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4 Time Management Tips of What NOT To Do in Your Morning Routine

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4 Time Management Tips of What NOT To Do in Your Morning Routine

If you are like me, I am constantly evaluating new resources and time management tips of how I can be more efficient and effective. There are some great resources. Classic Time management tips come from Stephen Covey, Hyrum Smith, and David Allen. More time management tips come from Tim Ferris, Brendon Burchard, Darren Hardy and other gurus provide time management tips based on their experience.

Let’s take morning routines for instance. There are many great ideas about what to do for your morning and how to do them. Among the time management tips are meditation, working out, journaling, taking vitamins and drinking water, read something inspiring and so much more. Not many time management tips talk about what derails and distracts us. What should we avoid so we can focus on those things that set the pace for the day, that create power and momentum to our long-term goals?

I dedicate this article on what not to do as part of your morning routine to boost your daily productivity.

#1 No News is Good News

I took an Uber to the airport last week and the driver was listening to the news. Full, I don’t listen to the news. I get my news from others or high profile stuff that seeps through. Yes, I did know that Trump was elected president. The news on the radio was about murder, kidnap, rape and an explosion that opened up the road and appeared to eat two SUV’s. I heard that story 3 times in the 40-minute ride. I got out of the car and felt sick. I just spent 40 minutes immersed in negativity. It was depressing.

When you start and end your day with news, you are filling your mind with negative energy. That energy is what you carry with you into your next activity and it negatively impacts your sleep and your day. STOP IT!

If you must listen to the news, do it mid-day after you have set the tone for the day or early evening before you start to relax into bedtime. First thing in the morning and before bed, I like to focus on gratitude. Gratitude really sets me up for a good sleep and releases negativity if there is any from the day. In the morning it gives a positive lens to all I do.

I understand not everyone is like me and would rather stay away from the news entirely. I don’t feel like I am missing out and neither are my kids. If you choose to listen, choose wisely when you are going to listen. It matters.

Ps. There are more healthy options for news such as Upworthy, which talks about people doing good things in the world. I prefer this kind of news. Both are out there, you can choose what you want to focus on. I am only interested in what positively influences me. You choose what is right for you.

#2 Don’t look at your to-do list

Leave your to-do list for after you get to the most important thing done. This is a hard one for many people. I had several people contact me and say, that they live by their to-do list. I hear you. I am not suggesting you eliminate it. I am not ready to do that myself. However, alter the way you use it and when you use it. Check out this article by Ken Courtright, on different ways to use your to-do lists. (ADD LINK)

To-do lists are important and add a great amount of value for many reasons, but they also typically have many entries. Looking at it sends many people into a mental funk, not knowing what to do first so procrastination sets in as well as too many visits to the coffee room and the procrastination shows up in other ways until the pain of not moving on gets high enough to kick you into action.

The early morning belongs to you. Make this the time you reserve to get you in a great state of mind and focus on what is most important long term for you. If you never make time for those long-term strategies, they never come to fruition because you are always doing the urgent or short-term tasks on your to-do list. This is a very tactical way to approach the day, but if you want to achieve great things you have to start to think and act more strategically, more often.

I actually created a Productivity Assessment that helps people to focus on the 10 core drivers that help them to think and act more strategically because it is so easy to get caught up in all that needs to be done day to day. Taking it weekly helps to recondition the things you focus on.

#3 No Email: start your morning proactive versus reactive

I know, you are thinking “whaaaaaaaaat?”. Yes, you heard me, NO email first thing in the morning.

Resist the temptation to get out of bed and check your email. The minute you open up your email box you are shifting from your agenda to someone else’s agenda. You see various emails that you need to respond to and that makes you start to think about those items and then it triggers you to think about you to-do list. You are now in reactive mode.

When you want to stay focused on the most important things to drive your long term goals, let your early morning hours be that time. You have the whole rest of the day to react and respond to the world around you.

#4 Don’t curse when you wake up

I shared a room with a friend at a self development event and was surprised that when she wakes up she says “Oh Fu_ _!”. What negative energy to wake up to. It made me feel bad too and I didn’t even say it. Don’t get out of bed and say something negative it sets the tone. I recently talked to a marketing director who says they do the same thing. For those up you who do that, it is time for you to take a shift in the morning. A BIG SHIFT.

It is time to shift the morning words to something more supportive. The story you tell yourself about the day, is what you will experience. You create your reality. Our words have energy and form our story. Do a re-write and think of what else you could say. Chicken little started his day with “todays a new day!” He says it with curiosity about what he will discover. What can start your day out right? How about playing a song to wake you up like James Brown “I Feel Good”. I wake up to U2 “It’s a Beautiful Day”.

My favorite phrase at my workshops is to remind everyone that every day is game day. You leave a legacy every day when you go out into your day. So put on your game day face, attitude, and motivation and make it great!

Join me for a quick look at what not to do as part of your morning routine before you get on with your day.

Posted by Penny Zenker on Monday, January 9, 2017





Interview Dwayne Wimmer | Physical Fitness

Hi Penny Zenker.  Where we explore your greatest potential.  This week we will be further exploring your connection between your physical health and the ability to be productive.  This is your physiology.    Often we take our health for granted until something isn’t functioning right and then we have this heightened sense of awareness and concern.  Anybody experience that?  The body is our most precious and complex machinery.  Many of us take better care of our cars than we do our bodies.  You wouldn’t put diesel fuel in your unleaded gas needed car.  Why do we continue to do this?  Simply not give the attention and care that our bodies need.  Our bodies need 3 things.  Activity, healthy fuel and rest.  Like your car, if we wait until something is malfunctioning that may be irreparable damage.  Would you wait to change this oil on your car until its overheating?  I think not.  Likewise, your body needs preventative maintenance.  That is what we are talking about today.  Let’s consider where physiology fits into the window.  My metaphor for human productivity.  The windmill has a gear mechanism that works from within.  The smoother and the faster the blades turn, the more productive you tend to be.  There are three segments, or blades, are critical.  They are championship psychology, winning strategy, and sustainable results.  Without all three your productivity windmill is underpowered.  It turns but not optimally.  All in all there are ten core elements that make up these three blades.  And today we are going to be talking to Dwayne Wimmer, an expert in building and maintaining a strong healthy body and supporting the physiology.  On our program today you will learn: 1. the effect of physical has on your ability to be productive.  2.  Fitness habits that people don’t realize are hurting their health.  3.  Tips to start and maintain a fitness plan.

Today we are going to be talking to Dwayne Wimmer.  He is the founder and trainer of Vertex Fitness.  With professionalism, expertise and personal attention as his hallmarks and his utmost concern for his clients and fitness and their wellness as his vision, Dwayne has fulfilled his ultimate dream of opening up a fitness center.  He is caring, patient and encourages individuals to achieve their fitness goals at their own pace.  All the while pushing them to their limits.  So they can reach their top physical condition.  Through fun and gratifying sessions, Dwayne brings out the best in a person and builds their strengths and self-confidence.  He makes exercise a way of life and something to look forward to on an ongoing basis.  Backed by two decades of experience in the physical fitness training field, Dwayne continually attends industry seminars and conferences to maintain and grow his own knowledge and discover the latest techniques in fitness.  I also want to mention, for the last 8 years, Vertex Fitness has won many awards year after year.  From Magazines like Mainline Media News, Philadelphia Magazine, Mainline Times, etc.  Thanks for being here today Dwayne.

D:  Thanks for having me.

P:  In so many ways we have a passion for the same thing and to be at their best.  I know how passionate you are about what you do.  What made you get into physical fitness and personal training?

D:  I went to college to be a physical education teacher.  I have always had the idea of teaching.  I remember as a kid playing teacher with my brother and sister.  So that has always been in my thought process.  I realized I didn’t want to teach kids, but I didn’t know where to take that drive and ambition.  I ended up working at a health club and found that now I am teaching to a different audience.  I fell into the whole personal training thing.  I started in the early 90’s before it is what it is today.  Now I am teaching other trainers how to be successful and to continue to grow in the industry. 

P:  I had a great experience on personal training.  That one on one experience.  I appreciate that.  What is your take on personal training over a gym membership?   

Physical fitnessD:  It’s like building a house.  Everybody could really build their own house but you are not as good as doing it on your own as a carpenter or a brick layer.  You could figure it out and learn the trade, and do each part of building your house.  A personal trainer is sort of like the tradesmen who builds your house.  You could learn everything I am going to teach you on your own, it just would take decades to learn it.  It’s just like any other service business where you are paying for someone else’s education they have gone through and apply it to you and what you are doing.  The reason you would use a personal trainer because you don’t have the knowledge that they do but you want the results they can get for you.

