Thursday, July 20, 2017

36 Rules of Social Media

https://twitter.com/JulioTrujillo_/status/887571396435554304

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Genius Problem-Solving Method Elon Musk Learned From Aristotle

http://inc-asean.com/the-inc-life/genius-problem-solving-method-elon-musk-learned-aristotle/
DAVID STRAUS

How do some entrepreneurs manage to come up with solutions for the toughest problems? They borrow this method from an ancient philosopher.


PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

"All great Acts of Genius began with the same consideration: Do not be constrained by your present reality." Leonardo Da Vinci

Obviously, I have never met Aristotle or Da Vinci; for that matter, I have not yet had the pleasure of speaking with Elon Musk. Still, let's imagine that I can understand how they think, and that you can as well - and by embracing First Principle thinking, you can empower yourself to become a true visionary in life, at work, and for your community.
A First Principle is a basic, essential, foundational truth that is "known by nature." It is not an assumption or deduction based on another theory or supposition. A key element of First Principle thinking is that just because something is "known by nature" or true in the Universe does not mean it has ever been articulated and described by humans. E=MC has always existed as a possibility, but it was not known or proven until Einstein's feat of mathematical observation and first principle science. E=MC now becomes a foundational assumption in our known world. However, a future physicist solving for a different problem may choose to ignore this principle and discover something that is true to the universe that once "discovered" and articulated by the physicist could render E=MC as obsolete. Einstein himself understood this better than anyone because in order for him to have ideated E=MC, he too would have needed to overlook basic principles considered as Truth (with a capital T) in his time.
First articulated and named by Aristotle, the First Principle has endured all these millennia as the basis for (Western) philosophical contemplation. Physicists, scientists, and artists also engage the First Principle in order to dive into the unknown and surface with ideas totally new. A number of years ago, Elon Musk cited the ancient concept in an interview with Kevin Rose, thereby adding the term to our shared entrepreneurial vocabulary, but most visionaries--whether in business, science, arts, or philosophy--would in fact tell you that First Principle thinking is essential to their process and work, even if the phrase itself is unfamiliar.
So what precisely does First Principle thinking mean for invention and innovation? Elon Musk uses the battery pack as a perfect example: "Someone could--and people do--say battery packs are really expensive and that's just the way they will always be because that's the way they have been in the past. They would say, 'It's going to cost $600 per kilowatt-hour. It's not going to be much better than that in the future," Musk said in his interview with Rose. But in First Principle thinking, you forget what has been, you erase what is assumed, and ask questions based on your desire for what is possible. In Musk's words: "What are the material constituents of the batteries? What is the spot market value of the material constituents? It has carbon, nickel, aluminum, and some polymers for separation, and a steel can. Break that down on a materials basis, if we bought that on a London Metal Exchange, what would each of these things cost?" Musk's findings were that he could get those materials for $80 per kilowatt-hour, combine them into a battery cell shape of his choosing, and model modern innovation within the energy industry.
When my partners and I began our first technology company, we continually needed to lean into First Principle perspectives or we would never have succeeded. We ended up selling that company to Amazon in 2008. Today, in my work as a CEO, executive coach and business consultant, I help leaders embrace First Principle thinking for corporate innovation, interpersonal problem-solving, and senior-level negotiations. It may seem that practicing First Principle thinking requires more mental energy and intellectual rigor, when in fact, it simply requires a different type of thinking and intellectual rigor. By definition, true innovation can only occur if we start with the First Principle. When we want to make the leap from what is to what is possible, we can't get to what doesn't exist by creating an iteration of what already exists.
Here is my four-part process for First Principle Thinking:

1. Identify the problem you want to solve

It might be "My product is too expensive" or "Our CEO and CFO have different visions for the future of the company."

2. Make a list of all of the reasons you think you can't solve this problem

Your reasons might include "My parts cost is too high" or "The CFO doesn't want to spend more money on innovation."

3. Make a list of any and all obvious solutions that you think would solve the problem, but that don't solve the problem adequately.

