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Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

We talk a lot about daily habits and productivity. But what’s one thing entrepreneurs should STOP doing every day?

1. Talking About Themselves

Kim Kaupe

    Entrepreneurs tend to get so wrapped up in the pitching, convincing and selling of their day-to-day life that sometimes it becomes all they ever talk about. Being well-rounded and conversational will help you have rapport with others around you. While talking about yourself and your business is important, doing so constantly comes off as being self-centered and oblivious to the world around you.

    Kim Kaupe, ‘ZinePak

    2. Focusing on a To-Do List

    Tyler Arnold (1)

      The best leaders I know focus on building the right culture and energy in the office. Sitting in a corner and pounding out to-do items may feel productive, but don’t forget about doing the things that aren’t fully quantifiable. Helping teammates who may be having a bad morning or struggling with a project could be the single most valuable thing you do all day!

      Tyler Arnold, SimplySocial Inc.

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      3. Eating Pizza

      Andrew Angus

        When you head into the startup phase of your company, everything you used to do that was healthy is going to stop. You are going to put on weight. You are going to end up with too much stress and a back that is in constant pain. Don’t eat pizza. It will make it easier to get back in shape when you’re out of that phase.

        Andrew Angus, Switch Video

        4. Using Social Media Distractions

        Anthony Saladino

          Shut down all your personal social media distractions during the work day. Facebook, Instagram, Vine and Twitter will all be there after you complete your daily tasks. Many entrepreneurs don’t realize just how much time they waste reading and engaging on these mediums and also just how much it decreases their daily productivity. To succeed, use your time wisely.

          Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings

          5. Multitasking

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          Andrew Schrage

            Multitasking has its place in the business realm, but there are also times when it should be avoided. If you multitask two separate and very important projects, you can end up with two sets of dismal results. Know when to multitask and when to focus on a single task.

            Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

            6. Waiting for the Right Moment

            michael mogill

              Stop waiting for the right time, and just get things done. Define the one thing you can do today that will help grow your business and not just keep you busy.

              Michael Mogill, Crisp Video Group

               

              7. Attending Management Meetings

              David Ehrenberg

                Admittedly, management meetings are sometimes necessary and useful beasts. But a culture of meetings is ultimately just a time suck. Everyone has had that experience of waiting for a meeting to end so that real work can resume. To increase productivity, reduce management meetings and time in meetings in general. When you must meet, have a clear agenda and stick to it.

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                David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services

                8. Letting Interruptions Happen

                Maren Hogan

                  Interruptions are just a part of life, but I take steps to prevent them. It is so hard to refocus after multiple interruptions. I don’t even want to calculate how much time I lose to redirecting my attention several times a day. If it gets to be too much, I go into do-not-disturb mode. I close the door, only take scheduled calls and tell my staff that they can email me and I’ll get to them later.

                  Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media

                  9. Going out for Lunch

                  Rameet Chawla

                    The lunch hour is one of the most active times of the day and a great time to get work done. After work is when most socializing should be done. Instead of worrying about getting back to the office or getting work done before you dip out, meeting at the end of the day takes off the edge. You can drink without a conscience, leave the office behind and invite others to join to optimize your time.

                    Rameet Chawla, Fueled

                    10. Working on the Fly

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                    Fabian Kaempfer

                      One habit to break away from is working on the fly rather than with an agenda. With a startup, things will happen, and you can be pulled in different directions. Don’t make it a habit to make that the way you operate. Make it a point to be proactive rather than reactive.

                      Fabian Kaempfer, Chocomize

                      11. Pleasing Others First

                      Elizabeth Saunders

                        If you are allowing your time and energy to be diverted from your priority tasks simply to make professional acquaintances (e.g., individuals not in your inner circle) happy, then you’re not investing your time well. Focus on the people and activities that really matter, and you’ll be better off in the long run.

                        Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®

                        12. Emailing Coworkers

                        Saul Garlick

                          The biggest breakthrough at ThinkImpact has been the realization that we don’t need to email each other. We can use different tools to communicate. Our new favorite is called Slack . It allows you to communicate in one of three ways: via office-wide messages with a related subject, a direct message with a colleague privately or a private group of colleagues.