P:  You want the best health on the block.

D:  You could go to a health club and you could train on your own, but it would take longer.   

P:  It’s an accountability factor.  I know if I didn’t have you on my calendar for two times a week, other things would come up and I might skip the workout.  When you have someone waiting for you and holding you accountable to show up and to do it right.  How many times do you tell me to change my position and the way I am sitting.  It’s going to have a completely different impact.  That shift makes a huge difference to hitting the right muscles.  In your business, and my business as well, its important aspect that people forget. 

D:  Often I will tell people things like, we are not here to lift weights.  We are here to be productive, contracting muscle against resistance.  The work is the result of what we are doing not the purpose.  It gets into a lot deeper than what most people think.  Anybody can go out and do a lot of work, and they will get some results from that.  My job is to make sure that the work you are doing is safe, efficient and effective.  On the other end, it’s obviously evidence based.  My job is to get you the best results in the shortest amount of time possible.

P:  It’s like coaching.  People want to work smarter, not harder.  If you ask any of our listeners who wants to work 12 hours vs. 7 hours a day.  How many would raise their hands for 12 hours a day.

D:  Some people tell me they work out 5 or 6 times a week.  I tell them I can give them the results they want in 2 half hour sessions a week. 

P:  I can attest to that.  I have never felt more productive. I go twice a week for 30 minutes and I have never felt stronger.  That feeding me in that aspect of productivity.  I do very little outside of that.  A little on my machines at home.  I feel very strong.  I think that people think that there is a misconception that you have to spend more time at the gym and lift bigger weights in order to get the results.  What would you say about that myth?

D:  First you have to back to the fact of what are we doing this for?  We are doing this to get stronger.  To make and take a stronger body into everyday life to be more productive with our life.  So, looking at exercise as a stimulus to create change in the physical body.  All we need to do is overload our body enough to create a change.  We don’t need to put in a certain amount of time, or reps or weight.  All we need to do is figure out where is there an overload and our approach is systematic to the whole body.  If you can create a systematic approach to the whole body so that everything is taxed equally, you don’t have to spend a lot of time doing it.  You have to do more than you would do on a normal basis, so your body has a reason to change.  What we do is one set of each exercise to maximum effort.  If we pick a correct resistance, you will fatigue somewhere around 60 seconds.  We try to stay within 50 to 70 seconds.  If you can get to your maximum effort on any exercise between 50 to 70 seconds we have it right.  We adjust accordingly.  It’s a simple overload on a muscle so it has a reason to get stronger.  I think of callouses on your hands.  If you rub a feather across your all day long it will never create a callous.  If you take a file, and rub it across your hand over time, your skin will create a callous.  That is basically what we are doing with your muscle.  Creating a stimulus that is going to create a response.  So your body has to get stronger.  Like tricking your body.  Artificial stimulus to create a change.

P:  That is important that I think people are not even aware of.  Just the idea of one on one training, they start with someone and then they think they can stop.  For me, I wasn’t pushing myself as hard and was not getting the results like when I was working with you.  I will never leave again because I realized that.  I bet that makes you happy right? 

D:  It’s like what you do.  You push people beyond their comfort zone but not beyond their ability.  Your ability is what is greater than your comfort zone.  You don’t know that unless you go beyond your comfort zone.  Our job is everybody is in sales.  My job is to sell you on the next rep or set.  To push yourself a little harder than you did last time.  If you don’t then you will not progress.  My job is to get you to progress to get stronger and everything else in your life is more productive.

P:  Well said.  I want to repeat it.  It’s really important to appreciate what is your comfort zone exactly?  It is just an artificial barrier that you can easily believe that that is where the edge is.  It’s pushing beyond your comfort zone not your ability.  I hope you all got that and write it down.  Everybody who is on this show, hit like on Facebook that you liked this quote.  You bring up bits of education in that we do things a certain way and why.  Why is education important to you in this process?

D:  If you don’t know why you are doing something, you are just doing something.  I really believe you will get tired of it if you really don’t know why you are doing it.  This is a lifelong journey.  If you don’t understand it, you are going to stop at some point.  I want to teach you what, why and how you are doing it.  So you keep wanting more.  The true educators in the world are the ones who are thirsty for information.  I want to give people that information so they can stay thirsty.  I am full of analogies.  I once heard a speaker talk about his sales force.  He talked to his district manager and said what is wrong with the sales force?  He said you know you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.  That is when one of the guys said to his manager, your job is to not make them drink it’s to make them thirsty.  You have to give enough information to make them want more.  That is why people keep coming back.

P: I think they have to understand first.  They need to know why.  That is in anything we do.  The way we build our energy.  We have to understand what builds and takes away from our energy.  Then we are open to create change.  I found that many people don’t understand that change is not progress.  So they need to take that next step.  It needs to be understanding to open up for change to take action and experience growth.  Growth and progress is really what we are looking for.

D:  One of the things that I differ than other trainers is that other trainers just change their workouts just for the sake of change.  Along with what you said, doing something different all of the time doesn’t make you better it’s just different.  Unless you know it well enough to where you can master it and then work hard at it.  It’s just something different.  We stick with the same exercises for a period of time so you really understand them and you are not in the learning curve anymore.  Once you are past the learning curve and you know how to target those muscles, you are really getting into the progression.  Anything before that is just learning.  And once you get past that that is when the real progress starts.  Most trainers don’t understand that and have the confidence in themselves to take a client to that point.  They are afraid the client will get bored with it or that the client won’t come back.  So they change their workouts up all of the time to feel some worth or value.  Where I think they are doing a disservice to the client.  The client will never get the overlook they need to stimulate the change in their body. 

P:  It takes me maybe sometimes 4 or even 6 weeks sometimes for me to feel that I am getting the right spot on machines.  Even with you there pointing out like, shoulders down, there is a tendency in our bodies to go to the path of least resistance and use other muscles to compensate.  By you being there and keep pointing it out and educating me, then I feel it click and those pathways are created.  I say ok, now I know exactly what I need to do to keep everything in place.

D:  Our bodies are designed to survive.  They are designed to survive longer and longer.  You have to override that.  In those instances that you are using other muscles, we are trying to do specific work as easy as possible.  I use the energy of the tiger running in front of you.  Our body is conditioned to make the work as easy as possible which is great in everyday life, but with stimulus and change you don’t want it to be easy.  You will get less from the time and effort.  It’s not about the work you do, it’s about the intensity of the work you do and how it’s targeted on the right spots.

Time to take a break.  Stay tuned as we get into more depth with Dwayne Wimmer.

Welcome back to Take Charge of Your Productivity. I am Coach Penny Zenker. We are speaking about the x factor in achieving productivity through fitness with Dwayne Wimmer.

P:  How do you define productivity and why?

D:  I think productivity is getting something done and I am all about efficiency.  I don’t think productivity can be talked about if you don’t talk about efficiency.  The way I look at things is how can I get this thing done, whatever it is, in the most efficient way possible?  To be the most effective and efficient.  The least amount of time with the best results.

P:  What factors and elements have the greatest impact?

D:  Efficiency and effectiveness.  If you can get to the same results but it take you days to do it vs. minutes, I would rather take the minutes.  That is our approach to exercise too.  You don’t need to spend hours and hours a day working out.  I tell people minutes a week vs. hours a day and get a similar result.

P:  Give us an example of the least amount of time with the greatest results.  Is there something more specific that goes into that for you in how you achieve efficiency and effectiveness outside of the fitness world?

D:  I don’t like to waste time on anything.  Let’s always figure out the quickest way to get it done.  There is only 24 hours in a day.  Let’s pack it in. 

P: Do you go out and step back and research the best way to do things?

D:  To a point, but that is also wasting time sometimes.  You could probably figure it out by just diving into it.  I used to work on cars when I was a kid.  My dad would show me how to do things.  Unless it was taking apart the engine, I didn’t read up on it, I just got in there and took a nut off or a bolt out.  I also reconditioned some of my own fitness equipment.  I don’t read up on how to do it, I basically have a base knowledge.

P:  Would you consider learning to be an x factor in productivity?

D:  I have had trainers work for me and every day they had lots of questions.  That is great and I love when they ask questions.  But not questions they can figure out on their own.  IF I tell you what I told you to do, you are just doing what I told you to do.  If you take some of that knowledge and figure some things out, now you own it.  You figured it and now you own it.  Grow and learn more and more. That is the x factor of being productive.  You have made something your own.

P:  I connect with that a lot because once you own it, then it’s something different.  There is a different energy.  In business, bring people into the company vision and have them connect their purpose with the company purpose so that they own it and then they will be more productive and engaged.  That is activating the energy within themselves to take it and build upon it.

