by Catherine Choy
Tim Ferris is an entrepreneur, author of several knowledgeable books, and often the #1 business podcaster on all of Apple Podcasts. He frequently shares his insight and knowledge through all of his work. Here are five important lessons we can learn from Tim Ferriss:
Self-improvement is much more than achieving goals.
Of course, when one thinks of self-improvement, one thinks of setting goals and accomplishing them. However, Tim claims that it is only 50% of what self-improvement is. The other half is showing gratitude and focus on appreciating what you already have, not completely on future goals. Tim emphasizes the importance of not becoming one of those people who have accomplished and earned so much, yet is still unsatisfied. If you are not happy, what is the point? This means that constantly reminding yourself of what you should be thankful for is just as important as accomplishing future goals.
Use incentives to keep you motivated.
Often, we may lose motivation when working towards a goal that may take a long time. Some examples of these goals may be to write a book, lose 30 pounds, or save enough money to travel the world. The internal fire to accomplish these goals may be there in the beginning but then it starts to decline as time goes on. Tim says he lacks intrinsic motivation which means that he is not naturally motivated. If you find yourself relating to this, this means that you may work harder when there is a reward or punishment involved. If that is the case, Tim recommends that you set strict deadlines for yourself that are impossible to push back. This way, you are more motivated to work closer to your goal to avoid punishment. Another option is to reward yourself if you meet your deadline. In all, using external rewards and incentives is a great way to keep yourself accountable and motivated.
Continue developing your skills and relationships.
This may seem like a no-brainer as to why it should be important in your life. However, Tim relates explains how developing skills and relationships can positively change your perspective on failure. Tim essentially believes, "Failure isn't a failure if you can gain new skills and develop relationships for future advancement." This means the next time you evaluate a time you “failed”, make sure to ask yourself, “Were there any skills and relationships that I have developed and can help me in the future?”. If the answer is yes, then do not consider it a failure.
You do not need to be relevant all the time.
Take a week, month, or even year off for you to do some deep thinking, cleansing, or whatever it is you need to do before returning to the world. Remind yourself that it is perfectly fine to do this. Tim believes you do not need to be everywhere all at once if you are simply just good at what you do. It is important to diversify yourself from everyone else and to take some time for yourself to fully know who you are and what you want.
Your drive will be the thing to set you apart.
Often we relate success to intelligence. However, intelligence is essentially the minimum qualification it takes to become successful. Many people are intelligent but it is the drive and energy that will set you apart from the others. Tim was willing to use all of his energy and effort required to become successful. This effort and energy are what set Tim apart and essentially led him to his success.
Tim Ferriss is ultimately a productivity superstar and ultimately great at not only achieving his goals but also helping others at achieving their goals. His bestselling books include 4-Hour Work Week, Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World, and Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers. Also, check out his podcast! You will be inspired.
We are always in a hurry to save time and get everything done in the quickest way possible. Driving while being on the phone is the most famous example of multitasking. Multitasking is also switching repeatedly from one task to another, hoping to get them all done at once. But let’s stop and ask ourselves- is multitasking actually increasing our productivity level?
When we jump from one task to another and switch among tasks, we are not being efficient, in fact, we are putting our brains in stress by the constant change. Research has found that even a fresh brain of a 12-year-old cannot multitask. We are actually switching our tasks. Task switching or as we call in Multitasking takes a great toll on our productivity. Following are some of the ways it is taking a toll on us:
The reason why multitasking takes a toll on our productivity is that, us thinking to get maximum done in the shortest span of time, takes a toll on our brain, with time, gradually we start losing our focus, paying attention seems like a torturous task to us and it starts impacting our productivity and daily life in an adverse way. We might get our things done somehow, but we will not be learning or adapting any new skills or techniques.
A great example which I am sure a lot of us can relate is with, when we study we tend to use our phone too. We think we got it covered like we are smart enough to do both the things at once but in reality, it has been observed whatever we have learned in that time does not stay with us for a long time. It is very likely that we forget about the subject matter the next day.
In a nutshell, constant multitasking does not only affect our productivity but tends to take a toll on our mental health as well. Studies have found that when a person feels that he/she has been less productive, it automatically ruins their mood. So psychologists suggest to stick to one work at a time and pay attention to it individually. For your mental health and productivity, you need to stop multitasking.
Check out how to stay productive with a single task by using time blocking techniques!
