Sustainability: The Goal of Rest

The world record for the mile run is 3:43.13. The world record average mile for a marathon (26.2 miles) is 4:42 and the average mile for a champion ultra marathoner in a 100-mile race is 7:04.

If we compare life to running, then distance inherently influences pace. Consecutive 3:43 miles for 100 miles, or even 26.2, is unsustainable. And while a single miler can start and finish a race without a drop of water, any experienced distance runner knows that hydration and nutrition along the way spell the difference between finishing well and not finishing at all.

When the goals are more distant, the pace and plan must be altered and the success or failure of your goals hinges on how well you take care of yourself along the way.

Are you pursuing your goals sustainably? Or are you running sprint paced in a 100-mile desert course? Look at your critically and establish the following patterns:

  1. Find a rhythm and a pace: Nobody performs optimally in burnout mode so ensure that the speed and intensity you begin with can be sustained. As we always say at Gneo, doing more doesn’t mean you are really doing more. Do not confuse busyness with productivity. Part of this rhythm can develop from the simple task of taming your email. With the ubiquity of technology, it can often seem like our smart phones control us instead of the other way around. Founder, Anthony Keane, shared some great thoughts on using your email effectively several months ago.
  1. Balanced goals: Look at your current goals and make sure that professional goals are balanced with personal goals. Just like the spokes on a wheel must be equal in length for it to roll effectively, your life goals should balance one another so you do not become an extreme and unhappy version of yourself.
  1. Delegate and prioritize: Of course a Gneo favorite, assess the tasks on your to do list and ask yourself what can be left undone or even eliminated and what can be passed on to someone else. If it’s not worth your time, don’t do it. Outsource time-consuming and unimportant tasks in order to make smarter use of your time.
  1. Take a break: Whether a break for you looks like a nap or a game of pick-up basketball, insert some fun and relaxation into your day to ensure that the “must dos” of life are punctuated by effective rest. An easy break can be as simple as walking outside. Once free from the four confining walls that surround your workday you may gain a different perspective, a breath of fresh air, and perhaps even a mild sunburn that reminds you that you are alive and human.
  1. Have boundaries: Boundaries are essential. Whether between people or between yourself and the demands of your life, it is critical to develop the ability to say no and to limit how much time, energy, and emotion you are willing to give a task or a person. Be firm! Effective boundaries are those that are immovable.

 

Do you have any sustainability tips to help accomplish your goals? Let us know your #6 and have a great, and sustainable, week!

Play: The Practice of Active Rest

Anyone who has ever made a loaf of bread from scratch knows that the multi-step process consists of alternating periods of action (mixing, kneading, pounding) and rest. But that rest is the opposite of passive.

When a loaf of bread sits overnight on a counter top it is a flurry of dynamic actions with fermenting yeasts and burgeoning shape. The aspiring baker returns in the morning to find a ball of dough that has doubled or even tripled in size from the small orb left out the night before. This yeasty growth and potential developed not because of the baker’s directed action, but precisely by the absence of it.

Your brain is the same. It requires periods of this active rest to function and grow.

This month we have been talking about rest: why you need it and the beauty of the well-deserved nap. So while everyday may not be conducive for an afternoon snooze, what are other ways to gain those immutable benefits and live more restfully, even amid life’s daily chaos?

The answer: active rest and play.

Give Your Brain a Break

Human brains focus in 90 to 120 minute cycles before they need a break; a phenomenon that scientists call the ultradian rhythm. To deny this necessity and override the need with an endless, unbroken workday does not make one more productive or successful, it just causes exhaustion, fatigue, and burnout. As humans, we often regard ourselves as tireless machines, but this is simply not true.

To understand the cycle of activity and rest, psychologist Anders Ericsson studied the practice habits of top musical performers. He noticed an interesting similarity among them, as they all seemed to work with this ultradian rhythm, not against it. These prodigious violinists and pianists each practiced in the morning, practiced daily in three separate sessions, ensured that each session was less than 90 minutes, and finally took a break between each section. What can those breaks look like?

