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Simple Hacks For A Happier Life

Simple Hacks For A Happier Life

Everyone wants to live a better life. Looking for ways to do that is what brings most readers to Lifehack. Whether it’s finding ways to improve your relationships with your family and friends, improve your productivity at work, live a healthier lifestyle, have more peace of mind, and so on, you can find advice on how to achieve all of those things right here.

But, what if you were just looking for a few basic tips and tricks for life in general? If that’s the case, here are the five best pieces of advice we can give you.

1. Eat less CRAP and eat more FOOD.

crap vs food

    That’s right– eat better. For our bodies and minds, it all begins with what we put in our mouths every day. You can work out all you want, but all the exercise in the world can’t overcome a bad diet. Everyone is always benefited by eating healthier.

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    2.  Pick an exercise routine you’re going to enjoy and not dread.

    Workout

      If you hate running on a treadmill, don’t force yourself to do it. You’re most likely going to eventually quit. If you enjoy playing tennis instead, then do that. Whatever form of exercise you enjoy the most (running, lifting weights, yoga, playing sports, mountain climbing, bicycling, etc.) just do it because as long as you’re doing some form of exercise, you’re improving your health and life in many ways.

      3. Develop positive habits.

      Habits

        To improve your life you need to develop positive habits that will override any negative ones you already have. So, how do you accomplish that? The answer is: you spend the next 66 days (or so) developing a new habit.

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        Science now says that it takes, on average, 66 days to develop a habit. How long it takes you to develop it depends on two factors — the complexity of the habit and your dedication. Drinking a glass of water every morning when you wake up is going to be easier to make as a habit than something that requires more physical effort.

        Still, scientists have offered suggestions on how to create habits. It’s basically a three-step process where the 66 days is broken down into thirds. The first 22 days is about loudly proclaiming your desire to create this habit and asking your friends and family to hold you accountable. The second 22 days is about looking inward and holding yourself accountable. The final 22 days is about making that final push and getting that extra motivation. After that, it’s about enjoying your success.

        4. Be in control of your responses to actions and words.

        marcus aurelius 2

          Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor and the last of the ancient Stoic philosophers. Stoics believed in mind over matter and to use logic and not emotions when dealing with what happens around them. Aurelius dealt with many issues in his reign, including his best friend attempting a coup against him. Through it all, Marcus chose to forgive those who betrayed him. In his collection of writings, Meditations, he also wrote that, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” People say things based on how they perceive what’s around them. How you react to what people say and do to you is purely up to you.

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          Another way to put it is the quote from Dennis Kimbro, “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” So, control your reactions… All of this brings us to our last tip.

          5. Love unconditionally.

          best-love-quotes-love-is-an-unconditional-commitment-to-an-imperfect-person

            Unconditional love is affection without limitations or boundaries. Conditional love is requiring someone else to earn your affection. Your family and loved ones should not have to earn your love. It should be given freely and without obligations. When you give unconditional love, you will receive it in return– maybe not by all– but you will. Conditional love, on the other hand, can lead to resentment because it requires some sort of exchange between individuals. Exchanges can be measured, and if one party feels their exchange is worth more than what they get in return, anger, resentment and jealousy will build up.

            If you love someone unconditionally, you accept their flaws, and you will still love them regardless.

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            Certainly, there are hundreds of more tips and tricks we could include here. You have an entire website here with Lifehack to help you uncover them. These five tips are meant to be the foundation you will use to build upon with all of the other tips and tricks available in the articles on this site. They are the building blocks for adding more success into your life.

            Featured photo credit: Pietro and Silvia via flickr.com

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            Published on September 18, 2018

            17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

            17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

            Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

            Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

            Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

            After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

            Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

            1. Show your appreciation

            In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

            The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

            Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

            2. Communicate effectively

            Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

            Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

            3. Be open to dialogue

            Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

            New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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            In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

            For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

            4. Provide constructive criticism

            Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

            So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

            Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

            Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

            Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

            5. Conduct one-on-ones

            Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

            While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

            Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

            More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

            6. Build training programs

            In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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            From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

            While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

            7. Offer growth opportunities

            Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

            Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

            Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

            8. Reward them

            Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

            If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

            Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

            9. Encourage team outings

            Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

            From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

            10. Involve them

            Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

            Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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            11. Set meaningful goals

            In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

            Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

            12. Empower them

            You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

            Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

            Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

            13. Deal with conflict

            A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

            How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

            As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

            14. Implement a flexible work culture

            Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

            Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

            It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

            15. Host engaging activities

            All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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            From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

            16. Maintain a positive work space

            Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

            Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

            These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

            17. Avoid discrimination

            Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

            In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

            The bottom line

            Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

            It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

            This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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