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How To Improve Your Productivity And Performance

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How To Improve Your Productivity And Performance

Jim Kwik is the founder of Kwik Learning, he is a world expert in speed-reading, memory improvement, brain performance, accelerated learning and productivity. For over two decades Jim has served as the mental coach to many top celebrities and CEOs.

Jim Kwik has dedicated his life to sharing his strategies and techniques to help people unleash their true genius and brainpower to learn faster and live a life of power, productivity and purpose. By following his techniques, you too can learn to improve your memory, learn to speed-read, increase your decision-making skills, and unleash your ‘superbrain’.

Throughout Jim Kwik’s career, he has shared his amazing techniques with students at universities such as NYU, Harvard, Columbia and Stanford. He has also worked with companies like Nike and GE and Zappos to help their executives and employees get the most out of work and life.

Jim Kwik has a fantastic collection of videos on YouTube. I hope that you will enjoy the productivity tips from Jim’s interview below. I wanted to share both the original video and the text transcript so that you don’t miss any of his powerful tips and strategies that can instantly improve your productivity.

How To Improve Your Productivity And Performance By Jim Kwik

The average person, I read, opens up Instagram 150 times a day. So if you’re not doing it that much, because I certainly am not, somebody else is doing it! So if you are picking up the phone the first thing in the morning, this is the challenge. First of all, there are these four primary brain wave states, beta is what you and I are in right now, we are awake, delta is when you are fast asleep. In between those two states, theta and alpha, are extremely important brainwave states for learning.

So theta is the state right in and out of sleep. Theta is the state that we call creativity. When you are at your most creative, usually it’s coming because you’re in this theta state of state, and you know this, when you’re in and out as sleep, or you are close to like you’re so deep, your mind goes and you come up with ideas. You know what puts you in that theta state are showers. Have you ever noticed like when you’re in the shower, you come up with some of your best ideas, because you’re in that brainwave state.

So a big part of my work is taking the invisible and making it visible. Like when I do these demonstrations, I always tell people that I do it because I want you to see that there’s a method behind the magic, that when somebody does something that’s extraordinary, in athletics, in education, in technology, with the human body, there’s always a trail, because genius leaves clues. And a lot of times these geniuses and I say genius, not like IQ, I mean people who excel back in their area of expertise they don’t know how they’re doing it, because they are unconscious about it, because they’ve been doing it, it’s second nature to them, since for so long. And so what I like to do is deconstruct that, and then show people how to learn it more quickly. But when you’re in this theta state … showers put you in that theta state, that’s why I took five showers this morning, just to prepare for this conversation. Above theta though, is the state called alpha. (Right below beta where you are most aware and awake). Alpha is a state of learning, accelerated learning, it’s the state of relaxed awareness. This is the state we go into when we meditate, because your critical mind is set aside, and you just absorb information unconsciously.

Remember, Recall, Retention

Do you know what puts you into an alpha state? Television. Have you ever noticed that if somebody is watching the game, or somebody’s watching their favorite TV show, and you are trying to have a conversation with them? They literally are in a trance, they don’t hear you, because of the television programming, which might be an interesting word, you know, ‘programming’ and putting people into a trance, but that’s the alpha state, that’s where information is just going inside your mind. So we train people how to learn languages faster, and learn facts better by putting them into an alpha state, a relaxed state of awareness. And we can do that by design. People don’t realize this, and this is the whole thing. I really think this should have been taught back in school, because school was a great place to learn what to learn: math, history, science, Spanish, important subjects on what to learn, but how many classes were on how to learn? How many classes were on how to think critically, how to make good decisions, how to solve problems, how to focus and concentrate, how to read faster, how to remember more, right? They teach you three Rs in school reading, writing, arithmetic, but what about remembering, what about recall, what about retention, right? Socrates says, “There is no learning without remembering”, and that’s really the basis of it all.

But I would say that, knowing you are in this alpha, theta state first thing in the morning, you are very suggestible, right? And if the first thing you are picking up is your phone, then that really is rewiring our brain, for two things, the danger is that it is going to really decrease your level of productivity and performance, number one, it’s training you to be distracted, every Like, Share, Comment, everything is just making you just pay attention to everything else and rewiring your brain, so when you’re having a conversation with somebody, you can’t even focus because you have trained your brain to do otherwise.

