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.

Improve Without Stress

stress

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

I think that’s already happened to you. Do you put so much pressure on yourself to reach a goal that you fail ? And that’s very frustrating when we do personal development. When we put too much pressure on ourselves, we have negative effects. The goal of personal development is to become a better version of ourselves by being happier throughout our lives.

There is a very instructive story between Buddha and one of his disciple. This disciple asks to Buddha this question : « When I meditate, sometimes I put to much pressure on myself and it doesn’t work, I’m too stressed. And sometimes when I don’t put this pressure on myself, I’m not focus enough and I’m almost sleeping. What should I do ? ». Here is Buddha’s answer : « To practice meditation, you have to be like a zither rope. So that the rope make the right note, it must be neither too tight nor too relaxed, it must be exactly in the right range. It’s the same for meditation, you have to be neither too tense nor too relaxed to meditate in the most efficient way ».

Middle

balance

It’s funny because it’s the same principle with the guided meditation of Headspace . In several guided meditations, at a certain point, the person leading the meditation says : « From now on, you can let your mind do what it wants ». This allows you to relax yourself , to decompress to better concentrate later. But be careful, as Buddha said, if you don’t put pressure on yourself at all, you fall into the opposite extreme of laziness, lack of attention, and etc.

The answer is balance. It’s not easy to find the balance, but it’s very exciting to explore and experiment with it. Because it’s part of this trip that makes us better people.

It’s up to you experiment between : I’m too relaxed and I’m too stress. Seek the moment you progress to reach your goals and also where you enjoy life. Whenever you find the perfect tension, you’ll produce the perfect note.

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.

How To Reduce Stress (Part 2)

stress

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

If you didn’t read Part 1, click here

3rd step – organize yourself and communicate

organize yourself

 

Organize

Managing your schedule helps limit stress and to do that, here’s what you can do :

  • Prevent an additional 10 to 20 minutes on your travel times.

  • Make a list of priority tasks to do and not to do.

  • Identify bad habits, tasks to eliminate and tasks to delegate.

  • Automatize a maximum of tasks.

  • Focus on taks that immediately bring visible results

  • Avoid to scatter you.

  • Stop these time consuming habits like reading your emails as soon as they arrive of watching your smartphone as soon as there is a notification. Tamagochi  is a toy, not a lifestyle.

  • Do things in their time. Each task, even minimum, must be completed before moving on the next one. This method allows you to improve your concentration and the satisfaction of having completed a task is very motivating.

  • Pause during the day and cultivate your patience. In a situation where you have to wait, take the time to relax instead of sighing and complaining. For example in a queue for a counter, use that : Wait = relax and breathe deeply. Concentrate on yourself in a positive way and on the present moment.

Communicate

  • Stress is often born from the fact that we don’t know what our interlocutors expect from us. We can’t read people’s minds, so don’t hesitate to ask clearly what people expect of you. Dare to ask questions and create a direct communication. Banish your ego and think that you aren’t absolutely right. You can also avoid sensitive topics.

  • Say « no ». If you can’t render a service someone asks you because you have no time or no resources or you don’t want to take additional responsibilities, then explain that to your interlocutor. Your interlocutors will understand the situation and you will find an arrangement. It’s better to say « no » from the start than to force yourself to keep your commitments. With this attitude, you will avoid being overwhelmed.

4th step – turn away or adapt and accept

 

turn away

 

accept

 

  • Avoid the trigger elements of stress. Limit your contact with people who stress you. Be aware of your environment and control that. For example, use an alternative road to avoid traffic jams. Turn off TV to avoid listening to information that makes you anxious. If you did the analysis of 20% of sources that bring you 80% your stress, you know the people that you must see the minimum or eliminate them from your contacts.

  • Adjust yourself by being willing to compromise. Be assertive by adapting your requirements and avoiding perfectionism.

  • Reframe conflicts by analyzing the problem in a positive way. Look at good things and find benefits of the situation. Focus on positive elements.

  • Accept the trigger of stress and admit that you can’t control everything.

  • Looking for opportunities to improve yourself. Concentrate on what this stressful situation can teach you. Follow the principle of this quote : « What doesn’t kill you , make you stronger » and ask yourself these questions : « How can I get better with this experience ? What did I learn ? ».

  • Forgive. Accept that others make mistakes (because you also make mistakes) and try to evacuate any feeling of anger. When you free yourself from all this negative energy, it’s easy to resume your projects.

In summary « The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another » as William James said.

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

-Steph

How To Do Box Squat

box squat

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Box squat is often used by powerlifters to gain strength to do squat.

This exercise involves doing a squat sitting on a bench for 1-2 seconds and returning to the standing position .

In classic squat the tension accumulated in the muscles during the negative phase when you get down (as a stretched elastic ) and this tension restored during the positive phase when you get up. With box squat, sitting on the bench relaxed thighs muscle, there is not tension accumulated when you get down to be used when you get up.

For the same weight, quadriceps should provide more effort for box squat than classic squat. It’s a great exercise to target work on thighs.

This exercise can be included in a training program for people who have long legs and don’t feel their quadriceps work with classic squat.

box squat

Starting squat in sitting position allows push automatisms for the classic squat which has the effect of having the positive phase to get up faster and more powerful.

Attention : It’s necessary to be careful for this exercise in controlling the movement to get down to sit gently on the bench. If get down too fast, the butt crash on the bench and this can create serious trauma due to shock and excessive compression of spinal joints.

Note: There are special benches adaptable for different morphologies with a very padded seat to limit the risk of spinal injuries and the possibility of adjusting the height. To have a good execution of the movement, it’s necessary to have your back slightly incline. If your back is too vertical at start of the bench, the exercise will be impossible to do.

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