Tuesday Tip With Net: Spice Up Your Breakfast

I want to welcome back Net! He was lost for a couple of months until I found him hibernating inside the car compartment. Net is here to bring you creative and innovative tips or tricks on Tuesdays.

Morning breakfasts don’t have to be the same fried thing every day. Today’s tip is a list of breakfast options that are not only healthy but also delicious though you have to invest in some unique ingredients. In any case, it is worth it.

Here are the common ingredients on every menu:

  1. Eggs
  2. Chia Seeds
  3. Flaxseeds
  4. Bacon
  5. Protein Powder / Whey
  6. Fresh or frozen Strawberries or Blueberries
  7. Peanut Butter
  8. Greek Yogurt
  9. Goat or Feta Cheese

Preparation is so easy. You’ll need a blender and baking oven in some of the menu.

Menu sample 1: Veggie Egg White Omelette 

   4 egg whites

   bell pepper

   goat cheese

   spinach

   Heat a medium-sized pan with cooking oil and saute the bell peppers and spinach. Pour egg whites, flip, mix and fold.

Menu sample 2: Baked Eggs

1 sweet potato

    2 eggs

    bacon bits

     coconut oil

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a pan over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and add your chopped bacon. Cook bacon for about 3 minutes then set aside.

     In the same pan, add your sweet potato and cook for 4 minutes over medium heat.

   In a small oven-safe dish, layer your sweet potato on the bottom of the bowl, then chopped bacon and crack eggs on top with some salt and paper.

    Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Menu sample 3: Protein Shakes

    1 scoop of protein shake

    1 tbsp chia seeds

     2 cups of milk

     1 handful of spinach

     ice cubes

     1/4 cup of strawberries or blueberries

    Place all ingredients into the blender and blend for 1-2 minutes.

You can experiment with different types of shakes from strawberries to peanut butter, avocado, dark chocolate, flaxseeds, etc. Or mix and match eggs with greens, avocados, pancake, banana, etc. There’s a lot of options or even menu on the Internet. You just need to stock the common ingredients and tools above.

My Productivity Apps

Productivity is on the decline when we are disengaged from our work. We tend to procrastinate, at times, or become lazy with a big chunk of tasks on hand. It is the reason why I am obsessing the idea of making my work more anxiety-free and be more productive.

It’s a good thing that there are many productivity mobile apps available to make our work life more comfortable. I’ve tried a lot of tools, and here is what I use for now.

  1. Trello – I fell in love with Trello after trying several project management tools. I tried Assembla, Jira, Asana, Remember The Milk, but Trello somehow fit in with my work and lifestyle because of it’s built-in support for agile. I also have met Michael Pryor, co-founder and CEO of Trello and mentored us in Lisbon Web Summit last 2016.
  2. Alarmed – it is a very flexible reminder app that can nag you, or give you the option to snooze, add more hours or minutes on the fly. We all know that our day doesn’t really happen as planned, and with this app, I can easily adjust accordingly.
  3. Viber, WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat and Telegram – I use all of these tools because of the different preferences of my contacts. If I have a choice, then I would prefer to have a single app for all. I tried researching for one, but there’s no available in the market yet. Hopefully, someone invents this soon.
  4. Spark – I just tried this email client app to solve my problem in delegating an email to someone without forwarding it to the person. I still use the Gmail app in sorting out my email, but I use Spark when I need to delegate some messages in my inbox.
  5. Forest – I use this app when I want to focus on a particular task, and if I don’t want to be disturbed. It is an app where a user can set some minutes to work on a job (Pomodoro style). Trees grow virtually as a virtual reminder that you are growing and productive until you finish the time set.

These are just tools, but in the end, it is all about how your approach in using them. You can use this and still be stressful. The key is organizing your time properly, time-blocking, and being mindful of urgent-important matters vs. non-urgent-non-important ones.

Maybe you would want to stop and gather your thoughts before engaging. I use Evernote in journaling and mind mapping when things are a little bit all over the place.

Innovation is Infinite

I just turned 39 and my fire to innovate keeps on burning. Creativity never stops, and I feel haven’t even started yet. Here are 39 sample innovations you can do to your life. It is endless.

1. Break your routine, your commute route or your habits.

2. Refrain from eating rice and replace it with sweet potatoes or any good carbs.

3. Download free home bodyweight workouts.

4. Try self-hypnosis.

5. Allot 20% of your income to pay debts.

6. Google passive income opportunities.

7. Try the Pomodoro technique at work.

8. Try Bullet Journaling technique.

9. Learn how to sell. Selling talent = Income Growth.

10. Identify your personal brand and enhance it. Brand is a long term asset.

11. Grow your network online.

12. Google hobby list and try some hobbies at least once a month. It can be your business one day.

13. Focus on one market niche at a time.

14. Be mindful in spending time with your spouse and your kids.

15. Connect with your relatives and friends at least once in a while.

16. Browse through your contact list and randomly send a “How are you?” text.

17. Declutter your desktop at least once a month.

18. Create a YouTube channel and document your business or life adventures.

19. Create an Instagram account and post every food you eat, refer from calorie content apps and put calorie captions in your post

