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How To Improve 24 Hours A Day

How To Improve 24 Hours A Day

We all get 24 hours each day, the question is, how much of it are we using to advance our lives forward? Are you spending half of your time watching TV? Are you wasting hours each day on your phone? Or are you the type of person who’s doing something productive 24 hours of the day every day?

When I say 24 hours, I actually mean 24 hours. Let me explain.

Below I’ve categorized a whole range of daily scenarios. Each of the categories below are experienced by most people on a daily basis.

Parts Of Your Day

  • Free Hours
  • Gaps In Schedule
  • 5-15 minute breaks
  • Travelling
  • Conversations
  • Relaxation
  • Sleep

The interesting thing is, it’s not just in your free time or schedule gaps where you can work on yourself. Self-improvement really can be carried out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it doesn’t have to be a chore either. Let’s see how…

Free Hours

This is where you can do anything you wish, you have time on your side and nothing else to do. Most people get around 4-6 free hours a day, it just feels like less because they sit in front of the TV and let time get away from them.

During these hours you can go to the gym, play sport, work on a business, date and so on, the possibilities are endless.

Gaps In Schedule

These are those golden hours that spring up out of nowhere. You may finish work early, get lucky with traffic or even have a meeting cancelled.

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During these stages of your day, you should have pre-planned activities. Know what can be done beforehand so that when these moments do crop up, you’re not sat around watching the clock. I have a very busy schedule, as soon as I get a free hour I know it’s workout time just in case I don’t get another chance all day.

5-15 minute breaks

These moments come along often, most people will simply sit somewhere and watch the world go by, but this adds up to a lot of lost time. I personally like to use these moments for research. Any topic that has interested me or an issue I have, I search. Eventually, after going back to this topic, perhaps over the period of a few days, you build up a vast knowledge base.

Travelling

Whether by bus, plane, car, bike or foot, travelling is a perfect excuse for audio. Put your headphones in and learn about something new. I’ve probably listened to thousands of hours of audio whilst driving in my life, it’s such an effective tool. Imagine you have a 1-hour commute to work and 1 hour again on the way back. That’s two whole hours of knowledge, research or even lessons every day that can be added.

Conversations

A conversation is an opportunity, an opportunity to test out your body language, human interactions, confidence with women, confidence around other men, manners, elocution and so on. I use to practice my eye contact on everyone I met when I first began learning body language, it kept things interesting and made me better.

Relaxation

You need some time to yourself, but that doesn’t mean things have to stop. You can watch TV and still self-improve. Your bank account may not move much, but your looks could improve greatly. Chew gum and strengthen your jaw, practice mouth posture and drive your maxilla upwards and forwards to make yourself better looking. Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques. The possibilities are endless. Self-improvement doesn’t always mean gym, money and women. Self-improvement could be something as simple as resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth. In this situation, you’re improving your looks. You see, not a second of the day is wasted.

Sleep

How can you improve in your sleep? Well firstly don’t sleep on your back, it encourages your tongue to fall to the back of your mouth and plays havoc with your jaw growth. Secondly, get an early night, put the technology away, don’t eat sugar before bed. Improving in your sleep happens before you sleep. The preparation is what we’re referring to here. Going to bed at 2am and waking up at 6am is not improving. Going to bed at 10pm and waking up at 6am fully refreshed, looking better and thinking clearly is improvement.

A True Self Improvement Expert

So what does this teach us? That self-improvement really is continuous, and can be done 24 hours a day. You don’t have to be focusing on money all day, or your body and diet all day. Sometimes improvement can be the pronunciation of certain words, mastering deep breathing to lower stress, or even researching the latest trends/products ready to capitalize on an opportunity. Improvement should be summed up as anything that drives you forwards or prepares you to make a major change in the future.

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However, this is only half the battle. A true self-improvement expert doesn’t stop with filling their 24 hours each day, they combine multiple things together at once.

As I’m writing this article I’m improving multiple aspects of my life. I’m improving MSi College (a business I own), I’m improving my writing skills, my intellect has to be getting sharper, I’m breathing deeply, drinking a cup of powerful herbs, listening to a documentary about fashion/business giant Tom Ford and I’m chewing very tough gum. Not to mention that I’m continuously practicing sperm retention, automated money is making it’s way into my bank account and my last meal was a testosterone boosting/healthy eggs and chicken which is probably benefiting my health and appearance as I write this.

You could say that during the time I write this article, I’m actually improving 10 or more areas of my life without really thinking about any except the words on this page. I’m not saying this to brag, it’s just a very easy example to use because it’s real and you guys can easily relate/see it unfold.

Let’s take you through a 24 hour day just to showcase what can be achieved.

Daily Example

Wake-up: No alarm clock, natural light and a glass of water bedside ready to consume. This benefits health and energy.

Morning: Go for a run only 20 minutes or so, whilst listening to a podcast from a successful individual. Get back home and you eat a healthy breakfast combined with an herbal tea. The entire time you’re making sure that your tongue is on the roof of your mouth and you’re breathing deeply.

