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Survive: Learn the Productivity Cycle

Anything that you can do in tough times to enhance your productivity is to the good

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If you think the last 14 months have been tough, wait ’til Joe Biden’s civilization-destroying, $6.0 trillion, socialist spending binge kicks in, given that Congress is sufficiently moronic enough to pass it.

Taxes will have to rise markedly. The U.S dollar will be worth much less. The return of crippling inflation is likely. More companies will elect to operate elsewhere and jobs are bound to decrease. U.S. productivity will drop. The we want more ‘free stuff’ chorus will only become more demanding, and each year expect more.

Productivity Matters

On a personal basis, anything that you can do to enhance your productivity is to the good. The person who always knows best about what will keep you most productive is you. As often as you can, you want to work with your internal rhythm so that you get the best of yourself.

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For example, if you’ve been seated at your desk for twenty minutes or so, it’s best to get up and stretch, even if for a few seconds. Your veins need this and so does your heart.

Physiologically speaking, your body gives you the cues you need at precisely the right moment. It’s actually counter-productive to ignore bodily messages that say it’s time to stand up, to stretch, to take a drink, or what have you.

Daily Performance Ability

While we each have what is called a “normal” temperature, rarely does your body temperature maintain a steady 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Body temperature fluctuates over the course of a day in a relatively stable pattern controlled by the brain. Why does this matter?

Most aspects of your body’s performance ability are highest when your temperature is highest. This is true for physical coordination, memory, and alertness – all of which decrease as temperature decreases.

John Poppy, a health writer whose articles have appeared in Esquire, Men’s Health and Look Magazine, offers these tips for undertaking work-related activities, given your body’s natural capacities at different points in the day:

  • 10 a.m. Mental skills begin to rise. From now to noon is the best time to attack a challenging project or to make that pitch for a raise.
  • Noon. Brain power starts to dip. Contrary to popular belief, this “post-lunch dip”  can’t be entirely blamed on your midday meal. Scientists are not sure what prompts it. The dip occurs even though temperature is still curving upward.
  • 3 p.m. Alertness returns. Whatever the reason for the noon dip, it loosens its grip and you get your mental acuity and efficiency back.
  • 4 to 5 p.m. Best time for exercise. Muscle tone is at its peak at this time of the day. So good, in fact, that for many people, late afternoon is fitness time.
  • 8 p.m. Last call for alcohol…. if you want to sleep soundly during the night.

Tackling the Day’s Toughest Task

Has this ever happened to you? You approach the end of your workday and realize that you didn’t get to the most difficult tasks. If you’re like most people, you’re likely to accomplish more of what’s on your daily task list if you start with the hardest tasks. Moving on to the easy tasks then seems like a downhill bike ride.

Tackling tough tasks in the morning generally enhances your confidence level for the whole day. By increasing productivity at the beginning of your day, you often are motivated to perform better and accomplish more throughout the rest of your afternoon and evening.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Business

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci

Throughout their lives, great minds ask confounding questions with child-like intensity

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Author Michael J. Gelb wrote a wonderful book titled How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day, which contains many insights.

“Leonardo da Vinci lived to age 67 and during his life pioneered the sciences of botany, anatomy, and geology. He drew up plans for a flying machine, parachute, and helicopter, and he invented the telescoping ladder that’s still used by firefighters today. He also painted The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.” Here is what Gelb said about da Vinci and the topic of creativity:

[ ] Ask Questions. Throughout their lives, great minds ask confounding questions with child-like intensity. For instance, “How do birds fly?” “What makes the sky blue?” The answers can lead to discovery.

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[ ] Carry a notebook at all times so you won’t forget your brilliant ideas. By the way, da Vinci’s wrote many of his notes backward. Some people think it was because he was protecting his ideas from being stolen.

[ ] Challenge your long-standing opinions. You might have formed many of your views during or immediately after important childhood events. Ask yourself whether those conclusions still make sense.

