Change Your Life with a Bullet Journaling

Where do you want to be in five or ten years? What does your happiest life look like? As John C. Maxwell said, “The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” With that being said, what habits can you implement into your life that will lead to the life of your dreams?

Studies have shown that creating routines that become habits is the best way to change your life. One of the best ways to develop new habits is bullet journaling, also known as habit tracking. A Bullet Journal is a simple way to measure if you did a habit each day or week. It gives you a way to visualize progress, feel motivated, and show up the next day.

Still on the fence about if you should start a Bullet Journaling? Here are 5 reasons why you should start.

Why you should start Bullet Journaling:

  1. Daily reminder to take action. Studies have shown that people who keep track of their progress are more likely to succeed than those who do not. This includes people trying to quit smoking, lose weight, and lower blood pressure.
    • Tracking your habits on a daily basis is a simple way to remind yourself of the action you need to take in order to reach your goals.
  2. Motivation to continue. Seeing progress is the best motivation. With every small win, Bullet Journaling can create growing motivation to continue towards your goals.
  3. Gratification for achieving your goals. Every time you mark a habit as complete, you get a sense of accomplishment! This feeling of accomplishment will give you more motivation to continue the next day.
  4. Increased likelihood of reaching your goals. Breaking down your big goals into small habits that you track will help you feel more confident and in control. You’ll be more likely to reach your goals with a habit tracker holding you accountable every day.
  5. See your progress. Months down the line, you can see how far you have come from where you started. Spend time once a month or every few months to look at previous months and appreciate how far you’ve come.

Tracking your habits and goals will have a compound effect on your happiness. Are you ready to start?

How to get started tracking your habits:

  1. Write down your goals. To define what’s important to you, journal about the life you envision. What does your happiest life look like?
  2. Create habits that will help you achieve the life you envision. What goals are most important to you? What habits can you develop that will help you achieve those goals?
  3. Add those habits to a Bullet Journal. Next, add the habits you want to track to your Bullet Journal. You can add them as a bulleted list all on one page, or you can give each habit a section or page of its own so you can make notes about it right there.
  4. Every time you complete a habit, mark your habit tracker. Try to make it a goal to record each measurement after you complete the habit. This will help you use your Bullet Journal regularly and celebrate each habit as you complete it! Marking your Bullet Journal can be as easy as crossing out or checking off the habit, or you can write in more detail about what you did and how you achieved it.

Tracking habits will help you feel in control of your life. As you look back on your weeks and months, you’ll see what you accomplished (and did not accomplish). It can help you see progress, and also where you can improve! As you track your habits, you might also notice different patterns. For example, maybe you notice that the days you exercise you feel like you have more energy.

Final Thoughts

Remember that developing a habit takes time! Don’t feel discouraged if you forget to do something one day. Instead, make a commitment to complete it the next day. Consider that forming a habit can take months and Bullet Journaling can help motivate you as you keep track of your daily progress. If you need help developing new habits or defeating negative ones, check out our course Brain Training for Success.

5 Essential Tips for Hiring a Personal Assistant

You’re advancing in your career and beginning to feel overworked. Maybe you’ve finally gotten to the point where you have the money and want to spend more time with your family. You think it’s time to hire a personal assistant.

Hiring a personal assistant can free up your time to focus on the bigger picture, spend more time with family, or have more time to spend on hobbies. The personal assistant can spend time doing tedious but time-consuming tasks, overall giving you more energy throughout your days. Your personal assistant can also be a second pair of eyes and ears. You will have the benefit of someone working closely with you who can provide a second opinion or insight that you might have missed.

If you’re just reading this to get an idea of where to start, but aren’t quite at a place in your business where you can hire yet, check out our tips on how to be more productive right now!

Here are the things you want to consider when hiring a personal assistant:

  1. Write down what you want to delegate by deciding what you need help with. Start by paying attention to what you spend time on during the day or week. What easy, repetitive tasks do you do that you can delegate to someone else?

