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10+ BEST BUSINESS AUDIOBOOKS TO FIND NEXT LEVEL SUCCESS

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business audiobooks

In a business world that is highly crowded and competitive, it takes a lot of time and energy to remain relevant and valuable to the marketplace. Every start-up, business owner, and entrepreneurial minded manager struggles to find the time to improve themselves, let alone stay abreast of the fresh perspectives found in the sea of self-help and business books that exist. The good news is, the growing availability of business audiobooks makes the development we all need to stay competitive, possible.

Audiobooks are truly a boon for anyone seeking a greater edge in their business or career, but that’s pressed for time. So, if you find that you’re the type of person who has been unable to take their career or business to the next level, simply because you don’t have the time to sit and read, well, audiobooks are the solution.

Audiobooks are a fantastic way to absorb the information from books while going about your daily life.  Whether you put one on during your commute or listen while your at the gym, they offer you a way to learn during times you normally couldn’t. With that said, here’s a handful of some of the best business audiobooks that you can begin listening to today to help you find that next level success in business and in life:

BEST BUSINESS AUDIOBOOKS

best business audiobooks

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1. ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie

This is pretty much the first book most of us turn to, the first we recommend to our friends and the one most often given as a gift.  It’s the most famous books in the realm of business books but that’s for a very good reason. 

This guide of how to look at situations and make yourself influential and likeable is not what you think.  It is surprisingly more about how to be genuine by not faking it.

How to Win Friends and Influence People is an ideal audiobook for business gurus who want to sell their expertise the right way.

2. ‘Ego is the Enemy’ by Ryan Holiday

Success is a fickle thing and if you let your ego win then you may find it’s destroyed you and your business.  But, according to Ryan Holiday (who also authored the NYT best seller The Obstacle Is The Way), you can take back your business expertise by taking control of your ego. That’s where the “Ego is the Enemy” audiobook comes in handy.

This audiobook discusses some stories of people who fell victim to their egos and the way it has affected them.  It’s a great listen to stop yourself from sabotaging your profession.

3. ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek

This audiobook challenges listeners to think about the “Why” in their business practices. It’s a secret technique that many natural-born leaders know. When the “Why” is addressed in one’s business venture, then that “Why” becomes the solution to business success.

Simon Sinek explains why certain people are able to see the “Why” in their work, while others don’t see it right away. So, if a business leader doesn’t see the “Why” in their work, then their leadership will fall flat. Sinek will explore this idea with his own experiences in his work and passions in the business world.

4. ‘Unbroken’ by Laura Hillenbrand

This one isn’t necessarily a business book and is pretty heavy but will give you that drive to face the challenges ahead of you. 

It discusses the story of Louis Zamperini who was a POW in the second world war after his plane crashed in the Pacific leaving him drifting on a raft for 47 days. It follows his experiences transferring from prison camp to prison camp in Japan.

5. ‘The 4 Disciplines Of Execution’ by Sean Covey, Chris McChesney, and Jim Huling

If you haven’t heard of the term “4DX,” then allow the likes of Sean Covey, Chris McChesney, and Jim Huling to explain what that is. Essentially, that is the abbreviation for “The 4 Disciplines of Execution.”

This audiobook is the perfect way for business leaders to make projects get off the ground – from the brainstorming sessions to the planning stage to the team executing that brilliant idea. This idea of the 4DX consists of four disciplines that are both practical and timeless. As you listen to this immersive, conference-like discussion, you’ll get plenty of advice on how to lead your business team with an effective plan.

6. ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ by Timothy Ferriss

Although it’s not about magically turning your workweek into four hours of effort, this audiobook suggests a different approach. Rather than find that burnout cure through reduced work hours, it suggests how working smarter is a better choice. 

This audiobook gives some great tips you can implement in your work. It’s a good introduction to finding that work-life balance.

7. ‘The Power Of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg

Making or breaking a habit is a familiar notion in Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. If you’re tired of your usual business habits, or want to spice up said habits, then this audiobook is for you.

This audiobook describes how the 30-day monotony can take a toll on businesspeople, including leaders. So, what makes these habits stick in the first place? Duhigg suggests three key elements—the cue, the routine, and the reward. He demonstrates these elements through examples and anecdotes. It’s through these examples and anecdotes that listeners can learn how to develop healthier habits in their business endeavors.

8. ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change’ by Stephen R. Covey

The guidebook of how to build your character and get as much out of your day as possible. It can feel a slog at times but is well worth the time listening.  This book is all about the big picture and looking to prioritize your to-do list to make you more efficient. 

Its 336 pages are full of information to help you. And, it includes practical systems that you can implement into your daily life.

9. ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ by Rob S. Sharma

A very entertaining book to listen to, this is mostly targeted at entrepreneurs and artists, but definitely gives lessons everyone can take something from.  It’s all about looking at what matters, taking responsibility for yourself, and knowing when it’s time to gracefully bow out.

However, the audiobook also understands when it’s time for a businessperson to double down and fight. In other words, Sharma understands that not all business ventures will be smooth-sailing. He suggests that the love for the job is what matters. It’s like the old saying, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

10. ‘Lean In: Women, Work, And The Will To Lead’ by Sheryl Sandberg

Celebrated TED Talk speaker and businesswoman Sheryl Sandberg isn’t afraid to share her experiences in the business world in her audiobook. The bulk of her audiobook exposes the concerns with women’s gradual but noticeable progress in business.

Sandberg not only shares from her own experiences, but also adds a bit of humor in her narrative. In addition to her assertive and casual demeanor, her book is all about tough love and understanding, since those qualities make up the recipe for success for women’s success in the business world, thus crushing the outdated, stereotypical women-stay-at-home myth.

Bonus Business Audiobook: ‘Mastery’ by Robert Greene

Finally, Robert Greene has a great audiobook for businesspeople everywhere. Greene will show you how to “master” the art of being a guru at anything you set your mind to, especially business.

If you’re looking to take more control of your life or business and begin shaping it into the master piece that it can be, then you’ll love this book. The work and research he puts into his every book is second to none, and in this particular book Greene pieces together the secrets of what it takes to become a Master. So, if you’re looking for some serious insights on how to become the master of your business, this book is a must read.

Wrapping Up

There are so many additional business audiobooks out there for you to choose from. This selection is just a starter list to help you learn a handful of new and unique ideas to improve yourself, your mindset, and eventually your success in business.

