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7 Steps To Maintain A High Energy Level

7 Steps To Maintain A High Energy Level

Over the course of a day, your energy level may feel like it fluctuates or runs on empty in response to external circumstances — everything from the demands of work or family, to the weather or even the change of seasons. But as human beings, we have a boundless source of universal energy that is available to us all, all the time. By utilizing it, you can keep your internal batteries charged and your energy levels high for whatever life brings.

Here are some effective ways to tap into your innate power source and sustain a high energy level throughout the day.

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1. Be Kind to Yourself

Fact is, we can treat ourselves more harshly than others do. How often do you find yourself talking more kindly to a co-worker or even a stranger who made a mistake than you would to yourself in the same situation? Contrary to what that nagging internal critic may say, treating yourself with kindness and patience does not make you lazy. It may feel challenging at first, but train your mind to speak to you with the compassion and understanding that you would give to a friend and watch how it inspires and motivates you over time.

2. End the Blame Game

Placing blame on other people, situations or circumstances takes our power away because we are left thinking, “It wasn’t my fault. There was nothing I could do.” One of my favorite principles from Jack Canfield, originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, is to take 100% responsibility for your life. Giving up excuses in favor of taking responsibility and the necessary action is, perhaps, easier said than done — but worthwhile.

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3. Stop Tolerating Things That Don’t Work For You

Tolerating comes in many forms. You could say, “Yes,” when you want to say, “No,” have to deal with leaky faucets, interact with people not keeping their word or missing deadlines, look around at a messy house or office, and more. Anything that you like but also feel that you are putting up with is also something you are tolerating. And here’s something you may not realize — toleration, though quite polite, takes an enormous amount of energy away from you.

4. Find Opportunities to Help Those in Need

As human beings we are pack animals designed to live in community and we feel really good when we can make a difference for another person, whether it’s through small acts of kindness, volunteering or just listening to a friend who is upset. Helping another is a natural mood booster because it takes our attention off our own problems for a while and enables us to soak in the energetic goodness of our own generosity. As Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

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5. Practice Unwavering Optimism

Focusing on challenges and defeats will slow us down and stop us in our tracks. A better approach: Even when things are going wrong — no, especially when things are not going the way you want them to go — look for the lesson or the opportunity. Again, shifting the focus from the “problem” to the solution, seeing new avenues to take, and having a greater awareness of what’s possible not only prevent the energy drain, but also infuse us with all-new energy. New possibilities cause our energy to go up. We are interested, engaged and willing to keep moving forward.

6. Have a Daily Centering Practice

Take time to just breathe and observe yourself in the present moment. Right here, right now is a place that is free from the guilt and regret over the past and from worry about the future. The past and the future are truly insignificant. The only thing that matters is the present moment. By focusing on your breath and the present moment, you can instantly reduce stress and reintroduce yourself to the power you have within you to take action now.

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7. Put Your Passions on Your Schedule

What do you love doing so much that you lose track of time and find yourself almost in another dimension? Allowing yourself to engage in those activities more often can prevent your battery from getting low or recharge it if you find yourself running low on energy. To make sure you have time in your schedule for what’s important to you, work your priorities around your passions rather than vice versa —and watch your energy soar.

Do you have some tried and true ways to maintain a high energy level? Share them in the comments!

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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.

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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