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Self-Improvement - Page 5

A collection of posts on Self Improvement

Self-ImprovementSep 3, 2014
The Healthiest Way to Work: Standing vs. Sitting and Everything in Between

Five or more hours of sedentary sitting, according to Dr. David Agus , is the health equivalent of smoking a pack and a quarter of cigarettes. Yikes. Yet, sitting around is something we get plenty of practice at. Reading and writing and creating on a computer makes for big chunks of sedentary time. If you’re reading this post right now, are you sitting down? How long have you been sitting? It’s a topic that I think of often

Self-ImprovementAug 27, 2014
The Hard Things Are Worth It: Why to Keep Going Even When Change isn’t Easy

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the time I learned to tie my shoes. It came up because of a tweet from my friend Jeff. I thought of a study that I remembered from college; kids who were told that it’s hard to learn to tie shoes persisted longer than the ones who were told it was easy. Jeff’s point, of course, directly relates to customer service , which is where I spend a lot of

Self-ImprovementAug 26, 2014
What I Wish I Knew About Creativity When I Was 20

Imagine you could go back in time and give your 20-year-old self a bit of advice on investing in the creative process , coming up with new ideas, and producing good, fun work. What would you say? I’ve thought a bit about this topic lately, as I reflect on how I’ve changed from the person I was in my twenties to the person I’ve become in my thirties. Creativity has become more and more important to me, both at work and at play. And the lessons I

Self-ImprovementAug 21, 2014
The Science of Taking Breaks at Work: How to Be More Productive By Changing the Way You Think About Downtime

I know you don’t want to take a break right now. Why? Because you’re too busy. This post is probably one of more than a few tabs you have open on your browser or phone. Your to-do list is likely close by and packed with tasks. Sometimes we know there’s a better way to do things, but we’re just so busy we don’t even think we have the time to find it—so we keep going like we always have. That’s how I saw things, too. And then I discovered the power of taking breaks at work. They made me happier

Self-ImprovementAug 18, 2014
Try an ‘Anti-To-Do List’ To Feel Happier and More Productive

I’ve gradually realized that my day is not occupied only by tasks from my to-do list . Often, there are lots of other tasks that deserve time in my day just as much as those I have in my to-do list. Previously, I found that these extra tasks detracted massively from my feeling of productivity and happiness [

Self-ImprovementAug 14, 2014
6 Ways My Brain Stops Me From Creating – And How I’m Fighting Back

I have a lot of ideas in my head. And for the most part, that’s where they used to stay. In my head. Where other people couldn’t see them, interact with them or build upon them. Where they were safe and untested and uncriticized. All mine. Sure, I’ve created some . Some might say I’ve created plenty. But that’s only because they can’t see what I’m not creating. For example, this very post sat dormant for at least a month while I pondered, waited and

Self-ImprovementAug 13, 2014
Happiness Hacks: The 10 Most Unexpected Ways to Be Happy, Backed By Science

We love happiness at Buffer. We’ve renamed customer support as customer happiness. Happiness is baked into our culture and values and the DNA of every person who works on the team. If there’s a smile to be had or a positive outlook to take, we’ll do our best to find it. As such, we’re always keen to test out new ways to improve on this value of happiness at work, at play, and at home. We’ve tried science-backed ways to be happier, productive ways to be happier, and lessons from historians, w

Self-ImprovementAug 12, 2014
How Measuring Sleep Helped Me Change My Habits

The very first time my Jawbone UP24 vibrated on my wrist, signaling that it was time to get ready for bed, I laughed out loud. I was standing in a pub in central London, beer in hand, and in practical terms, 2 hours from home. Bed time?! Ridiculous! This is the thing, though. If you want to get 8 hours of sleep , and you want to get up and start your day at an early hour [

Self-ImprovementAug 5, 2014
The Science of Single-Tasking: How Focus Unlocks Extreme Productivity

How many browser tabs do you have open right now? While writing this post, I had 18 tabs open. I’d like to say they were all for research, although I’m pretty sure one or two slipped down a YouTube wormhole. Does this sound familiar? It seems like my multi-tab madness is right in line with the status quo. We all love to have multiple tabs open at once, adding more and more as we find new articles to click and sites to visit. Pretty soon, it’s likely we’ve forgotten what we were online for in

Self-ImprovementJul 29, 2014
Enjoy All the Moments: How to Find Gratitude in Any Task

When I look back on the times I’ve done the most productive work on my startup, it has always been when I’ve had a great balance of work and rest . It has also been at times when I have genuinely been enjoying the moment . Steve Jobs suggests that in order to do great work, we should love doing t

Self-ImprovementJul 24, 2014
Why Sleep Matters So Much and 15 Things We’re Improving This Week

We’ve talked in the past about how often exercise and reading pop up on our self-improvement lists at Buffer. Another element you’ll almost always spot on our goals list is sleep—getting more sleep, getting to sleep earlier or getting into a better sleep routine are a few popular variations on the theme. Curious why sleep matters so m

Self-ImprovementJul 23, 2014
How and Why to Create a Sleep Ritual

My first post on my personal blog was one where I pondered whether exercise is a requirement for sleep . The post was actually triggered by my inability to sleep, and I wrote it in the middle of the night. Since then, I have made a number of adjustments and I now sleep much better, so I’d like to share what I’ve changed. Why create a