Of course, it’s important to branch out beyond the typical “business” genres as you search out other audiobooks that can truly help you grow

STRIVE

Self-Improvement

DECISION FATIGUE: HOW TO OVERCOME THIS SECRET PRODUCTIVITY KILLER

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Decision Fatigue

Mark Zuckerburg is one of the richest men in the world, yet he’s known for wearing the same grey t-shirt into work almost every day.

Aside from being one of the most revolutionary entrepreneurs of our time, Steve Jobs was famous for sporting his iconic black turtleneck into work every day.

And some of the last few Presidents of the United States have been known to limit their wardrobe to only two or three colors.

These types of habits from these high-achievers may seem odd. However there is a method to their madness, and it’s all based around decision fatigue.

In this article, we’ll dive into decision fatigue and discuss how it hampers your ability to make productive, rational decisions that improve your life. Additionally, we’ll dive into some practical ways that you can overcome it through some slight adjustments to your daily routine.

The Courtroom Study

Perhaps the most famous study involving decision fatigue was conducted by Jonathan Levav of Columbia University and Shai Danzinger of Ben Gurion University.

Assisted by a team of psychologists, Jonathan and Shai reviewed more than one thousand court decisions made by judges over a ten month period. The judges had been tasked with sitting through parole hearings and making a determination as to whether or not a prisoner should be released.

As the team delved deeper into these decisions, they made a startling discovery.

Prisoners who appeared before the judge early in the morning were granted parole 65 percent of the time, whereas prisoners who appeared before the judge late in the day were only granted parole 10 percent of the time.

These findings begged the question — why the drastic difference in parole rates from the morning to later in the day?

Being a parole judge means using a lot of brainpower. It requires thorough examination of case files, personal background, and several other factors that are vital to deciding whether or not a prisoner should be released.

Each day, the judges had to expend significant mental energy in order to make judgements about the fate of the prisoners. The researchers concluded that as their reserve of mental energy depleted, their decision making was negatively impacted.

In this specific study, denying the prisoners parole is simply the equivalent of taking the path of least resistance.

It turns out that after a long day of making complex decisions, your brain will naturally start looking for ways to conserve energy later on in the day.

  • You’ll start to look for excuses to procrastinate on important work.
  • You’ll avoid going to the gym even though you committed to lift weights earlier in the day
  • You’ll opt for an unhealthy snack in the pantry because you don’t feel like making a healthy dinner.

In summary, you’ll tend to stick with the status quo because your brain is tired of making decisions.

What Is Decision Fatigue?

Decision fatigue is simply the slow deterioration of your ability to make rational decisions as your brain fatigues throughout the day

Studies like the one above highlight the fact that your willpower is like a muscle — it gets fatigued each time you have to use it. Just like your biceps fatigue after a set of curls at the gym, your willpower gets fatigued each time you make a decision.

The link between decision making and willpower goes both ways: Decision making depletes your willpower, and once your willpower is depleted, you’re less equipped to make decisions.

In the courtroom study, each judge started the day with plenty of mental energy to analyze each case on its merits. However, as their energy started to fade, sticking with the status quo seemed like the easiest option, so that’s what they did.

Decision fatigue is one of the main reasons why we procrastinate. It’s why we give into bad habits and make decisions that sabotage our long-term goals.

And while there’s nothing we can do to eliminate decision fatigue completely, we can significantly reduce the impact that it has on our lives.

HOW TO OVERCOME DECISION FATIGUE

How to Overcome Decision Fatigue

Before we get into some practical tips, you must realize that it’s impossible to completely eradicate decision fatigue from your life. No matter what you do each day, your capacity for making rational decisions will decrease as the day progresses.

However, you can shield yourself from these significant decreases in willpower by implementing a few lifestyle changes which we’ll get into right now.

1. Set Your Clothes Out Before You Go to Bed

One of the first decisions that we make each morning is choosing the outfit that we’re going to wear for the day ahead.

If you take a few minutes the night before and lay out what you’re going to wear the following day, you won’t have to spend any time pondering the outfit that’s going to look best on you.

Instead, you’ll walk right over to the dresser and throw clothes on without even thinking about it.

For some of you, this might only save a couple of minutes each day. For others, this one time action may save you 5-10 minutes of indecisiveness each morning.

Regardless, removing a decision from your morning routine will help you conserve mental energy for the day ahead.

2. Leverage Time Blocking To Structure Your Day

Time blocking is one of the best ways to combat decision fatigue because it sets a clear agenda for the day ahead.

When you’re armed with an agenda for how you’re going to spend your time on any given day, you bring clarity and structure to your life. And perhaps more importantly, you remove the fuzziness that many people experience while going about their daily decisions.

Making plans requires a significant amount of mental energy. So if you don’t have one when you wake up in the morning, your brain will have to come up with these plans on the fly.

In other words, you’ll have to constantly make decisions about where to focus your attention at any given moment. And the more energy you waste thinking about what to do, the less energy you’re able to devote towards getting things done.

Time blocking will ensure that you don’t waste any of your precious mental energy making plans, and it’s actually quite simple to implement. Here’s a quick guide for implementing time blocking into your life:

  • Open up Google Calendar/Outlook (whatever digital calendar you use). If you’re old school, then take out a sheet of paper.
  • Starting from after your morning routine, plan out your day in 1-2 hour blocks and set a focus for each of these blocks.
  • If you need to create a 15 minute block for smaller tasks that still need to get done, feel free to do that.
  • Set a hard stop for when you will stop working and don’t schedule anything after that.

Just so you have a reference, here’s what my schedule looks like as someone who runs a blog while also working a full-time sales job.

  • 6:30 AM – 9:30 AM: Blogging
  • 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM: Find new accounts to prospect
  • 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Check email + schedule out prospecting emails in advance
  • 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch
  • 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Hold for client meetings
  • 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: End of day admin tasks + prep for tomorrow
  • 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM: Blogging

Now does this mean that every single day looks like this? Absolutely not.

Meetings get scheduled, laziness and procrastination kick in, fires come up that need to be put out, etc. All of that is beside the point.

The point is that at each moment of the day, I know exactly where I need to be spending my energy. I don’t need to exert any brainpower to figure out what to work on because my daily priorities have already been established.

So if you find that your days seem to lack structure and clarity, try to reduce the burden on your brain and give time blocking a shot.

3. Do The Hard Stuff First

Many times, you’ll hear people say that they struggle with knocking the high-priority tasks off of their to-do list. Usually, these are the tasks that require the greatest amount of mental energy to complete.

As a result, people tend to make the mistake of starting the day by knocking out minor tasks in order to get some quick wins under their belt. When it comes to maximizing productivity, this is a huge mistake.

