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Possibly The Greatest Lifehack No One Talks About

Possibly The Greatest Lifehack No One Talks About

This post was both an easy and challenging one to write. I have written many pieces on productivity systems and habits that I use in my life but nothing like this.

Recently I was thinking and I realized I missed one of the most influential life hacks to impact my overall performance. I did a quick search and realized, almost nobody else really talks about this as a productivity or life hack either. Yet, it is all over society in successful entrepreneurs, executives, politicians you name it.

I think it is time.

The perfect spouse or partner can be the greatest life hack

A few years back I met the women who would go on to be my wife. She was very driven and busy in her own career, but given I was right in the midst of my own personal growth journey, I was up for the challenge.  It can be intimidating and difficult to pursue a partner like this. It requires a lot of patience, but is it worth it?

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Absolutely! She has helped shape and guide me in so many ways and together we have formed an amazing partnership. Some of my strong points are some of her weak points. On the other hand, my weak points are some of her strongest points. Together it creates a stronger version of both of us. Since we’ve been together we’ve traveled countless times, advanced our careers, strengthened our bond and recently picked up and moved our lives from Toronto to San Francisco.

Society tends to portray marriage as being tied down, especially from a guy’s perspective. You always hear the same jokes at bachelor parties. “You know it’s not too late to back out!”

Finding the right partner isn’t about becoming tied down. Instead, I personally feel it can help upgrade you to the next level.

Being able to work at 120% instead of 100%

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    My wife and I at Victoria Peak, Hong Kong.

    The image of the grinding entrepreneur we typically have is a lone man or women, on their laptop in a coffee shop or some exotic location. A lot of people chase this dream, I am also attracted to it but I want to crush the idea that you need to do it alone.

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    Finding the right partner isn’t going to drain you of your time or results but can actually help amplify you. They become an extension of you. Imagine being able to work at 120% instead of 100%. This is what surrounding you with the right partner can do. It’s about finding someone who constantly challenges you and motivates you to become your best.

    Having your own consultant

    Someone who will say “this is good, but you can do better”.  They inspire you with their own drive and ambition and it completely rubs off on you. Your partner will be the person you spend the majority of your time with. There should be an abundance of positive and motivating energy and this can keep you going, keep you focused and driven in times.

    They can provide amazing insight and viewpoints to problems or ideas you may never have gotten on your own. It’s like having your own consultant and editor right by your side.

    The business partner of your life

    Your spouse among many other things is the business partner of your life. If you are working on creating a new startup or project and your vision is not aligned with your business partner, it is probably not going to work. We see this all the time in the business world.

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    The same holds true for your spouse.

    For example, my wife and I are both fanatical about how we take care of our bodies, nutrition and fitness wise. We know that we probably wouldn’t work out with someone who doesn’t have the same level of obsession and importance we place on it. If you’re not on the same page, with the same vision it’s not really possible to be that loving, supporting motivator and challenger you want in a partner.

    Does this mean everything is sunshine and rainbows?

    No. You are going to spend a ton of time with this person and having the occasional argument is bound to happen.

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    Arguments can be productive

    It’s like backpacking Europe with a best friend for a couple months. We all know at some point you’re totally going to clash for a day or two, but after that, you’ll be back to being best friends.

    Arguments can be productive though and can help push both of you forward. If I had a check list of what to look for in a partner it would probably look like the following.

    • Does this person challenge you to always be better?
    • Do they inspire you to become your best self?
    • Do they have their own drive and ambition?
    • Do your core values align?

    Note that I purposely didn’t mention anything about love or romance here. While there are a ton of other aspects of finding an amazing spouse (and these are obviously needed), I only wanted to dive into what I consider to be a much-overlooked part. I’ve personally seen a number of relationships end because one partner set out on a journey to improve their self and the other partner either wasn’t supportive or interested.  Answering the questions above, I feel, may help prevent that before it ever occurs.

    Having an amazing spouse is also having an amazing business partner for life. If the checklist above lines up and the love and romance is there, then you have probably without even knowing it stumbled upon one of the greatest life hacks there is.

    Featured photo credit: Shutterstock 165529670 via shutterstock.com

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    Paul Milano

    Helping others build a powerfully productive life

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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