Craig Johns Are you Living

ARE YOU LIVING?

Photo by Anne Lin on Unsplash

ARE YOU LIVING?

By Craig Johns

Life is not separate from work as work is part of life. Too often we hear people in the workplace saying, “I’m working hard now so I can live my life when I retire or when the weekend comes around or during my next holiday”.

“I don’t think of work as work and play as play, it’s all living” 

Sir Richard Branson

Life is how work, home, community and your private self integrate, intersect and interact. They interconnect and feed off each other as we grow and develop through life. The biggest challenge in life is to figure out how to find the time we desire to excel at all aspects of our life.

How many hours a week is required to deliver peak performance at work?

If I spend an extra hour at work, how does that affect my life at home?

To ensure that I have maximum energy at work, how much time do I need to be exercising, switching off, socializing and sleeping?

Should I spend money and take that holiday to paradise now or wait until I have more money saved and are a bit older?

Do the people I socialize with have a positive or negative impact on the other aspects of my life?

We talk about having to make sacrifices in life. This maybe true, but sacrifices are all just choices. Choices that we have full control over. So, how do we know what choices to make if we want to achieve at a higher level? If you don’t have a clear purpose, vision and goals, then you will find it very difficult to find clarity in the decisions you need to make.

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between work and play.” 

L.P. Jacks

Work-life balance is a common buzz phrase talked about in society. So what is it? Is it either standing still and stagnant, or spending half our life working and half our life living? Depending on how you define balance, it will depend on how you approach your life. If you are working 12hrs a day 7 days a week doing something that you don’t enjoy, engage with or understand why you are doing it, then it only leaves only 4hrs a day for other activities in life, if we take into consideration that we are sleeping 8hrs a day.

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” 

Unknown

Let’s take a look at Work-life integration. It is an outcome of people exercising control and choice in their life to meet life’s challenges. They ensure that they enjoy what they do, take pleasure out of the people they interact with, love becoming better, have purpose and feel satisfied with the life they live.

“I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.” 

Thomas Edison

Your emotions, mood and energy tend to transfer from your work to your life outside of work and vice versa. Very few people have a split personality that they can switch on and off depending the circumstances. Therefore, if you want to be successful in all areas of your life, it is important to be genuine, honest and believe in who you are.

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Are You Seeing The big Picture Craig Johns

ARE YOU SEEING THE BIG PICTURE?

Do you know what helps you navigate the clutter, complexity and commotion on a daily basis that allows you to take a birds eye view and see the big picture?

It is a challenge when you have your head down, in the zone and focused on the task at hand to understand where you are at and even sometimes to clarify what the big picture really is. The big picture is about:

  • Knowing not just how and what to do, but knowing why
  • Viewing the whole and not just its parts
  • Seeing a vision, a sense of the bigger picture
  • Having the ability to see significance in work, beyond the obvious
  • Understanding that a legacy will live on, whether in the bricks and morter or in the impact made on other people

You have to know what naturally helps you to clear the mind and find the space to step outside your body and mind so you can focus on what is really important. For me, it is going for a long ride by myself or running on a trail. I find it’s my form of meditation and reality check.

Some people find travel helps them to find a clearer perspective, as 10,000 feet up provides a pretty good birds eye view of situations. Another common time is when listening to podcasts that challenge our ways of thinking, leadership strategies or are industry related.

Sometimes we find it difficult to see the big picture by ourselves. You may find it easier through conversations with a friend, colleague or even a group of like-minded people in a “circle of trust’ monthly catch-up over a coffee.

When it comes to financial analysis, you may find manually writing out your budget or financial reviews with pen and paper allows you think of the numbers in a different way than on a computer screen where formulas are producing numbers for you.

A lot of people will work continuously without breaks during a day. Research shows that our ability to perform tasks diminishes after approximately 90minutes of concerted effort and focus. It is important to take a 5-15min break every 90minutes allowing your mind a chance to recharge and your body a chance to move around rather than sitting in one place.

Going long periods of time without a break may also result in you heading down a rabbit hole of time-consuming focus on the unimportant things, without realizing you are on a path of less value.

Organising a dedicated brainstorm or review session with team members of what you are currently doing and where you can go, while ensuring that everything is aligned to the overall mission, strategies and goals is crucial. You will find it invaluable as not only does it provide a big picture check for you, but it also enables the team to develop greater cohesion in what the big picture looks like to everyone.

I have witnessed a few people using apps, such as rescue time, to monitor and track their use of time. It allows them to see how much time is spent on each daily activity and most importantly on the tasks that are making forward progress.

We are often caught up in our own assumptions, ways of thinking and complexity. Try challenge some of your assumptions to see what would happen if you removed one or more of them. Remember complexity is the enemy, so sometimes the most simple and obvious thing maybe blurred or hidden from our ability to see the big picture.

Identify whether you team have a connection to the big picture. Share the big picture regularly by providing the details first and then the context later. Ask them what they see and make sure that you connect the big picture to their work. Most importantly connect the big picture to meaning as people want to know that their working has a purpose.