That is why mindfulness is so important, whether it is meditation or something else. I don’t meditate every single day just to be at peace and be in the Zen state. I do it because it’s a mental exercise, it improves my cognitive capabilities, meaning that when my mind goes somewhere else, that’s the opportunity, because when I pull it back with my breath or visualization, I build that muscle.

Taking Nouns And Turning Them Into Verbs

The basis of my work is really about taking nouns and turning them into verbs. So what do I mean by that? It’s like so many people, they wake up and say, “Oh, I hope I have energy today”, or “I have motivation today”, things that they have, right? I have creativity, so I could write today or make videos, or I have memory, or I have focus and concentration. Those aren’t things you have, those are things you do, and so you don’t have love, you do loving things. You don’t have energy, you do things that give you energy. Just like that applies, same thing with learning. You don’t have focus, there’s a process for doing focus. You don’t have a memory, there are steps to improve your memory, or to remember things better. Creativity is not something you have, there’s actually a process for creativity.

So you should never suffer from writer’s block or anything else like that, because that’s where if you don’t understand how you work, when I was talking about self awareness and understanding yourself, I think if somebody wants to improve their self esteem overnight, just study your brain, you’ll get a boost of confidence and pride instantly, because it is the most incredible … I don’t even know what to call it, a device, a supercomputer, or what, in the whole universe. It’s not just about going out to Mars and all these other places, I want to go in here (points to head), because this controls what? Everything, our careers, our income, our health, our relationships. You know, whether or not you get complete.

The Forgetting Curve

We were talking about this before our conversation here, when you’re training for Ironman and triathlons and everything else, is how much of it is mental? Like everyone knows what to do, but do they do what they know? Because common sense is not common practice, and it’s a myth that knowledge is power. Knowledge has the potential to be power, but it only becomes power when we use it, when we apply it. People think they should get points for buying books and sitting on the shelf, and it just sits there, and it becomes like shelf help, not self-help, right? Or somebody will go and learn something, or listen to a podcast, or a show, or they’ll go to a conference, they’ll pay all this money, but they don’t do anything with what they learn. And part of it also is because they forget it. Everyone knows there’s a learning curve, but there’s also a forgetting curve. Did you know, like the forgetting curve says that if you learn something once, within 48 hours, 80% of it is gone. So you listen to a show, you watch something on YouTube, you go to a conference, you read a book, within two days, the majority of it’s gone.That is why memory is so important.

So the first thing, don’t touch your phone, because it is training you to be distracted. The second thing it’s training you for, which is almost worse, is it’s training you, rewiring your brain to be reactive. Reactive, meaning that you’re in this relaxed state of awareness when you first wake up, you pick up your phone, you get one text with bad news, or one voicemail, or one email, and you know this, this has all happened to us, you’re in a bad mood for the rest of your day, because you’re so impressionable, you’re in that hypnotic state. And it affects you and you can never have a quality life, and be the best version of ourselves, be an elite mental performer, or high performer, when you’re responding and reacting to everybody else. My friend, Brendon Burchard says, “An inbox is nothing but a convenient organizational system for other people’s agenda for your life.”

How can you have vision for your life? I did a whole episode on my morning routine, like 10 things I do every morning to jumpstart my brain and I also have an evening one hour routine, to get into sleep, to maximize my sleep, because sleep is so very important to be able to do. But one of the processes I do besides, you know, blackout curtains and cold and temperatures and breath and stuff, meditation, is I don’t touch a screen, because it creates blue light, and most people should know this, the screen on your laptop, your phone, everything else, emits this blue light, which inhibits the melatonin production, which helps you to relax and go to sleep, so no screens. But the other thing I do is, I write down to three things I want to accomplish the next day personally, and the other three are professionally. So now when I wake up, I have a vision for my life. Like this is a win today, if I just get these three things done personally, and three things professionally.

