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7 Bio Hacks For Increased Productivity and High Performance

7 Bio Hacks For Increased Productivity and High Performance

I have been biohacking for about 5 years now, which means studying diet and lifestyle closely and figuring out what the most successful and balanced people do in order to increase their energy level. As you well know, having enough energy is crucial if we want to increase our productivity, performance, and happiness.

Here are 7 biohacks to give you much more energy and cognitive abilities so you can be much more productive and happy. These 10 biohacks work well for me, but please consider talking to a nutritionist or doctor first. Also, you don’t have to try all of these biohacks; maybe try a few at first to see if you have more energy:

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  1. Smaller Meals: Instead of consuming 3 big meals per day, consume 5 small ones as your digestive system won’t make you very tired if the meals are small (try to have green vegetables with each meal). You will be much more productive and focused at work by consuming smaller meals so that your digestive system doesn’t use most of the energy you have to digest large meals.
  2. Juicing: Make 7 jars or containers of juice every Sunday for the week. In these 7 containers, I put greatest hits of everything that I think is good for me. I bring 5 of the containers to work as this becomes one of my meals. The other 2 I leave at home for weekend consumption.
  3. Coconut Water: At the gym, I drink coconut water as this gives me off-the-charts energy. I exercise for at least an hour per day at around 4pm. I start with 60 minutes on the elliptical trainer as this works out all muscle groups while I read emails and other articles on my iPad (you can retain so much more information later in the day when you exercise and read at the same time given the increased oxygen intake).
  4. Plug Vitamin Gaps: We are all deficient in certain vitamins – we don’t know exactly which ones. As a result, I take a multivitamin pack every day that plugs every vitamin deficiency gap for me.
  5. Hydrate: I drink 8 glasses of water per day and I put lemon in the water as well. Before having a second serving during meals, drink a glass of water, which can curb your appetite. Always pack a few bottles of water with you no matter where you are (especially during your commute to and from work).
  6. Try to Limit Complex Carbohydrates– meaning limit bread or rice- or corn-based products as they convert quickly to fat.  Here is a great tip: always deduct the amount of fiber from the total carbohydrates as your digestive system will think that the total carbs is lower than it actually is. In the example in the image below, we take 21 grams of carbs minus 17 grams of fiber for a “net carbs” amount of only 4 grams.
  7. Sleep:  This one is incredibly important as it not only slows down aging but increases our productivity, focus, happiness and many other benefits. Try to always get 7-8 hours of sleep without exception. 7-8 hours is only about ~30% of each day. Imagine what would happen to our car if we used it for 70% of every single day? Of course, we could run out of gas and have to fix it more often. 30% of our days rest for us is mandatory. Many people would then say – I don’t have time for sleep as I have too much work or studying or whatever. I humbly disagree. Why? Because I really believe that one hour of productivity on 7-8 hours of sleep is at least 5x’s more productive than one hour of productivity on 3-4 hours of sleep. Invest in yourself by sleeping 7-8 hours per day as it will not only improve your quality of life but also increase your lifespan.

These 7 biohacks will help you to live life on your terms.

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We are all different so please find the right combination of the 7 aforementioned biohacks until you feel like you have more energy, focus and you are more productive than literally anyone you know. You will be much happier too if you figure out which biohacks work best for you.

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Featured photo credit: Stockunlimited via Stockunlimited.com

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Andreas Jones

Business Growth Strategist, Consultant and Coach.

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Published on July 29, 2020

How to Build Strategic Thinking Skills for Effective Leadership

How to Build Strategic Thinking Skills for Effective Leadership

Have you been thinking of how you can be a more strategic leader during these uncertain times? Has the pandemic thrown a wrench at all your carefully laid out plans and initiatives?

You’re not alone. The truth is, we all want some stability in our careers and teams during this disruptive pandemic.

However, this now requires a bit more effort than before and making the leap from merely surviving to thriving means buckling down to some serious strategic thinking and maintaining a determined mindset.

Is There a Way to Thrive Despite These Disruptions?

Essentially – yes, although you need to be willing to put in the work. Every leader wants to develop strategic thinking skills so that they can enhance overall team performance and boost their company’s success, but what exactly does it mean to be strategic in the context of the times we live in?

If you happen to be in a leadership position in your organization right now, you are most probably navigating precarious waters given the disruptions caused by the pandemic. There’s a lot more pressure than before because your actions and decisions will have a much greater impact these days not just on you, but also to the people who are part of your team.

Companies often bring me in to coach executives on strategic thinking and planning. And while pre-pandemic I would usually start by highlighting the advantages of strategic thinking, nowadays, I always begin these Zoom coaching sessions by driving home the point that this pandemic has now made strategic thinking not just an option but an absolute must.

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Assessing and making plans through the lens of a good strategy might require significant work at first. Nevertheless, you can take comfort in the fact that the rewards will far outweigh the effort, as you’ll soon see after following the 8 strategic steps I have outlined below.

