- Ask the Entrepreneurs: How Do You Take a Relaxing Break From Work?
- 7 Steps to Make Your Big Dreams a Reality
- Eat Better. Exercise More.
- 20mins Meal: Pan-fried Lamb Cutlets with Spinach Rice
- 3 Reasons Why You Should Give a Hug to Anyone and EVERYONE
Posted: 16 Nov 2012 08:00 AM PST
Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in an area of management, communication, business or life in general.
Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:
What’s your most effective tip for taking a midday, relaxing break from work?
1. Take a (Bike) Ride
Hop on your bike and go for an easy 30-minute ride around the city. It takes you away from the chair, gets your blood flowing, and allows you to explore where you live and work. Side effects may include clearer mind, healthier body, happier mood — and sometimes, epiphany.
When I am having a stressful day and seem to be hitting roadblocks left and right I like to close the door to my office, turn off my cell phone, and meditate for 15-30 minutes. There is no better way of unwinding and starting over fresh. You can’t believe what a 15-30 minute meditation session can do for you. Ideas come to you faster and you can execute things on your list much faster.
3. Walk the Dog
I happen to work from my home office, so taking my dog for a walk is easy. It’s also a great way to get some extra exercise in, not to mention lots of fresh air. I also think there’s something uplifting about spending time with a furry friend.
4. Order Group Lunch
Order lunch in, and have a group lunch where everybody takes a break from work and relaxes with other co-workers. It keeps everyone connected and motivated.
5. Chat With Local Vendors
I live in China, and given the pollution, sometimes walking the dog isn’t the best option for relaxing in the middle of the day. What I do is visit the nearby small business shops and local street vendors and talk about their life, their business and any random topic in Chinese. This not only allows me to relax my brain, but lets me take a step back and see life in a different perspective.
6. Read a Novel
I’ve sworn off business books. Instead, I read fiction novels to relax and take my mind away from work. I usually read before bed (helps me fall asleep,) but I occasionally take a break during the afternoon and read my book at the nearby park. Fresh air and a good story helps clear my head and get ready for some more work!
7. Have a Walking Meeting
I schedule midday meetings that are intentionally set up as a walk and talk instead of sitting in a coffee shop. They’re very energizing and help avoid the temptation to rely on caffeine in a meeting. Being in a beautiful city like San Francisco, it’s also a great excuse to soak in the great weather that you can only see out the window most of the day.
8. Fantasy Football
Update your Fantasy Football team sometime in the middle of the day. During football season, I can’t think of a more relaxing activity than figuring out who to start for your next week’s matchup! Running backs are hard to come by, so pay as much attention as you can to the waiver wire/weekly injury list :).
9. Read the Sports Page
I used to try to grind through the days with purely work. We take team walks and lunches outside of the office, but I finally realized that allowing my mind to “shut down” by reading sports news was as effective of a break as anything. Take time to do things you are excited about, and you will come back refreshed and ready to go.
10. Whatever It Is, Be Consistent!
I try to keep my schedule open at 1 p.m. every day so that I can use that time for a walking meditation, some yoga, or another activity that allows me to disconnect from work. Consistency is key!
Featured photo credit: businessman relaxing via Shutterstock
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment and underemployment and provides entrepreneurs with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of their business's development and growth.
Posted: 16 Nov 2012 05:00 AM PST
Many people have brilliant ideas, but few act on them. It might be an innovative design, a brilliant invention, a fabulous book idea, or a unique business concept. It's what you do with your creative notion that matters. The world needs pioneers who have groundbreaking ideas. If you don't act on it, someone else will, and you’ll be standing on the sidelines saying, “I could’ve done that!"
So, you have a big dream, a brilliant idea, a flash of insight, for a new and improved or never before done…something. How do you put it into action?
Concept to Completion
1. Determine what need it fills
There has to be a need for your idea. Are you creating or inventing something new that fills a need people have? Have you thought of a new or better way to solve an existing problem? Will your idea improve the quality of people’s lives? Does your idea save time or streamline work? If one doesn’t exist can you create one? Sometimes a great idea doesn’t fill in existing need but if it’s fun, creative, or interesting it’s fairly easy to convince people that they need it.
2. Research and Brainstorm possibilities
Now you have an idea and you know what need it fills, it’s time to start looking for possibilities. Do your research. Has a similar idea been tried or successfully implemented? Look for successes and failures. Learn from the mistakes of others. What can you do better? Cheaper? Faster? Brainstorm additional ways your idea could be used. Is it a product that could have different applications? Is it a concept that could be developed for a variety of businesses or activities? Step back and look at the broader view of possibilities.
3. Flesh out your idea
You have an idea that fills a need with all kinds of possibilities. Now it’s time to flesh it out. If your idea is a tangible product, what does it actually look like? Sketch out or draw it on a computer. Consider colors shapes and materials. If your idea is an intangible concept, system, or process, use a mind map or notebook to capture details.
4. Decide what end result you want
Now that you have a concrete idea with details and for, narrow it down to the end result you want. Often there are lots of possibilities, but it’s best to pursue only one at a time. There will be time later for alterations revisions or related ideas. Now’s the time to consider a prototype or business plan.
5. Assess Motivation and Commitment
You have a concept and an idea of what you want the end result to be. Are you motivated and committed enough to make the sacrifices necessary to take your ideas to completion? Having a brilliant idea is wonderful, but only at if you have the determination, and will to keep pushing through criticism, setbacks, and roadblocks. If after an honest assessment, you don’t have the motivation or time necessary, consider offering or selling your idea to someone else.
