Tips To Be More Productive

productivity, growth, increase, income

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

You know, sometimes I worked all day like crazy and at the end of the day, I felt like I haven’t progressed. Maybe you have already experienced this? That’s why I’m always learning new things to be as productive as possible. There are 2 books that help improve productivity and time management, it’s “Getting Things Done” and “Cut To The Chase” .

Here are tips from these 2 books to improve all this.

If a task can be done in less than 2 minutes, do it right away

Immediately make a task that requires less than 2 minutes has several benefits:

  1. Adding a task on your To-do list requires less than 2 minutes, it’s the same number of minutes as for a task that can be done right away.
  2. It’s more efficient to add the task that require more than 2 minutes on the To-do list, otherwise this list will be endless and unmanageable.
  3. Don’t make a task that requires less than 2 minutes right away can have disproportionate consequences in relation to the time needed to achieve it (like sending a confirmation or cancellation message).

So remember, if this task takes less than 2 minutes, do it now.

Warning

Sometimes you have to plan moments to focus only on a task or an important project. These specific moments shouldn’t be interrupted, even by a task than requires less than 2 minutes.

Try it so you don’t have any insomnia

Insomnia reduce productivity. Often the source of insomnia is malaise, bad mood, stress, poor sleep hygiene, etc. Insomnia can have serious consequences in the relation with others and can also cause road accidents, drowsiness, memory loss, absenteeism and the list goes on.

For chronic insomnia, it’s advisable to see a doctor for treatment. For transient insomnia (up to 3 months), there is an tip to free your spirit of thoughts that obsesses you.

Put a paper and a pen next to your bed. When you have a thought that obsesses you, you write it on the paper and beside you write the action you have to do to erase this thought.

Here is 2 example:

  • If the thought is: “I have to send a quote to this client”. You note on the paper: “Client quote => Look for supplier prices”.
  • If the thought is: “I have to lose weight”, you note “Lose weight => Look for a personal trainer”.

As you write down your thoughts and the action you should take, you should feel more peaceful.

Have an attitude “Let’s go see”

Sometimes, going on the field can help you learn more than analyze data on your computer. So the next time there is a problem, go see for yourself on the field. This may allow you to have ideas for finding a solution more quickly.

Don’t use a foul language in the workplace

foul, language,

It may sound like grandparent’s advice but it’s common sense. When you use a foul language, you can offend a person without knowing it. A person who doesn’t feel offended in the workplace is a serene and productive person. An offended person doesn’t want to work and wants to find another job. Many entrepreneurs have lost talented people because of their foul language without knowing it.

Not using foul language avoids conflict and difficult situations to manage.

When you do something, ask yourself why you do it

Often we do things out of habit, without wondering if it’s worth doing. This can waste time and energy and it would be better to stop doing this task or delegate it.

So regularly, ask yourself this question: “What happens if I delete this task?”. If the answer is nothing, stop doing this task. If the answer is something else, look if you can delegate this task.

Do it

No matter what dream you have, do it realize in your life. Here is a quote from Goethe: “Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it”.

Close the loop

has anyone ever told you, “Well call you back if there’s a problem”. And 2 week later you have no news and you wonder if everything works well. I know there is this quote: “No news is good news” but it’s frustrating t be in uncertainty. When a person doesn’t close the loop, it leaves others waiting and this can complicate relations. Don’t be like these people, stay in touch to avoid complicated situations.

Don’t let your smartphone become your master

With new technologies, we can stay in touch 24h/24h. But that’s not a reason for every smartphone notifications to be a priority. Sometimes I see people, every time there is a notification, they take their smartphone as if it was the end of the world. No matter where they’re and no matter what they do.

Define time slots and limits for the use of new technologies. Turn them off when you need to be focused for a task or meeting. Let others know that you no longer look at your emails and messages after a certain hour or weekends.

With that, you create a clear border between the moment you work and your private moments. It allows you to destress.

Personally, I turned off the sound for notifications from my smartphone. It’s really cool to do that, I’m more serene.