20. Buy a sketch pad and try doodling or sketching. It is therapeutic.

21. Try waking up at 4am and sleeping early. Or vice versa.

22. Listen to podcasts while in traffic.

23. Message influencers or celebrities and offer them your service for free, video editing, copywriting, website development,

24. Connect with at least 10 LinkedIn accounts a day. Message them and offer your service.

25. Organize a small group dinner at least once a month.

26. Not fond of reading? Try audiobooks.

27. Practice labeling every action you do. “brushing teeth”, “sitting down”, “listening”, “washing face”, it improves your concentration skills and makes you be present.

28. Try something new at least once a month. Something you are scared of like public speaking, riding a motorcycle, etc.

29. Sleep naked.

30. No motivation to workout? Start small by walking in a park. Gradually increase your time.

31. Search self-motivation or self-affirmation on YouTube. Listen to it when you’re down.

32. Replace your negative thoughts, worries, fears with positive affirmations. As long as you take actions to overcome those challenges, then you have nothing to worry about.

33. Grow your idea muscle. Force yourself to think of 10 ideas a day.

34. Learn how to code.

35. Learn a new dish at least once a month.

36. For the singles, there’s no harm trying online dating.

37. Spend on travels than hoarding material things.

38. Engage with social media by liking, commenting or giving sensible opinions on their posts.

39. Establish an evening routine by evaluating what has transpired in your day, ask yourself what would somebody you look up to do with your current challenges, congratulate yourself and identify three important tasks to focus on the next day.

Ego is the Enemy of Creativity: How to Drop Ego to Ensure A High-Performance Team

I have this habit to wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Perhaps I’ve spent too much time alone in running the business in its first few years. As a young entrepreneur, my ego was fed with the idea of having a business of my own. The unwelcome, small voice of my subconscious whispers that I am the man and I made it but in reality, I have not.

Back then when I was managing the company in full speed and full control, I set my perks and spent things that benefit my needs and not the company. I was doing it without carefully assessing the performance of the business.

I wonder, maybe this ego was one of the major reasons why I failed several times. That ego blocked my creativity. I was too full of myself and the know-it-all. I don’t show it though but deep inside I know.

But the failures showed me the way. They shook my head so I gathered my wits. The thing is, these are impulses. You have to have a strong sense of being emotionally mindful with massive actions to stay humble and be creative.

It was 2011 when I welcomed the idea that for me to be able to grow, I need a high-performing team.

I need to let go of the big ego so I can perform and be creative.

I have to go back as a student and be willing to learn.

I then welcomed a partner to help me out in sales. A met a guy in his 60s, a little aggressive and big-headed but he makes sense. I learned a lot from him, especially in a sales negotiation.

With him, we were able to grow our revenue by 100% year-on-year. We were the A-Team in sales. But I had to allow myself to be in his wing, follow his calendar, be his driver and enable him to dictate the pace in sales. I even titled him as the Managing Director of the company. I forget entitlement.

By 2015 when I allowed the company to try one more notch of a challenge. I met a foreign angel investor that I have always been grateful for. I used the investment to grow further in sales and product. But one of the major moves that I made was to hire a CFO.

I had to let go of a big chunk of ego again by allowing an outsider to manage and control the expenses. I had to place the company’s mission above me. I let go of the perks as I was questioned with almost every business decision that I make. I knew I have to empower them and be professional.

It’s not about me anymore, it is about the company, its clients and its employees.

The growth momentum becomes inevitable that eventually, we hired a COO, department managers, and groomed team leaders. I even gave up my own office at one time to accommodate them.

Accountability as a leader becomes higher that I need to keep my own KPI and find myself responsible for transferring my knowledge to the team.

To this day, I keep myself in check of my ego on my actions and every communication that I do to our team and our clients. Because if not, then the ego narrows vision, makes us vulnerable and corrupts our behavior.

Strengthen your self-esteem and stay humble.

Are You Bored? Try Reading Books

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.”  This is a great quote from George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones.

The first-ever book I’ve read was The Godfather during high-school. Growing up, I was never tagged as a book reader until I had that book. From there on, I never stopped looking for something to read every time I pass by a bookstore. I shifted to ebooks, Kindle, Audible and now even Blinkist, a curation of bestseller books in a shortened form.

To me, if you complain that you are bored but you don’t read, then you have no right to complain.

But some books look interesting to read at the beginning.  In many cases, I stop in the middle because maybe the content was not what I expected or the writing was crappy.

So today, I am thrilled to share with you the books I finished reading and I recommend. Most of them are inspirational and mind-opening for us to pursue creativity and innovation.