Play with Your Rest

Like naps, many believe that intentional play should be outgrown and take its rightful place on the sidelines of an abandoned childhood. But scientists are finding more and more that playing is not just advisable, but actually vital to a healthy lifestyle and relationships.

Play is evidence of a natural curiosity and desire for exploration. It can involve the spontaneous release of bodily restraint (jumping, running, dancing), the mental release to try something new, or creative interaction in an imaginative way. Regardless of type, play is like turbo booster for brain activity. It fires up cerebellum, sending increased impulses to the frontal lobe, greatly improving contextual memory and creativity.

Imaginative play also catalyzes our ability to problem solve. It’s as if years the many years of seemingly pointless Lego building are actually valuable banked experience that enable future adaptation and successful improvisation when faced with a real-life dilemmas.

Play allows release from premeditation and self-censoring, areas that jazz musicians rely on heavily. Musician and researcher Charles Limb studied these improvisational musicians and found that there was actually a shutdown in the area of the brain that controls planned actions when they were performing. This suspension of self-censoring enabled the free flow of spontaneity, flexibility, and novel ideas.

Gneo users, it’s time to harness your inner Ella Fitgerald and get busy with the active rest of playing. Let those novel ideas flow and abandon your inhibition in order to have some fun. How can you insert play into your upcoming week?

Ode to a Great Nap

Kids have it good. They are chauffeured around daily, cooked for, cleaned up after, but most enviably, they are not only allowed, but instead required, to take naps. By mandate, they enter a quiet, dark place, close their eyes, and grab some downtime before afternoon coloring, block building, and general childhood busyness. Yes, kid life is awesome.

But friends, hear this: you are never too old to outgrow the glorious mid-day sleep! Beyond pure physical refreshment, naps benefit adults in numerous ways. While it may seem like wishful justification, scientific research supports the afternoon siesta and it seems only wise to obey such wisdom.

Unequal Slumber

Not all naps are created equal, so before we break down the specifics of why these delightful little afternoon snoozes are so good for you, let’s talk about the factors contributing to a great nap.

  • Time frame: Optimal naptime (as all well-rested toddlers know) is between 1pm and 3pm. This post-lunch time of day aligns with a universal slump in energy correlated to plummeting melatonin levels. Whether you hit this napping sweet spot or not, be sure to avoid catching your zzz’s less than 3 hours before your typical bedtime and interfering with nighttime sleep patterns. Also, if you plan to make napping a consistent part of your day, be consistent in time of day and length of sleep to create a healthy routine.
  • Ambiance: Choose a nap location that is peaceful. Ideally this includes darkness, quietness free from interruptions, and a comfortable temperature.
  • Duration: The difference between an energizing nap and a nap that just leaves you groggy is duration. Aim for slumber that lasts no more than 30 minutes to avoid falling into the deep sleep with counterproductive effects. Even rapid power naps lasting only 1-2 minutes can produce residual benefits in increased energy and attention.
  • Coffee nap: For experienced nappers, it might be time to attempt sleep preceded by a stimulating beverage (counterintuitive as that may seem). Behold: the caffeine nap. Veteran coffee nappers tout the wonders of drinking a cup of coffee and then going right to sleep. Caffeine takes 10-20 minutes to really kick in and hit your system so after the prescribed 20-30 minute power nap, you will awaken to the benefits of sleep paired with the energizing benefits of caffeine. Attempt this double goodness if you dare!

 

The Upsides of Laying Down

One of the biggest hurdles to great afternoon sleep is giving yourself the permission to actually do it. All too often naps are associated with the lazy, the sick, and those under the age of 5. Yet more and more studies are hyping the benefits of sleep and encouraging all people to take a snooze.