Traveling – even though it can be a little exhausting and tiring but trust me, it is worth it. The way a journey impacts your life changes your perspective and transforms you as a human being is completely commendable. Thus, taking some time off of work, venturing and exploring, and making memories can alter one’s perspective quite a lot.
All the excitement, enjoyment, and eagerness to discover different places makes traveling a vital part of personality development.
But, most of the people often neglect traveling because of the workload. If you are one of those people as well then trust me you have to make a tough decision. Either choose to work day and night without taking a day off or take a vacation from work and plan a fun, thrilling and exciting journey. Once you are back you’ll see yourself more motivated, excited, and dedicated towards work. Honestly, adventuring and traveling are recommended by psychologists as well.
After this brief discussion most of us are probably thinking; “how can traveling change one’s perspective in life?” Well, if you are eager to find out as well, then keep on reading as you’ll find tons of interesting facts down there.
It’ll broaden your outlook in life:
Nothing impacts you more than observing how other people live. How they manage their life? What are their struggles? How is your life different from them? The answers to all these questions lie in an exploratory and learnable trip where you find out more about different aspects of life. Thus, a trip, no matter it is short or long, can help you grow as a person and broaden your perspective.
You begin to value experience:
One thing most of the people often realize during a journey is valuing experience over materialistic things. And trust me, no matter how much struggle you go through in daily life, you’ll hardly ever learn to value experience more than things. But once you’re out there you’ll begin understanding the value of experience.
Live in the moment:
Traveling teaches us to live in the moment. Rather than emphasizing and stressing over the mistakes made in the past and worrying about the future, it’s better to opt for making our present better. And this can be done through traveling. Traveling guides us to appreciate life, be grateful and enjoy every bit of happiness we have.
Accept different ways of life:
Life is a roll-coaster ride. It comes with its ups and downs. If you are one of those people who stress over little things and become anxious on the tiniest changes in life as well, then trust me, you need to schedule a journey and experience the different ways of life. Get to know the different people, cultures, beliefs, and traditions. You’ll see the apparent and positive changes and results in yourself soon after you come back.
Therefore, from the above discussion, we can say that traveling changes your life to a great extent after all. So, the next time you need some diversity and versatility in life, get yourself ready and go out on a trip. You’ll feel the change yourself.
Join other productive travelers at Treehouse Society and schedule a tour today!
Time is a valuable asset. As the old saying goes, “Time lost can never be regained.” One must take ownership of one’s own time to never waste it. Time management is a super important element in productivity to achieve what you want in life. We are going to explore ways to have better time management to take control over our own productivity.
1. Prioritize your day
Always prioritize your day according to your goal in life. List the activities that will bring you closer to your goals in life. Once you align your life goals, it is a lot easier to know what your priorities are for the day, week, or even months.
2. Make a to-do list
After you prioritize your day, make sure to list them out with a to-do list. A to-do list helps with reminding what needs to be done through the day. On top of that, crossing out items on your to-do list is very satisfying and it can boost your will to go on being more productive for the rest of the day. If you had put the same item onto different to-do lists in different days or weeks, that means that is an item that is either unnecessary for you to do, or it is a very important item for you. Make sure you determine what it means and go forth with it.
3. Stop checking your email
Checking your email is counterproductive. Make sure to set a limit for yourself so you are only checking your email once or twice a day. There is no reason to constantly check your email. People who sent you emails could wait for your response. Remember, if someone wants something from you, that is their problem, not yours.
4. Do all your work from the same device
Doing work from the same device means no wasted time trying to find documents you are trying to find from a random device.
5. Use the time blocking method
Essentially, break down your tasks down in 25 minutes batches as that is how long a human mind could spend focused on something. This way, you could time yourself and make sure you are maximizing your blocked time.
6. Schedule social media posts
Especially if you run a business, stopping everything to post on social media could be a waste of your time. Try to find an app such as Hootsuite to schedule your posts throughout the month so you don’t have to waste time posting on social media daily.
Time management is all about cutting down time for productivity so you could enjoy your life a lot more. Sitting at the desk longer doesn’t mean you are producing more work out of it. If you are unproductive after more than the desired amount of time of sitting at a desk, consider taking a break or going out for a walk. Make sure the time you spent at your desk is actually laser focused and productive so you are not wasting time sitting in the office when you could enjoy doing other things and living life.
Modern living is filled with distractions. It feels as if time pass by very quickly and nothing is getting done and you could feel very stressed from the constant busyness. This is what you need to ruthlessly prioritize in order to get things done. By prioritizing, you would be able to lead a more meaningful life and be more zen. Identifying what is important by aligning your life goals and prioritize items that will help you reach your goals.
