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Being a builder can be stressful, and at times you may feel you’re not in control at all. 

Here’s 5 ways to take back control of your time and your thoughts, and totally change your life as well.

As a builder running your own business, you can feel like you never have enough time to do all the things you feel you need to. And if you’re stressed and worried about keeping projects on track, and getting everything done, you can be dealing with endless chatter in your head that makes it very hard to switch off and relax, or do anything else but think about your projects, your clients and your business.

However, for you to achieve growth both personally and professionally, you need to take back control of your time and thoughts. And this can be simpler than you think.

In this blog, we share 5 ways to take back control of your time and thoughts. These can all be done in less than 30 minutes (in fact, the shortest one is 5 seconds!), and they have the potential to change your life.

Read on, as we share what they are – and take up the challenge! We’d love to see the results you achieve.

5. TAKE A TWO MINUTE COLD SHOWER

Most people don’t truly understand the value of their time. Time is the one commodity that every single person on the planet has the same amount of, but it’s what you do with it that makes all the difference. 

It doesn’t matter who you are, what you have, your education, who you know, where you were born, how much money you have or your family background. 

How you spend your time determines how your life will run.

Did you know that something as simple as having a cold shower everyday (or an ice bath every now and then) for just two minutes, can change your life? 

Taking a cold shower for two minutes also makes you realise how long two minutes really is. You’ll find it’s longer than you think! 

Think of the time you waste scrolling on your phone, and how quickly two minutes (or much more) disappears. Then stand under a cold shower for two minutes. You’ll see that time isn’t time itself. It’s what you’re doing with it.

Cold showers and ice baths have been a huge part of Duayne’s success over the past few years, as he has realised that there are so many benefits to committing to it.

One of the most famous ambassadors of cold showers and ice baths is Wim Hof, Duayne has listened to several of Wim’s books and now practices a lot of his methods, and this has really helped him on many levels.

As listed on Wim Hoff’s website, some of the known benefits of cold showers and ice baths are:

>> Reduced stress levels

Regularly taking cold showers imposes a small amount of stress on your body, which leads to a process called hardening. This means that your nervous system gradually gets used to handling moderate levels of stress. The hardening process helps you to keep a cool head, the next time you find yourself in a stressful situation.

>> Higher level of alertness

Cold showers wake your body up, inducing a higher state of alertness. The cold also stimulates you to take deeper breaths, decreasing the level of CO2 throughout the body, helping you concentrate. Cold showers thus keep you ready and focused throughout the day.

>> More robust immune response

Scientific studies have found that taking a cold shower increases the amount of white blood cells in your body. These blood cells protect your body against diseases. Researchers believe that this process is related to an increased metabolic rate, which stimulates the immune response.

>>> Increased willpower

It takes a strong mind to endure the cold for extended periods of time. By incorporating cold showers into your daily routine, you are strengthening your willpower , which benefits many aspects of (your) daily life

>> Weight loss

Research has shown that cold showers (and exposure to cold in general), in addition to increasing metabolic rate directly, stimulate the generation of brown fat. Brown fat is a specific type of fat tissue that in turn generates energy by burning calories. Cold showers, then, are an effective tool for people who are looking to lose a few pounds.

(Source: https://www.wimhofmethod.com/)

So you can see from the list of benefits above, it’s well worth putting in the effort to get out of your comfort zone.

Give it a try. 

Next time you’re in the shower, turn the water to cold only and stand there for two minutes. You’ll realise just how long two minutes is, and chances are your brain will start telling you to stop. Stick at it, and you’ll teach yourself that you’re stronger than the chatter in your mind, and can commit. 

We feel this is one of the cheapest and easiest things you can start right now to change your life.

4. TAKE A DEEP BREATH

Breathing is the most important thing our bodies do and without breathing we don’t last very long. But the funny thing is most of us take it for granted and don’t realise how our breathing affects a lot of other things we do and feel. 

There are many different breathing exercises you can do that have great benefits. These benefits include:

  • Your health and well-being
  • Lower stress levels
  • Better sleep
  • More focus and mental clarity
  • Faster recovery after exercise and physical activities
  • Reduce anxiety and mental health issues

Breathing exercises and meditation are something that both Duayne and Amelia do regularly as they have both experienced the benefits from doing them. Oxygen is the fuel our bodies cells need. The amount of oxygen that we inhale while breathing influences the amount of energy that is released into our body’s cells, and this is one reason why you feel good after you have done anything that makes you breathe more.

