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How to Become More Productive by Managing Your Energy, Not Your Time

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It’s a common belief nowadays that if someone puts in longer hours, they’ll become more productive and produce better results. Plenty of successful entrepreneurs support this argument by working as much as 16 hours per day. Reading this post will help you realise that working longer hours may not necessarily translate to success, and in fact it might be a blocking it.

The main reasons behind this is are that working longer hours may lead to increasing your stress levels and harming mental and physical health. It may even cause poor concentration levels and poor work quality. Essentially, it’s not about the amount of time you put into different tasks, but it’s about quality.

In order to better manage your mental and physical energy which will consequently result in better productivity, let’s see the four main sources of energy that can be a determining factor to someone’s success:

1. Your Body Stores and Produces Physical Energy

Our body is the main source for storing and producing energy on a constant basis. The three main ways we can increase physical energy in our body include: Healthy Nutrition, Exercise and Sleep. Unless you focus your attention on these three key areas, you will find yourself getting easily tired, having trouble managing managing your emotions and concentration levels, as well as be more productive.

So take the first step by (almost) never skipping breakfast, which health nutritionists consider as the most important meal of the day. Make sure to get a full night’s sleep by shutting down your phone at least two hours before bedtime. Finally, include regular exercise into your weekly routine in order to maintain high energy levels.

2. Recognise The Quality Of Your Emotions

If you want to produce quality output in whatever you do, you must feel good. If you are overwhelmed with feelings of negativity or even sadness, it’s more likely that you will be ineffective. This is quite a challenge as we are often faced with long hours at work and the need to deliver multiple job demands on time. As a result, we sometimes tend to dive into negative emotions multiple times a day, especially when faced with stress and anxiety.

The constant mental strain that we involuntarily put our mind to can drain our energy, impact our progress and even affect our personal relationships. Three actions you can practice to fight against negative emotions include: Deep breathing, Appreciation, and Getting out of the mental loop. Let’s quickly look at them one by one.

  • Deep breathing will help you relax and calm down during a stressful situation. Simply inhale deeply and exhale slowly. Mindful breathing can instantly reduce your stress and ‘on-edge’ levels.
  • Expressing appreciation for the things and people we have in our lives can help us build positive energy. Try and avoid engaging in gossip or criticizing other people as it may lead to increased tension or even anxiety.
  • Get out of mental loops that may be caused from daily events or situations. A situation is only negative if we perceive it to be. If something bad happens, we tend to consider ourselves as the victims by playing the story in our mind over and over again. May such an event happens, try to find something positive about it.

“You just keep pushing. You just keep pushing. I made every mistake that could be made. But I just kept pushing.” – Rene Descartes

3. Focus Your Mind Energy On Positive Thinking

Our mind is the reason behind the mental power we need in order to do and enjoy tasks. Thinking in a positive way can result in positive outcomes like healthy relationships, successful career progression and even good physical health. Similarly negative thinking can result in negative results and ‘sad’ behaviour. In order to be more productive, it’s important that you use the power of your mind by saying no to distractions and doing activities that have a long term benefit.

Eliminating all distractions while you work is the first step to getting into ‘the zone.’ Simply focus on one thing at time – preferably, start with the most important ones. Multitasking will interrupt the flow of quality work. So try avoiding distractions from other people or mediums and switching from one task to another while working.

Focus on tasks and activities that will have some kind of long term benefit. This can include learning a new technical or soft skill or even building your professional network. Building up the ability of thinking long term will be something that your future self will thank you for.

4. Listen To Your Heart And Follow A Purpose

It’s essential that you work on something that you love. Avoid getting trapped in a career path that doesn’t complete you. It is worthy to note though that your job may not always be as exciting as you would expect it to be, and that’s normal. But the majority of it should ideally be fulfilling and give you the happiness and motivation you need to become more productive.

To follow our passion in a purposeful way, we need to always have three defining factors in mind. We should be doing the work we love and are best at; allocate time to important aspects of our lives, and put our values in practice on a daily basis.

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” – Marc Anthony

Think of past professional experiences and find moments when you felt the happiest along with the most inspired and naturally engaged with what you worked on. For those example experiences, identify what talents stood out and helped you thrive. If planning was the defining attribute for example, adopt a daily personal ‘ritual’ that will help you plan even more when at work.

Spending time for your career progression is important, but try to never forget that it’s equally important to spend time with family, exercise, and give back others. Finally, get closer to your life purpose by aligning your everyday work with what you value the most. If work really matters to someone, they are most likely to feel positive energy and focus better while persevering through hard times.

How do you manage your energy throughout the day? Let us know in the comments below!

Marios Kokolakis is a health motivation blogger and Content Manager at Brain Sharp; a fitness and nutrition blog promoting organic brain health supplements for concentration and productivity. His goal is to share his passion for health and fitness through blogging, while motivating people to pursue their dreams by applying different healthy lifestyle tips.

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10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success

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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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5 Changes in Your Habits That Will Help You Thrive

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We’ve all found ourselves at the bottom at least once in our lives. We thought that everything’s ruined and there’s no going back. The truth is – there’s always going back. Moreover, it takes one to fall many times and feel like everything’s ruined to succeed in life. (more…)

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