D:  I agree and I think that is the hardest thing to find is people who want to take ownership.  Most people want to be told what to do and how to do it.  It’s just, then they don’t have to own it.  It’s just something they do for a paycheck.  I think that is so hard to teach and find in people.  I think it’s the most important thing to have as an employee/employer. 

P:  It comes back to an art and science of it.  In my program, starting with taking charge of your productivity.  It’s an assessment for people to get to an understanding level.  Then with a boot camp to immerse them so they can own it.  And to understand what it takes to own it.  How do you shift that energy?  It comes back to making them thirsty.  Not bringing them to the water, but making them thirsty.  How do you understand yourself and others well enough to get them to have that thirst and connect it to the thirst of the organization.  It takes conditioning as well to go from the point of understanding to that point of growth.  One more question:  What do you see as the connection between our physical health and productivity?

D:  If you are stronger, you can do more.  You don’t fatigue as quickly.  Your body just functions better.  Physical exercise is different from physical activity.  Exercise is the stimulus to create change.  Activity is doing the same every day.  You are not overloading your body.  If you constantly progress and overload your body, it will be stronger and healthier.  It will do more in your day.  You won’t fatigue as quick. 

P:  The physical and the mental is connected so I find that when I am more physically fit, then my threshold for stress is bigger.  I can handle more stress when I am physically fit.  It doesn’t overwhelm me.  Everybody has a certain point or breaking point. 

D:  If you push the envelope or go outside your comfort zone in your physical activity it will carry over into other things.  If you think your boundary is someplace and you push it beyond that in your physical world, you will do that in your business world. 

P:  That feeling we have been talking about.  The idea of energy.  I always talk to people about it.  Energy and productivity.  It’s also not what we are doing as much as it is how much of ourselves are we bringing.  How we really feel about what we have accomplished at the end of the day.

D:  I think if you can walk away and say you put 100% into it, you know you are going to be productive.  Whatever that is for you.  It will be different on different days. 

P:  You say a lot of profound things.  I share them with my clients and listeners.  I loved it when one day I was feeling under the weather as that happens.  I just want today’s 100%.  It may different from yesterdays or tomorrows 100%.  That is all you can ask, right?

D:  That is the stimulus.  That is the overload in the physical exercise thing.  The same is true in every other aspect of your life.  If you are not as productive today because you are tired, but if you can walk away from it and say I gave it all I had for that day, how can you not be satisfied? You can do no more if you walk away and that’s all you can do.  In my exercise world if you gave 100% and there is no more you could give, then you got the most from it.  That is all you can do for today. 

P:  That is the most important thing we can do for ourselves.  Be satisfied with what our 100% is.  Even if it is not the same every day.  We are also creating environment that has accountability factors. 

D:  I have lots of pet peeves, but one of my biggest is he gave 110%….where did that 10% come from.  He can’t give 10% that means someone else gave it to him.  Just keep giving 100%.  You can’t give more. 

P:  I think it’s important here that part of this is acceptance.  This morning I was really low energy.  I was not having a great morning before I came to you.  Yes, I have my low days too.  But the key here is to recognize and to know what to do to turn it around as quickly as possible.  For me, working out and stretching my body through aerobics or weights, allows me to turn around my energy.  That is the key.  Recognizing it and knowing what you need to do to turn it around.  Your knowledge of the human body, how does fitness affect our brain? 

D:  I am not an expert on this stuff, but I have read research on the results of doing exercise and different hormones and chemicals that your body releases when you do that.  That has a lot to do with a chemical reaction.  Stress changes your chemistry.  Sleep does too.  Food changes your chemistry.  All of these things have an effect on that.  The physical activity will change that chemistry where you can be more focused and productive. 

P:  Let’s shift gears and talk about time.  I know you just got back from vacation.  You are passionate and you work a lot of hours, how do you get away and take a break?

D:  It takes a long time for me to disconnect.  I met some people when I was away and I was on my phone checking emails, connecting back to the business and so on, and some people would say get off of your phone you are on vacation.  I met a couple people who understood where I think people who really are passionate about what they do, and really want to continue to succeed and be productive, they don’t ever disconnect.  They may connect at a lesser level, but they never ever disconnect from what they are passionate about.  Meeting other people who felt the same as I did was eye opening.  Everyone says go on vacation and forget about work.  I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  I met other people who said that it was ok.

P:  Your passion to be productive, I believe that a lot of that passion is one of the elements within the ten elements.  When you have connected with your purpose and your purpose includes a contribution, you are connected to supporting and helping others, that is why it’s hard to disconnect.  How do you disconnect from your passion?

D:  It’s hard because you are losing a piece of who you are. 

P:  You own it.  What was the best thing about your vacation?

D:  I think it was when I forgot what day it was. 

P:  That was a great connection when we were talking about time and energy.  It’s important to lose time.  Be free.

D:  You get up and do things all day long.  You get up and do it again.  When you are in a new place like that, it wasn’t like I totally disconnected, but I also got myself to a point where I could relax and I did forget what day it was. 

P:  How important do you think that is in the management of your ongoing productivity and energy?

D:  It’s huge because it allows you to learn other things.  When you are stuck on a schedule, you don’t have the time to put into learning stuff.  When I go away like that, on vacation or just out of the office, I always listen to audio books and it gives me a time to do that and I am not connected so much in the business vs. outside of the business.  I think that it’s huge because when you are inside it, you can’t see it from the same light as when you are outside.

P:  You are getting the emotional capacity.  When you are so caught up in your business and doing the day to day, you need to be able to have those blocks of time.  Environment plays an important role in what we do every day.  Bill Gates does once a year on a weekend retreat with himself.  He checks into a hotel somewhere and he brings all of the books he wants to read to learn and continue to grow.  To give himself that emotional capacity.  He can only do that when he gives it dedicated space.

D:  I connect with that because my day to day is so busy.  When I have the time at night, that last thing I feel like doing is read.  I am ready for bed.

P:  Right now it’s time for our last break. 

Welcome back to the last segment.  We have had an exciting show so far.  Make sure you have heard the first two segments.  We have talked about pushing beyond your comfort zone not beyond your ability.  Also, the aspects of time and energy.  Also, send us a note on Twitter or Facebook and let us know what kind of impact this has had on you.  We will be happy to answer any questions you might have going forward.  Dwayne, back to you.  You have to make time for breaks.  And time for this and many people just say, I don’t have the time to eat well and exercise.  Do you have any advice to give to busy professionals who say they simply don’t have the time for the gym or to cook fresh meals?

D:  As far as exercise, it’s just an overload.  It’s not a set amount of time or reps or sets or exercises.  If you can take a systematic approach to overloading your body, you can get it done in ten minutes a couple times a week.  If you’re doing nothing now, if you work out once a week, it’s a huge jump.  If you can do a productive workout, meaning you are stimulating your body to overload, once a week that is a huge jump from what you are doing now.  That will create results.  I hate to say anything is better than nothing because it’s not just anything.  Productive work is better than nothing.  You can do productive work and create change in your body.  It won’t take much time.  You don’t even have to change your clothes.  You don’t have to get all sweaty.  It’s just excuses.  Either someone doesn’t have the right information because there are many misconceptions in this industry or they just don’t have it and it’s not their time yet to take that step. 

P:  They don’t own it yet.  So there you have it people.  If you are not doing anything or whatever it is, congratulate yourself and continue doing it.  You can achieve something in ten minutes.  I only go twice a week for 30 minutes.  Certainly, you can look at what you are doing in your schedule and log what they do with their days.  Every single thing from the time they wake up to the time they sleep.  Log it for a week.  To see what you are doing with your time.  Where you are losing time.  That’s really insightful and many people come back very surprised.  I have statistics on time spent watching tv.  While you are watching tv, you can take 10 minutes during commercials to do some of these exercises.  It takes commitment.  I guarantee you can squeeze out time a couple times a week.  Would you agree?

D:  Most people have the time they chose something else.  It’s not a priority.

P:  There are other people who have an exercise plan but there is an effort question.  It’s not about the time, they make the time.  By their perceived effort, uh, we had a show a while ago with Heidi Hannah and how our brain is designed to conserve energy.  It actually works against us.  We avoid what we perceive to be effort.  What factors contribute to long term change and behavior?  What makes a plan stick?

D:  You have to educate yourself.  Know what it takes to overload your body and you have to push beyond the comfort zone.  If you stay in that zone, your body will not change.  Our bodies are designed to survive.  They are not designed to blow up energy.  Think of a hybrid car.  Your body is the same.  IF you are not using it, it wants to shut down to not expend energy.  If there is a famine, we can last longer.  So, what happens is your body wants to get rid of productive tissue which is muscle and it wants to save energy which is fat.  Then over time, makes us fatter and less productive.  And so what we are trying to do through exercise is override the body’s natural tendency to preserve its ability to not spend so much energy and to save energy.  What we are trying to do is try to put a bigger engine car and get rid of the fuel tanks. 

