Warrior Diet Challenge

Warrior Diet Challenge

100 Days to Unleash a New You!

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I will try this over the next 100 days (Starting on Monday, May 31st) and see what I notice. If you’d like to attempt a lifestyle change based on Ori Hofmekler’s book, The Warrior Diet, I have put together an outline of how to go about it. If you’re just curious, you can follow me on Instagram and see what you see for future reference. I do highly recommend purchasing the latest edition of The Warrior Diet.

The Warrior Diet

This Diet is a type of intermittent fasting called controlled fasting that was discovered based on eating patterns of ancient warriors. The modern-day Warrior Diet may be ideal for a football coaching lifestyle because you eat minimal calories over 20 hours (undereating phase), followed by a four-hour feeding period (overeating phase).

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If you are in a position where you would like to lose a considerable amount of fat, Ori Hofmekeler has designed a 3-week program that kicks off with three one-week phases to jump-start your body’s capacity to maximize weight loss. Here’s a download of that program for you: The Warrior Diet Fat Loss Program. I have heard numerous testimonials from women who have struggled with losing fat that this program has been beneficial.

Starting the Warrior Diet

The Warrior Diet requires you to start each day with the “undereating” phase and transition to the “overeating” phase after a twenty-hour controlled fast. Ori states, “You should not feel hungry during a controlled fast as you are going through the 20-hour fasting window.” While fasting, you are allowed to eat certain foods to satisfy your hunger.

  • Live (raw) fruits and vegetables.
  • Freshly prepared fruit and vegetable juices.
  • Yogurt (plain), kefir (plain), milk protein shakes (no sugar).
  • Eggs (Poached or boiled).

Note: In the afternoon, you can eat a handful of raw almonds.

What To Drink

Staying hydrated is a vital component of the warrior diet. Increase your daily consumption of water from eight glasses up to ten glasses while you are conquering your controlled fasting. I’d recommend that you put a drop of Doterra lemon essential oil in your water for its cleansing benefit. It’s even nice to keep a mint plant around where you can incorporate that flavor into your water.

Natural stimulants like coffee are allowed, and you can add a trace of milk or milk-foam. Most teas are okay. Make sure that the coffee and tea are not made with sugar or sugar substitutes to avoid over-triggering an insulin response.

After 20-hour Controlled Fast…

Now that you’ve gone through the controlled fast, your body is now ready to consume large amounts of food without gaining fat. As Ori says, “This is the best time to eat as much as you need and enjoy this wonderful sense of freedom.”

The “overeating” phase gives you a four-hour window in the evening to eat whatever you want, but with a sequential approach to how you devour your feast. According to Ori, ancient warriors spent their days foraging and would feast at night.

Three Rules for Feasting

Rule #1: Always start with subtle-tasting foods and move to the more aggressive tastes.

Rule #2: Include as many tastes, textures, colors, and aromas as possible in your main meal.

Rule #3: Stop eating when you feel much more thirsty than hungry.

What To Eat (Overeating phase)

“The Warrior Diet is based on the principle of eating one large meal per day, preferably at night. During this meal, you can eat as much as you want from all food groups (protein, fat, and carbohydrates), as long as you follow the Warrior Diet rules of eating.” [Excerpt: The Warrior Diet]

Start with leafy green vegetables (such as romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, arugula, parsley, endives).
Continue with protein (such as fish, seafood, eggs, beans, cheese), cooked vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, squash, mushrooms, eggplant, beet greens, kale, collard greens), and fat (such as essential fatty acid oils, olive oil, almonds, avocado, butter).
Finish with carbohydrates (such as rice, potatoes, corn, yams, quinoa, barley) or finish with raw nuts or seeds (such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds).
Stop eating when you feel much more thirst than hungry. [Excerpt: The Warrior Diet]

So, What can’t I have on the Warrior Diet?

There aren’t any foods that are off-limits for the Warrior Diet, but there is a “kryptonite” to the warrior diet.

