Invisible habits run your life. Here’s how you can spot them – Tech Insider

Invisible habits run your life. Here’s how you can spot them – Tech Insider
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Invisible habits run your life. Here’s how you can spot them
After getting back late from some errands the night before, I crashed in a brand-new apartment. When the sun rose I woke up to a room that was only half-familiar.

June 18, 2016 at 03:55PM
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5 Words And Phrases That Can Transform Your Work Life | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

5 Words And Phrases That Can Transform Your Work Life | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
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5 Words And Phrases That Can Transform Your Work Life
Reporting for this story took a different turn from the beginning. Usually when I reach out to experts I get enthusiastic replies. But that was not the case when I emailed Professor Bernard Roth, academic director and cofounder of Stanford University’s d.school.

March 02, 2016 at 08:14PM
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Good Entrepreneurship Advice Is About Mindset

Good Entrepreneurship Advice Is About Mindset
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Good Entrepreneurship Advice Is About Mindset
Over the years, I’ve travelled around the world, talking with entrepreneurs throughout the United States, Latin and South America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

January 16, 2016 at 12:30AM
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6 Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People

6 Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People
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6 Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People
I expend a huge amount of my time and energy writing books and articles and working to keep my company innovative. I’ve developed an obsession with some of history’s most creative minds in the hope that I might learn some tricks to expand my own creative productivity.

January 10, 2016 at 11:54AM
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7 Habits to Work Proactively, Not Reactively

7 Habits to Work Proactively, Not Reactively
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7 Habits to Work Proactively, Not Reactively
That proposal was due last week, you are days behind on finalizing the plan because decisions aren’t being made in meetings, there are 100 emails you need to respond to and back-to-back calls in your calendar today.

December 26, 2015 at 12:40PM
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To Make Tomorrow Great, Start It Today

Why squander the final hour of one workday when you can use it to do 7 simple things that will turbo-boost your performance the next day?

By Peter Economy
While Peter Economy has spent the better part of two decades of his life slugging it out mano a mano in the management trenches, he is also the best-selling author of Managing for Dummies, The Management… Full bio
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Mornings are the most productive time for people–especially highly successful people. The best way to maximize your mornings is to spend an hour at the end of each day prepping for the start of the next. Here are the 7 steps that will help you do just that.

1. Write down the most important things you’ll tackle

Make a list of three to five things that need to be done and start the next day by focusing only on those things. This is a great way to keep from feeling overwhelmed by all you have to do. If you don’t accomplish a task on the list, it should become the most important task to be completed the following day.

2. Set a workday limit

Unless you’re working on a big project or racing to meet a deadline, set a time limit for how late you will stay in the office–and stick to it! Overworking yourself at the end of the day will only lead to stress and exhaustion, so get the important things done early and be out of the office by a reasonable time. If you’ve got a project that’s not finished, find a good stopping point and leave it for the next day. If you are focused and working hard throughout the day, you should be able to tackle your to-do list. If not, reevaluate your workload and determine whether some delegation may be in order.

3. Check-in with colleagues and employees

Discuss the good things and the bad things that occurred throughout the day, and how you can do more of the good (and less of the bad) in the future. Answer any questions employees might have, and confirm that everyone is on the same page regarding projects and deadlines.

4. Clear your space

Tidy up your desk, empty your trash, respond to all emails that require responses, delete your junk mail, organize your folders. These mundane tasks are best done as quitting time approaches, with your more important goals having already been met. Checking your inbox at the end of the day ensures that you aren’t using email time as a way to procrastinate.

5. Reflect on the day

How did things go? Did you accomplish everything you set out to do? If not, what can you do differently tomorrow? Whether jotting down notes in a journal or simply making mental notes, when you are conscious of your actions you set yourself up for more success.

6. Leave your work at the office

After returning all calls and emails, feel free to turn your work phone off for the evening. It’s important to make personal time for yourself in order to feel refreshed and ready to take on the next day.

