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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 April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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