A Daily Journal Could Change Your Life: The 10-minute routine

A Daily Journal Could Change Your Life: The 10-minute routine

“Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.”  — Thomas Edison

Excerpted article was written by Benjamin P. Hardy

Here’s why.

10 minutes before going to sleep:

It’s common practice for many of the world’s most successful people to intentionally direct the workings of their subconscious mind while they’re sleeping.

How?

Take a few moments before you go to bed to meditate on and write down the things you’re trying to accomplish.

Ask yourself loads of questions related to that thing. In Edison’s words, make some “requests.” Write those questions and thoughts down on paper. The more specific the questions, the clearer your answers will be.

While you’re sleeping, your subconscious mind will get to work on those things.

10 minutes after waking up:

Research confirms the brain, specifically the prefrontal cortex, is most active and readily creative immediately following sleep. Your subconscious mind has been loosely mind-wandering while you slept, making contextual and temporal connections. Creativity, after all, is making connections between different parts of the brain.

In a recent interview with Tim Ferriss, Josh Waitzkin, former chess prodigy and tai chi world champion, explains his morning routine to tap into the subconscious breakthroughs and connections experienced while he was sleeping.

Unlike 80 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 44 who check their smartphones within 15 minutes of waking up, Waitzkin goes to a quiet place, does some meditation and grabs his journal.

In his journal, he thought-dumps for several minutes. Thus, rather than focusing on input like most people who check their notifications, Waitzkin’s focus is on output. This is how he taps into his higher realms of clarity, learning and creativity—what he calls, “crystallized intelligence.”

If you’re not an experienced journal writer, the idea of thought-dumping might be hard to implement. In my experience, it’s good to loosely direct your thought-dumping toward your goals.

Consider the requests you made of your subconscious just before going to bed. You asked yourself loads of questions. You thought about and wrote down the things you’re trying to accomplish.

Now first thing in the morning, when your creative brain is most attuned after its subconscious workout, start writing down whatever comes to mind about those things.

I often get ideas for articles I’m going to write while doing these thought-dumps. I get ideas about how I can be a better husband and father to my three foster children. I get clarity about the goals I believe I should be pursuing. I get insight about people I need to connect with, or how I can improve my current relationships.

To be sure, you’ll need to practice this skill. It might take several attempts before you become proficient. But with consistency, you can become fluent and automatic at achieving creative and intuitive bursts.

2. Journaling accelerates your ability to manifest your goals.

As part of your morning creative burst, use your journal to review and hone your daily to-do list. Review and hone your life vision and big-picture goals.

As you read and rewrite your goals daily, they’ll become forged into your subconscious mind. Eventually, your dreams and vision will consume your inner world and quickly become your physical reality.

3. Journaling creates a springboard for daily recovery.

People struggle drastically to detach from work. More now than ever, we fail to live presently. Our loved ones are lucky to experience a small percentage of our attention while they’re with us.

But utilizing your journal can curb this mismanagement. At the end of your workday, reopen your journal and review your to-do list from that day. If your morning journal session was excellent, you’ll have likely gotten everything done you intended to do. Private victories always precede public victories.

Journal sessions are your post-work reflection time. Account to yourself what you got done that day and what needs to be moved to tomorrow. Write the things you learned and experienced.

Lastly, direct your subconscious by writing about things you want to focus on tomorrow. As you put work behind you for the evening, your subconscious will be preparing a feast for you to consume during your next morning’s creative and planning session.

This end-of-day journal session doesn’t need to be as long as the morning session. Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism, recommends writing far less than you want to—only a few sentences or paragraphs at most. This will help you avoid burnout.

A primary objective of this session is to mentally turn off work mode. Just as in physical training, you need to rest and recover between workdays to get stronger.

Use this session to completely unplug and detach from work. This is your time to recover and be present with your loved ones—because there is more to life than work. The higher quality your recovery, the more potent and powerful your creative sessions will be.

4. Journaling generates clarity and congruence.

This keystone habit has so much power. By journaling in the morning and evening, you’ll quickly see what is incongruent in your life.

