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Shake That Ass: A New Twist on Productivity and Time Management

I believe that how we manage our energy is what determines the experience we will have, the results we get and the happiness we feel. The key to greater productivity is managing our energy. How can “Shake That Ass” be a major key to managing your energy? Read on.

man with a wing up key in his back

In my best selling book The Productivity Zone: Stop the Tug of War with Time and my keynote speeches, I talk in more detail about what are the drivers of our energy. Understanding these drivers and how to use them helps us create what I call a “Championship Psychology”. Champions are not born they are self-made and they do it by managing their energy.

These energy and productivity drivers are 1) Motivation, 2) Self-Talk, 3) Focus and 4) Physiology. “Shake That Ass” is one strategy to change your physiology to better manage your energy.

This past weekend, I was at a Tony Robbins event in San Jose. It was held in a hockey stadium and had 10,500 people. Watching the crowd and energy that was created in that stadium was outstanding, words can hardly describe the experience other than a self-development rock concert. To learn more about TonyRobbins Events Click here.

How do you teach hours and days of content to a stadium of people? Not by having them sit in their seat all day. That would be hard to keep everyone’s attention especially in the competition of cell phones and laptops today. They tell impactful stories, engage the audience physically by dancing and getting up and out of their seats to get them into a peak learning state and keep then there.

Physiology is the easiest way to shift the energy. You can just take a deep breath and feel differently cant we. Stand up take a walk, drink some water, and so on. As Jim Rohn used to say, “It is easy to do and easy not to do.”

At this event, this was clearly done with dancing and cheering. Check this video out- we made a world record in the #manequinchallenge. sstitude”.

Joseph McClendon took the dancing concept one step further by lighting up that physiological change with some added fun. He calls it “Asstitude”


He says this is his Legacy. Any time you need a state change. Stuck, overwhelmed, bored, well just “Shake That Ass”. When in doubt – “Shake That Ass”.

How playful and fun is that. It took changing my physiology into a whole new realm of fun and playfulness. I dare you to feel overwhelmed and stuck and all the feelings that come with it while you are shaking your ass. You can’t help but smile and now you have sent a rush of happy hormones to your brain and you can’t feel bad anymore. That change in your physiology by “Shake That Ass” breaks your unproductive thought patterns. Now you are open to find solutions. “Shake That Ass” makes you happy. This is not a theory, it is scientifically proven by the hormones released and its effect on the brain. University of Pennsylvania have done a lot of work around the Science of Happiness. Joseph’s solution is “Shake That Ass”.

How do you remember to “Shake That Ass”? After all if you are in an unproductive state, you might not be thinking of it, right. The answer is conditioning. Like any other change you want to make, you have to condition it.

We did 4 days of conditioning an Unleash the Power Within (UPW). If you are committed and disciplined (and want to add some more fun in your life) you can condition yourself without going to an event.

Here are some suggestions how..

  1. Create a morning routine  to “Shake That Ass”. What a better way to wake up than to do a dance and “Shake That Ass”.
  1. Put the definition of “Asstitude” up in your wall or computer, on your cell phone cover remind yourself all the time to “Shake That Ass”.
  1. Set alarms throughout the day to “Shake That Ass”. You can do it in your seat, go outside, go to the bathroom, make it a fun department break and “Shake That Ass”.
  1. Get creative. Maybe you can think of one or two more and share them below to share with others.

This is not just for individuals, you can incorporate this in your company too. Create common break times that require people to leave their desks. Lunch time at the desk is a productivity killer, you need to take a break and “Shake That Ass”. When I lived in Zurich Switzerland the Swiss companies all took a break at 9:30 and 3:30. As a company you can also create a “Bad Ass” award and other “asstitude” awards. Get Creative.

This is the new twist to boost your energy management simply by changing your physiology. It is that easy to get better results in the area of time management and productivity. All you need to do is what? “Shake That Ass”.

You can integrate the art of “Shake That Ass” into your leadership training and other management trainings as well. Keep people learning principles of leadership and engagement and get some fun injected in your organization.

Be careful.. if you use this strategy you are likely to have more fun, get people more engaged, be more productive, be happier and even loose a few pounds over time.

So what are you waiting for .. “Shake That Ass”.


Control Your Impulses and Improve Time Management

How to Improve Time Management by Taming Your Impulses

Imagine that we have two parts of ourselves who work together or against each other. One in the impulsive side of us, wants to take the easiest path and the other that wants what is best for us in the long term. This is our self control. Brain science tells us that there are two distinctive parts of our brain that function like that.

Person checking messages from multiple sources

Know that all parts of us have a purpose and value, so be respectful of their role.

