How to use affirmations

The time to, the time to think about happiness, if you want to use affirmations and how to use affirmations to be a happier person, the time to do that is in the morning. If you can possibly do it, set aside a time in the morning, ideally before other people wake up and ideally it’s the same time and what you can do is you can write out the thoughts you want to have. Write them down on a piece of paper, and then every morning you can spend 30 seconds on this and it can change your life.

You’re going to read through the thoughts on that piece of paper, and you’re literally writing something like I am grateful for my friends; I’m grateful for my health; I’m grateful that I’m not homeless. It sounds funny but really, you know, I’m grateful…there’s a lot of things that it’s easy to forget or be grateful for or that you could be grateful for and if you, studies have shown that people who connect with a feeling of gratitude, a feeling of thankfulness, feel happier. So if you want to feel happier, don’t focus on happiness, focus on gratitude and you’ll be happier.

How to stop procrastinating and start studying

This is how to stay focused during a test. If you’re taking a test and you’re having a problem with your mind wandering, what you’re going to do is to learn one simple technique and you’re going to do this whenever a thought comes into your head that distracts you, ok?

What you’re going to do is just take a deep breath, and let go of the thought and remind yourself that you can have that thought another time; the thought will come back. Don’t worry about remembering the thought or focusing on the thought. You’re going to breath in (breathes in) and when you breathe out, the thought is going to go and you’re going to focus back on the test. This will help you stop procrastinating and start studying.

Is procrastination normal?

When you’re wondering, “is procrastination normal?” give yourself permission to realize that it’s normal. Everybody does it.

One thing you can do is set a timer. In a sense, you’re setting a timer on your procrastination. You’re saying look, you know what? I’m online and I’m surfing around and I’m just wandering and I’m a bit lost but I’m going to set this little timer right here, or set something on your phone; whatever it is; Set it for 15 minutes. Go procrastinate. Have fun.

When the timer comes on; or when the timer goes off; now it’s time to go back to work.

I don’t like my job

Sometimes work sucks. You’re thinking, “I don’t like my job” but you feel like you have to go to your job. You’re trapped. You need the money.

Keep in mind, you can focus on the things outside of work and take happiness from the things outside of work. If you allow yourself to be open; just have an open mind for a second; you can actually get happiness from smiles on the street.

If you’re feeling a little bit down, try an experiment. Hold on. Have an open mind here. Just walk down the street and just smile at people. Some people will not smile back to you but a lot of people will smile back to you and you’ll really feel a lot happier. And you won’t be saying I don’t like my job anymore!

So on your way back to work, keep that in mind and remember that you’ll have another job someday and it’ll probably be a better job.

Perspective on time management

I want to say something about time management. We all think that we want to get more time in our day and find more time and we’re too busy. It’s the wrong approach because you can’t get more time. We need some perspective on time management.

Squeezing more hours into a work day doesn’t really matter because the effective part of your work day is really small. If you think about it; and I’m not talking about all the little things that you have to do to move your work forward, the little gotta be done stuff; but the real things, the this-matters-to-where-my-career-my-life-my-goals, all that stuff; the big stuff. That’s just a few hours a day, maximum.

If you can get a few great hours of writing in or a few great hours of whatever in, that’s a great day. That’s solid time management. The focus should be on making sure that we are pushing forward the things that really matter and not getting distracted by everything around us.

How to stop procrastinating on a paper

A friend of mine asked me about a big project that he’s got to do at work. He’s having trouble getting started. It’s just a ginormous project, and he’s wondering how to stop procrastinating on a paper. What I said is, go back to planning. Go back to thinking about what are the steps that I would go through if I was going to do this project. Stop worrying about doing it and just think about what you would do.

What you want to go for is that every step of your plan is as small as possible because smaller things are easier to start on. Starting is actually the real problem, not doing. You can do the big project, it’s just actually starting the big project that’s almost the hardest part.

An example that I like to use is taxes. If your project is “do your taxes”, that’s really hard to start. You would break that down until maybe the first step of the project, the first thing you have to do, all we have to do is find the accountants phone number. That’s all you have to do. Now you get to check something off your list and you’re feeling good.

Plan instead of doing and go for micro-steps. When you’re working on a paper and you’re procrastinating it’s hard to stop, but these steps will get you there.