Save your computer file regularly

There are 2 types of users:

  • Who often back up
  • Who don’t back up until the day they lose important data

Losing files on a job you’ve been working on for months is very annoying. So backup often and take advantage to make copies at different locations (such as an external hard drive). With Cloud, you also have access to Google Drive and Dropbox which are very effective. Better to save than not enough.

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

-Steph

Infopreneur

infopreneur, internet, information, product, laptop, entrepreneur,

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

I discovered what it was an infopreneur by reading Tim Ferriss‘s book « 4-Hour Workweek ». It was a book that was recommended in a personal development’s blog and this book has completely changed my way of seeing a « job ». This is definitely a point of view that we don’t learn at school, even at business school.

The profession of infopreneur is a very interesting profession and evolves all the time because of new technologies. In fact, if you don’t know, an infopreneur is a person who earns money on internet with information products. These information products aren’t news but they’re information to help people achieve a goal on a specific area.

What is special about this job is that we enable people to be more effective in things that are important to them and the result is that they’re happier.

Workplace

One of the advantage of this job is geographical freedom. The company is based on internet, which means that you only need a computer and an internet connection to work. There is no obligation to go to a workplace, you can work every day in a different place or in a different country as long as you have access to an internet connection. There are more and more jobs that allow you to have this freedom like programmer, virtual assistant, bookkeeper, data entry, copy writing, translator, travel agent, transcriber, etc.

It’s a profitable business because selling information on internet makes it easier to reach a large number of people with little money.

Distribution

internet company

Imagine how it was to sell a book before the invention of printing. Even if you had written the best book in the world, it was hard to live on it. Imagine, so that 2000 people can read your book, you needed 2000 handwritten copies of your book. Copying books was not a really cool job, so you can imagine how complicated it was. If you offer me a job that consists of copying 2000 books of 300 pages, I’ll answer you : « No, thanks !!! ».

With the invention of printing, authors started earning more mony because more people could read their books and that to increase later with the invention of copyrights.

With digital books (ebooks), it’s possible to sell 100 or 1 000 000 books without the huge costs of printing, distribution, storage and return management. There are still costs but they’re very low for the servers and the support (for example a client didn’t receive the email to download the ebook).

With internet, it give you the opportunity to manage the distribution of your information products yourself. Before internet, you had to have an appointment with a manager of a radio, television to reach as many people as possible. If this manager liked your work, you could have ads on radio, television but if this manager didn’t like your work, no ads.

Many talented people couldn’ have a great exposure to make known their talent because of these « Gatekeepers ». Internet allows you to no longer need to these gatekeepers to reach a large number of people.

If you want to know more, I advise you to read this article that I wrote. Click here .

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.

From Beginner To Become Your Own Personal Trainer (Part 1)

become your own pesonal trainer

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

Before to read this article, I advise you to read Find The Gym For Your Goals Part 1 et Part 2; Back To The Source Of Equipment Part 1 et Part 2; Back To The Source Of Human Strength Part 1 et Part 2.If you already read it, continue and have fun.

A strong body is a healthy body, you have heard this many times but it’s not easy to do. Starting a new workout can be intimidating. It’s, for this reason, a lot of people fail.

How you will train

gym training

To start, you have to find out what kind of strength training you want to do. It depends on the equipment and your goals. Here are several types of training programs :

Bodyweight

With a bodyweight training, you need little equipment (or not at all) and you can train everywhere (home, hotel, playground, workplace). As long as you have room to move, you can train.

If you like bodyweight training, take a pull-up bar and a set of gymnastics rings. If you’re really a beginner, an exercise band  can assist you in the movement like pull ups and dips.

If is that you can do bodyweight training without equipment, the disadvantage is that you need to constantly change exercises difficult to be sure to progress.

Dumbbells

Dumbbells are excellent for starting a workout with weight for several reasons.

First, gyms always have a good set of dumbbells. If you want to train at home, you can buy a set of adjustable dumbbells (that’s how I started in my bedroom).

The second reason is that dumbbells allow you to add a small amount of weight to do an exercise and exercise with dumbells are less intimidating that exercise with a barbell. For example, if you’re a beginner, starting with a 20kg (45lbs) barbell is a bit too much.

