Interest in Bitcoin is now greater than ever, with its sudden crash several months ago from $20,000 to under $7,000 – at one point dropping more than 50 percent in little over a month – renewing a surge of trading, speculation and worry.
Bijou Concierge decided to investigate….
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency created in 2009. It follows the ideas set out in a white paper by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, whose true identity has yet to be verified. It offers the promise of lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms and is operated by a decentralized authority, unlike government-issued currencies.There are no physical bitcoins, only balances kept on a public ledger in the cloud, that – along with all Bitcoin transactions – is verified by a massive amount of computing power. Bitcoins are not issued or backed by any banks or governments, nor are individual bitcoins valuable as a commodity. However, Bitcoin charts high in popularity, and has triggered the launch of other virtual currencies collectively referred to as Altcoins. While Bitcoins are the key player in the cryptocurrency marketplace, the whole ecosystem is much greater than this one coin.
How does Bitcoin work?
Bitcoin works by providing a personal wallet from which a user can send or receive bitcoins. This software generates and stores public and private keys, which act as both identifiers and safeguards for the bitcoins.The Bitcoin network is made up of a ledger called the “blockchain,” which holds a decentralised record of all transactions that is updated and held by all users of the network.To create bitcoins, users must generate blocks on the network. Each block is created cryptographically by harnessing users’ computer power and is then added to the blockchain, letting users earn by keeping the network running.A limit for how many bitcoins can be created is built into the system so the value can’t be diluted. The maximum amount is just under 21 million bitcoin. There are currently just over 16.8 million in circulation, each of which was worth around $10,000 at the time of writing. That puts its total value at around $168 billion.
Who invented it?
Bitcoin was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Although Nakamoto left the project in 2010, other developers stayed on to continue working on the project. It is open source, meaning that anyone can make changes to the Bitcoin protocol. However, the protocol will only work when users have the same compatible version, providing a strong incentive to keep a consensus on Bitcoin protocol.
How do you get Bitcoins?
There are different methods of acquiring bitcoins. These include:
Bitcoin exchanges: You can buy bitcoins on various exchanges, which serve as a platform for persons to transfer bitcoins from one wallet to another.
Bitcoin mining: People can use their computers in order to perform complex mathematical tasks that verify the blockchain of transactions and ensure that it is correct. As a reward, these miners are rewarded with bitcoins.
Payment: You can receive bitcoins as payment for goods and services, just as you would with traditional currency.
Exchange: You can also have people give you bitcoins.
How do you spend Bitcoins?
If you want to buy something using bitcoins, you need to make sure the seller accepts the cryptocurrency. If they do, you need the anonymous identification number attached to the seller’s “wallet” so that you can move coins from your virtual wallet to theirs.Some coffee shops in London and New York accept it as payment, as do online retailers such as Expedia. Even cosmetics giant Lush takes the virtual currency at its online store, as do Microsoft, Steam and WordPress.The “anonymity” of these transactions has made the currency particularly popular with drug dealers, says ABC News.
What affects its price?
The price has jumped up and down since it first entered the mainstream consciousness in 2013. That year prices rose by almost 10,000 per cent before the collapse of Mt Gox, the biggest online bitcoin exchange, sent it crashing.Prices slowly crept up after that but surged again in 2017. This is largely put down to regulators appearing to warm to bitcoin and the rise of initial coin offerings – a way for projects to raise money by selling cryptographic tokens similar to bitcoins. Many sceptics believe we are in the middle of a new Bitcoin bubble while advocates say we are just beginning to see the rise starting.Prices have fallen in 2018 amid fears of a regulatory crackdown.
A bright future ahead?
So is Bitcoin the future of currency or is the Bitcoin bubble about to burst? All things considered, it has a promising, if not totally predictable, future. However, it’s probably advisable to hold off on major investment until the currency has stabilised and has achieved a larger following.
Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum, Litecoin…you might have heard of them but what actually is cryptocurrency? Bijou Concierge investigates this digital phenomenon so you won’t be left in the dark!
