Avoid Being Workaholic

workaholic, burn, out, office, computer, bone, skeleton

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched an Olivier Roland’s video and I learned some good stuff.

There is a trick to avoid being a workaholic that the majority of entrepreneurs don’t do. It’s to have a productive activity outside of work (because the company is based on a passion). If you’re not sure what a productive activity is, you can read this article I wrote. Click here ].

A lot of entrepreneurs are workaholics, which means that they’re work addicts. It’s not really a bad behavior, especially in the early years of the company because there are many new things to learn and few employees. But in the long term, it can block you to achieve the success you should have.

Workaholic

workaholic, burn, out, office, computer, phone, coffee

When I say « work addict », I don’t mean that a person is an addict like with cocaine, heroine, crystale methamphetamine, etc. We, human beings, are afraid of emptiness. This is very well explained in the Tim Ferriss book « 4-hour Workweek » . For example, you become more and more efficient using the 20/80 method (Pareto’s law) and you manage to earn 2 hours of free time per week. Now, what are you going to do with these 2 hours of free time ? Are you going to sit and count the insects ? No ! And as today more and more entrepreneurs have a laptop, they’ll continue to work on the laptop.

The problem of working during free time are :

  • Too much nose to the grindstone and do things that aren’t really useful. It prevents you from having peace of mind, serenity, being creative, decompressing, taking a step back, etc.
  • Work to work. For many people, consciously or unconsciously, if they don’t work, they’ll be bored. So they’ll do things that aren’t really useful to be busy. We can call it « intelligent procrastination ». With « intelligent procrastination » people around you see that you’re working but it’s not things that really make your company evolve. For example, spending 2 days choosing the font and colors of your website is « intelligent procrastination ».
  • In the long term doing things that are not really useful for the company’s evolution, will have negative effects. You’ll lose you serenity and have more stress. The symptoms of this state of mind are that you have the impression that everyone is stupid. At that moment, you have to take a holiday right away, otherwise you’ll have a burn-out.

I know it’s a little paradoxical because the first years of the company, you have to work as much as you can because there are lots of things to do and there is no budget to pay employees, but it’s important to have a productive activity to keep the balance in your life.

Usually when you start looking for an idea to start a company, you make a list of the things you like to do the most. This productive activity can be one of those things from the list that wasn’t used to create your company. This can be an activity such as flying a plane, kickboxing, meditation or something else that allows you to relax and forget about work.

Don’t hesitate to write this productive activity in the comment section and if you don’t know, make a list of things you like to do to get ideas.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Have Productive Hobbies

hobby, video, game, cook, music, soccer, fish, keyboard, medecine, astronomy, martial, art, paint, shopping, hike, bike, swim, sun, bath,

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched an Olivier Roland’s video and I learned some good stuff.

There are people who are named « High Achiever ». They’re people who have extraordinary results in their field. What’s interesting is that they all have a common pattern, they have a lot of productive hobbies. That’s not to say that they don’t have hobbies like watching videos, playing video games or partying, but it’s in small quantities.

Take the exemple of Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin. During an interview, he said that the hobby that had changed his life was sport. For him, the sport is fundamenal to improve the lifestyle but it’s not the case for all successful entrepreneurs. Steve Jobs wasn’t an athlete and he was successful.

Hobby

hobby, list, productive, unproductive

The question is : « What hobby is unproductive that you can replace with a productive hobby and relax ? ». A productive hobby is a hobby that allows you to reach your goals, improve your lifestyle and relax at the same time.

Decreasing your unproductive hobby by productive hobby is a task to be done slowly and gradually as for sport. This is the cumulative effect. If instead of eating a piece of pizza, you eat a salad every day, after few months, you’ll have a huge difference in your weight, your energy and your well-being.

When I started to replace unproductive hobby with productive hobby, I put pressure on myself not to play video games, watch videos on internet or party with my friends. After a few months, I wanted to stop everything, I saturated with personal development information and I felt like I had no more fun living. So to decrompress, I party for 1 week.

This is where I realized that you always have to have a balance. « High Achiever » also have unproductive hobby, the difference is that they don’t spend 4-6 hours to watch videos.

Have fun and be productive

nature, forest, africa
musical, instrument, music

An unproductive hobby is something that relaxes you but doesn’t bring you anything compared to your goals. In addition to the satisfaction that this unproductive hobby brings you, you feel guilty. It makes you nervous or even more stressed. Because of this frustration, you continue to do unproductive hobbies and you fall into an infernal spiral.