Here’s Your Kryptonite

  1. Sugary Processed Foods.
  2. Salty Processed Foods.
  3. Sugary Beverages.

The Warrior Workout

Ori states, “The goal of this training program is to enable you to reach your body’s potential and maintain it.” What he calls “body potential,” he defines as function, not fashion. For a more in-depth look into this training regimen, you can find this in Chapter 14 called The Warrior Workout: Controlled-Fatigue Training. Here’s a download of some of these exercises with a bonus of delicious recipes that you can eat on the Warrior Diet.

That’s it, I plan on starting this lifestyle next week and documenting what I notice on Instagram. I may even try some of the controlled-fatigue training. Follow me and see if you may want to give the Warrior Diet a try.


Comment Below

What do you think about the Warrior Diet?

If you decide to try it, please feel free to comment on what you notice below.

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Virtually Operating Your Football Program through a Pandemic

Virtually Operating Your Football Program through a Pandemic

How to adapt & thrive during this difficult time

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Social Distancing has changed the way we operate in running our football program. Most coaches are home working online, helping to run the household, homeschooling children, and also doing their best to make progress toward an impending football season.

When I heard about “flattening the curve” as the best way to get society back to normal, I struggled with the idea. I understood the concept set forth by our medical professionals, but not being around my coaching staff and players?

Once reality set in, we had to decide to move ahead or get left behind. Time was not going to stand still for anyone, and we realized that progress was critical regardless of our circumstances. 

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"You are only as good as your ability to create an effective contingency plan."

Pandemic Gridiron Contingency

Creating a contingency plan that takes advantage of the opportunity to operate virtually is the first step. The reality of this situation is that with Social Distancing, we had to keep in mind the following four points.

  1. Staff members had to work at home, and it might be for an extended period.

  2. Communication would be critical among ourselves and to our players.

  3. An “uncertainty” of when the season may or may not start.

  4. Readiness for what the NCAA would dictate to us and flexibility is critical.

With those issues in mind, we needed to address our ability to operate remotely with a proper toolkit, an organizational system and a flexible set of ideas/projects moving forward to be ready when the season began.

Let's take a deep dive into each of these areas...

The Toolkit

Our staff all has access to a computer and the internet while at home. From that point, we needed to take advantage of some free tools to use in the areas of visual communication, generating ideas, and project management.

Visual Communication

The ability to see each other, share our screen to show presentations, and video with members of our coaching staff and players is the minimum requirement. Google Hangouts and Zoom are the premier software solutions that we can use to aid us in conducting meetings. Each of these has its pluses and minuses, and here’s some to consider.  

Google meetings are free with a Gmail account. Google meetings can handle a large group and give you the ability to hear from others, but when people have their microphones on, there’s a tremendous amount of feedback. Showing video of plays from Hudl can be quite choppy, and the quality is less than optimum for extraordinary meetings.

Zoom has a free version, but there are limitations in the amount of time and people that can be on a particular meeting. You also have to download the application to run a Zoom meeting. I will say that the audio and video quality is significantly better in Zoom when I am watching video from my shared screen with someone else.

Each of these video solutions can save the video of the meeting so you can forward it to those, not in attendance or review, for your purpose. I suggest doing this; but, keep in mind that Zoom has the best audio-visual quality.

Generating Ideas

It is one thing to text a group of people with our phone or email message a group. It’s another thing altogether to be able to create ideas via channels that have been set up by the group so you can make purposeful progress in solving problems while communicating. Slack is just that, a free software solution that gives our staff the ability to communicate along specific channels. Slack is best used as a communication tool, not as a project management tool. There are many other tools out there that help to manage the numerous projects that are within a football program.

Slack should be set up with appropriate channels for the program. It’s relatively user-friendly, and I first learned of it from our professors on campus. Once the relevant channels are set up, you are free to start texting each other your ideas, and some members of your staff might have an excellent insight to navigate your program. Here’s an article by Doug Samuels that references the use of Slack.

Project Management

This area is critical in moving a program forward, and I have found that Nozbe is an outstanding solution that you can start using for free. We currently subscribe to Nozbe because of the ability to use unlimited projects as opposed to 5 projects with the free version. Either way, it’s easy to get started for free and see what you notice.

Nozbe is an incredible tool to adapt to how you or your team works best. Here are a few reasons I like this particular solution.