                          Saul Garlick, ThinkImpact

                          More by this author

                          9 No-Brainer Ways to Track Employee Time Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Tasks You Should be Outsourcing

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                          1 7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory 2 How to Ask for Help When You Need It Most 3 Do You Have to Give Everything Up to Get a Fresh Start? 4 You’ll Only Live Your Best Life Once You Step Out 5 There Is More to Life Than  ____________

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                          Last Updated on October 17, 2018

                          7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

                          7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

                          How is your memory? Is your cognitive function as strong as you’d like it to be?

                          If not, then you’re definitely going to be interested in the memory improvement tips I’ll be sharing with you in this article.

                          Despite what you might think – or have been told – improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it. (Don’t worry, as you won’t need to make any significant lifestyle changes.)

                          So how to improve memory? Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve your memory significantly.

                          1. Meditate

                          We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts and figures into our conscious minds.

                          Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

                          Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. And research suggests that the more information and distractions, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory.[1]

                          Fortunately, meditation can help you out.

                          Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

                          If you need help in shifting into a meditative state, I recommend trying an app like Headspace – which can assist you to achieve this in a convenient and structured way.

                          And don’t forget, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

                          2. Get plenty of sleep

                          If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then I’m guessing you’re not remembering well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

                          If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities – including your memory.

                          How much sleep should you be getting?

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                          Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things.

                          Now, I’ll be honest with you, maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!). But if you care about improving your short-term and long-term ability to remember things, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

                          Are there ways to hack the sleep cycle?

                          Yes, there are.

                          Try these three things:

                          • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
                          • Don’t eat too late
                          • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

                          Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

                          However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory…

                          3. Challenge your brain

                          When was the last time you challenged your brain?

                          I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or undersleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory games.

                          To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

                          Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself, has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-thinking ability and memory.

                          There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

                          • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
                          • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
                          • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

                          If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live – while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

                          Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it, try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

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                          4. Take more breaks

                          When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctively remember working all the hours under the sun – and many under the moon too!

                          At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat and tears.

                          However, I was wrong.

                          Taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

                          Let me explain.

                          Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it – in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

                          Namely, extended study sessions are rarely a good thing, as your ability to retain information naturally declines after a certain period of time.

                          It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

                          It’s the same with your brain. If you overload it with information, you’ll suffer from mental fatigue.

                          What’s the answer?

                          Make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

                          If you don’t want to be as regimented as that, then take breaks as soon as you find yourself losing the ability to focus on the new material. Your brain will thank you – and your learning aptitude will move up a level.

                          5. Learn a new skill

                          I love this quote, as it’s 100% true – but frequently overlooked:

                          “Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

                          From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

                          Let me give you an example of this:

                          Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day – many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

                          Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

                          The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you – rather than letting you work in your own way.

                          Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like, and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction in to learning a new skill (computer coding). It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career – and the ongoing learning made the call centre job much more bearable.

                          Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking our new information. And when learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly, becomes a habit too.

                          6. Start working out

                          If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

                          Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory.

                          Regular exercise increases blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. And a well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

                          “But I just don’t have the time?,” I hear you say.

                          Not a problem.

                          A research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines.[2] So, if you’re short on time – now you know what to do.

                          Interested in getting started?

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                          Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

                          • Join a gym
                          • Join a sports team
                          • Buy a bike
                          • Take up hiking
                          • Dance to your favorite music

                          7. Eat healthier foods

                          I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

                          This applies to your brain too.

                          The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health too.

                          Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery and dark chocolate. But anything high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory.

                          Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain – leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

                          Want to be mentally healthy? Then eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

                          • Turmeric – helps new brain cells grown
                          • Broccoli – protects the brain against damage
                          • Nuts – improves memory
                          • Green tea – enhances brain performance, memory and focus[3]
                          • Fish oilfish oil supplements can increase your brain power

                          Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

                          Final thoughts

                          I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be of help to you.

                          You don’t need to implement them all. I suggest just trying the ones that appeal to you.

                          But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested. I’m confident you won’t regret it.

                          Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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