To support you and your relationship with both parts, name them. I know it sounds silly but you will be able to better recognize them when they show up.

Since this site is dedicated to helping you improve your productivity, reduce stress and provide time management tips, lets look at a day-to-day challenge such as email.

Email is the perfect example of impulse driven behavior. A study from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’s annual Internet Trends report., showed that people are checking their email 150X a day. No wonder productivity and engagement are at an all time low. In my coaching practice, people come to me all the time with this very basic and very real productivity drain in how they handle email. As we all know technology is a blessing and a curse depending on how you use it. Such flexibility, access and reach, lead us to needing more process and self control to make technology work effectively and efficiently for us.

Constantly checking your mail is being driven by that impulsive part of you. Checking your email is benefiting you in some way. One of the biggest culprit is that every time we check our email, our brain is releasing endorphins (a drug hit) to your brain to make you feel good every time you go in and find a new email. This is how we are unconsciously training ourselves to check more often.

I started to recognize this impulsive behavior in myself both with email and text messaging. Because I was now on the alert, I would recognize it when I was scrolling through my mail. It made me crazy! It was effecting my time management and productivity. Why am I doing this! I don’t want to keep checking my mail, I know this is not productive but I keep doing it. We often know that things we are doing are not good for us but we often continue them anyway.

Impulsive Checking of email and Text Messages Is An Addiction

Another area that afflicts many people is texting and driving. It is bad and we know it, but we still do it. I wanted to understand this better so I did a test with my phone in theperson texting while driving car. I put it in the trunk so I couldn’t reach for it at stop lights or while I was driving. In a 7-minute ride I had more than 20 impulses to grab my phone. I felt real discomfort not being able to reach for it or see it. The discomfort grew as the impulses continued and the impulses kept coming. This was the realization that this impulsive checking of email and text is an addiction.

This checking email/text impulse isn’t only an issue in personal distraction; safety and productivity drain but it can also affect your relationships. It is extremely annoying to others who happen to be sitting with you for a meeting, a meal or hanging out see you constantly break connection with them and pull out your phone to check email or text messages.

The unintentional signal that you are sending them is that they are not as important as your messages. It signals disinterest and lack of focus and attention on that person. Parents sit with their kids and help them with homework but are constantly texting, the children don’t remember them helping with homework only that they were constantly checking their messages and NOT present. You might even be telling yourself it is productive, That is the impulsive side of you rationalizing your behavior. The other part of you will tell you that the long term consequence is your children, your spouse, your co-workers wont feel connected to you.

I’ve got to get control over this, I thought to myself. I mean I’m a productivity expert for goodness sake. I’m just subject to human behavior and habits as anyone else but I have to help myself and help others. How can I apply my training in NLP and behavioral therapy?

How Do Wrestle Back Control?

Here are a few tips from my program.

  • Recognize the behavior in others and see how you feel about it and how it reflects upon them. Sometime when we see the behavior we don’t like in others it is a deterrent for us to recognize that is not who you want to be.
  • Start observing your behavior. After reading recognizing these behaviors in yourself and others will happen automatically. At first you won’t recognize it until you are already doing it, then focus on recognizing it earlier and earlier in the process.
  • Control your environment and anticipate situations where this impulse will arise and be ready. This means shut down notifications and other obvious triggers.
  • When you catch yourself in the behavior stop it immediately. Maybe playfully call out the name you gave that part of yourself and say “Got ya!” or raise your hands in the air, snap your fingers, laugh or do something with your physiology to break the pattern. Physiology changes are the easiest and most effective way to break a pattern. Once you keep breaking it, it is like scratching a CD it wont play any more.
  • Ask others to help you. Give them permission and call you out in a professional safe way if they see that behavior.

Managing your impulses is part of time management strategies that is often not utilized as a way to improve time management. Time management skills aren’t only about planning and scheduling although they can help reduce impulsive behavior because they set up a structured environment to support focus.

Your self-control has to overcome the desire to do the opposite. The more you practice self-awareness the greater your self-control.

Penny Zenker is a strategic business coach and trainer, boosting productivity for business leaders and entrepreneurs. She leverages her personal experiences of building up and later selling a multi-million dollar business, as a senior executive at one of the worlds largest market research companies and working with business leaders all over the world as a Tony Robbins Business Coach. Penny proven and practical approach help people to get results quickly.

Standing Desks And Their Impact On Time Management

Take a stand on time management and productivity!

The day may come when we enter someone’s office when, instead of being greeted by, “Take a seat,” we will be told to “Stand by me.”