P:  Build muscle.  Our muscle actually helps us to burn that fat.  People who are actually looking to lose weight don’t realize how important weight training can be.

D:  Yes to a point.  We take a little bit of knowledge and sometimes we expand too far.  Yes, for every pound of muscle we burn a few extra calories a day.  I tell people to not look at that as the main purpose.  It’s just a bonus.  To truly lose body fat, you have to eat differently.  Yes, more muscle burns extra calories, but exercise, is such a small piece of the pie that you need to eat less pie.  It is important to make you healthier, but it’s not a very effective weight loss tool.  Our industry has shoved it down our throats that you need to exercise to lose weight.  I really want to educate people with the truth.  The truth is yes, you burn extra calories but you are not going to burn that many, just eat less.

P:  We are running out of time.  Pun intended.  Before we say goodbye that you have a chance to tell people where they can reach you. 

D:  My website Vertexfit.com   you can find us on twitter.  We have a Facebook page as well called Vertex fitness personal training studio.  If you just put a search in the search engine you can find us at Vertex Fitness.  We are out there on the internet quite a bit.  We have a blog posted on our website with lots of good information.  I repost many things on social media that is full of good information. 

P:  Thank you so much for being here.  It was a fantastic show. 

D:  It was my pleasure.

Many of you know how important physiology is to your productivity.  Especially if you have been feeling sick compare how productive you feel on those days vs on the ones when you are fine.  You don’t have to be sick to be effected by your physiology.  You know it but are not applying it.  The definition of insanity is knowing something and not applying it.  Don’t fall into insanity.  Decide what will be different this time for you.  How can you own your body maintenance as one of the most important parts of your life?  If you think about exercise and you get excited.  Wouldn’t that be great?   You will reduce that threshold of triggers.  What if you believe that your physical fitness and nutrition were as important as breathing?  What would be different?  How much more energy would you now have?  Be that role model for your family.  Find your leverage whatever it is to make nutrition and fitness a must.  Get an accountability partner like a trainer or buddy to make that scheduled fitness time.  Bring yourself beyond that comfort zone so you can grow.  Create an environment that supports your fitness.  Make it a must.  Please send us a message if you like what you heard today.  My Facebook is www.facebook.com/PennyZperspective.

Until next week, take charge of your time and energy.  It’s a choice you can feel good about!

Pro-Tips: 6 Healthy Habits of Successful People

keyboard with green key "healthy habits"

Following The Habits of Successful People Can Make You Healthy and Happy

My younger son arrived in this world being able to easily create a habits for all parts of his life. When he was two he would come in the house take his shoes off, hang up his coat and put his shoes directly under where his coat hung on “his” peg. I didn’t teach him this, he just did it. He amazed me this past summer as at 15, he fluidly moved through working as a camp counselor almost full time, taking an online line health class, football practice several days a week and piano lessons. He also made his own healthy breakfast and lunch, slept about 8 hours a night and even had fun with friends. It is his habits and his focus that enables him to accomplish more than most adults – and do it in a healthy, low stress way.

You are your habits. Like my son habits, habits are what shape the most successful people and makes them who they are. Arianna Huffington, Tony Robbins, and Michael Phelps are all noted to have habits or rituals that they do every day that help them achieve more.

What is it that my son and successful adults do differently than the rest of us that keep them healthy so they can perform as such a high level?

  1. Don’t Diet: If you listen to some of the big inspirational speakers out there the one things they all include in their talks is to take care of your body for the long term. Unfortunately, most diets aren’t structured for a lifetime. Six week plans and 30 day detoxes may give you short term results, but they shouldn’t be view as much more than a Band-Aid. To get long term results, understanding and being very clear about what “being healthy” looks like for you and why, will deliver the motivation to make healthy choices consistently.
  1. Schedule Time: If your intention is to get to the gym or exercise class and “life” keeps getting in the way, put it in your calendar and make that time non-negotiable. If an hour feels like too much, start with scheduling 15 minutes a couple days a week and build from there. Find times that work for you. Getting up at 5am when you are a night person won’t last for long.
  1. Prioritize Sleep: Sleep is vital to long lasting health and most of us need 7-8 hours every night. More and more research shows that lack of sleep depresses the immune system and increases the risk of everything from the common cold to heart disease. If you want an instant productivity boost get the same amount of sleep every night.
  1. Eat Junk Food (On Occasion): Even the cleanest eaters eat foods that are “less than healthy” that they love. Food is one of the few things that satisfies all 5 senses, essentially at once. Choose the things you like the most and really enjoy them with no stress.
  1. Eat Real Food: The easiest and fastest way to clean up your diet is to lose the processed food. Frozen dinners that are precooked and ready to microwave in a plastic bag are not food. Neither are most of the products that come in a box. Most prepared foods are extremely high in sodium and sugar, sometimes more than a whole day’s RDA in one serving. To help transition and if you do nothing else, look for short ingredient lists and ignore all marketing on the front of the package. Your cereal was not meant to have fish oil in it.
  1. Listen to Your Body: Your body is disconnected from your head. As in you are probably not paying attention to what is going on with your body until you realize you haven’t eaten anything in hours. How often do you eat in your, car, on the run, at your desk, or in front of the TV? Meals have become something that we choke down on the way to something else. Multi-tasking while you eat is an indicator that you may be overeating. Give your body the time and attention it needs and focus, at least for a few minutes, solely on your food. You may find than not only do you lose weight, but food taste better and you feel full longer.

It doesn’t matter if you are managing your heath or managing your time, time management tips, health management tips, or any tips that call for a change in behavior need your to focus on your habits. What habits will help you to achieve your goals? Everybody says they want to get healthier or lose weight. Make it a reality and start with new habit at a time.

Coach, Speaker and Author, Emi Kirschner, CHHC, cracks the code for high achieving executives by showing them how their relationship with food and high stress levels keep them from achieving the next level of success. Emi’s compassionate, original style combined with her positive approach to coaching harnesses an inner energy for her clients that delivers results.



Interview Dr. Isaac Jones Pt. 3 | Importance of Mindset and Internal Language

Self-Talk and Language We Use With Ourselves Shapes Our Mindset

Welcome back to the last segment of this week.  I am Penny Zenker and I am joined today with Dr. Jones founder of Designer Health Centers.


Dr. Jones: thank you so much.

Penny:  It has been an exciting show so far and people are gaining valuable insights into how to improve their health as well as the byproduct of productivity that will come from that.  Last week we met with Dr. Tom Dunkin and we were talking about language and its impact on our mindset and productivity.  From my experience, I define energy management to be the psychology elements to purpose, language, focus and physiology.  What is your experience of language’s impact on our physiology?

Dr. Jones:  It has such an impact on our physiology.  Some of the kids I have worked with who have ADHD, they have felt so defeated.  If you went into their brains and you learned what they were thinking about themselves in a language they were using about themselves in their mind.  It was so disheartening.  Once you shift their mindset and language, it’s amazing how the little kids come to life.  They overcome their difficulties of focus and what not, much easier and they sky rocket their productivity to another level.  What is interesting about that, is we have a little girl or boy inside of us and we need to really be careful with the words we are using and thinking about ourselves.  It has an impact on your productivity and on your enjoyment in the process of achieving it.

Penny:  I have a hierarchy of communication.  It starts with self-talk, that language we use with ourselves.  Our ability to then be able to embrace who we are and what it is that we are achieving.  It’s really sad to hear that these children who have just as much potential as anyone else because of the labels and because of the talk they hear around them is affecting their self-talk and self-image and they are not able to rise to their potential.  You are saying that this is having a further effect on their physiology.

Dr. Jones:  This has been documented.  Molecules of Emotion is a book that popularized this and it was written by Candace Pert.  She is a PHD and she is the first person that popularized the understanding that your thoughts affect yourself.  Its physical chemicals that come out of the hypothalamus and get into the bloodstream that can affect gene expression on a cellular level.  Your thoughts literally have physical manifestations through neural peptides in the brain that have an impact on your health and the ability to get things done. This is so mind boggling.  When you are in a stress response, the blood in your brain goes from being in your frontal cortex, which is what makes us human.  We want most of the blood to go to this part of the brain when we are increasing productivity.  When you are in a stress response, the blood goes to the midbrain and that is actually where we don’t make the best decisions and we are not actually able to get the best work done that we possibly can.  It’s really important to create a stress free environment.  It starts with how you think about yourself.  I am interested in learning the hierarchy of language, Penny.

