The Importance of Achieving Work-Life Balance for Entrepreneurs

We all hear about how the most successful entrepreneurs threw their entire lives into their project. While that may work for some people, it tends to be more of an unrealistic endeavor than anything else. It also creates a huge imbalance that leads to personal burn out.

That is why finding a balance between work and life is so crucial for entrepreneurs. Even if it doesn’t catch up to you for a while, burn out will catch up to you. When it does, it won’t be the prettiest feeling. Here are a few ways to master your work-life balance.

Schedule Life, Not Just Work

Having a schedule is an important part of being an entrepreneur. After all, you have to know where you are going, what you are doing, and what you hope to achieve that day, right? Well, shouldn’t life be the same?

By having set times in your schedule, you can plan things such as exercise, social nights, or reserve time for family activities. This not only gives you something to look forward to, but it also gives you a stronger motivation to properly manage time so that you do not have to cancel those plans.

Set Boundaries

The belief is that entrepreneurs have to be on at all times, whether they are in the office or at home. But that does not have to be the case. Set work hours for yourself and stick to them. If you have a phone attached to you, it will impact your personal life, which can impact your work life.

Keep them separate whenever possible. It will give you that balance that you need to tackle big problems while also managing your personal life.

Turn the Phone Off

No, you do not need to be there to take phone calls at 11 pm. No, you do not have to be at the beckon call of anyone who demands it.

Turn the phone off when you are having personal time. Not only will it keep you from stressing out about every aspect of the job, but it will keep clients from thinking that they own your time.

The post The Importance of Achieving Work-Life Balance for Entrepreneurs first appeared on Louis DeTitto | Business.

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Recovery Tips for Athletes

When the competition is over, athletes are just like the rest of us. Even more importantly, they need to rebuild and heal their bodies so that they can do it all over again. The recovery process has become as important as the events themselves these days.

So, coming to a speedy recovery is essential for athletes now more than ever. Here are a few tips that athletes of all levels can use to have a speedier recovery.

Replenish Fluids

Hydration is an important aspect to athletics. Their bodies use more of the nutrients and fluids within than the average person, so putting those fluids back is essential to recovery. Water is great for nutrient transfer and metabolic function, which is why you will see any athlete with plenty of water with them at all times.

By having adequate fluid replacement, even the athletes who strive for insane endurance levels will keep water with them at all times. It helps their bodies to do those crazy activities over and over again.

Rest and Relax

No matter what you put into your body, it needs time to repair itself. Whether it is due to typical wear and tear or an injury, the body needs time to rest and heal itself. By resting after a tough workout or activity, you give your body the time that it needs to repair itself.

There is no replacement for good relaxation time. Not only will it help your body to repair itself, but you give your mind time to reset and recharge as well.

Stretch

Now more than ever, stretching is seeing its importance felt in every corner of athletics. The stress that our bodies go under during vigorous athletics is really quite crazy. By giving your body flexibility, you help stave off injuries.

Moreover, a gentle stretch after a particularly tough workout can be a great way to allow your muscles to recover faster. Stretching should be a part of any workout or athletic routine going forward to help prevent injury and maintain flexibility.

The post Recovery Tips for Athletes first appeared on Louis DeTitto's Sports Blog.

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How to Network as an Entrepreneur

Networking is crucial for entrepreneurs who can only rely on themselves to promote their business and generate leads. Networking can not only increase revenue for your business but also help you form a community. These tips can help you network successfully.

Look for Relationships, Not Connections

Instead of thinking about the number of connections you make, focus on building meaningful relationships with a few people. Building healthy business relationships will ensure that you can rely on each other even after a working relationship is over.

Make sure that the relationship you are trying to build through networking is reciprocal. Instead of immediately asking a stranger for help, think about what service you could provide to your potential connection. Approaching networking with the goal of a mutually beneficial relationship will also help you feel less awkward about initiating contact.

Turn to the Power of the Internet

Modern-day entrepreneurs are not limited to networking with people who are in their geographic proximity. You can join groups on social media to find like-minded entrepreneurs or people looking for a service to provide. Social media is also a way for you to market yourself and generate connections passively by posting regularly about your business and your entrepreneurial insights.

