Friday, November 18, 2016

Broken Hearted

In morning there's always the light
Hard to imagine it in the dark we live

They say there's light at the end of the tunnel
Hard to believe when all there is right now is gray

Standing in the shadows that morning holds near
It's the evening that we all fear

You always said you wanted wings,
But that was hard to believe in

esoteric, philosophic meanderings

It's not like you struck or hate
you chose to save a life
so when you see your maker be sure to share this with him tonight
without you, the life you leave isn't one worth living


Friday, October 14, 2016

Legos, Trains, and Haunted Houses

The Limiting Truth of Unlimited Possibilities

How to Overcome The Adversity In Your Life, One Lego At A Time



In a room, two boys are playing, each with their own Lego set. Each boy has an equal number of pieces, identical in every way.

The only difference is that one boy has the box that shows a picture of what the parts can build. It demonstrates the potential that using the particular pieces as depicted can form.

The other boy has all the same pieces in a clear, plastic baggie. He has zero guidance, no scaffolding to work from, and has an unlimited set of options in front of him.

For the first boy, we think of his options to be more limited by being given the display. While he may choose to build something unique, the probabilities are that he'll build something derivative of the display.

While he's been given a head start on what he is potentially able to build, it would seem that it also limits his creativity by creating a preset image of what should be done. One would think that this is the fallacy of expectation; that by showing what is possible, it creates limits on his creativity.

But for the other boy, the one with an unlimited set of options with what to build, how many pieces to use and for what purpose, the task is actually much more limiting.

He lacks any frame to focus his creative energy on. The limitlessness of his options actually works to hinder his creativity.

He has too many options, too many choices to make. He can build tall, he can go wide, he can make anything he imagines, and that analysis leads to a paralysis of action.

Trains In Vain

How Designers of Disneyland Overcame Physical Limitations  

Self Improvement Tips


Take a look at another example. When Walt Disney was growing up, he had a fascination with trains. 

He was so keen on trains; he made the designers of his theme park build a railroad track that circumnavigated his property line as an attraction.

When Disney was designing the park, he placed a train track that went around the perimeter of the park for people to get a tour of everything that was offered. But as the popularity of Disneyland grew, and Disney wanted to include more attractions, the property limitations placed a huge burden on the designers and architects. There was a finite amount of space and an unlimited number of options for more rides and attractions.

So what were the designers and architects to do?

If you've ever been to the California Disneyland, you've seen some of the creative solutions to these property limitations. Most likely, without even being aware of the problem in the first place.

If you've ever entered the Haunted House, you know that you walk into an octagonal room that closes behind you. As the doors close, a pre-recorded voice streams over the loudspeakers and sets the tone for what comes next.

As the tape is played, the room elongates and stretches before the audience's eyes.

But it's all an optical illusion.

What's happening is a creative solution to the limitations placed on the designers.

To add an attraction without taking away from other existing rides and structures, as well as the train that circumnavigated the perimeter of the park, the designers realized that they couldn't build upward -

- they had to build down.

So the magical stretching room is an elevator that goes underground to a tunnel that is the ride.

It was only through the limitations placed on the designers that they created one of the most memorable, popular attractions in Disneyland.

And it was because of the restrictions imposed on the developers that a solution was formed, not from them having unlimited options.

So, when you're confronted with endless options, ask yourself what are some parameters that you can work within.

What are some things that can confine you, to help you devise a plan, an option, a strategy?

Learn to set limits, you'll discover that you'll need to be more creative with them than without.

(I first read about Walt Disney, Trains, and The Haunted Mansion "Stretching Room" on the Nerd Guru blog)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cutting Strings



The door pushed open slowly as her fingers curled over the edge.

It was the first time I saw her that morning.

She walked into the room. Her eyes on the floor, her black hair wet and curly from the shower. She wouldn't look at me, just kept staring at the carpet that separated the two of us.

It's an ugly, old, stained carpet. The stains are from previous tenants, sure, though I know we're just as guilty to the patterns that've developed over time.

At least it's a dark colored rug, brown in fact, with darker shades mixed in at random.

Anyway, this old, ugly carpet laid before us like a gulf between a sailor and shore; all he can think about is landing in port, gathering up his gear, heading home to have a beer and, if lucky, have sex with his girlfriend or wife.

For the less lucky sailor, he'll cast off to the nearest bar and watering-hole hoping that the arrival of his ship in port will bring out the local gals; the ones interested in the guys who pursue a life on the ocean, a wanderlust that is the solitary independence of being on the open seas.

They'll look for the type of gals that say they only want what the sailor wants - a beer, a shot perhaps, than to go home to get laid maybe, but most of all to lay down with someone else, if for just a few hours - and to lose the loneliness of being an adult in this world, before the mask of self-deceit is ripped away by the intrusiveness of morning.

It was morning. And I was spinning about in my head like I did every day, scrolling through emails and unessential social media, in effect, mentally masturbating.

I was decisively indecisive over what path I was to take for the day. I knew I needed to exercise - and so too, did the dog - but I didn't  want to do anything, stressed about the normal adult things, finances, bills, work, and the usual what-not.

In other words, I was too paralyzed by fears and thoughts. I was 100% self-absorbed.

It's usually when we're at this exact moment in our lives that the universe comes along and slaps us upside our heads. The little lady that controls this thing called life (if it is a little lady - I'm sorry - I mean nothing wrong by revealing your existence) has a penchant for the dramatic, a tendency to shake the tree and see what falls. If not for her amusement, then at least for our own.

It doesn't matter to her what we've planned, the vacations, the holidays and trips to visit friends and family; nor the best time to start a family; or for the retirement for those lucky (or smart) enough to plan; the toys to buy, the stories to write - it doesn't matter, because when the little lady decides she wants to do something in our lives, we're like marionettes on a string, her hand makes us dance to the song she's singing.

I wasn't much there, not mentally present at least. As she stood, she stood by the bookcase that we had put next to the door of the bathroom, the carpet sea a gulf between us,  and I turned back to my desk, too self-absorbed to see her.

"I'm pregnant."


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

To The Barometer of Temperature - A Nightly Show Goodnight (keeping it 100)

There Are More Important Things Than Profit




One of the greatest tragedies in modern society is the fact that something of value, something that represents positive thought and opinion is subject to the whims of a profit motive.

Take Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show."