    • Do you need help with administrative tasks such as preparing a meeting agenda, managing your inbox, managing your calendar, or filing documents?
    • Do you need help coordinating travel such as reserving flights and hotels, booking reservations, or setting up itineraries?
    • Will the personal assistant be in charge of personal tasks such as grabbing your coffee, picking up groceries, or doing errands for your home?
    • Will the personal assistant be empowered to support your business? Examples include creating processes or meeting with clients.
  2. Determine your budget for the role. Think about how much you want to allocate weekly to hiring a personal assistant.

    • What value will a personal assistant bring to you or your business?
    • Consider how much your time is worth and try to put a number on how much of your time will be saved by the assistant. Then consider the amount of work you’d like to delegate to the assistant and try to find a happy medium between your budget and the amount of work you’d like for them to be able to do per week.
    • Be practical with your budget so you don’t spread yourself too thin – you still want your business to be profitable!
    • Consider any extra costs that may be associated with hiring an assistant, including things like benefits and taxes (if you choose to hire them as a W4 employee instead of an independent contractor – see more about this below).
  3. Do you want your assistant to be an independent contractor or W4 employee? Will they be part-time or full-time? Will you be hiring locally, or remotely? Decide how much help you need to begin with and whether or not that help will be in person.

    • If an assistant works remotely for you, will they need to be available during a specific time period so that you can communicate with them?
    • Based on the budget that you determined in step two, will you be able to hire an assistant part-time or full-time?
      • Hiring a personal assistant to work for you part-time would cost you less than hiring a full-time assistant, both in salary and possible health benefits.
      • Overall, people generally look for full-time employment so it’s possible that hiring a part-time assistant may limit your candidates.
    • Do you want to hire your assistant as a W4 employee or as an independent contractor?
      • You would not be responsible for an independent contractor’s benefits and they generally specialize in their field so they require less on-the-job training, but at a higher hourly cost.
    • Do you want your assistant to be local to you or work remotely? Especially in this pandemic era, hiring remotely can greatly expand the pool of candidates who apply.
  4. Write the job description. It’s important to think about how the assistant will be spending their time working for you and what qualifications or skills you may require.

    • What experience do you want the personal assistant to have? What traits are you looking for that would make this position successful? Keep in mind that some things (like attention to detail) are difficult to train.
    • If the position is part-time, will the candidate be able to grow into a full-time role?
    • What kind of on-the-job training or benefits can you offer applicants?
  5. Use the hiring process as an opportunity to learn about the candidates. Everyone can make a resumé look impressive, but that doesn’t always mean they are the perfect candidate for the job.

    • Include a sample task for the assistant to do so you can see how they work. Think about a task that will require the applicants to demonstrate the traits you’re looking for but that would be possible to complete during the interview.
      • Be sure to consider that the interview may be over the phone or over a video chat.
    • Think about a task (or tasks) an assistant would do regularly. Ask them about their process to achieve a certain goal or finish a task.

Final Thoughts

The best part about hiring a personal assistant is that you can completely tailor the job role to what you need. When you find and train the right personal assistant, your everyday life can feel easier! With someone doing tasks that shouldn’t be on your radar at all, you’ll have more time and energy to give to your business, family, or personal growth.

Finding Self-Confidence

What does it take to succeed? You might think you need lots of money and powerful friends. However, there’s a more significant factor that’s free and within your reach: self-confidence.

Self-confidence may be your most valuable resource. It has a powerful impact on your behavior and experiences. It’s a mindset that gives you motivation and helps you to reach your goals. You deserve to be happy and fulfilled – do you believe that? If not, try this foolproof formula for increasing your faith in yourself.

Building Your Confidence

Even the most confident people on the planet have times when they feel unsure of themselves. The great thing about self-confidence though is that it’s not something you’re born with – it’s a learned skill that you can develop. You might need to fake it sometimes, but gradually you’ll accept and trust yourself more no matter what’s going on in your life.