6. Get support /Tell someone
No matter how brilliant your idea, you won’t be able to successfully put it into action without support. Share your idea with someone. An individual or a group that will be honest and supportive can help keep you on task and accountable. Find a mentor who can help guide you through the process. Whether it’s product or business development, planning, implementation, financial backing, marketing, or any other aspect of putting your idea into action, there are people who have successfully done it before that are willing to share their experience with you.
7. Make a plan of action
You've got your fully formed idea, you have enlisted support, and you are ready and eager to get started. What steps will it take to get from here to the end result? What actions need to be taken four research, business planning, financial backing, production, presentation, and promotion? Determine if there are phases and set interim deadlines. What needs to happen first? Determine the first step.
Now, do something!
Just start in some small way to take steps to move your idea forward. Otherwise, in a few years you will be that sad, pathetic person who says, "If only…"
Featured photo credit: Little Blonde Girl Flying via Shutterstock
Royale Scuderi is a writer, life and business coach who empowers individuals and Royale Scuderi is a life fulfillment specialist, success consultant, and writer who specializes in cultivating human potential. She excels at helping others achieve growth, lasting change, professional success, life satisfaction, and clarity of purpose. Her passion is asking questions that matter and finding solutions that work. She's also a self-professed information junkie with an obsession for books and technology. In essence, she's a curator of ideas and a connoisseur of insights that support a joyful, productive, and meaningful life. She relishes her life as a professional woman, mom, military wife, citizen of the world, and hopes others do the same. Visit her at Productive Life Concepts.
Posted: 15 Nov 2012 07:00 PM PST
Over 300,000 deaths per year are caused by poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. EAT BETTER. EXERCISE MORE.
Posted: 15 Nov 2012 05:00 PM PST
Pan-fried Lamb Cutlets with Spinach Rice
Author: Christine Ho
Ever thought that a decent and delicious meal with rich flavours could be cooked in 20 minutes? Sure, no problem at all if you get everything ready and fully use 3 or 4 stoves to whip the dish up. This Asian style pan-fried lamb cutlets go really well with the soft and fluffy spinach rice. You might amaze your family with this quick dish.
Basmati rice is a kind of long grain rice, characterized by a light nutty flavor, available at supermarket. The ratio of rice to water should be around 1: 2.
The pot to cook rice should be deep enough to avoid any overspills.
The power of every stove is very different. Please adjust accordingly.
Christine Ho is a retired teacher and has many years of home cooking. Two years ago, she started blogging what she knew how to cook, both in Chinese and English, so that her daughter would have a record of all of them for when she starts her own family one day. Hopefully, when she has a daughter, she will pass these recipes on with a few changes of her own!
Posted: 15 Nov 2012 02:00 PM PST
I'm taking part in a Kindness Challenge and I’m out to give hugs.
It's crazy, it's challenging, it's fun, and it's just simply AWESOME.
I've been hugging anyone and everyone. I've been writing thank-you notes to people I appreciate. I've been able to make people smile and I know I've been making a difference in the lives of others.
This is what life is about!
Over the past few days as I've been taking part in the challenge, I've come to learn just how powerful a simple hug can actually be. We often feel its inappropriate to give a hug, but you know what, I gave a bank teller a bit of a hug the other day!
The bank teller helped me for about 20 minutes while I cancelled my credit card insurance (another LifeHack tip, DON'T get credit card insurance). After the painstakingly long process and discovering the fact that I will no longer have to pay a premium each month, I simply went around the teller's desk and gave her a nice, big, juicy hug.
SHE LOVED IT!
It's such a simple but powerful form of human touch.
There are so many benefits of hugging. Let me outline the 3 most important reasons you should hug anyone and everyone in countdown order.
3) Hugging Reduces Illness
Hugging is one of the best methods of easing depression. Not only that, it reduces the risk of heart disease, relieves stress and can make you feel calmer.
Studies have shown that hugging can lead to lower blood pressure, and reduces the risk of heart disease. When we hug someone, a hormone called oxytocin is released (otherwise known as the 'love hormone'!). This helps to reduce stress and makes us feel calmer.
Ultimately, if you're feeling down, stressed or anxious, go give someone a hug and feel the instant change in your mood!
2) Hugging Deepens Your Relationships
When you think of people who have hugged you, how do you feel about them?
I'm sure you feel pretty good!
Hugging releases a suite of hormones including oxytocin (as above), serotonin, and dopamine that lead to feelings of happiness and love. What else do you need to feel good when all you need to do is simply hug someone?
Not only do you make yourself feel good, but also you are making the other person release all the same hormones of happiness.
Hugging builds trust and can deepen your relationship. It shows that you care and it provides comfort for the other person.
1) Hugging Can Change the World
A hug could be the exact thing that someone needs right now. Without even knowing it, you could be changing the life of that person.
They may have had the worst day possible, and you have been the angel that lights up their day.
You can change the day, the week, the month or the life of another person simply by giving him or her a hug.
When I gave the bank teller a spontaneous hug out of the blue, her face lit up in a huge smile and I'm sure it made her day. Maybe she went home and told her family about it and she may have even had the courage to give someone else a spontaneous hug. Hugging pays forward.
What’s the best part about it? Hugs are free and they can be given anytime.
Who have you hugged today?
Featured photo credit: A happy couple in love via Shutterstock
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