Definition of cryptocurrency
Mathematics alone form the basis of cryptocurrency, a form of virtual currency. In essence, its an encrypted string of data that’s been encoded to signify a single, specific unit of currency. Solving mathematical problems, based specifically on cryptography–or the art of writing codes–produces cryptocurrency.
Other names for cryptocurrency include digital currency, crypto, or virtual currency. Basically, it’s ‘‘digital gold’. No governments are associated with cryptocurrency, which makes it truly unique. Instead, a peer-to-peer (P2P) internet protocol monitors it. Fiat currency, on the other hand, is physical money. Fiat currency includes both bills and coins, and a wallet stores them.
A wallet also stores your cryptocurrency. The only difference is it’s a digital one! A cryptocurrency wallet requires a key, which is essentially a password. Without the key, you’re unable to get into your wallet. There have been many stories of people losing their keys and unable to access their wallets.
What is a blockchain?
A person or group of people known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakomoto invented and released the tech in 2009. It is a way to digitally and anonymously send payments between two parties without needing a third party to verify the transaction. It was initially designed to facilitate, authorize, and log the transfer of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
Tokens are essential to getting a true grip on cryptocurrencies. They’re the amount of digital resources you control on a given platform. As mentioned before, a digital wallet stores them and accessed with a key, which can be reassigned to someone else. Two types of tokens exist:
Native Token – this type of token has an intrinsic utility. It forms the core part of a blockchain. That is to say, a blockchain could not run without a native token. Often times, they’re used as an incentive to validate transactions, or create blocks.
Asset-backed Token – asset-backed tokens allow you to “hand over” your asset to the blockchain, and you’ll receive a token stating as much.
What are Smart Contracts?
Smart contracts are computer programmess that can automatically execute the terms of a contract. Someday, these programmes may replace lawyers and banks for handling certain common financial transactions.
The different types of Cryptocurrency
There are thousands of cryptocurrencies on the market. The most famous of which is known as Bitcoin. As the first of its kind, it paved the way for other cryptocurrencies to expand the use of virtual currencies.
An Altcoin, or alternative coin, is a cryptocurrency based on Bitcoin. Some of the most well-known Altcoins include Dash, Litecoin and Monero. Each has made its own impact on the market, to expand both the breadth and capabilities they bring.
Here is a quick rundown of a few popular cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin: created in 2008, it housed the original code for blockchain technology. Its creation spurred many other cryptocurrencies. It’s easily the most trusted and known virtual currency on the market, even if it has its flaws.
Ethereum probably the second most well-known cryptocurrency. It’s allows users to do more than just use it as a virtual currency. It’s a open-source blockchain, and money and assets are quickly transferred with the use of smart contracts. Assets include houses, cars, stocks, and other property owned with a real-world value.
Litecoin: was one of the first cryptocurrencies to emerge after Bitcoin’s initial release. It has a much shorter processing time—about 2.5 minutes—than Bitcoin’s 10 minute timeframe. Litecoin provides more tokens and a different mining algorithm, but it ultimately didn’t take off the same way Bitcoin did.
Ripple: Because every single token was mined prior to release, it is quite possibly the most despised cryptocurrency by the community. This action is known as pre-mining, and is a huge no-no. Essentially, this takes away the community aspect of virtually currencies. It attempts to take a decentralized platform and centralize it.
Monero: solved many of Bitcoin’s privacy issues. It adds an additional level on anonymity to transactions. A few darknet markets (networks that require specific software or authorization, in order to access them) started accepting the cryptocurrency in 2016, where it ultimately reached its peak.
Click here for a great infographic of the major cryptocurrencies, which make up 84% of the coin universe.
Why Should I Care About Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency solves the issue of government involvement in currency. This truly allows the market to work without outside influence.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have significant advantages over banks in a number of areas, including security, borderless transaction settlement, efficient payment clearance, and lack of dependence on centralized service providers or entities.
We were already moving towards a cashless society before the invention of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Cash transactions have been decreasing over the years as more and more people opt to use credit/debit cards, Paypal, and other online banking platforms.