While it's hard to replace a great program like the Colbert Show (ask Steven Colbert about replacing Letterman) - The Nightly Show was a necessary infusion of viewpoints under-represented otherwise.

I didn't always find the show funny.  There were times it was boring and dull.

But there were other times it was incredibly entertaining and funny.

Most of all it tried to be fresh; it worked to present perspectives that you couldn't find on the other networks.

Today it was announced that The Nightly Show was cancelled and wouldn't air after the end of the week. 

While that may, or may not, seem like a big deal, it is.

The reason it matters is that The Nightly Show brought to attention a lot of racist and socio-economic issues that you haven't seen or heard of before.

And tonight, the cast, especially Mike Yard and Rory Albanese, ripped apart the veil that too many in an industry are willing to hold over their faces. They were willing to say basically, "fuck it, I'm now out of work anyway, so here's the truth as I see it."

In the segment "Pardon The Integration," they discussed the "N-word", it's power and influence on society and most importantly, how it still has it's power.

The segment showed that the word has it's power because it makes white people uncomfortable.

I will miss The Nightly Show.

Much like I miss Jon Stewart, Edward G. Morrow (even though I wasn't alive before he died) , Howard Zinn, Kurt Vonnegut and others (such as Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe) that were willing to speak truth to power.

Larry Wilmore has been willing to speak for those of us without the megaphone that what is going on is not right. He said some incredible things about the dangers of a Trump Presidency in a way that was honest and truthful without the histrionics of other shows.

Gone is the voice willing to speak when others shout.

Forgotten is the power that nonviolence wields as a hammer on the anvil of hate.

Lost somewhere is the authenticity, the genuine, for the temporary pursuit of profit.

When we leave, it doesn't matter how much paper we had or what our returns on investments carry.

What matters is how we treat people, what we make them feel, and most important, what we make them think long after we are gone.

There are more important things than a profit motive. 

How often do you discuss profits and margins with your loved ones?

How important is your 401(K) to your friends?

While they matter to you, it's not that important at the end of the day.

There are more important things than a profit motive.  

(Fuck you Comedy Central, MSNBC, Viacom and others. Yes, you have a right to make a profit, but not at the expense of truth)



Friday, June 24, 2016

The Only Way To Develop Expert Habits Is To Fail At Developing Them

Just This Once You Should Look To Fail


If you want to make a change in your life, there's only one way to do so.

If you were to go for a hike on the local trails, how'd you get started?

How about losing some weight, get in better shape and become healthier?

What's the first thing you'd do?

How about wanting to make more money?

Would you get a new job, pick up additional shifts at your existing one, or start a business?

In every example you're making a trade-off.

You're making a trade-off of something, it may be time, or money, for the idea that there's a payoff at the end. You're giving up something in order to receive some type of reward.

If you were to make a lifestyle change, such as living healthier or making more money, how would you get started?

What's the first thing you'd do?

No matter what expert habit you hope to develop, no matter what new skill you want to master, and what change you wish to see in your life, there's no fool-proof method.

Regardless of what you want to accomplish, or wish to change, there's only one way to get it accomplished.

Get started.


There's only one way to be successful.

To get started.

Will you fail?
Possibly.

Will you learn?
Absolutely.


What you do with your experience(s) after you learn is up to you.

When asked how he persevered to develop the light bulb after almost 10,000 different versions failed, Edison is quoted as saying

"I didn't fail. I just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
If you want to make an effective change in your life, you need to act.

It's only through action that we learn, and through the trials and errors that we experience, is how we succeed or fail.

Another American innovator Henry Ford is quoted as saying, "whether you think you can, or cannot, you're right."

It won't be easy. It probably won't happen when you need it to, but if you try, fail and learn, you're further along than if you didn't get started in the first place.

In other words, the only way you can develop expert habits in your life is to fail at developing them.

But it's by failing that you learn what doesn't work and puts you one step closer to finding what does.






Sunday, June 12, 2016

How To Develop Expert Habits One At A Time

Develop Expert Habits One Step At A Time - That Is, Until You Find Your Shortcut


In this post, we'll discuss the process of skill acquisition and what it takes to develop expert habits, one at a time.

Master This!


Trying to develop mastery of any task or subject takes time. That's something we all know and is well understood.

But for some people, it seems simple. They make mastering a new skill or task appear effortless, but why?

What separates those individuals who can master anything quickly from the rest of us?

Growing up in Southern California, playing outside was never a question.  Every day I'd be outside running imaginary routes from the famous "Air Coryell" route tree of the early '80s Chargers.

Other days I spent dribbling around the multiple defenders I could imagine, scoring a goal off a self-pass from the walls of the indoor venue that the San Deigo Soccers like Julie V. played in.

Whatever I did, it was to emulate my sports heroes, and I spent hours trying to hone my skills.  One of my kid brothers was so smooth at acquiring new skills that it drove me crazy.

I'd spend hours in the driveway shooting hoops, kicking a ball against the retaining wall in our front yard or working out in the pool - only to be shown up by my kid brother. He'd ask what I was doing; I'd tell him, and he'd effortlessly perform better than I could.

On top of being taller and better looking, being able to pick up a skill or task and outperform me with little effort, after hours of me sweating, just didn't seem fair.

It wasn't.

He had an edge - he was able to watch me and could identify something in my actions about what worked and what didn't.  So he focused on what did work and discarded what didn't.

When 20 > 80 - What To Do About Efficient Learning 


Lately, there is a whole cottage industry of experts finding ways to speed up the process of skill acquisition from novice to intermediate to expert.

Tim Ferriss, for example, is the author of The 4-Hour Work Week (among others) and has reinvented his career by studying and showing others how to accelerate the learning curve. Much like my kid brother, he focused his efforts on the tasks that worked and discarded the others.

It's a school of thought that there has to be a shortcut to expertise.  That there is a more effecient mode of learning than countless hours of dedicated practice (more on this below).

Part of the philosophy behind Tim's strategy is the belief that there are repetitive processes that masters learn over time that shortcut the usual process of skill acquisition to mastery.

It's a philosophy based in part on the Pareto Principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule.

The Pareto Principle builds on a Roman philosopher that grew peas centuries ago. He observed that of all the peas planted in and around Rome, 20% of all the plants yielded 80% of every harvest.

This theory has been tested over millennia and in a number of industries and states that 80% of your productivity returns comes from 20% of your efforts.

