If you want to do more and perform at your best, you need to stop and take a break. 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…
Productivity Tips to Help you Get More Done with More 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 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 are too short. You can always make it 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 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…
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.
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?
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.
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,
PS – If you enjoyed this article on how to boost your productivity, then you’ll love this resource on how to create a not-to-do list to how it can improve your productivity.
10+ BEST BUSINESS AUDIOBOOKS TO FIND NEXT LEVEL SUCCESS
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
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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.
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.
HOW TO FEEL MORE CONFIDENT IN YOUR BODY
We all want to feel confident in our own skin and in our own bodies, but sometimes it can be hard to do that, especially when we are constantly being told that we need to look or act a certain way. The good news is that there are things you can do to start feeling more confident in your body starting today. This article will discuss some tips that can help you become more self-assured and learn to love yourself for who you are. So, if you want to know how to feel more confident in your body this article is for you.
Why Is Confidence Important?
Confidence is important because it allows us to feel good about ourselves and our abilities. When we are confident, we are more likely to take risks and try new things. We are also more likely to be successful in whatever we do. Additionally, confident people tend to be happier and have better relationships.
Where Does Confidence Stem From?
Confidence always has to start from within how you feel. When you can love and appreciate yourself, true confidence begins to shine. The first step is learning to accept all of your flaws and imperfections. We are all human, and we all have things about ourselves that we don’t like. But it is important to remember that these things make us unique and special.
Confidence from within can sometimes be insufficient if you are not comfortable with how you look on the outside. If you don’t feel good about the way you look, it can be hard to have confidence in other areas of your life. One of the best things you can do in this regard is to start working on your physical appearance. This doesn’t mean that you need to go out and get surgery or anything like that. Just taking care of yourself and making sure that you look presentable can make a big difference.
HOW TO FEEL MORE CONFIDENT IN YOUR BODY
If you are not comfortable with your body, it can be hard to feel confident. One way to start feeling better about yourself is by working out and getting in shape. Not only will this make you look better, but it will also make you feel better.
When you are physically fit, you tend to have more energy and feel more capable of taking on the world. Exercise is also a great way to release stress and improve your mood. If you are not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available online or at your local gym.
Having a Positive Mentality
Another important aspect of confidence is having a positive outlook on life. If you are constantly negative, it will be hard to see the good in yourself or others.
Learning to focus on the positive can make a big difference in how you feel about yourself and your life. One way to do this is by practicing gratitude.
Every day, take a few minutes to think about things you are grateful for. This could be anything from your health to your family and friends. Remember, it is easier to let go of the negative when you focus on the good.
Related: The Power of Positive Thinking
Dressing The Part
Another way to improve your confidence is by dressing the part. When you look good, you feel good. It’s important to find clothes that fit well and make you feel comfortable. If you don’t feel comfortable in what you are wearing, it will be hard to fake confidence.
Also, make sure that your clothes are clean and presentable. You don’t need to go out and buy expensive clothes, but taking the time to care for your appearance can make a big difference in how confident you feel about your body and how it looks with clothes on.
Surrounding Yourself With Positive People
Being in a community of people who accept you for who you are is important. If you are constantly around critical or negative people, it can be hard to feel good about yourself.
But when you surround yourself with positive people, it is easier to stay positive. Find friends or family members who make you feel good and spend time with them whenever possible.
You might also want to join a group or club that shares your interests. When you feel supported and accepted, it is easier to be confident in your own body and in yourself.
One of the biggest things that hold us back from being confident is comparing ourselves to others. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and we are all on our own journey in life.
If you spend your time comparing yourself to others, you will always find someone better than you. Instead of doing comparisons, focus on your own journey and be the best that you can be. You will start to see your own worth and feel more confident in your abilities when you do this.
Another way to feel more confident is by practicing self-care. This means taking care of yourself both physically and mentally. Ensure that you are getting enough rest, exercise, and healthy food.
Also, take some time for yourself every day to do things that make you happy. This could be anything from reading a book to taking a walk in nature. It is easier to feel good about yourself when you take care of yourself.
Learning To Accept Criticism
No one is perfect, and we all make mistakes. What separates confident people from others is their ability to accept criticism. When someone points out our flaws, it can be tempting to get defensive.
But if you want to be more confident, you need to learn to take criticism constructively. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything that people say, but it does mean that you should be open to hearing what they have to say.