Practice these things daily to begin to build yourself up and improve your confidence:
  1. Review your achievements. It’s easy to forget how far you’ve come. Give yourself credit for your major accomplishments and the incremental progress you make each day.
  2. Set goals. Keep adding to your track record by creating specific and compelling goals for the short and long term. Making an effort is just as important as the end results.
    • Especially at the beginning of your journey, make sure you include a good amount of short-term goals that are easier to attain. Achieving a goal is a great boost to your confidence, even if it was a small goal!
  3. Change your inner dialogue. How do you talk to yourself? Choose words that lift you up and inspire you to try harder. Also, try your best to never talk down to yourself or say self-deprecating things, even in jest. Your brain has a way of taking the words you say literally!
    • Here’s an example of how to turn a self-deprecating phrase around. If a friend invites you to one of those paint and sip places, instead of saying something like “I’m a terrible artist” say something like “I don’t have a lot of practice with art.”
  4. Continue learning. Maybe you need additional resources and qualifications to pursue your passions. Take courses online, read books, and talk with others about their areas of expertise.
  5. Think positive. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude and hope. Start your day with a smile, and savor small pleasures. Write some self-affirmations on your bathroom mirror or on a sticky note on your computer monitor – anywhere that you will see it every day. A simple change of mindset can work wonders on your day and your life.

Taking Care of Yourself

Your daily choices reflect how much you value yourself. If you adopt habits that protect your physical and mental wellbeing, you are much more likely to be confident in yourself and your abilities.

Here are some examples of habits you can try:
  1. Exercise regularly. Physical activity reduces stress and increases hormones that help you to feel calm and happy. Aim for at least 2 hours of moderate exercise each week – at least enough to get your heart rate up!
  2. Eat healthily. It’s easier to have confidence when your energy levels are high, and your blood sugar is stable. Enjoy a diet rich in nutritious whole foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid excess salt and sugar.
  3. Sleep well. While there is a lot of debate over how much sleep people need and what works best, you know yourself. Make it a priority in your life to stick to whatever sleep habits work best for you and make you feel the best. Here is some of the most common advice for sleeping better:
    • Avoid screens for at least 30 minutes before bed
    • Only sleep in your bedroom – avoid doing other things like watching TV or working
    • Stick to a consistent bedtime and wake time, even on the weekends
    • Develop a before-bed routine and do it every single day (this prepares your brain, letting it know that you’re getting ready to go to sleep, so you can “turn it off” when you’re ready to go to bed)
  4. Manage stress. How do you deal with daily tensions? Learn constructive coping strategies to ensure that you actively deal with stress as it comes, instead of bottling it all up until you explode.
    • Working out is a great way to manage stress, but you can’t very well leave your business meeting and run to the gym! Other options you can try to relieve stress at work or in social situations are to practice deep breathing, recite a self-affirmation or mantra, or massage your hands.
    • Try to also develop a proactive approach to stress management so you can avoid getting stressed out in the first place. You could develop a daily self-care practice, dig deeper into your faith, and/or try meditation.

Reaching Out for Support

Believing in yourself also means being realistic. Relying on others can sometimes be a sign of wisdom and strength.

Try these strategies:
  1. Advocate for yourself. Mutually supportive relationships are based on healthy boundaries and asking for help when you need it. Communicate tactfully and directly and allow yourself to be vulnerable.
  2. Network actively. Build a strong network of personal and professional contacts. Join clubs and go to places where you can meet others who share your interests. Nurture your relationships by staying in touch and being willing to communicate on a deeper level where you share your thoughts and feelings.
  3. Find a mentor. Working with a trusted advisor is a great way to gain guidance and valuable feedback about your career path and other aspects of your life. Look for someone you can relate to and be respectful of their time. You can start with someone you know or ask your contacts for introductions.
  4. Be generous. Giving to others can increase your regard for yourself in many ways. In addition to making yourself more popular, you’ll see proof that you have strengths that can make a positive impact on the world and your community.

Final Thoughts

Self-confidence is one of those things that you never seem to have enough of, so these strategies can help no matter how confident you are right now! Believe in yourself and your abilities. You ARE worth all of the time and energy you can put into building up your confidence. Love yourself for who you are and create the life you want.

An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Escaping Your Job After You Start a Business

What’s stopping you from just walking out of your job to start a business today? It’s likely to be one of two things: common sense or Integrity. Both are very valuable commodities.

