Use Visualization Techniques To Achieve Your Goals

Use Visualization Techniques To Achieve Your Goals

designMy friend, we’ll call him Billy (to protect his privacy), plays golf…a lot! He’s out on the fairway every weekend, if his schedule permits. But Billy is also a very busy man. As with everyone else who works for intelligence and security, Billy is on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week. He wishes to have more time to practice golf.

Now, Billy is in no way a golf newbie. He’s actually one of the best in his company. So he gets invited to play at this tournament to raise awareness for a cause. The winners get to bag trophies, some cash, and a lot of bragging rights. Billy is up against top golfers but guess what…Billy bags the top prize.

Billy lives in an apartment and doesn’t get to practice as often as he would like, yet he still bags the top prize. His secret? Visualization.

It’s not a fluke, he practices visualization all the time. I’ve watched as he shot a 5 under to win the tournament and he has had 2 hole-in-ones this year alone. He says it’s all about practice as well as mental preparation through visualization techniques.

I know it’s hard to believe but top athletes, musicians, performers, public speakers, and sales executives use this technique all the time. In fact, Tiger Woods and Michael Phelps have been reported to use visualization to mentally prepare for their games. If it worked for them, it wouldn’t hurt to try it out.

Aside from preparing physically to achieve our goals, it makes a lot of sense to prepare our minds as well. After all, what could go wrong with envisioning achieving success? Nothing. We could only expect good things, of course.

As part of our “Building SUPER Habits” series, here are some tips on developing the habit of Visualization. So how do we begin?

Mental Images:

This exercise teaches you to flex those imagination muscles. Practice by looking at a pleasant image or scenery. Then close your eyes. You have to re-create the entire scene by remembering every bit of detail that you can. What were the items, how many, what were their colors, how was the light? Can’t remember all the details? Open your eyes and look again. Be more deliberate this time.

Psych yourself up:

A study done on January of 2014 by the National Strength and Conditioning Association on 16 male sprinters reports the beneficial effects of “psyching up” to improve sprint performance. The study “used arousal to get athletes excited to race, which helped them visualize success.” So get excited and find purpose. Psych yourself up. The positive energy will help you visualize success. Imagine yourself as a superstar and actions will follow thoughts.

Practiced emotions:

I know this one is hard. You can’t practice how you react to a certain scenario. But the trick here is to pay attention to how you feel when you’re visualizing a scene. If your goal is to close out a sale and you’re preparing to deliver a pitch to someone you know is skeptical, imagine yourself as being calm and competent. Imagine being able to address their concerns and answer their question and proceed to make preparations. If you keep visualizing a calm and competent demeanor, you are likely to have the same demeanor in real life.

Do you have other visualization tips that worked for you? Share them with us! Stay humble, hustle hard!

 

Written by Jaie O.- The Help

Take the Opportunity to Spread Cheer

Take the Opportunity to Spread Cheer

be-kindWe spend one-third of our lives at work and it’s no surprise that our workplaces have an enormous impact on our mental health. In a study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, they have found that “one in four adults–approximately 61 million Americans–experiences mental illness every year. This is why mental health is now fast becoming a priority in corporations. A lot of companies, non-profits and government organization, and most communities now participate in campaigns to raise awareness about mental health. Now that is happy news indeed.

Now more than ever, we all aim to achieve a work – life balance, not just to keep our sanity but to encourage wellness in others. It is not only our personal responsibility to maintain a work – life balance in our own lives, but to keep the workplace a safe and healthy space for others as well. Nobody… NOBODY… likes going to work with a bright ray of “everything sucks of gloom and doom”.

It would be easy to dismiss the responsibility of adding to the quality of a workplace if you are already cheerful and balanced. You might say “I’m already well adjusted. It’s not my job to look out for other people’s mental health” In reality, we all have this incredible opportunity every day to be kind and to make work a little less tedious for the people around us.

Here are a few wellness tips for a balanced workplace. Spread the cheer!

  • Say “Hi” – don’t be that guy who keeps his head down and pretends to be on the phone all the time. Strike up a conversation. Ask how their weekend was.
  • Say “Good morning!” – if this is the only thing to ever come out of your mouth for the rest of the day as you prepare to hunker down and plow through work, let it be the cheeriest, brightest “good morning” you utter. Say it like a blessing. Say it like a promise. Say it like you all have no other choice but to have a good morning.
  • Encourage – encourage others to share ideas, insights, feedback, suggestions, comments. Encourage others to participate… in planning, in solving a challenge together, in joining fun activities. It makes others feel valued to have someone hear what they have to say.
  • Whistle – ok, maybe whistling while you work could be a tad annoying… but you know what I mean… If you have the opportunity to spread good vibes and positivity, do it! If you’re in an extra cheerful mood, be extra cheerful to other co-workers and your positive attitude might rub off on them too.