Penny:  It is interesting indeed.  I will save that for another time.  It has been so great to have you here.  The listeners are so excited to hear more about you and your program.  Where can they learn more about you and your program?  What do you offer?

Dr. Jones:  We offer a program that actually helps people maximize their health and productivity.  It’s called High Performance Health Program.  It is for entrepreneurs, executives, business owners, that really want to maximize the ability to function or prevent disease that may run in the family.  So the program varies from person to person.  It’s very much customized to each person based on my initial consultation with them.  Their personal case history and as well as different labs that we make that they need based off of our initial consultation.  From there we create a customized program that will address the issues that are going on with them.  So they can maximize their productivity and increase their performance.  Increase their health and not just for a short period, but for long term.

Penny:  With me, you might think that everything is fine but it is eye opening to see underneath the surface what kind of shape your health really is.  I encourage people to get clarity on that.  I know that you have some tests that will help people to understand which foods cause allergies that they might not even be aware.  Whether its headaches, leg pains, sneezing, rashes, different things that might come up as a result of food allergies.

Dr. Jones:  Increased level of fatigue.  The list goes on.

Penny: Dr. Jones, you have brought about so many interesting aspects about gaining health that our listeners will want to know more about and dig deeper and how they can gain greater health.  What is the best way to contact you about getting more information or even a consultation?

Dr. Jones:  WWW.DesignerHealthCenters.com is the best way to connect.  Click the request a consultation button in the website or just go to the contact us link at the top of the page.  You will be able to connect with me in an initial consultation.  There will be a ten question questionnaire that will go out to you before the consultation.  We can look at what is interfering with the ability to maximize your productivity and your ability of focus and really to maximize your health and vitality.  The goal and the miracle in the work I do is to help people prevent diseases before they start.  Healthy lifestyle strategies and addressing them on a cellular level.  If you would like to connect with us at Designer Health Centers we would love to be able to connect with you as well.  Check out that website.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Penny:  Fantastic!  That is a tremendous resource for people who are interested in gaining better health and productivity.  That is why they are here.  This is about productivity.  Thank you so much.

Dr. Jones: Thank you Penny.  This is a great show.

Penny: I am always impressed with your knowledge, dedication and passion for preventative holistic care.  I know our listeners have learned about true health and what actions they are doing today that can cause their health to decline.  But more importantly, what they can focus on in the future and that they know they have access to you in order to dig deeper.  Acknowledging where they are doing right now is the first step in getting to better health and greater productivity.  If you like what you heard here send us a message on Facebook, Twitter, or text me.  www.Facebook.com/PennyZperspective and www.Twitter.com/PennyZenker  If you have any  questions you can post them on one of these sites.  Next week, we will talk about focus.  This will tie together the four energy elements that make up our psychology.  Dr. Heidi Hanna author of New York Times bestseller The Sharp Solution will be here.  She will share her research on focus and our brain.  This is Penny Zenker reminding you to take charge of your time and energy.  It is a choice you can feel good about.

Interview Dr. Heidi Hanna | Energy Management

This week I am talking to Dr. Heidi Hanna best-selling author to the book A Sharp Solution.  A brain based approach for optimal performance.  As a performance coach and keynote speaker.  Heidi has trained thousands of individuals on practical ways to incorporate nutrition, exercise, and positive psychology strategies to improve their health, productivity and performance.  Her vast coaching experience and passionate coaching style help to motivate individuals and teams to develop sustainable success at both the personal and professional level.  Heidi is CEO and founder of Synergy, a coaching consulting company that specializes in customized health and wellness solutions for individuals and organizations.

P: Dr. Hanna it is so great to have you here.

H:  thanks Penny it’s great to be here.

P:  It’s funny how we got introduced.  I would like to share the story.  One of my clients was in one of your programs and he was listening to the program and said wow, you sound like you have similar philosophies around energy management.  I was really surprised because not many people have that perspective and use the terminology energy management.  I was so excited when he put me in touch with your book.  After reading it, I felt like we were kindred spirits on the same path.  I almost felt like I could have written this book first. 

H:  I feel that way hearing your introduction.  I wanted to say Amen a couple times.

P:  We have a lot in common.  Your neurological approach you take to energy management and focus, I am interested in that.  Can you tell us about it?

Energy managementH:  Sure.  I have been practicing energy management for about 8 years.  I worked for the company The Human Performance Institute.  What I learned came from Jim Lairs, The Powerful Engagement.  I had the chance to work with them.  I found that I was doing a lot of what I was teaching.  It’s important that we follow our own walk and talk the talk.  I was working so hard and wearing myself thin.  Even though I knew exactly what I should be doing, I found myself getting blocked.  I had this wealth of knowledge, practice and experience, but yet couldn’t make the decisions.  I think that is such a common thing that people struggle with.  It’s really frustrating.  Going through that experience myself, I wanted to learn how the brain works.  The same time I was having this personal insight, I found out that my third grandparent was diagnosed with the Alzheimer’s disease.  Thinking about the brain and performance and being healthy in the moment but also how the brain ages and what to do to slow down that progression.  It’s really that perfect storm that pulled me away at just looking energy management but to a more physiological standpoint.  I really started to look at the brain as the conductor of our energy.  We need to treat our brain well so that it will move us in the direction of our goals.

P:  I was thinking when you were saying that, the brain being the conductor of our energy, how does the physical aspect and psychological aspect come into that?

H:  In the book, The Sharp Solution, I look at training the brain and the body to manage energy more efficiently and doing that from an inside approach.  It still takes into account all of those pieces of the body.  What I do first and foremost is look at the brain and balance of brain chemistry.  A lot of us go wrong, because of high levels of stress, our system is constantly being flooded with cortisol and stress hormones that get in the way of our logical focusing.  As a result, we get into a knee jerk reaction where we are really functioning out of survival instead of making choices that will help us thrive.  The first step is the importance of balancing the brain chemistry by doing relaxation activities.  They are so simple but yet, common sense is not so common.  Its stuff that people know but yet we get into our busy chaotic routine and it totally falls to the wayside.  Making that balancing brain chemistry priority number one, then we can move to engaging the heart on what’s most important to us.  Focusing the mind so that we are clear on what we want to work on.  Chunking that into small pieces.  Energizing the body and engaging the communities.  It’s an inside out training approach. 

P:  When you mentioned those 4 different energies there is a lot of synergy with my ten core elements and how it fits together.  I know the brain to be in a form of muscle.

H:  I love that analogy.  Some people will say, not really.  The brain is part of the body and if you don’t use it you will lose it.

P:  Exactly.  It’s an analogy that I use a lot and people can relate to.  The black hole of unknown.  Even though we are learning more about it, it is still quite mystical.  I have learned from my trainer many things.  I work on a special 30 minute workout that brings my muscles to exhaustion.  He taught me to break down the muscle in order for it to rebuild even stronger.  I also believe that is true about our comfort zone.  I put the two together is when I was living in Switzerland, I did some extreme sports activities, mountain bike marathon, and I actually felt like these activities challenged me so much that mental and physically it broke everything down and built it back up even stronger.  So now I am the bionic woman.  It has made me mentally stronger and more flexible and it aided in balancing that brain chemistry so that I was able to think more clearly.  Be more focused and take the emotions out of the equation in situations.  I really related back to some of those extreme sports experiences.  What is your experience on that?

H:  A lot of the work I have done has been with athletes and elite athletes and looking at their training protocol.  I was a softball pitcher in college.  I relate back to that experience.  You put yourself in a situation to be challenged mentally, emotionally, spiritually all at the same time.  The one thing that most people are missing the recovery time.  Just like your trainer says, you can’t do that routine every single day.  You have to work different muscle groups because the muscles require an adequate amount of time to do the repair work.  What I see happening with people is they are overtraining their brain in certain dimensions and undertraining in others.  Focus would be one of those.  It’s wearing down after time, so we find as the day goes on that we start multitasking more and getting pulled in different directions because we can’t sustain that strain of focus over time without rebuilding that recovery.  With your trip and experiences, I am sure you knew that in order to perform your best, you needed some recovery or downtime that is planned into your agenda.  That is what elite athletes do.  We don’t do it enough in our daily lives.  We blow it off because everyone else is blowing it off too.  A lot of negative self-talk.  Stress addiction that I talk so much about now.

P:  The world health organization has declared stress as a worldwide epidemic.  It has become part of our culture.

H:  Stress is such an interesting thing, our perception of the stress.  There are a couple of things going on.  One is we have to have an energy system to handle stress.  All stress good or bad requires energy.  We have to have that recovery and the right mind set or perspective.  I am sure as you know, two people can be in the same scenario, one person can break down and the other can be built up.  It depends on the other things that are going on in their life.  If they perceive that as a challenge or threat.

