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7 Powerful Ways To Invest In Yourself

7 Powerful Ways To Invest In Yourself

Investment legend, Warren Buffett once said the best investment anyone can make is in themselves. He wasn’t being philosophical when he said that. Economists may tell you that investing in yourself builds human capital. In other words, if you put enough time and energy into learning new skills you’ll never have to worry about financial security or finding a job.

Here are the seven best ways to improve and invest in yourself.

1. Get certified training

Learning should never really end. Even if you’ve recently graduated, there are a lot of ways you can (and should) stay ahead of the crowd. Sign up for courses in business management or get a professional qualification in your industry.

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Not only will this set you apart from rivals, but it will also help you deliver a professional service to whoever you work with. A lot of these certified courses are designed to be flexible, so you don’t have to spend too much time away from work.

These courses are also regularly updated with the latest trends in your industry, so you’ll stay updated with the cutting edge in your field.

2. Join a special interest group

Special interest groups can help you create a network of like-minded people. There’s absolutely no limit to how much you can learn from the experiences of others. Every new person you meet brings a unique perspective and a ton of fresh ideas you can apply to your work right away.

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3. Read

From Bill Gates to Elon Musk, a lot of super successful business leaders have said that their reading habit is the key to their success. Reading is a habit that will genuinely transform your life. You can start by reading just a few pages a day, every day and keep doing it forever.

4. Gamify learning

Leverage technology to make learning fun. A lot of learning apps are designed like games to aid the learning process. Solving math quizzes is a lot more fun when you’re trying to set the high score.

5. Step out of your comfort zone

Step out of your circle of competence on occasion. Try to learn skills you’ve never considered before and don’t be afraid to look silly as you take on something uncomfortable. Even if you don’t master a new skill, attempting it will boost your confidence immensely.

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6. Track your progress

If you’ve decided to invest time and money in mastering a new skill or getting a new qualification, track your progress. Track the number of hours you’ve spent reading or the number of tests you took. Tracking your progress will motivate you when you’re slacking off and help you see how far you’ve come after a while.

If you’ve been to business school, you’ve probably heard of the Japanese Kaizen philosophy. It’s a system of constant and gradual improvement that Japanese companies have used to develop a world-class manufacturing sector. But this system can also be used to help you realize your full potential. Take small but meaningful steps every day to improve yourself.

7. Create something tangible

Taking time and effort to create something tangible is a great way to grow yourself as a person. Creating something that can be seen and comprehended will provide you with utmost satisfaction. It will not only create an instant feel good factor but also will inspire you in the future in case you have any doubt upon yourself.

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You could try anything from painting, sculpting, and poetry to writing computer programs or working on a DIY project. It doesn’t even have to be particularly good. The sense of accomplishment from being able to create something is more than a valid reason to spend your time and energy.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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