So, use criticism to learn and grow, and you will start to see yourself in a more positive light.
Focusing On The Things You Like About Yourself
One of the best ways to feel more confident is by focusing on what you like about yourself. We all have flaws, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t also find things that we like about ourselves. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself, both physically and personality-wise.
Then, take out the list and read it whenever you are feeling down. This will help you remember all the great things about yourself and give you a boost of confidence.
Repeating Positive Affirmations
If you want to feel more confident in your body, it is important to start speaking kindly to yourself. This means repeating positive affirmations to yourself daily. Tell yourself that you are strong, intelligent, worthy, and capable. Believe that you are worthy of love and respect.
The affirmations you speak should touch on areas of your life where you want to see improvement. When you say these positive things to yourself often enough, they will start to become true for you. You can also write down your affirmations and post them where you will see them often. Affirmations can help you believe in yourself and give you the strength to overcome challenges.
Related: Affirmations For Confidence
By using these tips, you can start to feel more confident in your own skin. Just remember that progress takes time, so be patient with yourself. Soon enough, you will start to see a difference in how you feel about yourself.
PS – If you enjoyed this article on how to feel more confident in your body, then you’ll also enjoy these other supporting resources that can help you on your journey towards feeling better about yourself, your health, and your life:
5 BEST STEPS TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR DRINKING
If you’re searching for some powerful ways to control your drinking then this article is for you.
The past two years caused most of us to experience increased levels of stress, boredom, and loneliness. Many people who used alcohol to relieve these feelings during the recent pandemic now find themselves regularly drinking more than they want and unable to cut back.
If you’ve tried to cut back how much you’re drinking before, you’ve likely figured out that just restricting yourself from alcohol isn’t the way to long-lasting success. Willpower doesn’t last. Relying on it leads to “white-knuckling it” while you count down days and hope your urges go away.
To gain control over your drinking, you need to deal with why it’s hard for you to cut back. It’s not easy work, but the great news is that once you learn the process, you can use it to help you achieve anything else in your life. Without a doubt, these five steps will not only help you control your drinking, but they can also help you improve your relationships, and find more success in business and life.
BEST STEPS TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR DRINKING
1. Look at Where You Are Now
Acknowledging where you are is the first step to get where you want to go. Set aside some time with a journal and write without editing yourself. Do this honestly and without judgment. Write about:
- Your drinking habits. What are your triggers? Do when you automatically pour a drink when the clock strikes 5pm? Do you feel the need to have a drink whenever you get together with your family? Do you feel like you “deserve a drink” at the end of the week?
- Your struggles. Do you have trouble stopping once you start drinking? Do you feel peer pressure to drink when you go out with friends? Does the fact that your spouse doesn’t want to cut back make it hard for you?
- Your negative beliefs about drinking. This could include thinking that your drinking makes you feel hungover, tired, ashamed, frustrated. Maybe you say/do things you later regret when you drink. You might think that you are setting a bad example for your kids with your drinking.
- Your positive beliefs about drinking. We often try to use the negative effects of a habit as motivation for stopping. But it’s important to look at the positive effects too. If you didn’t have positive thoughts about drinking, it wouldn’t be hard to cut back.
You may believe that drinking helps you relax; makes it easier to socialize; makes things more fun; makes you more fun. If you don’t identify and question these beliefs, they’ll keep appearing, trying to convince you how much you need alcohol.
2. Look at Where You Want to Be
Imagine the Future You who has cut back on/stopped drinking. How has your life changed? What about you has changed? What do you do that’s different than what you do now? What’s your average day like? What are your priorities? What are your thoughts about drinking? How do you feel?
Think about how you can start being that version of you right now. What steps can you take? What do you need to start doing? What do you need to stop doing?
You can use your future self to help guide you. Imagine what the future you would do when you are making decisions, going throughout your day, interacting with others.
Would the Future You choose to stay out another hour and drink more or would she go home and go to bed? Would she wake up late because she drank too much or get up early and workout?
3. Commit to Doing the Work
Don’t just say you’re going to try to cut back. Commit to doing it. Commit to working on it until you actually do it. Commit to doing what you say you’re going to do.
Most of us are pretty reliable. We stick to the commitments we make to others. If you tell your kids you’re going to pick them up, you do it even if you don’t feel like it. If you tell your friend you’ll help her with something, you do it even if it’s inconvenient.
