five things, ten things, whatever feels right to you.

                                    Then ask yourself: What things are happening right now that I don’t want in my future? Write these things down in Column B.

                                    This is your opportunity to take a step back and look at the things that are simply not working. You may list people that are bringing you down or projects that you don’t want to work on any more. Maybe you’ll include a service offering that’s going nowhere. It could be the people you’re working with, or it could be your pricing.

                                    Now, let’s look at your personal strengths. Write down everything that you’re great at in Column C.

                                    These could be things that you’re doing right now and having success with. It could also be things you know you’re awesome at but you’re not spending enough time on.

                                    Column D is for your biggest opportunities. Is there a new service/product you could offer your ideal customers? Is there a new innovation you could bring to market? Just take some time out and really think and list these things in Column D.

                                    Once you’ve analyzed everything you’ve written down, take some time to really think about what goals you want to set for your business and life in the next 12 months.

                                    4. Set Outcomes to Build Confidence

                                    You now have your goals, and you’ll feel self-assured and raring to go. They are written down and you’re committed to achieving them. You feel self-assured and motivated.

                                    But how do you ensure that you stay on the correct course to achieve these goals?

                                    Managing and juggling day-to-day projects can get in the way. Dealing with problems can get in the way. Staying on top of orders, managing cash flow, and handling day-to-day stuff can move your ship off course.

                                    You want to be productive and achieve your goals, but you also need to ensure the day and week runs smoothly.

                                    One way to ensure this happens is to set 90 Day Outcome Goals; within those Outcome Goals, put some specific process goals that need to be undertaken.

                                    Let’s say you want to get 10 more speaking jobs in the next 90 days, and you know that you typically convert 50% of opportunities.

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                                    Therefore, your process goal needs to be to have 20 conversations in the next 90 Days to deliver the 10 new pieces of work. You will then work out who you can have those conversations with.

                                    It’s smart to overshoot, so you will more easily hit your target. This is a clear plan to work through because with every win, your confidence will grow.

                                    5. Completely Commit to Your Success

                                    If you are not truly committed to achieving your goals, then chances are that you won’t reach them.

                                    Motivation can only take you so far. It is the intentional commitment[1] and emotional investment in your future success that will move you forward.

                                    Think back to any time that you really committed to achieving something. There must have been a reason you actually achieved what you set out to achieve. What motivated you?

                                    Were you fully invested? Why did it matter? Did you have to be really courageous to achieve it?

                                    How did it feel when you achieved it? What difference did it make?

                                    When have you felt truly self-assured? When you are committed to something, then you are propelled into action. Your mindset is focused, and your body follows; you want to get it done.

                                    And, when you do get it done, your confidence goes through the roof. You feel a level of certainty in achieving the goal you set out to accomplish.

                                    6. Focus on Your Strengths

                                    To feel self-assured and build up the confidence needed to achieve our biggest goals, we need to focus on our strengths.

                                    What are you best at? What are your unique skills? You want to spend as much time as you can working in the areas that you’re great at.

                                    Multiply your strengths. These areas are where you add the biggest value. They often bring you the biggest amount of joy, and you feel more and more confident when you are using your unique skills.

                                    If you think there is a specific capability you need to learn or be better at, spend more focused time in that area.

                                    Many of us want to do it all. We want to be good at everything. We want to offer a lot of services. But, in reality, there are some very specific things we are great at; nobody is good at everything!

                                    Spending more time adding value in the areas where you excel can create breakthrough results and boost confidence.

                                    7. Embrace the Present

                                    Sometimes we spend so much time thinking about the future or worrying about the past that we forget the present moment[2].

                                    Are you spending most of your day reacting to things, or have you taken the time to think about what your perfect day looks like?

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                                    We all have the opportunity to create rather than react, to decide what we do with our day. All of our future success can be created in the present moment if we just take a step back and take action.