You’ll clearly see what needs to be removed and what should be included in your life. Journaling is a beautiful and powerful facilitator of self-discovery. My own journaling is how I’ve come to form my sense of identity and path in life.

Not only will you have more clarity about your path in life, but journaling improves your ability to make small and large decisions along the way.

On the pages of your journal will be the future world you are creating for yourself. You are the author of your life’s story. You deserve to be happy. You have the power to create whatever life you want. As the designer of your world, get as detailed as you desire.

5. Journaling clears your emotions.

Several research studies found that writing in your journal reduces stress. These benefits include:

  • Reducing scatter in your life
  • Increased focus
  • Greater stability
  • Deeper level of learning, order, action and release
  • Holding thoughts still so they can be changed and integrated
  • Releasing pent-up thoughts and emotions
  • Empowerment
  • Bridging inner thinking with outer events
  • Detaching and letting go of the past
  • Allowing you to re-experience the past with today’s adult mind

When you are in an intensely emotional mood, journaling can help you more fully experience and understand those emotions.

After you’ve vented on the pages of your journal, you’ll quickly find a release. Objectivity will return and you’ll be able to move forward.

Without a journal, intense emotional experiences can be crippling for hours, days and even years. But an honest and inspired journal session can be the best form of therapy—quickly returning you better and smarter than you were before.

6. Journaling ingrains your learning.

Humans are bad at retaining information. We forget most of what we read and hear. However, when you write down the things you’ve learned, you retain them far better. Even if you never reread what you’ve written, the simple act of writing something down increases brain development and memory.

Neurologically, when you listen to something, a different part of your brain is engaged than when you write it down. Memory recorded by listening does not discriminate important from unimportant information. Writing creates spatial regions between important and unimportant pieces of information, which allows your memory to target and engrain the important stuff you want to remember.

Furthermore, the act of writing allows your subconscious mind to work out problems in unique ways, intensifying the learning process. You’ll be able to work out problems and get insight while you ponder and write about the things you’re learning.

7. Journaling increases your gratitude.

Even if you start a journal session in a bad mood, the insight writing brings has a subtle way of shifting your mind toward gratitude.

When you start writing what you’re grateful for, new chambers of thought open in the palace of your mind. You’ll often need to put your pen down and take a few breaths. You’ll be captivated not only by the amazing things in your life, but by the awe and brilliance of life in general.

As part of your morning and post-work journaling sessions, be sure to include some gratitude in your writing. It will change your life orientation from scarcity to abundance. The world will increasingly “become your oyster.”

Gratitude journaling is a scientifically proven way to overcome several psychological challenges. The benefits are seemingly endless. Here are just a few:

8. Journaling unfolds the writer in you.

I became a writer through journaling. While I was on a mission-trip, I wrote in my journal for one to two hours per day. I got lost in flow and fell in love with the writing process.

If you want to become a writer one day, start by journaling. Journaling can help you:

  • Develop strong writing habits.
  • Help you discover your voice.
  • Clear your mind and crystalizes your ideas.
  • Get closer to the 10,000 hours Malcom Gladwell says are required to become world-class at what you do.
  • Produce gems you could use in your other writing.

9. Journaling records your life history.

I started journaling in 2008 after reading an article about the importance of journal writing. In the article, the author described how much journaling had changed her life. She said after all these years, she now has 38 recorded volumes of personal and family history.

After finishing that article, I have never stopped writing in my journal. In my family room on a bookshelf are 20-plus journals filled with my thoughts and experiences. I’m certain they will be cherished by my ancestors as I’ve cherished the writing of my loved ones who have passed on.

This post originally appeared on BenjaminHardy.com.

 

How to motivate your team

How to motivate your team

Mind Tools

What do you think motivates your people to come to work each morning?

These assumptions about your team members can have a significant influence on how you manage them.

In the 1960s, social psychologist Douglas McGregor developed two contrasting theories that explained how managers’ beliefs about what motivates their people can affect their management style. He labelled these Theory X and Theory Y. These theories continue to be important even today.

This article will explore McGregor’s theory further, and we’ll look at how it applies in the workplace.