Because usually by the time they get around to the high-priority stuff, they don’t have the same level of energy and willpower they possessed earlier in the day. Unfortunately, It’s been sapped due to the thousands of decisions that they’ve already made.

As a result, it becomes easier to choose the path of least resistance and procrastinate the stuff that needs to get done.

Remember the courtroom study from the beginning of the article?

At first, the judges were exercising their brainpower to make rational decisions about the fate of prisoners. As the day dragged on though, the judges started defaulting to the status quo because it didn’t require much effort.

Now for you, the status quo may not be denying parole:

  • It might be binge-watching Netflix instead of working on the presentation that you need to get done
  • It might be sitting on the couch checking social media instead of forcing yourself to the gym
  • It might be checking emails instead of prepping for an important call that you have coming up.

The bottom line is that all of these activities detract from the kind of work that significantly moves the needle towards your most ambitious goals.

In order to combat this, you must put the tasks that you’re most likely to procrastinate at the very beginning of the day.

At the start of the day, your willpower and motivation are at peak levels. This means that it’ll feel a little easier to exert some self-discipline and complete your most cognitively demanding tasks.

Now what defines high-priority work is different for everyone.

For me, it’s writing content for my blog. That’s why it has a three hour time block on my calendar which starts immediately after my morning routine.

For you, it could be hitting the gym, or planning for calls with clients, or spending time educating yourself about your industry.

Whatever it is, get it done first. You’ll undoubtedly experience a surge of positive momentum that you’ll carry with you as you work through the rest of your to-do list.

Final Thoughts

Decision fatigue affects everyone, whether it’s Mark Zuckerburg or the janitor at your local high school.

We often underestimate the effect that seemingly insignificant decisions have on our willpower and motivation, but the truth is that they do have a compounding effect on our decision making.

Although you can’t eliminate decision fatigue from your life completely, the best way to combat it is by planning ahead. By applying the suggestions provided in this article, you’ll reduce the burden on your brain and find it easier to maintain focus as the day progresses.

Till then,

STRIVE

PS – If you enjoyed this article on how to overcome decision fatigue, then you’ll certainly enjoy this supporting resource that showcases the keystone habits you’ll need to crush decision fatigue for good.

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Self-Improvement

10 BEST PRODUCTIVITY BOOKS TO READ IN 2022

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Best Productivity Books

It doesn’t matter if it’s the beginning of the new year, end of the summer, or the beginning of Q4, it seems like everyone is trying to find ways to get more productive. But what exactly is the definition of productivity? Applying productivity to our lives isn’t exactly the same as applying it to economic contexts. However, it’s core meaning still applies. Essentially, we want to be doing the most we can with the least time and effort.

In saying that, being productive doesn’t mean working all the time, it means being smart with your time and making the most of it. These 10 productivity books will help you explore productivity in different ways; with each giving valuable insight into how you can succeed. Part of becoming more productive is learning about what tools and methods work the best.

So, without further ado, here are some of the best productivity books you can find that will definitely be able to help you…

10 BEST PRODUCTIVITY BOOKS THAT YOU SHOULD READ

Best Productivity Books

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1.   The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

If there’s one book you have to read to help you with productivity, its Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This book is a classic in the self-help category. Despite being published decades ago in 1989, Covey’s lessons remain relevant today. Some of the concepts in this book may seem pretty obvious. For instance, prioritising and putting what’s important first or having a vision for the future.

However, Covey provides a lot of insight into productivity. His book has also introduced useful tools such as his time management matrix. Essentially, this involves creating a two-by-to matrix with the tiles “Urgent” and “Not Urgent” across the top, and “Important” and “Not Important” along the side.

With this time management matrix, you’re able to categorise your week’s tasks into 4 categories; Urgent-Important, Not Urgent-Important, Urgent-Not Important, and Not Urgent-Not Important. The first category being the most important, the second being tasks that matter in the long run but with no immediate benefits, the third being the interruptions that take up our time and the last being the things we do when we need a break.

The lessons and tools in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People will allow you to become more aware of how you’ve been spending your time. As a result, you’ll be in tune with which tasks you should focus more of your time on and which you should be trying to eliminate in order to be the most productive.

2.   Grit by Angela Duckworth

Grit is a slightly different kind of productivity book where Angela Duckworth explores how passion and perseverance are the true markers of success. Duckworth has studied the psychology of success by examining all kinds of people that are typically deemed “successful” such as army cadets and telesales executives.

Duckworth argues that people are not necessarily predisposed to succeed but instead get as far as they do because of “grit.” Essentially, “grit” is a blend of commitment, overcoming setbacks, wanting to improve and being willing to do unpleasant things in order to succeed. By knowing your passions and being able to follow through on them, you can get to where you want to be.

So how does having “grit” link to productivity? With so many distractions threatening to take up our time, being resilient is crucial in trying to be productive. Having a clear vision and being able to take the steps to reach with passion and perseverance will do wonders for improving your productivity.

3.   Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is another book that may not seem to directly related to productivity. However it teaches incredibly valuable lessons if you’re looking to take control of your personal finannces and find financial freedom. Making money work for you will mean you can spend less time working for money.

Robert Kiyosaki explores the stories of his own father and the father of his best friend, both with opposing views on how to deal with finance. One of the book’s foundational ideas revolves around the fact that you need to educate yourself financially. If you spend your extra money on an improved lifestyle, you’re guaranteed to lose all of it. If you spend it on investments, even if they were high risk, there is only a chance of losing it all.

Having made the majority of fortune through real estate investment, Kiyosaki offers a unique view on money and assets. He teaches you that in order to save and invest, you should manage risks rather than try to avoid them. By being productive about your personal finances, you can get one step closer to financial freedom.

Again, this book belongs in our list of best productivity books because it provides invaluable insights that will help you use your money in a way that help you live a much more productive life.

4.   The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey originally started off writing about productivity on his blog. After running productivity experiments, interviewing experts and looking through research, Bailey came out with The Productivity Project to document the lessons he’s learned. Though his book is relatively new and not an established title, he introduces many valuable ideas on productivity.

The core message in The Productivity Project is the idea that productivity is made up of three factors; time, attention and energy. Rather that productivity being just about how we manage our time, Bailey suggests that productivity is also largely about how we manage our energy and attention.

In order to be productive, all three factors have to be in tune. Learning how to manage your time can be done by practicing how to organise your priorities. In terms of energy, you have to manage health aspects such as diet and sleep. Bailey also coins the phrase Biological Prime Time. By tracking your hourly energy levels over a couple weeks, you can determine which time of the day you’re most productive. Finally, your time and energy will be used up based on where you decide to direct your attention. Hence, it’s important to not pay too much attention to distractions.