8 Steps to Strategic Thinking

As events unfold during these strange times, you’re bound to feel wrong-footed every now and then. Being a leader during this pandemic means preparing for more change not just for you, but for your whole team as well.

As states and cities go through a cycle of lockdowns and reopening, employees will experience the full gamut of human emotions in dizzying speed, and you will often be called on to provide insight and stability to your team and workplace.

Strategic thinking is all about anticipation and preparation. Rather than expending your energy merely helping your company put out fires and survive, you can put the time to better use by charting out a solid plan that can protect and help you and your company thrive.

Take the following steps to build solid initiatives and roll out successful projects:

Step 1: Step Back, Then Set the Scope

One of the things that leaders get wrong during their first attempt at strategic thinking is expecting that it is just another item on a checklist. The truth is, you need to take a good, long look at the bigger picture before anything else. This means decisively prioritizing and stepping away from tasks that can be delegated to others. Free up your schedule so you can focus on this crucial task at hand.

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Then, proceed with setting the scope and the strategic goals of the project or initiative you plan to build or execute. Ask yourself the bigger question of why you need to embark on a particular project and when would be the right time to do so.

You need to set a timeline as well, anywhere from 6 months to 5 years. Keep in mind that your projections will deteriorate the further out you go as you make longer-term plans.

For this reason, add extra resources, flexibility, and resilience if you have a longer timeline. You should also be making the goals less specific if you’re charting it out for the longer term.

Step 2: Make a List of Experts

Make and keep a list of credible people who can contribute solid insight and feedback to your initiative. This could range from key stakeholders to industry experts, mentors, and even colleagues who previously planned and rolled out similar projects.

Reach out to the people on this list regularly while you work through the steps to bring diverse insight into your planning process. This way, you will be able to approach any problem from every angle.

Bringing key stakeholders into this initial process will also display your willingness to listen and empathize with their issues. In return, this will build trust and potentially pave the way for smoother buy-in down the line.

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Step 3: Anticipate the Future

After identifying your goals and gathering feedback, it’s time to consider what the future would look like if everything goes as you intuitively anticipate. Then, lay out the kind and amount of resources (money, time, social capital) that might be needed to keep this anticipated future running.

Step 4: Brainstorm on Potential Internal and External Problems

Next, think of how the future would look if you encountered unexpected problems internal and external to the business activity that seriously jeopardize your expected vision of the future. Write out what kind of potential problems you might encounter, including low-probability ones.

Assess the likelihood that you will run into each problem. To gauge, multiply the likelihood by the number of resources needed to address the problem. Try to convert the resources into money if possible so that you can have a single unit of measurement.

Then, think of what steps you can take to address these internal and external problems before they even happen. Write out how much you expect these steps might cost. Lastly, add up all the extra resources that may be needed because of the different possible problems and all the steps you committed to taking to address them in advance.

Step 5: Identify Potential Opportunities, Internal and External

Imagine how your expected plan would look if unexpected opportunities came up. Most of these will be external but consider internal ones as well. Then, gauge the likelihood of each scenario and the number of resources you would need to take advantage of each opportunity. Convert the resources into money if possible.

Then, think of what steps you can take in advance to take advantage of unexpected opportunities and write out how much you expect these steps might cost. Finally, add up all the extra resources that may be needed because of the different unexpected opportunities and all the steps you committed to taking to address them in advance.

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Step 6: Check for Cognitive Biases

Check for potential cognitive biases that are relevant to you personally or to the organization as a whole, and adjust the resources and plans to address such errors.[1] Make sure to at least check for loss aversion, status quo bias, confirmation bias, attentional bias, overconfidence, optimism bias, pessimism bias, and halo and horns effects.

Step 7: Account for Unknown Unknowns (Black Swans)

To have a more effective strategy, account for black swans as well. These are unknown unknowns -unpredictable events that have potentially severe consequences.

To account for these black swans, add 40 percent to the resources you anticipate. Also, consider ways to make your plans more flexible and secure than you intuitively feel is needed.

Step 8: Communicate and Take the Next Steps

Communicate the plan to your stakeholders, and give them a heads up about the additional resources needed. Then, take the next steps to address the unanticipated problems and take advantage of the opportunities you identified by improving your plans, as well as allocating and reserving resources.

Finally, take note that there will be cases when you’ll need to go back and forth these steps to make improvements, (a fix here, an improvement there) so be comfortable with revisiting your strategy and reaching out to your list of experts.

Conclusion

A great way to deal with feelings of uncertainty during this pandemic is to anticipate obstacles with a good plan – and a sure road to that is practicing strategic thinking.

In the coming months and years, you’ll need to continue navigating uncharted territory so that you can lead your team to safe waters. Regularly doing these 8 steps to strategic thinking will ensure that you can prepare for and adapt  to the coming changes with increasing clarity, perspective, and efficiency.[2]

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Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

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