Understanding Theory X and Theory Y

Theory X and Theory Y were first explained by McGregor in his book, ‘The Human Side of Enterprise,’ and they refer to two styles of management – authoritarian (Theory X) and participative (Theory Y).

If you believe that your team members dislike their work and have little motivation, then, according to McGregor, you’ll likely use an authoritarian style of management. This approach is very “hands-on” and usually involves micromanaging people’s work to ensure that it gets done properly. McGregor called this Theory X.

On the other hand, if you believe that your people take pride in their work and see it as a challenge , then you’ll more likely adopt a participative management style. Managers who use this approach trust their people to take ownership of their work and do it effectively by themselves. McGregor called this Theory Y.

The approach that you take will have a significant impact on your ability to motivate your team members. So, it’s important to understand how your perceptions of what motivates them can shape your management style.

We’ll now take a more in-depth look at the two different theories, and discover how and when they can be useful in the workplace.

Theory X

Theory X managers tend to take a pessimistic view of their people, and assume that they are naturally unmotivated and dislike work. As a result, they think that team members need to be prompted, rewarded or punished constantly to make sure that they complete their tasks.

Work in organizations that are managed like this can be repetitive, and people are often motivated with a “carrot and stick” approach. Performance appraisals and remuneration are usually based on tangible results, such as sales figures or product output, and are used to control staff and “keep tabs” on them.

This style of management assumes that workers:

  • Dislike their work.
  • Avoid responsibility and need constant direction.
  • Have to be controlled, forced and threatened to deliver work.
  • Need to be supervised at every step.
  • Have no incentive to work or ambition, and therefore need to be enticed by rewards to achieve goals.

According to McGregor, organizations with a Theory X approach tend to have several tiers of managers and supervisors to oversee and direct workers. Authority is rarely delegated, and control remains firmly centralized. Managers are more authoritarian and actively intervene to get things done.

Although Theory X management has largely fallen out of fashion in recent times, big organizations may find that adopting it is unavoidable due to the sheer number of people that they employ and the tight deadlines that they have to meet.

Theory Y

Theory Y managers have an optimistic, positive opinion of their people, and they use a decentralized, participative management style. This encourages a more collaborative , trust-based relationship between managers and their team members.

People have greater responsibility, and managers encourage them to develop their skills and suggest improvements. Appraisals are regular but, unlike in Theory X organizations, they are used to encourage open communication rather than control staff.

Theory Y organizations also give employees frequent opportunities for promotion.

This style of management assumes that workers are:

  • Happy to work on their own initiative.
  • More involved in decision making.
  • Self-motivated to complete their tasks.
  • Enjoy taking ownership of their work.
  • Seek and accept responsibility, and need little direction.
  • View work as fulfilling and challenging.
  • Solve problems creatively and imaginatively.

Theory Y has become more popular among organizations. This reflects workers’ increasing desire for more meaningful careers that provide them with more than just money.

It’s also viewed by McGregor as superior to Theory X, which, he says, reduces workers to “cogs in a machine,” and likely demotivates people in the long term.

Theory X and Theory Y in the Workplace

Most managers will likely use a mixture of Theory X and Theory Y. You may, however, find that you naturally favor one over the other. You might, for instance, have a tendency to micromanage or, conversely, you may prefer to take a more hands-off approach.

Although both styles of management can motivate people, the success of each will largely depend on your team’s needs and wants and your organizational objectives.

You may use a Theory X style of management for new starters who will likely need a lot of guidance, or in a situation that requires you to take control such as a crisis.

But you wouldn’t use it when managing a team of experts, who are used to working under their own initiative, and need little direction. If you did, it would likely have a demotivating effect and may even damage your relationship with them.

However, both theories have their challenges. The restrictive nature of Theory X, for instance, could cause people to become demotivated and non-cooperative if your approach is too strict. This may lead to high staff turnover and could damage your reputation in the long term.

Conversely, if you adopt a Theory Y approach that gives people too much freedom, it may allow them to stray from their key objectives or lose focus. Less-motivated individuals may also take advantage of this more relaxed working environment by shirking their work.

If this happens, you may need to take back some control to ensure that everyone meets their team and organizational goals.