Recent studies of employee productivity at a call center have shown those utilizing standing desks increased their output by 46% over a six month period. The employees spent most of their days conversing with clients on the phone about health issues, and their productivity was graded based on metrics such as whether they delivered pertinent information and whether callers decided to continue being clients. Also significant was the change in employees’ outlook as researchers noticed differences in workers’ comfort, attitude about work and how they felt about themselves.

Woman at standing desk

While sitting is unlikely to go out of fashion, spending the larger part of the day in a chair may damage your productivity and health significantly. They have actually dubbed sitting as the new smoking. Currently the average person spends around 9 hours sitting every day yet it has been shown that, sitting down for just 6 hours a day increases the risk of dying in the next 15 years by 40% higher than that of someone sitting for just 3 hours a day. Yikes, although I was aware we need to get up and stand more, I was shocked at this statistic!

So beisdes extending your life, utilizing a standing desk increases productivity. People report higher levels of energy. Standing helps you burn more calories during the day lowering the risks of obesity. They say that an afternoon of standing can burn 170 calories. That is 850 Calories a week. And people have reported a reduction in apetitie so it is benefiting them further to sty away from snacking.

Standing also reduces the likelihoods of back and neck pain that comes from the odd ways that we sit when typing or working on the computer. Standing will also reduce stress, releasing less chortisol in your system. Standing is the apple a day you need to keep the doctor away, since stress is said to be the reason for 70-90% of our doctors visists.

First you need to know that sitting or standing in one position is not good for the body. Knesiologists teach us that the body wasMan Standing at desk designed for movement, so we need to move about to get the best from our bodies. You feel it too, stay in one positon too long and you feel stiff. You are uncomfortable and are almosted forced to move. So mix it up. No time for exercise, that is no excuse. Standing can provide you with a change in your physiology which will make a notable difference in your health, energy, and attitude.

Getting starting with standing desks? Like any change, there may be initial difficulties, especially for those who have spent much of their working life sitting. Consider a transition period and a step by step process to ease the physical changes.

First, figure out what tasks you do best sitting and standing and then to alternate between them. Making these transitions throughout the day, as well as moving around, is the healthiest arrangement for your muscles, bones and blood flow and brain.

Slowly incorporate standing, pacing and other forms of activity into the normal work day. Some kinds of tasks are more conducive to standing at a desk, for instance, talking on a phone, watching video, reading, whereas typing may not be so easy. I tend to walk around and pace on the phone so that was easy for me. Set up a standing workspace to make it easy for you to test this out for yourself. Then take some time to figure out what works for you.

Create resting intervals with some sitting, alternating sitting with standing. Make sure you segment your work into various periods, and take a break every hour or so from standing. A 5-10 minute break per hour can go a long way to enhance your productivity.

Also take some consideration to footwear and clothing, the former being exceedingly important if there are to be long periods of standing. If the workplace has very hard surfaces it might be prudent to install a shock absorbent mat in the area around the standing desk or change your shoes while standing at your desk.

Don’t do it alone, stand up together. Start standing up at regularly held meetings and make your and watch them become more productive too. Stand up stations are popping up at trending young companies as well as adjustable desks that move up and down to meet your needs throughout the day and get you standing more.

So consider incorporating some standing time into your workday – it may just be the boost you need to bump up productivity, Reduce stress, to increase creativity and improve your all round health. Nobody will be able to say, “Well, don’t just stand there!” as if you are not working.

Penny Zenker is a strategic business coach and trainer, boosting productivity for business leaders and entrepreneurs. She leverages her personal experiences of building up and later selling a multi-million dollar business, as a senior executive at one of the worlds largest market research companies and working with business leaders all over the world as a Tony Robbins Business Coach. Penny proven and practical approach help people to get results quickly.

Behavioral Psychology and The Power Pose

How To Use The Power Pose

Human behavior is fascinating right? I think so too. About 10 years ago, I decided to immerse myself in understanding how and why we do what we do. My studies took me a little deeper into body language and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) which a form of behavioral psychology studying the way we think, communicate and patterns of behavior. It was during this part of my journey that I came to learn about the impact of power poses.

Man in a power posePower poses are a way to make yourself appear and feel more powerful and more confident. Yes, with a simple positioning of your body you can change how you feel and the way others perceive you. This can come in handy just about anywhere you can think of in life. It is an amazing resource for leaders and managers. I liken a power pose to an adult pacifier, because it can shift our mood in a moment. The coolest thing about it is we have it with us all the time and can access it in a pinch.

Tony Robbins is one of my mentors and I worked as coach for one of his organizations, Business Breakthroughs for many years. If you have ever attended a live Tony Robbins event, you understand that he teaches his participants how to use power poses and in practicing this throughout the event he gets the participants to feel a certain way throughout the event. He will tell you through the leadership training to “make your move” which meant to call upon that power pose. He is training you to use this powerful tool when you leave his event. Brilliant.