Below are 5 tips to help you stay zen while maintaining a busy schedule.
1. Ruthlessly Prioritize
You can’t do everything, but you can decide what is more important. Just because something is requested to be done ASAP by your colleague, doesn’t mean it is the most important thing to be done in your life. As Steve Jobs said, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.”
2. Keep a to-do-list
After you have decided what’s important in your life, make sure you get it done by keeping a to-do list. In fact, billionaire Richard Branson stated that his success was due to his to-do list.
3. Stay Fit
Not only does exercise help you manage weight and maintain healthy organs. The latest study shows that a regular exercise routine can make you happier, smarter, and more energetic. Your life is too short for unfocused thinking.
4. The distraction elimination.
You will have to admit that everybody is distracted by constant connections via electronics nowadays. Try to avoid all possible distractions by being fully involved in the work process and check your inbox only twice a day like Tim Ferriss. There are a lot of methods to stay productive, from time blocking technique to practicing Zen Buddhism at Work.
5. Recreation Time
No matter how busy you are, you should always have time for your interests and things you love. Without dedicating time to chill, you won’t last long in your busy mode.
Give yourself a good sleep, never skip on that.
You will wake up refreshed and ready to crush it!
Keep up with these six points for your busy day and you will always win the day.
I get it, you’re like me - crazy, eccentric, and awesome. You work when inspiration hits you, whenever that might be.
In this post, I aim to give you a practical approach to getting your muse on. Any time you want it. And yes, this will work when you’re tired or unproductive. Let’s get to it!
Framing your way to success
Being creative and productive is something that I’m sure you’d like more of. Who doesn’t?
The problem is getting there. Yes, self-reflection, mindfulness, and training your focus are something that everyone should do, but there are other things that can help, too. Other things that are much more practical and quite less time-consuming.
One such thing is framing. Framing simply means that your actions are affected by your environment. You have a tendency towards different things in different environments. Sitting on the couch might get you to turn on the TV, riding the tube might get you to check your phone, and you might play Clash of Clans when you’re taking a sh…ower (water resistant phones - the future is now!).
Of course, the same concept applies to work as well. If you have an office, you know it. You enter the office and it feels like work. But what if you’re not at the office? Or if you don’t like working at an office?
You still should dedicate a place to work. A place that feels like work. You’ll thank me for it in a minute.
Even your muse has habits
At this point, you’re thinking “I have a good desk, a great chair, and a sweet setup” and asking yourself "Why should I bother dedicating a space only for work?" And the answer is simple - habits.
We, humans, are driven by habits. A monumental part of what you do, say, and even think is a habit. From driving a car to being an optimist - it’s all habits. That tells us two things:
So, what habits and creativity or productivity have in common?
Yes, you can leverage your habits to get more done and be more creative.
Have you noticed extreme bursts of creativity when in the shower (while not playing Clash of Clans)?
I bet you did! Showering gives your mind a space to wander and your mind automagically puts its’ creative hat on. If you’ve showered a couple of times in your life, you’ve crafted that as a habit. You can’t do one without the other.
Now, imagine having something that triggers a habit that gets you to be productive. Or creative. Even when you’re tired and don’t feel like it.
Yes, that something will be your work location.
Building a boon of productivity
First, you’ll need to establish a location and a pre-work ritual. At first, you’ll have to do those then try to be productive, but after the pattern establishes in your head, it’ll happen automatically.
Here are some tips on picking the location:
Now, this might be enough for many, but there are cases in which the location by itself doesn’t cut it. In those cases, you can amplify the effect with a simple pre-work ritual that’ll help your brain set in the right frame of mind. Here’s how to approach that:
So, build your ritual, pick your destination and get to work. The more you do the first part, the more you’ll associate it with being productive and creative. In no time you’ll automagically get super-productive and ultra-creative by just sitting on your couch and putting your headphones on.
Finally, you can leave the work location to the experts and visit the awesome Treehouse Society coworking space. The coffee is better than at home!
Author Bio: Jordan Georgiev is a programmer at day and productivity expert at night. Jordan can’t stay still. Every minute of every day must be filled in with something – coding, design, a Rubik’s cube or a pack of cards. He insists that time should never be spent doing nothing. Jordan is the person behind of neverproductive - the promised land for a productivity junky.
by Kelley Oreglia from Ann Kelley
In today’s world, with never ending streams of emails and Slack pings, it can be very difficult to stay focused and productive throughout the day. If you find yourself overwhelmed, and unable to efficiently execute tasks, time blocking can be a powerful tool to increase productivity.