Here are the hard facts that support your desire to nap and a few of the benefits gleaned by catching some midday shut-eye:

  • Increased alertness
  • Improved cognitive performance and memory
  • Decreased drowsiness, fatigue, and exhaustion
  • Sharper motor skills
  • Reduced likelihood of errors and accidents
  • An overall better mood and ability to adapt
  • Heightened creativity and productivity
  • Improved health through reduced stress and increased immunity

 

In the wake of such convincing evidence, the real question becomes: how can you afford not to take a daily nap?

Gneo users, make it a task, set it to repeat, and ensure that napping is an everyday part of your routine. Tell us about your favorite nap rituals and any tips you have for effective sleeping throughout the day.

What Rest Is…And What it Isn’t

Humans need to breath, eat, and sleep. Lack of oxygen causes suffocation in only three minutes. Absence of food results in starvation after three weeks. And only three days of no sleep produces a delirium that causes Air Force pilots to randomly crash planes.

In life, we need rhythm and we need rest.

At Gneo, we are always talking about how to do more things better, but vital to this “doing” is what you are “un-doing.” Productivity is impossible without rest. So, while 24-hours a day of available time theoretically should allow you to do more, it only takes one sleepless night to render you with the impaired abilities of a drunk driver.

What Rest Is…

Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, the market economy battle cry has grown louder, “More! Bigger! Faster!” Coupled with the seemingly unlimited potential of machinery and technology, we come to believe that we too are infinite. Yet this theory only works in an ecosystem of unlimited resources and it only takes one all-nighter and a few skipped meals to realize that we, as humans, are inherently limited.

We need rest to replenish and begin anew.

Rest is anything that enables us to live fuller, happier, more content, less frenzied, lives. While everyone rests in different ways, the end product is the same. Real rest can range from actual sleep, to spending time with family and friends, to sports or recreation, or simply sitting outside and breathing deep.

Ultimately, rest produces sustainability. A life that balances doing and not-doing allows people to begin the day with a refreshed outlook of potential opportunity, instead of seeing life as a drudgery to survive.

Rest Produces Results

Building in time to rest can sometimes feel like an excuse or a weakness, but studies show that the benefits are quite the opposite.

Well-rested minds and bodies achieve optimal performance resulting in greater productivity and creativity. Whether through increased sleeping at night, more naps, or longer vacations, rest produces results: male basketball players scored more free-throws and three-point shots; air traffic controllers had increased reaction times and better results on industry tests; and employees at a leading accounting firm scored higher on year-end performance ratings and had longer tenures at the firm itself.

Even if you are not looking for greater accuracy from the foul line, sleep cause universal advantages including: better health, less chronic and acute pain, lower risk of injury, a more satisfying sex life, improved mood, greater weight control, clearer thinking, better memory, and stronger immunity.

Isn’t it time you got some rest?

Defining Space

Rock musician Sting confronted this idea of rhythm and balance while discussing the relationship of sound and silence during a commencement speech at UC Berkeley’s College of Music. He said, “Paradoxically, I’m coming to believe in the importance of silence in music…I’m wondering whether, as musicians, the most important thing we do is merely to provide a frame for silence. …And is silence the most perfect music of all?”

Silence and sound, activity and rest, sleeping and waking, we need to engage these opposites to achieve a healthy, productive life. As you look toward the coming week, how can you create more space and rest in your life?

Gneo Listening: The Future

Gneo has come a long way from that sparky idea that Anthony just couldn’t shake. From initial inspiration to first round version, through several name changes and a few facelifts, the Gneo of today is energized to meet the evolving needs of a growing body of Gneo Gnatives.
 
Yet despite the changes, one thing has remained the same: Gneo’s commitment to enabling people to get more of the right things done.
 
Where next?
 
Gneo is going global and learning the language!
 
Productivity translates in every language and the team is hard at work to make sure that Gneo does as well. Gneo is also innovating on the initial success with iOS to expand to other new platforms and devices. Before these versions will be released, they are being fine-tuned by the perfectionistic eye of Anthony and his crew, working out core problems and polishing the design to align with Gneo’s commitment to excellence in both aesthetics and functionality.
 
