Physical Energy and How to Master It

The 4 Elements of Physical Energy and How to Master Them “Manage your energy, not your time” – Tony Schwartz This is the quote that made Tony Schwartzfamous. And it is one, that I believe best represents a truly efficient lifestyle in the 21stcentury the best. And yet, living “manage your energy, not your time” is incredibly hard, at least for me. It probably took me around 1 year, to just fully grasp its meaning. Since then, I’ve turned my life upside down and changed my routine dramatically. As one example, here at Buffer, we use an informal line to help us make better decisions. It goes something like this: “Working more is never the answer.” Whenever we are struggling under more workload, the first thing is to stop what we’re doing and think about a better way to manage our energy, not to add more work hours to our days. Schwartz famously proclaims in his book, that most of us are chasing the wrong resource: hours in the day. Instead, we should focus on something entirely different: our energy. Our energy can be broken down in 4 different elements: Your physical energy – how healthy are you? Your emotional energy – how happy are you? Your mental energy – how well can you focus on something? Your spiritual energy – why are you doing all of this? What is your purpose? The order of how these energies are written down is not random by the way. But Tony gives them this specific order to guide us through developing our energies in the right way. And in doing so, your physical energy comes...

The Journey

“Not all those who wander are lost.” ? J.R.R. Tolkien “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ? Ernest Hemingway We have all heard that no two snowflakes are alike. Each snowflake takes the perfect form for the maximum efficiency and effectiveness for its journey. And while the universal force of gravity gives them a shared destination, the expansive space in the air gives each snowflake the opportunity to take their own path. They are on the same journey, but each takes a different path. Along this gravity-driven journey, some snowflakes collide and damage each other, some collide and join together, some are influenced by wind… there are so many transitions and changes that take place along the journey of the snowflake. But, no matter what the transition, the snowflake always finds itself perfectly shaped for its journey. I find parallels in nature to be a beautiful reflection of grand orchestration. One of these parallels is of snowflakes and us. We, too, are all headed in the same direction. We are being driven by a universal force to the same destination. We are all individuals taking different journeys and along our journey, we sometimes bump into each other, we cross paths, we become altered… we take different physical forms. But at all times we too are 100% perfectly imperfect. At every given moment we are absolutely perfect for what is required for our journey. I’m not perfect for your journey and you’re not perfect for my journey, but I’m perfect for my journey and you’re perfect...

8 Habits to Improve Work Life

We’ve got eight tips of the latter variety to help you easily improve your work life. 1. Meet with your boss regularly. If your boss isn’t the hands-on type, make sure you take the initiative to meet with him/her regularly. A boss who doesn’t know who you are won’t assign you great projects or promote you, and you can’t make your boss look great unless you know his/her priorities. Aim to meet with your boss at least once a week to discuss the status of your latest projects. 2. Say hello and goodbye to your co-workers. Workplace rituals help you maintain a sense of control and security to combat your daily stresses. A simple one to try is to say hello and goodbye to your co-workers each day. It improves your relationship with your colleagues and bookends your day, so you have a clear signal to start and finish your workday. 3. Keep a work journal. Keeping a work journal forces you to answer the same work-related questions each day, reflecting on your successes and your struggles. By doing so, you’ll gain a far better understanding of your professional life and how you can improve it. Perhaps you’ll discover an underlying work issue you might not have noticed otherwise, or learn what to look for at your next position. For a sample list of questions, check out this article from LevoLeague. 4. Implement the 30-Second Habit. Did you know 30 seconds could change your life? Just use that time after every lecture or meeting to write down the important points. Refining your takeaway from each experience teaches you to focus your...