On the other hand, a productive hobby like sport, meditation, to read books interesting, to be in contact with the nature are hobbies which relax you, improve your lifestyle and allow you to reach your objectives. Scientific studies show that the 2 most creative activities are walking in nature and playing a musical instrument.

Make a list of unproductive hobbies that you do and replace them with productive hobbies. The idea is to reduce your unproductive hobby and increase your productive activities to help you achieve your goals.

Don’t hesitate to leave a comment and why not your hobbies list.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Trick To Have Really More Energy

energy

What’s up? This is The Stephane ANDRE !!! I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

Often, during the day, we have a loss of energy. There is a trick I learned at my first karate class when I was 6 years old- At each class, our Sensei (teacher) taught us how to breathe. There are 2 types of breaths :

Breathing with the upper body

This is the breathing that most people do. We can see when a person breathes from the top of the body because the shoulders rise for each inhalation. This type of breathing is not good because it reduces the energy and well-being.

Diaphragmatic (abdominal ) breathing

diaphragmatic breathing

It’s diaphragmatic breathing. For simplicity, it’s abdominal breathing. This type of deep breathing helps to calm down. These also improve your well-being, increase your performance and energy.

There are several scientific studies show the beneficial effects of diaphragmatic breathing. Scientific study Aa , Bb , Cc , Dd , Ee . Athletes, singers, public speakers and people who practice meditation and yoga use it.

Try during these next days to identify what type of breathing you do. You can put a reminder on your smartphone to help you to practice it. It takes several days to create this new habit. The principle is that every time you realize that you’re breathing from the top, change it. Use abdominal breathing. You’ll notice that you feel much better with a better state of mind.

The idea is that you’re more used to breathing with the diaphragm to have more energy in the day.

More

If you want to know more about breathing, there is an excellent guide from Groom and Style. It explains:

  • Why people have improper breathing.
  • How proper breathing helps to manage stress.
  • The difference between mouth breathing and nasal breathing.
  • Four breathing techniques.
  • And more.

If you want to improve your breathing and your well-being, click here.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Techniques To Learn Quickly And Efficiently Based On Science (Part 2)

learn

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read the Part 1, click here .

Ok, this software used in the scientific study is not accessible for more than 80 % of the population but there are several software that can allow you to improve your intelligence like that used in the scientific study.

There is IQ Mindware. There is another one that is open source so free called Brain Workshop. These software are for people who really want to improve their intelligence because they are based on the principle of Dual n-back . It’s very difficult and it’s the only way to improve your intelligence.

The results of this scientific study showed that the maximum gains obtained with 20 minutes of training per day for 19 consecutive days. This is 10 % improvement with the 8 consecutive days of training and 44 % with 19 consecutive days of training.

Train your brain with IQ Mindware or Brain Workshop (I use this one) will allow you to improve your concentration and motivation. Everything you need to improve your ability to have successful projects.

Meditation

meditation

Meditation is excellent for improving your concentration. Before, I was often lost in my thoughts when I was doing a task and in the end, this task was done badly. Have you ever been lost in your thoughts when you were doing a task ?

Meditation is cool because you can do this in 5 minutes a day and you don’t need any equipment. You just need a little time and a quiet place. You see meditation is accessible to everyone and can be done by people of all religions or these who have no religion.

The goal of meditation is to train your concentration. That means to focus your attention on something specific. For example in bodybuilding, when you do the dumbbell curls, you fix your attention on your biceps. Meditation is a simple and effective way to become aware of your « parasitic thoughts ». These « parasitic thoughts » that make you no longer focused on your task and lost in your thoughts. When you realize that you’re lost in your thoughts, you can redirect your thoughts to be focus again on your task.

Scientific studies have discovered and are still discovering meditation’s benefits like an enormous reduction of stress, anxiety, anger, depression, immune system improvement, positive emotional improvement and a better attention. For people with hypertension, there is a decrease in blood pressure and an increase in longevity of 23 %. Scientists always find new benefits in meditation.

And

and

Meditation improves health AND also intelligence as ability to manage emotion, increase concentration, reduce attention problems, increase memory and visual processing capacity, improve learning ability and reduce your risk to multi-task. Doing multi-task ruin your productivity.