Be a Thermostat, Not a Thermometer

When it comes to my phone, I don’t touch my phone until I get at least one thing done, and that’s my test, if I could just do that. And it’s not always perfect, but it’s about progress, right? Because practice makes progress, right? And there’s never going to be a perfect, and I think people need to find what works for them. But I would say again, to step out, trust yourself as the expert instead of somebody else and test it, you know, maybe for one week, keep your phone outside your bedroom for just one week, and don’t touch it for the first hour a day, and spend the first hour a day being a thermostat, not a thermometer.

Because a thermometer, what is its function? It reacts to the environment, and that’s a kind of crappy way to live, we react to environment, we react to the weather, we react to how clients treat us, we react, but to the degree we are happy, is that we have the location of control inside. Right? All the studies show that the happiest people are the ones that feel like they have the control over their happiness, and not put it to somebody else, a person or a place or something going in the economy or politics or anything, right? So a thermometer reacts to the environment, but a thermostat is different. What does that function? It sets the environment, it sets a goal, it sets a temperature, and then the environment raises to it.

► I highly recommend checking out the wonderful Jim Kwik here: http://jimkwik.com/

► This video was uploaded with permission of the owner.
Thanks to LONDON REAL for this amazing interview
Subscribe to their channel! http://www.londonreal.tv

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How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

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How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

We live in a world where other people’s triumphs, successes, and even their vanity are constantly in our faces. Digital influencers and social media make it seem easy to look perfect and feel amazing all of the time. Even your friends and family members might appear to having more success, happiness and fun.

If you stop to think about it, you can probably list off a handful of people you have compared yourself to in the past last week. Maybe a co-worker got a promotion at work, or maybe your friend has just flown off on vacation. Maybe someone you have not seen in years posted a photo online that made you envious of their lifestyle. When you start comparing yourself to others, it is easy to lose your sense of self-esteem and self-worth. If you let your guard down, you can fall into the trap of chasing after other people’s lives and not appreciating who you are and what you have achieved.

Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “comparison is the thief of joy”. How true those words remain today – perhaps even more so!

How can you stop the endless scrolling, or looking at the lives of people you know and feeling like you’re somehow less important?

Let’s look at a few tips and techniques that can help you to stop comparing yourself to others.

Know Your Triggers

Maybe a co-worker getting a promotion doesn’t affect you, but a friend getting married does. You might be single or recently divorced. Or, maybe you have been in a relationship for a while but your partner doesn’t want to get married. As a result, you start comparing yourself and the things you want to what someone else has. The things that cause you to compare are your “triggers”. Sometimes, you might not care whether someone has more than you, but other times it can really sting and make you feel low.

Understanding your triggers and accepting them will make it easier to stop making those comparisons. First, you can avoid triggers as much as possible until they do not impact you as much. Maybe cut down on your social media usage. Do you pick up your phone out of habit and constantly refresh your Instagram feed? Perhaps get into the habit of keeping your phone out of reach and taking a social media fast from time to time. As you work on that, try to think about why comparing yourself in those specific situations is a waste of time. Once you convince yourself that it is “no big deal,” you are less likely to be triggered.

Remind Yourself That It May Not Be Real

Because of the social media-saturated world that we live in, it is easy for everyone to make their lives seem better than they are. No one is going to post a photo that doesn’t paint them in a positive light. Even in the real world, everything is not always what it seems. Your friend getting married? Maybe they are struggling with something else, like a health condition or money troubles. That co-worker that seems to get all the credit? Maybe they are going through relationship issues at home.

Most of the time, you will only see what people want you to see. You never really know what is going on beneath the surface and behind closed doors. So, when you start comparing yourself to someone else, pause for a moment and remind yourself that no one’s life is perfect. You don’t know what other people are going through, and you may actually be doing better than they are in other areas of life.

Practice Gratitude

When you compare yourself to others, you lose sight of everything you have and everything you can do. Practicing gratitude each day is a great way to stop making comparisons. Think of at least five things you are grateful for every morning to start your day on a positive note.

Alternatively, carry a small notebook around with you and write down something that you are thankful for every time you think of it throughout the day. The best part about this method is being able to look back on your gratitude moments, especially if you are feeling down. It serves as a wonderful reminder of the wonderful things in your life.

