The ultimate morning routine: Get back over 20 hours per week

The traditional 9-5 workday is poorly structured for high productivity. Perhaps when most work was physical labor, but not in the knowledge working world we now live in.

Although this may be obvious based on people’s mediocre performance, addiction to stimulants, lack of engagement, and the fact that most people hate their jobs — now there’s loads of scientific evidence you can’t ignore.

The myth of the 8 hour workday

The most productive countries in the world do not work 8 hours per day. Actually, the most productive countries have the shortest workdays.

People in countries like Luxembourg are working approximately 30 hours per week (approximately 6 hours per day, 5 days per week) and making more money on average than people working longer workweeks.

This is the average person in those countries. But what about the super-productive?

Although Gary Vaynerchuck claims to work 20 hours per day, many “highly successful” people I know work between 3-6 hours per day.

It also depends on what you’re really trying to accomplish in your life. Gary Vaynerchuck wants to own the New York Jets. He’s also fine, apparently, not spending much time with his family.

And that’s completely fine. He’s clear on his priorities.

However, you must also be clear on yours. If you’re like most people, you probably want to make a great income, doing work you love, that also provides lots of flexibility in your schedule.

If that’s your goal, this post is for you.

Quality vs. quantity

“Wherever you are, make sure you’re there.”
— Dan Sullivan

If you’re like most people, your workday is a blend of low-velocity work mixed with continual distraction (e.g., social media and email).

Most people’s “working time” is not done at peak performance levels. When most people are working, they do so in a relaxed fashion. Makes sense, they have plenty of time to get it done.

However, when you are results-oriented, rather than “being busy,” you’re 100 percent on when you’re working and 100 percent off when you’re not. Why do anything half-way? If you’re going to work, you’re going to work.

The concept is simple: Intensive activity followed by high quality rest and recovery.

Most of the growth actually comes during the recovery process. However, the only way to truly recover is by actually pushing yourself to exhaustion during the workout.

The same concept applies to work. The best work happens in short intensive spurts. By short, I’m talking 1-3 hours. But this must be “Deep Work,” with no distractions, just like an intensive workout is non-stop. Interestingly, your best work — which for most people is thinking — will actually happen while you’re away from your work, “recovering.”

For best results: Spend 20% of your energy on your work and 80% of your energy on recovery and self-improvement. When you’re getting high quality recovery, you’re growing. When you’re continually honing your mental model, the quality and impact of your work continually increases. This is what psychologists call, “Deliberate Practice.” It’s not about doing more, but better training. It’s about being strategic and results-focused, not busyness-focused.

In one study, only 16% of respondents reported getting creative insight while at work. Ideas generally came while the person was at home, in transportation, or during recreational activity. “The most creative ideas aren’t going to come while sitting in front of your monitor,” says Scott Birnbaum, a vice president of Samsung Semiconductor.

The reason for this is simple. When you’re working directly on a task, your mind is tightly focused on the problem at hand (i.e., direct reflection). Conversely, when you’re not working, your mind loosely wanders(i.e., indirect reflection).

While driving or doing some other form of recreation, the external stimuli in your environment (like the buildings or other landscapes around you)subconsciously prompt memories and other thoughts. Because your mind is wandering both contextually (on different subjects) and temporally between past, present, and future, your brain will make distant and distinct connections related to the problem you’re trying to solve (eureka!).

Creativity, after all, is making connections between different parts of the brain. Ideation and inspiration is a process you can perfect.

Case in point: when you’re working, be at work. When you’re not working, stop working. By taking your mind off work and actually recovering, you’ll get creative breakthroughs related to your work.

Your first three hours will make or break you

According to psychologist Ron Friedman, the first three hours of your day are your most precious for maximized productivity.

Typically, we have a window of about three hours where we’re really, really focused. We’re able to have some strong contributions in terms of planning, in terms of thinking, in terms of speaking well,” Friedman told Harvard Business Review.

This makes sense on several levels. Let’s start with sleep. Research confirms the brain, specifically the prefrontal cortex, is most active and readily creative immediately following sleep. Your subconscious mind has been loosely mind-wandering while you slept, making contextual and temporal connections.

So, immediately following sleep, your mind is most readily active to do thoughtful work.

So, your brain is most attuned first thing in the morning, and so are your energy levels. Consequently, the best time to do your best work is during the first three hours of your day.

I used to exercise first thing in the morning. Not anymore. I’ve found that exercising first thing in the morning actually sucks my energy, leaving me with less than I started.

Lately, I’ve been waking up at 6AM, driving to my school and walking to the library I work in. While walking from my car to the library, I drink a 250 calorie plant-based protein shake (approximately 30 grams of protein).

Donald Layman, professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of Illinois, recommends consuming at least 30 grams of protein for breakfast. Similarly, Tim Ferriss, in his book, The 4-Hour Body, also recommends 30 grams of protein 30 minutes after awaking.

Protein-rich foods keep you full longer than other foods because they take longer to leave the stomach. Also, protein keeps blood-sugar levels steady, which prevent spikes in hunger.

I get to the library and all set-up by around 6:30AM. I spend a few minutes in prayer and meditation, followed by a 5-10 minute session in my journal. The purpose of this journal session is get clarity and focus for my day.

So I write down my big picture goals and my objectives for that particular day. I then write down anything that comes to my mind. Often, it relates to people I need to contact, or ideas related to a project I’m working on. I purposefully keep this journal session short and focused.

By 6:45, I’m set to work on whatever project I’m working on, whether that’s writing a book or an article, working on a research paper for my doctoral research, creating an online course, etc.

Starting work this early may seem crazy to you, but I’ve been shocked by how easy it is to work for 2-5 hours straight without distractions. My mind is laser at this time of day. And I don’t rely on any stimulants at all.

Between 11AM-noon, my mind is ready for a break, so that’s when I do my workout. Research confirms that you workout better with food in your system. Consequently, my workouts are now a lot more productive and powerful than they were when I was exercising immediately following sleep.

After the workout, which is a great mental break, you should be fine to work a few more hours, if needed.