Dumbbells also allow you to work your symmetry and allow you to balance the strength of your right side and left side of your body. It’s ridiculous to have an arm or a leg extremely bigger and stronger as the other.

If you can’t finish a repetition, it’s easy to throw dumbbells on the floor compared to a barbell. For a beginner, it’s excellent for learning movements.

The disadvantage is that to evolve, you need to buy new dumbbells and this can be expensive. A gym membership is handy to avoid this problem.

Barbells

If your goal is to gain only strength, this is the recommended option. Barbell allows you to progress cleanly and quickly by adding a small amount of weight each week.

A barbell is really stable because you use your 2 hands instead of 1 hand for dumbbells so it’s easy to lift heavy (especially for the lower body like squat of deadlift). For exercises like the squat or the press, you can use the rack to load and unload weights safety.

The disadvantage is that to do this at home, you need to have a squat rack, a barbell, a bench and enough weight plates in your house or in your garage. A gym membership is handy to avoid this problem.

What’s the best way to train?

The barbell is optimal for gaining strength. Bodyweight training is good but you have to seriously motivate you to train at home.

Sometimes you have to adapt to the situation to be able to do your training. When I travel a bodyweight training is perfect if I don’t have access to a gym.

But the best workout is when you lift heavy. Nothing can replace squat, deadlift and body weight pull up.

There are also other ways to have a strength training like rock climbing, yoga or parkour.

Choose the program to follow

gym training program

Never go to the gym without having a plan. To get results, it’s necessary to have a plan to track your progress.

For to make a lot of progress, a beginner can have a full body program of 3 times a week with a day off between training days. Be sure that the program you choose matches your goals, A powerlifters will have a different training from a bodybuilder or an endurance athlete.

In my article Back To The Source Of Human Strength Part 1 and Part 2, I talk about numbers of repetitions and their goals :

  • Reps in the 1-5 range build super dense muscle and strength

  • Reps in the 6-12 range build a somewhat equal amount of muscular strength and muscular endurance.

  • Reps in the 12+ range build muscular endurance and size

Many beginner strength training programs say to do 5 sets of 5 repetitions to optimize progress to gain strength.

With a circuit or superset, you do a set of each exercise in an order and you repeat the process.

For example :

  • 20 bodyweight squat

  • 10 push ups

  • 20 walking lunges

  • 10 dumbell rows

  • 15 second plank

  • 30 jumping jacks

  • Repeat all these 5 times to do 5 sets

In traditional strength program, you do a complete set of an exercise, you rest and you do another set of the same exercise and so on.

For example :

  • 10 squat

  • Rest

  • 10 squat

  • Rest

  • 10 squat

  • Rest

  • 10 squat

  • Rest

  • 10 squat

  • Next exercise

If your goal is to be healthy and lose weight, you don’t need to focus on strength, a circuit (superset) is perfect.

This allows you to spend less time at the gym and to make up your high heart rate longer.

If your goal is to have more strength and have more muscle, choose a traditional strength training.

One important thing, your diet corresponds to 80-90 % of your success or failure. The quality of your diet will help you gain strength and lose fat.

When you choose a workout to develop your strength, be sure to increase the difficulty over time. To become stronger, you need to write a plan. This can be to do one more squat, lift 2kg (5lbs) more or do your circuit (superset) 10 seconds faster.

The main goal is to always be better than the last time, this is what ensures the continuity of being stronger and faster.

You can write your own training program or fortunately, there is a lot of excellent beginner program.

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

-Steph

Find The Gym For Your Goals (Part 1)

radar dragon ball

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

The gym can become an important part in your life. For this reason is important to choose your gym well otherwise you will become bitter.

It’s not necessary to train in a gym to gain strength or to have a good physical condition. You can do a bodyweight workout program at home (bedroom, garage or basement).

But if you really want an athletic body, you need to have equipment like barbells or dumbbells. It’s possible that you don’t have place or resources to create your home gym (like me), so the best option is to have a gym membership.

Discover really what you want

discover

Don’t do the mistake to have a gym membership in the closest gym to your home. Think about your goals.