You get in the shower which has a water filter to prevent chemicals. The water is cold because you’ve read about the benefits of cold showers. You opt for your natural soap because you wish to keep your testosterone levels high.

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Getting out of the shower you dry yourself off, but let your hair air dry in the inversion position. This benefits hair loss, hair strength, blood circulation, mental clarity and removes waste from your body. While upside down you have the speaker connected to YouTube and you’re listening to a top ten fitness tips video from a fitness model.

Morning Part 2: On your drive to work you put your headphones in once again and practice another language. The one hour commute each morning is really beginning to help you learn quickly.

At work you’re forced to get on with your day, but this is fine because it’s increasing your wealth, bringing you closer to major assets and perhaps taking you closer to a promotion. This is all career and financial based. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t chew that gum or get that tongue on the roof of your mouth again. And don’t forget to breathe deeply. You may have your own stuff from home at work, such as your own natural herbs. Mix them up and have a drink, avoid the coffee, this will benefit your health furthermore.

At lunch everyone is going to the burger van around the corner, but you opt for a healthy option and go for a 15-minute walk instead. You’re improving your health once again. You get back to the office and feel a little stressed, if you’re lucky you have your own space and can sit back listening to a guided meditation. This cancels out the stress, makes you perform better and reduces the risk of health concerns.

Afternoon: You continue to breathe deeply, chew gum and place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, you’re even practicing the correct swallow technique because you want those male model hollow cheeks by next year. Each phone call that day has you practicing your pronunciation. You’re really focusing on elocution because you’re not a fan of your accent.

During your final break of the day, you sit down with your phone and research all sorts of self-help topics, you may even end up on a website just like this one.

The drive home for most people is stressful, all they want to do is get home. But they’re not you. You don’t mind sitting for that extra 5 minutes because you still have a couple more chapters of that audiobook you’ve been listening to, to get through. This leaves you less stressed and more educated when everyone else is just more stressed.

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You get home, prepare a healthy meal and head off to the gym. At the gym you’re listening to more self-improvement material, perhaps something in the realms of Tony Robbins or TedX this time. After your 1 hour session and a cold shower at the gym, you get back and have that healthy meal ready to eat rather than falling for the cravings trap.

After a long hard day all you want to do is relax. Sitting down with a book is a good idea here, perhaps 30 minutes of extra knowledge gathering is still in the tank.

By this point you’re probably sick and tired of self-improvement, this is where 1 hour of TV, 1 hour of gaming or a date with the girlfriend is perfect. Something that you can enjoy which is relaxing. However, you can still improve. Whilst gaming you can chew gum, posture correctly, breath deeply, swallow correctly and so on. When out with your girlfriend you can select the right healthy meals, improve your relationship and even practice good eye contact with her.

Night: As we discussed the preparation for sleep is the most important part. Start winding down, don’t stay up too late, don’t eat sugary snacks and don’t try and start a new task. Get some good rest and be ready for the next day of improvement. Top tip: Never go to bed on the same day you wake up on. In other words, get to bed before 12.

Conclusion

Now, of course, you don’t have to live like this, this is simply an example of what’s possible. You could fit less into your day, more into your day, or you could copy this exact day. The amount isn’t important because we’re all different, the important part is that you’re using your time wisely. I personally feel lost if at least one aspect of my life isn’t moving forward at all times. Some people are fine with half a day of being motivated and half of the day being more relaxed.

The balance is up to you, just don’t complain in 10-20 years if things didn’t go as planned, it was within your control!

Featured photo credit: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=http://www.forbes.com/sites/williamarruda/2014/11/03/the-5-worst-google-gaffes-every-job-hunter-must-avoid/&refURL=https://www.google.co.uk/&referrer=https://www.google.co.uk/ via forbes.com

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

These days, in a world with cognitive, AI, and extraordinary advances, we have failed at the most basic stimulus: motivation. Why do I say so? Just take a look at these statistics:

58 percent of managers said they didn’t receive any management training as per a CareerBuilder.com survey. Only 12% of employees leave their jobs because of more money. Research indicates that around 80% of employees leave their jobs due to “lack of appreciation”. Due to fear of failing, more than half of American workers don’t take their paid vacations. 53% of Americans are unhappy at work (not engaged). And 1 in 3 are working in a field they don’t like.[1]

Archaic people management and HR structures are the root cause.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

So how to motivate employees and boost team productivity?

Here are 3 key things that you can do to motivate your employees and boost team productivity:

1. Run Your Team/Group/Company like a Lean Startup

The Lean Startup phenomena by Eric Ries has been socialized across millions all over the globe. In a nutshell, it is a methodology for developing businesses and products, which aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.[2]

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Encourage Your Employees

When you empower your employees (or family members) to do what they deem to be best for a particular roadblock, idea, or improvement, you create magic. You create genuine trust. You enable innovation. The result is happy, inspired employees who feel they have a say in the grand cosmic stage at work.

