an Integral Enneagram of Consciousness; a model of consciousness, including
all aspects, for designing practical
paths of personal development and evolution.
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in the background while you file, exercise, ride to work, etc.
scheduled in November for companies in
the SF Bay Area (both full and half day.) These are internal
workshops, so not open to the public. Depending upon time availability
and demand, we may attempt to schedule a public workshop in December. If
your company would like to discuss a workshop or a talk, please visit
menu page and/or
contact me for details.
Tortoise, the Hare, and the 3 Bears
Let’s lay out an action plan for increased
productivity and less stress; more substantial, quality work done in
less time. We try lots of strategies to this end; some more effective
than others. One of the least
effective and most used is Multitasking. My book, “Kind
Ambition” devoted a whole chapter
to this. Despite the studies proving the ineffectiveness of
multitasking, the emotional “sense” of busyness is a kind of soothing
drug that lulls us into believing we’re getting more done. We’re not.
Although it might seem as though we’re doing several things
simultaneously, the brain actually flips back and forth through each
thing, and requires time to gear up and gear down between each task.
That gearing up and gearing down may happen quickly, but all those
shifts cumulatively add up to a significant amount of time wasted by the
end of the day.
To visualize this, look at your open hand. Each finger tip is a task.
Although you think you’re addressing five things simultaneously, in fact
your brain runs up the side of a finger to the task, touches it, then
runs down that finger and up the next to that task, and so on. If you
add up the time between fingers, that’s what we waste at the end of the
day. To make matters worse, multitasking stimulates a stress response in
our brain, which exhausts us, and increases our error rate. Lose, lose,
Another common unsuccessful strategy is what I call “marathoning.” This
is where we summon our self discipline and sacrifice, and just keep
slamming away at something, hoping to finish it before moving on.
Experience show us that we rarely finish in that block of time, we leave
other things unfinished, we get burnt out, our effectiveness wanes, and
we make mistakes.
Do You Want to Do It the Hard Way or the Easy Way?
What these strategies have in common is they both rely on our willpower,
self-discipline, and lots of energy. Pushing ourselves is always a
temporary tactic. We can only do it so long before we get exhausted or
bored. Our bodies just aren’t designed for prolonged stress. It eats us
alive on a physical level, and disables our ability to think our way out
of the stressful state.
Even when we’re partially successful in pushing ourselves like this,
we’re still forcing our physiology into a fight or flight state. This is
counter to what we’re trying to achieve. We want to think more clearly
and effectively, so we can solve problems better and more quickly. When
we’re pushing ourselves past our limits, stress literally reduces our
IQ, so it takes longer to solve problems, and we make more mistakes.
It becomes a vicious cycle that can so absorb our attention, we don’t
realize our own role. Our bodies adapt to what’s demanded of them. In a
real fight or flight situation, we don’t really need to think, so much
as react, primarily with our limbs. Stress triggers increased heart
rate, glucose release, and blood flow to the skeletal muscles. This is
perfect for flight or fight, but terrible for problem solving and
What we need is a strategy that uses our natural strengths so we don’t
have to push ourselves into overly strenuous states. The Tortoise and
the Hare’s simplified moral of “slow and steady wins the race” is a
powerful strategy. “Slow” is a little misleading, and “steady” is a
little ambiguous, so to update, I’m going to re-word it as “methodical
and consistent wins the race.”
Now for the Three Bears. Goldilocks keeps having the experience of
something being too far in one direction, too far in the other, and the
third choice being just right. We can look at multitasking as being too
superficial and disengaged. Marathoning would be going too deep and
overly engaged in one task. We want that third alternative that’s just
Enter what I call “nibbling and grazing.” We have a certain amount of
time where we can thoroughly concentrate and do our best work, before we
start to lose effectiveness. This is like a power band for an engine’s
r.p.m. Revving too low (as in multitasking) doesn’t give us enough
power, and pushing too high (marathoning) gives us diminishing returns.
Generally the power band for a person is around 60-90 minutes. Under
that time and we don’t really get rolling, and over it, we lose
effectiveness and concentration. So the plan of action that’s “just
right,” will be to plan your day in these chunks of time, building in
some rest, hydration, and nutrition, because you’re human. Figure out
what things you need to do every day, and what the longer term
activities are. Break the longer term activities into these 60-90
minute chunks, and project how many chunks you’ll need to meet
Even alternating between two activities will net you far better, faster
results with less stress. If you ride a bicycle (or remember riding)
there’s a power stroke each time you pedal. Just as one foot comes up,
which is like the last minutes of one activity, the other foot takes
over pushing down, which is like the beginning of the new activity.
This strategy will keep you consistently at your most efficient level of
productivity. You’ll use far less energy, leaving you feeling great at
the end of the day. You’ll make far fewer mistakes, saving time and
energy. And, you won’t be stressed out, which has hundreds of benefits
reaching every part of your life.
Want to learn more about how to become the best you possible?
Come visit the
or better yet,
contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.
- Ian J. Blei
Special Offer! -
November's big holiday is
all about Gratitude. Gratitude is a state of mind, an action, and
something to be given. It changes our neurochemistry and the
neurochemistry of those we offer it to.
This month I'm giving away another 3 complimentary coaching sessions to
the first 3 people (who haven't already worked with me) who email me
this month's not particularly secret word: "Gratitude"
Just put that in the Subject Line of your email, along with your contact
info so we can schedule.
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Welcome to the Integram, where consciousness meets
Institute for Integral Enneagram
Without Losing Your Soul
about you having
the tools to slide over to the
driver’s seat of your
Circumstances will always be
changing, seemingly thwarting
our plans, but we don’t have to be
thrown around by them. You can
charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.
is written for you,
as a practical guide you can
right now. It is a collection of
insights and actions designed to help
you move forward and get more out
of your life at home and at work.
The chapters hold to a formula of
first giving you a new way to look at
things, then offering you tangible
Action Steps to try them out, and
finally some things to notice when you do.
Kind words for
"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large
organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will
find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that
will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can
be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is
enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."
-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media
“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to
growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics
solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian
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-Romanus Wolter -
Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
Success Coach Columnist: Entrepreneur Magazine
Radio Host: Syndicated Kick Start Guy Segment
We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The
good news is: they can be overcome. The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."
-Margaret Heffernan – Author: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's
Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters
Syndicated Columnist: Fast
scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to
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President of SF Coaches
Star of Unapix film,
“Dance Me Outside”
Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward
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Partner/Channel Marketing Manager - Skype