The Inverted-U Model

Balancing Pressure and Performance

(Also known as Yerkes-Dodson Law)

Have you ever worked on a project that had a tight-but-achievable deadline, and that needed your unique, expert knowledge for it to be completed successfully? Even though you found it challenging, you may have delivered some of your best work.

Or, think back to a project you worked on where there was little pressure to deliver. The deadline was flexible and the work wasn’t challenging. You may have done an average job, at best.

There’s a subtle relationship between pressure and performance. When your people experience the right amount of pressure, they do their best work. However, if there’s too much or too little pressure, then performance can suffer.

This relationship is explained by the Inverted-U Model, which we’ll look at in this article. This helps you get the best from your people, at the same time that you keep them happy and engaged.

About the Model

The Inverted-U model (also known as the Yerkes-Dodson Law), was created by psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dodson as long ago as 1908. Despite its age, it’s a model that has stood the test of time.

It shows the relationship between pressure (or arousal) and performance.

According to the model, peak performance is achieved when people experience a moderate level of pressure. Where they experience too much or too little pressure, their performance declines, sometimes severely.

The left hand side of the graph shows the situation where people are under-challenged. Here, they see no reason to work hard at a task, or they’re in danger of approaching their work in a “sloppy,” unmotivated way.

The middle of the graph shows where they’re working at peak effectiveness. They’re sufficiently motivated to work hard, but they’re not so overloaded that they’re starting to struggle. This is where people can enter a state of “Flow,” the enjoyable and highly productive state in which they can do their best work.

The right hand side of the graph shows where they’re starting to “fall apart under pressure.” They’re overwhelmed by the volume and scale of competing demands on their attention, and they may be starting to panic.

The Four Influencers

The shape of the Inverted-U curve shown in figure 1 is for illustration only – in reality, the shape of the curve will depend on the situation, and the individual person.

There are four main “influencers” that can affect this*. These are:

  1. Skill Level.
  2. Personality.
  3. Trait Anxiety.
  4. Task Complexity.

We’ll now look at each influencer in greater detail:

Skill Level

People’s levels of skill with a given task directly influence how well they perform, which is why you need to train your people intensively if you want them to cope in high-pressure situations.

For instance, if they’re not practiced enough to do a task, they’ll feel under serious pressure, and they won’t perform well. What’s more, people are less able to think in a flexible, methodical way when they’re under pressure, which is why they need to be able to fall back on well-rehearsed responses.


A person’s personality also affects how well he or she performs.

For instance, some psychologists believe that people who are extroverts are likely to perform better in high-pressure situations. People with an introverted personality, on the other hand, may perform better with less pressure.

Trait Anxiety

Think of trait anxiety as the level of a person’s “self-talk.” People who are self-confident are more likely to perform better under pressure. This is because their self-talk is under control, which means that they can stay “in flow,” and they can concentrate fully on the situation at hand. By contrast, people who criticize or question themselves are likely to be distracted by their self-talk, which can cause them to lose focus in pressurized situations.

The more that people are able to lower their anxiety about a task (with practice, or with positive thinking, for example) the better they’ll perform.

Task Complexity

Task complexity describes the level of attention and effort that people have to put into a task in order to complete it successfully. People can perform simple activities under quite high levels of pressure, while complex activities are better performed in a calm, low-pressure environment.


Remember that these are only influences. With experienced, good people, their self-discipline and sense of professionalism should help them avoid performance issues on the left hand side of the graph. Their training and experience will also help them on the right hand side of the graph, although there is a point at which even experienced professionals may become so overwhelmed that their work suffers.

Using the Model

The simplest way to use the Inverted-U Model is to be aware of it when you allocate tasks and projects to people on your team.

Most importantly, start by thinking about people’s workloads, and about the pressure that they’re already experiencing. If people are overloaded, see if you can take pressure off them – this will help them increase the quality of their work. By contrast, if they’re underworked (it can happen!), you may need to keep them sharp by shortening deadlines or finding extra things for them to do.