Note that increasing the competency level of employees and coaching and mentoring them along the way is key. You yourself, need to do the same. Nourish your brain – and get a mentor that will keep you at the edge of your game.

Offer Rewards

Motivation is also intrinsic. The startups I have worked at offered instant rewards — not just fat checks or equity increments, but Oscar-style nominations.

The non-monetary rewards were actually more coveted, and grandiose: lunch with the CEO, tickets to an Obama fund-raiser, horse-back riding with a world-class equestrian.

Compare this to a dodgy, corporate, white-cubicle dinosaur that had a “yearly performance review” where both parties dread the conversation. In a world of instant WhatsApp messages, having a conversation about performance, likes and dislikes cannot just happen annually in 60 minutes. Employees need to be rooted in the belief that their manager genuinely cares about them.

Give Autonomy

Another key attribute is autonomy. Most employees start brushing their resumes and cruising LinkedIn when their hands are tied in their current positions: approval forms, long meetings, escalations, and more meetings. In the world of agile and scrum masters, deliberating for the sake of deliberating is poison. You will choke the very employees that giddily accepted the job initially to “change the world”.

Within a reasonable realm of assessment and deep-dives, trust your employees to do the heavy lifting. Give them access to the knowledge, people and resources that help them directly make the choices that will shape the future of your team, and your company.

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Eliminate yourself as the bottleneck – and interject yourself as a benevolent, servant leader that is the symbol of high-performing organizations.

2. Apply the 90/90/1 Rule

I recently saw a video by Deepak Sharma (a leadership adviser) about productivity and this principle stuck with me. Here’s what it’s about:

Devote the First 90 Minutes of Your Day to Important Project

For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your day to your most important project—nothing else. Do this for yourself and your employees.

We usually get sucked into the most wasteful, operational activities in the morning which robs our focus, and steers us into an unwanted rabbit hole. So mute your notifications, avoid the temptation to check your exploding inbox, and scroll your Instagram feed later. Instead, focus on that ONE thing that will provide real value to you, your team, or your business/company/home.

Apply this rule to yourself – and your team. Your team will thank you. Note: If you’re feeling really stretched for time, you can always hack the rule by testing out a “45/45/1” version.

A To Do Scheduling System

Another version of this is to use the Kanban concept, developed by Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota. Kanban is a scheduling system employing boards and cards.

The most basic version is a canvas with “To-do”, “Doing”, and “Done” boards (or columns). Each activity or task is a “card” that moves from one column to the other. I use Trello (a Kanban-inspired app) that is a key system for my personal and professional life. It allows me to understand my workload, their priority, and due dates.

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I use importance and effort metrics (scores) for each task to understand what is truly necessary in my life to work on. It negates the FIFO (first-in, first out) paradox that has plagued millions of people. Instead, it allows me to take stock of what is on my plate, and then bite on what truly will move the needle for me, my team, my life, and my company.

With a limited appetite (at least for some), would you eat the veggies, fries, mashed potatoes and leave the sizzling steak? No, you wouldn’t (unless you are a vegan and ended up in the wrong restaurant).

Approach your work with a weighted vengeance – and encourage your team to do the same.

3. Align Passion and Skills to Purpose

The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, and gives you a sense of meaning, joy and passion.

“The most fortunate people on earth are those who have found a calling that’s bigger than they are—that moves them and fills their lives with constant passion, aliveness, and growth.” — Richard Leider

An ace team-member once told me that while she enjoys working for the company we both used to work at, she really hated anything to do with technology. She was more of a “people” person, and did not want to sit behind a desk sifting through lines of code.

What struck me was that she was in that role for more than a decade and had just spoken up. The good thing is she spoke up. She expressed her desire and interests. And it allowed her to get into a role of her liking within 30 days.

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Ask If They like What They’re Doing

If you, or a team member is frustrated, demotivated, or not performing at their best – one of the questions you should ask is whether they like what they are doing. Then genuinely try to help them get to the role they should be in (whether in the same team/company or not).

There’s a reason why 53% of Americans (and perhaps more or same across the globe) are unhappy at work. A butcher cannot be an ace salad maker. Pursue your passion – and help pave the way for your team. Unlock your potential and theirs. You will command and lead a supercharged team.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

The Bottom Line

Sometimes, passion has to be ignited. It is dormant, clouded by busy-ness, buried by wrong career choices, and plagued by non-supportive eco-systems. Some will climb out of it, but we as society — and in the case of business teams — incumbent upon the manager/CEO/leader to foster, grow, and nurture the employee.

Teach her the ropes. Show her the path. Advise him as you would yourself. Let them lead, and make mistakes. Do not fear them, rather make them the leader you would want to become.

For your not-so-great team members, understand that it is not personal, it is just not a good fit. Help them move on to the pastures they would be fit to graze on. Hence, hire slow (and fire fast).

Your team is a reflection of you. Boosting their confidence and helping them achieve the impossible is motivation. Focus on that, and you will have a productive team that you and your company will be proud of.

More Resources About Team Management

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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