I Have No Fucking Idea What I’m Doing And I’m Fine With That

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By Bethany Trundle

Honestly, I haven’t got a fucking clue. I think I’m supposed to be working my way up the ladder, that’s what they keep telling me. Not really sure what ladder this is or where it is, or how high it is, or what’s at the top of it. Nevertheless, here I am, awkwardly moving on up and trying to not look at how far there is to fall should I miss a step.

I’m trying to get somewhere… I think? That’s what they say. You have to keep moving to get where you want to be.

Ah yes, of course, I must move forward to achieve my dreams and find my Nirvana!

Now If only I had any idea what my dreams are, or in which direction I could go to find them. I haven’t got time to work it out though, gotta keep moving, I can’t afford to fall behind, I’ve got to get there, whatever there is, so I can claim my prize which I’m also not sure of.

I say it once again; I have no idea what I’m doing.

But wow, the pressure of always having to be moving in some direction or another.

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re going backward,” that’s what they say.

Well that’s just not fucking true, is it? I’m not getting younger, not taking on more responsibility hasn’t taken me back in time. Every hour I’m not learning new information I’m not also simultaneously losing IQ points. If you stop baking a cake halfway through, it doesn’t turn back into raw eggs, does it? Absolutely fucking not.

So, what are we doing?

I don’t know when it happened, or who started it but somewhere along the line someone decided that we needed a plan. So now, God forbid, if you have no resemblance of a plan for your life, you’re basically doomed. Yes, that’s right, doomed.

So what did we all do out of fear? The big fear of being forever doomed? Oh yes, we started pretending we have a plan or latching onto those superior to us who do seem to have a plan but actually they also don’t have a plan. We all march forward one by one in the pursuit of something or nothing, but as long as we are marching that means we are moving so that’s great. Where are we going? We don’t know. Why? We don’t know. We don’t know a lot.

Are you following me?

I would say, on the whole, I’m doing a really good job of pretending like I know what I’m doing. The problem is, I think we are all getting really good at pretending we know what we’re doing.

Imagine this – none of us know what we’re doing. You know why none of us know what we’re doing? Because none of us have ever done this before. We are all, for the lack of a better phrase, winging it.

Every single one of us is different. We value different things. We will inevitably all end up in completely different places, so why are we listening to anyone else about which path we should be taking and which goals we should be looking to achieve?

What is at the top of that ladder is completely dependent on you. It’s what you deem success to mean. It’s whatever fills you with happiness. It’s whatever makes you feel complete. What is at the top of that ladder is going to change over and over again. What made you happy at 10 or 20 or 25 isn’t going to be what makes you happy at 40.

Now imagine that you actually took time out of “moving on up” to work out which ladder it is that you actually want to climb. Taking time to understand yourself, where you are and where you want to be and finding the ladder that is right for you. As opposed to hearing everyone else’s preconceived ideas of what that ladder may look like and what you should be expecting when you reach the top.

Also, novel idea, but what if we actually tried to make our lives easier and took just a little bit of pressure off ourselves. What about if we spent some time taking in the scenery around us rather than planning the next move out of there, to our next destination. There is so much to be said for not having a plan, it allows you to explore yourself and your surroundings in a much more open-minded way rather than picking and choosing experiences because they mold into another step on that life plan ladder.

So no, I have no idea what I’m doing. It is quite the mystery. Some days that terrifies me but I’m learning quickly to be okay with it. You know how they say that the best night outs are the ones that you haven’t planned? That’s basically just a metaphor for life. The most amazing, life-affirming, downright mind-blowing things happen to you when you least expect it, no matter how much you’ve planned your life’s trajectory.

There will be moments, people, sunsets, sunrises, coincidences and extenuating circumstances that will re-shift your focus in quite unimaginable ways. So, it’s okay to have no idea what you’re doing because, quite honestly, everything could change in a second anyway.

Morning People Really Are Happier, According to Science

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By Michelle Darrisaw

image

GETTY IMAGES

You may want to rethink hitting your snooze button in the morning. According to a new study, the time you decide to rise and shine could impact your overall mental and physical health.