If you want to enjoy meditation’s benefits, you can start with a simple exercise without equipment today :

  • You sit comfortably in a quiet place. If you want you can sit in the lotus position but it’s not obligatory. You close your eyes and take 3 deep deep breaths to relax. Once you relaxed, you focus on your breathing. You focus on your inhalation and your exhalation and the goal is to concentrate as long as possible on your breathing

While you are going to think about your breathing, full of thoughts will come constantly and it’s normal. It’s destabilizing but there is a technique for your mind to be less distracted. The technique is to count the number of your inhalation and exhalation.

  • When you inhale, you count « 1 » in your head (don’t speak) and when you exhale, you count « 1 » then when you inhale, you count « 2 » and when you exhale, you count « 2 ». You do it from 1 to 10. When you’re 10, you count upside down from 10 to 0. When you realize that you’re lost in your thoughts and you’ve lost count of the number of breathing, you start again at « 0 ». You don’t give up until you’ve been able to count from 0 to 10 and 10 to 0 without interruption at least once.

You’ll see that many thoughts will come because it’s absolutely impossible to think of nothing. Don’t worry, it’s normal. As soon as you realize that you’re lost in your thoughts, come back to focus on your breathing without feeling any particular guilt.

Do this simple meditation 5 minutes a day will give you many benefits that I quoted in this article.

Scientific studies

scientific study

Here is a list of scientific studies concerning benefits meditation.

« A Randomized Controlled Trial Of Compassion Cultivation Training: Effects On Mindfulness, Affect, And Emotion Regulation », Hooria Jazaieri, 2013. Click here

« Initial results from a study of the effects of meditation on multitasking performance », David M. Levy, 2011. Click here.

« Effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy on neurophysiological correlates of performance monitoring in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder », Poppy L.A. Schoenberg, 2013. Click here.

« Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training », Fadel Zeidan, 2010. Click here.

« Buddha’s Brain: Neuroplasticity and Meditation », Richard J. Davidson, 2010. Click here

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Beginners Errors

beginners

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and there is good stuff.

Chasing the illusion

illusion

« This training shocks muscle », « it’s a training from army » or « this diet work without change what you usually eat ». You have already heard these slogans several times I think.

This type of advertising always encourages us to look for the last training program, last supplement, DVD,etc.

We’re happpy, we can have an athletic body in 3 weeks with a training program. We believe it but after 3 weeks, we have little result, we stop and we depress. It was an illusion.

All the year, be consistent and patient, this is the solution. 2 elements are enough to be healty : diet and exercices. Matrix’s companies sell us illusions like « this training program target the belly’s fat ». These illusions have as objectives to incite us to buy them and not to help us to be healthy.

Select a simple training program and use it all the year. I offer simple and free training programs for all body muscles. Test it.

Remember, the body need a maximum of 12 weeks to be accustommed to a new diet and a training program. Once your body is used to it, you have to wait several years to have an athletic body (3 years). Day after day your body improves but it’s first inside and after outside. Your internal organs have priority.

Emotion

emotion

Our emotions prevent us from being in good health. Do you don’t believe me ? Here some exemples :

  • I did my training session today, I can eat cookies
  • I eat a cookie just one time. It’s good, another one
  • It was hard today at work, I need to eat it

We need to learn to control our minds by associating positive emotions with exercices and healthy diet. It’s important because we can have some cases where we eat 1000 calories of cookies and we burn only 300 calories during a training session. These emotions These emotions make us make exceptions and if we do them more often, we risk doing no training and healthy meals in the week.

Do meditation and follow a personal development’s program are great to reprogram our minds.

Tips to start

  • Use calendar’s alert in your smartphone for your training session

  • Cook your healthy meals of the day ahead

  • When you’re hungry between meals, drink water

  • If you want watch TV, do bodyweight exercices before

Pleasure

pleasure

Often people think that do physical exercices isn’t fun. They imagine that to be in good health, it’s eat salad and run for hours or be on a bench surrounded by athletic people. This image is enough to discourage a lot of people.

I’m healthy and I don’t eat salad, I have my portion of vegetables. I run once a week and there is others way to do exercices like strenght training, gymnastics, frisbee, hike, etc. Find the physical activity you like. If you do a physical activity you don’t like, choose another. You need to have pleasure doing this physical activity. If you don’t have any idea, do a search on internet.

Bulk

bulk

Women say often « I don’t want lift weight because I don’t want bulk ». Then women avoid dumbbells and run for hours and do crunchs. And if they use dumbbells, they choose the lightest possible.

