Human Flourishing

12 habits that cause human flourishing

Sometimes we forget that in order to get exceptional results, it requires exceptional input. Following Jesus should by no means be a call to inaction but an invitation into excellence.

Here are 12 habits and things that will set you apart from 99.99% of society and cause you to flourish.

1. Go to bed earlier

I appreciate that everyone is wired differently. But often going to bed late is a sign of delaying the next day. Sleep is probably the most underestimated superpower we have access to.

2. Get up earlier

Starting the day strong (and not too late) is a great way to build momentum. I find that accomplishing things early in the day cause the whole day to go well.

3. Turn your phone off from time to time

It’s amazing how freeing it is to live life without being permanently attached to our devices. Of course we want to fulfil our commitments and stay connected to the people we care about, but every now and then it’s incredibly healthy to unplug.

4. Read your bible

Your body and your mind are subject to your spirit. Your external world will be the fruit of your internal word. Strengthening your spirit is where everything begins and is done by digesting the word of God (aka the Bible).

5. Have a hobby

Ever wonder why the best ideas come in the shower? It’s because whilst you’re away from work, your subconscious mind has space to chew things over. Hobbies create this space for us. Plus it’s just fun. Life is too short not to enjoy it.

6. Practice gratitude

Choosing to keep an open heart and a grateful perspective will shape the life you live. Good and bad will find its way to us but your attitude will determine how you handle them both.

7. Prefer others

Human beings have a natural tendency to turn inwards. But all sense of fulfilment and purpose is always found in serving others. Make this a staple and you’ll find a great sense of meaning.

8. Learn to say no

Highly successful people understand that saying yes to everything is always saying no to something else. If I take every business opportunity then eventually I will be saying no to spending time with my family. It’s ok to pick and choose. Be kind, be firm but have good boundaries.

9. Clock when you make excuses

Becoming self-aware enough to notice your flaws and idiosyncrasies is not about beating yourself up but calling yourself to a higher level. Pay attention to what you excuse and be deliberate about changing your internal narrative.

10. Take time to reflect regularly

Reflection is an important regular practice that allows you to pay attention to what’s going on inside of you. Left unchecked, emotional drama can burst upon us when we least expect us. It’s natural to get a few knocks and bumps in life. So create space to process these things well instead of just hurrying to the next thing.

11. Ask the right questions

Not everything in life is black and white. And there aren’t always answers for everything. Curiosity is an essential trait for success and a posture of question asking will always leave you with options.

12. Do the things you've been avoiding

Often we are held back by tiny little decisions or weaknesses. If you can hold yourself accountable and deal with these small issues then you’ll feel so much better. Imagine how good you’ll feel when you finally get that thing done. It’s never as a big as we make it out to be in our minds.

The Sticky Social Content Formula

A comprehensive online course for church leaders & teams exploring how to leverage social media to help fulfil their mission. This is all about learning how to reach more people and see more impact in the digital space. Get your digital copy today.

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A quick guide to batching

Batching is all about supersizing your productivity through the power of psychology. This might sound grand but it’s really just about understanding how we best work and attempting to create rhythms and disciplines to match.

Short term rewards and the pressures of life condition us into living in a reactionary fashion (think bosses who want immediate results and response) but being deliberate and creating discipline will actually give us the results we (and everyone else) want in the long run.

It requires a certain amount of deliberate effort to put batching into place but is a very important key to create repeatable results.

Productivity is all about self-awareness

Productive people aren’t necessarily more focused or clever than unproductive people. They’re just more aware of their weaknesses.

Our default approach to work is to think of it like a marathon across the day. We keep on chipping away and eventually we (think we will) get everything done.

But in actuality, our focus dips and wanes throughout the day. Some parts of the day, we are absolutely smashing it out and others we are not. As a result, we find that what we accomplish by the end of the day is inevitably less than we expected.

Willpower is not the way

All of us have this sense of optimistic forgetfulness with the working day. “This day will be different”, we tell ourselves as we start with that fresh coffee-infused enthusiasm. It’s not that we don’t want to succeed but that our approach is wrong. It’s simply impossible to motor through the whole day with the same level of energy.

