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Time is Not Your Friend. Easy Hacks for Healthier Living

Making extra time in your day to focus on your health can be hard. So instead, let’s talk about rigging the game of life in your favour.

Erik Kruger

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The one thing preventing most entrepreneurs from living a healthy lifestyle is the lack of time.

There are a hundred things in the day that demand your attention. Things that are important now. Things that will move the needle.

Related: (Video) Forget Time Management. Do This Instead

Due to this constant attack on your most valuable resource, time, you are often left neglecting the truly important things such as your health.

Design your environment to shape your life

The choices we make in our life are largely influenced by our environments. If you are given a large plate at a buffet, you are likely to eat more than if you had a small plate. If a packet of sweets is within your reach while you work, you are likely to snack on them until they are done.

Supermarkets have long known the impact that the environment can have on you. It is no accident that your last couple of metres to the till are crammed with sweet things and low cost treats.

They know that you are more likely to buy something sweet and low cost when you are standing in the queue waiting to have your goods rung up.

So, if we know that design can have such a massive impact in our lives. Let’s use it to our advantage.

Health by design

1. Clean out your house 

The first step is to clean out your house. Remove all the processed and junk foods. Ideally, you want to make sure that whenever you crave anything sweet that there is no way for you to get your fix without a lot of effort.

If your pantry is stocked with only healthy foods, you can satisfy your hunger without having to put much effort into the effect of the food.

2. Set alarms

One of the best hacks is to use your phone to set certain alarms for you during the day. Set your alarm to remind you to do simple things such as have a snack every three hours. Check that you are taking in enough water. Go outside for a stretch.

3. Prepare

Take a couple of minutes on a Sunday night and prepare a couple of quick meals for the next three days. Keep it simple. The meals can then be frozen for later use. If you have already prepped your meals, then you are less likely to stray from proper eating.

4. Use apps

You need to take frequent breaks from sitting at your desk all day long. Doing this reduces the horrific impact that sitting has on your body, and it can save you many aches and pains down the road.

Of course, once you get busy you completely forget to get up and stretch a bit. The fix is work with a Pomodoro timer. This is a nice little app that reminds you every 20 – 30 minutes to take a break.

Related: (Video) Easy as Pie Time Management Tips

5. Optimise your workspace

This is probably the easiest hack of all. You know you are going to be spending a lot of time sitting at your desk. So, make sure that it is optimally set up to support your body.

Make sure your back is well supported, your hips and elbows are at 90 degrees flexion, and your screen is at a height that prevents you from tilting your head to see the screen.

To design for an optimal life, think prevention. Anticipate how you will think, feel, and act in the future. Only when you have given some thought to the temptations and pitfalls in your life, can you plan for avoiding them.

Erik Kruger is a Personal Development and Leadership Coach & Speaker. Focused on helping leaders and organisations become better at the things that matter to them. Find him on Twitter - @erickruger

Get Organised

(Infographic) 9 Productivity Mistakes You’re Making In The First 10 Minutes Of Your Day

From setting goals to drinking coffee, these bad morning habits might surprise you.

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There are a number of things you’re probably doing every morning that are actually hindering your productivity.

If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you might be surprised to find out that drinking coffee between 8 and 10 a.m can make you more stressed throughout the day. That’s because caffeine early in the morning interferes with the time that the stress hormone, cortisol, is peaking in your body. It’s best to get your fix between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

When you get into the office and try to jump right into the top of your to-do list, you might find yourself confused and not very productive. When you don’t let your brain empty and refresh before starting a project or task, it loses a sense of control, becomes overwhelmed and ultimately, makes you less productive. Something else to avoid is checking email or social media right when you wake up. Typically, after checking your inbox, it takes a person at least 25 minutes to get back into a productive state. If you start your day off reading and responding to email after email, it will take you a long time to get back on track.

Another surprising mistake is setting self-imposed goals. Setting goals and deadlines for yourself might seem like an obvious productivity hack, but it turns out, that’s not the case. Instead, share your deadlines with others and you’ll feel more pressure and responsibility to get things done.

Related: 5 Surprising Elements That Boost Your Productivity (One of Them Is Colour)

Check out resume.io’s infographic below for more productivity mistakes you’re likely making in the first 10 minutes of your day.

1538429589_9-productivity-mistakes-infographics-7934969f76af5ebe1b5b0b84ce9053ec43752717512fb7d9339e84f86afe91d1

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Workflow And Business Efficiency – 5 Strategies You Ignore At Your Peril

Emails alone don’t cut it as an efficient way to communicate with team members. You’re not still depending on email, are you?