Self-ImprovementJul 22, 2014
My Month of Minimalism: How I Decluttered My Life

I have a lot of stuff. That’s not really meant to be a brag—far from it. More just a statement of fact. Amazon deliveries arrive all the time. Knickknacks and little gifts and random tchotzkes take over spaces. I can’t stop buying art. And plants. And why do I have so many nail polishes? It’s one of life’s mysteries. You probably have a lot of stuff, too. When did life start to feel so overstuffed? When I discovered The Minimalists recently via an interview

Self-ImprovementJul 21, 2014
How Successful People Start Their Day: The Best Morning Routines for Feeling Great and Getting Work Done

Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, we all start our day at some point. And we all seem to start it differently. Some of us hop online to check social media, others dive in to email, still others eat breakfast, exercise, or pack lunches for the kids. There’re a million different ways a morning could go. Which morning routine might be best? While there’s probably not an ideal morning routine that fits everyone, we can learn a lot from the morning routines of successful people as we

Self-ImprovementJul 17, 2014
The Power of Reading (And 16 Things We’re Improving This Week)

Escaping into a good book is one of my favorite activities, so I could hardly believe it when I learned that working at Buffer meant a free Kindle and the license to grab any book I wanted, anytime! (In fact, I snagged two today.) You’ll notice that reading shows up again and again in our improvements—fiction and non-fiction, business books and pleasure reading. Why? Because we know that reading makes us better writers [http://blog.bufferap

Self-ImprovementJul 16, 2014
The Habits of Successful People: They Disengage to Renew

I just booked a flight for a vacation to Cancún, Mexico, and it got me pondering the relationship between work and rest in a startup. One reason I’m building a startup is to gain control over many aspects of my life. I like to hack my productivity, and I’ve found I don’t necessarily thrive by followingnormal working hours or only working from an office [

Self-ImprovementJul 15, 2014
9 Science-Backed Methods for a Happier, More Productive Meeting

If you have ever wanted to pop an escape hatch or teleport to distant worlds just to get out of a meeting, take heart. There are ways to hold a better meeting. Forward-thinking companies have found creative ways to get their teams together, and their lessons and structure can be easily duplicated in meetings anywhere. These creative methods aren’t just clever for cleverness’s sake: Most of them are science-backed and all of them are grounded in successful experience. With just a handful of ha

Self-ImprovementJul 14, 2014
The 100 Happy Days Challenge: A Simple Experiment to Increase Happiness

One night, I got a Facebook message about the 100 Happy Days challenge. So I clicked through and here’s what I read: “While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in: Every day submit a picture of what made you happy!” OK, fair point, we don’t take time to appreciate things anymore… I was about to click away and get on with my life, when I read that next sentence: “71% of people tried to complete this challenge,

Self-ImprovementJul 9, 2014
What Trapeze Lessons Taught Me About Life: When to Hang On and When to Let Go

I was blown away by a show I saw recently which included performances by acrobats and trapeze artists. The trapeze in particular was captivating to watch. It looked so joyful that I found myself wanting to find out how to have a go! I love to try new things; new experiences make life fun and interesting. And I’m incredibly lucky and proud to work for a company that values positivity, happiness and self-development . Every week we share w

Self-ImprovementJul 8, 2014
What Are You Doing to Feel Uncomfortable?

I believe that when you’re building a startup, it is as much about developing yourself as it is about developing your startup. Recently I’ve realised that “feeling uncomfortable” is just what I need. Why is it a good thing to feel uncomfortable? Seth Godin describes why we should feel uncomfortable using the following chart: Godin argues that most

Self-ImprovementJul 7, 2014
The Science of Side Projects: How Creative Hobbies Improve Our Performance at Everything

At any given time, I have a side project running. It’s often a new blog or a Tumblr or a book or a newsletter. Sometimes I try to design WordPress themes. Other times I try photography. This ethos of new projects and new improvements runs throughout our Buffer team. We love to find ways to grow, excel, and improve through side projects and hobbies. I have yet to create the next Uber or Gmail—million-dollar and million-user enterprises that b

Self-ImprovementJun 30, 2014
The Habits of Successful People: They Work To Understand Context

I’ve had a few different experiences in my past that made me reach a big realisation. What I’ve discovered is that the context of any situation is very important. Hiten Shah clearly already understands this very well. This Tweet from him is what tipped me over the edge to share some of my further thinking around context: Get context before you give advice. — Hiten Shah (@hnshah) August 30, 2012 [https://twitt

Self-ImprovementJun 25, 2014
How to Create a Secure Password You Can Remember Later: 4 Key Methods

How do you balance the necessity of highly secure passwords with the utility of easily recalling them all? It’s a question I mull each and every time a security breach happens. When the Heartbleed vulnerability was discovered last spring, the mandate was for everyone to change all their passwords right away. It’s still on my to-do list. I cringe at the thought of getting hacked, and I also cringe at the thought of taking the time and mental energy to do a complete overhaul of my favorite passwo

Self-ImprovementJun 24, 2014
Why I Built A Weekly Creativity Routine

Many people around me have a pretty good artistic side: Music, painting… they are crafters of all sorts, they can truly create things out of thin air! As for me? Well, I’m not a gifted artist. I shouldn’t be allowed to sing outside my shower and I still struggle to draw a smiley face. For a while, I thought the artistic road wasn’t something for me, period. Yet, the thing is, even though I can’t create very much, I still have pretty strong opinions about what I like. Curating creativity It t