In order to find a shortcut to mastery, first, we have to understand what mastery is and how it is a task best acquired.

Seminole Moment



At Florida State University it can get hot, humid and steamy. Unless you're a glutton for being fed upon by mosquitos the size of buzzards, spending a lot of time indoors seems the sane route.

It's under the gaze of fluorescent and LCD lights with air conditioning that K. Anders Ericsson, a man who wears a tight beard colored the same as the salt and pepper hair on his head, specializes on Cognitive Behavior at Florida State University.

Originally from the University of Sweden, his research has developed the concept of the 10,000-hour rule of mastery, which states that it takes 10,000 hours of highly dedicated, extremely focused practice to become an expert at any task.

Check Mate - How Learning To Overcome Different Strategies Actually Works


In one published study, Ericsson references the research by renowned psychologist Adrianus de Groot. In his research, de Groot, who was a master a chess himself, studied how world chess masters studied and acquired new tactics.

The chess masters were asked to announce their moves aloud when undertaking an unknown move or unfamiliar tactic.

What de Groot discovered wasn't that the chess players had an expansive memory any greater than anyone else, or that they possessed an incredible speed of cognition, rather the chess masters possessed a unique speed of tasks and tactics they were already familiar.

So the most revealing aspect of the study wasn't the acuity of the chess players, rather it was their ability and speed at which they operated under previously mastered stratagems.

In other words, they found shortcuts in how they responded to new and unfamiliar situations from hours of dedicated practice.

This study shows that mastery isn't the capacity to think on your feet quickly, or be able to process new information and cogently respond, rather the rapidity at which one can act on tasks that they have already mastered.

"...expert performance is viewed as an extreme case of skill acquisition" 
(Proctor & Dutta, 1995.  Richman, Gobet, Staszewski & Simon, 1996; VanLehn 1996) 
What this research tells us about developmental processes and skill acquisition is that when we try to develop expert habits, it takes time, highly focused dedication to the techniques and refinement before mastery.

Once expertise of any particular task is achieved then, it next becomes a process of finding the shortest route to the desired outcome. This is where labels like "genius," expert," and "master" become attached to someone.

It's because through these highly acquired tactics and skills, performing the functions appear to be effortless. My brother could watch me and see what worked, discard the rest and had mastered the skills faster than I did through traditional trial and error.

The Balance Necessary For Mastery


So why could my brother pick up skills faster than I did?

He was able to dedicate his focus on the 20% of my actions - and those of others performing the same tasks - that resulted in the 80% of the desired results.

For some people, they can intuitively pick up what works effectively simply by watching others perform a similar task.

For most of us clods, it takes plenty of time of highly dedicated practice to learn how to develop and acquire the skills necessary.



What we find is that the two schools of thought regarding skill development and mastery should be in perfect harmony.  A balance between the need to devote massive amounts of time to highly dedicated practice - the 10,000-hour rule - and the ability to achieve mastery faster.

Somewhere in between the 10,000-hour rule and the Pareto Principle is the sweet spot we should strive for then.

By finding that balance of devoted, dedicated practice, while focusing on what yields the greatest results regularly, we're able to fulfill our goal of developing expert habits one at a time.

Do what the experts do, find what works for them, discard the rest and get started on your own road to developing expert habits.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Power Of Habit Over Your Life And What You Can Do About It


The Power of Habit


The little things we do without thinking, and how to change them for the better 


Every morning you get out of bed and probably go about a routine that you have set on automatic.

These little actions are done by rote and without any conscious thought - in other words, they've become habits.

Perhaps you get up, get dressed, lace your shoes and go for a run.

Maybe you grab your water and yoga mat and head off to your studio.

Did you brush your teeth or use mouthwash before you left the house?  How about your hair? Do you shower before you leave, or did you take a shower the night before?

If you did any one of these things and didn't think about it before hand, that's the power of habit.

Every time you catch yourself checking your Facebook or other social media without thinking about it first, that's the power our habits can take on us.

So, if our unconscious actions can dictate our behavior, what then, does it take to change our actions to take on the desired effect?

For example, imagine you have a new goal you want to accomplish.  With summer coming around soon, maybe it's to lose a couple of pounds or get in better cardiovascular shape to be more active this year.

Don't pretend that losing a couple of pounds to look and feel better outdoors isn't on your radar. Most of us have a social pull to fit in, to feel better, to look our best, and losing a couple of pounds can have a profound effect on our self-esteem.

Besides, I need the analogy for my argument.

So how do you create better habits in a safe, constructive way?

Understand the 3 Step Process of the Habit Loop to Build Better Habits


It takes decisive action with attention to the small details that will make lasting change.
In Charles Duhigg's seminal book on habits, he discusses how the power of habit dictates our actions and influences our outcomes. 

Citing research, Duhigg claims there is a process of three steps that form a loop in our behavior.

1) The first is the cue - what are the shortcuts you need to get more done, more easily?

2) The second is the trigger - what causes you to act?



3) The third is the reward - what do you get in return for the action?



This loop of cue, trigger, reward is the basis for building a habit.  And remember, a habit can be an automatic action that is good, or one that is not. 

Over time, this anticipation can develop into a craving for the reward and result in action that is beyond our conscious control.

Think about checking your email.




The cue is that when you open up your computer or smartphone, your inbox automatically updates all of your new emails. It may "ding" or pop-up a notification that you have a new email.

The trigger is the desire to know who emailed you, what about, and how important is it.

Finally then the reward is opening your email inbox and reading an email.

Research indicates that this process is one that tickles the same part of our brains like cocaine - it's exhilarating and releases significant amounts of dopamine, the chemical for pleasure in our brains, and it's why we get a slight thrill every time we open up our inboxes. We begin to anticipate the happiness that we get from the reward.  It's this phase that reinforces the habit loop (more on this phase below).

The anticipation of seeing a new email is a similar experience to expecting the rush from amphetamine. It also helps explain why social media platforms like Facebook are so popular and addicting.

So how do we change negative behaviors and create ones that we want?


Unlock Your Potential While Breaking Old Habits



Duhigg reports that habits are potentially 40% of all our daily actions, meaning that there are unconscious actions we do automatically almost half the time.

Because as we develop habits, our brain creates patterns that it relies on as a shortcut to save time and energy.  So, in effect, the old habits and patterns never disappear, which helps explain why it's so easy to slip back into the negative habits we were trying to change in the first place. 