If your 3-5 hours before your workout were focused, you could probably be done for the day.

Protect your mornings

I understand that this schedule will not work for everyone. There are single-parents with kids who simply can’t do something like this.

We all need to work within the constraints of our unique contexts. However, if you work best in the morning, you gotta find a way to make it happen.This may require waking up a few extra hours earlier than you’re used to and taking a nap during the afternoon.

Or, it may require you to simply focus hardcore the moment you get to work. A common strategy for this is known as the “90-90-1” rule, where you spend the first 90 minutes of your workday on your #1 priority. I’m certain this isn’t checking your email or social media.

Whatever your situation, protect your mornings! As Richard Whately said, “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.”

I’m blown away by how many people schedule things like meetings in the mornings. Nothing could be worse for peak performance and creativity.

Schedule all of your meetings for the afternoon, after lunch.

Don’t check your social media or email until after your 3 hours of deep work. Your morning time should be spent on output, not input.

If you don’t protect your mornings, a million different things will take up your time. Other people will only respect you as much as you respect yourself.

Protecting your mornings means you are literally unreachable during certain hours. Only in case of serious emergency can you be summoned from your focus-cave.

Mind-body connection

What you do outside work is just as significant for your work-productivity as what you do while you’re working.

A March 2016 study in the online issue of Neurology found that regular exercise can slow brain aging by as much as 10 years. Loads of other research has found that people who regularly exercise are more productive at work. Your brain is, after all, part of your body. If your body is healthier, it makes sense that your brain would operate better.

If you want to operate at your highest level, you need to take a holistic approach to life. You are a system. When you change a part of any system, you simultaneously change the whole. Improve one area of your life, all other areas improve in a virtuous cycle. This is the butterfly effect in action and the basis of the book, The Power of Habit, which shows that by integrating one “keystone habit,” like exercise or reading, that the positivity of that one habits ripples into all other areas of your life, eventually transforming your whole life.

Consequently, the types of foods you eat, and when you eat them, determine your ability to focus at work. Your ability to sleep well (by the way, it’s easy to sleep well when you get up early and work hard) is also essential to peak-performance. Rather than managing your time, then, you should really be focused on managing your energy. Your work schedule should be scheduled around when you work best, not around social norms and expectations.

Don’t forget to psychologically detach and play

Research in several fields has found that recovery from work is a necessity for staying energetic, engaged, and healthy when facing job demands.

Recovery” is the process of reducing or eliminating physical and psychological strain/stress caused by work.

One particular recovery strategy that is getting lots of attention in recent research is called “psychological detachment from work.” True psychological detachment occurs when you completely refrain from work-related activities and thoughts during non-work time.

Proper detachment/recovery from work is essential for physical and psychological health, in addition to engaged and productive work. Yet, few people do it. Most people are always “available” to their email and work. Millennials are the worst, often wearing the openness to work “whenever” as a badge of honor. It’s not a badge of honor.

Research has found that people who psychologically detach from work experience:

When you’re at work, be fully absorbed. When it’s time to call it a day, completely detach yourself from work and become absorbed in the other areas of your life.

If you don’t detach, you’ll never fully be present or engaged at work or at home. You’ll be under constant strain, even if minimally. Your sleep will suffer. Your relationships will be shallow. Your life will not be happy.

Not only that, but lots of science has found play to be extremely important for productivity and creativity. Just like your body needs a reset, which you can get through fasting, you also need to reset from work in order to do your best work. Thus, you need to step away from work and dive into other beautiful areas of your life. For me, that’s goofing off with my kids.

Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, has studied the “Play Histories” of over six thousand people and concludes playing can radically improve everything — from personal well-being to relationships to learning to an organization’s potential to innovate. As Greg McKeown explains, “Very successful people see play as essential for creativity.”

In his TED talk, Brown said, “Play leads to brain plasticity, adaptability, and creativity. … Nothing fires up the brain like play.” There is a burgeoning body of literature highlighting the extensive cognitive and social benefits of play, including:

Cognitive

  • Enhanced memory and focus
  • Improved language learning skills
  • Creative problem solving
  • Improved mathematics skills
  • Increased ability to self-regulate, an essential component of motivation and goal achievement

Social

  • Cooperation
  • Team work
  • Conflict resolution
  • Leadership skill development
  • Control of impulses and aggressive behavior

Having a balanced-life is key to peak performance. In the Tao Te Ching, it explains that being too much yin or too much yang leads to extremes andbeing wasteful with your resources (like time). The goal is to be in the center, balanced.

Listen to brain music or songs on repeat

In her book, On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind, psychologist Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis explains why listening to music on repeat improves focus. When you’re listening to a song on repeat, you tend to dissolve into the song, which blocks out mind wandering (let your mind wander while you’re away from work!).

WordPress founder, Matt Mullenweg, listens to one single song on repeat to get into flow. So do authors Ryan Holiday and Tim Ferriss, and many others.

Give it a try.

You can use this website to listen to YouTube videos on repeat.

I generally listen to classical music or electronic music (like video game type music). Here’s a few that have worked for me:

By Benjamin P. Hardy for http://www.theladders.com. This article originally appeared on Medium.

What 50-year-olds know that 20-year-olds often don’t

Here are some lessons I’ve learned during my half century on this planet:

  1. Be kind. The benefits of being kind—or at the very least courteous—far outweigh the effort you put in. Do random acts of kindness. Compliment someone. If a retail or food-service worker makes a mistake, be understanding and patient. Kind people live longer than unkind people.
  2. I know myself better than anyone else. I don’t let anyone else’s opinions control what I do, what I wear, or what I say. Other people’s opinions are suggestions—take them or leave them.
  3. Everyone else is as worried and insecure as you are. Some people just hide it better. It doesn’t mean that they are any smarter or better than you.
  4. Laugh it off. If you make a mistake, fall down, or do something dumb, just laugh it off. Other people (and you) will forget it a lot faster if you just let it roll off your back. EVERYONE makes dumb mistakes. Everyone. You aren’t alone, and you aren’t the biggest idiot in the world. Give yourself a break.
  5. “Fitting in” is highly overrated. Be you. Confidence is sexy. Besides, great leaders didn’t get where they are by following the crowd.
  6. Don’t stay in a bad relationship, even if it’s “for the kids.” Oftentimes, kids really thrive outside the bounds of a toxic relationship.
  7. It’s just stuff. Sure, stuff gets broken—oftentimes accidentally by people you love—and that’s annoying. But your stuff can be replaced. You can never erase the hurtful words you say to the person you love, because they broke your stuff. Stuff is never, ever as important as those you love.
  8. You’re probably a lot smarter than you give yourself credit for being.
  9. Don’t judge. You don’t know all the facts. That lady speeding down the road with her toddler unbuckled in the back seat may be panicked, heading for the hospital for an emergency that you can’t see. That “big kid” having a “tantrum” in the store may be on the autism spectrum, and is having a melt down, which he/she hates as much as you do. The fat lady in the bikini may have lost 100 lbs so far, and she’s pretty darn proud of what she’s done. Don’t shame people for smoking, drinking, or being fat. We all have our faults and bad habits. As a pretty famous guy is alleged to have said, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
  10. Never lose your inner child. Dance. Sing. Skip. Tell poop jokes (not to strangers, though). Go down the slide. Bounce at the bouncy house, if the attendant says adults are welcome. This is an advantage to being older. When you’re 20, people often think you’re “too old” to do these things, but when a 50-something does them, it’s charming. And if people think it’s dumb, screw them. See #2 above.
  11. Don’t make major life decisions to please other people. Maybe your parents expect you to go to college, but you just want to go to trade school and become an auto mechanic, because that’s where your heart is. Or maybe (as in my case) your parents don’t want you to go to college, but you really want to be an attorney. Live life for YOU. The world needs good auto mechanics and good attorneys. It’ll all work out.
  12. Don’t beat yourself up about stuff. Do what you can to fix your mistakes, then move on. Guilt is only good for pushing you toward making things right again. After that, it becomes shame, and shame is a toxic substance which will eat you up inside. Same for worry.
  13. Enjoy life. Literally, stop to smell and admire the flowers. Wonder. Smile at strangers and see how many you can get to smile back. Have fun.
  14. Life goes by really, really fast. Live each day so that, at the end, you’re reveling in how amazing your life was, not regretting all the things you did or didn’t do.
  15. Life is better after 50.

By Phyl Bean for http://www.theladders.com. This article first appeared at Quora.

Understanding the Important Distinction Between Community Association Managers and Property Managers

By John Ganoe, CAE, CAMICB Executive Director

A common mistake in state legislatures considering community association manager licensing – and among the general public – is to lump community association managers and property managers into the same bucket. While both are very important roles, they are distinctly different professions with functions, skill sets and responsibilities specific to each.

A community association manager can manage every type of community: condominium associations, homeowner associations, resort communities and commercial tenant associations.  A community association manager works directly with prcommunity-property-managementoperty owners and homeowners.

Property managers oversee individual rental units or a group of rental units, such as an apartment complex. They’re responsible for managing the entire property while community association managers are responsible for common areas – not individually owned properties.

“From a legislative standpoint, this incorrect categorization occurs because state legislators misunderstand the nature of community association management,” said Matthew Green, Director, State Affairs for the Community Associations Institute (CAI).  “They believe that community association management skills are identical to those of a property manager without recognizing the vastly different responsibilities of these two positions.”

This misunderstanding of the two professions often bleeds into more general conversations occurring in this space. Compounding this is the reality that there’s a slight overlap in a couple of the duties performed. For example, both property managers and community association managers supervise certain maintenance activities, such as swimming pool upkeep and trash removal. But it’s important to understand that community association managers oversee and direct all aspects of running the business operation. This means, they authorize payment for association services; develop budgets and present association financial reports to Board members; direct the enforcement of restrictive covenants; perform site inspections; solicit, evaluate and assist in insurance purchases; and, even supervise the design and delivery of association recreational programs.

Property managers are responsible for managing the actual property and therefore handle the physical assets of the unit at the owner’s request. Property managers generally oversee rental units and leases. Their responsibilities might include finding or evicting tenants, collecting rent and responding to tenant complaints or specific requests. If a property manager is responsible for a vacation or second home, he or she may arrange for services such as house sitting or local sub-contracting necessary to maintain that property.  Alternatively, an owner may opt to delegate specific tasks to a property manager and choose to handle other duties directly.

Stephanie Durner, CMCA, AMS, who is the Director of Community Management at River Landing, a private gated golf course community in Wallace, NC, views the distinction this way,

“While property managers are generally charged with overseeing physical structures that are used by people who are not the owners of the property, association managers represent the property owners themselves and are involved in just about every aspect of the overall community. For instance, if a garage door is broken at a rental house, the tenant would call a property manager or owner/landlord. But if there’s a pothole that needs repair or if a neighbor’s dog is running loose through the neighborhood, that’s a task for the community association manager who both maintains the common areas and upholds the governing rules. To me, community association management is a more holistic approach that contributes to the overall quality of life for all the owners in a community.”

Green emphasized, “While some job responsibilities are similar, community association managers have additional functions. It’s critical that community association management be recognized as distinct from property management, because association management requires a wider variety of knowledge and skills.”

“Because of this, the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) offers and maintains the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) credential, the only international certification program designed exclusively for managers of homeowner and condominium associations and cooperatives,” added Sara Duginske, MS, CAMICB’s Director of Credentialing Services. “Earning the CMCA credential means an individual has taken and passed the rigorous CMCA examination, proving they have a solid understanding of the business operations involved in being a community association manager.”

For community association managers, the bottom line is they understand and are experienced and knowledgeable in the many facets of running a business operation, assuring they provide the best possible service to the associations for which they are responsible.

CAMICB was established in 1995 to develop and administer the CMCA program. CAMICB insists on high ethical standards for community association managers because it not only strengthens the CMCA program, but protects consumers and associations that hire community association managers.

