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#GeniusUpDailyNews! Eliciting Excellence Newsletter; 3 Strategies for Being Highly Productive

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For an executive to be highly effective, they need to be highly productive.  Being highly productive not only allows us to accomplish more, it lowers the feelings of stress and anxiety as well.


Although many executives attempt greater productivity through prioritized lists and calendar management, I don’t know anyone who’s actually been able to achieve high productivity on a consistent basis using these strategies.  It’s not that the strategies don’t work.  They do.  But without another critical component in place, they’re only of limited usefulness.


Don’t you find it interesting how much more productive we are in the days leading up to a vacation? We plow through the important phone calls that have to be made, respond to all the important emails, and clear our desk of all the paperwork that needs attention.  By the end of the day, everything important has been attended to. 


The reason we’re able to achieve so much relates to energy management.


The energy I’m referring to has four components to it, and the management of those energy reserves is essential to high productivity.  These four energy reserves are Physical, Emotional, Mental and Inspirational.  Let me briefly discuss each energy reserve and then offer some strategies to help keep them full.

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 •Physical energyaffects our ability to push forward.  It helps our drive and our self-discipline.  If you’ve ever had a “mid-afternoon crash”, then you’ve experienced the impact a low physical reserve can have on productivity.


•Emotional energyimpacts our ability to deal with stress, to communicate well, to think clearly, and to interact with others effectively.  For example, it’s not uncommon to become short with people when we’re feeling stressed or tense, both of which are caused by a low emotional reserve.


•Mental energy affects our ability to think clearly, to concentrate and focus, to solve problems, and to be creative.  Clearly, poor mental acuity hampers productivity.


•Inspirational energyis the fuel that moves us to action.  It is our passion, purpose, and inspiration that spark self-discipline, extra effort, and new direction.  In the absence of inspiration, we end up just going through the motions.  Low inspirational energy saps the productive juices out of us.

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 Maintaining our energy reserves is critical if we’re to be highly productive on a consistent basis. Our energy reserves are like a four-legged stool.  We’re all familiar with the analogy of a three-legged stool.  Without all three legs being of equal length, the stool is useless.  But with a four-legged stool, even if one of the legs is shorter, it can still be used by exerting a bit of effort and balance.  It’s not especially comfortable and requires ongoing expenditure of energy to maintain, but it is functional.  The same goes for our four energy reserves.  We can function even if one or more of our reserves is depleted, but it’s inefficient, draining, and it negatively impacts our productivity.


In order to stay highly productive, it’s essential to develop habits that replenish our energy reserves.  Here are three keys that help accomplish this.  They’re somewhat counter-intuitive and often overlooked, but don’t be fooled by their simplicity.  For years they’ve allowed me to accomplish about 50% more than most people do.  


High Productivity Strategy #1: Take Breaks

This is the most counter-intuitive of the three strategies and most people I know struggle with it. After all, how can you become more productive by not working?  Here’s why it works:


Most of us have the capacity to stay focused, concentrate well and work hard for about 2-2.5 hours. After that, our focus, accuracy and creativity tend to drop.  Ever notice that first thing in the morning you’re able to work quickly, efficiently, and accurately, but as the day wears on, our pace and enthusiasm wane?  By taking a 20-30-minute break every 2-2.5 hours, you recharge yourself and return to work with the same enthusiasm you had at the beginning of the day.  The secret to maximizing the impact of your breaks is what you do during them.  This leads to our second strategy for high productivity.


High Productivity Strategy #2: Eat Strategically

Most people think about what to eat in terms of weight loss or general health, but nutrition also serves another important purpose.


What and when we eat control our blood sugar levels.  When our blood sugar drops too low, our productivity, focus, and creativity suffer. Remember that mid-afternoon “crash”?  It’s due to a drop in blood sugar (often as a consequence of a carb-laden lunch). Eating strategically means eating protein, fat, and some carbohydrate during your breaks.  This mix controls the pace at which nutrition is absorbed, stabilizes your blood sugar level, and provides essential nutrients to your brain and your muscles.


High Productivity Strategy #3: Get Restful Sleep

Getting a sufficient number of hours of restful sleep allows your body to repair itself and your mind to process ideas and problems.  Insufficient or restless sleep will cause a lack of mental sharpness, anxiety, and poor emotional control.

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 In order to get a restful night’s sleep, avoid caffeine late in the day and avoid eating a heavy, fat-laden, carbohydrate-laden meal late in the evening.  Caffeine will keep you from falling asleep quickly and eating a late, heavy meal will cause your body to work hard digesting while you sleep instead of attending to the other tasks necessary for recharging and revitalization.


Managing your energy reserves combined with prioritization of tasks will make you a productivity superstar.  Get in the habit of taking breaks every couple of hours, eat strategically throughout the day, and adopt a lifestyle that allows you to get restful sleep.


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#GeniusUpDailyNews!: Boeing announces $100 million fund for those affected by Indonesian and Ethiopian 737 Max crashes


Boeing has created a $100 million fund to cover the needs of family and community members affected by two crashes involving the company’s 737 Max aircraft.

Boeing said the fund announced Wednesday will support “education, hardship and living expenses” for those affected by the Lion Air crash in Indonesia, which killed 189 people in October, and the Ethiopian Airlines crash, which killed 157 in March. The aviation giant said it would partner with local governments and nonprofits on community programs and economic development in grieving communities. Boeing said this “initial investment” would be made over several years.

Boeing also said it would match any donations its employees made toward these efforts through year’s end.

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“We know every person who steps aboard one of our airplanes places their trust in us,” Dennis Muilenburg, the company’s chairman, president and chief executive, said in a statement. “We are focused on re-earning that trust and confidence from our customers and the flying public in the months ahead.”

Muilenburg has apologized  for the lives lost and has publicly acknowledged the role a Boeing-approved flight system, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, played in both crashes. The MCAS could, in certain circumstances, cause pilots to lose control of an aircraft in response to faulty data from the plane’s external sensors.

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In response to queries from The Washington Post, the company said the pledge is separate from any lawsuits filed by the families of crash victims.

“We’ve been assessing a variety of ways to assist the families and communities impacted, and determined that this is a constructive step that we can take now,” the company said.

Boeing has had to contend with multiple safety issues that have jeopardized the reputation of the century-old aviation giant. Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration discovered a potential problem related to the flight control computer on 737 Max jets that could, in rare circumstances, force the plane into an uncontrollable dive. Experienced FAA test pilots had been worried they could not “quickly and easily follow the required recovery procedures,” a personal familiar with the testing told The Post.

That problem is separate from what investigators say played a part in the Indonesia and Ethiopia crashes. In both cases, faulty information from an external sensor prompted the MCAS to automatically push down the noses of the planes. The 737 Max aircraft has been grounded since March.

In April, FAA regulators said Boeing had to fix an additional problem with the flight control system of the grounded planes. That issue involves software affecting flaps and other flight control hardware and is crucial to flight safety, officials have said.

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