Common Sense and Integrity

Common sense says that you will most likely have commitments, obligations, and responsibilities that show up monthly, weekly, and even daily. It would not be smart to risk any of those commitments with any brash, cavalier action. It could cost you dearly both in the immediate future and long term.

Also, you would put both yourself and your new business under immense pressure if you were under the gun right off the starting blocks. It’s significantly better to have the support of your family, your bank, and countless other individuals and institutions when you are starting a new venture.

Integrity takes a long time to earn, including the integrity you have earned at your current place of work, both with your employers and with your work colleagues. These could well be some very useful and influential contacts a little further down the road.

It’s unwise and unhelpful to put your integrity in jeopardy when it’s absolutely unnecessary. So, instead of just pulling the plug, it’s important to plan your escape from your current employment with both common sense and integrity in mind.

Preparing for Your Business

It makes good sense to do plenty of research on your new business and get all your questions answered before you make any decisions on anything.

Consider these ideas:
  1. Get an insider’s opinion. If you could get an insiders’ view of that business, it would serve you well. Standing on the outside looking in is a lot different from being on the inside looking out. It could save you a lot of time and money.
    • Find someone who has already walked the path you intend to tread and ask them, “If you were doing this all over again, what would you do differently?” Their answer will probably be the most valuable conversation you could possibly have for your new business.
  2. How will you generate a profit? It’s important to figure out, to the best of your ability, the easiest and most effective way of generating a profit from your new business.
  3. How will you scale up? Determine what you need to have in place to scale it to handle ever-larger volumes of customers. Customers are the key because they are the people who will provide your profits.
  4. How much time do you need to really start a business? Determine how much time you have available to get your business off the ground. Naturally, the more effort and energy you put in the quicker everything will go.
  5. How long will it take for your business to generate some meaningful profit? Make a reasonable estimate based on the information collected.
  6. How much profit do you need your business to make before you leave your current employment? Make sure to factor in business expenses and be realistic. This is all for your benefit, so lying to yourself at this stage isn’t going to hurt anyone but you.

Once you’ve determined these aspects, it should be possible to calculate with some reasonable level of certainty what needs to be done in order for you to create a timeline for escaping from your current employment.

A Wise Way to Start a Business

So, now you can quit your job, right? Hold on! You’re almost there!

Many smart people get their business into the marketplace by working part-time from home while they keep their regular job intact. Even if it takes 9 months or a year, or even a couple of years, to get it working efficiently and effectively, it’s got to be worth it, right?

Remember to factor in some wiggle room for the unexpected, some downtime, and even some holidays. Talk to people who have already made this kind of transition to get a clearer idea of what is reasonable and doable for someone in your situation.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Remember, your new business should have no requirement for you to work 40, 50, or 60 hours a week. Your intent is to move on up in terms of profit and income potential and move down in terms of time needed to create it.

Seriously consider working smarter, not harder. If hard work was any guarantee of success, most people would already be wealthy. It’s not just about working hard. Your success will come from having a plan, an effective strategy, and the discipline and enthusiasm to follow through on it.

Final Thoughts

Once you’re confident that you have a profitable business plan, and you’re working part-time on your business and showing some profits, that’s the time for you to work out a sensible plan to quit your job.

Yes, it all takes patience. But remember: “All things in their season.” Soon, you’ll be looking back at the job you once had and looking forward to greater profits in your own business.

8 Ways to Turn a Bad Day Around

Do you feel like you just got up on the wrong side of the bed today? Are you thinking that there’s nothing you can do about it and that the rest of the day is going to be unpleasant as well? Some days are like that, but take heart! There are things you can do to turn your bad day around.