Hint: Here's where "Compromise" often rears its head.
A solution for an over-expensive product might typically be moving manufacturing overseas--but then quality control and shipping costs can increase. A CEO and CFO might agree to cut one department to give more resources to a high-performing team, but layoffs might decrease office morale and severance packages reduce the financial benefit in the short-term.

4. Ask yourself: "If the problem didn't exist and I could create a solution that was based on a desire, what would that solution be?"

If your core desire is to develop an inexpensive product that is effective, then you might design a new product made with more sustainable and inexpensive materials, or with a completely unique engine or operating system.
The CEO might re-envision the way his company tackles innovation and product development, perhaps by bringing in other departments that don't normally get to participate in this work, and creating incentives for original thinking from anyone in the company. The CEO of Frito-Lay had an open door policy for good ideas from any employee and one of his janitors, Richard Montaez, invented Flamin' Hot Cheetos in his free time after work. It was a game-changing success for the company and Montaez is now an executive vice president at PepsiCo (Frito-Lay's parent company).
What else is possible with First Principle thinking? If you apply this concept to all conversations, then you are more open to other people's perspectives and can bring value to discussions that you may not have previously identified. I believe that flying cars are coming sooner than we think, because who says a car is a vehicle that only drives with wheels rather than hovering or being propelled? I believe time travel will not be something of just science fiction stories (not in my lifetime but in years to come) because we will realize that the linear relationship we put on time is not truly what is known by the universe. Some physicists have already postulated the concept of concurrent dimensions.

First Principle thinking requires you to expand your perspectives beyond your own personal assumptions and beyond your own personal truths. The method requires not only utilizing the data you normally associate with your mind, but tap into the data you may discover through your intuition. How you then choose to marry the two is what differentiates the visionary leader from the average entrepreneur. After all, if my belief of time travel comes to pass, I may ultimately have a chance to discuss these concepts directly with those who first conveyed them, or maybe I already have.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

11 things you did not and will not learn in school!

http://www2.hawaii.edu/~nreed/pub/11things.pdf

Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this! To anyone with kids of any age, here's some advice. Bill Gates gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school.

He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: 
Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2:
The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: 
You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4:
If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5:
Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6:
If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7:
Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: 
Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9:
Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: 
Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11:
Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

If you agree, pass it on. If you can read this - Thank a teacher!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How Marketing Ideas Have Changed Over The Last 100 Years

https://www.bridgesstrategies.com/bridges-digital-and-inbound-ideas/how-marketing-ideas-have-changed-over-the-last-100-years?utm_campaign=Inbound%20Marketing&utm_source=BrightInfo&bi_sid=hFIyjl4HLMyKRGDDj6f7&bi_pid=14489&bi_campaign=BrightinfoAds&bi_medium=cpc&bi_source=www.themarketingblog.co.uk
Marie Gomez, M.A., B.S. 

100-years-of-marketing-strategy-history.png

The history of marketing goes a long, long way back: did you know that already in ancient Rome, the most successful gladiators were getting paid to wear and advertise products? Ever since people have had things to sell, there has been marketing.
Sales and marketing interact with changes in society and advances in technology, always searching for the best way to get people to buy what you’re selling. Let’s go over the biggest developments in marketing ideas over the last 100 years:


BEFORE 1900

Since goods were produced in small batches, usually by hand, marketing was usually done by word of mouth, recommendations, and influencer marketing - having popular and respected people use and recommend your goods to others. As mass production set in, it became necessary to sell more and more products, and marketing as we know it was born.

EARLY 1900S

In 1904, the University of Pennsylvania offers a course in "The Marketing of Products", and the term “marketing” is officially born. At the time, the industry was focused on increasing production, and at the time marketing was little more than efficient product distribution.

1910

A famous quote from Henry Ford sums up the spirit of marketing in this decade perfectly: "They can have any color they want as long as it's black." Marketing efforts at this time focused on pushing what you were producing, since products pretty much sell themselves at this point.