How then do we rid ourselves of negative habits? The sad part is that we can't.  

So the trick then is to refocus the brain on what part of the habit loop needs to change and be modified.

In other words, you need to create a new habit loop, one that is built around the actions we want over those we don't. 

The primary factor, however, is in developing a craving for a new reward.  

The craving for a reward is what drives our actions, and if unsatiated, will continue to build on an unconscious action - how the scent of food can make you crave that item, even if you just ate. 

If you are trying to build an exercise habit, the key is to set a cue such as putting on your shoes first thing in the morning, and then after a run, have a reward set up.  

As you develop these conscious acts, by reinforcing the rewards, you begin to create the anticipation of reward.  

That anticipation creates a craving for the next reward, and once a craving is established, the roots of habit spread and become unconscious, leading to new habit formation.

So reward yourself to create a new habit. Eat that chocolate, drink that beer, sit on your duff and watch T.V.

If you really want to make a difference in your habits, it's that simple. But only if you operate within a habit loop.

Otherwise you're rewarding nonsense.

If you'd like to read Charles Duhigg's awesome book, click on the picture below.  I do get a small referral fee for each sale, just FYI.

Friday, April 8, 2016

7 Simple Ways To Maximize Your Productivity

The Seven Simple Tips That You Can Start To Use Right Now To Maximize Your Productivity 




1)  Distraction Free Zones 

Create a distraction "free" zone.  Find a space you can work, uninterrupted for a decent amount of time. Turn off your phone and email notifications, close all unnecessary windows, tabs and don't check Facebook and other social media.

If you're at home, turn off the TV.  Even though you like the "white noise" that the TV provides in the background, turn it off.  It serves as a distraction to your focus.

Let your coworkers, friends and family that there is a period of time that you need to work without disruption.

Then close the door to your office, find a quiet place to work.

2)   Separate Life From Work And Work From Life


Create a workspace separate from everything else.  This is especially important if you have to, or choose to, work from home.

It's like having a dog.

If all your dog ever does is runs around the house and yard, he's not getting the exercise needed.  But as soon as you set off and take him for a walk, to the park, or beach, and he sniffs around, he's going to be happier and more satisfied.

Why?

Because a change of venue sparks something in him, and it works the same for us.  Getting up and moving to a new workplace, some new site, makes a part of our brain activate in a way that's different.  It's the stimulus of a new environment that helps spark a drive and energy toward our production.



3)  Measure Once, Cut Twice 


Now that you have a work space and people understand the importance of your work, cut it down to size.  Take the large projects you have and break them down into smaller, more manageable pieces.



In carpentry, there's an adage to "measure twice, cut once." In this instance, you should invert those two concepts.  Measure once, see the size and scope of the project and cut it down to as small a portion as possible.  Another tip is to make a list of what you need to do, how many steps you predict it will take and set about one step at a time.

For example, let's say you're a weightlifter, and you want to try to lift 1 ton.  While that's humanly impossible, the idea is by breaking your target weight down into smaller amounts; it may take more repetitions to accomplish, but you'll be able to get to a ton in due time.

4) Time To Get To Work  


Dedicate your time.  

Commit to working in dedicated, highly focused periods of time.  This concept is called the Pomodoro Technique and is one that instructs us to work in small batches of time, with an immediate break from all related activities.

In other words, set limits on the length of time you plan on working and make sure you have very clear boundaries that include breaks in the intervals.

5) Fight The Battles To Win The War


In my recent past, I spent a long time coaching sports.  Team sports, individual sports and focused on individual development within the concept of teamwork and cohesion - one of the tenants was to make your teammates better, and one of the tools of the trade I used was to curate ideas.  In other words, I'd take what I observed, heard, saw, and researched to funnel that information down to a granular level in order to help solve whatever issue was on the team, or individual's, way.

How this applies to you, is that you should think about your work as little minor tasks to accomplish and that over time these micro-accomplishments will add up to something greater. Indeed, the sum is greater than the parts - but focus on the parts that matter.

Now, here's a horrid analogy that summarizes these concepts.  I hate the conflation of sports and war, but they are prevalent in society so here goes - Think about your tasks as minor battles in a larger war.

By focusing all your energy and troops on the small battles one at a time, you have a better chance of winning the war as it were.

6) Just Say No! 


Learn to say NO.

There's always more to get done and more than you can ever hope to accomplish.  So learn to say no.

Obviously we all have a finite amount of time in a day and a finite quantity of energy to get the tasks accomplished.

It may take awhile for clients, family and friends to learn, but eventually, they'll learn that by you saying no to their every demand and whim, you'll be happier and more productive over the long-term.

It's not easy to do but critical for success.

Be willing to say no will free you up with extra time and energy to focus on the tasks most critical and important to you.

7) Yield When You Come To A Stop Sign


As we discussed earlier, learn to set limits.  

It's a tactic that will help you break down your tasks into simpler, manageable ways.

Your tasks are the vehicle, the engine of your success.

But like an engine, it requires maintenance, upkeep and can't be run forever without breaking down.

Don't just work for the sake of work.  Make it a priority to stop when you should and rest when it's time.

Most importantly - DO NOT VEER OFF YOUR PATH - No U-Turns.

Taking decisive action in granular ways will lead you toward the goals you want.

Life's funny, we don't get to choose our birth, few decide their demise, but to quote Pearl Jam, 
"I know that I'm born and I know that I'll die, 
  the in-between is mine" 
Take advantage of the opportunity we have. We don't get to decide the boundaries of our lives too often, so make the most of what you know that you have. It's easy to want to do something, or want to be somewhere, but what's holding you back?

Regardless of your goals, these 7 tips you can use right now will maximize your productivity for all the time you have left.





Tuesday, March 22, 2016

6 Hacks To Improve Your Productivity That You Can Start Right Now

6 Simple Ways To Get More Done In Less Time


There always seems to be more tasks and demands than we have time for. So how do you get everything you need to be done completed?

Understand that there are 24 hours in a day.  How you prioritize how you use those hours can dictate your productivity and output.  So how do we improve our productivity and decrease the amount of time we need to do the task?



Specifically to writing, there are 6 tips that will help you become more efficient, getting more writing and in less time.

The 6 Tips To Writing More, Faster


1. Set a Deadline:  Nobody likes deadlines, but the make us get to work.  Think about school.  You had a paper to write for a month, but you waited until the night before.  Your procrastination game was strong. And it probably still is, so setting a deadline is critical to actually getting your work done.