Bailey also dives into multiple other lessons. For instance, the Rule of Three is a principle where you determine the 3 tasks you want to complete each day. Another practice to consider taking on is a weekly review on the key categories of your life such as relationships, health and career. The last lesson that comes from The Productivity Project is to make a “Waiting For” list, separate from your normal to-do list, with all the tasks you can’t do until someone else gets back to you.

5.   Deep Work by Cal Newport

Deep Work by Cal Newport is another relatively new addition to the productivity book space. This book is perfect for the modern generations who have found themselves spending too much time on social media and email. Newport explores the difference between shallow work and deep work, highlighting the importance of making time and energy for deep work.

Deep focus and deep work seem to be lacking in the 21st century workplace. Deep work is a concept that allows you to develop the ability to grasp hard concepts, and to produce work with quality and speed. The key to high productivity is to increase the time you can work on a task without interruptions.

In order to make the most of our limited willpower, Newport suggests we schedule deep work blocks into your calendar. Focus on the critical tasks, track your new behaviours, keep a scoreboard and stay accountable for maintaining this continual process. Often, we’re used to checking our phones even at the potential of boredom. Hence, Newport also introduces the idea of scheduling breaks in order to give into our boredom and distractions.

In terms of the things we should stop doing to achieve deep work, Deep Work implores readers to quit social media and any other tools where the negative impacts on your professional and personal life outweigh the positive impacts. Newport proposes that you attempt consciously staying away from social media for 30 days without deactivating. Afterwards, consider whether you were greatly inconvenienced and whether anyone cared.

6.   The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, is a well known title in the productivity space. Though there are criticisms surrounding the book since some of Ferriss’s ideas aren’t completely practical, most people can agree that The 4-Hour Workweek offers useful insights that anyone can benefit from, even if you don’t completely take on his approach.

One of the most popular concepts explored in Ferriss’s book is the 80/20 principle. Essentially, the principle suggests that 80% of your productivity comes from 20% of your tasks. Hence, you should focus on the 20% of tasks that produce the most output. At the same time, you should eliminate the 80% of tasks that only produce 20% of your productivity.

As mentioned early, the ideas in The 4-Hour Workweek aren’t practical for everyone. However, if you’re an aspiring business owner, the book might be able to teach you a few lessons. Ferriss suggests that you must validate your business ideas by ensuring you can profit. Even if an idea can solve a problem, it might not be solving a big enough inconvenience for people to pay money for it.

The bulk of Ferriss’s book is based on four steps. First, you need to define your goals by asking yourself what you really want. Then, you need to eliminate distractions, the 80% of tasks that only make up 20% of your productivity. Thirdly, you should automate your cash flow by outsourcing any menial tasks and by creating a business that can run on autopilot. Finally, Ferriss implores readers to liberate themselves from the traditional expectation of a 40 hour workweek by designing your job around mobility.

All in all, you can’t go wrong with this classic productivity book, so don’t hesitate to give it a go.

7. The STRIVE JOURNAL

The final suggestion for top productivity books is The Strive Journal. This resource is more of a workbook than an actual book. However, it does contain a short motivating story about the power of persistence.

The main reason this resource makes the list is because of it’s unique layout and built-in daily activities that lend to increased productivity, especially as it pertains to reaching your daily to dos and quarterly goals.

So, as a best practice, you should consider reading these first six books on productivity, and then utilizing this goal planning resource to help you manage your productivity for the next 365 days.

8. Extreme Productivity

If you’re looking for a productivity book that will show you how to harness a laser-like focus so you can get the most done in the least amount of time, then this book is for you.

Written by one of the business world’s most productive and successful business leaders, Robert C. Pozen, you’ll get a good dose of productivity insights and mindset shifting tips. By the end of the book, you’ll be ready to put your newfound efficiencies and productivity to the test, and chances are you’ll like your results.

So, give Extreme Productivity a read if you’re ready for some next-level productivity hacks.

9. Getting Things Done

David Allen is one of the most widely recognized experts on personal and organizational productivity. He’s also one of the most highly rated executive coaches who’s been coaching and researching on productivity for over three decades now.

Needless to say, he knows his stuff when it comes to productivity and getting things done. So, if you’re looking for one of the best books on productivity, ‘Getting Things Done’ delivers.

Without a doubt, this book will add structure and consistency to your productivity efforts, and will get you on the right track towards being more productive. Some say it’s a long dry read, and that you only need to read the first third of the book, but we believe regardless of how much you read, you’ll walk away with insights that will help you become your most productive self.

10. The 5 Am Club

Robin Sharma is the best of the best when it comes to high performance coaching. He’s been coaching, educating, and inspiring billionaires and business icons for over two decades now, and he shows that he still has tons of life-changing insights left to share with this book.

Sharma’s ‘The 5 Am Club’ will show you how a few simple adjustments to your life can dramatically reduce your stress, increase your focus, improve your creativity, and give you the foundation to skyrocket your productivity in business and in life.

You really can’t go wrong with this book, it delivers on its promises.

Final Thoughts

There is no better time than now to take a deep dive into reading. These 10 productivity books are definitely worth the investment if you’re looking to take control of how you spend your time. With a better understanding of productivity, you’ll be better equipped to tackle any projects or goals you’re currently working on.

STRIVE

PS – If you enjoyed our top list of productivity books, then you’ll likely also enjoy these additional productivity supporting resources:

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Confidence

BE YOUR OWN HERO

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Be Your Own Hero

The Strive recently published an article by Atlas Rowe about finding your greatness.

It was a great article and he made many good points that I agree with.

There are a lot of people that are worried that wanting to be successful or rich will make them no different than one of those egotistical, entitled, shallow rich people. I know because I used to be one. I used to think the pursuit of money made me shallow and ugly.

But there are also a lot of people that want things to be easy. I know because I used to be one of those people too, not wanting to put myself out there and take a risk, in case I fell flat on my face.

It felt safer to wait until I had the perfect idea, or for the perfect moment.

I put a condition on my success without realising it.

Success was only possible if first x,y and z happened.

What is Your Dream?

Tell me, do you have a dream?  A wish?  Want to lose weight, start a business, get married, find that perfect job?

Here’s a question:  What is holding you back?

Why haven’t you started your business yet?

Why aren’t you married yet?

Why are you still complaining about your dead end job, why haven’t you done anything about it?

I can hear the litany of excuses you are likely shouting at me now.

“There are no jobs available that i’m qualified for.”

“I can’t afford a gym membership right now so I can’t lose weight.”