But, when we tell ourselves we won’t drink until the weekend and then Tuesday night comes and we don’t feel like sticking to that plan, we blow off our commitment to ourselves and have a drink. We can’t trust ourselves to do what we say we will. We’ve developed a bad relationship with ourselves. We need to repair that relationship.
The goal is to get to the point where when you say you’re going to do something, you can rely on yourself to do it. This will help you in all areas of your life. You’ll be more productive, confident, successful.
Practice telling yourself you will do things and then actually do them—even when you don’t feel like it. Wake up early, workout, read 10 minutes a day, drink 64 ounces of water, go an hour without checking social media.
4. Plan and Do the Work
The primitive part of your brain acts with urgency and repetitiveness. It’s the part that signals the fight or flight response. It wants to keep you safe, avoid pain and expend as little energy as possible. It doesn’t want you to feel the pain of discomfort. It wants to make things easy for you. One way it does that is to quickly give in to urges—without giving you time to really think about the effects it will have—so you don’t have to suffer through them.
The prefrontal cortex is the part of your brain you use for planning, judgment, decision-making and reasoning. It allows you to consider consequences and think before you act. This is the part of the brain that will help you to change your habits.
You want to decide what will best for you long-term—not just in the moment. To do that, you need to utilize this part of the brain before you have the urge and make decisions ahead of time about what you’ll do. If you wait until you have the urge, your primitive brain will take over and do whatever it can to satisfy the urge.
Plan how many (if any) drinks you will have a day before. Expect it will be hard. You won’t want to stick to the plan. Do it anyway. Keep your commitment to yourself.
Think about the Future You that you envisioned. Practice thinking the thoughts she has. Maybe, “I can take a drink or leave it.” Or, “I’m totally in control of how much I drink.” Or, “I don’t drink during the week.”
Practice feeling how she feels. Determined. Committed. Confident.
Practice doing what she does. Prioritizes herself and her health. Goes to bed early. Drinks a lot of water.
5. Deal with Challenges
Figuring out how to control your drinking is difficult. So, expect this to be hard. If it wasn’t, you would have already done it. Know that nothing has gone wrong. This is part of the process. Don’t give up.
Notice what thoughts and feelings come up when you start to cut back on your drinking. Notice what comes up when it gets hard. When you have an urge, pause and allow it. Sit with the discomfort and realize that you can deal with it. It’s just a sensation in your body. You can handle it. And, it will fade.
If you do drink more than you intended, beating yourself up won’t help you. Instead, grab that journal and write down what happened. What were the circumstances? What were you thinking? You may not even realize you had any thoughts. You may feel like you had an automatic response. Someone offered you a drink and you took it. But there is always a thought in there. It could be as simple as, “I deserve it.”
You also had a feeling that you might not have registered. That feeling is what drove you to have the drink. If you thought you deserved a drink, maybe you felt entitled.
Write all of it down. Be curious rather than judgmental. Ask yourself questions. Discover what’s really going on for you. Come up with alternate thoughts you can have and actions you can take the next time you are in the same situation.
It’s frustrating to be drinking more than you want. You can wind up in a cycle of making promises to yourself, breaking them, beating yourself up, and trying again.
The great news is you can put a stop to this cycle. All you have to do is use these five steps to control your drinking , and you’ll start feeling better—for good. You got this.
POSITIVE THINKING: THE KEY TO SUCCESS
Have you ever heard the saying, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.“? This quote is often attributed to Henry Ford, the great American industrialist. And it’s true – our thoughts really do have the power to create our reality.
If you think positive thoughts, you’ll attract positive circumstances into your life. On the other hand, if you think negative thoughts, you’ll attract negative circumstances. It’s really that simple.
Simply put, positive thinking is an emotional and mental attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results. It is the belief that good things will happen and that your efforts will be rewarded. Of course, optimism does not guarantee success. However, research suggests that a positive perspective can be extremely helpful in achieving goals and promoting happiness.
The art of positive thinking has been practiced by many cultures for centuries. In fact, some Eastern philosophies view positive thinking as a form of meditation. The power of optimism has been studied by scientists and researchers for years, and there is a growing body of evidence that supports its many benefits.
How Does Positive Thinking Work?