From there, balance the influences that contribute to pressure, so that your people can perform at their best.

For instance, try to provide team members with tasks and projects of an appropriate level of complexity, and work to build confidence in people who need it.

Also, manage negativity in your team, and train your people so that they have the skills they need to do a good job. (Our article on Training Needs Assessment will help you do this.) Tools like the Four Dimensions of Relational Work can also help you match tasks to people’s personalities and interpersonal skills.

However, bear in mind that you won’t be able to balance influences in all situations, so make sure that you know how to motivate your team effectively, so that you can help them perform in all situations.

Note 1:

Although not addressed as part of the Inverted-U Model, it’s also important to remember that people can experience pressure from other sources (for instance, from their personal lives or from any underlying concerns about their role or organization). Bear these external pressures in mind when setting deadlines and allocating tasks.

Note 2:

Don’t worry about people becoming too skilled or too confident – you can use the other influencers to balance this, so that they feel the optimum amount of pressure to perform at their best.

Note 3:

Don’t, whatever you do, confuse “pressure” with “stress” in this model. Stress is all about people feeling out of control, and it’s a wholly negative thing. If you seek to increase people’s stress (rather than increasing positive pressure), all you’ll do is create an unhappy, under-performing workplace.

Key Points

The Inverted-U Model illustrates the relationship between pressure and performance. According to the model, there is an optimum level of pressure at which people perform at their best. Too much or too little pressure can lead to decreased performance.

There are four main “influencers” that can affect how much pressure people feel:

  1. Skill Level.
  2. Personality.
  3. Trait Anxiety.
  4. Task Complexity.

You can use the model by managing these four influencers, and by being aware of how they can positively or negatively influence your people’s performance.


5 Powerful Exercises To Increase Your Mental Strength

The following guest post is by Amy Morin, a licensed clinical social worker in Lincoln, Maine. In addition to working as a psychotherapist, she is also an adjunct college psychology instructor and she serves as’s Parenting Teens expert.

Psychology often discusses mental health — but what’s not often discussed is a clear definition of mental strength. To me, mental strength means that you regulate your emotions, manage your thoughts, and behave in a positive manner, despite your circumstances. Developing mental strength is about finding the courage to live according to your values and being bold enough to create your own definition of success.

Mental strength involves more than just willpower; it requires hard work and commitment. It’s about establishing healthy habits and choosing to devote your time and energy to self-improvement.

Although it’s easier to feel mentally strong when life seems simple — often, true mental strength becomes most apparent in the midst of tragedy. Choosing to develop skills that increase your mental strength is the best way to prepare for life’s inevitable obstacles.

Many exercises exist that can help you develop mental strength. But here are five that can get you started:

1. Evaluate Your Core Beliefs

We’ve all developed core beliefs about ourselves, our lives and the world in general. Core beliefs develop over time and largely depend upon our past experiences. Whether you’re aware of your core beliefs or not, they influence your thoughts, your behavior and emotions.

Sometimes, core beliefs are inaccurate and unproductive. For example, if you believe that you’ll never succeed in life, you may be less apt to apply for new jobs — and inadvertently, you may not present yourself well on job interviews. Therefore, your core beliefs may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Identify and evaluate your core beliefs. Look for beliefs that are black and white, and then find exceptions to the rule. Very few things in life are “always” or “never” true. Modifying core beliefs requires purposeful intention and hard work, but it can change the entire course of your life.

2. Expend Your Mental Energy Wisely

Wasting brain power ruminating about things you can’t control drains mental energy quickly. The more you think about negative problems that you can’t solve, the less energy you’ll have leftover for creative endeavors. For example, sitting and worrying about the weather forecast isn’t helpful. If a major storm is headed your way, worrying about it won’t prevent it. You can, however, choose to prepare for it. Focus on what is only within your control.

Save your mental energy for productive tasks, such as solving problems or setting goals.When your thoughts aren’t productive, make a conscious effort to shift your mental energy to more helpful topics. The more you practice expending your mental energy wisely, the more it will become a habit.