The 12 Pillars of Innovation

Articulate Vision and Inspire: Organizations cannot move in a new direction unless that vision is conceived, articulated and motivating. People, customers and employees, they need something to believe in…something to follow. That starts with communicating where we want to go and why it’s important and different. Form an Innovation Management Team: True leadership is a rare trait. Often top executives need to band together to create alignment and build the infrastructure necessary to support a culture of innovation. This team is responsible for establishing the charter and working with the key department heads necessary to research, prioritize, plan, test and learn, and establish best practices. More importantly, its responsible for integrating insights and new programs and processes throughout the organization. Promote Reverse Mentoring: There’s a disconnect today between older generations and the Millennials pervading the workforce. Older managers feel that younger generations have unrealistic expectations and they haven’t paid the same dues they did to earn success. At the same time, younger generations live life differently and can’t understand why others just don’t take the time to better understand their “day in the life.” Innovative companies such as GE promote reverse-mentoring to foster understanding, create mutual empathy and promote collaboration between disparate generations of team members. Optimize Decision-Making: Decision-making is the chokehold of corporate creativity. Evaluate how to optimize decisions and also introduce paths for ideas to earn consideration, development and expansion. This may start with the innovation management team, but ultimately, decision-making around ideas and creativity will benefit the entire enterprise and thus requires top-down implementation. Empowerment is key here. Additionally, a RACI chart is renewed or created...

Never Forget Names

How to Never Forget the Name of Someone You Know: The Science of Memory How would you like to be able to recall the name of a client or associate you just met? How would you like to go to the bank and not fumble for your account number every stinking time? Everyday scenarios like these are classic examples of our need for memorization. The function of memory has so many more applications, too—public speaking, schoolwork, studying, research, the list goes on and on. Memorizing is a key function in so many areas. Imagine if we could be better at it. Would you believe that memorization is not an innate ability but rather a learned skill? Approaching the topic from this paradigm changes everything. You can learn how to memorize. You can become a memory expert by application and sheer force. You have the power to memorize anything and everything. How our brain memorizes things Before we get to the memorization techniques, first a science lesson on how the brain stores memories. We’ve talked about the undervalued importance of sleep and creativity and productivity before, so you likely know that the brain is a complicated, beautiful system of working parts. Two of those working parts—the neurons and the synapses—are flexed during the memory-creating process. Neurons are the parts of the brain that send and receive electrical signals. Synapses are the roads that connect them. see the rest here via How to Never Forget the Name of Someone You Know: The Science of Memory – The Buffer...

Unusual Things

All the successful people I know have at least one thing they make sure to do every day; one thing they feel contributes greatly to their success. Some of the following are tech entrepreneurs, while others run more conventional businesses. For variety, I’ve also included a restaurateur and celebrity chef, a screenwriter and executive producer, an ex-Navy SEAL (because no list is complete without a SEAL), a chart-topping guitarist whose career spans three decades, and a creative director, author, and judge on Project Runway. Even so, you’ll find that each person’s “one thing” is almost always personal– instead of strictly professional. Because after all, success ultimately comes from within. Here they are: I shift my day. I found long ago that I have my best ideas and am at my most productive early in the morning. I used to lose this time in the rush of getting the kids out of the door and getting ready for work, and then I found myself trying to remember the great idea I had as I was putting on my mascara. So now I go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier–I’m up by 4am–which gives me a few hours of super-productive time before the craziness of the day starts and my mind gets jumbled with the mass of tactical decisions to be made. via: 20 Unusual Things 20 Successful People Do Every Day |...

Einstein’s Secret

Einstein is quoted as having said that if he had one hour to save the world he would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution. This quote does illustrate an important point: before jumping right into solving a problem, we should step back and invest time and effort to improve our understanding of it. Here are 10 strategies you can use to see problems from many different perspectives and master what is the most important step in problem solving: clearly defining the problem in the first place! The Problem Is To Know What the Problem Is The definition of the problem will be the focal point of all your problem-solving efforts. As such, it makes sense to devote as much attention and dedication to problem definition as possible. What usually happens is that as soon as we have a problem to work on we’re so eager to get to solutions that we neglect spending any time refining it. What most of us don’t realize — and what supposedly Einstein might have been alluding to — is that the quality of the solutions we come up with will be in direct proportion to the quality of the description of the problem we’re trying to solve. Not only will your solutions be more abundant and of higher quality, but they’ll be achieved much, much more easily. Most importantly, you’ll have the confidence to be tackling a worthwhile problem. Problem Definition Tools and Strategies The good news is that getting different perspectives and angles in order to clearly define a problem is a skill that can be learned and developed....