Positive thinking is based on the idea that our thoughts affect our emotions and behaviors. If we think positive thoughts, we will feel positive emotions and be more likely to take positive actions. This, in turn, will lead to positive results.
The science behind positive thinking is called “self-fulfilling prophecies”. This is the idea that our expectations about a situation can influence the outcome. For example, if we expect to fail, we are more likely to give up before we even start. On the other hand, if we expect to succeed, we are more likely to persevere in the face of difficulties.
Self-fulfilling prophecies are a powerful force in our lives. They can shape our reality and determine our success or failure. You may be surprised to know that you’ve probably experienced self-fulfilling prophecies many times in your life.
One well-known example of the power of self-fulfilling prophecies is the Pygmalion Effect. This effect is named after a Greek myth in which a sculptor falls in love with a statue he has created.
In the Pygmalion Effect, people’s expectations about a situation can influence the outcome. For example, if you expect someone to be successful, you may treat them differently than if you expect them to fail. This different treatment can then lead to the person becoming successful.
The Pygmalion Effect has been studied extensively in the field of education. Teachers’ expectations about their students have been shown to impact students’ achievement. In one famous study, teachers were told that some of their students would be “intellectual bloomers” and would show significant increases in IQ over the course of the year.
Sure enough, at the end of the year, the students who were expected to bloom showed significant increases in IQ. This finding demonstrates the power of positive thinking and self-fulfilling prophecies.
The Power Of Positive Thinking
Studies have shown that people who think positively experience more happiness and satisfaction in life. They are also more likely to achieve their goals and enjoy better health. There are many benefits of positive thinking, including:
Increased Resilience. Positive thinkers are more resilient and adaptable than those who think negatively. They are better able to cope with stress and setbacks because they believe that they can overcome any obstacle.
Improved Physical Health. Positive thinking has been linked to better health. It can boost the immune system, reduce stress levels, and increase longevity.
Better Mental Health. Positive thinking can improve your mental health and well-being. It can reduce anxiety and depression, increase happiness, and help you to cope with stress.
Improved Relationships. Positive thinking can improve your relationships with the people around you. Optimistic people are more likely to have fulfilling and satisfying relationships.
Better Job Performance. Positive thinking can improve your job performance. optimistic employees are more productive, take less time off, and are more successful in their careers.
Improved Academic Performance. Positive thinking can improve your academic performance. Students who think positively are more likely to get good grades and achieve their educational goals.
How To Cultivate A Positive Mindset
If you’re not used to thinking positively, it can feel unnatural or even difficult at first. However, with a little practice, it will become easier. Here are some tips to get you started:
Be Mindful Of Your Thoughts. Pay attention to your inner dialogue and the way you talk to yourself. If you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, stop and reframe them into something more positive.
Practice Gratitude. When you start your day, take a moment to think of things you are grateful for. This will help set the tone for the day and remind you of the good in your life.
Set Realistic Goals. It’s important to have goals, but it’s just as important to make sure they are realistic. If your goals are too high, you may feel discouraged when you don’t reach them. Start small and build on your successes.
Be Accepting Of Yourself. One of the most important things you can do is to learn to accept yourself, flaws and all. We all make mistakes and we all have areas we can improve. Give yourself some grace and focus on the positive.
Be Positive About Change. Change can be difficult, but it can also be good. Embrace new experiences and challenges with a positive attitude and an open mind.
Surround Yourself With Positive People. The people you spend time with can have a lasting impact on your life. Choose to spend time with people who are positive and who will support your journey to a more positive life.
Use Affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements that can help to change your mindset. For example, you might say to yourself, “I am worthy of love and happiness,” or “I am capable of achieving my goals.”
Practice Visualization. Visualization is a powerful tool that can help you achieve your goals. See yourself achieving your dreams and living the life you want. Believe that it is possible and take action towards making it a reality.
Practicing positive thinking can lead to a more fulfilling and happier life. It takes time and effort, but it is worth it. Start making positive thinking a part of your daily routine and see how it can change your life for the better.
Related: Advantages of Positive Thinking
Maintaining A Positive Attitude In Difficult Times
When you’re going through tough times, it’s difficult to maintain a positive attitude. Sometimes, it may feel as though the world is against you. You may even feel as though you’re being punished or that you don’t deserve happiness.
