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Could 5 Minutes Per Day Change Your Life?

Do you have 5 minutes that you could spare each day? Could you make an extra 5 minutes happen during your busy schedule? What if you just got up 5 minutes earlier than you normally do each morning? Those 5 minutes, especially when taken in the morning before you go through your normal routine, could be what changes your life forever!

Now that you’ve made those 5 minutes happen, here’s what you’re going to do within that time:

1.     Smile

It’s not a fake smile that you plaster on your face to get through a difficult situation. These 5 minutes are all about yourself and by smiling, you’re telling yourself that these 5 minutes could be the most awesome minutes of your day! When you smile upon waking up, you’re giving your mind a conscious thought that this day will be a good day and nothing is going to hold you back!

2.     Find Contentment

Contentment is really about gratefulness. Instead of focusing on what other people have or what you feel like you should have, focus on what you do have and how great it makes you feel. There are a lot of things that you have that others undoubtedly want for themselves as well! Contentment takes away the competitive nature and stressors of life and simply allows you to be grateful right there, in that moment, for that moment.

3.     Get Some Water

You’ve been sleeping for how long? Hopefully 8 hours or so, right? Go get some water and let your body become hydrated again. Get some water in there before you get some coffee in there! If you’re taking your 5 minutes outside of your morning routine, you’re still going to want some water. Most people are chronically dehydrated and don’t even know it! A lack of energy, constant fatigue, dry skin, are all symptoms of needing some water. Drink up!

4.     Stretch It Out

A little bit of exercise can go a long way to establishing a good energy profile for the day. Even if you’re just doing some basic stretches to loosen up some tight muscles, you’re getting your body fully awake and prepared for battle. A microbreak during the day can provide the same thing! Get up, walk for a minute, stretch out the soreness, and enjoy a moment of peace.

5.     Prepare Positive Self-prophecies

Life is ultimately what we make of it. Telling yourself that you’re going to have a bad day is a good way to make that happen! When we look for the negative, we’re going to find the negative. That’s why taking a moment to encourage yourself to find the positive things in life will help you look for those positive moments throughout the day.

What could you accomplish in the next 5 minutes? By scheduling these tasks into the 5 minutes that you’re setting an appointment for yourself to do every day, you’re going to accomplish more than you could ever imagine. Don’t believe it? Try it for yourself today, right now, and see what begins to happen!

5 Tips For Getting More Things Done

In Matthew 5, Jesus encourages his followers to go the extra mile. It’s one of the foundations of the phrase “going the extra mile,” even if religion isn’t one of your strongest priorities. The concept is simple: over-deliver on what you can do, especially when it isn’t demanded of you, and you’ll establish for yourself an impeccable reputation.

The unfortunate fact of life is that people are way too busy to go the extra mile for everyone they encounter on a daily basis. The need to over-deliver, however, must also be there! Is it possible to go the extra mile without costing yourself more time to do so?

Step 1: Get Organized

The biggest time waster of them all is being unorganized when working on a task. When you’ve got everything put into place, where it needs to go, then you can accomplish anything in nearly half the time! That includes your plans and your thoughts about a task that needs to be done. Instead of jumping in feet first, study the project for a moment and plan out the best way to achieve everything, including what you could potentially over-deliver on.

Step 2: Integrate the 80/20 Rule

It’s often said that 80% of the work gets done by 20% of the people. This rule, called the Pareto Principle, can also apply to the work that you’ve got to get done at any given moment. Find the 20% of the work that will yield you 80% of the results you need and you’re guaranteed to have more time to go the extra mile.

Step 3: Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

It’s simple – the more hands that are working on a project, the quicker it is going to get done. Trust your co-workers, team members, or direct reports to help you and together, as a team, you’ll be able to go the extra mile and still probably have time to spare! It’s hard to let go of tasks, however, because we feel a responsibility to them. The question to ask yourself is this: is it more important to take credit for everything or is it more important to over-deliver on the task at hand?

Step 4: Don’t Force It Out

Your mind can only take so much. Your body can only take so much. Sometimes you’ve just got to step away from the job, take a break for awhile, and let your mind reset itself. You could take a walk, do something that relaxes you, or just sit outside on a warm day and let the sun hit your face as you wiggle your toes in the grass. Rediscover who you are and you’ll rediscover how to go the extra mile on the task at hand.

Step 5: Eliminate the Distractions Around You

There are so many distractions today that it can be nearly impossible to pay attention to everything going on and deliver a task on time, much less over-deliver on it! If you need to get work done, then the e-mail, the social networking, the phone calls, the SMS texts – they’ve all got to stop. Anything that takes your mind off of the task at-hand is something that you need to eliminate from your life until you’re done working. Period.

Going the extra mile can sometimes be difficult, but the effort will always pay off with long-term results. Use these tips to go the extra mile without exerting more effort than you need to exert and you’ll have people raving about your productivity in no time at all!