For those of you concerned about the lack of physical tangibility of digital money such as Bitcoin, you should realize that most of your money is already just a number in an online database.
Changing the digital landscape
Cryptocurrency markets are volatile. It seems like a new cryptocurrency enters the market every single day. Many are built solely for profit and don’t even survive the first few months. You could watch one particular virtual currency jump 1,000% in a day…..just to watch it plummet 1,000% the next!
However, although volatility exists, cryptocurrency is here to stay. It truly has changed the entire digital landscape and currency exchanges. As a result, Asian countries have fostered the expansion and implementation of Bitcoin as an actual form of payment. In Japan Bitcoin has been recognized as legal tender since April 2017.
The future of cryptocurrency
Evidence suggests that in 2018 a growing number of larger retailers and service providers will also accept bitcoin (and cryptocurrency in general) as payment. This could include Facebook and Amazon. You might even be paying for your Big Mac with bitcoin by the end of the year!
Its not just investors who see the potential of cryptocurrency. Governments, businesses, and ordinary people like you and I are welcoming cryptocurrency into our everyday lives.
As more cryptocurrencies emerge, they will continue to grow in market share. One day, everyone will know what Bitcoin is and what it does.
The currency revolution has begun and cryptocurrency is the future. So, the questions is – will you stand by and watch, or will you become a part of history?
If you are interested in finding out more about cryptocurrency visit Planet Blockchain
Social media is a great way for startups to supercharge brand engagement. Startups face tremendous competition from larger, well-established brands and often have limited resources at their disposal to build their brand.
Social media, if done correctly, can become an effective solution in helping startups grow by connecting them directly with their target market. However, many startups do not know what content to publish or share when striving for brand engagement.
In order for startups to supercharge their brand engagement they just need to follow four simple steps:
Startups should share valuable, relevant social media content that is going to engage their social communities. Users want to talk about your brand, so give them reason to! Don’t post, bland, boring, beige content! Remember, super engaging content has the potential to go viral! It will also lead to retweets, likes, shares, followers and most importantly sales! If your social media doesn’t promote this kind of activity there is no point bothering.
Sharing promotional content is fine but startups must also regularly share relevant content that is tailored to their audience
.In addition to crafting or sharing great content, startups can engage with their social communities by promptly replying to questions, mentions, and so on. The personal, human touch can really help with brand engagement.
Newsworthy content – half of social network site users have shared news stories, images or videos , and nearly as many (46%) have discussed a news issue or event. In addition to sharing news on social media, a small number are also covering the news themselves, by posting photos or videos of news events. However, according to the Daily Mail. six in ten people post a news story on social media without reading it!
The frequency of sharing will also depend on the platform being used. For example, if a startup is using Twitter, the half-life of a tweet is determined to be around 18 minutes. However, this doesn’t mean posting every 20 minutes.
Step 3: The importance of brand consistency for startups
It is important for startups to maintain brand consistency in social media. A clear brand voice and consistent presence will ultimately reinforce brand identity and will drive positive sentiment among consumers.
Step 4: How startups can build familiarity, trust & likeability
Startups should focus on building up familiarity, trust, and likeability to supercharge brand engagement on social media. Trust, in turn, leads to brand loyalty.To do this startups need to post regularly and share high quality, engaging content that adds value. To cut through the noise startups need to be original, authoritative and stand out from the crowd! .
Unknown startup today, superbrand tomorrow!
By using the power of social media to supercharge brand engagement today, unknown startups could become household names like the brands featured in the collage above tomorrow!
About the author:
Annie is the founder of Bijou Concierge and is currently helping put London tech startup Shout on the map.
If you are a startup, entrepreneur or small business and need help with content writing, social media or blogging please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veganism: an investigation into the growing vegan trend
As a lifelong pseudo vegetarian (OK I admit I am partial to the odd bacon sandwich!) I have recently been contemplating becoming a full-blown vegan. So, I decided to go Stacey Dooley and investigate the rise of veganism and why everyone is becoming vegan.