What next?
 
The Gneo team knows that one thing that people really want are better repeat reminders to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. While this feature improvement has been a long time in the making, Gneo is committed to doing it right, not just doing it. Stay tuned for the updates of this integral feature.
 
While Gneo is excited to expand beyond iOS, there are also additional developments coming for iPhone and iPad users including Widgets and extensions with the upcoming release of iOS 8. Also in the pipeline is a Mac version that will expand Gneo beyond the current iOS offerings.

How next?

Gneo is a bloodhound, fixated on the scent of finding out what people want. The challenge (and fun!) of any product is staying both useful and relevant and Gneo is relying on you, our customers, to help.
 
Gneo does not exist in a vacuum, but instead in a dynamic, conversational arena that is eager for communication and feedback. Whether in-person, at conferences and industry events, or online with Twitter and other social media, the lines of communication between you and Gneo are always open. What developments do you want to see? What new integrations should be created?
 
The success of Gneo is inextricably linked to the success of it’s people. If you fail, it fails. So instead of mutually assured destruction, Gneo is perpetually dissatisfied with anything less than mutually assured victory. This mindset is ingrained in the core fiber of Gneo and you can read more on Gneo’s ‘Gneology’ here: http://blog.gneo.co/post/62127637953/gneology.
 
Listen up!

In a world where everyone is broadcasting his or her personal “station,” the Gneo team is committed to listening. They believe that humans were created with two ears and one mouth for a reason and they should be used in in that proportion.
 
The collective knowledge of all of you is so much greater than the individual and Gneo wants to capitalize on that resource. What do you love? What do you hate? What can be improved? What do you never want changed? What dreams do you have that Gneo can help you achieve? What features and tools would make that easier?
 
Don’t be a stranger. Gneo is listening.

Gneo Doing: Launching

In October 2013, the months of planning, endless details, and hopeful aspirations culminated in the actual launch of Gneo v1.0. Anthony and his team released it on the App Store with crossed fingers, confident in a great product, but still anxiously excited to present Gneo to the public with unknown reception. It hit the virtual shelves and they waited…

Gangbusters

…but not for long.
 
On launch day, Apple featured Gneo as Editors’ Choice, a recognition garnered by only 50 apps a year. The team watched as the months of hard work were met with a positive reception and felt overwhelming affirmation as Gneo closed launch weeks as one of most downloaded apps worldwide. The downloads showed that a smart productivity tool with sleek design was in high demand and the Gneo team was excited to provide a resource for people to get more of the right things done.
 
Looking back, Anthony remembers launch week was less like seven individual days and more like one continuous day, as the team navigated the overflow of tweets and emails from newly engaged customers around the clock. The all-nighter excitement was further fueled by congratulations and enthusiasm from fellow “Boosties” and mentors who believed in Gneo before it was fully born. It was truly a best-case scenario, despite the sleep deprivation.
 
Goals, the long and short of it
 
In the beginning, Gneo’s short-term goals focused on a successful launch and efficient operations, making sure everything functioned as smoothly as possible. The biggest pre-launch hiccup was working out the kinks in the Gneo and Evernote relationship. Communication and formatting presented more challenges than originally expected and had to be put on hold until after launching.
 
While most short-term goals stayed consistent, initial long-term goals morphed and modified as Gneo grew legs and started running. Long-term plans now include gaining additional functionality in Gneo iOS as well as bringing Gneo to Mac and other platforms and localizing with more languages. Gneo’s partnership with Evernote is a key component to success and Gneo aims to further streamline that relationship as well as connect to more services for an even better Gneo experience.
 
Throughout the entire process, Gneo’s highest priority has been listening to customers and addressing their pain points. Finding out what they want from Gneo allows the crafting of a better and better product, addressing real needs in the real world. Gneo also strives to provide excellent customer service that is immediately responsive and truly helpful.
 