Do you have any tips on how to improve and promote balance in the workplace? We’d love to hear about them. Please share your tips with us! Stay humble and hustle hard!

 

Written by: Jaie O. – The Help

Get Off Of Your *ss

Get Off Of Your *ss

stretch!The holidays are upon us. It is the time for cakes, pies, and stuffed turkey. We are all concerned about our questionable eating habits, our sedentary lifestyle, and not having enough time to workout because of: errands to run, kids to pick up, gatherings to attend, trash to take out, and Christmas trees to set up. We imagine going into the new year with renewed spirits, hopefully picking up on the yearly resolutions we’ve dropped in the middle of the year.

People are busier than ever during the holidays. And they find themselves having less time to exercise. That, coupled with sitting in an office chair for 8 hours a day (sometimes more), can put you at risk for obesity as well as a myriad of  other health  problems including back pain, tense muscles, leg cramps, and  poor posture among others.

According to a study done by the Mayo Clinic prolonged sitting can cause “obesity and metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. Too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.”

I don’t mean to  scare you. And, NO, I don’t  mean you should throw away a perfectly good desk and swap it out for a standing desk (although you might want to consider it). I  just  mean that you should try to squeeze in as much exercise as you can because, office workers sit too much. Aside from sitting all day at our desks, we sit during our commute both ways, or sit in the car, or spend our evenings sitting in front of the TV. You can see where this is going, right?

But don’t fret! There are  exercises that you can do at work. These are exercises that are designed to be performed discretely at your desk. The operative word is discretely. Be considerate and mindful of your co-workers. Although I’m sure they will be very supportive of your efforts towards fitness and getting enough exercise, they won’t appreciate you taking out the dumbbells and busting a move to “Eye  of the Tiger” on full volume.

Here’s a video from Gulshan Physiotherapy Fitness Center of the Best Exercises To Do At Your Desk.

Aside from these exercises that you can do without leaving your desk, I also encourage you to try these activities:

Wander around:

Walk to the window and enjoy the view. Walk around the office and stretch your legs. Walk to the water cooler. Say hi to your cubicle mates and office desk neighbors. Don’t stay  too long though, these things could turn into a gossip session and you want to increase your productivity not decrease it.

Tap Tap Tap:

You don’t need music to tap those toes (although it would be nice if you do). Try this mini exercise with maximum benefits: Stand in front of a small trashcan and lift up those legs to tap the toes on its edge, alternating feet, in soccer-drill fashion.

Take the Stairs:

How often do we often hear this bit of advice? We hear it all the time, right? But why don’t we ever see more people using the stairs? Seriously, take the stairs already. If you really want to up the ante on this workout, you can skip the steps or do lunges.

If you’re more into yoga stretches and low impact exercises, you might want to try the yoga flow  exercises in this video: 

Set yourself up to win by creating calendar reminders or alarms to remind you to take an exercise break. You can also do it old school by sticking mini post-its around your workstation. If you’re feeling conscious, you can look for an empty conference room and exercise there.

Do you have other tips that are not on this list? Let us know. Stay humble and hustle hard!

 

Written by JaieO.- The Help

 

Building “SUPER” Habits: Speed Learning

Building “SUPER” Habits: Speed Learning

b066c62070ea97cf2e6c859768d87a175d8e00d9e7aea78f8fpimgpsh_fullsize_distrI’m sure we can all admit to including “fast learner” as one of our skills in our resumes, and for a good reason. Most employers look for someone who can learn things quickly and with minimal supervision. Employees who can swiftly imbibe new concepts and learn new skills can be terrific assets to the company. They have a huge advantage over those who have a hard time learning new concepts or are struggling with processing information in a short amount of time.

We can’t all be blessed with an eidetic memory. But we can try to improve our learning skills. Yes, there are ways to learn faster. As part of our “Building SUPER Habits” series, here are some tips on developing the habit of Speed Learning.

Let’s start off with an easy one: READ.

Start by reading 15 pages of nonfiction every day. Some books that come highly recommended are:

  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen
  • The Power of Less, by Leo Babauta
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey
  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Chip Heath
  • The Power of Full Engagement, by Jim Loehr

Repetition is key to speed learning.

Nobody really “studies’ for five straight hours. But it is kind of satisfying to tell everyone that you did, right? Don’t worry; everyone does that. However, it is not a secret that we don’t spend 100% of that time studying like we say we do. We do not count the time we spend taking social media breaks (checking our Twitter or Instagram feed), checking work email, watching Youtube videos, making ourselves a cup of coffee, or just staring out the office window to look at people and cars passing by.