3. Replace Negative Thoughts with Productive Thoughts

Although most of us don’t spend time thinking about our thoughts, increasing your awareness of your thinking habits proves useful in building resilience. Exaggerated, negative thoughts, such as, “I can’t ever do anything right,” hold you back from reaching your full potential. Catch your negative thoughts before they spiral out of control and influence your behavior.

Identify and replace overly negative thoughts with thoughts that are more productive. Productive thoughts don’t need to be extremely positive, but should be realistic. A more balanced thought may be, “I have some weaknesses, but I also have plenty of strengths.” Changing your thoughts requires constant monitoring, but the process can be instrumental in helping you become your best self.

4. Practice Tolerating Discomfort

Being mentally strong doesn’t mean you don’t experience emotions. In fact, mental strength requires you to become acutely aware of your emotions so you can make the best choice about how to respond. Mental strength is about accepting your feelings without being controlled by them.

Mental strength also involves an understanding of when it makes sense to behave contrary to your emotions. For example, if you experience anxiety that prevents you from trying new things or accepting new opportunities, try stepping out of your comfort zone if you want to continue to challenge yourself. Tolerating uncomfortable emotions takes practice, but it becomes easier as your confidence grows.

Practice behaving like the person you’d like to become. Instead of saying, “I wish I could be more outgoing,” choose to behave in a more outgoing manner, whether you feel like it or not. Some discomfort is often necessary for greater gain, and tolerating that discomfort will help make your vision a reality, one small step at a time.

5. Reflect on Your Progress Daily

Today’s busy world doesn’t lend itself to making much time available for quiet reflection. Create time to reflect upon your progress toward developing mental strength. At the end of each day, ask yourself what you’ve learned about your thoughts, emotions and behavior. Consider what you hope to improve upon or accomplish tomorrow.

Developing mental strength is a work in progress. There is always room for improvement, and at times this will seem more difficult than at other times. Reflecting upon your progress can reinforce your ability to reach your definition of success while living according to your values.


3 Exercises That Build Mental Strength in Just 5 Minutes

Whether you’re tempted to give in to your craving for a cupcake, or you’re about to give up on your goals, perseverance isn’t easy. But before you blame your lack of willpower or make an excuse for your less-than-stellar performance, consider this: It only takes a few minutes a day to build the mental muscle you need to reach your greatest potential.

Building mental strength is similar to building physical strength. Doing 50 push-ups a day would only take a few minutes of your time, but doing it consistently would help you build a tremendous amount of upper body strength.

The same can be said of your mental muscle. In just a few minutes each day, you can train your brain to think differently, manage your emotions, and behave productively. With consistent exercise, you’ll build mental strength.

While there are many exercises that can help you grow stronger, here are three that will help you build mental muscle in five minutes or less:

1. Identify three things you’re grateful for.

Counting your blessings—as opposed to your burdens—has a big impact on your psychological health. Studies consistently show that gratitude increases happiness and reduces depression.

Make gratitude a daily habit by intentionally identifying three things in your life you are grateful for. It could be as simple as feeling thankful for the clean water that comes out of your faucet or appreciating the cool breeze on a warm day.

Studies show that you can physically change your brain by making gratitude a habit. Write in a gratitude journal, list the things you feel grateful for over dinner, or make it a habit to identify what you’re thankful for before you go to bed. Over time, being thankful becomes like second nature, and you’ll experience benefits ranging from improved sleep to greater immunity.

2. Practice mindfulness.

It’s impossible to stay strong when you’re rehashing something that happened last week or predicting that horrible things are going to happen tomorrow. Mindfulness is about staying present in the moment. And since the only time you can change your behavior is right now, it’s important to be able to focus on the here-and-now.

Science shows that mindfulness has a multitude of physical and psychological benefits, including reduced stress and a more compassionate inner dialogue.

So take a minute to focus on what’s going on around you. Listen to see what sounds you can hear. Look around the room and see what you notice. Do a quick scan of your body and pay attention to how it feels.