Jacqueline Lane, an instructor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, recently conducted a sleep study and published her findings in the Nature Communicationsjournal. In an interview with TODAY, the professor revealed that early risers are essentially happier and healthier than nighthawks. Lane observed that those who wake up early have a specific genetic component that lowers their risk of developing depression and chronic illnesses.

“Individuals who tend to be happier tend to be morning-type individuals,” Lane said.

The population sample for the study was comprised of two groups: 250,000 people in the U.S. who used the DNA and ancestry services of biotech company, 23andMe and 450,000 people in the U.K. who enrolled in the biorepository Biobank across the pond. Lane and her team of researchers used sleep timing measures to evaluate circadian biology as it relates to genes.

They separated the group by those who identify as morning people and those who can’t pry themselves away from Netflix at night (or, ya know, just go to bed late in general). From there, Lane and her associates examined their genomes to determine the relationship between their genes and their preferred wake-up time and how it connects to their health. And what they found was pretty interesting.

Trying to change a night owl to a morning lark has serious health consequences.

“We show that being a morning person is causally associated with better mental health but does not affect body mass index or risk of Type 2 diabetes,” stated Lane in the study’s results.

“There is also a link between evening preference and a higher risk of schizophrenia (and depression),” she explained to TODAY.

But don’t think that just because you don’t hit the hay as soon as the sun goes down that you’re at risk for developing a mental health disorder.

“It is incredibly complicated,” she added. “The genetics about being a night owl is only part of it. It is more about environment, with living out of sync with your internal clock. Trying to change a night owl to a morning lark has serious health consequences.”

Still, Lane admitted more research needs to be done on how our genes are affected by our sleep cycles. However, it couldn’t hurt to set your alarm to get up a tad earlier.

“Understanding if you are a morning or evening person can really impact the schedule you choose,” Lane said. “It might determine when you choose activities or the timing of your meals.

So, now you know there’s a quasi-scientific reason why all the those morning people in your life tend to wake up so darned peppy.

Daily Habits That Will Help Increase Productivity

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By Natalie MacNeil

No matter how much you get done a daily basis, or how long your checked off to-do list is, procrastination is a challenge even the best and most organized of us face. Of course, it doesn’t mean we’re lazy. We’re all warriors changing the world with our ideas and passion for our businesses.

Still, there are days where we wake up with an exploding inbox, or out of control to-do list, and exactly zero will to tackle any of it.

I get it, I’ve been there too.

And then it spirals, right? You procrastinate, feel off, procrastinate further, feel guilty, and before you know it you’re wrapped in your personal burned-out-but-frustrated-with-yourself cocoon. It can be so hard to full yourself out of it, but if this is something you struggle with?

You’re in exactly the right place — and today’s episode of She Takes on the World is for you.

Jim Kwik is back for the final episode of the Kwik Habits series, and this time around he’s talking about his productivity hacks, as well as how he avoids procrastination and keeps what matters to him the most in his view through it all.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

Try one of Jim’s many techniques for overcoming procrastination and dropping into your most productive state.

  1. Jim’s “4 G’s” for a Kwik mindset
  2. Breaking your biggest tasks down
  3. Starting with your why – finding the reasons and reaping the rewards
  4. Just starting, somewhere. Anywhere.

And no matter what, remember to be kind to yourself, especially when you catch yourself in a spiral like procrastination. If you’re kind to yourself when you don’t live up to your highest of expectations, you’re more likely to improve next time. As always, make one of these daily rituals and practices your own this week.

Why Happiness Is The Ultimate Currency

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By 

My friend Avi is a great barber. His customers, myself included, refer to his golden hands — his ability to satisfy my son’s desire to look like Ronaldo, or a woman’s desire before her daughter’s wedding to look like Grace Kelly. Putting his phenomenal skills together with his sound business sense, Avi could have easily expanded his business far beyond his little salon.