Henry Ford with a 1921 Model T
"They can have any color they want... as long as it's black." - Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company

1930

 radio-first-marketing-advertising.jpg

The birth of radio in the 1920s increases the reach of advertisers, and marketing ideas start to look for the best way to use this new technology, although at this point it is mainly to make customers aware that a product exists. The Great Depression puts a stop to mass production, and companies must now focus on selling their existing stock. Sales are not as easy as they used to be, and companies start looking for professionals who will increase sales; some do this through aggressive and unethical means including false advertising, which is later regulated.

1950

With the advent of TV in 1941 and an increase in phone use in the 40s, the 50s are a hotbed for marketing ideas. As marketing professionals look for ways to capitalize on new communication technologies and to deal with savvier customers, the marketing concept/marketing mix is born: the search for the balance between Product, Price, Promotion, and Place/Distribution.

marketing-mix-4-ps-definitions.png

1970

first-mcdonalds-california.jpg

The 70s were a great time for new marketing ideas, and they mark the birth of synergy marketing. Synergy is defined as “the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements.

Synergy marketing is what happens for example when a new animated movie comes out, McDonald’s offers the toys for the film with the Happy Meal, Disney parks create an attraction related to the film, and the film manages to name drop McDonald’s.
"The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it." - Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's
Everyone involved wins much more exposure and sales than if they had all advertised independently.


1980

Marketing gets personal in the 80s, when experts in the field start seeing sales as building a relationship instead of a one-time transaction. CRM (customer relationship management) becomes a powerful tool for marketing, as interactions with potential customers are now tracked to follow up on what is now called “the customer lifecycle” from cold prospect to buyer.

Another interesting marketing idea from the 80s is “guerrilla marketing”, which relies on shock and originality to advertise and promote a product or service with very little budget.
"The road to profitability is paved with credibility. Credibility is something you earn by how you market, where you market, how you treat people, how you act, and your overall level of professionalism. Away from the business arena, the term is street cred, and it's the road to respect." - Jay Conrad Levinson, author of Guerrilla Marketing

1990

The Internet changed the world as we knew it, and marketing professionals quickly started testing new marketing ideas on this exciting new medium. One digital advertising strategy that went on to be universally loathed is “spam”, the Internet equivalent of flyers and a disruptive and disrespectful approach to marketing.

A much smarter marketing idea born in this decade is SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which tries to rank a product or service at the top of Google or yahoo’s search results to give the seller an edge.

2000

myspace-logo.png

With the new millennium comes another huge milestone for marketing: MySpace and the birth of social media. The Internet is now highly personal, and customers have access to information and communication like they never did before.

Marketing professionals have to change their strategies and approaches to approach savvy customers leveraging the power of social media.

internet-marketing.png

2010

The Internet turned out to be a double-edged sword for marketers, because while it afforded unprecedented access and information about potential customers, it also allowed those customers to filter or block advertising, as well as to compare and shop around in ways that were not possible before. Marketing now becomes about catering to customers’ needs and desires, and about building relationships of trust.

Inbound marketing gathers force, as companies put forth valuable content that savvy customers seek out. The integration of smartphones to everyday life expands marketing opportunities, which now also include email marketing and mobile marketing campaigns. Tools such as HubSpot help marketing professionals stay on top of the many sides of their integrated marketing campaigns, while sticking to the usually tight marketing budget of a small company.

TODAY

"People do not buy goods & services. They buy relations, stories & magic." - Seth Godin
With social media evolved into 24/7 personal broadcasting, everyone has the ability of becoming an influencer online. In this way marketing history has come full circle.

About the Author

Marie Gomez is the Senior Copywriter at Bridges Strategies. After earning her Master’s degree in Goldsmiths College of London, Marie specialized in writing for inbound marketing and SEO. She is passionate about writing, loves helping new writers develop and find their voice, and is constantly reading about the latest trends and techniques for effective inbound marketing writing. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Lack of sleep is killing your productivity. Here's how to fix it

Logo
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/03/not-getting-enough-sleep-is-killing-your-productivity-this-is-what-you-can-do-about-it?utm_content=buffer8502e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Travis Bradberry
Delegates rest during a break of the plenary session at the U.N. Climate Change Conference COP 20 in Lima December 13, 2014. U.N. talks on slowing climate change were threatened with collapse on Saturday after China clashed with the United States and led emerging nations to reject a compromise outline of an agreement.   REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil (PERU - Tags: ENVIRONMENT POLITICS) - RTR4HWPGSkipping sleep impairs your brain function across the board.Image: REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

The next time you tell yourself that you'll sleep when you're dead, realize that you're making a decision that can make that day come much sooner. Pushing late into the night is a health and productivity killer.