“There are no more good men/women left to date.”

I hear it all the time and it drives me nuts. Friends, family, co-workers, all complaining about something or another without taking action.

So many of us are waiting for the right moment.

We have a dream but we add a condition to it so we have a convenient excuse on why we haven’t taken action yet.

And it allows us to say “It’s not my fault”.

Too often we want what we want without making an effort.

Yes you want to be a millionaire and I see you buying lottery tickets, but honestly, you are more likely to get rich starting your own internet business than you are winning the lottery.

You are like a victim in a superhero movie, waiting for Batman to sweep in and save you.

Well here’s a thought:  IT’S TIME TO BE YOUR OWN HERO!

Be Your Own Hero Quote

Batman didn’t know what he was doing at first either. It took him a while to perfect his costume (let’s face it he still can’t turn his neck). He had to learn how to fight, leap from buildings, drive ridiculous cars and bikes (I mean really!).

He doesn’t carry a gun so he has to pummel bad guys with his bare hands, and get pummelled in the process himself.

The police hate him. He has no friends, and only one person, Alfred, knows his true identity.

Yet he goes to work during the day and then at night, instead of sitting in front of the TV eating pizza, he goes out fighting crime so he can make his city a better place to live in.

No-one shows up to save him, but everyone expects him to save them.

His life sucks, big time!

I bet it sucks more than yours.

But still he does it. He does it because he has a dream and no-one else can do it for him.

It’s time for you to become your own hero and make your own world better.

I have researched a lot of successful people, and if there is one thing I can say for sure, is that they took responsibility for their own lives.

They took action to make their dreams come true.

There was no waiting for the right job, or the right moment.

They didn’t sit around complaining that no-one was helping them, that they didn’t know how to do something, or about their boss, or their lack of opportunities.

They went out there and they made it happen.

For most of them, it was hard, it took time, there were many setbacks, people saying it couldn’t be done.

I bet they were lonely, and scared, and worried about money.  But they stayed the course until they succeeded.

There’s a quote floating around on the internet, how some people work for years and years only to suddenly become “successful overnight”.

It’s like TheStrive.co, do you think they built this website overnight? No, it took years of hard work and dedication to make it the brilliant site it is today.

I used to be one of those mediocre underachievers, never really trying too hard to achieve things, I worried about failing, or being seen to fail.

I didn’t think I could do it and to be honest I was simply too scared.

It has taken many years of reprogramming my brain, but I’ve realized that I am actually capable of anything I put my mind to, I SIMPLY HAVE TO GET STARTED.

  • When I try things, I am more likely to achieve something.
  • And I learn from it.
  • I even learn from failing.
  • This increases my confidence.
  • Which means that now I am willing to try even bigger and better things.

I became my own hero.

I now know that if I want something to happen, it is my duty and responsibility to do it.

No-one else can do it for me. It’s just me, I have to take action.

What Does it Mean to Be Your Own Hero?

It means no more excuses.

No more waiting for the right moment, or the right opportunity.

No more being afraid.

Your parents aren’t responsible for your life, nor your boss, your teachers, your partner or your financial adviser.

You are the person responsible for your life.

It’s time to take action, even if it’s a small step, to making your dreams come true.

How Do I Start? Where Do I Start?

Career

If you want a promotion then don’t wait until you feel ready.

There are two types of people in this world, those who think they are ready to be CEO when they are not, and those who never feel ready, so they don’t even try.

You’re obviously in the 2nd group otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.

Make an appointment with your boss, state your case for a promotion, and get clarity of what you’ll have to do to make it happen.

My boss gave me a lot of projects to work on for a year or two to raise my profile.

It also gave me lots of material to put on my promotion form to prove I have what it takes to go to the next level.

New Job

Enough complaining about how much you hate your job.

It’s time to start looking for a new job.

The perfect job isn’t going to find you through magic, you’ll have to go looking for it.

And like a princess you’re going to have to kiss a few frogs.

This means go for interviews even if you don’t particularly want the job, because it is great practise.

That way when the job you DO want comes along, your interview skills will be awesome.

  1. Write your CV.
  2. Create a few online job seeker profiles – there are many websites to choose from, in all industries. Start with Linked In if you are unsure.
  3. Search for 10 jobs at least, they don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t need to have all the qualifications listed.
  4. Apply for those 10 jobs.
  5. Wait a week or two. REPEAT the process until you get at least three interviews.

Romance

I recently had a conversation with a friend about dating.

I often feel that when we date, or when we are single, we are hoping someone will come along and sweep us off our feet, solve all our problems for us, tell us we’re beautiful and smart, make us feel loved and worthy of being loved.

We expect them to help us magically melt all our insecurities away in a heartbeat.

If only the right person would come along to love you, you could finally feel confident, secure and happy.

We’re all waiting for that confident, pretty, successful and rich person to come along.

No-one thinks to become that person themselves.

The problem with waiting for someone else to be your hero, is that there are no perfect heroes. Everyone has their own problems, and their own insecurities.

So instead you must become the hero in your own story.

When I first saw the movie Shrek, I was very amused by the princess.

She is clearly her own hero capable of saving herself.

But instead of taking ownership, she chooses to wait around for her perfect prince to come along.

Don’t be the princess in the tower.

Consider this:  Why should someone else love you if you don’t love yourself?

Work on yourself, learn to love yourself.

Business

So you want to have your own business but don’t know where to start?

Here’s a thought:  E-commerce

Selling a product on Amazon is the easiest way to get started and you can do that while still showing up for your day job (the one you hate).

  1. Make a list of everything you have bought yourself over the past 6 months.
  2. Then make a list of everything your partner has bought over the past 6 months
  3. And another list of everything you hear your friends or work colleagues talk about.
  4. Have kids in the family? Well what toys do they talk about or like playing with?

If you still don’t have an idea for your first product then it’s time to pivot to some other type of business.

Education

It’s time to stop talking about it and finally sign up for your MBA, or those guitar lessons you’ve had on your New Year’s Resolutions now for 5 years straight.

I bet at least one person you work with has an MBA.

Ask around till you find that person, and get their thoughts on where you should go for yours.

Guitar lessons you can easily do online.

Or better yet, GO OUT AND BUY A GUITAR and then ask the salesperson who they would recommend.

Money

It’s time to accept you are underpaid.

And therefore time for a payrise.

I find it works about the same as asking for a promotion.  Make a list of all everything you’ve achieved over the past year or 2, and it helps if you can find out what others earn.

If your manager is willing he/she might give you some more projects to work on.  This is good, that way when you complete it they have no choice but to give you the pay increase.

