I’ve spent quite a long time working as an entrepreneur, but not all of that time has been productive. I’ve made many mistakes in the past and wasted a great deal of time as a consequence. However, I’ve learned some useful tricks over the years that have managed to cut down on wasted time while also reducing stress. If you apply these tips to your daily life, you should see positive results like I did!
Written for EO by Don Scott, who applies 35 years’ experience in business and finance with a master’s degree in psychology to explore the path to meaningful change.
We equate being busy as being virtuous. When we’re maxed out, it feels safe. It must be productive. (Or is it?) It’s a badge of courage, honor or something …
I work with successful CEOs, entrepreneurs and founders who typically have one thing in common: They’re all slammed. People who are successful in their careers often arrive innocently at this sense of busy being best. Many of them grew up with hard-working parents who encouraged putting in the time to do your best.
The benefits of sleep can’t be overstated. “Good sleep guarantees wellbeing and mental health,” according to a study published on US National Library of Medicine. Indeed, sleep disorders are a significant factor in heart disease, with regular sleep rhythms and schedules being more important than sleep duration for your health. Sleep problems are also linked to metabolic syndrome and, thus, obesity.
A study published in the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine concludes that, “insomnia and disturbed sleep…are associated with decreased job performance and productivity.”
Written for EO by Laurie Larson.
Good sleep and productivity go hand in hand.
Getting high-quality, restorative sleep each night is incredibly important to your overall health. If you’re regularly missing out on good sleep each night, you’re at risk of experiencing sleep deprivation and all the negative side effects that come along with it.
When you’re not getting deep rest, you become more susceptible to illnesses, you have trouble concentrating, and you become moody and short-tempered. And this is just the start of the problems that come along with sleep deprivation.
Written by David Tomás, co-founder of Cyberclick Group.
“Happiness” and “work” are two words that, when put together, may form an oxymoron to some people. Even so, I’ve learned over the years that being happy at work has a significant impact on the overall success of a company, and ensuring your employees are happy is the key to sustained prosperity.
Written for EO by Megan Hottman. Megan, also known at The Cyclist Lawyer, formed her own law practice in 2010 at age 29. As part of her life’s mission to help lawyers and entrepreneurs become healthier and happier people who take care of themselves and remain fully optimized, Megan recently launched her latest venture, TrialAthlete.com. Megan recently shared this essay with Octane. The story of how she rebuilt her health after a complete burnout can guide any entrepreneur who wishes to optimize their performance.
“Megan, your fasting morning cortisol is 27.3! This means when you wake up, you’re in fight-or-flight mode. You start your day in distress. It is no wonder you’ve been experiencing overwhelming sugar cravings, unbelievable mental and physical fatigue, and that in the evenings, you feel ‘tired but wired’ … Something has to go,” she says. “You cannot continue burning the candle at eight ends as you’ve been doing… Your health will suffer if you keep up this way. The bottom line: You need to cut back or some day in the future, you’ll just be out of steam. You’ll bottom out.”
Written for EO by Rebecca Piersol, fashion stylist and co-creator of The Crystal Press.
You know the saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? This is especially important when you work from home. While it’s tempting to roll out of bed and stay in your pajamas all day, doing so can seriously inhibit your work ethic. It will keep you in the mindset of watching TV and lounging on the couch. You’ll remain in a sedentary mood, and your motivation level won’t reach its peak.
Select your clothing with intent, and you might just boost your productivity. (Science proves it!)
Dress Like You Mean Business
The way you dress has a genuine impact on your mood and behavior. As psychology professor Dr. Karen Pine told Forbes, “When we put on an item of clothing, it is common for the wearer to adopt the characteristics associated with that garment. A lot of clothing has symbolic meaning for us, whether it’s ‘professional work attire’ or ‘relaxing weekend wear,’ so when we put it on, we prime the brain to behave in ways consistent with that meaning.”
Written by Bruce Eckfeldt, an Inc. 500 CEO, a Gazelles Certified Coach and leader in performance management and organizational development.
Many executives who I work with complain that their schedules are overloaded. They can’t “find the time” to work on key priorities. They show me calendars that are full of meetings and phone calls scattered across the day. These individuals run incredibly complex and expansive organizations, and yet time management eludes them.
While I have infinite understanding, I also have little sympathy. One of the best tests of executive skill is an ability to control time and set priorities. Executives who excel don’t find time; they make time for important tasks. They accomplish this by designing their optimal schedule and protecting themselves from low-priority or unnecessary tasks.
Maybe it was because it was winter. Or maybe it was because we’d recently lost a valued employee due to our organization being a little boring. Regardless of the reason, I knew we needed a way to make our workplace fun. I understood that I was risking losing other employees and decreasing productivity if we didn’t inject some energy and camaraderie into the office. As Stuart Brown, the author of Play, puts it, “when employees have the opportunity to play, they actually increase their productivity, engagement and morale.”
That’s when I reached out to Kirsten Anderson, founder and CEO of Integrate Play Solutions.
Kirsten’s first assignment for me was to keep my eyes peeled for even the smallest opportunities to bring playfulness to work and assured me that the fun would follow. The holidays were coming up, so my team and I decided to have a Deck the Walls party. We brought in tons of decorations and, with hot chocolate in tow, everyone decked out their work spaces. It was incredible to see everyone’s creativity. We got into the holiday spirit, we laughed and we enjoyed ourselves. Fun? Check!