[ ] Use your eyes and ears. Focus on the various parts of an object or scene, not just on the whole. This can help expand your perception. Instead of simply looking at a mountain, notice the rock formations and trees.

[ ] Try to write with your non-dominant hand. Taxing the opposite side of your brain can help you to think in a different way. And some people will think you went to medical school!

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Business

BBQs Cook Fish, Too – Beware the Weber, Traeger IPOs

BBQ company insiders are trying to put all you fish directly onto hot coals via their IPOs.

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BBQ Fail

As we all know, Covid-19 policies have created an interesting array of winners and losers. Restaurants, travel and mall-based retail? Wah, wah. Meanwhile, any company remotely tied to housing, remodeling or recreation has been on absolute fire.

So what if your traditionally slow-growth, low-margin business suddenly had its best year ever by a wide margin? You’d probably think very seriously about trying to sell it.

That is exactly what is happening with the spate of BBQ-related IPOs that are about to pour onto this market.

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Are the upcoming initial public offerings of Traeger Pellet Grills and Weber good ideas for your investment portfolio? Be very careful.

First, it’s highly likely they’ve taken the route of public markets because they have nowhere else to go. Truly, who is Traeger’s logical acquirer? In a bygone era, Sears might have represented a possible exit but such buyers no longer exist. Maybe one of the few large competitors in this highly-fragmented industry like Weber? Whoops – they’re going public, too!

Focusing on Weber, what a story they seem to have on their hands, being able to claim 6-month revenue growth rates of over 60%! Wow!

Problem is, IBIS says annual growth of the bbq industry over the last 5 years averaged 4.7%, which means Weber caught lightning in a bottle thanks to this pandemic and they’re trying to cash in. Same with Traeger.

Unfair assessment, you say? Then why are roughly 2/3 of Traeger’s IPO shares being sold by insiders? That’s right, only 1/3 of this offering is to raise working capital for the company. The rest is insiders cashing out.

Hey, I’ll be the first to admit that Traeger grills are pretty cool. And these are familiar names so they may catch a bid based on that familiarity for a while, particularly if this housing market keeps steaming ahead. But by no means are these 10-year investments. If you just can’t help yourself and absolutely have to play with these shares, think more in terms of 10 weeks. Or 10 days.

Truly, how much longer can the explosive growth in our world of economic distortions last? Regardless, is there any way companies like this are going to keep posting 50%+ growth numbers? Pfffffffff.

Heck, as recently as 2019, Weber’s y-o-y revenues declined by 3%. That’s the nature of this industry – a little growth here, a little step back there… slow, stodgy, boring.

Even in Weber’s bounce back year of 2020, when revenues rebounded 15% compared to the prior full year? They made a paltry $88 million on $1.5 billion in revenues. Those are grocery store margins.

Yet despite this industry’s historically slow growth and non-existent margins, Weber’s market cap at IPO next week will be roughly $5 billion, meaning the shares will trade with a P/E of close to 60 like they’re some high-flying tech unicorn! Truly amazing stuff, but par for the course in today’s everything bubble.

As an aside, by the way, don’t even think about looking elsewhere in this sector, like to VELO and its recent announcement that the SPAC is taking BBQ Guys public. Does anyone recall what happened to BBQ retailers in the last economic downturn? If the phrase, “buh-bye,” doesn’t come to mind, you simply weren’t paying attention.

Make no mistake, all these BBQ industry IPOs are ‘greater fool’ investments at their finest. Sorry, but you’re the dumb money the insiders and their private equity backers are asking to buy their shares after one-time growth surges that probably surpassed even their wildest imaginations.

There’s an old saying in poker: if you look around the table and can’t figure out who the fish is, you’re the fish.

In this case, the BBQ company insiders are trying to put all you fish directly on their hot coals.

No, thanks. I’ll have a salad this time instead.

 

P.S. Yes, this is a new pen name but you probably know me. I’ve a new Twitter profile, too… please consider giving me a follow their and we’ll get this train rolling.

Photo by Martin Boose from FreeImages

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