But if they say no, then it’s time to negotiate.

  1. Don’t accept no for an answer
  2. Be patient
  3. Continue the conversation as calmly as possible
  4. Impress on your boss all your successes
  5. List your current responsibilities
  6. Mention your completed projects
  7. And find out the general salary on the street (only if higher than yours, don’t mention it if it’s lower)
  8. Be willing to compromise.
    1. You can offer to work more weekends to prove your dedication to the company, or vice versa, if they offer to pay for travel expenses or something similar, then it’s as good as getting a pay rise as you’ll still have extra money in your pocket.

Read Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Christopher Voss.

It’s one of the best books on negotiation I’ve ever read.

I’ve negotiated the most random concessions out of companies and people using these techniques, all which in the end had real monetary value for me.

Buying a House

I can’t lie, unless you are a hedge fund baby, you’re going need to start saving some money every month.

Hero’s don’t wait for permission. So grab the bull by the horns, and start socking money away whenever you can and as much as you can.

The sooner you start the easier it will become, and the BETTER it will be for you thanks to Compound Interest.

Compound interest is when you earn interest on last year’s interest.

Over 10 years it can make a massive difference.

The same goes for credit cards, but not in your favour. Interest on interest you haven’t paid is like burning banknotes for fun, except no-one actually thinks it’s fun.

In my opinion, you should be buying your first house by the age of 30. Even if you think the market is overpriced, start saving money, because luck happens when preparedness meets opportunity.

The point is, get your budget together and start saving money.

  1. Have a look at starter homes for first time buyers in your area so you can get an idea of prices
  2. Make a budget
  3. List your income
  4. List all your expenses
  5. List everything that you spend money on that are luxuries (I hate to be one of THOSE people but 5 Starbucks lattes a day is not a good investment)
  6. Figure out what you can give up each month
  7. How much can you then save a month

The math works like this:

  1. You can save $100 per month
  2. You need $20,000 to put down on a deposit for a house
  3. That means you have to save for 200 months, which is 16+ years.

Or

  1. You want to buy a house in 5 years, so 12 months x 5 = 60 months of saving
  2. The deposit will be $20,000.
  3. So you need to save $334 per month

Round the World Trip

Be honest now, it’s on your bucket list isn’t it!

Here’s the good news that most employees don’t know, because they don’t read the employee handbook properly.

Most companies offer some sort of unpaid leave where you can take a career break without having to quit your job.

Meaning that as long as you have saved enough money for expenses while you travel, your job will still be there when you get back.

Check with your HR department, then have a conversation with your manager.

Find out what they would be willing to agree with.

It might be that they can’t do without you this year, but if you wait 12 months after that big project has finished, they would be willing to let you take 3 months off.

Become Your Best Self

I’ve left this one for last as it’s a bit vague.

But the truth is that success in life requires you to TAKE SOME FORM OF ACTION.

For many that action is too scary.

We lack self confidence or self-esteem for so many reasons, so to take that next step can be daunting and scary.

So it’s time to start working on yourself.

Learn more about confidence, build new habits that set you up for success, and start working on acquiring the skills you might need to build the future you want.

You are still delaying taking action, but at least you are taking small steps in the right direction.

The point is to START!

Conclusion

Be The Hero Of Your Own Story Quote

Every journey begins with a small step.

Define your dream life.

Identify small steps you can take towards it.

OR…

GO BIG!

Take MASSIVE action.

Dive in head first and learn to swim with the sharks.

It’s your choice.

But I promise you, on your deathbed you will wish you had at least tried.

Don’t be the boring grandparent!

Be the grandparent with the great stories to tell!

Till next time,

STRIVE

PS – If you enjoyed this post about becoming your own hero, then you’ll love this post on How to Be a Conqueror.

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Self-Improvement

KEYSTONE HABITS: THE QUICKEST WAY TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE

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How do you change your life?

As someone who’s intensely passionate about personal development, I think about this question often.

What I’ve come to realize is that it’s not the right question. Because when most of us ask this question, what we really want to know is this:

What specific lifestyle changes would have the greatest impact on my overall happiness levels?

Well, to answer this question accurately we must talk about keystone habits. This article will discuss keystone habits in more detail and how they can rapidly improve your life.

What are Keystone Habits?

Charles Duhigg was the first person to introduce the idea of keystone habits. In his all-time classic book, The Power of Habit, he writes the following:

Keystone habits don’t create a direct cause-and-effect relationship, but they can spark chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.”

Keystone habits are habits with tremendous upside. Once solidified into your life, they unintentionally create a ripple which brings about several other positive changes.

Let’s suppose that you have a goal to get in better shape. In order to achieve this goal, you decide that you’re going to start exercising for twenty minutes per day. Assuming that you actually follow through on this intention, you’d probably lose a decent amount of weight after a few months.

However, is the number on the scale the only thing about your life that would be different?

  • As you get in better shape, you’ll probably increase the difficulty of your workouts, which means you’ll be looking even more fit and lean.
  • You might start skipping out on fast food because you don’t want to gain back the weight you’ve worked so hard to lose.
  • Repeated consistency in the gym will likely boost your self-esteem because you like the body you see when you look in the mirror.
  • Since you’re now less insecure about your weight, you may have more confidence when interacting with the opposite sex

See what’s going on here?

At no point did you set a goal to change your diet or improve your self-esteem. These changes just came about naturally due to your commitment to getting in better shape.

That’s the real power of keystone habits — once the first domino falls, others fall naturally.

How To Identify Keystone Habits

Now that we’ve talked about the powerful compound effect of keystone habits, let’s talk about how you can identify your own.

There’s a couple of different ways to go about this, so we’ll discuss two methods that will help you pinpoint the perfect habits for you to focus your energy on.

Identify Keystone Habits

The first method you can use to identify potential keystone habits is called the Lookback Method.The lookback method requires you to analyze your past experiences and take note of the periods in your life when you felt your best.

We’ve all experienced certain periods in our life where we just seemed to feel more motivated and energized. During these periods, it’s likely that we were engaging in a collection of habits that set us up for success.

Think about these periods and see if you can find any common themes. In order to make this process easier, here’s a few self-reflection questions that you can ask yourself.

  • Is there a specific daily ritual that was constant among each of these periods?
  • Was there a particular lifestyle change that you were focused on?
  • Were you on a consistent sleep schedule?
  • Were you exercising?
  • How often were you seeing your friends?

After some self-reflection, there’s a good chance that you’ll notice a pattern — there’s likely a collection of behaviors you were engaging in during these time periods.