Use it as a Motivational Tool

Sometimes, comparison can be a healthy thing. If the thing that you “want” is something that you can work towards, you can let your comparison motivate you to get it. For example, if someone in your life is incredibly kind and charitable, why let their generosity make you feel less important? You do not have to be extremely wealthy to give back. Try volunteering, or donate what you can. If someone at work seems to be getting all the glory, use that as a motivational tool to work harder and get your achievements noticed too.

When you start to work toward the things that make you admire others, it becomes less about comparison and more about who you really want to be. When done “correctly,” comparison can actually push you to be the best possible version of yourself.

So, don’t waste anymore time scrolling through social media and wishing for a different life. Don’t feel sorry for yourself because you think you will never have as much. When you use comparison in a negative way, it will make you feel negative and envious. Instead of comparing yourself to others, let certain people inspire you to do more, be more and achieve more.

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5 Ways To Know Your Self Worth

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5 Ways To Know Your Self Worth

Focusing on your sense of “self” is very important in so many different ways. When you think about it, you are probably surrounded by the word “self” each day more than you realize. From self-care, self-esteem and self-belief to self-confidence, self-respect and self-worth, people are constantly trying to find ways to better themselves in different areas of their lives.

If you ask most people if they know their self-worth, they will probably be quick to say yes. But, if you took that question further and asked them how they know it, you will likely be met with some hesitation. The reality is, most people think they know about self-worth, but do not fully understand what it is or how it differs from other areas of “self”.

So, how can you truly know your self-worth? What can you do to increase it? What are your strengths, gifts and abilities? Let’s take a look at a few ways to have a better understanding of what really is your self-worth.

1. Don’t Judge Your Own Emotions

You can boost your sense of self-worth by accepting your thoughts and feelings. You might not always like them, and you might find yourself at odds with them from time to time. But, whatever thoughts and emotions come into your head, let them in. Then, you can work through them effectively. Emotions demand to be felt. It is how you respond to them that matters. Don’t ignore them and limit your true value. Embrace the wonderful unique person who you are.

 

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.Robert Tew

 

2. Question Your “Shoulds”

When you think about the things you “should” do, it might leave you feeling unmotivated and overwhelmed. For example, if you say to yourself, “I should go for a run this evening,” and then you don’t end up doing it, how do you think you will feel? Chances are, you will struggle with some level of guilt. This can snowball into not feeling good about yourself and questioning how much that you value yourself and your self-worth.

Instead, fill your life with things that you “will” do. The word “will” implies that it is more of a promise and a commitment, rather than a burden. Saying “I will run a mile this evening” is much more motivating and allows you to prove exactly who you are and what you can do.

 

Anything is possible when you have a path, a plan, and a desire to take action. Dean Graziosi

 

3. Don’t Worry About the Acceptance of Others

It seems all too natural to worry about what other people think of us. Social media can make things even worse. If you find yourself constantly “looking for likes” or some kind of validation from friends, family, or even strangers, you are looking at your self-worth in the wrong place by looking through someone else’s lens and standards.

It can be hard to give up this habit. Everyone wants to be accepted. But, you won’t find what you are worth in the opinions of others. You have the power to see yourself for how great you really are. When you are able to internalize this power and recognize your true value and self-worth, you won’t put so much emphasis on what others think of you. You will get to know who you are, what you are really worth, and you can be confident in that.

4. Let Yourself Off The Hook

Many times, people cannot see their true self-worth because they are holding on to past guilt. Almost everyone has regrets. Whether you did something when you were young that you should not have, or perhaps you wronged someone in some way, the past is the past.

You need to learn to forgive yourself and let yourself off the hook. By holding onto that guilt, you will never be able to see what you are really worth. It will feel like a ball and chain holding you back. But, you have the key to break free, if you just give yourself the chance. If you would be willing to show someone else forgiveness and acceptance for their wrongdoings, you owe it to yourself to do the same. Give yourself a break.

5. Look at Your Gifts

If you are still having a hard time understanding your self-worth, take a look at your natural skills. Everyone has certain gifts in life. Your talents are going to be different from someone else’s – that’s what makes the world work!

Think about a few things that you are really good at. Or, something that you really enjoy doing. Go even further by creating a list of your talents and skills. They don’t need to be huge. In fact, writing a list of several “little things” can make you see just how important and valuable that you are. Take a look at that list whenever you are feeling down or devalued, and practice those talents and skills as often as possible.