It’s not really the length of time we spend studying but the number of repetitions we do. Repeating the information we learned makes sure that it stays ingrained in our memory. Top athletes, singers, musicians, and dancers all abide by this learning tidbit.

Making an analogy distinguishes fast learners from the rest.

An analogy is a comparison between two things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification. So right after you learn a new bit of information, try drawing a comparison to an existing piece of information or making an analogy to something to already know. You may connect that information to an application or try to draw a metaphor to understand the information better.

Drawing or doodling isn’t just for kids.

Most of us are visual learners. We do well by seeing the information. Therefore, it makes sense that infographics, charts, or other visual aids are easier to remember than written words. If it helps you retain information better, try creating graphs or charts that summarize the information you need to learn. Doodling on your notes or creating diagrams are very helpful tools for you to be able to remember new lessons clearly and accurately.

Linking is not just for sausages.

Linking is probably the most used speed learning trick of all. Linking is all about forming a connecting chain of mental cues in your mind. It doesn’t have to make sense but the zanier the metal image, the more you are likely to remember it. Say for example you need to remember to get eggs, milk, and batteries on your way home. You can create an outrageous image of battery powered eggs with udders and relate them to your grocery list. The crazier the  image, the better.

Johnny Mnemonic was right on the money.

We’re all familiar with the technique of creating mnemonics or systems that “assist or intend to assist memory”. In name mnemonics, you take the first letter of each term you need to recall and re-arrange it so that it forms a more recallable word. That’s how I learned all the colours of the rainbow, when I was young. I’d say Roy G.Biv and then easily recall all the colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. I’d also say MiDAS to be able to recall the order of operation in Mathematics (Multiplication and Division before Addition and Subtraction). This technique is as useful and as effective then as it is now.

Try these tips on for size. You can pick one technique that you can master, or better yet, try them all and become a speed learner! If you have any tips that work for you, we’d love to hear about them. Til next time, remember to Stay Humble and Hustle Hard!

Written by: Jaie O- The Help

Five of the Best Tech Tools Every Worker Must Have

Five of the Best Tech Tools Every Worker Must Have

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tech-toolYour employer may have already outfitted you with all the nice techy things that would help you do your job efficiently, like a Microsoft Office Suite, an email client, a CRM, VPN access, or maybe software that’s specific to your job. And surely, you already have a phone and a desktop (or laptop) computer.

Today, we’ll discuss those other helpful techie web apps that would help you be immensely more productive at work. I won’t go into the dirty details (like system requirements and SSL encryption etc.) lest your eyes gloss over with tech talk. Although I’d be very happy to answer your tech questions as best I can.

Ok, ready? Here are five super powered platforms that can help you be more connected and be more productive in this techno-centric world.

  • Pocket: We all come across articles, and other interesting bits of information while “browsing” at work. When you find something that you might want to curate and read later, put it in your “Pocket.” This will enable you to view all your saved articles to read later, not only on your computer, but across all devices, since Pocket is delightfully available in a significant number of app markets and platforms.
  • Skype: Skype has long been the gold standard for all business, be it start-ups or even the more established ones. Even Microsoft analysts conduct video conference business meetings through Skype. It is a quick method to get in touch with anyone, via a quick chat, an audio call, or a video conference call. Skype is free and easy and is compatible with most operating systems. Phone apps are also available. So really, there’s no excuse for not having it.
  • Dropbox: For a long time now, Dropbox has been the go-to cloud storage application for small businesses. It keeps your important work files safe and accessible across all of your devices. Dropbox makes it easier to keep and share large files with colleagues or external clients. The free version offers up to 16GB of storage and you can always upgrade if you need more storage. Encryption is an excellent plus, it has 2-factor verification and expiring shared links.
  • Hootsuite: According to an article from Social Times, “the average internet user accesses five different social media platforms.” Managing Social Media accounts is now a big part of many job descriptions. Most entrepreneurs and business owners keep multiple business accounts to promote themselves via Social Media. Logging in and out of all Social media accounts and posting across all platforms is a massive time sink. Hootsuite lets you manage your social media networks for free for up to 3 social profiles. You can upgrade as you acquire more social media accounts.
  • Trello: If you ever find yourself being overwhelmed with tasks, then you need to get organized by getting a task manager app. There are lots of task manager apps out there that work well for personal use or even for enterprise-wide systems. Trello is one of those that use the Kanban method with an easy system to learn. It works like a digital bulletin board where you can set up to-do lists, tasks, and notes. Its boards have an easy drag and drop function and your boards can be shared with other users. If you’re more of the visual kind of person, Trello is one of the best beginner task management apps out there.

Have you tried any of these? How did it help you so far? Let us know in the comments. Always, remember to: Stay Humble, Hustle Hard.

Written by: Jaie O- The Help