With regular practice, you’ll increase your ability to focus, which is tough to do in today’s fast-paced world. You’ll also be able to enjoy each moment because you’ll be less distracted by yesterday’s problems and tomorrow’s worries.

3. Act “as if.”

It can be tempting to wait until you feel different to make a change. But waiting until you feel good about yourself before applying for a promotion, or waiting until you feel happy to invite your friends out for a night on the town, could backfire. Instead, studies show you should behave like the person you want to become. When you change your behavior, your thoughts and emotions will follow.

When you’re sad, you might hunch your shoulders and look at the floor, but doing so keeps you in a depressive state. Put your shoulders back and smile, however, and you’ll feel an instant boost in your mood.

Don’t expect feelings of confidence to come out of nowhere. Instead, ask yourself, How can I act confident? Acting like a confident person, even when you’re filled with self-doubt, helps you feel surer of yourself. Research shows acting confident even increases other people’s confidence in you.

Try asking yourself, What would a mentally strong person do? Then, act as if you feel strong already. And you’ll grow a little stronger.

Do Your Mental Push Ups

Every day is an opportunity to develop mental muscle. Simple, short exercises performed consistently over time will help you build mental strength.

Additionally, pay attention to the bad habits that rob you of mental strength. Feeling sorry for yourself, giving up after your first failure, and giving away your power are just a few of the habits that can wreak havoc on your mental weightlifting routine. Giving up those unhealthy habits will help you work smarter, not harder.


18 Powerful Ways to Build Your Mental Toughness

Intelligence is helpful if you want to be successful, but commitment and mental toughness are mandatory. Keep yourself on track with these valuable habits.

It’s a well-known adage: What happens to us plays far less a role in our happiness and success than our responses.

To develop and maintain the kind of mental toughness that success requires, it’s crucial that you keep your thoughts and self-talk positive and avoid the habits that lead to negativity and unhealthy behaviors.

The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we never see them fight.

Help keep yourself prepared for whatever comes your way tomorrow by practicing good habits of mind and attitude:

1. Emotional stability. Leadership often requires that you make good decisions under pressure. It’s important that you maintain your capacity to stay objective and deliver the same level of performance regardless of what you’re feeling.

2. Perspective. Mental strength lets you carry on when the world seems to have turned against you. Learn to keep your troubles in proper perspective without losing sight of what you need to accomplish.

3. Readiness for change. If change is truly the only constant, then flexibility and adaptability are among the most important traits you can develop.

4. Detachment. You can get through setbacks and come out even stronger if you can remember that’s it’s not about you. Don’t take things personally or waste time wondering Why me? Instead focus on what you can control.

5. Strength under stress. Maintain resilience in the face of negative pressures by developing your capacity to deal with stressful situations.

6. Preparation for challenges. Life and business are filled with everyday demands, the occasional crisis, and unexpected twists. Make sure you have the resources to withstand the professional and personal crises that you’ll sooner or later be facing.

7. Focus. Keep your attention on the long-term outcomes to stay steady in the face of real or potential obstacles.

8. The right attitude toward setbacks. Complications, unintended side effects, and complete failures are all part of landscape. Mitigate the damage, learn the lessons that will help you in the future, and move on.

9. Self-validation. Don’t worry about pleasing others: That’s a hit-or-miss proposition for anyone but the worst sort of waffler. Instead, make a concentrated effort to do what is right and to know what you stand for.

10. Patience. Don’t expect results immediately or rush things to fruition before their time. Anything worthwhile takes hard work and endurance; view everything as a work in progress.

11. Control. Avoid giving away your power to others. You are in control of your actions and emotions; your strength is in your ability to manage the way you respond to what is happening to them.

12. Acceptance. Don’t complain about the things you have no control over. Recognize that the one thing you can always control is your own response and attitude, and use those attributes effectively.

13. Endurance in the face of failure.View failure as an opportunity to grow and improve, not a reason to give up. Be willing to keep trying until you get it right.

14. Unwavering positivity. Stay positive even — especially — when you encounter negative people. Elevate them; never bring yourself down. Don’t allow naysayers to ruin the spirit of what you’re accomplishing.