If you are able to find some of these constant behaviors, that’s a good sign those behaviors are keystone habits.

The second method that you can use to identify your keystone habits is called The Biggest Demon Method.

For this method, you’re simply going to think about the demons and insecurities that wreak the most havoc on your emotional state.

We all have character flaws that we’d like to fix. But as you’re sitting here reading this article, there’s likely a few specific ones that require urgent attention because they’ve been sabotaging your life for years, or even decades.

And for whatever reason, you just can’t find a way to address them. This brings up an important principle about keystone habits, which is that they’re individual to you.

Duhigg talks about the versatility of keystone habits by saying, “The power of a keystone habit draws from its ability to change your self-image. Basically anything can become a keystone habit if it has this power to make you see yourself in a different way.”

You’re the only person who hears your internal dialogue all day. You’re the only person who knows what your biggest demons are, and you’re also the only person who’s capable of overcoming them.

So look at your life and think about the one thingthat torments you on a daily basis — the character flaw that you keep telling yourself that you’re going to fix.

Maybe it’s your weight. Maybe it’s your social skills. Maybe it’s your lack of deep personal relationships. Maybe it’s your addiction to binge-watching TV.

Whatever it is, identify it so that you give yourself a starting point to drill down on a highly impactful keystone habit.

Tying Your Keystone Habit Back To Your Daily Actions

Once you’ve used either of these methods to identify a potential keystone habit, now you have to tie this habit back to your daily actions.

For example, let’s assume that you implemented the biggest demon method and decided that you want to focus on building a more expansive social circle.

What would happen if you made a habit of texting one person from your social circle every single day?

Seems like a pretty minor change right? Well, let’s consider the potential ripple effects if you were to do this every day over the course of a few months.

  • If you text someone you know every day, then there’s a good chance they will text back and you guys will engage in a conversation.
  • If you’re having conversations with someone you know every day, you’ll likely receive more invites to social events.
  • As you attend more social gatherings, you’re going to have more fun and meet more people.
  • As you meet more people, your social skills will improve and your circle of friends will expand.

The list of ripple effects could go on forever, but the main point is this — one tiny habit can create a burst of momentum which leads to a plethora of positive changes.

Texting a friend every day doesn’t doesn’t require much effort. However, it still represents a drastic shift in your identity, and that’s why it’s such a powerful agent of change.

After a period of sustained consistency, eventually the compound effect kicks in and unintentional benefits come to fruition.

What Are The Best Keystone Habits?

Both of the methods described above should give you a keystone habit to focus your energy on.

However, if you’re still struggling to pinpoint a specific behavior, there are certain habits that are widely considered to be the best keystone habits for just about anybody.

Let’s discuss a few of these top notch habits now.

Best keystone Habits

1. Exercise

Exercise is perhaps the single greatest habit that you can build to improve your body and mind.

Study after study has shown that people who exercise regularly tend to sleep better, handle stress more effectively, have more energy, and improve their mood.

Putting aside the research-backed benefits, working out just feels good. Developing a daily workout habit requires a tremendous amount of self-discipline, which can ripple out into other areas of your life.

I find that the days where I workout end up being my most productive. However, if I cheat myself and decide to skip the gym, then that small error tends to lead to other bad decisions throughout the day.

Remember, you need to start small in order to solidify a new habit into your life. If you start off aiming too high, you’ll never be consistent enough to see real progress.

  • Want to walk for an hour per day? Start with 100 steps per day.
  • Want to lift weights for an hour each day? Start with 1 set.
  • Want to do 100 pushups and squats per day? Start 5 pushups and 5 squats

Build up your confidence and willpower first, then worry about challenging yourself later.

Related: Link Between Fitness and Success

2. Meditation

It seems like our mind is always thinking about something. Some of these thoughts are useful, but a majority of them aren’t.

Our brain is like an email inbox with 15,000 unread emails — mostly junk with a few golden nuggets sprinkled in.

Daily meditation reduces the endless mental chatter that shifts our attention away from the present moment. It teaches you that your mind is going to wander whether you like it or not, but that you don’t always have to follow its lead.

With enough practice, you can develop the highly important skill of being fully engaged in whatever you’re doing. Your focus and mental clarity will improve as you begin to fully immerse yourself in your daily experiences.

The act of being present is a meta-skill, and it’s one that can be applied to almost every single situation that you encounter in life.

3. Sleep

It’s amazing how little we seem to care about sleep considering how important it is for our brain.

Without adequate sleep, your brain cannot function properly. Lack of sleep can impair your ability to concentrate, process memories, and think clearly and rationally.

Sleep as a Keystone Habit

Additionally, your brain starts forming new connections while you sleep. So by not prioritizing sleep, you’re actually making it harder to learn new skills and develop new habits.

Good keystone habits create a positive ripple effect which impacts several areas of your life. Lack of sleep produces the same ripple effect but in the complete opposite direction.

So if you’re looking for an easy keystone habit to jumpstart the rest of your life, getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night may be a good place to start.

4. Keeping A Food Journal

In 2009, Kaiser Permanente published a study that looked at a unique approach to weight loss — keeping a food journal.

They put together a group of 1600 people and asked them to concentrate on writing down everything they ate on a daily basis. As the study progressed, many of the participants had made food journaling a daily habit.

Once this habit was solidified, interesting things started to happen. People began to recognize their own eating patterns and started keeping healthy snacks around for when they got hungry.

Others used the journal to plan future meals. When dinner rolled around, they ate these meals instead of mindlessly snacking on the first thing that caught their eye in the pantry.

Overall, the study found that those who kept a daily food journal lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t.

What’s even more intriguing about this study is that the researchers didn’t tell the participants to develop any of the supplementary behaviors described above. Keeping a food journal simply acted as a springboard for these behaviors to flourish naturally.

5. Doing Your Hardest Thing First Every Morning

When you look at your to-do list, there’s usually one or two things on there that should take priority over everything else.

Yet when many of us sit down to start working, we avoid these high-priority tasks like the plague. Instead, we tend to opt for the quick wins and knock out the low hanging fruit to build some positive momentum.

While this principle sounds good in theory, the truth is that starting with low effort tasks makes it easier to put off the more important stuff.

High-performers get important things done in the morning because they know that’s when their energy and motivation are at peak levels. And when you start your day by knocking out high-priority tasks, you’re setting the tone for the rest of the day.

Leverage this powerful keystone habit if you’re looking to take control of your time and make massive progress towards your most ambitious goals.

Related: Link Between Willpower and Success

Final Thoughts

We’re often told that any new habit that builds momentum is a good thing. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this philosophy, but you’re limiting your potential if you choose to adopt it.