Don’t say these 5 types of words during a job interview

There are so many ways that a job interview can go wrong — the possibility of being super late, being underprepared and other slip-ups — you should also be mindful of your word choice. Your language can speak volumes about who you are as a candidate.
Here are some job interview tips regarding things you should avoid saying during a job interview.

Don’t hurl insults about the office space you walk into

So the office building is a lot less modern than you thought it would be. Does the recruiter need to know that? Of course not. This is much better kept to yourself.

Hiring managers didn’t check out your application and invite you for an in-person interview to witness you wasting the opportunity.

You may not look like a good fit for the company — even if you exceed the qualifications.

Use ‘filler words’ as little as possible

John Rampton, an entrepreneur, speaker, and founder of online payments company Due, cautions in Mashable against overusing filler words like “um,” “hmm” and “erm” during a job interview.

“Personally, I never realized that this was an issue until it was brought to me attention and I started watching footage of me speaking. Sure enough, I was throwing out a lot of ‘ums.’ To correct this problem, I started speaking more slowly. If there was a question that I had to think about, I would remain completely silent until I could find the right words. Don’t worry if you’re concerned about there being an awkward silence. It’s better to pause and say nothing-at-all than filling the air with a stream of filler words,” he writes.

Lay off the profanity

You should never cross this line.

“You’d think not swearing is Interviewing 101, but you’d be surprised how often people still do it,” According to The Muse. “Even if your interviewer drops a few S- or F-bombs, you’re better off keeping your language PG.”

Of course, different workplaces have varying standards of conduct, but you shouldn’t assume this is safe territory — especially since you don’t yet work there or know the culture.

Don’t say that you have zero questions for the interviewer

You should always ask questions during job interviews — even if you already know the answer.

If you don’t, you risk looking like you don’t care about the position, the job, or a possible future there. So while you’re doing your research for the interview, write down things that strike you and be sure to ask them in person.

This will show that you’ve done your homework, are interested in how the business operates, and are trying to get a better sense of what it’d be like to work there yourself.

Don’t badmouth your current or former employer

This is never a smart move.

Alison Doyle, a career expert, author, and founder/CEO of CareerToolBelt.com, provides examples of statements you shouldn’t make during interviews in The Balance — including negative ones about your current position, manager and employer.

One of them is, “my current company is awful.” As Doyle questions, “(Are you going to say that about the new company?)

Chances are, if you’re willing to say bad things about your current workplace, you wouldn’t have a problem doing the same if hired to a new one, and clearly aren’t as concerned about references as you should be.

By Jane Burnett for www.theladders.com

Can a Test Make You a Better Leader?

(MangoStar_Studio/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Aptitude exams are making a comeback in the workplace. That’s bad news for anybody who dreaded the SAT. But for organizations that struggle to find internal talent, it’s an opportunity.

Professional attainment has many virtues, but prominent among them is that you no longer have to endure the drudgery of standardized tests. You were done with all that when you wrapped up your SAT, GRE, or professional certification. Leaders will always have skills to work on, but by the time you’re nearing the corner office—or in it—you’re generally considered smart enough not to have to prove yourself in a timed exam.

Or not. The SAT-style assessment appears to be making a comeback in the workplace. Vista Equity Partners, a private-equity firm, administers a test to all its employees, regardless of their position on the org chart. And corporations in various industries, according to a recent article in the Atlantic, are measuring employees’ brainpower, with a focus on leadership and management skills. The article reports that one testing company, Criteria Corp., has had 2 million people take its Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test, and describes its offerings as “especially useful for mid- and higher-level jobs.”

A capacity to slow down and think through a problem is essential for leaders. Why not test for it?

Can a revival of the corporate rally song be far behind? Companies tended to abandon strict testing in recent years for a host of reasons: Hierarchies and job roles became more fluid in ways those testing methods couldn’t address, tenures at companies became shorter in ways that made career-path testing less meaningful, and tests can be prone to bias when they’re not thoughtfully managed. We’ve also entered an era where leadership became, in our cultural imagination, as much a persona-driven role as a skills-driven one; leaders were listeners, coordinators, and charismatic spokespersons, not big-brained, stiff-suited management robots. Every generation still gets a new management scheme, from Six Sigma to Lean management, but slotting specific skills into specific roles in a Spock-like manner—the kind of thing corporations tested for—was a thing of the past.

The new wave of testing, though, argues that such cognitive fluidity not only can be assessed, but ought to be in the current environment. Forbes reports that all employees at any company acquired by Vista take a “personality-and-aptitude test” which “assesses technical and social skills, and attempts to gauge analytical and leadership potential.” Rather than cementing biases, Vista argues, its testing helps eradicate them, revealing leadership potential that might otherwise go unrecognized; a pizza franchise manager was promoted to sales trainer under the system, for instance, and a mailroom worker became a programmer.

Shane Frederick, a Yale business school professor who studies testing, told the Atlantic that the new wave of testing is better at sussing out “cognitive reflection,” a bit of jargon for “doing more than thinking with your gut.” A capacity to slow down and think through a problem is essential for leaders, and “he is unequivocal about the value of testing for it, especially as work seems to grow more complex in every industry.”

Well, we’ve Fitbitted and big-data’d so many other things about our workplaces and industries, so why not this? Naturally, some leaders are resistant. The Atlantic spoke to Stephen Tomlin, a VC firm partner who doubts that a test can identify a successful leader, and looks for domain-specific intelligence and emotional intelligence, two things that are hard to test for. “Raw cognitive processing power seems like a distant seventh or eighth in the kinds of things I would be screening for in a CEO,” he said.

I think it would be an error to rely too heavily on testing to figure out whether somebody is leadership timber. But many organizations are already making a broader error in not thinking much at all about succession in their organizations. Newer employees often don’t know what the path to leadership their organizations are if they have such ambitions, and senior leadership often doesn’t think about creating that path. If a test can provide a road map for both leaders and employees, it may be worth the effort. Nobody likes spending an hour taking a test. But nobody likes spending years wondering if they’re considered worthy of promotion either.