15. Contentment. Don’t waste time being envious of anyone else’s car, house, spouse, job, or family. Instead be grateful for what you have. Focus on what you’ve achieved and what you’re going to achieve instead of looking over your shoulder and being envious of what someone else has.

16. Tenacity. It comes down to just three words: Never give up.

17. A strong inner compass. When your sense of direction is deeply internalized, you never have to worry about becoming lost. Stay true to your course.

18. Uncompromising standards. Tough times or business difficulties aren’t good reasons to lower the bar. Keep your standards high.

Becoming a mentally strong person takes practice and mindfulness. It requires tuning in to your bad habits and making a point of learning new habits to replace them. And sometimes it simply means learning to get out of your own way and let things happen.



Most people recognise the terms divorce attorney, conveyancer and criminal attorney, but only a few are aware of the growing need for a technology attorney. Worldwide, the evolution of technology has brought about a multitude of legal problems and South Africans are not immune to these.

Business continues to move online and in any conversation you’ll come across the words “data privacy”, “cyber-crime”, “online retailer”, “App development” and many more.

So what exactly does a technology attorney do?

Basically – anything to do with the law and technology. Here at SwiftTechLaw we specialise in the following areas:

GRC (GOVERNANCE, RISK AND COMPLIANCE) – which includes PRIVACY LAW COMPLIANCE (POPIA & GDPR). Information privacy is a hot topic at the moment as the Information Regulator creeps closer to being established. Once this happens South African organisations will need to comply or face hefty penalties. We assist our clients with their compliance, which includes providing them with all required documentation, training and website updates.

DOMAIN NAME RIGHTS AND DISPUTES – Having a company website / online store in this day and age is becoming vital to the success of any organisation and securing your domain name is the first step. We assist with any matters relating to domain name registrations and disputes.

APP DEVELOPMENTHave an idea for a new app? SwiftTechLaw can assist.

CRYPTOCURRENCY TRANSACTIONS – Crypto-currency investment remains the wild west of South Africa’s financial landscape. There is no cohesive regulation which restricts transactions or facilitates trade and this exposes investors to many risks. Organisations providing platforms for cryptocurrency transactions should also keep up to date with the latest regulations in order to minimise the risk for themselves and their investors. We assist by providing legal opinions and advise on how to minimise the risk of cryptocurrency transactions while the regulation thereof remains mostly unclear.


START-UP / INCUBATOR ASSISTANCE – We assist start-ups with non-disclosure agreements, non-compete agreements, registering different types of intellectual property (I.P), contractual terms of business for each specific start-up, website privacy policies, T&C’s and POPIA and GDPR Training.

TRADEMARK REGISTRATION Trademark registration is a crucial first step for your start-up in order to ensure that you are able to continuously build your brand. If you decide that you don’t want to register your trademark, or that will get around to it once your company has become more established, it’s important that you understand the possible implications of not investing in the protecting of your intellectual property. Let us assist you in building your brand by with our trademark registration services.

COMMERCIAL TECHNOLOGY LAW  need to register a new company? Need assistance in the drafting of End User Licence Agreements? Software Agreements? Or Tech Deal Structuring? SwiftTechLaw provides a wide variety of legal services relating to commercial technology law.

TECHNOLOGY AND CIVIL LITIGATION need to send a letter of demand? Don’t know what your options are in terms of legal recourse? We assist clients in settling or proceeding further with their legal disputes.



Follow us to keep up to date with the latest technology law news: 







10 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight – with Lewis Howes


Why I Wake Up at 5 am (And Maybe You Should too)

Imagine this….it’s cold, raining, and pitch black outside.

Your alarm clock goes off…it’s 5 am and you are trying to wake up two hours earlier than you ever have in your life.

It’s day one of this new ritual….you’re pissed. You’re just not having it at this ungodly hour.

You think to yourself…I could get up and start my day or I could just go back to sleep.

You’re at a crossroads.

This is when the excuses come into your head while you’re laying there….