Women have this behavior because in a women’s magazine, they read that to have a « toned » body, it’s necessary to make high reps with lightweight.

A « toned » body is a word or term create by marketing specially for women. Women can’t bulk up by lifting weight. To bulk up, it’s necessary to eat more calories than the body burn them. The truth to have a « toned » body is that you have to use heavy strength training with low repetitions

The most articles write in magazines, it’s the Matrix to ruin your life. It’s lies and the proof is that women are still looking for an effective training progam. Look, my sister still doesn’t listen to my advice and 4 times a year, she changes her workout.

A strenght training is great to build compact (or « toned ») muscles. Test a strenght training for a month, do a picture before/after and I sure that your pant’s size will change. Test it one time with a healthy diet.

Action

I know a lot of people that read a hundred of documents about fitness/bodybuilding and they don’t do a sport activity. Theory without practice is useless except to show off in front of friends. Einstein to validate his theories had to test them on the field. I don’t know, may be they’re afraid to choose a bad training program and diet ?

If you want my opinion, start today. Select a training program and follow it. The truth is that there is no perfect training program. And the secret of a perfect training program is to use it and adjust it month after month. Here are the steps of the perfect training program :

  • Select a training programme

  • Follow this program for 8-12 weeks

  • Track your progress

  • Look how your body change

  • Make adjustments

  • Repeats all these steps to infinity

Which training program you had the least results with ?

-Steph

P.S. Do you want a free training program ? Click here 

Smartphone apps :

To track my calories, I use MyFitnessPal 

To track my training program, I use Jefit 

3 Things To Be More Productive

more productive

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and there is good stuff.

There 3 things to boost your productivity

Mirror

mirror

Have a mirror on your desk. Some scientific studies show when we have a mirror next to us, we have a greater probability to take good decisions to reach our goals. For exemple, if you want to lose weights, you will eat healthy foods rather than junk foods when you have a mirror in front of you.

In fact, we don’t know why it works but there is a theory like what we have more conscious of ourselves and we have more guilt and shame when we didn’t resist to a bad temptation.

Have a productivity system

productivity sytem

Like in every domains, there is methods more efficient than others to be more productive. It’s better to have a productivity system than noting, really. A productivity system is a way of organizing.

The most famous method is « Getting things done ». This book is a little bit complex but there is good stuff inside.

It’s possible to make a mix of serveral books about productivity system like « Zen to done ». This book is a simplifiction of « Getting things done ».

The concept is to have a Word files or another word processor with your goals of the week. These goals must be done this week. Then you set your most important tasks of the day, max. 3 per day. These tasks must be done at the end of the day. It means that if it’s 19h or 7pm and all tasks haven’t been done, I stay at work to do it. I stay because it’s the most important tasks of the day and these tasks help me to reach my goals of the week.

Have a Word file or a word processor file help you to see what are your priorities. When you determine your most important tasks of the day (the day before or in the morning), they must help you to reach your goals of the week. When everydays you do some tasks that help you to reach your goals of the week, it’s really really cool.

Once you have done your most important tasks of the day, you do the rest by trying to group them.

Take breaks

take a break

It’s useless to work 4 hours non-stop without take a break. This decrease your productivity. The ideal is to have a method like the « Pomodoro », it means tomato in italian. This called « Pomodoro » because it’s a kitchen timer. For 25 minutes of work, you have 5 minutes of break or for 50 minutes of work, you have 10 minutes of break.

All 4 « Pomodoro », around 2 hours, you will take a break of 20-30 minutes. During this break do a meditation or play a musical instrument or walk in the nature to get your head out of the work. Don’t use this moment to make phone call or check your emails. Do something really different of your work to back to work more productive on current tasks.

Do you have some tips to be more productive ?

-Steph

Muscle Memory

muscle memory

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and there is good stuff.

Muscle memory is an action execute with a lot of repetitions physically or mentally. The body will learn to execute this action more effectively using less brain power.

Your muscles don’t have brain but rather your brain learn to create a procedure list to execute tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible. The majority of the time you do these tasks in mode « procedure » of your brain and this become automatic. It’s like cache memory in your computer or smartphone.

When you play at the first time to a video game, you must learn how the controls work (and you’re really bad). You must learn to :

  • Look left and right

  • Use gun/sword

  • Jump and rolling

  • Move, avoid enemies

  • Attack, defend, cast spell

After several hours of gaming, your muscles begin to memorize. After several days or weeks, you do these things effortlessy.