Some of the resistance to this kind of testing, I suspect, is fear-based: What if the people who thought they were destined for the C-suite learn that an algorithm has decided that middle-management is best for them? But that’s the same punchcard-era anxiety that the new testing seems to be trying to avoid. And a test isn’t the sole guide to an employee’s fate, just one point worth considering within an organization’s larger culture. Good leaders want their organizations to succeed, and they want their employees to succeed within it. Given the lack of attention succession gets at organizations, gathering extra data points can only help.

By for Associations Now, a publication of the American Society of Association Executives

CMCA Recertification – Oct. 1 Deadline

CAMICB sent reminder notices to CMCAs who need to recertify and/or pay their annual service fee by October 1, 2018. Here are a few helpful links:

A few things to note:

1.    It is the responsibility of each CMCA to provide documentation of their 16 hours of continuing education at the time of recertification. CAMICB does not track your CEs. If you took a class with CAI, please go to www.caionline.org to print out a certificate of completion.

2.    Only courses completed between October 1, 2016 and October 1, 2018 count as continuing education.

3.    An active AMS, PCAM, FL CAM, NV CAM or NAHC-RCM satisfies the continuing education requirement. Check option 1 on line item #4 of the Recertification Application to receive credit.

4.    Credit hours may be earned only for education that pertains to community association operations or management and/or contributes to the professional development of the CMCA.

5.    The CMCA Annual Service Fee is $105.00. Oftentimes this fee is confused with CAI’s individual manager membership. While CAMICB maintains an affiliate relationship with CAI, we are an independent credentialing body: separately incorporated, governed by an independent Board of Trustees, and guided in the administration of our program by the standards of our accrediting body, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. We are not a membership organization; we do not collect membership dues. We assess our credential holders an annual maintenance fee which is used to support the development and delivery of our core exam and the operation of our program in accordance with best practices in professional credentialing.

Still have questions? Contact CAMICB at info@camicb.org or take advantage of the upcoming program CMCA Recertification Notice – Free Webinar on September 6, beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST. Register Today

 

If you’re too busy for these 5 things, your life is more off-course than you think

Despite turbulence and other conditions keeping airplanes off-course 90 percent of flight time, most flights arrive in the correct destination at the intended time.The reason for this phenomenon is quite simple — through air traffic control and the inertial guidance system, pilots are constantly course correcting. When immediately addressed, these course corrections are not hard to manage. When these course corrections don’t regularly happen, catastrophe can result.
For example, in 1979, a passenger jet with 257 people on board left New Zealand for a sightseeing flight to Antarctica and back. However, the pilots were unaware that someone had altered the flight coordinates by a measly two degrees, putting them 28 miles east of where they assumed to be.Approaching Antarctica, the pilots descended to give the passengers a view of the brilliant landscapes. Sadly, the incorrect coordinates had placed them directly in the path of the active volcano, Mount Erebus.

The snow on the volcano blended with the clouds above, deceiving the pilots into thinking they were flying above flat ground. When the instruments sounded a warning of the quickly rising ground, it was too late. The plane crashed into the volcano killing everyone on board.

An error of only a few degrees brought about an enormous tragedy.

Small things — if not corrected — become big things, always.

This flight is an analogy of our lives. Even seemingly inconsequential aspects of our lives can create ripples and waves of consequence — for better or worse.

How are you piloting your life?

What feedback are you receiving to correct your course?

Where is your destination?

When are you going to get there?

Are you currently off-course? How long have you been off-course?

How would you know if you are on the right course?

How can you minimize the turbulence and other conditions distracting your path?

1. Organizing your life

I don’t think I’m alone in being slightly scattered and sloppy about certain areas of my life.

Life is busy.

It’s hard to keep everything organized and tidy. And maybe you don’t want to have an organized life. But moving forward will require far less energy if you remove the excessive baggage and tension. Everything in your life is energy. If you’re carrying too much — physical or emotional — your progress will be hampered.

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey explains that some things are important, and some things are urgent. Most people spend their life prioritizing urgent and “shallow” activity (e.g., answering emails, putting out proverbial fires, and just day-to-day stuff).

Very few people have organized their lives to prioritize almost exclusively important and “deep” activity (e.g., learning, health, relationships, travel, and goals).

No one cares about your success more than you do. If you’re not a meticulous accountant about the important details of your life, then you aren’t responsible enough to have what you say you want.

So how do you organize your life?

Environmental Energy

Is your living space cluttered and messy or simple and neat?

Do you keep stuff (like clothes) you no longer use?

If you have a car, is it clean or just another place to keep your clutter and garbage?

Does your environment facilitate the emotions you consistently want to experience?

Does your environment drain or improve your energy?

Financial Energy

Do you have unnecessary debt?

Do you know how many dollars you spend each month?

Do you know how many dollars you make each month?

Are you making as much money as you’d like to be?

What’s holding you back from creating more value in other people’s lives?

Most people don’t track their expenses. But if they did, they’d be shocked how much money they waste on stuff like eating out.

I’ll be honest, as a creative and right-brained person, administrative and logistical details bog me down. I procrastinate and avoid them. But this lackluster behavior is holding me back from the very goals I’m trying to accomplish.

Until I can hone in on my finances, I won’t have a healthier financial life, regardless of my income. Until I take complete responsibility of my finances, I’ll always be a slave to money.

And so will you.

Relational Energy

Are your relationships the most meaningful and enjoyable part of your life?

Do you spend enough time nurturing the relationships that really matter?

Do you maintain toxic relationships that no longer serve you?

Are you authentic and honest in your relationships?

Like money, most people’s relationships are not organized in a conscious manner. But with something so critical, we should take better stock of our relationships.

Health Energy

Do you eat with the end in mind?

Are you conscious of and in control of the foods you put in your body?

Does the food you eat improve or worsen the other areas of your life?

Does your body reflect your highest ideals?

Is your body as strong and fit as you want it to be?

Are you healthier now than you were three months ago?

Health is wealth. If you’re bed ridden, who cares how organized the other areas of your life are? It’s so easy to put our health on the side, such as foregoing sleep, over consuming stimulants, and making poor eating habits.

Little things become big things. And eventually everything catches up.

Spiritual Energy

Do you have a sense of purpose in life?