Modern Veganism: from hippy to hipster
Veganism has come a long way: once reserved for peace-loving hippies, interest in a totally animal-free diet is at an all-time high, with celebrities like ,Jay Z, and Beyoncé making veganism cool. Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. are all seeing an increase in the number of vegans, and millennials are leading the charge.
The number of vegans has been steadily rising in the UK – up by 360% over the past decade and many more meat-eaters look set to switch from steak to seitan. People are understanding more about the ethical issues, and the impact it has on the environment as well as our health.
Vegan activism is on the rise and Veganuary is ever more popular in 2018. This year has seen about 150,000 people taking part.
With celebs like Emma Watson going to the Met Ball in an “animal-friendly” dress and Beyoncé investing in a vegan meal delivery service, veganism is now the hottest food trend. The modern day vegan is a far cry from the lentil eating, sandal wearing hippy of yesteryear. Today’s vegan is more likely to be a cool hipster!
Let’s look at what a vegan diet is and whether veganism is here to stay!
So, what is a vegan diet?
A vegan diet focuses on plant-based foods and beverages and eliminates all animal products. Its anchoring aim is to eliminate the use and harm of living beings. While vegetarians still consume dairy and eggs, vegans remove any and all animal byproducts, or foods that involve animals in their processing mechanisms. Meat, poultry, fish, and dairy are taken off the plate and replaced with veggies, fruits, beans, nuts, and grains.
The Vegan Society’s formal definition is: “veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
Vegan diet: what are the benefits?
There are many health benefits of becoming a vegan. Studies show that vegans enjoy a longer lifespan and lower BMI than meat, cheese and egg eaters, as well as less incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, cataracts and various cancers including colorectal cancer.
Today most meat and dairy products are produced using intensive farming methods. Meat production obviously involves the slaughter of animals, which is enough for some people to give it up altogether. But on top of this, intensive farming also often results in appalling animal cruelty up until the animals are killed.
While opposition to the killing of animals is a common reason given by vegetarians, it’s often overlooked that dairy production also involves slaughter. Male calves are removed from their mother at birth and killed or exported to the continent for veal production. Female calves are kept to become the next generation of milk-producers.
Protecting the environment
Another reason people choose to become vegan or veggie is to protect the environment. Vast deforestation is taking place in Latin America to make room for soya cultivation, and with 97% of the crop being grown to feed animals for meat or dairy production, not to mention methane from farm animals which contributes 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Meat production also impacts on human rights – while people in some countries are starving, one third of the world’s grain production is being fed to farmed animals in rich countries. Because of the demand for animal feed, a Western meat-based diet uses four and a half times more land than is necessary for a vegan diet and two and a quarter times more than for a vegetarian diet.
Vegan food: choice and quality have improved in recent years
There has been an incredible improvement in the quality of vegan food in recent years, which means you do not need to compromise to follow such a diet.
Other notable vegans are Ford Executive Chairman of the Board Bill Ford (F), and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone,
It shouldn’t be surprising that so many CEOs are shunning meat, dairy, and eggs: it’s an exclusive club. Only 1 percent of the U.S. population is vegan, partly because veganism isn’t cheap: The cost comes from the value of specialty products made by specialty companies. Vegans also have to be powerful enough to even know what veganism is.
Instead of ‘Better buy this blue chip,’ it’s ‘Better eat vegan.’
Veganism goes mainstream
Veganism is going mainstream trend data suggests. The appeal and potential for vegan products is expanding beyond the small group of people who avoid animal products for ethical reasons. Many consumers are seeking healthier, cleaner foods,
The addition of these consumers to the group of potential buyers for vegan products makes the opportunity for animal-free products much larger than it initially appears.
Why the change of heart?
The reason for the expansion appears to be the mitigation of the perception of vegan beyond its traditional stereotype of being all about animal welfare.
Although veganism is still associated with animal welfare that is no longer the leading association. Instead, the association of veganism with health food takes the top spot.