  • “I’m just not a morning person.”
  • “My bed is way too warm.”
  • “It’s cold and raining out.”
  • “I don’t even have clean gym clothes.”
  • “I’m way too busy today.”
  • “I guess I’m just  a night owl.”

And the excuses continue….

Guess what? They will continue to happen that way unless you get ahead of your excuses.

The truth is successful people wake up early.

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” – Jim Rohn

Benjamin Franklin, Howard Schultz, Grant Cardone, Barack Obama, Richard Branson, Dwayne the Rock” Johnson, and Tim Cook just to name a few.

Model your life based on the success of others.

The average US person wakes up between 6-730am. If you’re able to get up at 5 or 530am you will have 1-2 hours of uninterrupted time.

With a head start on the rest of the country you get to decide what you want to do with your time.

You get to take back your time.

The mornings are time for you to be selfish. Besides, self-improvement is a selfish activity!

We have been taught to think of selfishness as unhelpful but unless you take care of yourself you won’t be as good to others.

When you focusing on habits of self-improvement you will slowly become the best version of yourself…which in turn leads to being better for everyone else as well.

You simply can’t love and connect with others until you love and connect with yourself first.

Waking up early is a great time to be selfish for all the right reasons.

Benefits of the Dreaded 5 a.m. Hour

Are there really benefits to waking up early? Won’t you be tired and not be able to make it through the entire day?

This what I thought before I realized the power of waking up early.

Instead of “barely making it through the day” it had the opposite effect. I have more energy and drive than I ever did waking up at 7am.

You will find that by the time you arrive at work you are calmer, have more clarity and ready to take on any challenges the day presents.

1. Being Awake Early Allows you to Have a few Rare Moments of Solitude and Quiet Time

The best part of waking up at 5 am is the quiet time.

“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.” – Albert Einstein

No one else is awake yet and you can have peaceful, quiet, and most importantly, uninterrupted time with your thoughts.

This makes the mornings a great time to focus on your goals or meditate to clear your mind before starting the day.

2. Rising Early Forces you to Plan Your Days Ahead of Time 

You need to have a reason to get up or your body will want to go back to sleep.

The chances of you getting up before the sun without a plan is slim to none.

Each night before I go to bed I know exactly what my morning routine will be the first hour of each morning. The main goal is to create consistent, positive habits that will put me in a place to succeed the rest of the day.

Eventually, I have made this habit a routine so that it’s automatic, I know exactly what I’m doing each morning.

Find something you love to do. This could be walking your dog, going on a light jog, reading, or meditating.

3. Waking Up at 5 a.m. Allows You to Journal Your Thoughts with Greater Clarity 

Daily journal writing is one the simple ways to create more discipline in your life.

As soon as I wake up I start writing in my journal.

Once you get up from sleep your conscious mind awakes, but don’t forget the subconscious mind never sleeps and has been brainstorming your problems all night long.

Before I go to bed each night I make sure to ask myself something I have not been able to figure out.

As soon as you wake up start writing about the problem you were facing and see what comes out. Don’t worry about legibility or sentence structure. Focus on writing until you can’t write anymore to find clarity and a solution to your problem.

4. Rising Early Allows you to Tackle the Hardest Tasks First 

The early mornings are the best time to take on the hard stuff.

Don’t waste your mornings on pointless tasks like clearing your inbox or organizing your desk.

“The fundamental level of success is doing the hard things first. If you go for the feared thing first then the rest of the day is easy.” ~Robert G Allen

This is time to focus on deep work. With no distractions or notifications, you can truly focus on the most important work you need to do.

This could be working on your toughest problem, developing a new habit or working on your biggest project.

I have used the mornings as a way to create the habit of journaling and repeating my daily affirmations. Previously I tried to do at night but constantly forgot or found myself inconsistent.

Getting a positive, efficient start to your day will build momentum and stay with you throughout the day. Even if you get sidetracked later in the day you achieved the most important and toughest work already.