Have you come to terms with life and death in a way you resonate with?

How much power do you have in designing your future?

Death, it turns out, is not your greatest fear. Actually, your greatest fear is reaching death and having never truly lived.

When you organize your spiritual life, you become clear on what your life is about. You become clear on what you stand for, and how you want to spend each day. You develop conviction for what really matters to you, and what is a “distraction.”

No matter how well defined, everyone has a moral system governing their behavior. Most people believe in being honest and good people. But until you organize your spiritual life, you’ll experience internal conflict when acting contrary to your values and vision.

Time

How much of your time do you feel in complete control of?

Is your time being wasted on things you don’t intrinsically enjoy?

Are the activities you spend your time doing moving you toward your ideal future?

Are you spending most of your time furthering your own agenda or someone else’s?

What activities should you remove from your life?

How much time do you waste each day?

What would your ideal day look like?

What activities could you outsource or automate that take up your time?

Until you organize your time, it will disappear and move quickly. Before you know it, you’ll wonder where all the time went.

Once you organize your time, it will slow down. You’ll be able to live more presently. You’ll be able to experience time as you want to. You’ll control your time rather than the other way around.

Stop What You’re Doing and Get Organized

Getting organized and conscious of your present circumstances (e.g., your environment, finances, relationships, purpose, and time) puts you in a position to build toward the future you want.

The fastest way to move forward in life is not doing more. It starts with stopping the behaviors holding you back.

If you want to get in shape, you’ll make more progress by stopping your negative behaviors than starting good ones. So, before you start exercising, purge the junk food from your diet. Until you stop the damage, you’ll always be taking one step forward and one step backward.

Before you focus on making more money, reduce your spending. Detach yourself from needing more and become content with what you have. Until you do this, it doesn’t matter how much money you make. You’ll always spend what you have (or more).

This is a matter of stewardship. Rather than wanting more, more, more , it’s key to take proper care of what you currently have. Organize yourself. Dial it in. Your life is a garden. What good is planting if you don’t prepare the soil and remove the weeds?

Why do most people stay stuck? They never organize. They try adding more, or being more productive, or taking a different approach. So before you “hustle,” get organized.

2. Plan and invest in your future

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese Proverb

Taking these foundational areas of life and organizing them is essential to creating your ideal future.

Very few people consciously plan and design their life. It’s actually startling how few Americans are investing in their future. Most Millennials are terrified of the stock market and long-term investing. Most Baby Boomers never developed the discipline to invest, but instead maintained an addiction to American consumption.
Even still, you have complete power over the details of your life the moment you decide you’re worthy of that power. That decision is manifest in tangible behaviors, like fixing or removing troubled relationships and saying “no” to activities that are nothing more than a waste of your time.

You get to decide right now.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” — Benjamin Franklin

Your vision should be based on your why, not so much your what.

Your why is your reason, your what is how that is manifest. And your “what” can happen in a ton of different ways. For example, my why is to help people get clarity on the life they want to live, and to help them achieve their goals as quickly as possible. My what could be blogging, parenting, being a student, going out to dinner, and several other things.

Too many people think creating a vision is about nailing down exactly what they want in the next 20 years. The problem with this mega long-term approach to goal setting is that it actually slows your potential.

Instead of having a pre-set plan of what he wants to do, Tim Ferriss executes on 3–6 month experiments that he’s currently excited about. He told Darren Hardy in an interview that he has no clue what the outcome of his experiments might be. So there’s no point in making long-term plans. He has no clue what doors will open up, and he wants to be open to the best possibilities.

But his why doesn’t change.

When you are proactively creating and collaborating with many different people, the whole becomes different and better than the sum of its parts. This is why you can’t plan for everything. Because at the highest level, you’ve transcended your need to have things exactly how you want them. You know that with the help of other people, you can do things 10X, 100X, or 1,000X bigger and better than you could ever conceive on your own.

Rather than expecting a particular outcome, you are completely confident that the best outcome will ensue. This is how you create and contribute beyond anything you could ever comprehend. Collaboration and synergy lead to new innovations and ultimately, human evolution. It’s how the old and outdated rules are redefined and replaced with new and better ones, thus changing the global environment.

Invest in Your Future

When you choose to forego momentary gratification in order to have an enhanced future, you are investing in your future. Most people fail to do this successfully.

Most people don’t purposefully invest in their finances, relationships, health, and time. But when you invest in yourself (and your future),you ensure your future present moments will continue to get richer and more enjoyable.

Thus, your life will continue getting better and more in line with your ideal vision.

3. Tracking important metrics

“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates. ” — Thomas Monson

Getting organized and investing in your future are futile if you’re not tracking. In regards to the most important areas of your life, you need to be on top of what’s going on.

Tracking is difficult. If you’ve tried it before, chances are, you quit within a few days.

Research has repeatedly found that when behavior is tracked and evaluated, it improves drastically.

If you’re not tracking the key areas of your life, than you’re probably more off-course than you think. If you were to be honest with yourself, you’d be stunned how out-of-control things have become. As J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, has said:

“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.”

The cool part is, once you get organized, make a plan, and start tracking, desired change happens quickly.

Track the things that are closely related to your core priorities. As Jim Collins said in Good to Great, “If you have more than three priorities you have none.”

Your priorities reflect your why, and thus, your life should be build around your priorities. Not the other way around. Consequently, if you’re serious about improving upon the foundation of your life, track your priorities. For example:

  • Your key relationships
  • Your business and finances
  • Self improvement (such as health or how you use your time)
  • You can track whatever priorities you have. But I can absolutely promise you that once you do, your conscious awareness of these things will increase.
  • You’re ability to control these things will enhance. Your confidence will wax strong. And your life will become simpler.

You’ll be living a simple, yet organized and refined life. You’ll be responsible, which put another way is freedom.

4. Prayer and meditation to reduce noise

“I have so much to do today that I’m going to need to spend three hours in prayer in order to be able to get it all done.” — Martin Luther

There’s a lot of emphasis on hustle these days.

Hustle, hustle, hustle.