According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, the short-term productivity gains from skipping sleep to work are quickly washed away by the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on your mood, ability to focus, and access to higher-level brain functions for days to come. The negative effects of sleep deprivation are so great that people who are drunk outperform those lacking sleep.

Why You Need Adequate Sleep to Perform

We've always known that sleep is good for your brain, but new research from the University of Rochester provides the first direct evidence for why your brain cells need you to sleep (and sleep the right way—more on that later). The study found that when you sleep your brain removes toxic proteins from its neurons that are by-products of neural activity when you're awake. 

Unfortunately, your brain can remove them adequately only while you're asleep. So when you don't get enough sleep, the toxic proteins remain in your brain cells, wreaking havoc by impairing your ability to think—something no amount of caffeine can fix.

Skipping sleep impairs your brain function across the board. It slows your ability to process information and problem solve, kills your creativity, and catapults your stress levels and emotional reactivity.

What Sleep Deprivation Does to Your Health

Sleep deprivation is linked to a variety of serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. It stresses you out because your body overproduces the stress hormone cortisol when it's sleep deprived. While excess cortisol has a host of negative health effects that come from the havoc it wreaks on your immune system, it also makes you look older, because cortisol breaks down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic. In men specifically, not sleeping enough reduces testosterone levels and lowers sperm count.

Too many studies to list have shown that people who get enough sleep live longer, healthier lives, but I understand that sometimes this isn't motivation enough. So consider this—not sleeping enough makes you fat. Sleep deprivation compromises your body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates and control food intake. When you sleep less you eat more and have more difficulty burning the calories you consume. Sleep deprivation makes you hungrier by increasing the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin and makes it harder for you to get full by reducing levels of the satiety-inducing hormone leptin. People who sleep less than 6 hours a night are 30% more likely to become obese than those who sleep 7 to 9 hours a night.

How Much Sleep Is Enough?

Most people need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night to feel sufficiently rested. Few people are at their best with less than 7 hours, and few require more than 9 without an underlying health condition. And that’s a major problem, since more than half of Americans get less than the necessary 7 hours of sleep each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

For go-getters, it's even worse.

A recent survey of Inc. 500 CEOs found that half of them are sleeping less than 6 hours a night. And the problem doesn't stop at the top. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a third of U.S. workers get less than 6 hours of sleep each night, and sleep deprivation costs U.S. businesses more than $63 billion annually in lost productivity.

Doing Something about It

Beyond the obvious sleep benefits of thinking clearly and staying healthy, the ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are high in emotional intelligence (EQ). These individuals are skilled at understanding and using emotions to their benefit, and good sleep hygiene is one of the greatest tools at their disposal.

High-EQ individuals know it's not just how much you sleep that matters, but also how you sleep. When life gets in the way of getting the amount of sleep you need, it's absolutely essential that you increase the quality of your sleep through good sleep hygiene. There are many hidden killers of quality sleep. The 10 strategies that follow will help you identify these killers and clean up your sleep hygiene. Follow them, and you'll reap the performance and health benefits that come with getting the right quantity and quality of sleep.

1. Stay Away from Sleeping Pills

When I say sleeping pills, I mean anything you take that sedates you so that you can sleep. Whether it's alcohol, Nyquil, Benadryl, Valium, Ambien, or what have you, these substances greatly disrupt your brain's natural sleep process. Have you ever noticed that sedatives can give you some really strange dreams? As you sleep and your brain removes harmful toxins, it cycles through an elaborate series of stages, at times shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams). Sedation interferes with these cycles, altering the brain's natural process.

