Habits

The Case for 5 Minutes of Gratitude a Day

Gratitude is an attitude – a mental and emotional, even spiritual acknowledgment that something’s going right.

It’s also a capacity booster.

This isn’t a new age thing. It’s practical. And you might even thank me for it.

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Habits for High Productivity Days

The first thing you need to know about having a high productivity day tomorrow is that it starts with the last thing you do today.

Habit 1: End your day with a plan for the next day.

One of the biggest pits I see busy managers and leaders fall into is that they work to exhaustion and leave the office without setting a plan for what they need to get done the next day.

Starting the day with a plan for what you have to achieve is key to having a highly productive day. That plan can and should be crafted in advance so you can: Continue reading…

Breaks Work at Work

Odds are you could be far more effective at work if you didn’t spend quite so much time working.

One tenant of energy management and workplace effectiveness is to take breaks every 90 – 120 minutes. But convincing bright motivated people to take 5 or 6 breaks in a day is no easy task.
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I got bumped!

I got turned down last week!

One of my clients, flat out said no to me.

We had a coaching appointment that I needed to change. I called to suggest a new time and he firmly said that he couldn’t accommodate me because he had another appointment. Continue reading…

Managers: Stop being so busy

Expectations weigh on all of us. But there are expectations, and expectations.

Managers are busy people, but if you’re non-stop busying yourself with meetings, emails and day to day operations you aren’t really doing what you were hired to do.

You weren’t hired to make the inevitable happen. Continue reading…

Breakfast in a Blender

How’s your day going so far? How did it start?

One of the ways I get to know my clients is by asking them to walk me through a typical day. I get them to start with their wake-up routine and we move all the way through to when they go to bed.

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Pick an event and go for gold

One way Olympic Athletes maintain focus is that they always train FOR something. They train for national competitions. They train for world championships. They train for the Olympics.

They summon the energy to get out there rain or shine because for them, exercise has a purpose.

You may not picture yourself taking the podium for the luge, but finding an event, or a physical challenge is a great way to shift your mindset from seeing exercise as a chore to seeing its purpose in your life. Continue reading…

Tap into an underexploited energy source: Your emotional energy

We all possess four distinct, yet interconnected sources of energy: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Most of us have a pretty good read on our physical and mental energy levels.

Energy reservesPhysical energy is about what your body can handle: you know your physical energy is low if you fall asleep on a conference call, or if you are dragging your butt to meetings.

Mental energy is about what your brain can handle: you know your mental energy is high if you’re able to analyze a dense report, or if you can make creative connections throughout the day.

Emotional energy is about what you can handle emotionally. It is often indicated by a person’s stress threshold, their breaking/boiling point, their ability to maintain a positive outlook, or their ability to motivate themselves and others. These are all critical factors for high performance at work and at home. Continue reading…

Holiday energy tips!

Do the holidays wear you out? Or are you already heading into the holidays wondering if you have the energy to do what everyone expects of you?

The holidays are fun, but they can also take a toll.

We race to get things finished up at work. Then there’s the shopping madness, the social engagements (pressures), and the family …fun.

My gift to my readers this year is a handful of energy tips that can help you get the most from the holiday season.

1.  Eat well Over the holidays treat your body to 80% light, healthy, energy boosting foods and 20% comforting, delicious holiday fare. And never “save up” calories by not eating, it will just backfire and you will overeat in the end. Continue reading…

Prepare yourself for stress

Layoffs and cutbacks take their toll on us emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. There’s no point pretending otherwise.

I’m not going to tell you that eating nuts and apples between meals will make you feel better about some of the repercussions of this economic downturn.

What I do want to make abundantly clear is that you will benefit by training for the marathon of emotional, mental, physical and spiritual stress ahead. No more excuses. Continue reading…

The week after New Years!

We’re a week into 2008 so relax, I won’t mention the R-word.

Last month, I encouraged you to review your accomplishments. Building on that, do you now need to make any changes? (Come on, you knew it was coming.) Continue reading…

Exercise for your brain

Did you know your brain represents only 2% of your body weight and requires a greedy 20% of your energy? That’s one of those facts that’s kind of fun to pull out at a party … if you can remember it.

I’m guessing there are a lot of things that you wish you could remember. There are decisions you wish you could make quicker. And there are moments when you would do anything to be able to focus. Have you considered rock climbing? Continue reading…

Stop letting things slide

So let me ask you this: What are you tolerating that you have the power to change?

Think about your people, projects, systems, behaviours, technical issues, the nagging feeling that you need to brush up on something, the tension in the air about an unresolved issue.

3 things you need to know about tolerating stuff

  1. whatever you tolerate adds to the weight you carry, it adds to your frustration, clutter, and resentment.
  2. the stuff that bogs you down, bogs your team down. There’s no getting around that.
  3. the act of tolerating something drains you, and postpones the reality you are working to create. Continue reading…

HPI Article: Why portion size matters

With their permission, I’m re-publishing a Human Performance Institute article on portion size for those of you who wanted to read a little more on the topic.

Why Portion Size Matters

Overeating can do more harm to engagement than you may realize. Much attention is given to the physical consequences of overeating such as excess body fat storage, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of disease.  Continue reading…

Stop Multitasking

WARNING: multitasking can be detrimental to your relationships, your health and your career.

Yup, I’m serious.

People who multitask actually perform at a significantly lower level than people who are able to fully engage. They may “do more” but they also make more mistakes, offend more people, and miss more important opportunities. Most significantly, they find it much more difficult to achieve their goals. Continue reading…

Invest and Rest

We are oscillatory beings. We live in waves.

Our heart rate goes up and down. Our brain waves go up and down. We breathe in. We breathe out. And if any of those patterns flat line, we’re in trouble.

At the most basic physical level, human life is a constant back and forth between stress and recovery; invest and rest.

Every time you reach for something, you strain.  When you attain it, you can relax. That’s how you grow. Continue reading…

Exercise for Energy

OK, I have to ask, did you make a New Year’s resolutions about fitness?

Because if you made the same tired resolution you made last year and the year before, drop it. If you made resolutions reliant on willpower, throw them out. And if you made fitness-related resolutions about looking different, I can guarantee you don’t have enough time in the day for a mirror to move you to action, so move on. Continue reading…

Self-coaching year end review

Look back over the past year, five, ten, fifty years. Think about the people, experiences, accomplishments and setbacks. And take a moment to appreciate all that you have gained. Try writing down your answers to some, or all, of these questions. This is important stuff – it is your life, your story. What do you have to say for yourself?

As you look back, what successes have you most enjoyed? Continue reading…

Look what you’ve done!

Whether you are planning for your own personal and professional success, or planning for the success of your team, it’s tempting to just look forward, and get on with it.

But when you do that, you are focusing on what you don’t have. Consciously or subconsciously – you are starting from lack. Why? Continue reading…

Eat Breakfast

It’s time for a game of fill in the blanks.

“Don’t skip breakfast, it’s ___________________. ”

If you guessed “the most important meal of the day”, give yourself a pat on the back.  It turns out Mom was right, but here’s what she might not have told you. Continue reading…