But all the hustle in the wrong direction isn’t going to help you. Yes, by hustling you can fail often, fail fast, and fail forward. However, as Thomas Merton has said:

“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” This happens way too often. We get caught in the thick of thin things. Far too late do we realize that in our mad rush, we were pursuing someone else’s goals instead of our own.

But spending a large chuck of time in prayer and/or meditation does more than provide clarity to what you’re doing. These things open your mind up to possibilities you can’t get while busy.

For example, a few days ago I spent the entire morning praying, thinking deeply, listening to inspirational music, and writing in my journal. A few hours into this process, an idea came to me that is absolute gold.

I also got insights regarding important relationships during that time, which when those insights came in, I immediately sent out emails or texts to those people. Amazing collaborations and mentorships were the resultant outcome.

But there’s more.

Your thoughts are incredibly powerful. They actually govern not only you but those around you. Think about it, if you think positively about the people you’re around, their lives are better. This is why people “send positive energy” or pray for other people. It actually makes a difference.

Your thoughts create endless ripples — even waves — of consequence all around you.

While praying and/or meditating for a large portion of time, the level of your thoughts will elevate. And interesting things will begin happening. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of miracles, you can think of it as luck.

Whatever you call it, when you spend large portions of time every day in deep reflection mode, luck strikes. Stuff happens that is completely outside of your control for your benefit.

For instance, during my deep dive into my mind and soul, one of my favorite authors came across my blog. He re-tweeted one of my articles and reached out to me. Now we’re friends. We’ve spent lots of time together. He’s helped me get a book contract. He’s even had me speak at one of his events!

If you’re skeptical of these ideas. Give it a try. Why do you think the majority of the world’s most successful have rituals such as these? There is a higher realm you can tap into that unlocks limitless possibilities.

The only thing holding you back from those things is your mind.

5. Move toward your goals every single day

How many days go by where you did nothing to move toward your big goals?

Probably too many.

Life is busy.

If you don’t purposefully carve time out every day to progress and improve, then without question, your time will get lost in the vacuum of our increasingly crowded lives. Before you know it, you’ll be old and withered, wondering where all that time went.

As Harold Hill has said: “You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.”

After you’ve gotten yourself organized, made plans, started tracking, and gotten into the habit of prayer/meditation, taking action and hustling will be automatic. You’ll be focused on the right thing and in the right frame of mind to actually execute.

Its good practice to do these kind of things at the beginning of your day before your will power depletes.

If you don’t, it simply will not get done. By the end of your day, you’ll be exhausted. You’ll be fried. There will be a million reasons to just start tomorrow. And you will start tomorrow — which is never.

So your mantra becomes: The worst comes first. Do that thing you’ve been needing to do. Then do it again tomorrow.

If you take just one step toward your big goals every day, you’ll realize those goals weren’t really far away.

Conclusion

It’s really easy to get off course in life. Like airplanes, we constantly need to make course corrections.

But we can ensure we get where we want in life by organizing ourselves, planning for our future, tracking our progress, heightening our mindset, and hustling.

Do this long enough and you’ll be shocked.

Go!

This article was originally published on Medium.com.

10 unmistakable habits of utterly authentic people

Photo by Stefan Stefancik

To live authentically, you must own your actions and ensure that they align with your beliefs and needs. This can be a difficult thing to maintain when external forces pressure you to do something you’re not comfortable with or to be someone you’re not.Most people have experienced the discomfort that comes with failing to behave authentically. Researchers from Harvard, Columbia, and Northwestern joined forces to measure this phenomenon scientifically. They found that when people failed to behave authentically, they experienced a heightened state of discomfort that’s usually associated with immorality. People who weren’t true to themselves were so distraught that they felt a strong desire to cleanse themselves physically.

It’s clear that our brains know when we’re living a lie, and like all lies, being inauthentic causes nothing but harm. But how do you start living authentically? That can be tough, especially if you’ve been playing a role for most of your adult life.

“I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” – Oprah Winfrey

Authentic people are deeply in tune with who they are and what they want. Their ability to live their life in harmony with their true selves comes from some clearly discernible habits that any of us can study and incorporate into our repertoire.

They help others to be their authentic selves

Authentic people don’t expect others to play a role either. They don’t make people feel as though they have to fit into a certain mold or to project a certain image to be a part of their lives. Their commitment to being authentic gives other people the freedom to live authentically too.

They let go of negative people

Authentic people have too much self-respect to put up with people who treat them badly or have ill will toward them, and they have too much respect for other people to try to change them. So they let go — not out of anger, but out of their need to be true to themselves.

They express their true feelings and opinions, even when they’re not popular

Authentic people don’t live a go-along-to-get-along lifestyle. They’re simply not capable of acting in a way that’s contrary to what their principles dictate, even if there are repercussions. They prefer not to lie to other people, and they especially can’t lie to themselves. This means that they’re willing to live with the repercussions of staying true to themselves.

They are confident

Much social anxiety stems from the fear we have of being “found out.” We’re afraid that somebody is going to discover that we’re not as smart, experienced, or well-connected as we pretend to be. Authentic people don’t have that fear. Their confidence comes from the fact that they have nothing to hide. Who they appear to be is who they really are.

They prefer deep conversations to meaningless chatter

Eleanor Roosevelt nailed this one. She once said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” You won’t find authentic people gossiping about others or giving their opinions on the latest celebrity scandals. They know all of that stuff is nothing more than cultural trappings, and they choose to talk about things that matter.

They don’t take anyone’s advice without evaluating it carefully first

It’s not that authentic people aren’t willing to take advice; they are. But they don’t put that advice into action just because other people have. First, they’ll run it through the wringer from a critical perspective so that they can be sure it makes sense for them.

They don’t complain about their problems

Complaining is what you do when you think that the situation you’re in is someone else’s fault or that it’s someone else’s job to fix it. Authentic people, on the other hand, are accountable. They understand that they — and no one else — are responsible for their own lives, so there’s no point in complaining.

They’re internally motivated

Authentic people don’t sit at their desks thinking, “Well, if my boss would just make this job worthwhile, I’d do a better job.” The carrot-and-stick approach just isn’t relevant to them. They’re motivated from within.