Try these strategies to transform your day:

  1. Decide what it would take to have a good day. Once you realize that you’re having a bad day, take a time out. Make a list of what needs to happen over the course of the remainder of the day for you to consider it to be a good day and make a conscious decision to do those things.
    • What do you need to accomplish at work or around the house? Would it be a good day if you met a friend for dinner? What if you just finished your report at work and hit the gym?
    • Set some criteria for making your bad day a good day and make it happen.
  2. Focus on yourself for 30 minutes. Give yourself your full attention for 30 minutes. You could go for a walk, read a book, watch the birds, or whatever else will allow you to catch your breath and reset. Forget your worries for just half an hour and do something that you enjoy.
  3. Take a cold shower. Some evidence suggests that cold showers can have a positive effect on mood by changing the chemical levels in your brain. As an added benefit, cold showers can also increase energy levels and help with weight loss.
  4. Take a nap. There are days that can only be helped by a nap. Shut the door and give yourself a short nap. Of course, you’re free to take a long nap if you have time.
  5. List 5 things that make you feel grateful. A bad day leads you to focus on everything that seems to be working against you. Expressing a little gratitude will put your attention on everything that is right in your life. List five things that make you feel grateful and see if that helps.
  6. Exercise. Engaging in high-intensity exercise causes your body to release hormones and neurotransmitters that have a positive impact on your mood and many other things. One of the hormones released during exercise is known as endorphins (a.ka. the feel-good chemical) which are responsible for the so-called “runners high” that joggers talk about.
  7. Do something nice for someone. Maybe you’ll feel better about your day if you do something for someone else. Take your attention off yourself and your bad day and put it on another person for a few minutes. Your kindness will please you as well as the one you’re being kind to.
  8. Ask for a hug. Most people are happy to give a hug if you just ask for one. There are some days that just require a hug. Hug your dog or cat if you don’t have a human option.

Just because your day started out badly doesn’t mean that it has to end that way. Try these tips to turn your bad day into a day that pleases you. You’ll be glad you did!

Want even more? Check out these ways to find your inner strength on hard days.

Prevent Burnout on Your Team – A Guide For Managers

More than half of employees in the United States say they’re burned out, and two-thirds say the pandemic is making their symptoms worse. That’s according to a recent survey by the job search site Indeed.

Burnout is a big concern for any manager. It lowers performance and morale and interferes with job satisfaction. The World Health Organization has deemed it an occupational hazard, and many experts believe it costs the economy as much as $190 billion a year.

In this current environment, how can you keep your team energized and engaged? Learn how to prevent burnout by recognizing and responding to signs in yourself and in the employees you manage.

Prevent Burnout on Your Team

You’ve probably read headlines about the Great Resignation, as millions of employees voluntarily quit their jobs. Exit surveys reveal that burnout is the main reason. If you’re proactive, you can help your team to enjoy more balance.

Try these tips:
  1. Be alert. While many employees have their own definitions of burnout, the official classification depends on three symptoms. Those are exhaustion, cynicism, and decreased performance. Recovery is easier if you can spot signs early.
  2. Monitor workloads. Set realistic expectations and watch workflows to see if anyone is having trouble keeping up. Use staff meetings and one-on-one sessions to adjust assignments as needed.
  3. Encourage healthy boundaries. Remote and hybrid work can make it more difficult to keep business matters from spilling into your personal life. Encourage employees to take precautions, like creating a designated workspace and avoiding excess overtime.
  4. Reward innovation. Feeling appreciated counts too. Give employees credit for effort and creativity even when some experiments are less successful than others.
  5. Provide flexibility. Arranging work differently could help employees to manage their responsibilities more effectively. Explore four-day workweeks, hybrid work, and job sharing.
  6. Ask for feedback. Use surveys and other tools to learn more about what your team members really want. Their priorities may be different than you think.
  7. Build community. Focus on inclusivity and team spirit. Establish ground rules for civil communication and respectful conflict resolution. A congenial environment reduces stress and strengthens connections.
  8. Hire carefully. Employees are less vulnerable to burnout if they feel like their company shares their values. Make cultural fit part of your hiring criteria. Talk with a professional recruiter if you need more guidance on understanding and implementing the process.

Prevent Burnout in Yourself

As a manager, your example has a big impact on your team. Investing in yourself makes you a more constructive role model.