5. You Can Start Your Day from a Centered State without Feeling Rushed 

How awful is it when you bash the snooze button only to wake up late…all of a sudden you have the “oh shit” moment. You quickly shower, grab a coffee and run off to work.

Feeling rushed is a horrible way to start your day. By getting up early you will feel less rushed and you give you time to be organized. It’s ok if you run late every once in awhile you’re human, but if you are constantly late it’s a habit. It’s one that isn’t effective or polite for family, friends, or your boss.

Sleeping in usually leads to rushed, frantic mornings where it will be easy to skip the gym or go to work unprepared.

6. Rising Early Allows you to Prioritize Exercise 

Morning exercise is beneficial for so many reasons but the main one is is simply getting it out of the way.

If you can workout in the morning you won’t be tempted between happy hour and the gym after a long day at the office.

It’ll be very hard to be a strong grounded man if you’re not making a habit of lifting weights, running, or whatever workout you prefer.

7. Waking Up at 5 a.m. Cultivates the Habit of Discipline 

“Discipline equals freedom.” – Jocko Willink

When you’re consistently getting up early you are creating a habit of discipline in your life.

Not only will you have more time in the morning this habit of discipline will spill into other areas of your life.

You will also build confidence in your own willpower. If you can get out of bed when its dark, rainy and cold you are proving to yourself you can do anything.

As Jim Rohn said, “Discipline is the bridge between goal and accomplishments.”

8. Waking Up Early Allows you to Accomplish More During Your Day

Simply put, waking up early gives you more hours in the day. Waking up early will give you the most productive and energetic part of your day back in your life.

“You have 24 hour hours in a day, you sleep six of them. Now you have 18 hours left.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Your mind and body are ready to function at peak levels, get some coffee or take a shower to activate everything.

Most of the time evenings are rarely the most productive for even night owls.

The majority of people spend their evenings mindless watching TV, scrolling through their feed and doing stuff around the house. Obviously, this is because we use the majority of our energy throughout the day.

By waking up early you will be structuring your day around the peaks of energy.

Your new wake up doesn’t have to be 5 am automatically, especially if you’re in the 730-8am range right now. By eliminating 2-3 hours of sleep overnight you are setting yourself up for failure.

You need to create this habit and be very intentional with your goal.

Here’s how…

How to Successfully Transition Into Waking Up at 5 a.m.

1. Create a Night Time Routine

Getting up earlier is all about creating a great plan.

If you are waking up at 7 am now and want to try 5 am tomorrow doing it cold turkey, without a plan will make it nearly impossible.

“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” — Sir Winston Churchill

If you want to actually get up and get going in the 5am range you will have to start winding down earlier. Create a routine that you will adhere to every single night.

Waking up early is horrible at first and you will find a way to make plenty of excuses to sleep in. Minimize these negative thoughts by planning ahead.

  • Lay out your gym clothes or running shoes
  • Have a book or journal in a place where you see it instantly
  • Position your phone or alarm clock far enough away to where you have to actually get out of bed.
  • Have your coffee or energy supplement ready to go

2. Turn Off Your Electronics

Before bed try to avoid electronics for the last 30-60 minutes of the day. Every hour you are exposed to your phone you stop melatonin production which is key to getting sleep.

3. Visualize Your Success  

Studies have shown that when Olympic athletes visualize for one hour it’s equivalent to seven hours of physical practice.

As you begin to wind down before bed and put away electronics spend 5-10 minutes using various visualization techniques.

Some people will write out their visualizations while others will sit in a dark room and actually image their goals as being complete. Whatever method you choose the important part is that you visualize yourself already feeling your goals as accomplished.

If you’re not the most visual person find images of the car you want to buy, the house you want to own or the body you want to achieve. These images will be fresh in your head when you go to sleep and your brain will help find ways to achieve them while you sleep.

4. Focus on Your Breathing

If you’ve had a long day the last thing you want to do is go to bed mad, frustrated, or in a bad mood. Focus on your breathing patterns to change your physiology so you can go into bed relaxed instead of lying awake, thinking of your problems.