They make the best out of any situation

Authentic people have a very firm grasp on reality. When things don’t go their way, they don’t get trapped in denial, and they don’t sit around whining about how things should be different. They simply take stock of the way things are and, if there’s nothing they can do to change the situation, they figure out a way to make the best of it.

They don’t get stressed or upset when someone doesn’t like them

It’s never fun accepting that someone doesn’t like you, but a lot of times that discomfort comes from trying to figure out what you did wrong or how you can fix it. Authentic people don’t have that anxiety because they would never try to change themselves to influence someone else’s opinion. They accept that other people have a right to be authentic about their own feelings, even if those feelings are negative toward them.

Bringing it all together

Living authentically is a perpetual challenge that yields great rewards. It’s a noble path that you won’t regret following.

What are the benefits of living authentically? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

This column first appeared on LinkedIn.

CMCA Recertification – Oct. 1 Deadline

CAMICB sent reminder notices to CMCAs who need to recertify and/or pay their annual service fee by October 1, 2018. Here are a few helpful links:

A few things to note:

1.    It is the responsibility of each CMCA to provide documentation of their 16 hours of continuing education at the time of recertification. CAMICB does not track your CEs. If you took a class with CAI, please go to www.caionline.org to print out a certificate of completion.

2.    Only courses completed between October 1, 2016 and October 1, 2018 count as continuing education.

3.    An active AMS, PCAM, FL CAM, NV CAM or NAHC-RCM satisfies the continuing education requirement. Check option 1 on line item #4 of the Recertification Application to receive credit.

4.    Credit hours may be earned only for education that pertains to community association operations or management and/or contributes to the professional development of the CMCA.

5.    The CMCA Annual Service Fee is $105.00. Oftentimes this fee is confused with CAI’s individual manager membership. While CAMICB maintains an affiliate relationship with CAI, we are an independent credentialing body: separately incorporated, governed by an independent Board of Trustees, and guided in the administration of our program by the standards of our accrediting body, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. We are not a membership organization; we do not collect membership dues. We assess our credential holders an annual maintenance fee which is used to support the development and delivery of our core exam and the operation of our program in accordance with best practices in professional credentialing.

Still have questions? Contact CAMICB at info@camicb.org or take advantage of the upcoming program CMCA Recertification Notice – Free Webinar on September 6, beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST. Register Today

 

5 things you need to delete from your life

Photo: Alexei Kuznetsov via Flickr

A few months back, an app developer friend asked me to beta test his new friend-management tool for Facebook… I think you can guess where this is going. Overnight I noticed about 90 friends had vanished. By the time the weekend hit, I’d unintentionally divested myself of about another 200 online friends. By the time I figured out how to safely delete the program, I was down about 550 friends. It was weird, but who are we kidding, how many genuine friends do you really have on social media?

Weirder yet was the fact that I didn’t notice who was missing for quite a while. By then, I realized it was more of a relief not to have to keep track of people I didn’t much care about.
All this got me thinking about what’s important in life, and what we should delete without looking back.

Even if you’re not a hoarder by nature, these are some things it’s time to let go of:

1. Does it spark misery?

In her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo advises readers to rid themselves of objects that no longer spark joy in their lives. Many argue that she’s taken it too far, in basically advising people to get rid of any clutter, knickknacks, or clothing to the point of being a total ascetic.

Let’s flip that notion on its ear for a moment and find a way to rid ourselves of things that make us gnash our teeth or remember awful things.

Do you have a pen that your former boss gave you… right before she fired you? What about your resume that still lists that job that destroyed your career or email signature that has your ex’s last name instead of the one you use now?

Just hit delete, take it to the trash, reset or otherwise allow yourself to eliminate the reminders of moments or people you’d prefer to forget.

2. Manage your mess

It’s a little bit weird that most of us brag about how many unanswered emails we have in our inbox at any given time; so, what about trying to make your inbox work for you instead of finding workarounds to that overcrowded space?

Nicholas Reichenbach, Founder, and CEO of Flow Water, said that instead of worrying about what to hold onto, perhaps it’s better to rethink the way you use your email. “The key is to use your inbox as a ‘to do’ list with all current emails representing an action required by me or others. The rest of the emails are immediately filed under key business activities (such as accounting, sales, marketing, etc.) or deleted,” Reichenbach said.

“I never go one night with my inbox not up to date; and all messaging have been read, filed or deleted,” Reichenbach added. He says his method is highly effective for managing 150-200 emails and never missing a beat on important and rapid communication.

3. Don’t be on fleek

While there are some catchphrases and expressions that are instant classics, others can make you seem like you’re trying way too hard. Just because you read it in Teen Vogue or The New Yorker, doesn’t mean that the latest cool expression belongs in your updated vernacular.

Pay close attention to the way your colleagues or boss react when you slip a word into conversation. Are you faced with blank stares or sneers? It’s time to cut back on the hipsterisms and pay closer attention to the way people at your age or stage actually speak.

4. Fly guys or girls

In a recent Women in the Workplace video on WSJ.com, a linguist tackled the issue of Creaky Phonation, AKA Vocal Fry, the style of talking in which you sort of crunch or sound creaky at the end of sentences. And while people can identify the trend in both men or women’s voices, it was perceived more negatively in women’s voices, especially in the workplace.

It’s one thing to try to affect more of a regional sound or dialect, quite another to take on a manner of speaking that mimics Kardashians and irritates potential employers.

So, if frying is your affectation of choice, perhaps it’s time to let it go the way of uptalking. Away. Far, far away.

5. Emojeverything

Some years back I felt extremely adored when a British colleague ended his email with his initial followed closely by an ‘x.’ A bit later I realized that I probably should have been insulted that there was only one; and for the few months we worked together I started counting email kisses. These days, x’s and o’s are pretty much every day sign offs in some industries.

While it might be entirely acceptable to start an email to a stranger with “Hi, love” if you work in beauty PR, it could come across as a form of harassment in a more buttoned-down industry.

By Rachel Weingarten for www.theladders.com