It’s important to remember that these negative thoughts are simply your mind trying to protect you from pain. However, they are not based on reality. The truth is, you deserve to be happy, and you can weather through difficulties.
Here are some tips for staying positive when things are tough:
Acknowledge Your Feelings. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, or scared. These are all normal human emotions. Don’t try to bottle them up. Acknowledge your feelings and give yourself permission to feel them. Journaling is an excellent way to recognize and process your feelings.
Find Things To Be Thankful For. Even in the darkest of times, there are always things to be grateful for. It could be something as simple as a sunny day or a warm bed to sleep in. When you look for things to be thankful for, you’ll find that they are all around you.
Practice Self-Care. When you’re going through tough times, it’s important to take care of yourself. This includes both your physical and your mental health. Make sure you are eating healthy, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and exercising regularly. You might also want to consider talking to a therapist if needed.
Connect With Others. When you’re feeling down, reach out to your family and friends. They can provide support and understanding. Sometimes just talking to someone who cares can make all the difference.
Help Others. When you’re struggling, it’s helpful to focus on someone else. It could be as simple as lending a listening ear to a friend or volunteering your time to a worthy cause. Helping others will remind you of the good in the world and it will make you feel good, too.
Find Your Passion. When you’re going through tough times, it’s helpful to find something that brings you joy. It could be a hobby, a sport, or anything else that you’re passionate about. Doing something you love will help you remember that life is still good.
No matter what you’re going through, it’s important to remember that tough times don’t last forever. With time and effort, things will get better. Just hang in there and stay positive.
A Final Case For Positive Thinking
Here’s one last resource for you to consider with regards to positive thinking and success. The video below is from Brian Tracy, who is the author of the worldwide best-selling book, the ‘Psychology of Achievement’ and 70 other books on success. He’s also the Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company that specializes in helping people achieve more success in their careers, business, and in life.
With that said, the video is worth giving at least a few minutes of your time, as it does a wonderful job explaining the power of positive thinking. So, give it a look as it makes a really strong case for thinking positively. Enjoy:
Video Credit: Brian Tracy (Subscribe Here)
The Importance Of Positive Thinking
Positive thinking is an incredibly powerful tool that can help you improve your life in many ways. It is important to be mindful of your thoughts and surround yourself with positive people. With a little practice, positive thinking can become a part of your daily routine and lead to a more fulfilling life.
It is important to exercise patience. It takes time to change your thinking patterns and develop a more positive outlook on life. So, be patient with yourself and don’t expect overnight results. Just keep working towards your goals and you will see progress in time.
The power of positive thinking is a well-known concept, but it’s one that we often forget. Life can be tough and it’s easy to get caught up in all the negative things that are happening. However, if we take a step back and focus on the positive, not only can we start to make a difference, but we can find more success too.
HOW TO SUCCEED IN MANAGING THE STRESS OF OWNING A BUSINESS
Stress is part and parcel of owning a business. But that doesn’t mean you’re automatically headed for endless sleepless nights or debilitating burnout. There are various ways to cope with and manage the stress of owning a business.
If you’re stressed out by various aspects of being an entrepreneur or business owner, you’re not alone. According to a Gallup poll, 62% of female and 51% of male business owners experience daily stress. 60% of female owners and 47% of male owners said they experience daily worry, and 31% of female and 20% of male owners reported that their mental health was worsening.
The stress of owning a business isn’t confined to the office. It affects your physical and mental health, and it can spill over into other aspects of your life, potentially affecting your relationships with family and friends and contributing to negative behaviors. Ultimately, stress could lead to burnout – and the worst part is, it’s not like you can hit the pause button on your business so that you can take a much-needed break.
Being told not to worry about the situation, to just breathe, or to relax, doesn’t cut it. Use the practical solutions below to manage and cope with the stress of being a business owner.
How Stress Affects Body And Mind
Your body has a built-in automatic stress response known as the fight-or-flight mode. When triggered, hormones activate various processes that basically gear you up to face the stressor or to run away from it. However, constant exposure to stressors means your body is in a permanent fight-or-flight mode, which is detrimental to your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
Some of the physical symptoms of stress include headaches, muscle pain or tension, fatigue, chest pain, stomach or digestive problems, and changes in your sex drive. A few of the mental/emotional symptoms include anxiety, depression or sadness, restlessness, anger or irritability, feeling overwhelmed, and a lack of focus or motivation.
