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Two Ways to Work Less While Working More

Convincing yourself – and your boss – that some “no” work is good work

workingthroughlunch

How many of you have found yourself:

  • Chasing rabbit trails on the Internet?
  • Checking emails in order to avoid doing other work?
  • Attending unnecessary meetings?

This is a sure sign that you need a break. But, don’t mislead yourself in thinking these types of activities are actually breaks. They’re not! These are known as “junk hours.”

Junk hours are a little like junk food. While they provide short-term pleasure, they contribute to long-term imbalance and exhaustion. You need to replace junk hours with regeneration. Here’s how:

First, realize everyone needs to take breaks and shift gears. You need to identify when you’re going through the motions of work, versus when real work is being done. Sometimes taking a break at the right time enables you to jettison your afternoon junk hours.

Second, work through lunch less often. One of my clients shifted his lunch hours to time with friends or going to the gym, instead of trying to squeeze in more work around bites of a burger. In both instances, these scheduled breaks increased my client’s energy level and sense of well-being. He felt less of a need to take low-value breaks in the afternoon and began to experience more productivity.

And, yes, he began getting out of the office earlier, too.

Are you a junk hour addict?
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I Work Here Because…

One Short, Simple Mental Exercise for Work-Changing Results

mo·tive  [moh-tiv] noun 1. something that causes a person to act in a certain way, do a certain thing, etc.

Your motive is directly related to your motivation at work. Although this may seem like an obvious concept, if you take a step back and reflect on your motive, you begin to see how compounded and cluttered your motivation can become.

For instance, answer this one simple question: Why do you work where you work? Can you fill in this blank: “I work here because…”

If you’re struggling to answer these questions, first off, you’re not alone. Secondly, you might want to do some basic soul-searching.

According to researchers at Portland State University and the University of Michigan, reflecting on the meaning of your work (your motive) is one of the most effective ways to keep your energy up at work. Read more by clicking here.

Once you figure out the “why”, write it down, post it somewhere around your desk, in your car or anywhere you will be sure to see it periodically. When workdays get tough, as they often do, if you have no “why,” your enthusiasm will be shallow, your energy level will drop and your motivation will be…unmotivated.

Having a why speaks to “meaning” and “purpose.” Having meaning and purpose are highly motivating.

Are you dragging at work?
I can help! Click here to sign up for my free eZine. Each week you’ll receive motivating tips and information directly to your overworked inbox. Get inspired, get motivated and get with it!

Five Steps to Achieve Real Work-Life Balance

“The less that I differentiate between my “personal life” and my “work”, the less that I make the two compete with each other for my time and my energy, the less guilt I feel for spending too much time on one or the other, and the more “balanced”, well-adjusted, and happy I feel.”

I read this in an article today about finding true work-life balance, and I really love this perspective. I’m lucky. I love what I do. I love to exercise. I love my family. But it didn’t used to be that way. When I was young, I often struggled to do what I wanted. My work self was a stark difference from who I was at home. I loved to hang out with my friends and family and there were times that working was the last thing I wanted to do.

So when work took over my time, my life started to suck. I didn’t want to spend all day in an office working for someone else’s dream. I had a vision for helping people live their lives (including mine) better. I knew that the old way of doing life didn’t work, and I wanted to figure out how to encourage change.

So that’s what I did. I now work to make the lives of other people more energized, productive and positive. I knew I liked to write and talk to other people about their life, so that’s what I started doing. Pretty soon, my experience and research mixed with my passion, and I started to enjoy my whole day. Work was my life and I loved it.

Here is some advice for all of you pursuing that same reality, which I’m guessing, is all of us.

1. Pay Your Dues.
Sometimes you have to do things that don’t make you automatically happy. I had to go to school, do research and work for someone else before I could be my own boss. This took time, years even. And sometimes I hated it. Sometimes I was really hard. But in the end, it got me to the place I am today, and I wouldn’t take back that work because that work made this life possible.

2. Keep it simple.
You can’t achieve all your goals at once. You have to take things slowly or you’ll get overwhelmed and discouraged. You may have a whole host of things you need to accomplish before you can reach your goal, but all you have is today. All you can do is make this day better than yesterday. That means adding better habits slowly into your life, that means reading good books overtime, that means exercising a bit on a regular basis. Just do what you can with what you have today, and find the balance you’re searching for.

3. Be intentional with your community.
It doesn’t matter who you are, people need people to be successful and happy. Prioritize those people who love and support you. Spend time with inspiring people. Prune those relationships that are more toxic than helpful. Train your perspective to be one that provides a silver lining. Friends and family make your life good or bad depending upon who they are. Invest your time into a community of people who are good to themselves, to the world and to you.

4. Value your Health.
Do not. I repeat, do not run yourself into the ground. Take breaks on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Sleep. Eat well with thoughtfulness. Don’t consume too many things that you know are bad. Take walks. Spend time outside. You don’t have to be perfect, but keep in mind that if you don’t care of yourself, your life will never be what it should be.

5. Take risks.
Life is scary and change can be even more so, but the simple truth is that if you don’t take new opportunities and do things differently, then nothing will ever change. Pursue new experiences, take leaps of faith, make mistakes, rediscover a childlike perspective people, and most of all don’t assume that you have the answers.

How to be Happy

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance.

Most of the work life balance equation hinges on one thing. Making sure your relationships don’t suffer because you’re prioritizing work too much. Interestingly enough, there is one activity that will improve both. Studies also show that the same activity will also ease stress, reduce cravings, and promote better sleep.

What is this magical solution? Cuddling. Actually it’s the hormone you produce while cuddling called oxytocin, but the effects of this calming ingredient will improve your life in a multitude of ways.

In the same way that eating healthy and exercise improves your mindset along with your health in a cyclical fashion, cuddling will increase your work life balance in every way. Why? Because you’ll be happier, more connected and relaxed. Feelings we all need to have a better perspective on life.

For those of you who may not have a person or pet to cuddle with, I’ve got some good news. Cuddling isn’t the only way to produce oxytocin. There are lots of activities that will increase the levels of this hormone. Read this list for more.

It’s simple, really. Incorporating these activities into your daily life will make you a happier person, and when you’re happier, you’re also more motivated, productive and energetic.

And for once, this is motivational advice that is both easy and appealing. Also, watch this video.

For more information on Andy’s programs, [maxbutton id="2"]

Spring Forward. Pros and Cons

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance.

I don’t know about you, but the day after a time change leaves me a bit drained. I wake up too early in the morning after staying awake too late, and I am exhausted way more quickly than I should be.

The good news? I’m about to get off work and it’s sunny and warm outside. Spring is in the air and there is a noticeable change in the energy.

The result?

  • I want to go outside and run. I want to walk my dog. I want to go hiking and climb a tree. I want to do anything that allows me to appreciate this beautiful day.
  • My day flew by. My morning was a blink and my afternoon was a breeze. A bit of fatigue is nothing compared to the energy from a excited day.
  • I’m hopeful. Spring and Summer are the most positive parts of my year. The adventure of life seems a lot more possible when these seasons awaken.

The bad news?

I’m distracted! It’s finally feeling like spring, and after this hellacious winter, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is jumping out of my skin to feel the sun on my face.

Studies show that the most productive days are the ones with bad weather, and because of my distracted, fatigued nature I can tell that my productivity has been less than ideal.

The upside?

Exercise increases motivation and productivity. Therefore, after the lovely evening that I’m about to experience outside, my day tomorrow is sure to be a success.

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