This list is in random order. Items with the asterisk are highly recommended:

  • Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Dyer
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  • The Everything Store (Jeff Bezos and the Age of the Amazon) by Brad Stone*
  • Shoe Dog (Nike Story) by Phil Knight*
  • The Airbnb Story by Leigh Gallager
  • Unf*ck Yourself by John Bishop*
  • Essentialism by Greg McKeown
  • Principles by Ray Dalio*
  • Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time*
    Drive by Daniel Pink
  • Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuck
  • The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
  • Sales Management: Simplified by Mike Weinberg*
  • Made to Stick by Chip Heath
  • The CEO Next Door by Tahl Raz, Kim Powell, and Elena Botelho
  • Built to Last by Jim Collins*
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins

My Top 5 Mood Enhancing Questions in the Morning

Taken in Pasay -April 2018

Today, I am introducing “Curated List” found at the top menu of this blog.  As I document things in my life thru this platform, I’d like to share some creative content on different topics that might be valuable to the readers.

Here are the top questions I ask myself in the morning when I wake up that makes me get energized in the morning.  I follow-through by doing frequent check-ins through the rest of my day.

  1. What are the three things I am grateful for?
  2. What are the three important tasks that I should focus on today?
  3. What’s my energy level today? (1-10) Why?
  4. What’s my enthusiasm level? (1-10) Why?
  5. What’s my mood? Why?

Project Zero-Phone-Use: The Ultimate To Do List

todolist.pngAccording to a study, an average cell phone user touches the phone 2,167 times a day or equivalent to 2.5 hours.  Then there’s also a study that continually checking their phones results to a higher level of stress compared to people who spend less time interacting with their gadgets.

Some of us use the phone simultaneous with when we are talking to someone or even driving, which is worse.  Yes, there are benefits in multi-tasking, but the drawbacks outweigh those benefits.  It not only results in more anxiety or stress but a half-baked product of your work.

With this, I wonder, how can one person reduce the number of times they touch his or her phone?  If you’re a businessperson and you are managing all aspects of your company, it is given that you will be overwhelmed with so many tasks.  So if one can develop a system to automate some and minimize friction in executing your work such as checking your to-do list on your phone, then you’ll be more effective and efficient.

Over the years, I’ve been in constant research, trial and error on how to achieve that “nirvana” of doing my todo list.  I tried so many tools from Remember The Milk, Google Inbox, Google Tasks, Google Keep, Jira, Basecamp, Post Its, a physical notebook and Trello.  But I always end up with obsessively checking the tasks on hand and non-stop looking at my phone.

I even have a separate phone with me in the morning so that I won’t be tempted to glance at the notifications of my work phone.  I may seem calm from the outside, but my mind is pounding with stressful thoughts and anxiety.

Just recently, I thought of an experiment to minimize the number of times I will touch and view my phone and use a smartwatch or only the phone notification to glance at quick pings and IMs.

The main objective is, how can I be able to reduce the use of my phone while still be productive and efficient?  So this is what I am going to do at work in the next coming days:

1. Classify my activities.

    * a. Email checks and work planning using a laptop

    * b. Face-to-face meetings

    * c. Manage IMs

2. For activity a)., I will block one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon to reply to emails using my laptop.  Then I will use Google Keep to set tasks with due date reminder notification that will require me to do another activity, for example, a phone call or proposal review.

3. Use Google Calendar to set events for face-to-face meetings.

4. Classify IMs, using a smartwatch with cellular data can eliminate the use of a phone.  You can even leave your phone at home with the latest smartwatches such as Apple Watch.

    * IMs answerable by yes or no, use a reply/msg template to make a quick reply.

    * IMs that require a discussion, I can use a smartwatch with a wireless earphone to call instead of discussing over text if it’s urgent, or just call them after my current task.

To paint you a picture further, here’s a sample day for me:

7am – 8am – I will block this hour to reply to emails, messages, and set reminders to place a call in a specific time of the day.

7:45am – a watch Google Keep notification will pop-up telling me to start the sales meeting at 8am showing the list of things to discuss.

8am – 10am – focus on the sales meeting while glancing over quick IMs and apply item 4 above.

9:45am – a watch notification will pop-up telling me to wrap up and start driving to my a meeting outside the office.

10am to 12pm – sales call outside the office while glancing over quick IMs on my smartwatch.  Will reply using templates and/or set reminders via the watch to call back.

12pm to 2pm – lunch and do item 2 above – check emails using a laptop and re-arrange Google Keep tasks.

1:45pm – a watch notification will pop-up telling me what to do next…

And the cycle goes on and on.

With this “algorithm,” I might be able to reduce the time significantly in using my phone, if not entirely eliminate them instead of constantly checking and replying emails, msgs and attending to tasks real-time.

The smart way of using your phone this time is when you want to read an ebook peacefully on the bed, listen to podcasts or engage in social media when you are not in work mode.

If this experiment is successful, then I will try to share my experience with you via a vlog.

Stay tuned.