Time blocking is a simple and effective strategy to prioritize tasks, and stay focused. The basic idea is to set-aside a certain amount of time to every task you need to complete. This helps accomplish multiple things; it blocks off this time from other projects or interruptions, gives you a set amount of time to complete something, and helps you prioritize what you need to get done.
Implementing time blocking is easy. You just need to create a plan, set-up your schedule, and commit to forming a new habit.
Time Blocking Plan
The first thing you’ll need to do is set up a “time blocking plan”. Sit down and list out all the tasks you need to get done in a day or week, both at work and in your personal life.
Larger tasks should be broken out into steps that can be accomplished in about 25 minutes, smaller tasks should be grouped together with other similar tasks.
Breaking your tasks down into 25 minute batches is called the Pomodoro Technique. It allows you to plan your tasks efficiently, and make the best use of your time instead of jumping for one stream of thought to another. The Pomodoro Technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s as a tool to help him focus in college.
Once you have your list, prioritize them by what is most critical and what will be the most challenging to complete.
Set Up Your Schedule
The best tool for time blocking is whatever electronic calendar you’re already using.
Take your high priority tasks, those that will be most challenging to complete, and block off your peak performance time to complete these tasks. For most people this is the early afternoon, but if you’re a morning person or night owl do what works best for you.
Schedule empty blocks throughout the day to allow for flexibility, and breaks.
Overtime, you’ll gain accurate feedback on how well you are able to execute tasks throughout the day. If you find you’re not getting enough time for replying to emails, and spending too much time on something else, you can adjust your schedule as needed.
Commit for a Month
New habits form over time, to ensure you make time blocking a habit commit to using the technique for a month. Set aside time at the beginning of each week to create your time blocking plan, and set-up your schedule.
One of the biggest challenges to time blocking is handling distractions. New requests coming in can throw off your schedule for an entire day. Cirillo uses a strategy called “inform, negotiate, schedule, call back”. You need to inform those around you that you’re busy, find another time that you can address their need, schedule it, and call them back in that time block.
Once you've successfully implemented time blocking you will experience significantly improved productivity throughout the day. With scheduled time to reply to all those emails, and Slack pings, you will no longer be constantly distracted and pulled in different directions. Enjoy your new found sense of drive and focus, and get to work!
(in Chinese thought) a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (qi), and whose favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into account when siting and designing buildings.
With thousands of history of practice, it is now an ancient art and science to balance any energies in any given space. If your feng shui is set up correctly in your workplace, it could greatly enhance your overall productivity and health. Since we spend a large chunk of our time in the office, it is important that we make it as comfortable as possible. Below are some tips on some spaces that might be hard to set up.
Feng Shui Tips for a Small Office with No Windows
Many freelancers in San Francisco declare their closet as a home office. And of course, the closet has no windows. When you work in an office with no windows, you can liven it up by adding more lights so it looks brighter and less prison-like. This way, you get to enjoy your workspace without feeling like you are under pressure to deliver.
Create Good Feng Shui Backing in Your Office
It is better to have your back facing a wall to create great energy and support system that keeps you in focus. If your back is not facing a wall, it creates a feeling of instability as you may not be sure of what is happening behind you.
Dealing with a Blocking Wall in Your Office
The location of your wall matters a lot in feng shui as it can lead to a steady flow of energy and also make you feel more comfortable in the office. This is why it is important to have an office space where you are not facing the wall. If you do, make sure you add some
Clear Your Office Desk Clutter
A cluttered desk creates a cluttered mind. A clutter can usually create confusion and drain energy out of you. Your desk does not need to look like a zen-like minimalist's desk, but you definitely want to have a clean and organized space when you work.
Bring Some Live Energy with Office Plants
Now that you have cleared your clutter and have no more confusing energy, you need to liven your space with some plants. Plants represents fresh energy from nature. They should stay alive to bring you fresh energy. Plants have another benefit of purifying the air as well.
Here are 5 plants that would work well in your office space: Areca Palm, Bamboo Palm, Dracaena Janet Craig, English Ivy, Boston Fern.
Here at Treehouse Society, our feng shui is organized correctly. We had a professional interior design from Hong Kong who set up our space to ensure the energy is flowing correctly. If it is a practice that is around for thousands of years, there might be a reason behind it!
Related: Benefits of a Coworking Space