Circumstance can also affect your management style. Theory X, for instance, is generally more prevalent in larger organizations, or in teams where work can be repetitive and target-driven.

In these cases, people are unlikely to find reward or fulfillment in their work, so a “carrot and stick” approach will tend to be more successful in motivating them than a Theory Y approach.

In contrast, Theory Y tends to be favored by organizations that have a flatter structure, and where people at the lower levels are involved in decision making and have some responsibility.

“A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.”

~ Earl Wilson ~

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Three things to keep in mind about your reputation

Three things to keep in mind about your reputation

Excerpted article By Seth Godin on September 20, 2016

  1. Your reputation has as much impact on your life as what you actually do.
  2. Early assumptions about you are sticky and are difficult to change.
  3. The single best way to maintain your reputation is to do things you’re proud of. Gaming goes only so far.

In a connection economy, what other people think about you, their expectations of you, the promises they believe you make—this is your brand. It’s easy to imagine that good work is its own reward, but good work is only of maximum value when people get your reputation right, and they usually get that from others, not directly from you.

It’s logical, then, to care about how your reputation is formed. But it’s dangerous, I think, to decide that it’s worth spending a lot of time gaming the system, to consistently work hard to make your reputation better than you actually are.

There is one exception: The most important step you can take when entering a new circle, a new field or a new network is to take vivid steps to establish a reputation. This is the new kid who stands up to a bully the first day of school, or a musician who holds off on a first single until she’s got something to say. They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, but what most people do is make no impression at all.

That reputation needs to be one you can live with for the long haul, because you’ll need to.

As the social networks make it more and more difficult for people to have a significant gap between reputation and reality (hence gossip), the single best strategy appears to be as you are, or more accurately, to live the life you’ve taught people to expect from you.

Your reputation isn’t merely based on your work, it’s often the result of biases and expectations that existed before you even showed up. That’s not fair but it’s certainly true. Now that we see that the structures exist, each of us has the ability to over-invest in activities and behaviors that maximize how we’ll be seen by others before we arrive.

Be your reputation, early and often, and you’re more likely to have a reputation you’re glad to own.

Small And Midsize Businesses Sound Off On Hiring

MENLO PARK, Calif., March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Building a successful business depends largely on hiring the right people. But as small and midsize firms expand, how strong is their hiring process? A new survey from global staffing firm Robert Half aimed to find out. Among the results:

  • Nearly half (49 percent) said most hiring managers underestimate the complexity of the hiring process.
  • Sixty-five percent cited problems with their hiring process.
  • A strong majority (81 percent) said their companies have made a bad hire.

View an infographic of the survey findings.

Robert Half’s Small and Midsize Business Hiring survey explores perspectives of business owners and managers related to a variety of hiring issues. More than 1,000 business owners and human resources managers of United States firms ranging from one to 499 employees were surveyed by an independent research firm to gather relevant data.

Several factors complicate hiring in smaller organizations, according to Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. “Some firms lack dedicated recruiting staff or a human resources function altogether,” he said. “Multiple demands on a business owner’s time also can pull attention away from recruiting and cause it to fall to the last priority.”

Numerous Costs of a Bad Hire
Business owners noted many negative impacts of making the wrong hire:

  • On average, respondents estimated 45 hours were wasted on hiring and onboarding people who ultimately did not work out.
  • More than half (53 percent) reported increased stress on the team that worked with the bad hire.
  • One in five (20 percent) cited decreased confidence in the managers’ ability to make good hiring decisions.

Delays to Correct Mistakes
The research also found that while a bad hire could be identified rather quickly, correcting the mistake took longer.

  • Fifty-eight percent of small business owners said it took less than a month to realize they made a bad hiring decision; however, it took more than twice that time on average (8.8 weeks) to let the person go.
  • Nearly five more weeks passed before a replacement started working, with 68 percent of businesses putting the workload on existing staff during this time.

Minimizing the Risks and Costs of a Bad Hire
The survey results indicate several ways businesses can address deficiencies with their hiring process and minimize risks of making a bad hire.