Anthony’s advice
 
Looking back on that first week of energetic chaos, Anthony offers this simple advice to young entrepreneurs, “Make sure you can always see the big picture.” When you are intimately involved in all the details of a project it is easy to get stuck in working out the minor hiccups, forgetting that you are in charge of steering the ship. Remain constantly vigilant about the big picture direction of the company and learn how to delegate the details, building a team you can trust to manage the minutiae.
 
Overall, make sure that you are passionate about whatever you create. It is that love that will sustain you during the difficult times and it is that excitement that will attract others to your product and company.

Gneo Scheming: Planning

image

The Gneo story continues…
 
Things undone
 
As you may remember, Gneo began as “What Do I Need to Do”, evolved into “Any To Do,” and at last reached evolutionary perfection as “Gneo.” The name change was strategic but that was not the only thing that required strategy when Gneo decided to launch.
 
The planning behind Gneo was like preparing for battle. While getting things done was important, the more critical decisions hinged leaving the right things undone. There was literally too much to do and too little time to do it, Anthony and his team learned how to be the right kind of procrastinators as a matter of survival.
 
Around the world, around the clock
 
To give Gneo the necessary catalyst for success, Anthony took it to the Boost Accelerator in Silicon Valley. While living in the Valley, the Gneo team could run operations stateside while still being awake to catch the end of the business day in Europe. It was literally a 24-hour cycle.
 
Although that prospect sounds grueling, the environment at Boost was tailored to be both inspiring and symbiotic. Being surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs made the challenges a team sport as everyone worked hard together. Boost also connected Gneo to a network of experienced mentors who offered encouragement and guidance along the way. For Anthony, an avid hurler, it was like having teammates, coaches, and an arena (ahem, hurling pitch) in which to play the sport he loved.
 
Planning tools
 
Gneo operated, and continues to operate, by developing both short-term and long-term goals. Anthony runs the company by taking a 10,000-foot view and then breaks down broad goals into monthly and weekly tasks. This approach stems from his training in PMP project management in which work breakdown structures (WBS) are created for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
 
A vital tool in the pre-planning of the launch that the Gneo team still utilizes today is Evernote. It replaces email and creates a virtual office for a remotely working team. Shared notebooks allow everyone to add content, make changes, and collaborate on ideas effortlessly. Finding tools that allow you to work smarter, not harder is essential. You simply have to find ways to do all of the right things within the limited available time.
 
Advice about plans
 
When dreams turn into reality and reality turns to planning it’s easy to get lost in everything you don’t know. When asked how he overcame this, Anthony identified three things, “Determination, grit, and belief.”
 
If you too are considering jumping off the cliff in hopes of landing on a dream, surround yourself with like-minded people and be ready to ask for help. Enlisting the wisdom and experience of advisors is crucial and these savvy people are often more willing to help than you may think.
 
Be confident that you will make mistakes, everyone does. Don’t let that deter or discourage you. Many businesses crumble and die before they become the successful regeneration of their former self. Need a visual?
Yes, on the path from initial enthusiasm to ultimate sustainability are the pitfalls of growth, reality checks, and crashing ineptitude. Be prepared!

Gneo Dreaming: Inspiration

Before Gneo became the beautifully designed, supremely helpful, world-peace-establishing app it is today, it was just an idea. As with all ideas, it could have been dismissed or thrown in the pile of “someday” only to be forgotten. But it wasn’t.
 
Over the next month we want to share with you the “Story of Gneo” and then translate our story into a wannabe entrepreneur’s guide to actually doing it. Let’s start at the beginning.

The Spark
Anthony Keane thought of (what is now) Gneo when the Apple App Store first launched. He saw the need to create a tool that utilized the urgent/important matrix after recognizing its usefulness in his professional work with Deloitte. He made a very basic iPhone app and launched it, fingers-crossed, on the App Store. Both surprised, and not surprised at all, the prioritization concept resonated and people started downloading and using it.
 