By keeping these skills and talents of yours in mind, you can start to celebrate your self-worth. When you have a better understanding of your real value, you are more likely to prioritize other things like self-care, self-esteem and self belief. Each of which are different, but they are all connected in some way. But, it starts with knowing your self-worth. And, chances are, it is much more than you might think.

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6 Signs Of A Strong Friendship

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6 Signs Of A Strong Friendship

There is nothing quite like a strong friendship. Having someone that you can truly count on for anything and everything can completely change the way you think and feel. Unfortunately, far too often in today’s society, we seem to focus more on how many friends we have.

Or, worse, how many acquaintances we can keep in touch with via social media. But, having a true, strong friendship is something that cannot be replaced or replicated with lukewarm substitutes.

Are you already thinking about someone in your life who fits that description? Or, are you wondering if you truly have a strong friendship with one (or more) of the people who are closest to you?

While every friendly relationship is different and unique, there are some common factors associated with a strong bond and true friendship. Let’s take a look at a few of them so you can feel even more confident in your close friendships, and grow even deeper with the people in your life who truly matter.

1. Communication is Always a Priority

It is easy to talk to your friends when everything in your life is on track. Sharing laughs, light conversation, and exchanging stories are all important parts of a healthy friendship.

But, a strong friendship goes deeper. It allows you to communicate with that person, no matter what.  That includes telling them about your struggles or anything you might be going through. It also includes communicating effectively when you are not getting along.

Through proper communication, especially when things are hard, you will build trust within that relationship. Going through difficult things together will make you stronger individuals, and stronger friends.

2. You Know You Are Equals

Almost everyone has known at least one person in their lives who seems to think they’re “better” than everyone else.

Strong friendships need to be based on equality. You and your friend should always be on the same playing field when it comes to who you are and how you are living your life. If you embrace your differences and do not see one as superior, you can take comfort in knowing your friendship is sincere.

3. Respect

Even the best of friends clash from time to time. You might have similar personalities, but no two people are exactly alike.

But, if you can still show your friend respect (and receive it from them) even in times of turmoil, your friendship will be stronger than any disagreement you might have. When someone chooses to respect you even when they are upset with you, it shows that they value your relationship more than their pride.

4. You Can Be Yourself

Do you ever feel like you have to put on a show for other people? Or, are you afraid to let your true personality shine through when you are in certain crowds?

A strong friendship is one that allows you to be yourself. If there is someone in your life who truly likes you for who you are, hold onto that friendship tightly! Most people spend far too much time pretending, whether it’s online or in-person. Someone who loves your quirks and uniqueness is someone who loves you, as a person.

Honesty is also a huge part of being yourself, and a huge part of a strong friendship. Friendships should be based on trust, and that starts with being honest. Telling the truth about how you feel and what you think is important. If your friend actively listens, appreciates, and comments on that truth, you can take comfort in knowing how secure your relationship is.

5. You Experience Joy

While a true friend should be there for you during hard times, the bulk of your relationship should be joyful and fun! Again, think about that person in your life who makes you smile. Is there someone who you are always happy to be around? Does thinking about your friendship cause your heart to race?

Strong friendships should absolutely be joyful. You should find yourself laughing a lot, and being completely at ease with one another. That person may be the first one you think of when you want to experience something new or go somewhere different, just because you know that you will have more fun with them around.

6. You Respect Boundaries

No matter how great your friendship is, no two people can be together 24/7. A great friend will understand that and respect your boundaries. Alternatively, they might be going through something that they are not ready to talk about. If you can respect those boundaries, it shows them how much faith you have in your friendship.

Many people are too quick to think the term “boundaries” as being negative. But, boundaries are completely healthy and necessary in a strong relationship of any kind. Having someone in your life who respects those boundaries understands what it takes to build upon that strength. 

Having a strong friendship – even just one – can add so much to your life. Take a look at your current friendships. Is there one that stands out to you with these characteristics? If so, do what you can to continue to build and grow that strength, and make sure that friend knows how important they are to you on a regular basis.

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