So I asked him one day why he chose not to grow his business by adding a bigger place in a more central location in the city, or by opening other branches. Avi said he’d thought about it several times but in the end decided against it: “I asked myself, is this something I really want, or is it something others think I should do?” He went on to describe the can-must link that’s so pervasive in our culture: the belief that if you can grow, you must grow. But why?

Avi explained that over a decade ago, he understood that no matter how much he had — a bigger house, a faster car, a fatter bank account — he would always want more. He could choose to continue in the rat race and never satisfy his desires, or he could stop the race and be satisfied with what he had. He went on to quote a Jewish source, the Chapters of the Fathers: “Who is rich? He who is happy with his lot.”

Cutting hair in his small salon gives Avi the emotional gratification no amount of money could buy. His daily experiences were worth more than all of the gold in Fort Knox because happiness, not wealth or prestige, is the ultimate currency.

What, for you, is worth all of the gold in Fort Knox? Can you envision something in your life that would provide you with an abundance of happiness? To identify sources of the ultimate currency in your life, follow these four steps:

Step 1: Record your daily activities.

For a week (or two), keep a record of your daily activities. Throughout the day, write down how you’ve spent your time, from a twenty-minute session responding to e-mails to a night of binge-watching TV. This record doesn’t need to be a precise, minute-by-minute account of your day, but it should give you a sense of what your days tend to look like.

Step 2: Assign meaning and pleasure.

Once your activity list is complete, create a table that lists each activity, how much meaning and pleasure the activity provides, and how long you typically spend doing it. Indicate whether you’d like to spend more or less time on each activity by adding a “+” for more time or a “++” for a lot more time. If you’d like to spend less time on the activity, put a “−” next to it; for a lot less time, write “−−.” If you’re satisfied with time you’re investing in a particular activity, or if changing the amount of time you spend isn’t possible for one reason or another, add an “=” next to it.

Step 3: Highlight activities with high-yield happiness.

Which of your activities provide the most happiness in the least about of time? Are there things you don’t do now, but would yield significant profits in the ultimate currency? Would going to the movies once a week contribute to your well-being? Would it make you happier to devote four hours a week to your favorite charity and to work out three times a week? If you have many constraints and can’t introduce significant changes, make the most of what you have.

Step 4: Introduce happiness boosters.

What happiness boosters — brief activities that provide both meaning and pleasure –could you introduce into your life? If your commute to work is a drag but is unavoidable, try to infuse it with meaning and pleasure. For instance, you could listen to audio books or your favorite music for part of the ride. Alternatively, take the train and use the time to read. Then, as much as possible, ritualize these changes.

One of the many lessons I learned from my barber is that material wealth is not a prerequisite for the ultimate currency, and that dollars and cents are no substitute for meaning and pleasure. As the psychologist Carl Jung once said, “The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.”

Night Owl or Morning Person? It Could Be Affecting Your Mental Health

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by Emily Price

If you’re a night owl, you might want to consider trying to make the switch to getting up earlier.

Researchers recently took a look genomic data from 700,000 people, all of whom had completed a DNA analysis from the company 23andMe and opted into the study. Participants were asked to complete a health survey, which asked whether or not they considered themselves a morning person or a night owl.

While the study didn’t find any difference between being a morning or night person and a person’s risk of obesity of diabetes, it did find a connection between night owls and being prone to depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. The results of the study were published this week.

That said, the reason for the link is currently unknown, and instead points out a need for further research in the area.

Some theories include the genes in early risers potentially offering some sort of protection against mental health issues, the amount of light early risers are exposed to, and perhaps the societal advantages of feeling more awake in a 9-5 world.

In the study, both groups of people ultimately got around the same amount of sleep at night, and that’s important. Another recent study found that not getting enough sleep at night can ultimately lead to coronary artery disease or even a stroke.

Daily Habits That Will Help Increase Productivity

See Author Article Here — video here
By Natalie MacNeil

No matter how much you get done a daily basis, or how long your checked off to-do list is, procrastination is a challenge even the best and most organized of us face. Of course, it doesn’t mean we’re lazy. We’re all warriors changing the world with our ideas and passion for our businesses.