                                    Sometimes, doing it now is more important than doing it perfectly. There are hidden opportunities in every moment. We need to make sure we don’t miss them if we want to feel self-assured.

                                    8. Calm the Whirlwind

                                    The day-to-day life in business and life can be hard, which leads us to feel less self-assured.

                                    Your mind may be full to bursting with all of the things you feel you have to do. The phrase “I don’t have time” has almost become an instant reaction by so many people when new opportunities are presented.

                                    There is a whirlwind happening inside our minds.

                                    Appointments, notifications, tasks, phone calls, errands, cash flow, staffing issues, networking, marketing all can clutter up our timeline. The sheer volume of things we feel we should do creates procrastination, stopping us from pursuing the projects and people that matter.

                                    Many of us feel we have to do everything within our business.

                                    Rather than simplifying things and doing less, we do more. We work longer, which creates a lack of energy and focus. Because of this, we lose clarity on our biggest opportunities. If you feel this way, take some well-deserved time off.

                                    Look at where you’re spending your time. How much of your time is being spent moving your ideas forward?

                                    In the next 90 days, if you could delegate or outsource more daily tasks and spend more time focusing on where you add the biggest value, what difference would it make?

                                    Calm the whirlwind by slowing down and doing less.

                                    Focus on areas that you add the biggest amount of value. By doing this, your energy levels will increase, your confidence will grow and you will have more success.

                                    9. Take More Time off

                                    This may seem counterintuitive, but taking more time off to recharge and refocus can pay huge dividends.

                                    If you are constantly fighting fires and caught up in the myriad of different activities that you have to do each day, then how can you move your business forward?

                                    You may be being pulled in difference directions without any focused time on your biggest projects. If that’s the case, then it’s almost impossible to gain any real momentum in moving your business forward and hitting your goals.

                                    The best way to get off that treadmill is to take more creative time out of the business.

                                    Could you realistically take one day off per month to work on your business? If you could, what would you do with this time?

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                                    Just imagine no distractions, only focused time on the strategic development and growth of your business.

                                    Every day off per month could have a different focus: New product innovation; Thinking about your biggest clients; Improving operations.

                                    Add to this a quarterly review to check in with your goals progress, and this could have a dramatic effect on where you spend your valuable time.

                                    10. Celebrate Wins

                                    Sometimes you just want to get through the day, right?

                                    You have so much to do. There are so many things on your task list that you just complete what you can and then start another day. But what would happen if, at the end of each day, you took some time out to look at what you’ve accomplished?

                                    Celebrating success keeps you motivated and helps you become more self-assured. It is not just another day. It’s a day that included things that should be celebrated.

                                    If you’re struggling to feel motivated, try celebrating a couple of wins each day.

                                    Celebrating success combined with the gratitude you have for achieving those wins will boost your confidence and inspire you for the next day.

                                    11. Give Yourself More Space

                                    When was the last time you gave yourself time to think?

                                    Within the hustle and bustle, it can be difficult to give yourself a little bit of space and time to just think[3].

                                    Imagine giving yourself just an hour a day to just let your mind wander or think about a specific thing.

                                    If you think about it, we can all free up an hour a day for something without really losing any efficiency or really impacting our business.

                                    In fact, that hour could be transformational for your business and life.

                                    A new idea for a product could form, or an idea for adding value to your existing clients could materialize. Perhaps you could do a check in to your ideal future and your goals. You could decide that you want to take your business in a new direction.

                                    Try this: Just sit alone for an hour with a notebook and let it be your creative thinking time. See what happens.

                                    Final Thoughts

                                    Ultimately, being self-assured happens when you have a clear direction.

                                    This, coupled with having clear goals and working in your unique skill-set, gives you the biggest opportunity to be more productive and get more of the right things done.

                                    The old mantra that “less is more” is right on the money. By giving yourself more time to work on your goals, you will inevitably increase your confidence; at this point, your ideal future can be anything you want it to be.

                                    More on How to Be Self-Assured

                                    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

                                    Reference

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