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Work Less And Get More Done With These 3 Life Hacks

Work Less And Get More Done With These 3 Life Hacks

In today’s hectic information-filled world, it is hard to find the time to relax and enjoy life. Whether you are a 40-hours-a-week employee or an overworked entrepreneur with his or her own company, we all struggle with a number of physiological issues, varied stressors, and all types of anxieties. While attempts to becoming a healthier entrepreneur might escape you, it is no surprise that you will face some challenging difficulties, such as time management and eliminating habitual time-wasting routines.

If you are constantly feeling overwhelmed with your seemingly endless to-do lists, maybe it’s time to look over your daily work routine. Here are 3 life hacks that can help transform your work habits.

Use The Automated Time Waster Test

Co-Authored by both Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, this first life hack comes from their book, Think Like a Freak. This concept is very simple and can be added to any work routine. If you have employees, ask them to bring a pack of brown-colored M&M’s to work. This helps to check how good they are with following instructions and paying attention to details.

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The following true scenario perfectly illustrates why M&Ms work well.

The rock band Van Halen’s live show boasted a colossal stage, booming audio, and spectacular lighting. All this required a great deal of structural support, along with electrical power and the like. Thus, in the 53-page rider to their already-existing music contract, they gave point-by-point instructions to ensure that no one got killed by a collapsing stage or a short-circuiting light tower. But how could Van Halen be sure that the local promoter in each city had read the whole thing and done everything properly?

Cue the brown M&M’s. Within the contract, a provision that all brown M&M’s should be removed from candy bowls was included. As lead singer David Lee Roth tells it, he would immediately go backstage to check out the bowl of M&M’s. If he saw brown ones, he knew the promoter hadn’t read the rider carefully and that “we had to do a serious line check” to make sure that the more important details hadn’t been botched either.

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You can use this simple idea when screening potential vendors, sub-contractors, freelance applicants, and more. You will save yourself tons of productive time by letting your “garden” (aka any situation involving other people) weed itself without your direct input.

Solidify Systems For Both Work And Personal Life

A good company is always in need of solid systems set in place in order to work effectively and efficiently. This can also be said about personal work systems created by yourself. This can allow you to minimize distractions and reduce your workloads.

David Allen suggests to:

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  • Utilize to-do lists to organize tasks onto other physical mediums.
  • Break larger tasks into smaller, actionable productive practices.
  • Avoid “burning out” by accomplishing smaller collective tasks.

Properly scheduling your time is also a vital and crucial personal skill. Having an employee-shared calendar with blocks of time dedicated to certain productions can help incorporate less stress when completing tasks. You can even schedule available hours for yourself so that employees know when to confer with you if necessary.

Choose Your Battles Wisely

Whether expected or not, daily challenges will occur during the course of your company’s lifespan. From updating routine billing equipment to securing your company’s sensitive data, there’s always something. However, you as an entrepreneur should choose your battles wisely. Help reduce minor work complications by teaching your team how to solve problems themselves rather than relying on you to give your team immediate guidance.

A recent experiment conducted by Ryan Honeyman examined his consistent habit of checking his work email. Reducing his interaction with his work email to just once a week on Monday afternoons has yielded some very interesting results.

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Ryan noted that:

  • Problems tended to answer themselves via conversations between other employees.
  • There was a 30%-40% increase in efficiency towards more pressing tasks.
  • He felt less stressed and better rested.
  • There were improved relationships between himself, his business relationships, and his employees.

While this experiment might seem a bit too on the extreme side, it does provide a great illustration as to why leaders should reduce their mentality of “always on and available,” which is not a necessity to be a good competent company leader. Each of us in our leadership role has only a finite amount of time. While we may be tempted to battle through every conflict because we feel we are “right,” battles can take an enormous amount of time and personal energy that would be better spent doing something else. Choosing our battles wisely may actually make us much more effective in winning those battles that are important to us. Selecting those situations where the consequences really matter to us will allow us to do a better job of preserving our energy, relationships, and our peace of mind. To do this, we need to carefully assess each situation and seriously reflect on the hacks listed above.

Featured photo credit: Flickr/highwaysengland via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 15, 2018

Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset

Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset

What do you think it takes to achieve your goals? Hard work? Lots of actions? While these are paramount to becoming successful in reaching our goals, neither of these are possible without a positive mindset.

As humans, we naturally tend to lean towards a negative outlook when it comes to our hopes and dreams. We are prone to believing that we have limitations either from within ourselves or from external forces keeping us from truly getting to where we want to be in life. Our tendency to think that we’ll “believe it when we see it” suggests that our mindsets are focused on our goals not really being attainable until they’ve been achieved. The problem with this is that this common mindset fuels our limiting beliefs and shows a lack of faith in ourselves.

