Break Your Routine

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Everyday, millions of people commute to work. Some by car, some on trains and others on buses. They get up early and make that trek to their jobs. This is where they work for 6-8 hours or more to collect a paycheck. After a hard day’s work they commute back home and pretend to have a personal life.

Jobs are merely an illusion of a vehicle that one can use to generate wealth. They help us pay our bills, but rarely do we ever manage to “get ahead” financially. What’s even worse is that once we settle into the routine of working, we tend to let time pass us by. Year after year, decade after decade without making any tangible progress.

Sure, we use our jobs to buy home and send children off to school. We may even take vacations and see the far away places. Unfortunately we spend most of our adult lives working and then handing our hard earned cash over to creditors, banks, utilities and stores.

Today you should challenge yourself. Take a moment to evaluate your routine and your situation. How can you make it better? Is there the potential to give yourself more free time? Are you advancing in your career and are you working toward your dreams and goals? How can you make more money while increasing the amount of personal time you get to yourself? How can you pay off your bills?

What is freedom? Freedom is the right to choose: the right to create for oneself the alternatives of choice. -Archibald MacLeish

Every positive step you take today will create a better future.

Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the mundane. Find ways to introduce freedom in your life and break free from the routine.

You Can’t Be Motivated Into Success

You can’t be motivated into success. You just can’t. It’s something you have to achieve on your own — through action.

I know that sounds crazy, especially coming from me. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I like to motivate and encourage people. I sincerely love to give people that one inspiring word that gets them going.

The only problem with that is people are constantly looking for someone to motivate them. It’s like a drug. You get motivated once by someone really really inspiring. This causes you you to go heads down on a project and feel really satisfied in your productivity levels. Then at some point, you slack off. You figure you’re just not motivated enough so you go searching for more encouragement. This becomes a cycle that is repeated until you become a motivation junkie.

You can make your own motivation

The cool thing about motivation, is that it’s like a seed. Think of it this way, you can either eat a seed or you can plant it.

Eating a seed gives you a bit of nourishment for a while, but eventually your body will get rid of it as waste and desire more.

Planting a seed allows you to grow a living organism that will bear fruit and keep you sustained indefinitely.

The same thing goes for motivation. When you watch a motivational video just for its inspiring qualities, you are eating it. It will pump you up for a little while but eventually the “buzz” will wear off. You will be right back to square one trying to find more inspirational content.

When you immediately take action after watching a motivational video, you are planting it. Apply the concepts taught in the video, use its energy to do something tangible.

“When it call comes down to it, nothing trumps execution.” — Gary Vaynerchuk

Motivation board

Head to the store and buy yourself an inexpensive white board. Title it your “Motivation Board”.

In your own style, split it up into three sections. Dreams, Goals and Actions.

Dreams are things you want to reach. They can be really big items like early retirement, making a million dollars or raising a family.

Goals are more immediate items like buying a home or a new car, getting out of debt, building a sizable savings.

Actions are things that you need to do in order to reach your goals and ultimately your dreams. These are things like getting more education, certifications in your field or a better paying job. They can also be items like finishing certain projects or going to networking events related to your area of expertise.

You can’t sit around waiting for someone to motivate you into success. You’ll never reach it. You need to take that initial push and turn it into forward motion.

Always remember that you are capable of doing great and amazing things. The only limits that exist are the ones you place on yourself. Never give up on yourself or your dreams.

3 Crucial Apps IN 2017

I normally don't get that sensational in my headlines, but this list will help you double your productivity in 2017.

Seriously.

In today's super fast paced modern society, it's hard to get a handle on what solutions will help you be more productive. It's crucial you rise above the noise. Here are 3 fantastic apps that will help you get it done in 2017. It's not that the apps are new or sensational, but I truly believe that 2017 will mark a turning point in how we use the web, conduct business and see the world through our mobile devices.

 

 

 

EVERNOTE

You need this app. There's no way around getting through the complicated task of keeping yourself organized. I like to travel, and Evernote is a great way for me to keep my travel itinerary close by. 

It's like taking all your notebooks with you wherever you go.

Evernote is like your own personal library of personal content that you can carry in your pocket. It's different from online storage solutions such as BOX or Dropbox, because it's more note oriented. You can add tags to your notes to make them searchable, and notebooks can be shared with others. It's free to start with, and has a nifty set of features that become available with a subscription.