As well as it being essential for your body to operate well, breathing exercises can be very good for your mind. Focusing on your breath, and being present to the feel and sound of you breathing in and out, slowly and calmly, is a great form of meditation you can do anywhere, at any time.

When Duayne started having cold showers, he discovered breathing as an important tool to control his body temperature and commit to the two minutes under cold water.

So, when you’re under that shower for two minutes, letting cold water run over you, slow down your breathing and take deep breaths as you inhale and exhale. It’ll help you regulate your heartbeat, and stay calm. 

Anytime you start to feel stressed during the day, just stop, and slow down your breath. Breath in slowly for the count of four, and out for the count of four. Give yourself the chance to pause, breathe and be present. 

This type of meditation can help you clear your thoughts and access some peace and calm when you’ve had a bad day. It can also be a great way to start each day as you can then hit the ground running. 

Meditation can sometimes only be for 5 – 10 minutes but the feelings you can have in that time can change your day and your life.

3. TAKE 5 SECONDS

Have you heard about the “5 Second Rule”?

It can take only 5 seconds to take back control of your time and your thoughts.

You might be thinking “how does the 5 second rule help my mind and thoughts?” Isn’t it just a saying that our parents used to tell all of us when we were kids as a joke about food that had been dropped on the floor? 

Maybe … but it’s also an extremely powerful rule that author and coach Mel Robbins discovered and she used to change her life. 

If you haven’t read Mel’s best-selling book yet then definitely check it out. It’s called “The 5 Second Rule”.

Mel’s book starts with this:

“Everyday Courage

Courage is the ability to do things that feel difficult, scary, or uncertain.

It isn’t reserved for just a chosen few.

Courage is a birthright. It’s inside all of us.

And it’s waiting for you to discover it.

One moment of courage can change your day.

One day can change your life.

And one life can change the world.

That’s the true power of courage; it reveals you.

The greatest version of you.

 Discover your courage, and you will be capable of accomplishing and experiencing anything you dream about.

Yes, even changing the world.”

You might not think that courage is something you need to call on each day to help you live your best life. Courage is normally something we associate with doing something scary or something that completely puts us out of our comfort zone. 

Many of us can take the easiest way, or the way that we are just used to doing things. That’s because it takes courage to do even the smallest (but most important) things in your business, such as:

  • Saying no to the wrong clients or projects
  • Putting in time to improve your business
  • Understanding your business overheads
  • Doing the PAC Process and getting paid for your time during pre-construction
  • Setting up systems and processes
  • Reading your contracts
  • Increasing your margins so your business makes money

Your brain wants to keep you comfortable, and doing the things you know how to do. It even wants to send you into autopilot. And that’s why it will talk you out of doing scary things. And it’s why our habits are so ingrained.

However, Mel Robbin’s 5 Second Rule is acting before this mode of your brain, and keeps you stuck. It’s about having the courage to do what you know is right and you need to do, and choosing to make the decision in the first 5 seconds, before you tell yourself it’s too hard, or it won’t work, and you talk yourself out of it. 

Our challenge to you is this: For just one day, with every decision you’re making, only give yourself 5 seconds to think about something and then act. Count to yourself: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and then GO. 

See how much a day of doing this, and breaking the habit of just doing what you’ve always done, starts to change your life.

For more information about Mel Robbin’s book, head here.

2. TAKE A MOMENT TO CONNECT

Some people are very good at connecting with others, very naturally, in all sorts of situations. And others find it hard. There’s also a very big difference in how well you perceive you are connecting with people. For example, you might think you’re the life of the party but everyone at the party thinks you’re a douchebag. 

With everyone being so busy these days, so many people aren’t connecting with anyone at all, and we definitely see it during conversations. The person being spoken to is answering the question or giving their input before the person talking has even finished what they were saying. 

If you’re so busy telling someone about you and what you do, you won’t have the benefit of understanding them better. And you can waste a lot of time and thinking by creating the wrong connections or misreading what is actually going on in your relationships and business.