Anything that interferes with the brain's natural sleep process has dire consequences for the quality of your sleep. Many of the strategies that follow eliminate factors that disrupt this recovery process. If getting off sleeping pills proves difficult, make certain you try some of the other strategies (such as cutting down on caffeine) that will make it easier for you to fall asleep naturally and reduce your dependence upon sedatives.

2. Stop Drinking Caffeine (at Least after Lunch)

You can sleep more and vastly improve the quality of the sleep you get by reducing your caffeine intake. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that interferes with sleep by increasing adrenaline production and blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain. Caffeine has a 6-hour half-life, which means it takes a full 24 hours to work its way out of your system. Have a cup of joe at 8 a.m., and you’ll still have 25% of the caffeine in your body at 8 p.m. Anything you drink after noon will still be near 50% strength at bedtime. Any caffeine in your bloodstream—the negative effects increasing with the dose—makes it harder to fall and stay asleep.

When you do finally fall asleep, the worst is yet to come. Caffeine disrupts the quality of your sleep by reducing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the deep sleep when your body recuperates most. When caffeine disrupts your sleep, you wake up the next day with a cognitive and emotional handicap. You’ll be naturally inclined to grab a cup of coffee or an energy drink to try to make yourself feel more alert, which very quickly creates a vicious cycle.

3. Avoid Blue Light at Night

This is a big one—most people don't even realize it impacts their sleep. Short-wavelength blue light plays an important role in your mood, energy level, and sleep quality. In the morning, sunlight contains high concentrations of this "blue" light. When your eyes are exposed to it directly (not through a window or while wearing sunglasses), the blue light halts production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and makes you feel more alert. This is great, and exposure to a.m. sunlight can improve your mood and energy levels. If the sun isn't an option for you, try a blue light device.

In the afternoon, the sun's rays lose their blue light, which allows your body to produce melatonin and start making you sleepy. By the evening, your brain does not expect any blue light exposure and is very sensitive to it. The problem this creates for sleep is that most of our favorite evening devices—laptops, tablets, televisions, and mobile phones—emit short-wavelength blue light. And in the case of your laptop, tablet, and phone, they do so brightly and right in your face. This exposure impairs melatonin production and interferes with your ability to fall asleep as well as with the quality of your sleep once you do nod off. Remember, the sleep cycle is a daylong process for your brain. When you confuse your brain by exposing it in the evening to what it thinks is a.m. sunlight, this derails the entire process with effects that linger long after you power down. The best thing you can do is avoid these devices after dinner (television is okay for most people as long as they sit far enough away from the set). If you must use one of these devices in the evening, you can limit your exposure with a filter or protective eye wear.

4. Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day

Consistency is key to a good night's sleep, especially when it comes to waking up. Waking up at the same time every day improves your mood and sleep quality by regulating your circadian rhythm. When you have a consistent wake-up time, your brain acclimates to this and moves through the sleep cycle in preparation for you to feel rested and alert at your wake-up time. Roughly an hour before you wake, hormone levels increase gradually (along with your body temperature and blood pressure), causing you to become more alert. This is why you'll often find yourself waking up right before your alarm goes off.

When you don't wake up at the same time every day, your brain doesn't know when to complete the sleep process and when it should prepare you to be awake. Long ago, sunlight ensured a consistent wake-up time. These days, an alarm is the only way most people can pull this off, and doing this successfully requires resisting the temptation to sleep in when you're feeling tired because you know you'll actually feel better by keeping your wake-up time in tact.

5. No Binge Sleeping (In) on the Weekend

Sleeping in on the weekend is a counterproductive way to catch up on your sleep. It messes with your circadian rhythm by giving you an inconsistent wake-up time. When you wake up at the same time during the work week but sleep past this time on the weekend, you end up feeling groggy and tired because your brain hasn't prepared your body to be awake. This isn't a big deal on your day off, but it makes you less productive on Monday because it throws your cycle off and makes it hard to get going again on your regular schedule.