Tap Into Your Local Community

The Internet makes it easy to go global, but there is power in staying local. Taking advantage of the resources in your community will help you build relationships with your neighbors. After all, nearby customers are most likely to patronize your business. Reach out to other small business owners or build relationships with local reporters. These relationships will be helpful towards the long-term success of your business.

Your existing customers are also a good resource. Word of mouth is how many new customers find businesses, and people love sharing information with their friends. You can develop an influencer partnership with some of your customers. Or, just give them business cards to hand out to their friends.

Building strong relationships and seeking out creative ways to network makes it possible for entrepreneurs to network their way to success.

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The Best Leaders in Sports History

If you ever wondered why successful business leaders quote great athletes and coaches, it is because they have become some of the most notable leaders in history. That said, there are a few who stand above even their own peers. Here are the best leaders in sports history.

Mark Messier, New York Rangers

You don’t get to be called the greatest captain in hockey history without reason. Messier was already a seasoned leader before the 1994 playoffs, but that solidified him. On his way to leading the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years, he guaranteed a victory against the Devils in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. All he did was deliver said victory while scoring a hat trick along the way.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots

You don’t become the winningest quarterback in NFL history without being able to lead. For nearly two decades, Brady led the Patriots to Super Bowl after Super Bowl – nine of them, to be exact, with six victories. Brady has been the one constant despite lacking weapons and a changing at nearly every position along the way.

Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens

As known as Lewis was for his ferocious play, it was his leadership abilities that became revered. He brought teammates to his insane level of intensity, making the Ravens defense fear for his tenure in Baltimore. He was about more than dancing, he led the defense even when his skills declined. Perhaps the penultimate leader on defense in football history.

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

“Black Mamba” became a name on par with “His Airness.” Bryant led the Lakers for two decades, winning five NBA titles along the way. He also became known as a ruthlessly competitive person who demanded the best of those around him. While it may have been seen as harsh by some, there is no question that he elevated those around him and brought them to the promised land with him. Other than Michael Jordan, no one had the competitive drive that Bryant had.

The post The Best Leaders in Sports History first appeared on Louis DeTitto's Sports Blog.

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The Potential Automated Call

Louis Dettito Baseball Header

Many businesses are automating various processes in modern times. It seems as though automation is taking over many different sectors and there isn’t much that anyone can do to stop it. Even professional sports are going to have to confront the topic of automation sooner rather than later. Currently, people are talking about introducing an automated balls and strikes system in the MLB.

Getting the Call Right

The potential is there for an automated balls and strikes system to make the game of baseball more accurate. As it stands now, umpires are put in the position of making a call based on what they see going on. This does mean that there are occasions when an umpire will blow a call, much to the chagrin of the fans. If the game was able to implement automated umpires, then things would change substantially.

The position of the ball can be detected at all times and it’s a simple process to determine whether the ball was within the strike zone or not. Technology can be used to accomplish this task and it can ensure that the call is always right. This eliminates some of the human element that is associated with baseball. Knowing that it could improve the game might make some people okay with the idea but the automated umpire system has its critics as well.

Not Everyone Likes This

Not everyone likes this and some people think that it would change the game for the worse. Getting rid of the human element that is associated with calling a ball or a strike might make the game feel hollow in some respects. This really depends on your perspective and how you feel about changing things over. Many people felt the same way about instant replays in other sports before they were implemented.

It should also be said that human umpires can still be there to make the final call. It wouldn’t eliminate human umpires but it would make sure that they got the information right. Would this make the flow of the game better or worse? Whatever your opinion happens to be, you should know that most experts say that automated umpires will be implemented into the game and that it’s just a matter of how long it’ll take the MLB to go for it.

The post The Potential Automated Call first appeared on Louis DeTitto's Sports Blog.