P:  To get that adequate recovery, the point you just made is recovery could be very different for two different people.  One of the things that I talk to people about is the concept of we can all wear ourselves down from too much focus.  It’s looking at our transitions in our day where we can build in little pockets of recovery and understand what it is that would give us that recovery.  Like taking a little walk, listening to some music, or whatever that is. What it adequate recovery for people who are working day to day in this environment that you talked about?

H:  It’s different for everybody.  Every day is different for everybody.  It’s difficult to define stress or come up with stress solution.  There is no one size fits all.  We know that everyone needs recovery.  It’s important for people to carve out time to think about what they do that does give them energy back.  Again, you can look at this physically, emotionally, spiritually, across the dimensions.  First and foremost is the simple balancing exercises of breathing.  It’s simplistic and once again, common sense is not common. 

P:  Wasn’t it Jane Fonda that was famous for don’t forget to breathe, right?

H:  Of course we know that.  Again, stress zaps it out of us.  We start short shallow breathing.  That tells the brain that there is an emergency.  Human beings are the only species out there that can perceive an imagined threat and have the same stress response.  So we are having this response all day long.  Just by simply taking some slower, calmer, cleansing breaths, we now trigger the relaxation response that causes that balancing effect.  Even though it seems so basic, some of those things we think are so easy, we don’t do them.  So what I started to do is to encourage people every hour to think about how much time they can dedicate to this practice.  I try to give myself a solid 10 minutes each hour and just do something creative.  Or talk to a friend.  Or do deep breathing.  I personally love doing short recharge breaks where I listen to some calming background noise or ocean waves.  There are a lot of apps available if they want to use some sort of technology.  I laugh using technology to get away from technology.  We do what we need to have some sort of guide.  Eventually it will come more naturally. 

P:  Before we go on break I want to point out that we have been talking to Dr. Heidi Hannah and the number one strategy to reducing stress, is breathing.  People don’t forget to breathe!!  Its time to take a break.  Stay tuned.

P:  Welcome back to Take Charge of Your Productivity.  WE are speaking about multi-tasking and its erosion of our focus and productivity.  We are with Dr. Heidi Hanna.  Welcome back. One of the questions I like to ask everyone is about productivity.  How do you define it?  And why?

H:   Such a good question.  It’s one of those areas that we have so much synergy on.  Being productive is being able to optimize our time and energy.  It’s really bringing our best energy to the time we have.  I think of this idea of full engagement and being able to bring your best physical emotional spiritual and mental self to the moment.  You want to produce something.  I think that often times we look at the quantity or how many things we can cross off of our to do list.  I know working on my new book, I feel that way.  How many pages or words did I get?  I want to make sure the quality is there as well.  Sometimes we have to slow down and do less in order to ultimately have more output.  It’s a very tricky thing cuz we are also stuck into needing to get more done in less time.  That can push us into making a lot of mistakes and transitioning into multi-tasking. 

P:  I do want to plug that book again, The Power of Full Engagement.  When I read that book, it was a book that I totally connected with.  I sent one to all of my friends.  It made a huge difference in people’s lives.  I encourage people out there who are listening, in addition to the Sharp Solution that Dr. Heidi Hanna written, to also look into reading the Power of Full Engagement written by Jim Loehr.  It’s the energy that creates the quality in what we are producing.  The question is it’s compared to what?  The quality of what we produce needs to be judged on what we believe the quality to be.  So often, we have bench marks around us that we are more often than not unhappy with our results because of the way someone else feels about it.  Or how it comes across to the outside world as opposed to ourselves.

H:  We are so good at comparing ourselves to the best of everyone else.  We pick the most elite person and expect ourselves to be that way.  Boy that is a lot of pressure and stress.  Very energy draining. 

P:  We should compare ourselves to the very best of ourselves.  You mentioned earlier four factors, what are the factors that you think have the greatest impact on productivity?

H:  I look at overall energy.  Bringing your best energy.  There are many ways to look at this.  Powerful Engagement looks at physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy.  For me, I look at it strategically so that it was a matter of what can we do.  There were 5 different things:  Balancing brain chemistry, engaging the heart (Knowing your passion, purpose), focusing the mind, energizing the body and engaging the community.  Each one of those, that social element adds a big piece to it too because as human beings, we need support.  One of the quickest ways to trigger survival mechanisms is to isolate us from a connection.  What is funny about that is even though we are around people all the time, we are very social creatures, and it doesn’t mean we have a sense of deep connection that we need to function at our best.  That’s one of those pieces I tell people I don’t want to put more on your plate, but being connected, having meaning conversations, and building strong friendships, etc.  Water cooler time is not wasted time, it’s actually energizing to the human system.  All of that ultimately helps with productivity. 

P:  These elements that you are talking about are about balance.  They are so important.  Balancing the brain chemistry, engaging the heart, focusing the mind, energizing the body and engaging the community.  I want to bring those points to people because those are the elements of balance.  I like what you said about community.  That is one that people don’t think about and I have included that in a different context in my first element which is about purpose.  When we add an element of contribution, when we get outside of ourselves, our purpose expands.  It also is a real key factor in reducing stress.  When speakers get up to speak.  They say they are nervous and the best thing they can do is stop thinking about themselves and focus on the audience and the value they are delivering.  That stress or nervousness goes away. 

H:  My focus on aging and Alzheimer’s disease, a great way to boost longevity is to have a sense of purpose.  Looking at studies done across the globe, your reason for being can add up to seven years of your life span.  When you look at thriving populations, they have in common that connectedness.  As they age, they become more valuable to society as opposed to less.  As people age in our society, they tend to lose their sense of purpose.  We are not meant to be all or nothing and that is how many of us function.  We work, work, work, and then we stop and then we have that disconnect.  If we can bring in purpose and meaning outside our work, it will keep us healthier and have a longer life span.

P:  People sometimes dies after six months of retirement because they lose their sense of purpose.  Their self-definition revolves around what they do instead of something greater.  What they do is just one vehicle in the way they express themselves.  Larry Ackermann with The Identity Coat, talks about finding your identity and defining it.  Let’s get back to multi-tasking.  People are waiting to hear about it.  We have a lot of over achievers on the line.  I am guessing there are people out there who spend a lot of time multi-tasking.  In your book you said that there are studies that show multi-tasking is counterproductive.  Not only creates decline in our performance but also stresses the brain.

H:  I remember studying and teaching this for the last ten years.  More and more studies come out.  People know this by now, why do I keep preaching the same thing?  It never fails, multitasking is still happening.  People feel like it’s their only option.  Their work environment is forcing them to multitask.  We do have multiple priorities.  That is different from multi-tasking.  Yes, there are multiple things going on and we have to wear different hats.  The important thing is when we do each task, we are fully engaged in that task.  What so often happens is we start feeling the pressure or stress to get more done in less time.  We shift out of energy focus and into time focus.  Time focus tells us that if I do two things at once it’s better than doing one.  The problem with two things, is we don’t do either of them well.  There are studies that show this.  We only have a limited amount of brain power at any given time.  There is a measurement technique for that.  There is a number for that.  When we are trying to split that number up, it obvious decreases on each side.  Also, parts of the brain are not able to be used simultaneously, even if we want to, it’s not able to.  The piece of this I try to focus on is regardless of productivity, you are stressing the brain unnecessarily because it is not able to handle multiple things.  Our brains are very primitive.  If I was in a survival situation and I had to do multiple things in a deadline, that causes my brain to stress into a fight or flight or freeze response.  That becomes toxic and causes an inflammatory response in the body and also interferes with communication channels in the brain.  You can see clearly that the core of the brain, is fired up and it actually interferes with communication to the logical thoughtful part of the brain.  So now you can see very clearly what the problem is.  What is getting in the way?  All of these sources competing for your time and energy causes an increase in stress.  Which increases cortisol to the brain.  It is the worst thing for you because it actually kills brain cells.  I could go on and on and on.  The story we tell ourselves that says I need to multi task and get more done in less time.  Even our heart believes that success comes from one thing at a time.  But we ignore this.  In the moment when we feel pressure, we slip back into auto pilot that says do more do more do more.  We need to train our brain like a muscle to single task things.  The more we do that the more comfortable we become with that.  Multitasking will eventually become uncomfortable.

P:  In this case practice makes perfection.

H:  In this case, practice creates focus.  It gives us a chance to rewire our brains.  That is the exciting part is that we are able to change if we want.  We can train our brains to focus on one thing at a time.  Allow recovery time and new pathways will be built and pull us in the right direction.