The thing is, you can’t connect with someone until you’ve actually listened to what they are saying. And this means switching off from everything else that’s going on around you, and focussing on connecting with them.

There are many different ways you can connect with people when you’re with them (virtually or in person):

  • Listening to them before you speak
  • Understanding what they are saying
  • Watching their body language and how they are communicating with you
  • Making people feel comfortable
  • Giving someone a real hug

The power of connection can improve the way clients deal with you and help them decide if you are the builder for them.

Duayne’s experience is that he is a very shy person in most situations and finds it really hard talking to new people. However, he really comes out of his shell when you get him talking about building and the industry, as he is so passionate about it. 

Duayne has found a way to connect with people and show his passion for what he does by using social media. This connection is so powerful in attracting the clients that Duayne wants to work with, as they feel they have a connection with him before he has even met them.

Duayne has now taken this to the next level and is using his connection with people on social media to attract clients that choose him because he understands them. This means he is now building his clients’ homes, instead of just houses for people to live in. He is even in a position where he feels like all his clients are friends: So much so that instead of shaking clients’ hands, he is now quite often finding that his clients are hugging him.

Have a think about the way you connect with your clients. Are you listening to what they are saying? Or are you telling them what you think?

1. TAKE A MOMENT TO GET GROUNDED

Do you ever wonder why you feel so good after a day of being barefoot on the sand at the beach, or a weekend walking around your lawn? Letting your bare feet connect with the earth is incredibly good for your body, mind, and soul. 

It’s known as “Grounding” and it’s a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth. It may sound a bit woo woo, but there’s loads of evidence for why and how this works for us, and has a huge range of benefits. (For more information on this, check out this website).

There are many types of grounding:

>> Walking barefoot

Have you ever been outside on a warm summer day and felt the urge to run barefoot in the grass? One of the easiest ways to ground yourself to the earth is to walk barefoot. Whether this is on grass, sand, or even mud, allowing your skin to touch the natural ground can provide you with grounding energy.

>> Lying on the ground

You can increase your skin-to-earth contact by lying on the ground. You can do it in the grass by the park or on the sand at the beach.

>> Submerging in water

According to advocates for grounding, water may be used to ground in the same way the physical earth is used for grounding. They suggest simply wading in a clear lake or swimming in the ocean as a way to ground yourself.

It’s interesting, because all the things listed above are things that most people do on their holidays and weekends. AND they feel so much better after doing them! And yet, these are all things you can incorporate into your everyday life on a much more regular basis.

Besides feeling so much better after doing these types of things, research has shown that there’s also a lot of other benefits such as:

  • Defuse the cause of inflammation, and improve or eliminate the symptoms of many inflammation-related disorders 
  • Reduce or eliminate chronic pain
  • Improve sleep and promote a deeper sleep
  • Increase energy and vitality
  • Lower stress and promote calmness in the body by cooling down the nervous system and stress hormones
  • Relieve muscle tension and headaches
  • Reduce or eliminate jet lag
  • Accelerate recovery from intense athletic activity

(Source: https://www.barefoothealing.com.au/v/what-is-earthing/22)

Grounding is something that can be done on a regular basis. It’s very easy to do and can make you feel great in under 30 minutes. When you’re really stressed and feeling you’re going at a really fast pace, 30 minutes is not a lot of time to take out, and it will help lower your stress levels, feel increased energy and vitality, and enable you to take back control of your time and thoughts.

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that can make the biggest difference to your life. And when you combine a few of the simple things that we’ve discussed here, you won’t believe the improvement you can achieve.

They’re all free. They’re all available to you right now.

Go on, have a go.

So, here’s our 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 to identify your ideal project.

5. Have you asked your team what their goals are?

4. How can you help and facilitate your team’s goals?

3. What are your goals as a team?

2. Holding people accountable.

1. Celebrate the wins and create a good work environment.

Live Life Build’s 6P Methodology unlocks the 6 ways to elevate your building business:
PERSONAL | PROJECTS | PEOPLE | PARTNERSHIPS | PROCESSES | PROFESSIONAL

Want to learn how to be a better business owner? Learn the systems, marketing tools, mindset and business skills you need in our group program and mastermind, ELEVATE. Learn more here.

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