Make a list of things you need in a gym and make the difference between « must have » and « would be nice to haves ».

Equipment

I wrote an article in 2 parts about this topic (click here link ). Imagine you have a workout program based on barbell, you need to check this :

  • Olympic barbell

  • Power rack (or at least a squat rack)

  • Dumbells up to 45-68kg (100-150lbs) or heavier if you want to do a dumbell training over barbell

  • Pullup bar/Dip station

  • Flat bench with racks for the bench press

Classes

Gyms offer free classes for their members like kickboxing, dance fitness, stationary bike or yoga. This is helpful for beginners, don’t hesitate to try one.

Amenities

Some gyms offer good anemities like child care, a zone only for women ( my sister came one time in my gym and she said that men stared at her too much) or dry cleaning.

An environment to be focus

For me the gym has an important part in my day. When I train at home, I know I’ll be bothered by my rommates. I find it easier to concentrate when I’m at the gym with my headphones. When I’m at the gym it’s « my time » to me, I’m in my bubble. Everything about home, school, work doesn’t exist. The only thing is important is my workout.

Coach

Gyms have coaches available to help you improve your technique or workout program. From time to time it’s pratical.

Rules

A « must have » rule can be you can bring your childen at gym. I don’t have children but it looks cool for people who have children. Some gyms don’t allow to do deadlift and have vibram  so check if rules match with what you want to do.

A gym membership can be a long-term commitment so look at these points :

  • If you do a workout program based on dumbbells like me, be sure that dumbbells up to 45-68kg (100-150lbs) or heavier

  • If you think you’ll do the Olympic lift, look for bumper plates and a gym that lets you drop the weight.

  • If you think you’ll try kickboxing or yoga later, check that the gym has this type of classes.

Budget

calculator

During my travels, I saw gym membership between $9.- and $365.- per month. In Europe, it’s on average EUR 50.- per month but it depends on the area where you live and the amenities offered.

It’s useless to take the most expensive price thinking that you’ll have everything you need in the gym (I already did this mistake). It’s for this reason I’m writing this article to help you to find the best gym at the best price according to your need.

Also think of the usual thing like the towel. Imagine you go to a gym that offer a towel’s service. You know it and you think it’s great, you don’t nee to bring your towel. One day, you go to train at the gym at lunch and the staff tell you that there is no more towels available. It’s annoying.

Apart from the equipement, there are services that are important to know if the gym offer them or not :

Events offer or trips with discounts. Imagine that the gym organizes a hiking trip and member pay only 20.-. I agree, it’s not an incredible discount but during the hiking trip you’ll able to meet people who work to improve their health like you.

A child care service during your workouts. It’s possible that you have to pay an extra of $20.- or $30.- per month. I don’t have children but it looks pratical.

Free classes including yoga that is great for relaxing muscles. I prefer Tai-Chi but there is no this class in gyms.

Location and hours

hour

Having a gym that is close to your house and your school/workplace is an interesting place.

By exemple, if you gym is close of your school/workplace, it’s cool. But the problem is that if you school/workplace is at a distance of 1 hour from you home, you’ll never train on weekends.

There is something I forgot to tell you in gym’s rules. There are gyms that close at 23h (11pm) and I know some gyms don’t allow their members to start their workout after 22:15 (10:15pm). If you work late in the night or during the night, it’s better to look for a gym open 24/7.

It’s important to choose a gym according to your willpower :

  • Imagine you want to train before you go to school/workplace. You do it because you want to train immediately to avoid not training all day or because when you wake up, you’re groggy and train give you energy for the whole day ?

  • Imagine you want to train after your school/workplace. You do it because you don’t have time to train during the day ? Be carefull because if you’re the type of person who is very tired after school/workplacle, you’ll find excuses to cancel your training. I meet everyday people like this.

An ideal location is to find a gym located between your home and your school/workplace. If you can do this, you’ll save time and money. I can’t do that but it’s really effective.

Note : It’s better to pay a little bit more for a gym that you use several times a week than pay less for a gym that you use from time to time. Don’t be fancy.

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

P.S. To read the Part 2, click here .

-Steph