2. Outline: Having an idea and the flow of how you plan to explain your thoughts is crucial.  It will help keep you on track, and will give you ways out of stumbling down the wrong avenues.

Know the Who, What, Why and How for your reader and most important, know your subject.

3. Write In The Flow: Think stream of consciousness here.  You decided on an outline, but get lost in the process.  A meandering brook will run to the sea eventually.  The trick is using your outline to guide your writing more efficiently, but you still should get lost and wander when you have the room.
It makes your writing more interesting and with a momentum than just sticking to your script. It makes your writing more human and natural sounding to the ear.

4. Edit:  This is the most time demanding of all.  As the carpentry maxim says: "Measure twice, cut once," editing is more of a 1 to 2 ratio.  In other words, write with the flow, but spend at least twice the amount of time in the editing phase.

Good writing is the process of great editing.  Great writing is learning from amazing editing.

5. Set a Timer:

Other wise known as the Pomodoro Method, what you need to do is set a timer for a limited amount of time, say 20 minutes, to write in a highly intense segment. Once the timer is over, take a short break of 5 minutes (80% work, 20% recovery). But the break needs to be adhered to for your next segment to be as functional!  

By focusing ton he processes discussed above, you'll find you'll be able to write better prose and at a faster pace.

It takes dedicated practice over sustained time to make a new habit, and learning to write faster is no different than any other skill acquisition.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Foundations Of A Great Blog Post

How To Cure A Writing Hangover


In this post, we'll discuss how writing without a plan can be a lot like a long night out drinking. And we'll examine the benefits of building a solid foundation for your blog article by identifying the WHO, WHAT, WHY, and HOW to prevent the hangovers.

At the beginning of March, I set out to post a new blog post every day until the end of the month.  That would equal 31 posts for the month.  3-1 posts.  That's a lot of original content to come up, write about, set images to and promote.

And as I got into the project, I found it harder and harder to meet my deadlines.

It was thrilling to attempt that much content - I even planned (and had) extra posts written, just sitting around as drafts as just-in-case scenarios that may have come up.

And I still failed. 

Still, when thinking about it, I wrote a ton of words, but the failure to miss a publishing day felt much like a hangover.

I wrote about how to set and achieve goals, time management tips and how to improve your productivity by defining your passion, commitment and establishing discipline.

There were posts about how planning is a central cinderblock to success.

Again, I still failed.

It was an ambitious goal of mine, especially knowing my personal weakness. It was a fun ride while it lasted, a little too fun.  And by failing - even by a couple of minutes as I did on Saturday (posting at 12:03 am Sunday) - I didn't write yesterday because of a writing "hangover."

Confidence Is Experiential: How Doing Builds Our Ability To Do It Again


When this project started, I wasn't sure I would be able to pull it off.  So I announced the plan publicly even though research suggests that by announcing my goals, I had less of a chance to pull it off.

But there were a number of things I learned along the way that will help me continue the challenge, or in my next one.

For example, in trying to be something, I'm not - a more prolific writer - I learned the power of planning, outlining, and still fell short.

Yup, I'm a slow writer - slow in the sense that I like to churn ideas around in my head for a while, making it condense and solidify for great effect and flavor - it's a lot like making ice cream.  If you go to fast, the ice cream doesn't freeze, too slow and the ice cream becomes too frozen, like ICED cream.

For me, my style is that I like to gestate an idea for days before committing it to paper.  Thinking about the factors that will allow the story to have a solid foundation, timeline, and a complete arc to the concept takes me a while.  Like a great pot roast is best at low temperatures and over time, my writing is like slow cooking.

Think about the foundations of your posts as needing to include:

Foundations of A Great Blog Post:



  • WHO: Who is going to read this post?



  • WHAT: What is the idea you're trying to convey? 



  • WHY: Why should they care about your post?



  • HOW: How is the post going to help your reader?


Once these foundations are established, you can then go about shaping your article.

Thinking about your reader and what idea you have to share with them, as well as why they should care and how the idea/topic/concept will help them, will go a long way to helping you, the writer, stay on task and create something worthwhile.

Finally, it's awesome you want to share with the world.

Trying to make sense of those people and events around us, about our existence and what it means, are the motivations behind many artists and why they get into the arts in general.

But understand, the reader can be selfish.  So tell them what they can benefit from and why they should care. It's by showing them your work, your process and that you're interested in helping them that will make the biggest difference in your writing.

Remember, enjoy yourself, but don't overindulge.  It's not about you. If you make it about yourself, you may end up with a hangover of sorts.

#showyourwork

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Find The Solutions In Your Failure

Failure


We've all dealt with failure of some sort in our lives.

Defined simply as:
"lack of success."
Failure is simply anything other than a desired or expected outcome.

Perhaps you played a sport and lost a game that you coulda, shoulda, woulda won.

You tried out for a play but couldn't remember the lines.

In high school, you sat in class dreaming of asking Sam to a dance.  One day you finally get up the courage to ask.  So you approach with caution in the hall way, approach them at the locker and ask.  They laugh in your face.

Or you set out to accomplish a goal of publishing 31 posts in 31 days, only to fall short of the deadline one Saturday night by 3 minutes.  That means I didn't complete the task I wanted to achieve.

At the family birthday party you show up late and no matter how you slice the cake, there's not enough to go around.  So you don't get a piece.

Failure is only the end if we don't take what we learn and apply it to a new avenue, a new endeavor, a reset of the same goal.

Failure then, is when you quit.

The trick is to continue to find solutions where none appear to exist.

When discussing his problem with the electric lighbulb Thomas Edison is quoted as saying;
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that don't work." 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Research Behind Why You Fail Your At Your Goals

How We Benefit From Incremental Gains



We set goals in order to accomplish them.  Or at least that's how the thinking goes.

We create plans on how we're going to get to the finish line.  We repeat these behaviors everyday hoping to see some improvement.

But more often than not, we fail.

Why is it that once we set a goal, we're more likely than not to fail?

Some goals we set may be too improbable, or impossible even.

It could be a lack of time, energy or resources.

Perhaps it was too unclear. The path to achievement too unsure.

Most likely we didn't focus on the right things.

If we focus our attention on micro-accomplishments, we have a much greater opportunity at succeeding on the goals we set.