Stress can also lead to behavioral issues such as over/under eating, misuse of alcohol or drugs, tobacco use, angry outbursts, less exercise, and social withdrawal. It doesn’t take a genius to see how any or all of these symptoms can negatively affect your life as a business owner. Stress management is vital for your own sake and for the sake of your business.
With that said, let’s explore different ways in which you can manage your stress.
HOW TO DEAL WITH BUSINESS OWNER STRESS
Recognize Your Stressors
The factors that trigger stress (stressors) are different for everyone. You might take presentations and business events in your stride, while the owner of another business might be plunged into stress, anxiety, and worry.
A few common stressors include:
- Long to-do lists
- Financial concerns
- Worries about business presentations and events
- Managing employees
- Keeping up with compliance
- Keeping customers happy
Learn to recognize your stressors. Spend a few moments assessing how you process the various experiences and situations you face daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly as a business owner. Being able to identify your stressors can help you prepare yourself to deal with them constructively going forward.
Acknowledge What’s Going Well
Recognizing what’s going well for you as a business owner is just as important as recognizing your stressors. Knowing which strategies work for you and what areas you’re coping in can inform how you manage stress in other areas.
Spend a few moments assessing the areas in which you cope well and think about what makes it possible for you to cope in those ways. In addition to identifying your strengths and helpful strategies, doing this will put you in a more positive frame of mind.
Once you begin doing this, you’ll find it easier to relax when you feel like you’re making progress in at least some aspects of your business.
Build A Firm Schedule
Having a regular routine means you know what to expect when you’re at work. Yes, there will be unexpected factors that come into play, but you’ll have the advantage of already having a sense of control over your day, which means you’ll be better prepared to face them if and when they arise.
Build a firm schedule for yourself. Tackle the most difficult tasks first thing in the morning, so you’ve got them out of the way. Once they’re done, you’ll feel ready to tackle anything else that comes your way. Take your body clock into account when building your schedule. If you know your energy and concentration levels dip mid-afternoon, schedule the easiest tasks for that time.
Prioritize Personal Time
Self-care is essential for your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Looking after yourself plays an important part in keeping stress and anxiety in check.
Prioritize your personal time and include it in your schedule. It’s too easy for business owners to get swept away in what they’re doing, and that can eat into time spent on self-care, doing the things you love, and cultivating your relationships with family and friends. Don’t think of your personal time only in terms of time after hours—you should include lunch and other breaks during the day too.
Remember to unplug during your time off. Don’t let email and other notifications eat into your personal time.
Learn To Say “No”
Entrepreneurs and small business owners often fall into the trap of micromanaging or trying to do everything themselves. Doing this can send your stress levels through the roof, so set boundaries.
Learn to say “No.” It’s not always easy to do this, so focus on your goals and ask whether the opportunity or task in front of you will help you achieve them, whether you have the time to do it, how important it is, and whether you actually want to do it. If the answers to those questions are “no,” say no.
Delegate Or Outsource Work
As much as you shouldn’t micromanage, there’s no getting around the fact that there are tasks that need doing. If those tasks relate to some of your weaknesses, they can add to your stress. However, you also can’t ignore them.
Delegate or outsource tasks and work that others can do. You’ll free up time to focus on the important tasks that do require your attention, which can help you better manage your stress.
Use The Right Tools To Lower Business Owner Stress
The technology and software you use are supposed to make your work easier. If your tech doesn’t do what you hoped it would do, if it’s not user-friendly, or if it’s out of date or doesn’t work properly, it will add to your stress.
Review your technology and software applications. If they don’t serve you or your business, replace them with more effective options.
Empower Your Employees
A recent report revealed that 42% of small business owners felt employee management was their biggest stressor. It’s not easy to find the right team and to keep it productive and happy, which may tempt you into trying to micromanage every aspect of your business. That said, your employees are your most valuable assets.
Empower and nurture your employees. Doing this will equip them to do their tasks efficiently, properly, and confidently. The result will be greater employee retention, increased productivity, a greater sense of collective responsibility, and less stress.
Stress doesn’t need to get the better of you and it certainly shouldn’t affect your desire and drive to succeed in business. Identify your stressors, tackle them, and improve your health as well as that of your business. While some stress is healthy, knowing the difference and how to eliminate bad stress is key for dealing with business owner stress.
Till next time,
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