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Leading@google: Tony Schwartz

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The Four Elements of Physical Energy and How To Master Them I have a FitBit (glorified pedometer if I ever saw one), and since getting it, my exercise goal each day is to hit 5,000 steps. On work days, I generally hit 2,000-3,000 each day consistently, meaning I only need to take a walk around the block twice when I get home to meet my goal. Recently, due to winter, I mostly was just pacing back and forth in my apartment while watching Netflix. A process that could take me up to two hours to get those extra 5,000 steps in (it's a small apartment). Now that it's warming up outside, I can get outside and get those steps within half an hour or so, depending on how fast I walk. Now that it's starting to warm up, I've also taken to parking my car further away at the office, which also helps to get the steps in. I combine this method with Jerry Scienfeld's method of "Don't Break the Chain," which REALLY helps come Sunday when I'm not doing anything or going anywhere, and therefore really do need to concentrate to get my 5k steps in.

Listening To Your Body Clock Can Make You More Productive And Improve Your Well-Being From an early age, we're taught that getting up early is good for us. Sayings like The early bird catches the worm and Early to bed and early to rise makes and man healthy, wealthy and wise are part of the culture and have a certain moralizing force. People who go to bed early and get up early are upstanding and productive. People who go to bed later and wake up later are degenerate and lazy. Nowadays, however, there's a growing body of thought to say this is not only wrong, but also counterproductive. Chronobiologists have identified two polar-opposite sorts of people: type As who wake up early in morning, even on weekends; and type Bs, who accumulate "social jet lag" during the week—the difference between their personal clock and the socially-directed one—that they need to work off by sleeping longer at weekends. The implications of internal clock research are profound. Schools in Denmark, which have experimented with different start times, have also seen positive results.

Disruptive innovation 2.0 The Brain Hacks Top Founders Use To Get The Job Done Katia Verresen's new client had a big problem: He needed to find three to four extra hours in his day. This, of course, seemed like an impossible feat for an oversubscribed startup founder, but his ability to fundraise and recruit the best talent depended on it. By the time he met Verresen, executive coach to many such founders, he was drained, pessimistic, dreading every week before it started. Even though tech culture champions sleeplessness, overtime and burnout, Verresen has seen how this mindset can lead to failure. To turn it around, her first order of business is to collect as much data on her clients as she can and funnel it into a plan with one goal: Maximizing energy. But the proof is in the pudding. Her method has turned Verresen into one of the most sought after coaches in the business. Filling Your Buckets Maintaining and using energy wisely might seem like obvious advice, but it’s hardly ever heeded. Physical Energy: The foundation of everything you do.

The Theory of Cumulative Stress: How to Recover When Stress Builds Up It was my first year of graduate school and my professor was standing at the front of the room. He was telling our class about a mistake he made years before. About a decade earlier, my professor had been one of the senior executives at Sears, Roebuck & Company, the large department store chain. For almost two months prior to the launch day, he was flying all over the country to strike up buzz with major partners and media companies. The week before the big launch day, his body gave out on him. Your Bucket of Health and Energy Imagine that your health and energy are a bucket of water. In your day-to-day life, there are things that fill your bucket up. There are also forces that drain the water from your bucket. The forces that drain your bucket aren’t all negative, of course. These outputs are cumulative. The Theory of Cumulative Stress I usually lift heavy three days per week. This was frustrating. Eventually I realized the issue: stress is cumulative. Keeping Your Bucket Full Why?

Strategic Thinking Exercises - 13 Point Strategic Change Management Checklist As we mentioned recently, we’re on the lookout everywhere for strategic thinking exercises to share. We spotted a recent “Inside the Executive Suite” feature from the Armada Executive Intelligence Briefing featuring a thirteen-question checklist for strategic change management. The origin for the strategic change management list was two stories in the Wall Street Journal. While issues (some major) exist for both Wal-Mart and Apple, the Inside the Executive Suite piece offered the strategic change management checklist as an example of introducing more aggressive innovation and change management when a company doesn’t exactly seem to need radical change. A 13-Point Checklist for Strategic Change Management If you’re contemplating (or even in the midst of) making dramatic changes within your own organization, this list is helpful as a strategic thinking exercise to make sure you’re considering the breadth and depth of changes two pretty successful companies are undertaking.

How To Motivate Yourself: 3 Steps Backed By Science You make goals… but then you procrastinate. You write a to-do list… but then you don’t follow through. And this happens again and again and again. Seriously, what’s the problem? Why are we so good at thinking of what to do but so terrible at actually doing those things? The problem is you’re skipping an essential step. The Mistake Every Productivity System Makes Productivity systems rarely take emotions into account. We can’t ignore our emotions. And we can’t fight our feelings. Via The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking: …when experimental subjects are told of an unhappy event, but then instructed to try not to feel sad about it, they end up feeling worse than people who are informed of the event, but given no instructions about how to feel. So what does the unavoidable power of feelings mean for motivation? In their book Switch, Chip and Dan Heath say that emotions are an essential part of executing any plan: Focus on emotions. 1) Get Positive It’s optimism.

The Productivity Paradox: How Sony Pictures Gets More Out of People by Demanding Less The Idea in Brief Human beings don’t work like computers; they can’t operate at high speeds continuously, running multiple programs at once. People perform at their peak when they alternate between periods of intense focus and intermittent renewal. Employees can increase their effectiveness by practicing simple rituals that refuel their energy, such as taking a daily walk to get an emotional breather or turning off e-mail at prescribed times so they can concentrate. If companies allow and encourage employees to create and stick to such rituals, they will be rewarded with a more engaged, productive, and focused workforce. Artwork: Antony Gormley, Capacitor, 2001. The way most of us work isn’t working. Nearly a decade ago, the Energy Project, the company I head, began to address work performance and the problem of employee disengagement. To date, the reaction to the program has been overwhelmingly positive.

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