Still, there are days where we wake up with an exploding inbox, or out of control to-do list, and exactly zero will to tackle any of it.

I get it, I’ve been there too.

And then it spirals, right? You procrastinate, feel off, procrastinate further, feel guilty, and before you know it you’re wrapped in your personal burned-out-but-frustrated-with-yourself cocoon. It can be so hard to full yourself out of it, but if this is something you struggle with?

You’re in exactly the right place — and today’s episode of She Takes on the World is for you.

Jim Kwik is back for the final episode of the Kwik Habits series, and this time around he’s talking about his productivity hacks, as well as how he avoids procrastination and keeps what matters to him the most in his view through it all.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

Try one of Jim’s many techniques for overcoming procrastination and dropping into your most productive state.

  1. Jim’s “4 G’s” for a Kwik mindset
  2. Breaking your biggest tasks down
  3. Starting with your why – finding the reasons and reaping the rewards
  4. Just starting, somewhere. Anywhere.

And no matter what, remember to be kind to yourself, especially when you catch yourself in a spiral like procrastination. If you’re kind to yourself when you don’t live up to your highest of expectations, you’re more likely to improve next time. As always, make one of these daily rituals and practices your own this week.

7 Unconventional Ways To Maximize Your Morning

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CW Headley

I recently wrote an article about the role coffee plays in our cultural routine. In addition to its practical one, it also serves as a reliable boost for morale.

Coffee shares this distinction with a good many things, the bulk of which are painfully pedestrian: Eight hours of sleep, a mantra in the mirror, a cup of coffee and a read during your commute – we’ve read it all before.

Monotony is the common enemy of every profession so here are seven unconventional but healthy ways to start your morning.

1.  Eat pasta

Claire Lower made a great case for why breakfast lasagna is a practical morning meal in a piece recently published by Lifehacker. You can make a big ole’ batch that’ll be good throughout the week, it’s relatively easy to make and it’s a great source of fat, protein and carbs if prepared properly.

There’s so many ways to make a tasty-healthy pasta dish, too. Whole grain noodles for your dose of fiber (whole grains also fight disease and reduce your waistline), tomatoes for your vitamin C, and cheese for your needed drench of comfort.

2. Yoga

In 2017, Leah Wynalek did yoga every day for two weeks before heading into work. The results? Most relevantly Wynalek found the routine to drastically reduce the discomfort of sitting in a desk chair all day. She felt “energized” and much more prepared to start her morning.

In a more general sense, yoga has been proven to yield a calmer mind. Mental clarity is the most salient ingredient to a productive morning.  Just 10-12 minutes a day is more than enough to starting seeing results.

3. Quick 5-Minute Meditation

“While the body needs consistent movement in order to be healthy, the mind thrives with regular doses of stillness.” This quote arrives by the curtesy of meditation expert Ralph De La Rosa.

Morning meditation is a great way to energize mood ahead of a productive day. Try and wake up a few minutes earlier than usual, sit at the edge of your bed, close your eyes–and breathe. You’ll notice that things seem just a touch more attainable, you become a little less overwhelmed a little less easily. The sacrifice of a few extra minutes of sleep every morning bestows a feeling of preparedness for your daily challenges.

4 Subbing coffee for healthier alternatives

You’ll find no protest from me regarding the effectiveness of coffee (I probably drink something like 9 cups a day) but I’d be remiss to suggest there aren’t a significant number of healthier alternatives that get the job done just as well.

Things like Matcha, (powerful source of anti-oxidants), chicory (rich with inulin), Yerba Mate, (riboflavin, thiamine, phosphorus, iron, calcium) and chai (lowers risk of heart disease) are all great places to start.  Here’s a link for Healthline’s guide of ingredients and preparation.

5.  Blast Some Tunes

Before I became a fully realized coffee junkie, I used to start every Monday by blasting Another Side Of Bob Dylan front to back. If you’re not careful mornings can be a sort of personality vampire. On the days I leap out of bed and launch straight into work without giving myself even a modicum of personal attention, all of my values and interest feel stale in my mind.