  • Defeat a boss with combos, rolling, attacking, defending and spell casting.

Muscle memory isn’t only for video games. This helps for several things : driving, cut vegetables, play a musical instrument, etc.

When we decide to be healthy in the real life, this concept of « automatic response » is an important element.

Unfortunately, this can have bad effects :

  • If you spend several months to learn badly to do squat, it’s very difficult to stop this bad habit and relearn the squat in the right way.

  • If you learn to play a song in a bad way (or another activity), you learn to your body « it’s the good way to do it », even if it’s the bad way.

  • When you are busy at school/work and take candy and soda to manage stress, you brain will be train to say : »it’s the most effective way to be happy ».

We really talk about to build habit. Muscle memory can help us to understand how and why we failed in the past and how to do to change it

Muscle memory in the life

muscle memory

We’re creature of habits. The things we do everyday like the way we walk, the way we talk, the way we sleep (or not), things that make us happy or sad are the result of hundred and hundred of repetitions of these activites.

When we try to create new habits, it’s a lot, a lot of work.

For exemple, rather than going to McDonald’s, we must remember of :

  1. Go to the supermarket

  2. Take vegetables and chicken

  3. Go home and prepare vegetables

  4. Cook chicken

  5. Prepare the table

  6. Eat

If you don’t have these habits rooted in your brain, just read this list can be exhausting.

Look this exemple : rather than stay a home to watch the TV, we decided to learn squat :

  • Get under the barbell

  • Tighten the shoulder blades and place the bar correctly on the trapezoids.

  • Inhale deeply and go down

  • Knees lined up with toes

  • Explode back up with proper form

You saw these 2 cases, there is a lot of change !

Automatics things like going to McDonal’s or watch TV, come easy. We’ve always done them and thex require little effort. It’s like a second nature. The second part (new habits) require a lot of amount of effort (don’t worry, you can do it). I tell you, there can have barriers or closed doors the first few times but you must not give up.

After all these repetitions to have healthy habits, I can confirm that train and eat heatlthy is a second nature for me !

How to build

how to buid

In the Malcolm Gladwell’s book « Outliers » , he talk about the concept to master. In his research, he found the the most experts spend around 10 0000 hours to master their professions.

The most important is to not to spend 10 000 hours to practice. It’s to spend 10 000 hours to do the good practice.

Play the same song on piano in the wrong way during 10 000 hours will only allow you to play with eyes closed this song in the wrong way.

Work actively on your technique with a coach or a teacher to focus on imporving all aspects of playing the piano.

To build this muscle memory in our life, we don’t need to spend 10 000 hours of practice living healthy but we need to practice. Without do regulary a healthy activity, you will never feel your new healthy activity like a second nature.

You need to :

  • Take one or two new habits you want to create. No more !

  • Make things easy to do this activity. Minimize difficulties between you and this new life activity that you want build. Find a way to complete this activity using the minimum of willpower.

Exemple :

  1. Take one or two new memory : Rather than to completly change your training program to stop to use machine and start to use barbell/dumbbell, change just one exercice. Instead to do Leg Press, do squat. After 3 weeks when you feel good with squat, you can change another exercice.

  2. Minimize difficulties for the new activity : Do you want run every morning ? Sleep with your running clothes, put your alarm clock across the bedroom and put your running shoes next to the alarm clock. You are half ready, right ?

  3. Remove the need to remember what you need to do : I rename the alarm of my smartphone « Meditation ». When I wake up, my smartphone tell me to do my meditation.

  4. Eliminate the need to use the willpower : I spoke of willpower. We all know we need to eat healthy and do more exercice but we don’t do it. Then when we try to rewrite our DNA and our second nature, we must be strategic.

    If you are always tired after school/work and you miss your training, maybe is better to do your training in the morning before to go at school/work ?

    If you struggle with unhealthy foods during stress moments, do a « purge » and throw out unhealthy foods from your house. It’s harder to eat junk foods when you must go out to buy one.

    If you struggle to stop to pick foods from fast foods before you go home, change streets. Choice different streets to go home, streets without fast-foods.

The essence of all that has above is the practice. You train your brain/body as an integer to build healthy automatic habits.

Momentum is a powerful thing : If you can’t do all these healthy habits when you life become crazy. Take one or two healthy habits you can do and continue to practice. By this way, you don’t need to start back at square when your life will return to normal.

What new habits you want build and what tactics you use ?

-Steph

P.S. Do you want a free training program ? Click here