  1. Priority lists allow you to set specific tasks for the day.
  2. Projects can be designated to your staff with tasks assigned to a person.
  3. You can attach files or notes within each project and task.
  4. It’s easy to share projects with staff members or anyone with an email address.
  5. You can integrate it with Google Calendar.
  6. The Nozbe application works on your phone.

There’s so much more you can do with Nozbe, just check it out, and you’ll see how you can adapt it to your football program.

Our Organizational System

An organizational system is where the rubber meets the road.

Be organized as a head coach; it’s imperative that you are, or you will pay for it in the end. You must keep three items in focus while setting up the organizational system. Head coach organization, staff organization, and project delegation.

Head Coach Organization

I believe that the head coach organization starts with setting up an ideal week. The “ideal week” concept helps to establish what each day of the week will look like and the focus for each block of time. A head coach should initially set up his ideal week and then set up the staff schedule around his time so that everything flows properly.

Here’s a peek into my focus for each day during the off-season…

  • Monday & Friday: Internal and External Meetings.
  • Tuesday & Thursday: Projects and content creation.
  • Wednesday: No Meetings, just “Deep Work.”

Staff Organization

Once I block my time to get things done, then I set an appropriate time for what is happening in the program each day. I arrange meetings on our staff calendar each week.

 In doing so, I give our staff the following meetings to schedule around while creating their ideal week:

  1. Full Staff
  2. Offensive Staff
  3. Defensive Staff
  4. Head Coach Administration
  5. Academic
  6. Recruiting
  7. Player Development

Project Delegation

If you want to make fantastic progress in your program, you need to delegate projects with a purpose to your best people. I’ve always believed a staff member’s value is in proportion to the number and quality of the projects they can handle as assigned by the head coach. Projects are football-specific as well as administrative, depending on what’s most important in your program at that time. I would define a project as something that requires at least 3-5 tasks to complete, and it must have a deadline attached to it.

A well set up project should have the following parameters:

  1. The expectation of the final product with someone in charge.
  2. Deadline set.
  3. After Action Review.

Ideas Moving Forward

Capturing ideas is vital to driving a program forward, but making sure they are the right ideas for the stage your team is in and pushing that idea forward is what separates the good from the great.

"I believe that the best coaches make ideas happen; they manifest them into existence."

Virtual meetings with players

Remember, we coach student-athletes, so make sure you conduct regular academic-oriented sessions to make sure they are making progress in their studies. We also want to establish football-related sessions based on what rules we are following. High school and various levels of collegiate football have different rules – check yours before proceeding.

Leadership Training

It can be as simple as a good read or as complex as an interactive seminar. I know lots of programs enjoy having their players read, Pound The Stone, and that book has some outstanding lessons for young men. It’s great to revisit the teachings of a summer read in a training camp. You can also give your players some excellent podcasts that can help them to develop their leadership skills. One of my assistant coaches likes to pass on a video on motivation to his position group and then discuss it via Google meeting.

Exercises without weights

If our players don’t have access to weight rooms or equipment, I suggest functional training exercises. Functional training can take you to a different level physically by developing a balance and symmetry in a player’s body that will aid in better performance as well as injury prevention. Take a look at some Special Forces training regimen and see if that could apply to your players.


We utilize e-courses to help our players learn how to play their position. This teaching method can also show them schemes on each side of the ball while improving their football intelligence. Here’s how we use e-courses with our team.

  • We develop player manuals with videos of drills to improve the technique of each position.
  • We create virtual playbooks with lectures of installation and tests to check the understanding of our players. I prefer to develop the e-course as an adjunct to our training camp installation.

VAR coaching

If you are fortunate enough to have a VAR system, and you shot a 360-degree camera angle of your practices last fall, then you are in business. We like to record the session of a player or coach going through a practice session virtually and then voiceover and add some visual teaching cues so our players can watch the video of that session.

Comment Below

What are you doing to move your football program forward during this pandemic? Are there some tools you have discovered? What are you learning that will help you to coach better in the future?

Leave a reply and let me know!

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Power Up Your Workday

Power Up Your Workday

How to get the most out of your day by having a Solid start-up Routine

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Tim Ferriss’ book, Tribe of Mentors, got me to thinking about how successful people get their day going with morning rituals. In his book, he interviews all types of successful people and asks each of them questions regarding their life. One of these questions is, How do you start your morning?