Reserve a little space in your pre-work routine for your favorite song just to remind yourself of your identity outside of the office. Life coach Sharon Stokes corroborates stating: “Music has the ability to shift your state, so play something that gets you in the right mindset for your day. ”

6.  Social interaction

Many of us aren’t the most gregarious in the wee hours of the morning but studies suggest that a little bit of social interaction can go a long way in rebooting your moods throughout the day.

Try and touch base with your significant other before you head in to work (I’ll just leave this here), or ignite a conversation with your barista.  A brief chat, whether superficial or intimate, can boost alertness as well as temperament

7. Make a plan

In his book, Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, author, Charles Duhigg, counsels us to determine what things deserve our attention. In chapter 4, Duhigg mentions the four classifications of goals frequently utilized by corporations: the specific,  the measurable, the achievable and the realistic – all applied to a timeline.

Make the “smart goal” system keep you on track. Visualizing what you wish to achieve helps your streamline your focus. Setting goals, allows room for the unexpected of course, but having a definitive finish line in mind will make you more productive.

17 Daily Habits Practiced by Highly Successful People

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Your best days are likely the ones in which you take good care of yourself while being highly productive. To make it happen, though, you need to be intentional with how you use the minutes of your day. Here are more than a dozen habits highly successful people practice to push themselves to the next level.

1. Find your purpose, refer to it, and let it guide your path

“Knowing and following a personal, specific purpose empowers us to live with greater confidence. Having an active awareness of our purpose leads to deeper satisfaction as we readily know if a choice or task serves or takes from our purpose. Set aside time and explore your purpose. Write it down, refine it, share it, and refer to it often no matter how large or small. It doesn’t have to be monumental: ‘Make memories with my family,’ ‘Provide for those I love,’ ‘Create jobs,’ ‘Serve others,’ etc. Just be certain to make your purpose your daily mantra.”

–Doug Bloom, Philadelphia chair of Tiger 21, a peer membership organization with more than 650 high-net-worth wealth creators and preservers worldwide

2. Connect with someone

“Humans are inherently social. We’ve an innate desire to connect with one another–whether it be over a meal, traveling to other countries, or watching a movie together. Due to this, I make a daily effort to get out of the office (when feasible) to show up and meet interesting people as a means of identifying opportunities, striking partnerships, connecting, and learning new things. But I believe that how you show up is just as important as the act of showing up itself. You can’t expect every meet-and-greet to be as simple as driving down to your local coffee shop, so I’m adamant about immersing myself in their world as well: catching a plane, meeting them in their office, [or] driving to their home. I’ve been fortunate enough to start and invest in numerous successful businesses because I showed up to meet someone, many of whom I was meeting for the very first time. Ultimately, relationships are what drive businesses forward, and there is no better substitute when developing a relationship than to show up.”

–Adam Jiwan, founder, CEO and Chairman at Spring Labs, a blockchain startup that raised $14.75 million in 2018

3. Practice the SAVERS habit

“Currently, I use a process from The Miracle Morning book by Hal Elrod. It’s based on the acronym SAVERS: Silence (meditation), Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribe (journal). Every morning I meditate for 10 minutes, then move into five minutes repeating my affirmations, spend five minutes doing visualization exercise (seeing your future and what you must do to attain it), read for 10 to 15 minutes, then finish with 10 minutes of journaling and preparing for my day. Being able to clear my head and focus on my goals and priorities has made my days more productive and less stressful.”