Star Wars Lessons

7 Things “Star Wars” Taught Me About Productivity 1) Rest when you have nothing to do. When Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn is fighting Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, a transparent door closes, dividing them (see in video above). Darth Maul paces back and forth ready to continue their battle while Qui-Gon simply sits and rests, seemingly doing nothing. In modern society we all feel like we have to be like Darth Maul. Pacing, finding a “purpose,” being anxious, stressed, waiting for doors to open. But it is great to justrest and be happy and not move when you don’t have to. I will tell you those doors will open, and it’s great. 2) Rid yourself of everything you don’t need. Obi-Wan lives a simple life in exile for 40 years when he’s on Tatooine. Yoda, Jedi Master, lives in a simple swamp hut after he loses his battle with the Emperor. They were still capable of laughing, of living, of staying healthy, and were able to train the next generation. They didn’t need anything to keep them entertained. It’s a story. But this is the way I would like to live: with my friend and my health intact, and not a material care in the world. 3) Practice being “good.” Being a good, compassionate person is a quality we develop over years and thousands of hours of practice. Most people are not good people. In business, in art, in almost every “world” I’ve been in, most people I meet are pretty gray to black. It takes practice to be the person who is a source of compassion and honesty. Supposedly it takes...

30 Must Do’s

30 Must Do’s Starting From Today Here are 30 must-do’s you can start working on today: Accept every unique piece of yourself. – The secret to happiness and success is the acceptance of yourself.  You will never become who you want to be if you rely on everyone else to qualify you.  Own yourself completely, just the way you are, flaws and all.  Once you love and accept even the worst possible version of yourself, you are free.  So always go with yourself, never against yourself.  Be who you were created to be and you will set the world on fire. Make yourself a priority. – Truth be told, there are only a few people in this world who will stay 100% true to you, and YOU should be one of them.  Prioritize your own needs into your daily to-do’s. Take positive action. – Don’t sit back and let things happen to you.  Go out and happen to things.  You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.  Stop saying “I wish” and start saying “I will.”  Turn your cant’s into cans and your dreams into plans. Do the work. – You can’t underestimate a person who always works hard.  Be that person.  In life, you don’t get what you wish for; you get what you work for.  Always remember that the task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you.  Do what’s right, not what’s easy.  Your dreams are worth it. Focus on priorities. – Don’t be busy; be productive.  The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose.  Make your time and presence count.  Focus...

Reach Your Goals

Reach Your Goals by Make a Mental Movie Warren Bennis, one of the most respected authorities on leadership in the world, said: “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” On the surface, this sounds perfunctory. But when we examine this more deeply, several important implications arise. If leadership is the ability to translate vision into reality, what is the method to do this? One way, according to the latest research, is to use our brains to optimize our chances of success. There is now incontrovertible evidence that imagining a movement will stimulate the movement areas in the brain. This technique has been used when helping people with stroke to begin moving and to help elite athletes optimize their pre-competition training. The recent example of the detailed visualization of Mikaela Shiffrin leading to a gold medal in the Olympic slalom is one such case in point. This evidence suggests that to reach your goals first write them down, and then determine different possible ways of achieving them. Then, close your eyes and imagine yourself following those paths. Imagination “warms up” the action brain and “jump starts” your brain. This technique can be especially helpful if you are procrastinating or stuck. via To Reach Your Goals, Make a Mental Movie – Srini Pillay – Harvard Business Review.   What Do You Want To Do You may be thinking this sounds easier said than done but if you think about it practically we have been doing this most of our lives…. as children on Christmas evening we sit and imagine opening our presents, we see ourselves tearing apart the wrapping and...