So why do we keep trying the same old approach to work?

What if instead of relying on our own brilliance to show up each hour, we design a system (in our peak focus) that makes being brilliant easier?

So what is batching anyways?

Batching is based around this very idea that every time you shift a mental gear, it costs you in focus. Interruptions such as notifications or emails can cost you dearly too and so often we aren’t even aware of it.

Each of us have a fixed amount of mental energy for focus throughout the day and we want to apply that in the best way possible.

Batching & social media

For example, let’s say for simplicity that it takes one hour to create a social media post. Creating a post every day would take 7 hours but creating seven posts in one sitting would (probably) take more like 3-4 hours.

Note that this approach is less conducive to the communication-filled, interruption-prone days that we are used to working with colleagues who demand an instant response. But it does create better results in the end.

The advantages of batching

Instead of thinking day-to-day, we find that batching helps us think more long-term such as month-to-month. It may not seem like a big change but it has huge implications on our productivity and ability to focus in the future.

The advantages of batching are not just psychological though but also practical. For example, if you are a content creator – being in different modes of work actually requires you to be in different places or with different working set ups.

E.g. when I’m editing a video I want to use my additional monitor. And when I’m filming, I need to be in the studio or have my lighting set up. All of this set up time is wasted when we perform tasks in isolation instead of batching.

Batching in real life

Here are some ways you can use batching to supersize your productivity:

– Recording (not editing) multiple reels (or preaches) in one go
– Spending time on your Instagram engagement strategy (instead of checking Instagram every 20 minutes, why not just set aside an hour to go deep into it each day?)
– Managing email
– Paying bills and other admin
– Meetings. I set aside specific blocks of time for coaching calls and consultation to create space in the rest of the week for deep thinking and creative work.

Your next steps to begin batching

Now it’s over to you. What is occupying your time, energy and attention right now? Perhaps an intense batching sesh will set things right and open up some space.

The Sticky Social Content Formula

A comprehensive online course for church leaders & teams exploring how to leverage social media to help fulfil their mission. This is all about learning how to reach more people and see more impact in the digital space. Get your digital copy today.

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Creativity requires courage

Every time I create space to rest and relax, ideas flow without even trying. In fact sometimes even when I don’t, ideas seem to come out of nowhere.

The power of the shower

Much to the apparent chagrin of my wife each morning, this seems to be why I spend so much time in the shower. Simply standing around, doing nothing in particular seems to be particularly conducive to a flow of wondrous ideas and creativity to start the day.

I’m not so sure this is part of my unique brilliance so much as it is part of the wonder of humanity.

Human beings create

People have ideas. It’s what they do. Our natural state is to be infused with the wonders of imagination, dreams and visions. We create because creativity is infused in our very being (reflecting the image of God).

The problem isn’t a lack of creativity but a lack of courage. Because by definition, every great and original idea has to be thoroughly tested with exposure to the world in order to see the light of day. And when we share our creativity, we are baring a piece of our soul.

Even if someone else has done it already, there is still a great emotional cost for us to dare to put ourselves out there. Because why would it work for us?

Courage is a rare commodity

Everyone has the power to create. But not everyone has courage. Courage is the willingness to face failure and even humiliation because of a great prize.

We all nod knowingly when ideas work of course. But contrary to our deepest fears, most people forget our failures pretty quickly, if not instantly. But then again, who really cares what other people think anyways?

Even more fascinating is that because of its rarity, even a little bit of courage causes you to cut through the noise and rise above the crowd.

Love motivates us to be courageous

If we hide ourselves because of fear or shame, was it because we genuinely cared about others or honoured what we had been given to share the world or was it simply because we lacked courage?

What ideas are you sitting on that need a little injection of courage?

The Sticky Social Content Formula

A comprehensive online course for church leaders & teams exploring how to leverage social media to help fulfil their mission. This is all about learning how to reach more people and see more impact in the digital space. Get your digital copy today.

Discover more