6. Learn How Much Sleep You Really Need

The amount of sleep you need is something that you can't control, and scientists are beginning to discover the genes that dictate it. The problem is, most people sleep much less than they really need and are under-performing because they think they're getting enough. Some discover this the hard way. Ariana Huffington was one of those frantic types who underslept and overworked, until she collapsed unexpectedly from exhaustion one afternoon. She credits her success and well-being since then to the changes she's made to her sleep habits. "I began getting 30 minutes more sleep a night, until gradually I got to 7 to 8 hours. The result has been transformational," 

Huffington says, adding that, "all the science now demonstrates unequivocally that when we get enough sleep, everything is better: our health; our mental capacity and clarity; our joy at life; and our ability to live life without reacting to every bad thing that happens."

Huffington isn't the only one. Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, and Sheryl Sandberg have all touted the virtues of getting enough sleep. Even Bill Gates, an infamous night owl, has affirmed the benefits of figuring out how much sleep you really need: “I like to get 7 hours of sleep a night because that’s what I need to stay sharp and creative and upbeat.” It's time to bite the bullet and start going to bed earlier until you find the magic number that enables you to perform at your best.

7. Stop Working

When you work in the evening, it puts you into a stimulated, alert state when you should be winding down and relaxing in preparation for sleep. Recent surveys show that roughly 60% of people monitor their smartphones for work emails until they go to sleep. Staying off blue light-emitting devices (discussed above) after a certain time each evening is also a great way to avoid working so you can relax and prepare for sleep, but any type of work before bed should be avoided if you want quality sleep.

8. Eliminate Interruptions

Unfortunately for those with small children, the quality of your sleep does suffer when it is interrupted. The key here is to eliminate all the interruptions that are under your control. If you have loud neighbors, wear earplugs to bed. If your mother likes to call at all hours of the night, make certain you silence your ringer before you go to bed. If you had to wake up extra early in the morning, make sure your alarm clock is back on its regular time when you go to bed. Don't drink too much water in the evening to avoid a bathroom trip in the middle of the night. If your partner snores . . . well, you get the idea. If you think hard enough, there are lots of little things you can do to eliminate unnecessary interruptions to your sleep.

9. Learn to Meditate

Many people who learn to meditate report that it improves the quality of their sleep and that they can get the rest they need even if they aren't able to significantly increase the number of hours they sleep. At the Stanford Medical Center, insomniacs participated in a 6-week mindfulness meditation and cognitive-behavioral therapy course. At the end of the study, participants' average time to fall asleep was cut in half (from 40 to 20 minutes), and 60% of subjects no longer qualified as insomniacs. The subjects retained these gains upon follow-up a full year later. A similar study at the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that 91% of participants either reduced the amount of medication they needed to sleep or stopped taking medication entirely after a mindfulness and sleep therapy course. Give mindfulness a try. At minimum, you'll fall asleep faster, as it will teach you how to relax and quiet your mind once you hit the pillow.

10. When All Else Fails: Take Naps

One of the biggest peaks in melatonin production happens during the 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. time frame, which explains why most people feel sleepy in the afternoon. Companies like Google and Zappos are capitalizing on this need by giving employees the opportunity to take short afternoon naps. If you aren't getting enough sleep at night, you're likely going to feel an overwhelming desire to sleep in the afternoon. When this happens, you're better off taking a short nap (even as short as 15 minutes) than resorting to caffeine to keep you awake. A short nap will give you the rest you need to get through the rest of the afternoon, and you'll sleep much better in the evening than if you drink caffeine or take a long afternoon nap.

Bringing It All Together

I know many of you reading this piece are thinking something along the lines of "but I know a guy (or gal) who is always up at all hours of the night working or socializing, and he's the number one performer at our branch." My answer for you is simple: this guy is underperforming. We all have innate abilities that we must maximize to reach our full potential. My job is to help people do that—to help the good become great by removing unseen performance barriers. Being number one in your branch is an accomplishment, but I guarantee that this guy has his sights set on bigger things that he isn't achieving because sleep deprivation has him performing at a fraction of his full potential. You should send him this article. It just might shake something loose.

After all, the only thing worth catching up on at night is your sleep.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world's leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.