A few years ago I created a morning ritual for myself that has increased my productivity dramatically. When I make it a habit to follow-through on my morning ritual, the results at the end of the day are radically different than if I do not; regardless if it’s a workday or I’m on vacation.

As powerful as a morning ritual can be; another key to a productive day lies in what I call, my workday start-up routine. I believe the power of a consistent start to my workday handles so many issues that would eventually come back and haunt me had I not utilized this automation process.

Why is self-automation the key to success?

Like all rituals I utilize in my day, the Workday Start-up is an excellent way to take advantage of self-automation. Self-automation involves implementing routines, rituals, and habits to make it easier and more efficient to follow through on top priorities.

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There are 3 benefits of my Workday Start-up

First, it frees up my creativity by applying it to handling a specific problem. In other words, I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every workday, I just get it done.

Second, this routine helps to speed up my work. By always knowing what comes next I don’t have to spend time thinking about it. 1, 2, 3 all flow in order until I complete my Start-up.

Third, a proper routine cleans up my mistakes before they happen. When structured properly, I can anticipate what needs to be done and at least minimize any errors that I may make before my first block of in-depth work.

Here’s my Workday Start-up routine….

Inbox Zero

What’s an inbox? It’s anywhere that I receive information that needs to be processed. Digitally, my inbox locations are each of my e-mail addresses (I have 4 of these to date.), as well as my task manager, Nozbe. I also have a physical inbox where I place my mail and other documents that come my way.

The key to each of these inboxes is to take them down to zero every morning and not look at them again until the next ritual, my Workday shutdown. What in the world does “Inbox to zero” really mean?

For years David Allen has said the master key for managing email is the hardest habit for many to change – working from a regularly empty inbox. It takes less psychic effort to operate from a zero base than to leave anything sitting in the inbox. That doesn’t mean that the inbox email is kept to zero – just that it gets there on some regular basis. (At least once per week.) – Kelly Forrister

To see a system of how to get your inbox to zero, CLICK HERE FOR THE DOWNLOAD

Regarding my physical inbox, I use a Three-Tiered System. I keep a stacked set of drawers in my office, labeled “IN,” “Pending” and “Out.”

  1. IN, contains those items still to be looked at.
  2. Pending, includes those items which have been viewed at but cannot be dealt with immediately.
  3. Out, consists of those items which have been dealt with and are now ready for distribution to other people, or to file by scanning them into Evernote with an appropriate tag.

Review Today’s Calendar

Once I’ve taken my inbox to zero, then I review the upcoming day’s calendar to see what meetings and appointments are required of my time and what’s left in the day where I can handle top priorities.

Review My Goals

Next, I always review my annual goals. I have these written in my physical planner as well as on my Evernote program where I create a shortcut to review my goals quickly.

Finalize Today’s Big 3

I wrap up my Workday Start-up by deciding today’s Big 3 tasks. I just ask myself, “What’re the 3 most important things I can do to take steps forward in achieving my goals adequately. It’s vital that I get clear on the three tasks that’ll move me toward my goals and make today a win, no matter what else happens.

Take a deeper dive into the Workday Start-up process…

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How do you start your workday? I’d like to know if you have set up an automated plan for success that can let you focus on what’s most important. If so, please feel free to comment below.

Leave a reply and let me know!

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The Parthenon Approach

The Parthenon Approach

Your Guide to Building a Football Program

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A traveler said to Socrates, “Which way to the Parthenon?” Socrates answered, “Just make sure every step you take is in the direction of the Acropolis.”

The Manhattan Project

As a head coach, it’s vital to have a plan and to work toward your ultimate destination. When I was a young assistant coach at Kansas State University, I was fortunate to sit in staff meetings with Bill Snyder as he created the greatest turnaround in the history of college football. Coach Snyder had a vision for his program, and undeniably he was able to get that vision across to each member of his team.

It worked like this…

He would carry a variety of steno pads into each meeting. These notebooks were filled with actions that needed to be taken by members of the staff. Next to each task, he would place a coach’s initials. As he would cover an item, he would pass it off and delegate that action to that particular person. I recall guys on the staff looking at those notes to see if their initials were next on the list.