Make sure to check out www.evernote.com for more details.

 

EasilyDo

This app is fantastic as it's like having a personal assistant in your pocket. It's different from Siri or Google in that it scans your emails, is connected with your other apps, checks your calendar and knows your location. I know it sounds invasive, but it's been fantastic!

For example, if I have an appointment at the coffee shop near my house, the app will send me a notification. It will let me know how long the drive will be, and what time I need to leave to get to my meeting on time.

In addition, I don't always get a chance to check my emails as much as I should. The app sends me a notification when I get an email that needs my attention. Through some voodoo, it always happens to alert me to things I really want to read--- or need to respond to.

Check this one out for a full list of features at www.easilydo.com

 

Dropbox

Everyone should be familiar with Dropbox. This service is my champion for keeping things off my mac or synced with my iPhone. Dropbox is free, but if you pay for it you can get a 1TB plan, which is worth it in my opinion.

The service not only let's you store large files, but share them as well. If you have a huge video file to share with a colleague, or a client -- this is your app. I have the application loaded to all of my desktops and laptops as well as my mobile devices. It's the quickest way to get items off my phone and onto the right machine.

I've never had an issue accessing Dropbox, and they've never lost any of my files. Of course, make sure to have hard copies of anything that is to important to lose. I still have CD's and DVDs of data that I want to keep. Dropbox, however, is a great solution.

Check out www.dropbox.com

I hope this list helped you in some way. It's time to be great and pursue your dreams. Best of luck!

 

You Owe Yourself Success

Let’s take a moment to go back down memory lane. Think about your earliest memories of going to school. Maybe someone sent you with a packed lunch and helped you get dressed. They might have even assured you that you’d do well and they were proud of you. Someone very important made sure they put you on a bus or dropped you off at school, so you could succeed.

They knew that one day you’d do something great.

So what are you waiting for?

Maybe you’ve already done something great. Maybe you’re reading this as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or maybe you’ve already got millions in the bank. No matter where you are in life there is always room to grow and succeed further.

There’s no such thing as a finish line in life. You must press forward towards greatness each day, as if you intend to live forever.

Payback Time

One could argue that it’s time to pay back those people who poured into your development all those years. The ones who sent you to school, taught you, babysat you, tutored you, and quite possibly paid for you college. It’s doubtful, however, that they actually expect anything in return. The likely scenario is that these people would satisfied with merely seeing you as a functioning, self-sustaining adult.

The only person who will ever want to see you be successful without measure, to see you overachieving at ridiculous levels is…..drum roll….

You.

See here’s the logic. You put in time in school, the study, the hours. You put in the hours of practice and learned your current skills. You drive yourself to work everyday and pay your bills. The only person who has lived your life is you. From infancy to this very moment, you’ve had a front row seat to all your best and worst moments. It’s time to get inspired and push for that next level.

You owe it to yourself to capitalize on all the time you’ve put in over the years. Why waste another day just meeting your basic obligations? Put in as much energy as you can.

If you can be explosive in your efforts for a short period of time, let’s say a year, you can maximize your life and position yourself for financial and professional breakthrough.

Today, don’t just be great at what you do. Dominate your space and be so excellent that you set the standard for others who follow.

3 Tips to Start Each Day

We have great ideas and we have things we’d like to pursue. Some of us ask ourselves questions as we attempt to move forward in business and our careers. How do we achieve our goals? How do we make more money? How do we build professional relationships?

These are great questions.

Sleep

You’ve heard this before. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP! The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults between the ages of 26 and 64 get 7–9 hours of sleep each night.

Getting the proper amount of sleep will not only allow you to focus, it will uplift your mood and out you in a better position to conduct business. Sleep can give you the edge you need to be successful in your career and business endeavors. Proper sleep can keep you from nodding off in meetings and give you an advantage when problem solving.

Schedule

Who starts their day with no schedule? Each night before bed, map out what you need to accomplish the next day. Give yourself 5 must do items that can’t be missed. Then, give yourself 5 bonus items that would improve your situation if you completed them.

Start to burn through those must do items. You’ll feel satisfaction as you knock each thing out. Then, when you reach the bonus items, you will feel extreme motivation because you are powering through your to do list.