Toby Nwazor

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business-efficiency

An inefficient business can cost you a lot more than just growth – it can affect your revenue, too. According to a report by IDC, your business runs the risk of losing 20 to 30 percent of your revenue due to inefficient systems.

Unfortunately, many companies still struggle to implement the right systems to improve their workflow. Others have it worse, because they have no systems. In those situations, projects take ages to be completed, more time is spent on menial tasks and teams never seem to get enough done during work hours.

If that describes your company, your company’s profits may start to plummet, too.

Every successful business, then, has clearly defined systems to help the business run like clockwork. Improved workflow, better management and business efficiency save time, increase the bottom line and ensure a higher profit margin.

In fact, in an article on ContractZen, Tim Cummins, president of the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management, wrote that, “The average corporation could boost its bottom line by almost 10 percent if it invested in improving the quality of contracting.

For many companies – especially those in more complex, project-based industries – the prize could be much higher – perhaps as much as 15 percent.”

Related: Become A Life-Hacker

Unfortunately, some companies fail to provide systems that put users first, taking a negative toll on those companies’ workflow and efficiency. The good news is that they’re only five strategies away from turning this around:

1. Automate all you can

automated-emails

From email lists, bookkeeping, invoicing and contract management, to social media posts and payrolls, almost everything can be automated. For a business that aims to be more efficient, automation is a must.

Automation doesn’t just save you time, it can be the one strategy that can guarantee explosive growth and higher conversion rates. According to this Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness study, 63 percent of companies polled that were outgrowing their competitors said they had automated their marketing.

Automating monotonous tasks that have to be repeated several times during the day helps you be more productive in tasks that require your personal attention.

2. Invest in customer-relationship management software

It’s not uncommon to find businesses that are barely able to keep up with their leads. Some waste hours hunting the low-quality leads instead of focusing their energy on those ready to buy. Here, a customer relationship management (CRM) solution linked to these businesspeople’s network phone system is a great way to enhance customer communications.

Customers value businesses that provide excellent customer service. A CRM solution increases the ability to keep track of customer information, monitor leads and provide efficient delivery. Businesses can provide for their customers’ needs faster and make effective business decisions. With CRM, businesses can also keep their focus on quality leads that will drastically improve conversion rates.

Related: 11 Ways To Maximise Every Part Of Your Day

3. Set up a task-management system

slack-logo

Emails alone don’t cut it as an efficient way to communicate with team members. Email makes it difficult to carry everyone along. However, setting up task-management software like Slack, Trello or Asana makes it much easier to have everyone’s tasks in one place and ensure that everyone is carried along in the project.

Task-management software helps members of a team track their progress and ensure that everyone is working on their tasks.

4. Sync your calendar with that of everyone else on your team

How many times have you had to reschedule appointments because you didn’t know you had other meetings lined up for the day?

Aside from leaving negative impression in clients’ mind, this error makes you less productive. Having to go back and forth until you have settled on an appropriate date can be cumbersome especially when different time zones are involved. So, do this instead: Sync your personal calendar with your work calendar, and make sure that everyone in your team is synced to the latter, too.

This will ensure sure that everybody is “on the same page” in terms of appointments and deadlines. Google Calendar can help you do just that. Once everyone is synced up, any change in the calendar will be seen by everyone so they can manage their own appointments.

5. Block out chunks of time

time-management

Constant interruptions hamper your workflow. Imagine having to deal with turning over a project on a deadline while you’re stuck in a series of meetings throughout the day. It can get very difficult to focus on completing your most urgent tasks.

Block out chunks of time on your calendar for uninterrupted work. It’s better to schedule a series of meetings in one day than to spread them throughout the week.

If you’re creating content, block out one day to create all the content you’ll use for the week. That way your business will run more efficiently.

Related: 3 Reasons You Should Embrace Change

Wrapping it up

With the right strategies, you can turn your business around to make it efficient and lucrative. Automating your processes, setting up the right software and remaining focused on the tasks at hand will go a long way to help you do this. But just as with every good strategy, you need to remain consistent and give it time to do its magic.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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How To Multitask Like Tim Ferriss, Randi Zuckerberg And Other Very Busy People

Nine entrepreneurs tell us how they get it all done.

Entrepreneur

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Think you’re busy? Take a look at Guy Fieri‘s calendar. Or a U.S. Army general’s. Or an in-demand teenage actor’s. Or the CEO of a globally recognised company’s.

Some of the busiest people on the planet took time out of their days to tell us how they get it all done. Take note!

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