When I started this blog, it was to document my process of using kindle publishing as a platform for my short stories.

Along the way I learned that short stories are a hard, difficult trek.

But I kept on writing.

I may not have published more stories lately, but I've published a number of blog posts covering a wide swath of topics (some may say too many topics): posts on how to improve productivity, goal setting, time management, and confidence building through experience.

But the point of this post is to focus on the power of micro-accomplishments as fuel toward achieving your goals.

The Power Of Micro-Gains



In a post on James Clear's blog, about the aggregation of marginal gains he tells the story of a coach for the British cycling team.  The focused on making just 1% improvements on the small details, from the obvious like nutrition for an athlete, all the way down to what type of pillow would allow each cyclist to get the optimal level of rest and recovery.

With proper execution, the goal was to finish as champions of the Tour de France in 5 years.

The coach was wrong.  It only took 3 years to be named champions.

The idea was that the aggregate amount of each of this small improvements were easier to accomplish, simpler to maintain and would result in a much greater output in results.

It was the ultimate implementation of the concept: "The sum of the parts is greater than the whole."

Seeing your goals through to the end is an important first step.  But knowing what steps to take in order to achieve your objective is even more important.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Plan The 20% Of Your Efforts That Yields the Best Results

What's Your Process


Productivity is a by product of efficient process.



Procrastination is another.

In a previous post we discussed how defining your passion would improve your productivity.

In another recent post we discussed the myth of hyper-productivity.

There've been articles and posts about how to improve your productivity, better time management tips and ideas for self-improvement.

All of these concepts are by-products of another concept put to action, and that is "process."

Process is defined as "a serious of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end."
 It is, in other words, what you do in a sequence of steps to achieve a desired outcome.

If you want to train for a marathon, there are a series of training methods and ideas to help.  Of course you need to train the requisite number of times - i.e. be "in shape" to best run a marathon, but a process of training would help you maximize your ability.

If you want to learn a foreign language, there are ways to learn quickly, but for most people and most learners, there's a process of language acquisition that takes a dedicated amount of repetition over extended time.

One of the more important concepts in the school of productivity and process is the Pareto Principle.

Otherwise known as the 80/20 rule, the Pareto Principle is the idea that you get 80% of your results from 20% of your actions.

Understanding this dynamic between effort and outcome is crucial to your overall success. By focusing on the 20% that yields the best 80% of your results, you'll accomplish more with less effort.

The trick then, is to develop a process that builds on the 20% that yields the highest gains.




 


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How To Squeeze The Most Out Of Your Day

How To Find The Energy To Pursue Your Goals Even When You're Exhausted

There are days when life seems to conspire against you.

For me, today is one of those days.

It's 11:30 pm, the end of the day for most of us, me included.

The dog and cat are sleeping, as is my girlfriend.

All my friends are either asleep or out doing something fun - but if they are, eff'em for not inviting me.

I haven't gotten around to writing today's post. I didn't have time.

There were phone calls to make, meetings to schedule, plans to make, take care of the dog and on top of that, there was work to be done.

I could complain, but everyone has things that are going to be obstacles in their way. It wouldn't mean much to any of you if I did.

The point is, once you set a goal, the best way to achieve it is in pieces.

Look, everyone has the same amount of minutes and hours in a day.  Nobody gets extra credit for their day.

The thing to understand then, is that there will always be obstacles. There will always be challenges that you need to find a way to overcome.  

What defines your opportunity at success then, is how you handle the obstacles, the challenges, the limitations that will undoubtedly be placed in front of you.

The key to success then is that unless you have unlimited amount of time for a particular project, you need to set aside time in small blocks.  Use the concept of prioritization to set the most important tasks you need to accomplish in front of the ones that are of lessor importance.

Once you've prioritized the order at which you need to work on them, break each task into even smaller portions and work on those, one at a time.

Even with a demanding day, if you prioritize your tasks into order of importance, then break them down into small porting that can easily be finished, you'll get more done in less time.

Finally, if something is on deadline but not the most important task, find small minutes you can steal throughout the day to devote time and mental energy toward.

Like this post, I spent the day working on things that I needed to do before getting around to writing it.  But I was thinking about the topic, how to approach it, and what tone and POV to write it in. And that was so that once I could type it out, I had a general idea of what to say.

It's now 11:48 and I have 12 minutes to spare to get this published to accomplish my goal of 31 posts in 31 days without interruption.

Sometimes goal setting is just as tough as everything else.

The follow through is even harder if you don't learn how to manage the obstacles along the way.

(published at 11:53pm)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Beware the Ides of March

Failure To Prepare Is Preparing To Fail



This is a short post today about the process of trying to write 31 posts for the month of March.

It's a true challenge, I'm not going to lie.

I have two really long pieces I'm working on right now and those seem to take more time than I have available to finish them.  Especially with trying to keep the publishing schedule that I announced. 

Perhaps that's the ides of March I should be wary of.

The significance of the ides of March was made famous by William Shakespeare.

In his play, Julius Ceasar, a soothsayer warned Ceasar to "Beware the ides of March," otherwise the day of his assassination at the hands of the Roman Senate.

Over time, the idea has taken many different meanings, to wit:

The assassination of Caesar isn't the only major historical event to happen on March 15.

For example, the ides of March was the day that Roman citizens had to pay outstanding debts.

Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first voyage to the New World.

The last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, abdicates in 1917.

In 1985, the very first Internet domain name, symbolics.com is registered.


So there are good things that can happen on March 15.

I just wouldn't want to be Ceasar.

Or the Roman citizenry - I haven't finished my taxes yet and a month is a lot of extra time.

I didn't plan the month of March out very well, but as they say - if you fail to prepare, you've prepared to fail.

Monday, March 14, 2016

How To Transform Your Thinking And Get Everything You Want

The Value Of Experience And Confidence 


Something's been on my mind all day.

Confidence.

What is it?

Why do we struggle with it at times, especially when we've done something over and over and over again?

Is there something innate in us that makes us doubt ourselves, or some other outside force?

I read an interesting post today on Mary Jaksch blog, Write To Done.  If you're unfamiliar with Mary or her blog, you're missing out.  It's a wonderful blog about all things writing, from freelance to topics on writing and everything in between.

Today's blog post discussed a common fear we all share.

The Fear Of Being Discovered


Discovered as the fraud we writers imagine ourselves to be and ways to work through it.