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The MLB’s Plan for Minor Leagues

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You might have heard about the fact that the House of Representatives had to step in to save several minor league baseball teams from getting the ax. You see, the MLB has a plan for minor leagues and they think that there are currently way too many minor league teams. They don’t want each major franchise to be associated with so many minor league teams or farm teams. However, Congress sees the importance of the minor league teams when it comes to helping local communities and economies.

The MLB Wants to Change the Minor League System

The MLB wants to change the minor league system so that it can be brought up to modern standards. Their general idea is that they wish to have fewer minor league teams but that the remaining teams will have much higher standards. They wish to do this so that playing conditions can be improved for players. MLB officials have said that they recognize the importance of protecting communities throughout America but they haven’t said how they plan to do that.

Congress stepped in to save several teams that were in danger of being disbanded and discarded by the MLB. The MLB says that the House of Representatives made a mistake by doing this. Basically, they want the minor league teams to negotiate with them so that they can discover a path forward. Congress didn’t think that the idea to cut 42 teams was good at all and took action to protect communities from the ramifications of losing those teams.

Why Losing Minor League Teams Would Have an Impact

Losing minor league teams would have an impact on various communities. These communities that play host to the minor league squads have come to love and appreciate them in many ways. Minor league baseball teams give normal people access to high-quality baseball competitions. For many people, this is the only practical way to get to go see baseball games live.

Aside from this, it’s important to consider that these communities are tied to these teams economically. Sometimes the revenue that comes in from the minor league teams is significant enough that losing the team would be disastrous for specific towns. Minor league baseball generates more revenue than some people realize and protecting small communities is the goal of Congress. Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see what can be done to address concerns while also bringing the minor leagues up to modern standards.

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How (and Why) to Mitigate Distractions While Working From Home

Eliminating distractions while working from home — especially with kids running around belting Frozen II and housemates doing mid-day workouts — might not be entirely feasible. However, it is still possible to mitigate distractions. After all, they’re hurting you — and your business — more than you might realize. You might have heard the popular statistic that you need an average of 25 minutes to get back to your original task after a distraction.

But there’s more affecting your productivity than that. We looked through some of the research behind the psychology of distractions and found some interesting insights:

  • Distractions have a demonstrably negative effect on our ability to perform, even when the distractions had little significance.
  • People who consider themselves at multi-tasking may be worse at moving from task to task than others.
  • Even if you attempt to “move on” to another work-related task, you may find yourself distracted by the first task of your day.

With that in mind, let’s dig deeper into the studies and find some better strategies for managing distractions:

1. Too Much Information Has a Detrimental Impact on Performance

In one UK study, researchers had volunteers carry out problem-solving tasks in a quiet environment—then tested them while they were “bombarded with new emails and phone calls.” Even though the volunteers didn’t have to respond to any of these messages, simply being aware that they were taking place had a significant impact on their ability to concentrate.

The result was that performance suffered. The average IQ dropped by about 10 points.

The conclusion is that not only are interruptions distracting, but if you allow distractions to weigh on your mind in even the slightest way, they can have a detrimental impact on performance. Given that volunteers didn’t have to respond to any email or phone call and still found them distracting, we can only imagine the impact distractions have on us when the emails and phone calls do need responses.

So try having an open dialogue with those you live with and creating a chart that hangs outside of your workspace where it will be seen that alerts housemates of your current work status. It may include options such as “available,” “busy,” “in a meeting” or “do not disturb unless facing a MAJOR emergency”.

2. Switching Between Tasks Takes Up More Energy Than You Think

A 2009 study at the University of Minnesota found the existence of what they dubbed “attention residue.” They defined it as the delay that occurs when someone sets aside one task and takes up another.

It turns out that the mental task of switching gears takes more energy and attention than we might have thought. And that led to some interesting conclusions, including the “surprising result that heavy media multitaskers performed worse on a test of task-switching ability.”

That’s right: even experienced multitaskers aren’t as good at switching between tasks as they might have thought. In fact, they may even be worse than the population at large.