P:  Getting a clear process together of doing consistent practice and also having that recovery in between.  The most important thing is to support yourself within an environment that supports you in achieving that.  I struggle with the root belief that says hey you will get more done if you multi task.  I find that I need to set myself up with different structures with myself.  Like setting objectives, timers, etc.  What am I going to achieve in this 50 minute slot?  That helps me to eliminate everything else.  Shut down email, text and other stuff that can distract me.  That supportive environment that I create to help me continue to do that.  It starts and then builds into a ritual.  If you have the right tools and support around you.

H:  The basic steps of balancing brain chemistry is when we do our deep breathing or meditation, we are building a more resilient system to help us resist multitasking. My newest mantra mediation is mandatory.  I start with 20 minutes of breathing and ending my day that way causes me to be a totally different person.  I need to do this for my brain.  It’s not just an immediate benefit, but more of a resilience you build by doing it over time.

P:  You made a mantra meditation mandatory.  When we create rituals, we are making a choice that then become a part of who we are.  It’s not a sporadic thing.  It gives us the energy that we want to have and to be the person we want to be. 

H:  It’s about convincing yourself to create a new story of yourself.  This is who I am and what I need to do my best. 

P:  I believe that is the crux to true behavioral change.  You say in your book, it’s not a 30 day program to create change in your behavior.  Is that why you wrote that?  It’s more about changing who you are?

H:  We have to change our story about who we are and what we need.  That meditation one is such a good example.  So many people say they can’t sit still and turn off their brains for five seconds.  I was that person and I understand that.  It’s frustrating to me because they try it once and it’s uncomfortable and they stop as opposed to making that commitment to a longer time frame.  Once you see the benefit of it, you will change.

P:  Thank you so much, it’s time for a short break.  When we come back we are going to talk about her message on finding your focus and how to apply it to live a happier life.

Welcome Back.  Today we are speaking about focus with Dr. Heidi Hanna. 

P:  The topic of habits and rituals.  Habits save us energy as they are automatic.  To me, rituals are a positive choice that we make as who we are.  Habits have a presupposition to them in that they have negative patterns or thoughts.  Like eating too much or smoking.  What do you mean by saying habits save us energy but you also believe in rituals?

H:  We have a negativity bias when it comes to what we pay attention to.  Our tendency is to focus on the things that might harm us.  Not really pay attention to the little things like a stick breaking in the wood.  You don’t think it’s some animal waiting for you.  We are hard wired to think about bad things.  Bad habits and what we need to change and fix.  We are always trying to make ourselves better.  What’s important to recognize is we are creatures of habit.  Studies show that 95% of human behavior is actually happening as a habit.  It’s automated.  Habits are our brains way of conserving resources because one something becomes ingrained into a habit, we don’t have to spend energy on it.  We spend energy on rituals and save it on habits.  We do need to create rituals but what’s important is we need to realize that we only have a limited amount of energy and brain power on creating something new.  Rituals are absolutely important.  They are self-selected.  Something that is going to require an energy expenditure.  If that is going to become a habit, we need to invest in that for a while.  Not take on so many things that we are running on fumes and then end up doing nothing.

P:  I believe ritual comes after a habit.  We go into automatic mode.  That is who we are.  We live in our own matrix.  I believe that ritual is that part of our identity which is even more effortless than habit.  Habit to me is there is a presupposition that there is resistance.  Resistance then creates an expenditure of energy.  That is just my definition.  Once we get to ritual, we have dealt with that inner self talk.  Sometimes I use religious examples because it’s easy to understand.  A lot of religions have specific practices that they don’t even think about it.  It’s a part of who they are.  It’s just something they do all of the time.  That’s how I see that.  Just a different twist on that.  My perspective.

H:  No matter what you call the habits and rituals, it’s important to understand that willpower is so inconsistent and that it is a limited resource.  Plenty of studies have shown that the more we use willpower we can start to weaken that.  It’s important that recognizing that wanting to do something is not enough to engrain those habits or rituals.  It’s the training process.  It’s the training that allows us to remain consistent. 

P:  Do you have one or two tips to share?

H:  My book!!  Ha ha.  The whole thing is about just that.  How do we train our brain and our body to make these healthier choices more automatic pilot?  We do that by having a system in place.  Breathing and balancing our brain and getting the recovery we need throughout the day.  Having 50 minutes of work with 10 minutes of break as part of your routine and as who you are is what I talk about to get your optimal performance.  Then when you have to make those tough choices, you will have energy in the tank. 

P:  Being tired and wired seems to be representative of our culture.

H:  I am working on a new project called “Stressaholic.”  It’s a personal experience I am going through with some adrenal fatigue.  When I speak, I see people in tears who are so fried and burnt out with the demands that are being placed on them.  It’s not just demands on their time but their energy.  They are so exhausted because they can’t turn their brains off at the end of the day.

P:  That is exciting that you are working on another book.  I can’t wait to see what comes across in that.  The Sharp Solution is the book to get.  Read through it carefully so you are ready for the next book.  What else are you working on?

H:  I am trying something new.  I am working on one project at a time.  I am still finishing up a book tour.  I am hitting 80 different cities this year for the book tour.  Meanwhile, I am trying not to do any writing for the next 6 weeks.  We often teach what we most need to learn.  The stressaholic process has been a challenge for me.  I laugh because I know I am one.  So what do I do?  I write a book about it.  How stressful!

P:  I am glad that people are hearing that we are teaching from experience.  We are running out of time.  I need to close up and would love to have you back. 

H:  Sounds great.

P:  In summary, focus is a combination of intention and attention.  As we learned today, Dr. Heidi Hanna, there needs to be alignment between the two.  The marriage of the heart and the logic of the brain.  I challenge you to take that concept a step further to decide where you will put your energy and focus.  To focus your attention with intension.  Intention is what we focus on as a result of our vision or purpose.  In order to manage your energy productively we need to consider both forms of focus.  What we pay attention to will have a dramatic influence on our lives.  Where we put our attention will direct our thoughts and alter our perception of the world.  You have the power to direct the creation of the energy.  Choose to pay attention to your language, questions, meaning you assign to people places and things.  Pay attention to what you want and why you want it.  Focus your attention with intention and there is nothing you can’t achieve.  Take charge of your time and energy.  It’s a choice you can feel good about.

Interview Dr. Isaac Jones Pt. 2 | Productivity – Set Yourself Up To Win

Dr. Jones and Penny On The X Factor In Productivity

Welcome Back. We are speaking about the X factor in your productivity with Dr. Issac Jones.

Dr. Jones: Thanks so much

Penny: We just had an exciting first session where we were talking about toxicity and how it’s affecting our every area of our life really. Especially the area that we are talking about which is productivity. I ask every guest this question. How do you define productivity? And why?

Dr. Jones: Let’s say it is defined by the ability for you to get the things done that you want to get done. Optimizing at your body’s ability to function during that process. A lot of people get things done but they are burnt out, stressed, they don’t do it for very long. In a long term way of getting things done.

Penny: I would like to add to that it is also how you feel about what you have gotten done. What you achieved. There is that element of being able to appreciate what you are achievable. We are going to talk a bit about the connection there. What factors or elements do you think have the greatest impact on our productivity?

Dr. Jones: you really nailed it with just the way you have put your business together. I had the opportunity to work with you and maximize my productivity from a business perspective. I think that the whole psychology of when I was in the midst of working with you, I really beat myself up all of the time. From a psychologically standpoint, I have all of these expectations and I was trying to accomplish this and that. One of the great pieces of advice you gave me was that we need to me feel like I am winning. Set this up like you are winning and feel good about yourself. So, just setting yourself up to win is a really big, important element of maximizing productivity. There is a psychological, the physiological and the educational, as far as understanding systems that can help you be more efficient. Another thing that you have taken our business to the next level.

Penny: You brought up how you felt about it, as opposed to, you are such an overachiever. Your level 10 is different from someone else’s level 10. You are striving for more and more. You have such incredible passion that sometimes it’s almost just not enough because the passion is overwhelming. That is what I meant about the idea of it’s also about how you feel about what you have achieved. You can achieve loads and if you are not happy and not appreciating what you achieved and seeing the legacy that is being passed down and how you are effecting other people around you, you don’t have that appreciation for it, its somehow , a letdown. It’s not really achieving at all.

Dr. Jones: I used to beat myself up a lot. You helped me to stop creating more drama. A side effect of having a psychology of excellence now is my physiology combined with my psychology has just skyrocketed my productivity. I am getting more work done in less time. I am more profitable than I have ever been. It’s a great combination.

