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Thriver Quiz: Motivation and Goals

There are three types of hard working adults who operate in a high demanding job. The first group is the Thrivers. These people are productive in their work and also have the energy and time to sustain a personal and professional life balance. On the other extreme are the Strugglers who do not operate in a high demanding job and most likely leave on their own to pursue opportunities elsewhere. In the middle are the Strivers who sometimes thrive and sometimes struggle. Strivers work as hard as the Thrivers and succeed, but oftentimes struggle with stress, anxiety and overwhelming feelings.

When I wrote the book, Change Your Day Not Your Life, I created the Thriver Quiz to help people identify the ways of thinking and living that are helping or hindering them in a high-demand environment. To take the quiz now, visit http://andycore.com/quiz/ to see if you are a Thriver, Striver or Struggler.

One of my favorite questions on the quiz is, “How often are your daily patterns motivating you to accomplish your goals?”

In other words, is your daily routine consistently motivating you to thrive or is it creating obstacles, resistance or procrastination that cause you to struggle?

In the quiz, 30% of people said that their day rarely helps them out. This means they’re always fighting against struggling. 48% said their day sometimes helps them. Only 22% felt that their day really positions them to accomplish their goals most of the time. That is only 1 in 5.

Think about it like this: Does my daily flow really help motivate me to accomplish my goals or is it causing resistance?

If you’d like some ideas on how to do that, don’t try to change your whole life, just change your day. Second, go to my website www.andycore.com to read other blogs. You can also buy my book Change Your Day Not Your Life. This book is outlined to help you design a better way of life that triggers you to be motivated and accomplish your goals.

 

Thrive or Strive Quiz: Exercising

The topic of exercise plays a critical role in getting and staying motivated in order to thrive more and struggle less in a high demanding life.

In a high stress work environment, there are three types of hard working adults who operate in a high demanding job. The first group is the Thrivers, those who are productive in their work and sustain a great personal and professional life balance. On the other extreme are the Strugglers who do not operate in a high demanding job and most likely leave on their own to pursue opportunities elsewhere. In the middle are the Strivers who sometimes thrive and sometimes struggle.

My book Change Your Day Not Your Life has a quiz to help you identify where you stand in these three categories and what you can do to struggle less and thrive more. To take the quiz now, visit http://andycore.com/quiz/ to see if you are a Thriver, Striver, or Struggler.

In my quiz, one of the best questions is, “How often do you exercise at an effort level of 80% or higher?” 51% of people rarely exercise at an effort level of 80% or more, 9% exercise at this rate monthly and 40% exercise at this rate weekly. Based on those results, more than half of the people who took the quiz rarely work out at an effort level of 80% or more.

There are many benefits of exercising that create long term satisfaction such as more energy, motivation, work-life satisfaction and less stress. Specifically for people who are high stressed, exercising at an 80% or higher effort level makes a big difference. High levels of exercise can help reduce those high levels of stress like cortisol in your body.

The most common excuse for not making exercise a priority is lack of time or energy. An easy way to start exercising is to split your exercise time into five-minute blocks. I want you to do four minutes of exercise at a level of 60-80%, which is at conversational level, and one minute at 80% or more. After pushing yourself for 60 seconds, you can then go back to that four-minute level of exercise that is a little bit easier. This way, you can recover and it is less painful to jump back into that one-minute timeframe. This is a great way to break up your workouts, capitalize on stress reduction and make sure you’re adding enough positive energy to your life.

For more tips on how to reduce stress levels, read my book Change Your Day Not Your Life.

 

How to Reduce Stress When Under Pressure

When the majority of your day is spent working in a high-pressure environment, your stress and anxiety levels can significantly increase. When that happens, it can be difficult to sustain a productive day, much less work-life balance.

To help you overcome the tendency to feel stressed, I have devised a simple approach. The first step is to diagnose yourself. If you often feel high levels of stress, you need to take action. Create a socialization journal and write out how much time you spend on quality social interactions on a daily basis. If you spend less than 1 hour a day on social activities, your stress and happiness levels are at a 1-1 ratio. This means you are spending as much time being stressed and worried as you are being happy. This ratio makes life feel really difficult and can makes your quality of life very low.

Every hour of socialization you add to your daily average has a dramatic effect on your quality of life. In fact, if you can manage to have 7 hours of quality socialization a day, you increase your happiness and stress ratio 12-1. However, because 7 hours of quality socialization can be difficult to achieve, you should aim to spend at least 3-4 hours a day in social connection with one or more people. This time range creates a 6-1 ratio of happiness to stress and is a feasible goal for most individuals.

As a keynote speaker, during my motivational stress focused programs I’m often asked to clarify what I mean by “socialization.” Socialization is defined as “the pursuit of life in the companionship of others.” This means that you can achieve quality socialization connection at work, obviously with your loved ones, but also in any endeavor where you are pursuing life with others. This is great as it gives us several ways to increase our daily average and accomplish more with less stress.

One of the easiest ways to add quality socialization to your day is to use your lunch break as a social opportunity. While working through lunch to catch up is acceptable occasionally, it can actually make you less motivated since you aren’t allowing yourself time to de-stress and refocus your energy in a positive way. Attempt to spend at least two days a week eating lunch with someone you can connect with positively. While talking about work can be helpful here, since you are have work on both sides of this break in your day, I encourage you to make this a “nonworking lunch.” The point of this exercise is to distance yourself from stress so you can go back to work in a peaceful state of mind and it will allow you to be more productive.