This should lead most people to reconsider their approach to multitasking and asking the following questions:

  • Am I really a good multitasker, or do I just multitask often?
  • How long does it take me to “switch gears,” and do I often put off work because of the energy required to start a new task?
  • Where are some areas in which I might combine activities to minimize “switching gears” and improving my overall concentration?

These questions will help you identify some of the habits that may be leading you to lose concentration as you move from task to task. So whether you claim to be a good multitasker or not, try scheduling out your day in the early morning to help limit the amount of times you have to switch tasks and accommodate for the needs of those you live with.

3. The First Problem You Focus On Tends to Get Most of Your Brain Power

They call it “cognitive fixation.” If you like to multi-task, you may find that the first activity during your day is the one that retains most of your attention later on, even while you’re attempting to give 100% of your attention to something new.

This is evidence in favor of the strategy of attacking your most important tasks first. If you were to work on a big work project in the morning and only take on lighter menial tasks later in the day, part of your mind will continue to work on that “big” work project that you started off with. This can work to your benefit, so long as you’re aware of the effect and schedule your day accordingly.

4. Distractions are Disproportionately Affecting the Young

Millennials and Gen Zers—those most affected by the digital lifestyle—are also the groups that report the highest rates of distraction, with a rate of 74% identifying themselves as frequently distracted. This suggests something other studies have observed; the multi-tasking demands of the digital lifestyle have a detrimental effect on our ability to concentrate, which means that strategies for reducing social media usage may have long-term benefits for personal productivity and concentration.

One other reasons many of us may be suffering from distraction issues: using multiple devices at the same time can negatively affect self-control. So try to limit the number of devices you have within your reach while working from home. Allot yourself windows of time during the day — if needed — to check on certain devices.

5. Attention is a “Limited Resource”

Not only is our attention limited by the time we have in a day, but our energy is subject to the demands of being a living, breathing being. We simply don’t have as much energy to devote to willpower and attention as we’d like to have.

One study, as reported by Psychology Today, found that distractions eat into about 2 hours of our daily work lives. Given that our attention is a limited resource, the strategy of working on the most important task of the day as early as possible—while we still have the concentration to do it—may seem most effective.

One Reason to Use Distractions to Your Benefit

This post paints a very dire picture of the impact of distractions on our life. But if you can manage them effectively, you can sometimes use them to your benefit as well.

One study at Carnegie Mellon found that the regions of the brain that handle your decision-making process will still be in use even when you’re consciously focusing on something else. That means that sometimes, actively seeking distraction when you’re stuck on a problem can be a great way for you to relax, loosen up, and allow a solution to suddenly pop into your mind while you’re thinking about something else.

Otherwise, if you want to be productive while working from home, try to keep the distractions at a minimum (as much as possible), schedule out your day, and focus on your most important task of the day as soon as possible. Your calendar will thank you.

from The Grasshopper Blog – Insights for Entrepreneurs https://grasshopper.com/blog/Eliminating Distractions While Working From Home/
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Technology Within the Sports Landscape

It’s easy to see just how much technology has changed the world over the last several decades. Even if you look at the changes that have occurred in the last five years, it’ll be pretty astounding. Technology also has a huge impact on the sports world. There are many ways that technology will be altering the sports landscape in the near future.

Better Sports Equipment

Better sports equipment will allow athletes to perform better while being protected. Modern sports equipment is substantially better than the equipment that was being used by athletes mere decades ago. It’s possible that helmets could continue to improve so that football players won’t have to be as concerned about CTE. It’s also plausible to assume that improvements to sneakers and other important pieces of equipment will lead to athletes shattering records as never before.

AI

AI has the potential to change the entire world and not just the sports world. In the world of sports, AI could be used to help manage various things more efficiently. It’s possible that AI could help with training functions and it could also help to provide strategic information. Some people find this to be disconcerting and think that it hurts the spirit of the game. There will be time to debate whether AI has a true place in the world of sports.

New Ways to View Sports

New ways to view sports might be the most relevant thing for you. You understand that the landscape has already changed substantially when it comes to how people consume sports. In the past, people simply turned on the television and watched the game when it was on. Modern technology has changed the way that people consume media and many sports still need to catch up with those changes.