It seemed that everything was task-oriented and handed down from Coach Snyder.

At the next meeting, he would review each item from the previous meeting and get a status report on each task as he moved the program forward. This became a never-ending massive “to-do” list. As the years went by,  I started to notice a method to Coach Snyder’s madness. Each of those steno pads was broken up into an area of focus. And that gave me an idea of how I’d build my first college football program at Emporia State University a few years later.

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The Parthenon Approach

The Parthenon approach is the underlying philosophy I came up with to help me operate a massive operation like a college football program. This paradigm was the guidepost that I referred to on a regular basis to systematically regenerate our program to national prominence. I hear so often that running a football program is all about culture, goals, and discipline. However, I felt that a systematic approach that I could refer to would be valuable when embarking on a monumental task. I used this approach when I created American Football Monthly and in every football program & business venture that I have had the privilege to lead.

The Parthenon approach is divided into key structural areas of the foundation, the pillars, and the apex. Just like the famous building in Athens, Greece and a replica of one which exists in Nashville, Tennessee, this visual picture can guide you toward building your own Parthenon. Let’s take a look at each of these three vital structural areas and how they relate to your football program.

The Foundation

Just as in the actual Parthenon, you want your program’s foundation to be built on solid ground. It all starts with the head coach and the culture he establishes each day on the job. The more robust football programs are developed with high-integrity leaders that take extreme ownership in the program.

As Woody Hayes once said, “You Win with People.”

It’s imperative that you surround yourself with positive, optimistic  people who contribute to your “esprit de corps.” The more you associate and build relationships based on this; the sooner you will be able to establish a juggernaut of a football program. One thing I learned early in my coaching career is that you are better off having fewer people in your program that are all on the same page than hundreds who are scattered in their ideology. As a head coach, it’s your responsibility to set the culture and make sure to take that extreme ownership as you lead by example. If you aren’t doing it, don’t expect others to come through for you. The football program will show up the way the leader shows up.

Coach Snyder has always been notorious for working diligently on his program as well as in his program while doing his best to provide a family atmosphere among the players and staff.

The Pillars

As this solid foundation is being built, you are creating each pillar of your program as areas of focus. Each component must be well defined and interact synergistically with each department of the program – no pillar should stand alone. In my particular football program, I create 21 pillars to focus on in the entirety of the program. As the head coach, it’s imperative to leave nothing to chance; each area of focus should have a short-term as well as a long-term plan. Over time, a laser-like focus on each of these areas of emphasis gives you the flexibility to brand your program.

Here’s an example of some pillars I’ve created in my program:

  1. Marketing
  2. Public Relations
  3. Player Acquisition
  4. Player Development
  5. Athletic Performance
  6. Fundraising
  7. Staff Development
  8. Offense
  9. Defense
  10. Special Teams

The Apex

In establishing each of your pillars, know that they will strengthen over time and work well together if and only if your Apex is appropriately designed to bring them together toward your ultimate mission. The creation of the Apex is based on the time-honored philosophy of Kaizen. Kaizen is the systematic approach utilized by W. Edwards Deming to create a system of constant and never-ending improvement. The key to your success is that you seek quantifiable and measurable performance results to ensure the attainment of long-term goals in making this positive transformation. A statistical approach is paramount to the success of your program on and off the field.

Putting it all together

An outstanding football coach is consciously preoccupied with the questions – what is the Parthenon of my life or what is the ultimate goal of my life as it relates to our football program? How will the decisions I make and the actions I take help or hinder me from getting my Parthenon built? And how can I achieve more alignment in my life?

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I am curious as to how you can use the Parthenon Approach in your football program and in your life? I welcome your comments below.

Leave a reply and let me know!

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Optimizing Your Office Space

Optimizing Your Office Space

Set yourself up for high productivity

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As the season approaches, you’ll want to have an optimal environment to get work done in a high-quality fashion. Over the years I have worked in cubicles, open work environments, and individual offices. If you are fortunate to have your own office, I would like to share with you a process that I have gone through to create an optimal workspace. Either way, regardless of how you are set up, you can take any of these ideas and make them your own. Some of this information comes from my e-course, Propel Yourself Blueprint.