7. Do something active!

Odds are good that your days are largely sedentary, so it’s important for your physical and mental health to make time after work for exercise. Go for a brisk walk, take a workout class, ride a bike, but don’t put it off! The longer you wait after work to get active, the less likely you are to actually follow through.

Following these steps should help you to feel more prepared for the next morning, which will lead to less stress and anxiety at home, which is another great reason to end one day with a solid plan for the next.

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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
Published on: Dec 25, 2015


The Most Productive Ways to Spend Your Holiday (That Don’t Involve Working)

 

You don’t have to be glued to your email to get a head start on 2016.
By Anna Hensel
Anna Hensel is an editorial assistant at Inc. She is a graduate of Creighton University. Full bio
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There’s nothing like stepping out of the office for a few days or even a week over the holidays to recharge and and check some much-needed tasks off your to-do list… that is, until your vacation is up and you realize you didn’t do any of those things.

Taking some time off from work is critical to prevent burnout, and stress-related illnesses. But it’s also a great excuse to pick up a creative project you never have time for, or keep yourself feeling mentally sharp. Whether you have one week or one day off, here’s how to schedule your holiday break so that you come back feeling refreshed.

1. Don’t let the things you need to do outweigh the things you want to do.

“The key consideration is to have realistic ideas of things you would like to do during that time,” says time management expert Laura Vanderkam, and author of I Know How She Does It. Vanderkam says when faced with some time off, people will often fill their to-do list  solely with long overdue tasks–fixing the bathroom sink, finally cleaning the garage–rather than things they want to do.

“The problem with having these long to-do lists is that you’re not able to complete them and then you feel bad, but you’ll just watch a lot of TV you didn’t mean to watch,” says Vanderkam.

Instead, Vanderkam suggests finding some balance. Make a small to-do list of three to five things that you know you want to spend your vacation doing–maybe it’s getting drinks with a friend you haven’t been able to see in months, or finally checking out that new art exhibit.

2. Add in a few activities that don’t require much mental stimulation.

Even if your holiday schedule is packed to the brim with family visits and dinner parties, it’s critical that you squeeze in some down time for your brain. According to Scientific American, many of the qualities associated with high-performing employees–they’re creative, focused, motivated–depend heavily on one’s brain being well-rested.

Since so much workplace anxiety comes from struggling to meet deadlines on time, it’s ideal to let your brain rest by participating in some low-stimulation activities  that allow you to focus on the moment. Try meditation, for starters. Countless studies tout the long-term benefits of meditation–improved focus, sharper memory, etc. But a 2014 study from Cornell University found a person can reduce his or her stress levels after just 25 minutes of meditation each day for three days–making it an ideal relaxation activity for a long weekend.

Picking up an adult coloring book also has similar effects, because it’s an event that has “predictable results,” according to Medical Daily.  You can let your mind wander, rather than stress about how to finish the task.

Finally, going for a walk in nature has equally restorative effects on the brain. A July study from researchers at Stanford University found that people who took a 90-minute walk along  a quiet, tree-lined path reported that they felt less anxious afterwards than people who took a 90-minute walk along a busy highway.

3. Make time for an activity that works your brain in a different way than your 9 to 5 job does.

There’s a reason why getting gifts over the holidays makes us feel good–and it’s not necessarily because we like feeling appreciated. A number of studies suggest that exposure to new items and experiences makes us more motivated. Exposure to novelty triggers an increase in dopamine levels in the brain, which associates higher dopamine levels with a pleasurable sensation. The brain then knows that something good is about to happen, creating a cyclical effect in which we’re more motivated to seek out new experiences.

So test out a recipe, listen to the latest episode of Serial, go ice skating. It’s easy to get caught up in a monotonous routine during the work week, which is why a vacation is a great time to pick up new activities that will help your brain recharge.

Published on: Dec 24, 2015