Sports will likely start to migrate to streaming platforms instead of being locked to traditional television channels. There might be new ways to view sports that make use of emerging technologies as well. For example, the potential is there for sports to be viewed using virtual reality or augmented reality. People could feel as if they’re at the arena even when they’re watching at home and this could be a game-changer.

from Louis DeTitto’s Sports Blog http://louisdetitto.net/technology-within-the-sports-landscape-2/
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Losing Focus as a Leader

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It can be very problematic when you start losing focus as a leader. If you take your attention away from the task at hand, then there is a good chance that mistakes will occur. Leadership requires great focus and you need to learn how to get things back on track. Learn more about losing focus as a leader so that you can figure out what can be done to make things better.

Trying to Handle Too Much at Once

Trying to handle too much at once can certainly cause you to lose your focus. If you have six tasks on your plate, then it’s not going to be reasonable to try to work on them all at once. In all likelihood, the quality of your work will suffer if you don’t take things one step at a time. You should learn to identify priority tasks so that you can handle those first and then get to the next most important thing on the agenda.

Not Knowing What You Have to Do

Now knowing what you have to do can cause you to get distracted as well. You might not have a clear agenda mapped out for the day and this could cause you to wind up losing time checking emails aimlessly. Before you know it, your entire day could be gone. Remain focused on what you have to do and create a to-do list each day so that you know what you need to be focusing on.

Trying to Do Everything Alone

Trying to do everything alone is also a very bad idea. You see, even the most effective leaders have limitations and you need to be honest when you have too much on your plate. Learning to delegate tasks effectively is a huge part of being a leader. Being placed in a leadership role is about coordinating and leading a team; it isn’t about just doing all the work yourself.

Putting Things Off Until Later

Putting things off until later might seem to be a good idea at times but it can get you in trouble. You might be distracted by other work tasks or even personal matters. Regardless, it’s bad to procrastinate and you should identify when things need to be finished so that you can handle matters promptly. It’s imperative that you try to finish your work in a timely fashion each day so that you do not fall behind.

from Louis DeTitto | Business http://louisdetitto.com/losing-focus-as-a-leader/
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Sports and Storytelling

Louis DeTitto Sports Storytelling

Sports generate a large amount of money throughout the world. People connect with sports and they love seeing their favorite teams compete on the field or court for glory. Sports and storytelling seem to go hand in hand and most people create a narrative for the sports games in their heads if one isn’t being presented. Many people recognize the power of sports and they seek to use technology to make more compelling content that is sports-related for people to enjoy.

Emerging Technologies

Emerging technologies have made it easier than ever to capture sports stories on camera. There are so many ways for cameras to capture the action on the field and many people are also choosing to focus on the action that is going on off the field. People want to know more about their favorite sports stars and they like consuming content that is related to their favorite sports teams. This could lead to an even deeper relationship between sports and storytelling in the future.

Athletes Creating Media Companies

It’s also interesting to note that many athletes have created media companies to produce content. Famous NBA player Lebron James is a good example of this. In fact, Lebron’s 2008 movie More Than a Game received critical praise and told a compelling story of how he and his friends at the time came together to compete for a high school basketball championship in Akron, Ohio. Other famous NBA athletes have now started investing money in production companies and you could see more movies or other types of content that tell sports stories.

Sports Movies Are Popular

Sports movies are very popular and there are many different types of movies out there. Fictional boxing movies such as Rocky have captivated audiences for years and football films such as Remember the Titans have also been met with praise. The public loves sports and the potential to tell stories within a sports setting is there. Some athletes recognize this and they seek to take part by creating the aforementioned media production companies.

The desire for new content is at an all-time high due to the streaming wars between large corporations. Various streaming services are competing for new content and it’s likely that sports-related movies will be a part of the package. Sports and storytelling will always go hand in hand. There could be many intriguing sports-related media projects on the horizon very soon because of the media production companies that are being formed today.

from Louis DeTitto’s Sports Blog http://louisdetitto.net/sports-and-storytelling-2/
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