These shifting associations mean most growth of vegan products are not coming from vegans, but rather meat-eaters who are cutting back. This opens the door for more realistic meat alternatives.
Other trends fuelling veganism
Increased interest in food from mission-based companies, millennial values and a desire to be part of a “food tribe” also are fueling the growth of vegan foods.
Many vegan food manufacturers’ values appeal to consumers, who increasingly are questioning companies’ motives, pushing for higher order benefits and demanding social good.
In addition, the U.S. is “becoming a nation of food tribalists with cultures built around close-knit viral communities based on personal values and behaviors,” Other examples beyond vegan, including the paleo and gluten-free movements.
In addition, millennials’ focus on preserving the environment for future generations and sense of social responsibility is contributing to the rise of vegan eating.
Finally, consumers’ slowly shifting taste preferences for more savory and less sweet flavors favour vegan foods, which often draw from boldly flavored, global cuisines.
The Media and Veganism
The Media has often used scaremongering tactics about the dangers of a vegan diet. Stories such as a vegan or vegetarian diet during pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects are untrue. Leading health charity the Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation (VVF) says that veggie and mum’s-to-be should ignore the relentless stream of nonsense written about an animal-free diet.
A new documentary called What the Health was critically panned by health experts and the mainstream media for telling the truth about processed meat and disease.
However, vegans (and vegetarians) should know something about diet planning in order to make sure they are meeting nutrient needs
Social media and the rise of veganism
The vegan diet and products are gaining traction on social media and in traditional media, which further spreads awareness of veganism. The rise of vegan teenagers ditching meat and dairy is partly fuelled by Instagram.
Social media analysis shows incredible volume for vegan-related references to the point where “vegan and Coca-Cola” are competing for space for who is getting the most social media messages and marketing.
Research analysis shows vegan and vegetarian related content were mentioned 4.3 million times in 90 days, compared to 4.1 million references to Coca-Cola in the same time period.
While half of the references to vegan are positive, about 14% were negative, which suggests vegan still has some bad connotations that it needs to overcome to realize its full potential.
.Veganism is a lifestyle choice
Being vegan isn’t just about giving up dairy and meat, it’s a lifestyle choice that goes across ALL aspects of your life including fashion and beauty.
The Vegan Society thinks the rise of veganism online is mirrored in the real world, and describes veganism as “the fastest growing lifestyle movement”.
Vegan businesses are sprouting up across the UK to service this demand. Between 2012 and 2016, there was a 185% jump in the number of vegan products launched in the UK, while 9% of food products launched in the UK in last year carried a vegan claim, up from 3% in 2012, according to Mintel.
Devout vegans Kelly Slade and Chrissy Leyland helped organise the Vegan Pledge campaign, where participants try going vegan for one month, before launching subscription-based business Vegan Tuck Box in 2013.
Companies worldwide are drumming up alternative ways to get people to try vegan food. In San Francisco, start-up Le Cupboard has even launched vegan vending machines offering everything from lentil and baby spinach salad to chia pudding with strawberries.
Vegan Propaganda: separating fact from fiction
The media often bands around scaremongering claims and mistruths about veganism. This information is referred to as ‘vegan propaganda’. However, There is also a lot of hype and mistruths around all dietary systems – not just veganism.
Many animals eat other animals. This is a fact of life. However, we should not tolerate cruelty to animals.
Admittedly, there are huge problems with the commercial meat industry and animal welfare desperately needs improving across the board.
However, I feel there’s a much better chance of doing this if animal rights campaigners focus on the facts about animal welfare. Generally, people care a lot more about animal welfare than they do about misguided health claims.
Could 2018 be the year of the Vegan? Quite possibly yes! International meal delivery service Just Eat named veganism as a top consumer trend in 2018 as people become more aware of healthy and ethical lifestyle choices.
In 2017 Just Eat Marketing Director, Edel Kinane said:
“The results from this year are a good insight into the future consumer trends and while convenience will continue to be key for consumers next year and beyond, we know that they are increasingly looking for more diverse, healthy, gluten free and plant based Vegan options”.