  • Branch out – Fifty-eight percent of respondents said the best new hires come from referrals, including employees, friends, recruiters and others in their network. Go beyond posting job openings and hoping the right person will apply. Among the respondents who use recruiters, 76 percent said a recruiter was able to find a candidate they wouldn’t have found on their own.
  • Delegate – Forty-five percent of owners noted that the most challenging hiring step is evaluating candidates based on their skills and potential fit; 26 percent admit it takes them too long to fill open roles. Delegating these duties to an outside resource can cut hiring timelines and save money: Forty-three percent said working with a recruiter saved the firm time because the recruiter did most of the work; 36 percent also said they saved money by finding someone more quickly.
  • Get a guarantee – Thirty-two percent of businesses working with recruiters said they do so for the service guarantee. Ask recruiters about their placement success rates and what they offer if a new hire doesn’t stick.
  • Bridge the gap – Only 18 percent of respondents said they brought in temporary professionals to assist with heavy workloads while replacing bad hires. The right person can lift the burden from existing staff, keep projects moving and may be evaluated on the job for a potential full-time role.

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The company has 325 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at roberthalf.com.

SOURCE Robert Half

10 Common Writing Mistakes You’re Probably Making, According to Data From Millions of People

10 Common Writing Mistakes You’re Probably Making, According to Data From Millions of People

 

If you want to improve your writing, make sure you have the following right.

1. “Lets” and “let’s”

Lets is the third-person present form of the verb, let.

My mom lets me make my own decisions, as long as I keep her informed.

Let’s is a contraction of the words let and us.

Let’s go out to eat tonight.

2. “Awhile” and “a while”

According to Oxford, the single word awhile is an adverb meaning “for a short time,” and shouldn’t be confused with the noun use of a while, which means “a period of time.”

We can stand here awhile, but we stood there for a while.

3. “Affect” and “effect”

Affect is used primarily as a verb meaning “to influence or make a difference to.”

The environment was beginning to affect my health.

The effect, on the other hand, is used both as a noun and a verb. It means “a result” as a noun, or “to bring about” as a verb.

She knew the effect her voice had on others. (noun)

The new manager hoped to effect change in her department. (verb)

4. “Each other’s” and “each other”

Each other’s is the possessive form of each other.

We checked each other’s work.

Each others and each others’ are both incorrect.

5. “Years’ experience” and “years experience.”

Years’ experience is a possessive form meaning years of experience.

This position requires a minimum of five years’ experience.

Years experience is incorrect.

6. “A” and “an”

Most English speakers know this one, but it’s still a common writing mistake:

You use a as the article before a noun that begins with a consonant (or consonant sound).

My dad bought a new car yesterday.

In contrast, an comes before a noun that begins with a vowel (or vowel sound).

Would you like an apple?

7. “Everyday” and “every day”

Every day is an adjective meaning “encountered or used routinely, typically, or daily; commonplace.”

He grew tired of everyday chores, like cleaning his room and taking out the garbage.

In contrast, according to Grammarist, “in the two-word phrase every day, the adjective every modifies the noun day,” and the phrase usually functions as an adverb.

The new intern is excited to go to work every day.

8. “You” and “your”

You probably wouldn’t make this mistake when speaking, but it’s common when writing.

For clarity, you is the second-person pronoun and is used to refer to the person (or people) that the speaker is addressing.

I love you.

Your is the possessive form of you.

What’s your name?

Of course, also be careful not to mistakenly use you’re, which is the contraction of the words you and are.

You’re going to the party tonight, aren’t you?

9. “Advice” and “advise”

Advice is a noun meaning a suggestion, a recommendation, or guidance.

Do you have any advice for me?

Advise is a verb meaning to offer a suggestion or recommendation.

I advised you not to go that route.

10. “Its” and “it’s”

It’s is the possessive form of the pronoun it, meaning “belonging to or associated with a thing previously mentioned or easily identified.”

The sour cream is past its expiration date.

It’s is a contraction of the words it is, or it has.

It’s a beautiful day today.

Read the full article here.
This content was originally published by Inc Magazine. Original publishers retain all rights. It appears here for a limited time before automated archiving.

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