How to stop getting distracted working at home

I want to talk about modes. As you go through your day, you’re kind of in different modes. You might have a social mode where you’re being social with people, you’re not worried about work; or you might have a mode where you’re reacting to things; another mode where you’re driving things forward.

It’s important to know how to stop getting distracted working at home. The things that matter most in terms of where your success comes from is where you are driving things forward. The big important things that will move your business or your career forwards as opposed to just responding to everything that’s going on and everybody is emailing you and all that kinds of stuff. That’s coming inwards.

How can you work on things that matter and not get distracted by stuff coming at you? Your home is full of distractions that are hard to avoid. One of the ways that I’ve found that works is to get away from the computer. Pencil, paper; you think a lot differently when you’re using those things. One of the things I’ve found is you have a lot of ideas.

As soon as you get away from the computer, part of your brain unlocks and suddenly I’m always coming up with things I need to do. Quick! I should get this or I should think about that or I should email this person.

What you want to do is you want to have a pad of paper. It could be on your desk or it could be beside your computer and this is an inbox for your computer. In a sense, it’s just putting a barrier between you and getting back on line. You may turn off the internet or unplug it physically and you go over to the desk and any ideas you have, you just write them down so they’re out of your head and you can keep on rolling.

Then when you’re going to go back online, you just go through your list and you put it all in. The point is to stop yourself from just getting back online with the first idea that you think of.

How to start your day off right

I want to talk about the number one mistake that people make in the morning and how to start your day off right. This is number one. This is very hard to avoid, but if you could avoid this, life will be good. That is: Checking email.

It’s so hard to not check your email first thing in the morning. You pick up your phone, go to the computer; I’ll just take five minutes. The problem is two problems.

One is you get sucked into the problems of the day. All the emails that have been coming into you, they put you in a mode of reacting. You’re reacting to all of the things that are coming in via your email inbox. The second one is you don’t have the buffer of time of setting up what you want to do with the day. They’re very similar problems but what you really want to do is in the morning you want to figure out what you want to do today, get your head right, and then tackle your day. Maybe that means go check your email, but the first thing you do should not be your email.

How to get work life balance

When we talk about how to get work life balance, we’re really talking about the fact that we don’t want work to overrun our lives. That’s what it’s really about. Unfortunately, when you’re running a business or working in a business, it’s really easy to keep thinking about work. There’s one specific technique that I’d like to suggest that will make you happier in your life; in your non work time. That is, not check your email. That’s how you can get work life balance.

When work finishes, do not check work email. Put it down and leave it alone. If that means turning off that device, if that means putting it in a closet, you know; maybe you don’t have email accessible on that device, you don’t have it set up, it’s a little bit harder but it’s a step between you and just checking it.

Our brains don’t have the ability to see something and then just forget about it; not think about it. If you check email at 9:00 at night and you see some letter or email from your boss or from a customer or from somebody, you’re going to think about it. You’re going to stress about it. It’s going to ruin your evening.

Honestly, the people that you work with don’t really have a right to expect you to be on all the time. Not only do they not have a right to expect you to be on and thinking about work all the time, it’s really kind of unwise to even want people to be on all the time because you don’t really get the best of people.

If you’re thinking about creativity, people are creative when they have breaks; when they have rest; when their mind can have down time; if you look at the most creative artists or people in the world, they don’t just produce all the time. They have downtime. They section out their time.

Don’t work all the time. Don’t think about work all the time. Do not check your email in the evenings.

How to take a break at work

This video walks you through how to take a break at work so you come back refreshed!

When you’re taking a break, you’re clearing your head. You want to be just abandoning work, which is why I suggest using a timer. So set a timer for five minutes, 10, 15 minutes, however long you want to take a break. The timer is watching the time, you are not watching the time. You’re not stressed about time. The timer will tell you when it’s time to go back to work.

You just leave work behind; and I would suggest, very strongly, that you get away from the computer. If you really want to have a break and rest your mind, go read a book, go for a walk, get outside, go make yourself something to eat. Get away from the computer. The worst kind of break is when you flip over to a website and you just start wandering over the internet.

The problem with that kind of break is A: it doesn’t really rest you; you don’t really come back with any more rest from that and B: the problem is that you can turn a little oh, I’ll just check this website and it’s two hours later and you’re thinking where did my time go? I got nothing done. It’s the break that suddenly took over your day. Now it’s ruined your day.

So, use a timer and get away from the computer. Stand up and get away from the computer!