Make sure that you include the activities that allow you to see clarity from a big picture point-of-view, in your daily or weekly routines. It is crucial that you are on the right road and haven’t taken the wrong left turn. To take it to the next level, it is even more valuable to ensure that you have time following your big picture activities, to find time to analyse and translate your insights into specific actions.

Life is all about choice. We may feel we are snowed under, constrained by deadlines and under the pump from either your boss or a client, but remember you are the one in control. Prioritise what is important, what you need to gain clarity and disregard the meaningless activities that halt your progress. What you do is only as good as the clarity of your big picture.

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4 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY Craig Johns

4 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY

FUTURE 8 – 2X2X2X2

IMG_2473

4 Ways To Improve Your Productivity. You are what you repeatedly do and what you repeatedly do ultimately forms the person you are. It defines the things you believe in, your personality and the way you move.

Every day we make small decisions and perform actions that form habits. Our life is the sum of our habits and research by Duke University has shown that 40% of our behaviours every given day are a result of them.

Habits are formed through a simple neurological loop pattern of a cue, routine and a reward, as discovered by MIT researchers. The cue is a result of a trigger that initiates the behaviour. The routine is the action you take and the behaviour that is formed. The reward is the benefit you gain from performing the behaviour.

“Success is the sum of small parts, repeated day in and day out.”

ROBERT COLLIER

It is vitally important to use your positive habits to be in the NOW and focus on what you are currently doing. However it is more important that you develop new habits, by planting new seeds, to ensure that you are continuing to GROW every single day.

We have developed a formula that is based on growth habits that allow you to improve your well being, expand your knowledge, build your networks and make a difference to people. The Future 8 daily formula involves performing a minimum of 2 actions of the following four areas each day:

  • 2x CONNECT – contact someone new or reconnect an old acquaintance
  • 2x ENERGY – action something that supports your health and fitness.
  • 2x PERFORMANCE – learn something new
  • 2x SHARE – pay it forward by sharing your knowledge, thoughts and wisdom

CONNECT (2X)

It is important to build your network and work on your relationships. Pick up the phone, send a text or write an email to someone you would like to connect with, whether it is to enhance your knowledge, skills and understanding or to speak with a prospective consumer. We quite often forget that it is important to put time and energy into those who are already consumers or friends of your network. Reconnecting with those who already have a connection with you leads to retention, which is the best form of growth. Who are you going to call today?

ENERGY (2X)

When we get busy, we become tired and start craving unhealthy options. These options might be fast food, no rest breaks during the day, deciding to put off that run or going to bed late. Your mind and body require energy to be exerted and rest to recover for it to perform at its optimum each day. It doesn’t matter whether it is productivity in the workplace, you have a personal fitness goal you are aiming for or a relationship, you want to be able to perform at your best. Start the day with a 30min run or gym session, go for a walk through the park at lunch, have a bowl of fruit, take the time to play with your children before dinner or do a 15min meditation session at morning tea are all ways to recharge and allow both your body and mind to perform brilliance. What will you do to energise your day?

PERFORMANCE (2X)

For you to continually grow you need to add some water each day. It is very common for most successful people to read every day. Bill Gates reads a new book each week, Oprah Winfrey started the Oprah’s Book Club, Mark Cuban reads three hours a day and many successful people now tune into podcasts each day as a way of learning while resting the eyes. Pick a new topic to learn something new each day. Try reading an article, listening to a podcast, discussing with a colleague, or watching a video on something that either improves your work performance, healthy lifestyle or broadens your intellectual horizons. What will you learn today that you didn’t know yesterday?

SHARE (2X)

The more you give, the more you get. Focusing on helping someone else first will mean you gain more in the long-term. Planting a seed in someone else is more powerful than watering our own seeds. Write a blog post, share an article on your LinkedIn page, call someone who would learn from your wisdom or talk to a stranger on a plane. What is even more powerful than sharing your knowledge, thoughts and wisdom, is to make them laugh and smile while you do it. Make it fun and enjoyable and they are more likely to remember and learn from their interaction from you. Who will you share your knowledge, thoughts and wisdom with today?

It is as easy as starting the day as you would like to finish it. To begin with it is really useful to write down the 2x2x2x2 15min before you go home from work each day to ensure that you have checked everything off. If not, you still have time to complete the day in style.

FUTURE 8 Formula – 2x2x2x2

  • Who are the 2 people you are going to call today?
  • What are the 2 things you will do to energise your day?
  • What are the 2 things you will learn today?
  • What are the ways you will share your knowledge, thoughts & wisdom with today?

Start contacting, actioning, learning and sharing two thing each day and you will be surprised at how much your performance and productivity improves.

FUTURE 8 YOURSELF TODAY!

2x2x2x2

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Have We Got The Hiring Process Totally Wrong? Link
Are You Leading A High Performing Culture? Link
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I Make No Apologies This Is Me! Link

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