The truth about behavior change is that not all habits are created equal. Keystone habits offer a way to get more out of the time that you invest into changing your life.

Figuring out your keystone habits is step one. Once you’ve done that, you’re on the path towards radical change.

Once these new keystone habits become a daily practice, it’s only a matter of time before you start to experience a drastic shift in your identity.

Till then,

STRIVE

PS – If you enjoyed this post on keystone habits, then you’ll likely enjoy these other supporting resources to help you build the habits that will help you change your life:

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Self-Improvement

WANT TO BOOST YOUR PRODUCTIVITY AT WORK? TAKE MORE BREAKS

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Breaks Increase Productivity at Work

Believe it or not breaks increase productivity. So, if you want to do more and perform at your best, you need to start taking more breaks. But, isn’t taking a break counter-intuitive if I want boost productivity at work? Well, if you believe that taking short breaks will lower your productivity, you’re in for a surprise.

Many studies have actually discovered that when you take a short break, like getting yourself a cup of coffee or taking a quick stroll at the park, you recharge your energy and replenish your willpower to tackle your tasks more efficiently than before.

Ever wonder why sometimes it takes a longer time to write an article at 4 PM than it does at 10 AM? Well, this is due to the different energy levels you’re in. In the morning, when most people just wake up from a good rest, they feel energetic and able to focus better.

On the contrary, in the late afternoon like 4 PM, most people have used up most of their energy and if they don’t take any breaks and continue to work, their productivity suffers.

This is why it is so much more difficult to write an article at 4 PM when you used up most of your energy in the morning. It makes things way more difficult, especially focusing on the tasks at hand.

And hence, this is why you need to take short breaks throughout the day to maintain your energy level so that you can perform at your peak.

According to this article from Edutopia.org:

“Regular breaks throughout the school day—from short brain breaks in the classroom to the longer break of recess—are not simply downtime for students. Such breaks increase their productivity and provide them with opportunities to develop creativity and social skills.”

Yes, take more short breaks throughout your day to improve your creativity and productivity.

But, how do you take short breaks? How do you schedule your breaks so that they won’t interfere with your productive work? Here are a couple of tips…

BREAKS INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY IF YOU USE THESE…

Boost Your Productivity With Breaks

1. Follow Your Natural Rhythm

One of the easiest ways to gauge whether or not you should take a short break is to follow your natural rhythm. You will know when you feel tired, stress, and can’t concentrate. And that’s the cue that perhaps, you should walk away from your work and take a quick 5 minute break.

In my case, whenever I find that I can’t focus on doing my work, like writing articles or creating content for my blog, I will stop and just take a short 5 minute break. I will go to the toilet, listen to my favorite song, or go and make a cup of coffee. After that, I will come back to my work and discover that I’m able to focus better.

Your body knows when you need to stop and when you need to push on. Just trust your natural rhythm and keep an eye on your energy level.

2. Use the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique suggests you work for 25 minutes and then take a quick 5 minute break. This 30-minute cycle is called a ‘Pomodoro’. After 4 ‘Pomodoro’ cycles, you should take a longer 30 minute break before you get back to work again.

This technique is good because it makes sure you will never miss out on taking the breaks and so you will have longer-lasting energy that allows you to focus better throughout the day.

Of course, you don’t have to stick to the Pomodoro Technique if you find that 25 minutes is too short. You can always make your productivity duration longer. For instance, you could work for 50 minutes and then only take a 10 minute break.

A study from DeskTime discovered that most productive office workers work at an average of 52 minutes before taking a 17 minute break.

Therefore, you can always customize the Pomodoro Technique to fit and work best for you. If you think you can focus longer, then, by all means, work for 50 minutes or so and take a 10 minute break before you continue your work again.

3. Schedule Your Breaks

Look at your calendar, if your calendar is filled with only work but no break, it can make you feel dreaded. But when you see that there are breaks in your schedule, you will at least feel a breather.

The key is to schedule breaks into your calendar. Make breaks as a part of your daily routine. For instance, don’t schedule any work from 3 PM to 3:30 PM. During those 30 minutes, you will take a break and do things that delight you.

This way, you will make sure you incorporate breaks into your daily work routine. The key is to take a break so that you give yourself a chance to recharge and replenish your energy.

Now that you understand why and when to take a break, but how are you going to do it? What can you do to take breaks? Here are some suggestions…

Get Outdoors

When you stay long hours in the office with artificial lighting and a stressful environment, it is a good idea to get a quick escape. Research has found that spending time in nature can help alleviate mental fatigue and relaxing the mind. Taking a 10-minute walk in the park has a lot more benefits than you think.

Exercise and Move Your Body

I bet I don’t have to explain to you that exercise is good for your body. Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress, boost your energy, and improve your productivity throughout the day. Research from the University of Sao Paulo found that a 10 minute exercise can boost your memory and attention to increase your performance for the day.

Do Nothing

Yes, you read that right. Simply sitting and doing nothing is a great way to refresh your mind. Just let your mind wander and let your thoughts run automatically. It has a similar effect as meditation.

When you stop paying attention, your brain’s Default Mode Network will take over and this helps improve problem-solving and allows for creativity to soar. Ever wonder why most great ideas come during the shower or when you’re doing nothing?

Meditate

Another great break that improves productivity is meditation. You can simply close your eyes, get still, and meditate on one thing, or nothing. It doesn’t really matter what it is, so long as you aim to be intention about getting your mind still and focused.

So, even it if is just for a few short minutes, meditation can be a powerful way to spend your scheduled breaks.

Take a Quick Power Nap

Taking a short power nap is one of my personal favorites. You have to understand that the secret to becoming more productive is not managing your time but your energy. You can’t make more time, but you can manage your energy so that you can perform at your best at all times. When you feel tired, sleepy, and need a quick energy boost, take a short 20 to 30 minute nap. After you wake up, you will feel more alert, energetic, and able to tackle your work and focus better.

Conclusion

Taking a short break has been scientifically proven to be useful in recharging your energy and help you focus and perform better at work.

Most people look at taking breaks as something lazy or unproductive, but now you know that this is far from the truth. When you take breaks, you are recharging yourself to go further.

Always remember that you can’t manage time, you can only manage yourself, which is your energy. Hence, when you know how to maintain your energy at an optimum level, you can perform at your best throughout the day.

Till next time,

STRIVE

PS – If you enjoyed this article on why breaks in increase productivity, and how you can boost yours, then you’ll also love this resource on how to create a not-to-do list to how it can improve your productivity.

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