Keep these ideas in mind:
  1. Set personal goals. Heavy workloads feel lighter if you’re passionate about your work. Reflect on the purpose behind your activities. Spend more time on the aspects of your job that you enjoy. Give yourself targets to strive for.
  2. Practice self-care. Look after your health and wellbeing. Eat healthily, and exercise regularly. If worrying about your job keeps you up at night, try sticking to a consistent bedtime even on weekends.
  3. Think positive. Project confidence and stay calm under pressure. Let your team know that you recognize their strengths and praise them for their contributions. Use appropriate humor to lighten up tense moments.
  4. Seek support. Cultivate relationships inside and outside of your workplace. Join professional associations and find a mentor. Spend time with family and friends. Ask for help when you need it.
  5. Consider counseling. What if you’re still stressed, but unable to quit your job? Talking with a therapist can help you develop coping skills and identify factors you can control.

Final Thoughts

Burnout may be an epidemic, but there are practical steps you can take to help your team and yourself. Recognize when you’re at risk of becoming overwhelmed and take action promptly to begin the recovery process.

7 Ways for Work From Home Parents to Manage Stress

Have you ever felt like you’re being pulled in all directions? Your child (or children) wants one thing, your partner expects another, your work/business needs a good portion of your attention, and maybe we shouldn’t even get started thinking about other responsibilities like taking care of the house or pets. Raising your family is great for your heart, and working from home can be very rewarding, but sometimes the demands of a work from home parent are so strong the stress can feel overwhelming.

If you feel tired and frustrated of the balancing act at the end of the day, take a deep breath and know that there is help!

Consider these ways to manage stress in a chaotic environment:

  1. Focus on what you can control. It’s natural for humans to feel stressed when events don’t go our way. One of the most important lessons in life is to learn to divert our focus towards what we can control.
    • For example, there will be moments when your children don’t act how you expect. Remember that you can’t control how they act, but you can control the example you set for them and the way you react to their behavior.
  2. Prioritize quality time. Think about how you spend your time each day. It’s important not to feel guilty about the time you spend away from your family while working. Instead, make sure the time you do spend with them is quality time.
    • Read to your children before bedtime.
    • Play games, sports, or toys with your children.
    • Teach them new skills, like how to prepare their favorite dish.
  3. Breathe. When you feel stressed, take a deep breath in. Breathing increases the oxygen that goes to your brain and creates a state of calmness. Intentionally taking deep breaths diverts your attention to your body and away from the situation causing you stress.
  4. Optimize your family’s time. Is there a way you and your family can plan to have more quality time together? Even if it might feel like the tasks never end, small changes can make big improvements. If everyone commits to coming together to do family activities at a specified time, you can create a mental separation between your work time and your family time.
  5. Ask for support. If you feel overwhelmed, turn to your partner, family, or a friend and ask for help. The help might be as simple as listening or taking care of the children for one afternoon. You can also hire various professional services that can be a life-saver to work from home parents.
  6. Think about the priorities in your life. If quality time with your children is most important to you, think about whether or not you actually treat it as a priority. If building your business is most important at this stage of your life, think about how you treat your work and if it’s really being prioritized.
  7. Learn to identify things that are not actually urgent. Sometimes we create urgency in our minds. What things can be set aside for a later date? Don’t confuse this with procrastination. The best way to “set aside” other things without just procrastinating is to add things to your calendar to do in the future. That way you have the peace of mind that those tasks will be completed, without having to get it all done right now.
  8. Exercise. Although it may feel difficult to integrate exercise into your busy schedule, physical activity can rejuvenate your body and mind. Even just being outdoors helps clear your thoughts. If you don’t know how to integrate exercise into your schedule, start by turning exercise into a family activity.
    • Schedule daily walks with your family.
    • Plan a daily lunch break and take your children to the park.
    • Take your family to a Zumba or dance class.
    • Pick up an active family activity like cycling or hiking.
  9. Identify your triggers. Being a work from home parent, you probably have different triggers than those who work out of the home. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think about what triggers different emotions. What annoys you? What makes you feel anxious? When do you notice yourself getting angry? Identifying your triggers is the first step to managing the way you react to these moments. Once you do that, you can start to utilize many different methods to avoid those triggers or move past them entirely.
  10. Set boundaries. What are some recurring situations in life that unnecessarily stress you out? Think about things you need in order to be happy. Maybe you feel stressed because you receive work calls when you spend dinner with your family. Alternatively, maybe you notice you are not receiving enough time alone.
    • Set boundaries with the people around you by communicating what you need.
    • Use technology to your advantage here by using things like the automated “do not disturb” mode on your phone to keep calls from coming in at inopportune times.
    • Separate your work and personal phone numbers by utilizing Google Voice for your business phone number.