Once you learn how to maximize the time you have to socialize, you can have the right frame of mind to increase your productivity while maintaining a good level of happiness. Devoting yourself to 3-4 hours of socialization every day will increase your enjoyment in life and will allow you to practice better stress management under pressure.

 

Big Box Time Management – How to Increase Productivity & Quality of Life

Many create a checklist of their important projects and “To-dos.” It is a way to prioritize the most important items. We want to check those boxes to be productive. The problem is that unexpected, urgent matters always arise that force us to keep pushing our priority items further and further down the list.

Eventually, we reach what I call, the “To-do no man’s land.” That is simply when your to-dos get pushed far enough down your to-do list that you will not get to them and they (your key priorities) get pushed to tomorrow. When you realize that some important to-do’s just aren’t going to happen – that you’re out of time – stress and anxiety can significantly increase. When that happens, you can’t relax and your mind just isn’t in the right place to devote the remainder of your day to the things you find important – namely, your loved ones.

To help beat this all-too-common situation, I have devised a simple time management approach that uses a different mindset, a different mental focus. Simply ask yourself, “What must I do today so that I can leave work at work. What boxes must I check that will enable me to feel accomplished and be able to rest well tonight?

In a traditional to-do list, all of your check boxes are the same size. I believe that some of those boxes are bigger than others. Maybe they aren’t prioritized by task, but by concept. What do you need to-do to be productive and accomplished in your work day? These are your big boxes.
Personally, I’ve clarified my big boxes. As a writer and a speaker on how to achieve a successful work-life balance, if I want to help people, I must write and I must reach out to people who organize meetings where outside speakers are invited. If I don’t write and reach out to people I’m not able to grow my business and help people. Another Big Box is exercise. If I don’t exercise, stress builds up and I get cranky, which isn’t the kind of person I need to be to accomplish my goals.

What are the two or three biggest boxes in your work day? If you don’t know right off the top of your head, it’s time to clarify. Having a couple of standard goals in mind each day helps you focus your efforts and is far more realistic to accomplish than an endless to-do list. At the end of the day, you want to be able look back and ask yourself if you can check those big boxes. If you did, great! Take a deep breath and relax. You did it.

Now you can leave work with the right frame of mind to truly relax and recharge in your personal time. You also are “present” enough to spend quality time with your loved ones.

 

Importance of Productivity in the Workplace and 3 Steps to Improve It

There are many reasons why you could find yourself struggling to be productive at work, including stress, time pressure, distractions, poor attitude, changing workplaces and policies, etc. Regardless, increasing productivity in the workplace is paramount in today’s competitive, time-crunched world.

Productivity is simply defined by how much you can produce in a certain amount of time. In order to increase productivity, you need to either increase the amount you can do, decrease the amount of time it takes you to do something or a combination of the two.

The importance of increasing productivity in the workplace is multipurpose. I call it a Win3.

Win3 – It helps:
1. You – it helps you reach your goals faster and with less stress.
2. Your Team – Your team or organization and customers or clients will benefit because you are accomplishing their goals faster.
3. Your People – Your newfound increase in productivity will provide a more efficient, more positive and less stressful asset to their challenges and issues (namely, you).

Even though we know something is good for us, that doesn’t guarantee we will do it. Have you ever asked yourself, “Why don’t I do what I know I should?” We all have. Improving productivity in the workplace is what I call a “Know Brainer.” We know we should, but sometimes consistently implementing our new ideas is not easy to maintain.

To be consistently productive and have sustained motivation you need four things: meaning, energy, triggers and ability. Having meaning in the things you do, energy to get through the day at your best, a daily schedule that triggers efficiency and confidence in your ability to do your work are all evidence-based ways to increase your productivity. When these elements are combined, you will have a consistent wind at your back pushing you toward optimal productivity and a faster path to successfully achieving your goals.

Three Steps to Being Significantly More Productive at Work:
1. Define what you need to improve to be more productive.
2. Run yourself through the P=META formula to help you determine what will help you improve. Specifically, find out if you are lacking on meaning, energy, triggers and/or your ability behind that certain task.
3. Focus on improving in that ONE area. Focus is the key word. Pick one area to improve, then chase it down and tackle it to the ground before you attempt to improve another area.

For instance, many sales trainers or productivity motivational speakers will suggest that you outline your top 3 most productive activities for each day the day before. Doing this has been suggested to increase your productivity at work by as much as 25%.

Let’s run this through my three steps:
1. Define –You know you can improve your productivity by being more organized and outlining tomorrow’s most productive work today.
2. META: Let’s run this through the META formula
a. MEANING: This strategy is meaningful and will enable you to produce more in the same time.
b. ENERGY: This task should take little time and energy, so it will not significantly reduce your personal energy levels. Plus, it will increase your sense of control of your daily objectives, which produces massive positive energy and motivation.
c. TRIGGERS: As the end of the day approaches it will trigger you to outline your key tasks for tomorrow.
d. ABILTY: After giving it a little thought, most people can identify their key tasks.

If you ran into difficulty with any of the four META elements, then you can use that information is both a way to greater understanding of why you may procrastinating and a trigger to improve.

Doing these three things will give you clarity as to why you are procrastinating and provide you with a clear path to finding a solution. Now you can go from just wanting to improve productivity in the workplace to actually doing it!

This is taken from my speeches to many organizations’ top sales people and organizations that want more top performers.

It is in my book Change Your Day, Not Your Life http://andycore.com/cyd/

And this video is now part of a four-part series.

 
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Change Your Day, Not Your Life
A realistic guide to sustained motivation, more productivity, and the art of working well
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About Andy Core
Author and speaker on work-life balance, productivity and wellbeing
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