The ready-made marketplace of the app store simplified the process and allowed Anthony to bring his idea to life with relatively little headache on the commercial backend. Additionally, the App Store had a worldwide reach that allowed “What Do I Need To Do” (the first round name) to go global right from the start. It was passive income at it’s finest.
 
This positive response inspired Anthony to create a more sophisticated, secondary version. “What Do I Need To Do” morphed into “Any To Do,” a more complex app designed for both iPhone and iPad that also connected to Evernote. Once it launched, hundreds of thousands of people downloaded and loved the app, offering positive feedback and productive suggestions. Anthony knew he was on to something.
 
The Leap
With “Any To Do” gaining momentum, Anthony faced a challenge: stay in a successful career and dabble in apps as a tidy side project or jump full force into the app world. The first was safe, a known quantity with a foreseeable end. The second was risky, but made the blood pump through his veins with vigor and excitement. He chose to go for it.
 
Leaving his job in the summer of 2012, Anthony trusted heavily in the adage, “jump and your parachute will open.” But only when he made the actual leap did the gravity and momentum of his commitment cause opportunities and relationships to exponentially grow.
 
Translating Your Inspiration Into Reality
It’s easy to sit on the other side of a success story and think it was destined to work. But everyone who succeeds at one point sat on the brink of potential failure. Do you have great ideas you haven’t pursued? Do you wonder if they are worth it? Consider the following questions and ideas:
Does it solve a problem? Like Gneo, great ideas solve a problem. If you find it necessary and helpful, other people likely will as well.
Do you have a niche? Like the app store, most of the marketplace is crowded and cluttered. How can you stand out and make your product or idea unique but also appealing?
Don’t build things just to sell them, build things that people actually want to buy. You need a bigger purpose than simply making money to keep you going in those tough initial phases and people want to buy things from people who love what they make. Passion is contagious.
Just do it. It’s easy to sit with an un-launched product or idea and endlessly consider the best and worst case of scenarios of what might happen. Stop thinking. Just do it. If it fails big, start again. If it’s a wild success, keep innovating. Entrepreneurs are nimble, adaptable, and capable of absorbing both the good and the bad.
Believe in YOU. Inevitably you will wake up in that cold sweat wondering why you quit your very safe job to pursue this crazy idea. Relax. Believe it yourself and trust your instincts and abilities.
Take calculated risks. Look at every decision and consider what the worst outcomes and best outcomes are. If you can live with the worst and are sufficiently motivated by the best, then do it. Risks are the springboards that will launch you closer to the achievement of your goals.
 
At Gneo, we love hearing what you’re up to! What dreams are you in the process of translating into reality and how can we help?

Hurdles to Success: Finishing Strong

It’s a proven fact: more people start a marathon than finish one. Beginning is easy; finishing is difficult. On average, for every 1000 people who sign up to run, 820 actually start the race, and only 650 cross the finish line. Something happens between the decision to participate and the 26.2 miles of pavement between start and finish. People tire, succumb to injury, or simply start to believe they can’t do it. People quit.
 
Over the past several weeks we’ve talked about hurdles that stand in the way of achieving your goals: busyness, procrastination, boredom, failure, and inexperience. Now let’s talk about what it means to finish strong.
 
Expect Fatigue
Anyone who has ever tried has tired. Healthy exhaustion is a sign that you are doing something right, not wrong. As you work toward your goals, know yourself and your needs and find a sustainable way to continue the pursuit.
 
Build in rest, alternate the exhausting and energizing parts of the process, and periodically review your progress. Looking at where you started and where you are can provide some much needed encouragement along the way.
 
Welcome Inconvenience
There is no perfect time, perfect situation, or perfect environment for getting things done. The urgent will always clamor against the important, vying for your attention and energy. Amidst the chaos, maintain perspective. Remember what is important and choose it. Let the inconveniences energize you and embrace the challenges.
 