Are you thinking of becoming a vegan or are you already a vegan? Share your thoughts about veganism in the comments sectioin below.
How pets can benefit people with mental health issues
Having a pet can significantly improve your mental health. The enduring relationship between humans and domestic animals is well documented and there are an estimated 10 million cats (23 per cent of households with one or more cat) and 11.5 million dogs (30 per cent of households with one or more dog) kept as pets in the UK.
A recent academic also study found that pet-owners had higher levels of self-esteem and conscientiousness than non pet-owners, tended to be less lonely and less fearful, and were more extrovert and less preoccupied. Furthermore, there was no evidence that people’s relationships with their pets came at the expense of those they had with other people: pet owners were found to be just as close to key human figures in their lives as non-owners.
The mood-boosting power of dogs
If you’ve ever owned a pet, you already know how much fun and affection they bring into your lives. Dogs, in particular, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health.
Caring for a dog can help children grow up more secure and active or provide valuable companionship for older adults. Perhaps most importantly, though, a dog can add real joy and unconditional love to your life. The mood boosting power of dogs is well documented.
Man’s best friend: meet Coco my 4-month-old yorkie puppy
Puppy therapy: forget antidepressants and talking therapies – get a puppy!
I have always had a great love for animals and sometimes I think I actually prefer animals to people! This might have something to do with my mental health: for years I have struggled with clinical depression, panic disorder and agoraphobia. I have been on medication for most of my life, been to see psychiatrists, had various talking based therapies but to be honest, none of it has really helped.
If you struggle to look after yourself how can you look after a pet?!
I have read various articles over the years about how pets can help people with mental health issues but as I struggle to look after myself some days and responsibility is not one of my strong points, I decided that I was not cut out to be a pet owner.
But, one dark Winter’s morning I found myself browsing puppies on Pets4Homes. I had considered getting a pug and a chihuahua but my mum suggested a yorkie as they are a bit like me i.e ‘scruffy (chic of course!) and spirited’!
And so a few days before Christmas Eve I bought Coco, home. The first night I put her cage in my bedroom and she cried virtually all night. I picked her up and cuddled her. She licked my face and wagged her tail. My heart melted.
The next few days she really tested my patience. She chewed up the carpet, the furniture, jumped all over the place, ran along the back of the sofa and leaped onto my head. She scratched and chewed my hands (which now resemble Elephant Man!) She refused to wee or poop in the garden (and still does!). I spent most of my time on my hands and knees with a can of Vanish Gold cleaning up her mess, at times with tears streaming down my face and questioning whether I could cope. I even briefly contemplated returning her to her first human family. But, a few months on and I honestly couldn’t imagine life without her.
Exercise and a puppy: benefits for you and your furry friend
Coco recently turned 4 months and we have been going out for our daily walks. At first, she refused to budge when I put her on her lead but after a bit of gentle persuasions and some puppy treats, she absolutely loves it.
Coco gives me a reason to get up in the morning. Even on dark days I can’t stay in bed as Coco needs feeding and exercising. She has really lifted my spirits and taking her for daily walks is having a positive impact on my mental health. I have more energy, feel much more positive and sleep better at night.
I finally feel there is real hope, since Coco came into my life, And I can definitely see light at the the end of the tunnel!
If like me you suffer from a mental health issue, I would definitely consider getting a pet. Obviously, it is not a decision to be taken lightly but having a pet has really helped my mental health. and is rewarding in so many other ways.
Do you suffer from mental health issues and have a pet? Let me know how your pet has helped you in the comments box below.
Branding is a way of clearly highlighting what makes your product or service different to, and more desirable than your competitors. Nailing your branding and having a unique selling point (USP) is essential.
For entrepreneurs, your personal brand and business brand are often one and the same. Get this right and your business will stand out brightly against your competitors.
Brand storytelling is vital if you want to build a successful, sustainable business and a brand that will garner loyalty.
Keep your brand fresh
Keeping your brand fresh is essential. Using designers to help reassess your designs, language or identity every few years should be an ongoing investment in your business and an essential rather than an added luxury.