The post was written by Sonia Thompson who is founder of Try Biz School, a great resource for helping others build their dream business.

The post titled "How To Keep Writing Even When You Feel Like A Fraud" lays out common struggles that we writers all share (and I'm sure other creative types, as well as any one who shares anything worthwhile).

For example, one of the common issues we deal with is that we are a by-product of our environment growing up (Nature vs. Nurture anyone?).  Think about it a little.  We are raised by our parents, attend schools that help reinforce certain behaviors and expectations, and we strive to fulfill them.

It's when we feel we fall short of these expectations and roles that are rooted in our psyche that we develop a sense of being an imposter.

The Myth Of Overnight Success


Another cause of the feeling like a fraud is if we do something that appears to come easy.

Take the example of Elizabeth Gilbert, writer of Eat, Pray, Love.  She dealt with "instant" success that garnered a lot of attention, made into a movie and a book deal.  She struggled with the idea that she wrote something amazing, easily, and the expectations were to replicate it.

She struggled to write her next book and guess what?  It didn't do very well.  But she was fine with it, because she knew the value of her experience working on her craft.

Keep in mind that as the person who sweated, toiled and worked for years to perfect our craft, we know it wasn't easy but a rather long, hard road. And the knowledge you learned is priceless and the experience gained, invaluable.

  Pablo Picasso is rumored to have best illustrated this in a story about being approached by an admirer while sitting in a cafe in Paris.  The admirer asked Picasso for a quick sketch, and Picasso agreed.

Using a napkin, Picasso sketched out his "Dove of Peace" and handed it toward the admirer but not before asking for a rather large sum of money in return.  The admirer, stunned, said "how could you ask for so much?  It took you a minute to draw this!" To which, Picasso replied succinctly, "No, it took me 40 years."


(Thanks to Brian Braun's excellent short post on the Napkin Wisdom on Experience and Pricing)

Since we, as people, are social creatures by nature, it only makes sense that we struggle with being discovered as less than we project.

But understand, you are an expert at what you do.

You've studied the craft and honed the skills for years and the idea that you can just whip out something in mere minutes that appears to be easy, was actually paid for in years of hard work.


If you're interested about more articles on Mary Jaksch blog Write To Done, just click Mary's name.

You can get more information about Sonia Thompson's Try Biz School by clicking her name.

Read Brian Braun's excellent post Picasso's Napkin Wisdom on Experience and Pricing.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

One Hack To Skyrocket Your Writing Productivity

The Efficiency Hack To Make Your Content Easier To Blog


This post is about one simple hack that you will skyrocket your productivity and will make it incredibly easier to write and publish on a regular basis.


Here's why:

Today is about the simple things.

It's a Sunday evening, all across America people are stretching out preparing for the week ahead.  Daily Savings Time (DST) was last night, so many are probably a little groggy and tired from losing an hour of sleep.

But that fatigue won't change for the week ahead.  See, not only do we "gain more sunlight" with DST, we also get sleep deprived.  Losing an hour of sleep, and disrupting your circadian rhythm can take a week or more to adjust.

Ask any traveler who travels through multiple time-zones.  Internationally it would take you a few days just to even get into a rhythm sleeping.  A week and you're just starting to regain your sense of self and sleep.

With that in mind, this article is about one simple hack you can make that will help ease any content creation demands.

On a blog called VideoFruit, I stumbled on a post that talked about a hack the author uses to write incredibly lengthy posts in less time.

His secret?

Dictation.

The author discusses how he uses a simple process to make lengthy content in quick fashion.

I've shortened the steps by 1, and you can source the information in the original article by clicking THIS LINK.


  1. Outline and Plan your content
  2. Use a voice recorder and discuss your outline in detail
  3. Transcribe your content as a post
  4. Doctor it up a little, or as the author says, pretty it up  

Pretty simple and useful I think.

Whelp, that's about it. Until next time.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

In Retrospect - How We Understand By Looking Backward

Just Look At How Far We've Come! 

How to look backward to mark your progress moving forward.



Anytime we set out on a new journey, one that we value but greatly underestimate the commitment it's going to take, and how we measure success, can be difficult.  How we set out to achieve goals and goal setting is both enthralling and fraught with peril at the same time.

The footing on our new path can be treacherous, slick and unsure.

I'm watching a new Netflix show called "Flaked" with Will Arnett. Based in Venice, it's about a drunk who drove under the influence and ended up killing someone and is working to amend the past.

There's a great opening quote:

"Life must be lived forward but can only be understood backwards"

Or in my own paraphrase; "we stare forward and only in the past can we see."

Take it for what it is. But the point is that in retrospect we have a much better idea of what we did.

Let's put this in another way, once I dated an incredible woman. Smart, engaging, social, she also said something about how we reflect on things in our past and are able see them more clearly. She worked with clients on goal setting, accomplishment and success.  She was a business and life coach by trade, and a caring woman by nature.

She claimed that while we're in the moment of living we can't see our destination. It's too hard to see the forest for the trees.

But if we think about it like sailing, we leave the port and if we only focus on the outcome, we fail to see how far we've truly come.  By looking backward from where we left, can we really see how far it is we've come on our journey.

Anytime we set out on a new journey, we need to stay focused on the steps we need to take to accomplish our goal, but only by reflecting on the progress we've made do we really understand the layers of our successes.

Oh and my review of "Flaked" - a little serious, a little dramatic but in the first episode it misses on making any real connection with the audience. Truthfully though, I can watch anything that has Will Arnett and will give the series a few more chances.

After that I'll have a better idea of what the show is working toward thematically.

In retrospect we see.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Defining Your Passion Will Take Your Productivity From Good To Great

What's Your Passion? 


There are countless charlatans, Internet Marketers, and 'Self-Help Guru's' that claim they can help you find your passion.

Find it they say, and everything else will fall into place.

The claims they make about productivity, self-improvement, entrepreneurship and goal setting all comes down to the idea of passion.

Passion.  That's the subject of discussion today.

Everyone knows what passion feels like, but how do you define it?

Let's play a little simple game.

Imagine:

It's late at night, you're alone, not quite asleep but not awake either.

It's dark and quiet.

Until the knock on your door.

You check your phone, it's late, you don't have any text messages or missed calls.

It's not cold outside but it's not warm either, so you slowly sit up in bed before turning on the lamp from off your nightstand; in no-time you've wrapped a robe around you, and switch don the sequence of lights to the bedroom, into the hall, toward the living room and front porch.