At the end of the day, the feeling you get from having a “beast mode” workday is priceless.

Eat breakfast

This may sound like a no brainier, but your body needs fuel for the day. When you wake up you are emerging from a fasting state. The very first thing you should do is hydrate by drinking plain water. Our bodies are mostly water and we need water to function properly.

Eating the right foods in the morning will help you have enough fuel to start burning through your tasks. Food will also help you concentrate as no one can ignore an empty stomach. Don’t make your breakfast a super heavy one. Eat healthy foods.

If you start with these three things each day, you are going to have a great morning and hopefully be on the road to increased productivity!

Professional Dog Crate

One thing that I really hate with a passion is the cubicle.

Or what I like to call…..the Professional Dog Crate

So for those of us who aren’t blessed enough to live in one of these horrid spaces for 8 hours a day, let me explain why they are so detestible. Imagine leaving your beautiful home and coming in to work, only to sit in an 8x8 box. Hunched over and staring at a PC all day long. It reminds me of how my dog must have felt before he was mature enough to be left to his own devices in the house alone. I used to crate him. Poor dog.

We get crated at work. The average entry level employee to mid level manager sits in a cubicle to do their work. Some places have rows and rows of cubicles lined up — just like dog crates in a pet store. Then to make matters worse, the exterior walls are typically lined with offices. So managers can walk out and keep an eye on their “pets”. OK, so perhaps I’m being a bit facetious. Let’s get to the question at hand.

Do you want to spend your life in a cubicle?

I know some really awesome people who have spent a good portion (10+ years) working for “good companies”. They’ve spent that entire time in a cubicle. The average full time employee puts in 40 hours a week. So at 52 weeks in a year, that’s 2080 hours spent in a box. That’s just after one year! Imagine how fast that adds up. After 10 years you’ve put in more than 20,000 hours in your work crate. Assuming you haven’t progressed high enough up the food chain to warrant an office (the holy grail of workplace real estate) you’re still going to be in a cube for a while.

Imagine if you worked for yourself

I’m guilty of having been “crated” for most of my career, which is why I am a subject matter expert on cubicles. I’ve neatly arranged stuffed animals on my shelf, put up photos and tried to position calendars and dry erase boards so I could look productive. After some time I realized that this was pointless. The whole concept of decorating a cubicle is utterly rediculous. It is merely people trying to humanize and add warmth to a small space that we are borrowing from our employer.

Since I’ve stepped up my writing and blogging, in adition to other online ventures, I’ve realized there is a world outside the cubicle. Sure, I still have an employer, and quite frankly it’s the best job I’ve ever had. Some companies are just fantastic to work for — and I love my employer as much as one can. But I want freedom. I want the ability to walk outside without having to take my Blackberry with me, constantly wondering if I’m going to get an email. Or having the luxury of taking an extended lunch without the inevitable “Where’d you go?”

Jobs are just that. A job. Something we do to earn a wage so we can pay our bills. The cubicle is a side effect of that. Jobs should be something we do while we work toward our passion. The thing that truly gives us the freedom to be who we want to be.

But that’s a different blog post.

You Don’t Have Flaws

I had a GREAT conversation with fellow Medium writer Chantal. We were discussing flaws and talking about people’s ability to see past them when dating or conducting business.

She said this to me:

There’s no such thing has having flaws. What you really have is a perception of what people think you ‘should’ be. There’s no such thing as a flaw.

That, to me, was an extremely thought provoking concept. I mean, when I look in the mirror I see all kinds of flaws. Over the years I’ve had people point out things they thought I needed to fix in my life, and I always considered those things as flaws — but now they aren’t?

Things that cause someone to see a “flaw” in someone else are variable. Some women would never date a shorter man while some would. So a woman that loves taller men might look at a man who is short, but otherwise perfect, as having a flaw.

So then a flaw begins to fall into the realm of perception rather than factual reality. Our own internal perception of what people say are our flaws then have to be reevaluated. We need to completely rediscover ourselves and understand that while some may not like certain things about us, those things aren’t necessarily bad. And that it’s okay.

Today, take a moment for inward reflection and think about all the things that make you who you are. It’s entirely possible that you aren’t as “flawed” as you truly believe. Or rather, have been led to believe.