5 Tips to Stop Procrastination

There are a lot of proverbs that people quote regarding the need to put procrastination in the rear view mirror. People really can say whatever they want to say, right? What matters is that you need to feel inspired about a task or job that needs to get done. You could knuckle down and just do it, but you’ve got to want to do it in order to defeat procrastination once and for all.

Are you ready to stop procrastinating today? To consider it a bad habit that you can kick to the curb and throw its belongings out on the street? Then here’s what you’ve got to start doing:

1. Stop thinking about what needs to be done. The easiest way to procrastinate is to think about a task… and then keep thinking about it. It feels like you’re not procrastinating because you’re at least thinking about it, right? The problem is that just thinking about something doesn’t translate into doing something automatically. Put those thoughts into thoughtful action and you’ll be taking forward steps on your journey. Two forward steps with one backward step still equals one step forward.

2. Keep a realistic worldview. You know how Uncle Si on Duck Dynasty says that his stories are 95% true? The way people look at the world is also 95% true on any given day. It’s that 5% of exaggeration that gets you into trouble. By blowing up a potential problem so that your molehill just became Mount Everest, you’ll end up giving yourself a good reason not to get something done. It’s easy to climb a molehill. It takes an expert to climb Mount Everest. Don’t create your own Mount Everest!

3. Make a plan to take the first step. Sometimes you’ve just got to put yourself into a place where you force yourself along on the journey. When there’s no going back, the only way to go is forward. To keep going forward, however, you’ve also got to have a plan in place so that each step along your journey can be successfully met. Create those plans, and then determine a way to implement them effectively. Sometimes you’ve got to follow Nike’s advice: just do it.

4. Start with the hardest task on your to-do list. Hard tasks are easy to put off. Why? Because they’re difficult! Who wants to do something really hard at the end of the day anyway? If you flip the paradigm around and do the hard work first, then the easy work last, you’ll stay more productive throughout your day. You’ll also end up procrastinating less because you’ll feel like you’re successful in accomplishing more! Just watch out for those co-workers wandering around with a full coffee mug, looking for a long conversation.

5. Confront your fears immediately. There’s nothing worse than the fear of something to hold someone back, and especially so if that fear is of failure. Confront fears when you feel them arise because if you don’t, they’ll out-argue that angels on your other shoulder that are encouraging you to proceed. Then you’ll get poked by their little pitchforks until you decide to procrastinate and it will all be over. Fear doesn’t control you – you control fear.

If you’re looking to stop procrastination right now, as in yesterday, then these steps will help you do just that. Take back control of your life, get stuff done, and be the success that you know you can be!

Book Review: The Slight Edge

 

Have you ever noticed how some people tend to always succeed and some tend to always fail? In the new book by Jeff Olson called The Slight Edge, the author puts forth one simple concept: being disciplined is all it takes to generate happiness and success. Instead of focusing on boosting self-confidence or trying to find a shortcut to happiness, the author encourages readers to utilize the tools they already have at home to embrace the simple disciplines that can lead to success.

It’s really about finding a new way to think about life, but it really doesn’t seem like a new perspective once you add a slight edge to the process.

The 8th Edition of The Slight Edge Is Just As Profound As the First

Besides the time you spend sleeping, what is the one thing that you generally do almost every day? For many workers, the answer to that question is commuting. The average worker in the United States spends up to 350 hours in their vehicle, driving to or from work. If you aren’t going to work, then you could be driving to the store, taking a day trip, or going to a favorite restaurant.

What do you listen to when you’re driving? Music? Talk radio?

As Olson says, if you spent that time listening to self-help topics, educational discussions, or instructional audio books, you’d have the equivalent of a PhD in your preferred subject in just a few years with just one simple tweak to your daily routine. That’s the epitome of achieving the slight edge in life: you might not get a paper degree from this effort, but you’ll get practical knowledge that can help you visualize greater life success.

Being Productive and Being Busy Are Not Equal

The greatest trap there is in life today is the equation that being busy means that one is also being productive. According to the author, that simply isn’t true. It’s so untrue, in fact, that most people spend more time being busy instead of being productive and never even realize it! Every task you take on should be something that helps you to achieve one of your overall goals. Even if it is just doing some laundry or you need to clean your home, you can make that time productive by putting on some headphones to listen to some educational materials.

The second greatest trap in life is that good things only come from immediate results. More success comes from hard work and patience rather than from good luck, which means it is important to create an environment around yourself that allows you to be consistently working toward your goals. An expectation of immediate gratification creates a high probability of failure and that’s why so many people just give up.

You don’t have to give up. You’ve got the tools around you that can help you make the smallest of changes. When you get your hands on these tools and use them, you can find the largest successes! That’s what The Slight Edge will help you do and that’s why it is consistently and highly recommended!

 

If you read one book this year, make sure it is this one.

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