The whole of your house is now glowing with LED light as you unbolt the door.

You crack it open and POOF, nobody's there.

You start to close the door and it's jarred open.  Not by a hand, not a foot or tool, but by something. 

Where it's head should be is a long snout with a tail switching around like a cat tail.  Long and slender the proportions seem almost human, but not quite. Panicked you push harder, only to have the door fling open and as this thing stands in the foyer.  You stare right into its milky, opaque eyes. It looks like a blind man, no, not a man, but a man-thing.

It opens it's mouth, it's lips pull back to reveal teeth like long, razor-sharp stalagmites before it makes a noise that is simultaneously a squeak-click before a calming, soothing baritone says to you:


"I'm ZCHvKcl - or in your tongue, Greg.  Where I'm from is insignificant, but I have a number of questions.  If I may, I have a short amount of time before your atmosphere eats away at my lungs, may I ask you three questions about humanity, and in return I'll tell you about the future of your species?"
 What would you answer?

Would you want to know what is in the future?

Would you humor a seemingly non-threatening creature?

Would you take the time to answer him, knowing that the answer to the future of humanity is the reward?

What Would You Do?


He wants to understand why we fight, we we wage war on one another when it's entirely obvious we are the same species.  So why are we inclined toward violence to resolve our issues?

The second question is about why we treat the only hospitable place we know of so poorly?  We pollute our water, belch gas into the air we breath, and depose of our refuse in the ground we need to grow our food.

Finally the third question.  He (assuming it's a "he") wants to know about passion.  What is it, why do we all claim it and act upon it?

How would you respond?


Passion is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as:
"1)  a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something 
2)  a strong feeling (such as anger) that causes you to act in a dangerous way 
3)  a strong sexual or romantic feeling for someone"
In this case, let's focus on the first definition.

Let's break down the definition of passion into it's clauses.


  • A strong feeling - we all have those, but how does that help us?  - 
  • of enthusiasm or excitement - this is a little better, it allows us to understand what we should be feeling - 
  • for something or about doing something - Ah ha!  It's about getting something done in a strongly emotional way. 

So how do you answer you're visitor?  What does passion mean to you?

If you tell him that it's about a strong excitement to do something, you've defined passion better than most.

When you hear, "what's your passion" or "find your passion, find your path," know that it's about finding that one thing that you can do with ebullience and joy.

It's the thing you want to do rather than sleeping or eating, or in some instances even sex.

For some, it's music, with others it's writing.

For painters it's about the colors and brushstrokes. There are people who absolutely love cooking and can spend a whole day in the kitchen without knowing if a nuclear weapon went off outside.

Your passion is the thing you can do and lose all track of time, all sense of the outside world.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

7 Quick Hacks To Improve Your Productivity

7 Simple Hacks To Better Your Productivity



How do you become more productive?  Is it something that is undefinable or is there a way to improve your productivity?

There are all types of definitions on productivity and various metrics on determining what makes someone more productivity. For example, in Chron magazine, they define the concept of productivity through the metrics of employee output divided by the hours taken to accomplish that specific metric.

1 - Do What You Can Complete The Fastest: 


A task like taking the trash out should only take a couple minutes.  Get it done as early as possible.  The point is to get it done so that it doesn't interfere with your workflow later. Additionally, as discussed on the Simple Programmer blog, doing the easiest tasks first gets small, incremental gains accomplished and gives you momentum toward accomplishing more difficult tasks.

2 - Stop Multi-Tasking:

Concentration and focus are twin engines toward accomplishment.  The idea that we are more productive juggling different tasks is just plain wrong.  Try reading a book while talking about a topic completely disconnected from the material you're reading.  It's an impossible task.  Our brains can't handle that type of input/output effectively, it takes an extra-level of concentration and while you may be able to masterfully handle one of these tasks, you can't master both.

3 - Tackle The Most Difficult First:

There's an article on Lifehacker that details the importance of tackling the most difficult tasks first. In it, the discussion is about knowledge acquisition and how when we first set out to learn something, we read about the details until we grasp them.  Slowly mastery of the subject grows, but the emphasis is on the idea that to learn the concepts on a meta-level, you first need to take on more challenging tasks to learn.  Second, with a finite amount of will power and energy to devote to any particular task, doing the most difficult tasks first will allow you to complete more tasks overall.  Why? Because getting the difficult ones out of the way first, we devote large amounts of energy to them, so that when we get to simpler tasks, we are utilizing an appropriate amounts of will power to those tasks.

4 - Break Large Important Tasks Into Small Ones:

Every marathoner knows that in order to train for a marathon, you have to segment your training into smaller, more manageable distances.  The reasons for this are two-fold: First, it's extremely taxing to run the distances, and Second, the amount of time needed to recover is built-in to this training concepts. You need to think big, act small to better your productivity output.

5 - Use The Pomodoro Technique:

The Pomodoro Technique is a tactic that the person utilizing it sets a timer for a short amount of time, typically 20 minutes.  During the length of time allowed, the person works as intensely as they can and at the conclusion of the timer, they take a short break, typically 5 minutes, from the tasks. This is the 80/20 rule broken into time.

6 - Pace Yourself - Set A Time Limit And Take A Break:

Even as you implement a technique like the Pomodoro one discussed above, research is proving that more productive work is done after an immediate break or vacation. The reason for this is the recovery time allows you to regain energy stores much like an athlete or author.  For the athlete, they know that they have to break down their training into cycles and phase those with proper recovery time.  Ideally recovery needs to be 6x the work load, i.e. 2 hours of work, 12 hours of recovery. Every author knows that while they don't want to break the momentum of their writing, they also need time to think and relax from what the work they were doing previously.

A recent article in Entrepreneur magazine discusses the importance of breaks influencing productivity. The New York Times emphasized the point even more in their article titled "Relax, You'll Be More Productive!"

One way to recuperate and speed up your recovery time is simple: Get More SLEEP



7 - Don't Believe The Myth Of Hyper-Productivity:

We all have limitations. Limitations can exist in our physical endurance, mental willpower, finances, genetics, even sociability. We also only have the same amount of hours as everyone else.  24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That doesn't mean that you can be productive the entire time.  It's a falsehood, one that is perpetuated by the stereotype of the "Puritan Work Ethic."