–Krista Morgan, cofounder and CEO of P2Binvestor Inc., an online lending platform which has raised more than $13 million in equity

4. Get updated on industry news first thing, then work out

“I am a creature of habit, committed to routines that keep me informed and energized. Every morning, I begin my day with a 30-minute review of my news feeds, favorite websites, and alerts. No work email yet, just an overview to get a sense of industry activity to share with my direct reports through Slack. Then I work out. As an avid mountain biker, I try to get a ride in multiple days a week (personal trainer and home gym the rest of the week), followed by a shower and breakfast. Once in the office, I exercise my Domo muscles (Domo is a business intelligence and data visualization tool). The data-driven platform gives me an early view into new issues or opportunities within my company. Together, these pre-work rituals allow me to dive into the normal course of business activities mentally and physically prepared with insights into both my industry and company that keep me ahead of the curve.”

–Drew Edwards, founder and CEO of Ingo Money, a provider of mobile-forward, turnkey instant deposit and payment services solutions that works with companies including Visa, PayPal, KeyBank, and Safelite

5. Clean up your inbox over the weekend

“Email can be a huge time suck. I’ve found that it’s best to prep my outbox over the weekend while I have some downtime. I block time on Sunday to start responding to emails and save them as drafts, so I can hit send first thing Monday morning. This helps me go into the week less stressed without dumping things on my team over the weekend. To limit time spent on email Monday through Friday, I check Apple Mail to read messages in batches every couple days. If something is urgent, my team knows that I’m big on texting.”

–Isaac Oates, founder and CEO of Justworks, an HR technology platform supporting more than 60,000 employees of entrepreneurs and companies in all 50 states

6. Endure short-term pain for long-term gain

“Almost all of life’s decisions, business and personal, come down to the same question, can you accept short-term pain for long-term gain? Losing weight, firing a producing employee that is problematic elsewhere, exiting markets that are profitable but aren’t your focus–all point to the same thing. Most people choose to focus on short-term gains and get long-term pain. People who want to win are willing to accept some level of professional pain to find opportunities that might elude everyone else.”

–Marty Puranik, CEO of Atlantic.Net, a cloud service provider serving 15,000 businesses in over 100 countries

7. Learn something new before the kids wake up

“Every morning, before my children wake up, and I get ready to leave for work, I will typically spend around thirty minutes reading the news. As I read, I make a point of researching any topic or context I’m unfamiliar with. There is something very energizing to me about starting the day with this mindset of curiosity–of learning something completely new or broadening my perspective on an issue or concept. It’s important to me, before I spend the day focused on my work and company, to expand my horizons, and tune in to what is going on in the world and the reality and interests of others. I find there is often an opportunity to apply these findings and discoveries in my work, even if at first they seem far-removed.”

–Jonathan Cherki, founder and CEO of ContentSquare, an A.I.-powered user experience analytics and optimization platform which raised $42 million in capital last year and works with companies including Walmart, GoPro, Avis, and L’Occitane

8. Live below your means

“The great part about the human spirt is our ability to adapt to our surroundings and environment. Whether you own a billion-dollar company or work the night shift at the local gas station, I firmly believe that your future is highly dependent on your habits, today and tomorrow. Something that I always do, and would encourage everyone else to do, is take that bonus, that compensatory raise, that record-earnings year for your company, and defer the use of those funds through savings or investment. By saving or investing those funds instead of digesting them into your bank account, it may be the difference between a want today versus a future need. I encourage people of all ages to maximize their retirement contributions from annual compensation increases before doing anything with after-tax dollars.”

–David Kilby, published author and president of FinFit, a financial wellness benefits company with more than 125,000 clients

9. Stop adding value

“It is seductively soothing to be doing tasks that add value. ‘Am I adding value?’ is so easy to answer because almost everything you do usually adds some value. It is much harder to answer the question ‘Is this the best use of my time?’ To wit, it’s easy to be busy improving the product but it’s a lot harder to look up and realize the product is good enough already and I should be focused on finding the right distribution partner.”

–Kon Leong, cofounder and CEO of ZL Technologies, an information management provider with clients spanning the Fortune 500, including half of the top 10 financial services companies

10. Read a chapter or a section out of a book, or an article

“Studies show the more you read, the greater your chance for success. When you have an insatiable desire to learn you grow personally and professional at a faster rate. You could take one thing from the chapter or the article and implement it, and that one thing could make a huge impact in your future.”