The Success Mindset

Success in achieving our goals comes down to a ‘success mindset’. Successful mindsets are those focused on victory, based on positive mental attitudes, empowering inclinations and good habits. Acquiring a success mindset is the sure-fire way to dramatically increase your chance to achieve your goals.

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The idea that achieving our goals comes down to our habits and actions is actually a typical type of mindset that misses a crucial point; that our mindset is, in fact, the determiner of our energy and what actions we take. A negative mindset will tend to create negative actions and similarly if we have a mindset that will only set into action once we see ‘proof’ that our goals are achievable, then the road will be much longer and arduous. This is why, instead of thinking “I’ll believe it when I see it”, a success mindset will think “I’ll see it when I believe it.”

The Placebo Effect and What It Shows Us About The Power of Mindset

The placebo effect is a perfect example of how mindset really can be powerful. In scientific trials, a group of participants were told they received medication that will heal an ailment but were actually given a sugar pill that does nothing (the placebo). Yet after the trial the participants believed it’s had a positive effect – sometimes even cured their ailment even though nothing has changed. This is the power of mindset.

How do we apply this to our goals? Well, when we set goals and dreams how often do we really believe they’ll come to fruition? Have absolute faith that they can be achieved? Have a complete unwavering expectation? Most of us don’t because we hold on to negative mindsets and limiting beliefs about ourselves that stop us from fully believing we are capable or that it’s at all possible. We tend to listen to the opinions of others despite them misaligning with our own or bow to societal pressures that make us believe we should think and act a certain way. There are many reasons why we possess these types of mindsets but a success mindset can be achieved.

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How To Create a Success Mindset

People with success mindsets have a particular way of perceiving things. They have positive outlooks and are able to put faith fully in their ability to succeed. With that in mind, here are a few ways that can turn a negative mindset into a successful one.

1. A Success Mindset Comes From a Growth Mindset

How does a mindset even manifest itself? It comes from the way you talk to yourself in the privacy of your own head. Realising this will go a long way towards noticing how you speak to yourself and others around you. If it’s mainly negative language you use when you talk about your goals and aspirations then this is an example of a fixed mindset.

A negative mindset brings with it a huge number of limiting beliefs. It creates a fixed mindset – one that can’t see beyond it’s own limitations. A growth mindset sees these limitations and looks beyond them – it finds ways to overcome obstacles and believes that this will result in success. When you think of your goal, a fixed mindset may think “what if I fail?” A growth mindset would look at the same goal and think “failures happen but that doesn’t mean I won’t be successful.”

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There’s a lot of power in changing your perspective.

2. Look For The Successes

It’s really important to get your mind focused on positive aspects of your goal. Finding inspiration through others can be really uplifting and keep you on track with developing your success mindset; reinforcing your belief that your dreams can be achieved. Find people that you can talk with about how they achieved their goals and seek out and surround yourself with positive people. This is crucial if you’re learning to develop a positive mindset.

3. Eliminate Negativity

You can come up against a lot of negativity sometimes either through other people or within yourself. Understanding that other people’s negative opinions are created through their own fears and limiting beliefs will go a long way in sustaining your success mindset. But for a lot of us, negative chatter can come from within and these usually manifest as negative words such as can’t, won’t, shouldn’t. Sometimes, when we think of how we’re going to achieve our goals, statements in our minds come out as negative absolutes: ‘It never works out for me’ or ‘I always fail.’

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When you notice these coming up you need to turn them around with ‘It always works out for me!’ and ‘I never fail!’ The trick is to believe it no matter what’s happened in the past. Remember that every new day is a clean slate and for you to adjust your mindset.

4. Create a Vision

Envisioning your end goal and seeing it in your mind is an important trait of a success mindset. Allowing ourselves to imagine our success creates a powerful excitement that shouldn’t be underestimated. When our brain becomes excited at the thought of achieving our goals, we become more committed, work harder towards achieving it and more likely to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

If this involves creating a vision board that you can look at to remind yourself every day then go for it. Small techniques like this go a long way in sustaining your success mindset and shouldn’t be dismissed.

An Inspirational Story…

For centuries experts said that running a mile in under 4 minutes was humanly impossible. On the 6th May 1954, Rodger Bannister did just that. As part of his training, Bannister relentlessly visualised the achievement, believing he could accomplish what everyone said wasn’t possible…and he did it.

What’s more amazing is that, as soon as Bannister achieved the 4-minute mile, more and more people also achieved it. How was this possible after so many years of no one achieving it? Because in people’s minds it was suddenly possible – once people knew that it was achievable it created a mindset of success and now, after over fifty years since Bannister did the ‘impossible’, his record has been lowered by 17 seconds – the power of the success mindset!

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