Optimizing Your Office Space: The Problem

What I am about to share with you is a bit “out of the box”. I am not an interior designer by any means – I had to get some professional help from my daughter, Meredith, who actually is an interior designer in her own right.

She walked into my office & work has never been the same…

So, one day Meredith came into my office as she was passing through town on her way to New York City. She looked at my office set-up and all of a sudden I was in the midst of the ‘Spanish Inquisition’.  Question after question after question kept coming my way…

A well-designed football office leads to outstanding results!

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Here’s what my office looked like…

Meredith asked me,

  • What are the criteria for a football coach’s office?
  • What type of creative work space do you need to draw plays & study opponents?
  • Do you have guests/players in your office, if so, how many?
  • How would you like to feel on a day-to-day basis when you enter and work in your office?
  • What keywords describe your style?

The questioning went on and on…

And, I started asking myself the following questions…

“I had so much “stuff” that I’d accumulated as a football coach. Videos, books, playbooks, files and folders. Is this all necessary? Does it all even fit into my office? How can I access the information quickly when I need it?”

Next, I was wondering how I could take a space of 13 by 10 feet and create the environment she had convinced me to develop. An environment where I could watch video with my players and assistant coaches, study material on my own and create teaching tools for our players? All the while having a high energy level to handle all the issues that come up during the season…

Optimizing Your Office Space: Planning the Layout

As we had our conversation, she was listening to me then all of a sudden…

She started a sketch on my whiteboard…

 Wow! A totally different set up than I could have imagined.

Optimizing Your Office Space: What I Learned

Meredith explained to me that I had to have three components in place to create a proper work environment. These areas were technology, structure and sensory. Here’s what she meant by that…

Technology. As I look at what I want to achieve, exactly what is needed from a standpoint of hardware, software, and peripherals.

Structure. These items would be everything from my desk, chair, bookshelves, seating and other items that would fit into my office space. The structure also deals with how everything is organized and the style in which it is put together.

Sensory. When technology and structure are put together an environment that stimulates your senses is what takes your office to the next level. These would be issues that affect your five senses… Hearing, vision, touch, smell and taste.

Once, I learned all this, here’s what we put in my office organized by these areas of focus:


  1. Desktop computer with a Big Screen. (PC or Mac)
  2. Logitech HD Webcam.
  3. Blue Microphone.
  4. HP LaserJet Printer.
  5. 3TB External Hard Drive.
  6. Sharp 50″ Flat screen TV.
  7. Apple TV.
  8. iPad.
  9. Wireless Bluetooth Speaker. (For Conference Calls)
  10. Fujitsu Scanner.
  11. HUDL Remote.
  12. Microsoft Office.
  13. Evernote for note taking & saving digital documents.
  14. Dropbox for document and file storage.
  15. Nozbe for task management.


  1. IKEA Adjustable Stand-up Desk.
  2. Bookcase & Storage Center.
  3. 2 File Cabinets.
  4. Reading Chair.
  5. Guest Couch.
  6. Magnetic Whiteboard.


  1. Lamp. (If no windows; I’d use a Phillips goLite Blu)
  2. Bose Speaker System.
  3. High-oxygen Office plants. (Recommend Peace Lily)
  4. Coffee Tea maker.
  5. Refrigerator.
  6. Certified Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils & Diffuser.

Now, let’s take a look at how I designed my office in the following…

Video Tour

(Source: Propel Yourself Blueprint)

Optimizing Your Office Space: Mission Accomplished

Since changing my work environment, I have noticed a generally more positive feel to my room. Players enjoy stopping by to get caught up and talk as they sit on my couch. I can watch video with 4 or 5 people comfortably in this space. My energy levels (due to the sensory aspects I’ve added) really help me to get higher quality work done in less time while enjoying the process. In fact, diffusing essential oils have made me considerably more productive. Wild Orange essential oil is just one of many oils I regularly diffuse in my office to help me focus better. I’ll be writing about using essential oils for greater productivity soon, in another blog post.

Enjoy the season!

Comment Below

How is your office set up? What works for you in optimizing your work space?

Leave a reply and let me know!

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