The demands of work from home parents are strong. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and as if you’re not doing enough – especially when you want to give everyone around you your world.

Taking the steps to manage your stress will help not just you, but also the ones around you. By being open with the people around you about how you feel and what you need, you will ultimately be able to give more.

 

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Improve Your Performance Through the Magic of Social Facilitation

Social facilitation is a fancy term for the tendency to perform better when we’re working alongside others or just being watched. It’s so basic that even bugs do it. Learn how the presence of others affects your behavior and harness that power to improve your performance and do everything better.

General Principles Related To Social Facilitation

Try these tips to use social facilitation to your advantage:

  1. Engage in friendly comparisons. Studies show cyclists pedal faster when they bike together. It’s natural to try to keep up with the person next to you or exceed their output.
  2. Focus on effort. Observing the accomplishments of others inspires us to see new possibilities. We can see that success is based on hard work rather than being a matter of luck or a special talent.
  3. Surround yourself with reminders. There’s a good reason why many workplaces put up a list of top employees or sales figures.
    • Give yourself something to strive for by noting the benchmarks you want to surpass.
  4. Capitalize on good moods. Social facilitation works best when we’re in good spirits. Hit the gym for an early morning yoga session or use these tips to energize your workday while at the office. You’ll feel more relaxed and happy.
  5. Visualize some company. If you’re on your own, you can still take advantage of the audience effect to improve your performance. For example, imagine experts are watching you and admiring your technique as you wash your car.
  6. Encourage attentiveness. Naturally, attentive audiences have more impact than those who are dozing off. Engage your audience and be an enthusiastic observer when your time comes to cheer others on.
  7. Promote accountability. It’s hard to tell if anyone is slacking off when a lot of people are moving one piece of heavy furniture. Build in ways to measure individual performance.
  8. Understand the opposite sex effect. Audiences of the opposite gender can sometimes inhibit performance if they make people nervous or distracted. Keep that in mind if the choir at your all girl’s school sounds off-key when they first venture out.
  9. Seek solitude for the tricky stuff. In contrast, we all tend to do better at new or complicated tasks when we can rehearse in private. Practice a new card trick before you show it to your friends. Work on your backhand in between tennis lessons.

Specific Applications of Social Facilitation:

  1. Work in teams. Many workplaces encourage employees to work in teams. You can also take the initiative to ask your supervisor to let you take over the conference room to assemble meeting materials or other group tasks.
  2. Give your laptop an afternoon out. Coffee shops and libraries are usually full of people who find they get more work done in public than if they lounge around at home.
    • Even strangers can help each other out just by congregating in one place.
  3. Find a fitness buddy. Enlist a family member or friend to help you stick to your exercise regimen and other healthy lifestyle habits.
    • We’re more likely to stay on track when someone else knows what we’re doing.
  4. Sign up for group activities. Almost anything that we do can be adapted for sharing with others. Put together a weekly poker night or basketball game. If you love to read, form a book club.
  5. Throw a party. It’s easy to feel isolated in a digital world. Stay in practice for socializing and cooperating with others. Accept more party invitations or throw your own. Work on your small talk and seek out opportunities to help others.

Put the power of social facilitation to work for you. Sharing activities promotes fun and productivity. It will be easier to improve your performance and accomplish your goals if you team up with others or just imagine you’re playing to an audience.

 

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How to Get Over Your Live Video Jitters

It’s a rare person who loves public speaking or appearing on video. If that’s you, you can stop reading right now. But if you’re among the (much larger) crowd who suffers sweaty palms, racing heart, and uncontrolled butterflies, and you’re letting these get in the way of your video marketing dreams, then read on.

Here’s the thing: We all get nervous. Even those who love public speaking and appear so natural on live video are often shaking on the inside. They’ve just found a way to deal with their fear and make it work for them.