To summarize, your brand defines your business from the big things like vision and values to your people, customers, suppliers and every interaction anyone is ever going to have with you, no matter how small.
Work-life balance is key to a healthy lifestyle. As a busy entrepreneur or business owner work often consumes most of your day.
People want time more than they do money’, said Arianna Huffington back in 2013 but there never seems to be enough hours in the day, especially when you are running your own business. Life often takes a back seat!
However, it is important for your wellbeing to achieve a healthy work-life balance so here are my top 7 tips to help you avoid burnout:
Look after your health – it is vital to look after yourself mentally and physically. Your Mental health is as important as your physical health if you want to be successful. You can exercise your way to mental fitness as strength and power have been linked with both improved cognitive function and bigger brains!
Work smarter not harder – working hard doesn’t necessarily mean you are working efficiently. if you want to maximise your time and supercharge your productivity you need to work smarter not harder.
Take holidays – having an annual break will actually increase your productivity as well as recharging your batteries! Follow the example of smart entrepreneurs like Richard Branson who value the importance of taking holidays
Schedule regular time with family and friends – spending free time with family and friends will help you relax and de-stress.
Learn to say no – it isn’t always easy to say ‘No’ but this will help free up time and keep you on track.As a busy entrepreneur, you can’t say yes to everything. There comes a time when you have to be firm and learn to say no.
Delegate – smart entrepreneurs recognise that delegation is important for business success. Delegating tasks enables you to spend more time working on your business and not in it.
Work-life balance – Albert Einstein once predicted ‘I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.’ It seems the prophecy may be coming true! Digital technology has blurred the line between work and down time. In this connected world we are constantly glued to iphones and tablets and even when we are out with friends and loved ones we are more often than not texting and tweeting. This has a detrimental impact on our health and wellbeing. If you let your work encroach on your personal life over a long period you risk burnout.. If we are tired and stressed it can make us feel ill so we are not going to perform at our best. We need time to relax and switch off completely to recharge our batteries and maintain relationships with family and friends. Try and find some balance between your career and your personal life. Take this quick quiz to see how you are currently managing your work-life balance. It seems we are all addicted to our tech. Why not try and turn off your mobile phone for a few hours and see the difference. Studies have shown that one day without notifications changes behaviour for two years! Look after your mental health. Mindfulness will help you get the most out of life by teaching you to live in the moment. It can also have a positive impact on your mental health and wellbeing by reducing stress levels. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is a consultant in Silicon Valley and a visiting scholar at Stanford University. He writes about technology and its cultural impact. His latest book, Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, is an empirical argument in favour of more limited working hours and greater understanding of the benefits of active rest as a means of raising creativity and productivity.
Create a happy work environment If you are a business owner or manager you need to ensure your team are happy. Happy people are more productive. Creating the perfect work environment is crucial to business success. Flexible working can also supercharge productivity There are some great.tools to boost team collaboration and productivity when working remotely.
Exercise, sleep and nutrition – are all vital to supercharge your productivity. Exercise is the secret ingredient of the most productive and successful people. Richard Branson says he stays productive everyday by adding in 4 hours of workouts into his everyday routine. Sleep is also important for working productively. The value of a good night’s sleep cannot be underestimated, with its ability to build up our immunity to illness, lift our moods and enable clearer thinking. According to research, lack of sleep is costing the UK economy billions and increasing the risk of death for large numbers of tired Britons. Naps at work can also boost your productivity. Finally the importance of eating well cannot be stressed enough. What you eat affects your productivity. If you eat the right foods and develop healthy eating habits, you can become more focussed, energised and driven. What you eat in the evening may also determine the quality of your sleep. According to our friends at Health Ambition, if you want to sleep like a baby don’t eat a big meal before bed. However, if you eat ‘smart’ you will sleep better! Finally, entrepreneur, author and public speaker Tim Ferriss recently discovered just how crucial our food is when writing his new book, Tools of Titans. Ferriss found that many of the world’s biggest achievers credit their eating habits with their success!