Master your psychology with therapeutic insights for your life, relationships, & career
  1. Science Says THIS Is The Best Time of Day to Make Decisions

    Producing high-quality work day after day is no small feat.

    When you use your brain on perpetual overdrive, you’re bound to hit productivity slumps where it feels like you’re fresh out of new ideas.

    While there’s no shortage of tricks and tips to hack your way to more innovative thinking, timing is everything, says sleep doctor Dr. Micheal Breus, author of The Power of When. He believes working in sync with our body’s natural clock is the key to unlocking success to produce our best, most creative work.

    The science of “good timing” — called chronobiology — reveals peak performance is hardwired into our DNA. “An inner clock embedded inside your brain has been ticking away, keeping perfect time, since you were a baby,” writes Breus, “This precisely engineered timekeeper is called your circadian pacemaker, or biological clock.”

    So, the next time you’re feeling mentally sluggish, try tapping into chronobiology to perform at your best in these areas:

    The Best Time to Learn Something New

    Learning is most effective when the brain is in acquisition mode, generally between 10:00 am to 2:00 p.m. and then again from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

    Night owls beware: think twice before pulling an all-nighter. The lowest learning valley occurs between 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.

    The Best Time To Make a Decision

    The phrase “sleep on it” has persisted for a reason: we make worst decisions late at night and first thing in the morning.

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  2. 3 Red Flags You Need Better Boundaries at Work (And How To Set Them)

    Do you know anybody who’s running on the vicious hamster wheel of career dissatisfaction? Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s your partner or a family member.

    A few years ago I was that person. And so was my friend Scott Barlow.

    Stress used to wake up Scott up at night. He’d worry about all the things he had said “yes” to despite his better judgement. He was overcommitted, burned out, and scared.

    Why? Because every time in his life where he said yes to too many things, he gave up his boundaries. When he gave up his boundaries, his happiness temporarily went out the door, too. Worse of all, he was wasting time and energy on work he truly didn’t enjoy.

    I had a very similar experience in my own career. Recently, I got to share my story on Scott’s podcast, Happen To Your Career.

    Here’s a snippet of our conversation:

    “If you are someone who is a successful person, we are brought up in these systems and taught if you do the right things, do well in school, pick the right major, follow all these steps then you will be happy….

    The world doesn’t work like that. It’s like this big insight that hits you. I felt like I had done everything right and ticked all the boxes. Went to school, got my undergrad degree, top of my class, and got my masters, ready to conquer the world. I took a job with a salary that was less than I could live and commute on.

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  3. Change Negative Thoughts That Limit Your Success

    Why do some of the most intelligent people sabotage their own success? It all goes back to unconscious every day thoughts, also called cognitive distortions, first identified by psychologist Aaron Beck and Dr. David Burns.

    It’s typical to fall into these irrational thoughts every now and then. Mindset missteps are common among even the brightest, most well-meaning people. We can all relate to that feeling of sometimes getting in our own way.  It’s simply part of being human, an evolutionary response designed to keep you safe and protected.

    Nevertheless, irrational thoughts can get in your way of success and taking necessary, healthy risks. For example, your inner critic may tell you you’re not good enough and that you’ll most definitely fail. Cognitive distortions also complicate our relationships. You project that your boss is upset when you make a mistake or worry about how your friends and family perceive you.

    The good news is that you can develop the necessary self-awareness to spot and change irrational thoughts. With a little discipline, you can retrain your thinking. You can gradually modify your self-talk to be more balanced, resilient, and supportive to help you reach your goals and tackle the toughest situations. Recognizing unhelpful thoughts as illogical and impermanent is an important first step to letting go of the stress they bring:

    Here’s a look at the most common cognitive distortions defined by Burns, along with examples of ways it may pop up in your life and work. 

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  4. 5 Signs You’re Making The Wrong Career Move

    Most of the choices we make every day are simple and straight-forward: what to wear to work, what to eat for lunch, whether to go to sleep at a reasonable hour or stay up watching Netflix. They don’t cause much stress or inner conflict.

    Career transition points, on the other hand, can leave you feeling significantly more stuck—especially when you’re facing a big, life-changing decisions.

    Should you take that promotion? Move to a different city? Transition to a new industry? Launch a business or take your side hustle full-time?

    Decision-making is tough, particularly when there may not be one “right” answer. Despite your best efforts, it’s not always clear what to do next. How do you know whether you’re heading in the right direction, or about to make a bad career move you’ll regret?

    Here are five tell-tale signs you’re about to make a career misstep–and how to get back on track to finding work you love.

    1. You have a sense of foreboding.

    Just about everyone has experienced a feeling that something is “off” or a sense of dread they can’t shake. Does that sensation creep up when you think about the new opportunity?

    Maybe you didn’t feel much of a connection with the new team you’d potentially be working with when you met them. Or perhaps you’re starting to worry about relocation costs and not as willing to take a pay cut as you first thought.

    Although most of us come equipped with a sense of intuition when something doesn’t feel right, we also have plenty of ways to rationalize these feelings away and ultimately discount them. 

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  5. Train Your Brain to Be More Positive — Here’s How

    The entrepreneurs I work with tend to have a few things in common: they are smart, ambitious, and highly motivated. Most of them are also stressed to the max.

    From the outside, they appear powerful and poised. But on the inside, they worry about their ability to deal with the demands that come along with having a successful career.

    If you’re a top-performer, you can probably relate. In fact, statistics show pressure at work is the leading source of chronic stress among American adults. Having confidence in your ability to conquer challenges is essential to thriving in today’s business world.

    The good news is that this brand of mental resiliency can be cultivated with practice.

    The Power of Explanatory Style

    Each of us has our own explanatory style–a way we explain why good or bad things happen.

    Research by positive psychology expert Martin Seligman finds that people generally fall into two categories:

    1. Entrepreneurs with a pessimistic explanatory style tend to blame themselves when things go wrong and see negative events as both permanent and pervasive.
    2. Those with an optimistic explanatory style view setbacks as temporary and solvable. Because they have faced challenges before, they have confidence in their ability to do it again. They see it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

    Honing your psychological resiliency can be a valuable business asset. Those with a positive explanatory style are more successful. They outperform pessimistic peers by close to 40 percent in business and sales, and also experience lower rates of illness and depression.

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  6. Break Any Bad Habit Using This Science-Backed Approach

    It’s 3 p.m., and you’re knee-deep in an afternoon energy slump.

    You head towards the office kitchen to grab a glass of water where you’re encountered by a box of treats that seems to be calling your name. “Just one,” you swear. But that’s the third time you’ve given in to your sweet tooth this week.

    As a smart, ambitious person, you know bad habits keep you from reaching your goals. You know you’re capable of self-control. Yet, despite your best efforts, you’ve been unable to change.

    Whether it’s mid-day snacking, procrastinating, or skipping workouts, feeling powerless in the face of bad habits can really take a toll on your motivation, even your self-esteem.

    What if it’s not a lack of willpower that’s to blame? What if the advice you’ve been given about how to “break” a bad habit is actually misguided?

    If you’ve been trying different methods over and over again but nothing’s working, it’s time for a new approach that leverages the science of behavior change.

    The Psychology of Bad Habits

    You can spend hours researching life hacks. However, if you don’t first understand the psychology driving habits, you’ll never see any real success.

    When you break it down, habits are comprised of three distinct stages:

    1. Cue

    2. Routine

    3. Reward

    In the mid-day munchies example, the cue is fatigue. This triggers a routine: getting up and heading to the kitchen. The reward? Yummy goodness that gives you a temporary energy boost.

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Master your psychology with therapeutic insights for your life, relationships, & career