5. Express Gratitude

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” ~Zig Ziglar

As best selling author and KFM guest, Lewis Howes, talks frequently about the importance of gratitude before going to bed. He makes it a point to tell his girlfriend or someone in his life how much he appreciates three things before hitting the pillow.

Final Thoughts

“Each morning we are born again, what we do today is what matters most.” – Buddha

It’s empowering feeling to wake up before the rest of the world has hit the snooze button three times.

Waking up at 5 a.m. might be the worst idea ever only if you don’t have a plan for the early hours. You owe it to yourself to try waking up earlier, even if you’re not ready for 5 a.m. yet.

There is no need to wait until 2018 to create a resolution either. As you know, most resolutions fail.

Instead, make waking up early a ritual for December as you will inevitably eating and drinking more for the holidays. Stay ahead of the calories by waking up earlier and getting into the gym.

Yes, it will be dark and cold, but once you hear that alarm get out of bed and start making your life happen.

I promise it will be worth it. Form your “resolution” a month before everyone else and see how much your life changes.

by Michael Leonard

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9 Life Lessons – Tim Minchin UWA Address


Benefits of employee rewards and recognition

Employees respond to appreciation at work, especially when it’s expressed through recognition of their efforts because it confirms their work is valued. A simple thank you goes a long way and will not only make your employees feel good, but will actually benefit your business in the process. Here’s how:

6 benefits of Employee Recognition

1. Productivity

It’s well-known that engaged staff are significantly more productive, working efficiently and proactively in order to do a good job.  If efforts are likely to be praised and rewarded, then it makes sense that a member of staff will work harder to receive such employee recognition

2. Job satisfaction

Recognising an employee’s efforts demonstrates that the job they’re doing is valuable to the business. It sends the message that their hard work is worth rewarding and therefore must be important. This, in turn, makes the individual feel that they are making a difference.

3. Employee happiness

A happy and fulfilled employee can be motivated to perform better because of the positive feeling they have towards the company.  If an employer treats its staff with respect and gratitude, then those staff members will want to do a good job in return. This positivity can also be felt across the business, creating a happy working environment that people will want to be a part of.

4. Retention

A high staff turnover leads to poor morale that can make others want to look elsewhere. The time required to find and train new staff affects utilisation and the fiscal costs are high, so retaining staff has to be a priority. The provision of rewards gives employees a tangible reason to stay.

A happy and fulfilled employee can be motivated to perform better because of the positive feeling they have towards the company.

5. Loyalty

If your employees are engaged with your business, they will be able to promote and sell your brand far better than someone who does not believe in or care about it. Rewarding hard work generates loyalty and helps your team to feel an emotional bond with your organisation.

6. Team culture

Rewards that incorporate peer-to-peer recommendations are great for team spirit, as they encourage staff to see the positive attributes in one another. Teams are well-placed to do this, as they work alongside each other every day. Plus, allowing colleagues to nominate one another for rewards is empowering, as it demonstrates that they value each other’s opinion.

How should you provide rewards and recognition?

Employee recognition programme

The most efficient way to provide a staff incentives scheme is via a structured employee recognition programme, which is run on an online platform. This places all the information at both management and employees’ fingertips, allowing the entire business to easily engage with it. Employee Rewards are visible to staff to provide an added incentive to work hard. Performance metrics are also visible to the senior team, so that they can monitor progress and proactively recognise efforts at appropriate times. This kind of platform is straightforward and inexpensive to implement, while making it easy to reward your staff, so high performance does not get overlooked.

What should your employee rewards programme include?

To get your scheme up and running, there are five key areas that should be featured:

  • Peer-to-peer recognition – empower your staff to celebrate each other
  • Long-service awards – celebrate milestones to shout about loyal staff
  • Instant recognition – visible performance metrics to reward employees immediately, rather than delaying until a standardised time, like Christmas
  • Rewards –desirable wins, so staff will work hard to achieve them

It’s also important to tailor your scheme to your organisation, so it reflects your culture and brand. Run in the right way, an employee recognition scheme will have a huge impact on your business.

Original Article