Practice Makes Perfect

The first time you do anything, you’re likely to be nervous, especially if it’s a public performance. The only way to lessen the fear is to do it. And do it again. And again. And again.

That means not only should you practice your topic, webinar, or speech ahead of time, but you should also take to the stage – whether virtual or real – as often as you possibly can. Don’t pass up any opportunity to appear on live video, on podcasts, in a webinar, or on the stage.

And if you need a place to practice in a judgment-free zone, consider joining a group such as Toastmasters, where you can work to reduce your nervousness in front of a live audience.

No Pressure

Sometimes, the worst judgment comes from our own heads. Don’t let that voice lie to you. There really is no need to pressure yourself to perform or to be perfect, and there’s certainly no need to berate yourself for any small mistakes you make.

Instead, acknowledge that no one is perfect, that you’re doing your best, and that you’re improving with each and every live video or event – because you almost certainly are! Be nice to yourself, and recognize that there really is no need for perfection.

Just Be Yourself

Here’s the biggest hurdle we can face: trying to be someone we are not. We see professional news anchors, actors, and others who appear poised and polished on every video clip, and we think that’s how we have to appear.

That’s simply not true. Your audience wants to get to know you better, not the person you think you should be. So be your fun-loving, mistake-making, self-forgiving self. It will resonate so much better with your audience that everything else will be easier as a result.

Finding Your Inner Strength When the Going Gets Tough

Experiencing challenging phases in life can really test your mettle. When you encounter those bumps in the road, how do you react? Are you able to deal effectively with these challenges without going to pieces? Could you use some help in finding your inner strength?

Try these ideas to tap into your personal reserves whenever the going gets tough:

  1. Take some time to ponder the present dilemma. What do you see as the real issue? Are you making a mountain out of a mole-hill? How can you focus your efforts on the current event that’s troubling you?
  2. Acknowledge your fears about the vexing situation. Before you can show resilience to move forward, it’s important to recognize any fears that have a bearing on your current circumstances. Ignoring them will only serve to thwart you from confronting the issue.
  3. Consider every option. Writing down your options for overcoming your challenge will help you see the situation from all angles.
  • Brainstorming as many solutions as you can is a great start to finding a workable option.
  • Be open-minded. Sometimes you have to remind yourself to not automatically screen out possible solutions to a sticky wicket. Every viable possibility should be considered.
  • Considering every possible solution indicates you have the resilience to succeed.
  1. Approach the challenge with positivity. It may sound over-simplified, but you can either approach a stumbling block thinking, “I don’t think I’m going to survive it” or “I’m going to do my best and make my way through this situation.” Taking a positive outlook will compel you to move forward through the crisis. Be optimistic!
  2. Avoid looking too far ahead. Focus on what’s going on in this moment. Sometimes, it helps to make it through 1 hour at a time.
  • Concentrate your energy on what you can do in the here and now.
  1. Draw from your religious faith to help you through. Spirituality regularly assists millions of people to live consistently healthy, happy lives. Perhaps finding faith would bring you the inner strength you desire.
  2. Seek emotional support from those you love. Any troubling event is easier to navigate through when you feel the love and support from someone close to you. Bolster your “resilience reserves” by getting a little help from your friends and family members.
  • Although it might be difficult for you to reach out and say, “I’m struggling,” look at it this way: your loved ones will feel better if you give them opportunities to be there for you. Accept the loving and supportive care that your loved ones are so willing to provide. You’ll likely have a chance in the future to reciprocate.
  1. Soothe your spirit. What calms you down, makes you feel peace, and brings you simple joy? Take time to participate in your favorite activities to soothe your frayed emotions.
  • Taking a walk in the woods, swimming a few laps at the pool, or doing a handcraft or hobby at home can be some of the most self-soothing things you can do when you’re experiencing a tricky life phase.
  1. Embrace your strength. Remember that your strength has pulled you through many crises in the past. Have confidence that it can continue to bolster you through many more.

Life can be exhilarating, interesting, and challenging. When you encounter a block in your path, allow your resilience to shine through. These strategies can help you draw on your inner strength to live a meaningful, enriched existence, no matter what type of challenge you encounter.

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And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men; Colossians 3:23 AKJV