Penny: It’s the icing on the cake. The profits come after everything else fits into place.   You know, one of the things I wanted to come back to is the connection between physical health and productivity. I have witnessed firsthand in my experience, when you focus on helping the natural byproduct, is physical and mental energy. I have also seen some amazing transformation of my very good friends. They talk about how energy they feel. I know what I have experienced, and sometimes it’s when you get together with other people. I have done cleanses with other people. I remember on a particular trip I was on, I was rooming next to a couple who did your program together. Let’s just say I could hear from my room, how it positively impacted their relationship. It goes way beyond just our physical health. They just had a baby a few months ago.   It’s incredible. From your experience, can you describe the connection between physical health and productivity?

Hands holding blackboard with text You Body Spirit Soul Mind Healthy against green blurred background.

Dr. Jones: When your body is functioning optimally, your brain is functioning optimally. If you don’t have a properly functioning brain, then your productivity is going to suffer. I want to give you some real practice things because if the things I will actually be talking about a little bit later, I will give you guys some really priceless action to help maximize your brain function. But the whole focus really of maximizing the health of your body, it needs to be on doing the things that are necessary so it can function. A side effect is the brain will also be functioning at optimal levels. So, when your brain is optimally functioning, you just are able to focus at a higher level. You are able to create better content, manage your team better, create new ideas, whatever it is in your business that you are really wanting to achieve. You are also able to control emotions at a higher level so that you don’t go into a downward spiral of loss momentum.

Penny: We will be talking about focus next week with Dr. Heidi and brain impact. It’s so important because that is our design center.

Dr. Jones: It’s a control panel of your body.

Penny: Thank you that is what I was thinking about. So, there are a lot of people out there who are interested in losing weight. You talked about it in the beginning. Tell us more about your focus on gaining health rather than losing weight. Why do we have to shift our focus to attain our desired weight?

Dr. Jones: If you look at the research over 90% of diets fail because the focus is short term. Often times, its extreme. It is recreating new habits so you can take those baby steps forward into the future for maximizing health. People want quick fixes. Unfortunately when you want to lose weight, it’s a paradox. The fastest way to lose weight that is long term sustainable is actually through focusing on health creation and taking baby steps towards that. One of the things that I educate all of my patients on is focusing on an area and mastering that one area over a 30 day period. Just one month and focus on one area. For instance, if you don’t work out at all, as opposed to picking up a diet book and trying to work out and trying to do things from a spiritual perspective, just focus on one thing. Your one focus should be on to work out not all of the other things. Move your body. By you just focusing on one thing at a time and creating one habit at a time, you then create unbelievable momentum. You create confidence. It increases your capability of maximizing your health. Focus on decreasing your overwhelm factor when trying to change your lifestyle and focusing on the long term effect which is really focusing on gaining health. Incrementally focusing on one habit at a time. Achieve it and then move onto the next.

Penny: Do not bite off more than we can chew, right? Pun intended. hahaha Along the same lines, I just came back from working out with my trainer and I know that if I didn’t have that as part of my routine, it probably wouldn’t happen. I would find a number of different things that seem more important. Planning and accountability are important elements in making new habits. When someone begins your program now, what kind of energy return could they expect to see?

Dr. Jones: It depends on where they start from. It also depends on how committed they are. It’s interesting. They are simple solutions and strategies to maximize the busy person’s energy level throughout the day. The return that we see is surprisingly higher than what they were expecting. At the beginning , some people are like oh, my energy is a 7 or 8 and around 3 or 4 months later, they realize that the 7 or 8 was actually a 4 or 5. They didn’t realize how much energy they had to attain or achieve. The scale changed after working with me. I don’t know if anyone experienced like the dimming of a light in a theater. It happens over time while the previews of the movie are going and without you even realizing it, you can barely see in front of your face. You just focus on the screen. That is the same with energy. People think the dim level of light in their life is what is normal. When its not. Then when you turn the light on back on full blast, you are like, whoa. I can see!

Penny: It’s amazing what we get used to. What we accept to be our standards. To set our standards low.

Dr. Jones: I was working with this one guy, Gary, and he works for a company that is all about personal achievement and maximizing your potential and what not. So, with that, he is a coach in that company. When he first started working with me, he said he felt embarrassed. He didn’t want to get on calls with people because his head will start nodding. He needs naps in between calls. Around 3 months after beginning he has gone from a one to a seven out of ten. He has transformed his entire life. He is jumping for joy. He has referred many people to me.

Penny: That is life changing.

Dr. Jones: He is going to get up to an 8 or 9 or 10. That is our goal. I am excited to see that.

Penny: I love when people are able to see those break through results that take their life to a new level. I want some of our listeners to get a piece of that. What do you see are the most common things that our listeners can take away that most people are doing to damage their health today?

Dr. Jones: There are 3 major things. First, they are consuming too much sugar. A lot of executives that I am working with, you think it’s simple, but there is a lot of hidden sugar. Some are consuming. Too much fruit sugar. It’s causing issues within their body. Think of it this way, our ancestors used to consume less than 20 grams of sugar a day. The average person now is consuming 100 grams a day! It’s a lot of sugar. A lot of that is through even people that think they are doing something great, like drinking orange juice, they are getting like 20 or 40 grams per cup of sugar. Jamba Juice smoothies are full of sugar. These sugars are causing damage to the brain and the body. If you look at an MRI of the brain after consuming a higher sugar meal, even if its organic sugar, the brain actually decreases its functionality by 30 to 40%. You can see it on the MRI. There are little Swiss cheese areas that seem like they are empty as far as your ability to use the brain. From a productivity prospective, you want to decrease your sugar consumption. The other thing that people are doing is they are consuming dairy toxic fat. Some of the toxic fats that people don’t know they are consuming is canola oil. Canola oil comes from grape seeds which is genetically modified seeds. It didn’t even exist 100 years ago. Its toxic oil. Vegetable oils are way too high in Omega 6. The better oils to consume are coconut, healthy grass fed or organic butters, olive oil. More of the natural oils. Oils you can find in nuts and avocados. Those are healthy. For the sugars, you can use stevia as a substitute in your coffee or tea.

Penny: I would like to point out that some people think if you put something in your water like some sort of sugar or something that it has the same effect on your body as regular water. Is that true?

Dr. Jones: People are putting sugar in their body and it will have different effect or same effect?

Penny: They will put a drink mix with water, like Kool aid, or whatever, and they think that is an equivalent to drinking water.

Dr. Jones: If you are doing that, or are addicted to fruit juice or sodas or something, and you are in a transition phase where you are trying to decrease the amount of sugar. The reality is that there is still sugar in the water. Focus on consuming just water. I have a patient in Canada who she actually loves coconut water. I think coconut water is great because it has a lot of potassium. Many are deficient in potassium. It is amazing but one bottle of coconut water has 15 grams of sugar. So, she was having like 7 bottles a day. So, I was just recommending cutting it back to one or a half of one per day. The best fluid to be ingesting is just water. You can pinch a bit of sea salt in the water to boost the minerals.

Penny: I wanted to bring that up because for real hydration and cell penetration I understood there is no substitute to water.

Dr. Jones: Exactly. Then you can get into the best types of waters. But we won’t get into that.

Penny: What was the third element?

Dr. Jones: The third element that is damaging their health and ability is just coming up with the excuse of not having time to exercise. It’s really the most common thing I come up against. People say I just don’t have time. If you think about it when I look at their schedules, they have at least a half an hour if not 15 minutes. You can get a killer workout in 15 minutes. Penny, do you remember the training strategy I educated you on? Go ahead and share that with the listeners. It is just profound.

Penny: I would prefer that you share so they get it exactly the right way.

Dr. Jones: Your goal is to warm up for two minutes and after that you whether you swim or are on a rowing machine, treadmill or whatever it may be or just jogging, you go as hard as you can for under 30 seconds. Or 10 or 20 seconds. You go all out from 80% for the first one and then 90 to 100% for the next. Whatever that exercise it, you go all out. Until you are sweating and sucking wind. You catch your breath for about a minute and a half and then you repeat that hard 30 second sprint again. Repeat that whole cycle of sprinting and resting and sprinting and resting for around 6 to 10 times. My focus is to get to 8. What is so profound about that is that it sky rockets your human growth hormone levels of the body. It turns on the metabolic pathways to the body far greater than what you do normally. Get that done in a hotel room where you only can do squats. Get in a squat position and quickly start moving. Even balance against the wall as much as you can until you burn out. Most people burn out in less than 30 seconds.

Penny: Thank you for pointing out those three areas that people are currently damaging their health and also suggestions on how they can eliminate or reduce the effect they are having on those areas. It’s time for our last break. When we come back, we will talk about how to do a real health check before systems of lack of health rob you of your activity.


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