–Nicole Middendorf, author, wealth advisor and founder and CEO of Prosperwell Financial, a financial services company with over $160 million in assets

11. Start your day with clear focus and gratitude

“It’s too easy to jump into the day’s activities and lose sight of the big picture. Spend time each morning doing something that will help you grow as a person and as a leader. I start my day by reading the Bible and in meditation. Then, I listen to something positive, uplifting, and motivating while exercising and getting ready for the day. Each morning I post my top three annual goals to the top of my calendar, where I will see them daily. I also share with my team three things that I feel blessed for each day.”

–Robin Kocina, a Minnesota Women Business Owners Hall of Fame honoree and president/CFO of Media Relations Agency, a performance-based marketing agency

12. Make a to-do list

“This act of writing down what needs to get done helps me feel less anxious because the tasks seem less on paper than in my head. The list also allows me to see what is a priority or time-sensitive, and I can order what needs to be done accordingly. And crossing off an item, or deleting it, gives me this sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, even if it is just the task of dropping off a package at the post office.”

–Tracey Welson-Rossman, co-founder and CMO of custom software development firm Chariot Solutions and founder of TechGirlz, a nonprofit inspiring tens of thousands of middle-school girls to pursue technology careers

13. Take time every Sunday to write out the full list of what you want to accomplish for the week

“I consider how [these tasks] align with my bigger goals for month or quarter and once I’ve got a solid list, I draw a line on what must [be] accomplish[ed]. I try to keep that to just three things, and everything below the line can be pushed. Then I review my calendar to make sure my schedule has time carved out for me to be successful. The 30 minutes this takes on a Sunday helps me manage my time and hit the ground running on Monday.”

–Dave Evans, cofounder and CEO of virtual manufacturing platform Fictiv, which has raised $25 million in funding

14. Practice being humble

“I believe that cultivating humility is crucial to success for any professional as they advance their careers and assume greater leadership in their organizations. It is equally important for growth and development in our personal lives. I try to cultivate humility every day by being present and aware–whether I’m stuck in traffic, changing my son’s diaper, or apologizing for a mistake I’ve made. Embracing these humbling moments gives me motivation to keep learning, listening and improving as a husband, father, son, brother, friend, colleague, leader and human being.”

–Raul Vazquez, CEO of Oportun, named one of Time magazine’s 2018 “50 Genius Companies Inventing the Future” for its work providing over 2 million small dollar loans which have saved its customers more than $1.3 billion

15. Seek out tough feedback

“I make a point to connect over coffee daily (or weekly) with people on my team who aren’t my direct reports.  I always ask them to tell me something they don’t think I want to hear, whether it’s a challenge they’re facing, or something about the business that they’re concerned about. Not only does this give me an opportunity to see inside parts of the organization that I might not see every day, and a unique perspective and understanding of the complexity of their day-to-day, but also gives me a new way to think about where my help and leadership can make the most impact. It has repeatedly broken down barriers and opened up the lines of communications across our organization.”

–Jennifer Tescher, president and CEO of the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), a nonprofit that brings together hundreds of financial institutions, employers, innovators and policy makers

16. Write out your to-do list early in the morning

“I watch the sunrise, have a cup of coffee, and write out the list of all meetings and tasks for the day. I do this every day with paper and pens and sometimes in different colors.”

–Dede Gotthelf, owner of the Southampton Inn which has received several Best of the Best awards from Hamptons publication Dan’s Papers

17. Keep a detailed calendar while looking back at this time last year

“I maintain a detailed calendar each day of the week and keep copies of my schedule for at least a year. Each week, I review the prior year’s calendar to see what projects I was working on and whom I was meeting with around the same time the year before. This process gives me a 360-degree perspective on how I progressed on those projects, what projects I need to complete or restart and reminds me to reconnect with specific people. Looking back at what I was doing the year before helps me stay on top of important projects and professional relationships.”

–William T. Sullivan, executive director of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF) which has increased philanthropic revenue by 30 percent since 2017