You might be thinking, this is too good to be true. If that were true everyone would be using power poses, right. Why wouldn’t you? You don’t because you (and I) forget to use your resources at times. For instance, when we are stressed, we loose get fuzzy from fight or flight mode responses. Ever stand up to do a presentation that you thought you knew pretty well but because of the stress you forgot to mention some of the key points. I can recall a few situations where this happened to me. You wonder who was at that meeting, because it wasn’t the you that prepared for the presentation. It isn’t enough just to know it. You need to practice it. I tell CEO’s that I am teaching how to improve the impact of their presentations to practice it. Practice not only the presentation but how you will get in the zone, access that power and confidence, shift your state of mind, access high energy before you start your presentation. Practice the power poses and power moves.

My brother is very analytical and he says to me “This is all BS. Show me the evidence”. Well it does work and there is plenty of evidence and the poses even have names.

It’s All in the Science

There is scientific evidence that proves that power poses reduce stress and improve confidence.

The science tells us that doing any of the poses can lower cortisol which is the stress hormone. See how powerful this can be at work with the stress levels at an all time high.

A study conducted by Amy Cuddy, who is a social psychologist, proved that sitting or standing in a power position for only two minutes, raised testosterone levels and lowered cortisol. These lowered levels of cortisol can increase one’s tolerance for risk. Instead of worrying about what risks come with a bad presentation, putting yourself in a power pose can change that and you won’t worry so much about the actual risk. So now that you know this, does it really improve your work performance? Thinking about confidence in general, good things tend to happen when you’re confident. Having the mindset that you can do it and will be successful usually leads to a better result.

The experiment conducted by Cuddy and two other colleagues showed that men and women who were put in power positions chose to roll the dice, literally, and it was found that the levels of testosterone in both genders was raised by nineteen percent. 86 percent chose to roll the dice compared to the 60 percent who were not subject to the power poses.

What are the Power Poses?

According to Cuddy, power poses are more open and expansive so it is fairly easy to distinguish power poses from regular posture or even someone who is shy and has low self-esteem. Your legs and arms are going away from your body where as someone who is not as confident may have their arms and legs crossed or close to their body.

Amy Cuddy presented these findings during a TedTalk and gave examples of people doing power poses and what they looked like.kick back and relax Any Cuddy named her “CEO” pose after seeing a picture of Oprah being a total boss. The pose is leaning back in a chair with arms extended over the back. Another power sitting pose is sitting with hands behind your head and her feet on the desk. Present Obama is often seen in the expansive pose.

Poses such as ‘The Wonder Woman’, “Pride” and ‘The Loomer’ are some of the most popular ones.

The “Wonder Woman” can be described as setting your feet apart, putting your hand on your hips and tilting your chin upward. This pose is meant to make you feel powerful in general. Guys, Superman uses it to so feel free to use this pose to step into your power. It really works. I use this in workshops to show people the power our physiology has on our mind. We can change the way we feel in a moment with this pose. Go on, stand up and do it now and you will see.

“Pride” is an instinctive reaction; even people born blind naturally raise their arms up in the air in a Vshape and raise their chin when they are in celebration just like you see an Olympic champion as they cross the finish line. I often use this before I go on stage and run up the isle with my hands raised it the air to boost my energy as I start.

“The Loomer” is simply standing up and leaning forward, placing your hands on the table or desk. The pose is typically used when trying to land a major deal or to show off dominance in a meeting.

Let’s look at the times you might need to access a power pose.

Before any of the following events or activities will help you be at your best:

  • An interview
  • A difficult discussion at work or at home
  • Performance review
  • Your first day at work, school. or anywhere for that matter
  • Presentation
  • Sales meeting
  • Team meeting
  • Management training programs
  • Anything you are procrastinating on
  • Walking in the door after a long day

I am sure you can think of some others too.

The power is this, we can immediately change our body chemistry and as a result change the way we will experience any event. Think about it. If you are feeling insecure, timid and doubting you will experience an interview in a very different way than if you go in feeling confident, powerful and bold. Your results will also be dramatically different. Wouldn’t you want to choose your experience? Now you can.

So the next time you’re feeling low on confidence, your procrastinating, you need a boost in time management, want to enhance your leadership presence in a meeting, or even want to reduce stress bring out a power pose and in as little as two minutes you’ll be ready to tackle the rest of your day.

Penny Zenker is a strategic business coach leveraging her personal experiences of building up and later selling a multi-million dollar business, as a senior executive at one of the worlds largest market research companies and working with business leaders all over the world as a Tony Robbins Business Coach. Penny proven and practical approach help people to get results quickly.

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