Grow Your Grit
NPR’s TED Radio Hour recently produced a show exploring the idea of grit and success. They define grit as “the disposition to pursue very long-term goals with passion and perseverance.” They go on to say that “grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” More and more researchers are recognizing this trait as the lynchpin to true success. It’s not natural ability or luck, while these can certainly help, it’s the pure mindset to learn and keep learning despite setbacks. Gritty people do not see failure as a permanent condition.
 
Remember Why
Continually revisit your goals. They are the lighthouses you are trying to reach and their beacons will guide your steps. Utilize tools like Gneo to record these goals, remembering that written goals produce more success and greater follow through than nebulous, unwritten goals (take a look at a previous blog on goals by Gneo’s founder here). Recording goals not only makes them real but it makes you accountable. Extend this accountability by bringing friends and advisors into your plans.
 
Many people start, many fewer finish. Dare to be among the fewer.

Hurdles to Success: Overcoming Boredom

If the saying “only boring people get bored” is true, then we will all do our best to avoid boredom. We stay connected to our devices, filling cracks of time with information, games, and communication. We pit boredom against busyness and confuse busyness for productivity.
 
But boredom is not idleness. It is an indicator of available space and capacity with which to innovate. The question is, what you will do with it?
 
Choosing Good Boredom

When you are bored, sit in it. Consider where it comes from and what you can do with it. Boredom is often the first step toward creativity. It is an opportunity to find your imagination and use it. Inventions are often born out of boredom and discomfort with a previously inefficient process. Lightbulbs instead of candles, refrigerators instead of iceboxes, cars instead of horses and buggies, all of these evolved out of people sitting with time, a problem, and a desire to think of something better.
 
Beyond Boredom
 
Life is full of mundane tasks that could inarguably be called “boring.” But even in folding the laundry, washing the dishes, or chopping onions, there is a choice. Mindless activities such as these can provide the perfect “white noise” to spark the creative process.
 
One study asked a group of people to think of as many ways to use a brick as possible. Before writing down their answers, the initial group was divided into three subgroups and given an assignment. One performed a difficult task, one did nothing, and the last that did an easy, “boring” task. The last group produced noticeably more “brick ideas” than the other two groups, reinforcing the idea of “incubation advantage” where free time can be used both consciously and unconsciously to generate answers and solutions.
 
Daily Changes to Combat Boredom

Most boredom is perpetuated by lack of stimulation and a reversion to autopilot tendencies. Keep yourself awake, literally and mentally, and implement some of these practices into your weekly routine:
 
Get offline and disconnect from all things digital.
Make something: art, a meal, a story, anything.
Play a game: make one up, change the rules on an existing game, or perhaps learn a classic game you’ve never understood. Backgammon anyone?
Listen to new music.
Be social: attend an event, take a class, engage with your fellow caffeine addicts at the local coffee shop.
Get outside and do something physical: let the bipedal motion of your footsteps help you pound out the solution to a work project or strategize the best way to achieve your goals.
Take a nap or break a snack: rest is just as important as action; they work in conjunction, not opposition.
Redirect mindless daydreaming and refocus quickly toward productive action.
Overachieve: doing what is expected is easy. Instead, figure out what going a step beyond the expected looks like and do it.
 
Bored with Your Goals?
 
Creating goals is exciting. Christopher Columbus was likely beyond motivated while charting his new route toward Indian riches. But then came endless miles of nothing but ocean. Months into the journey it is easy to lose momentum, forgetting why you set sail at all.
 
In those moments of discouragement and boredom, revisit your initial goals. Remind yourself why you created them and what you hope to achieve as a result. Enlist a team of supporters who can remind you of this when you are bored and unenthusiastic. Live in the hope that your sometimes-boring journey may take you to exciting places beyond where you dared to go.