Sklar Technology Partners - August 2019


7462 Old Hickory Drive, Mechanicsville, VA 23111 • • 804-730-2628

The 1%Approach: Small Steps to Massive Gains

make changes, they often start with improving their processes. The problem is that, even if they come up with a revolutionary new plan for onboarding clients, nine times out of 10, that process gets put in a folder somewhere and forgotten about. I’ve documented a lot of processes, and what I’ve found is that most are worthless unless someone pulls them out and uses them! To make a 1% improvement in your business, start by putting all your processes in the software Process Street. This program takes processes and turns them into easy-to-follow checklists. Next time you have to onboard a client, the checklist is right there. And with everything laid out and easy to see, you can improve upon the process as needed.We’ve started using Process Street at the office, and, let me tell you, it’s the kind of marginal gain that really grows with time. Biohack Your Life It’s not just businesses or professional athletes that can be transformed with the 1%Approach. Your health can really benefit from even a 1% positive change. Take, for example, how Brailsford made sure his cyclists were sleeping better with new pillows. Getting better sleep can make a huge improvement on your life. Look into getting a better pillow, using a melatonin spray to help you fall asleep faster, or turning down the temperature in your room to stay asleep at night. But don’t do them all at once! Remember, these 1% changes are key here. Use Just 1% (More) of Your Brain Another area of your health that can lead to big benefits is your brain’s “processing power.”

Did you know it took 109 years for a British cyclist to win the Tour de France? But since 2012, a Brit has won six out of the last seven races. This mind-blowing change was thanks to Sir Dave Brailsford, a British cycling coach, who employed the “aggregation of marginal gains,” or what I like to call the 1%Approach. A Little Goes a Long Way The idea behind the 1%Approach is exactly what it sounds like. Don’t focus on massive improvement; instead, find small ways you can improve each day. Brailsford looked for opportunities to improve a little in every area, including training, nutrition, and bike design. He even found meaningful improvements in often overlooked areas, like better hand-washing techniques to avoid illness, or giving cyclists more comfortable pillows to improve their sleep. These changes made little improvements, and all those little improvements added up. In addition to helping British cycling win the Tour de France, Brailsford’s 1%Approach also helped the team win big at the Olympics. The British cycling team took home eight gold medals during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, another eight in London, and six more in Rio in 2016. Prior to this, the team had never claimed more than two gold medals at a single game. Make That 1% Count I really like this concept and have used it in my life, in business, and in my own physical fitness. There are a lot of small changes companies can make to see big improvements in the long run. Take processes, for example.When businesses want to

I’ve tried a bunch of stuff to try to help my brain, like mushroom powder and ghee butter. Nothing worked, but I kept looking for that 1% improvement. Eventually, I found Onnit’s Total Human supplements that include Alpha Brain. These are dietary supplements that improve mental and physical performance. I started taking them a while back and, at first, couldn’t tell the difference. Then I ran out a couple of days before my next order arrived. For two days I felt totally brain dead. It was like my brain wasn’t running at full speed anymore.When I started taking them again, I felt totally better. I’m not saying Alpha Brain will work for everyone, but taking these supplements is a 1% change in my life that really makes a difference. I just had to put in the time before it showed. The reason the 1%Approach is so effective is because it prioritizes patience and discipline over instant gratification. This method forces us to stop looking for that silver bullet and instead commit to the hard work that will actually make a difference over time. Or as Brailsford said, “Forget about perfection; focus on progression, and compound the improvement.”

–Randy Sklar


Security Breach!

5 Strategies to Protect Your Building

Hack Your Productivity Cut Out Needless Notifications

According to the FBI, a burglary occurs every 20 seconds.We tend to focus on protecting our homes from invasion, but in 2016, over 460,000 nonresidential buildings were burglarized. And after one successful break-in, your building is more likely to be targeted again. Here are a few crucial strategies to improve the security of your building.

Smile for the camera.

Let’s start with the basics: If you don’t already have CCTV surveillance, install a system right away. Position these cameras in common areas with good lighting, and make sure they’re visible. The sight of security cameras may deter criminals from making your building a target. Some property managers try to cut corners by using fake cameras to scare off criminals, but this can backfire in the event of a break-in. Use real cameras and service them regularly so you can review the tapes whenever you need to.

The buzz of a text message, the ding of a Facebook notification, the pop-ups letting us know we have mail — these push notifications have become part of office life. Whether you’re a CEO trying to remain plugged in to every aspect of your business, or an employee trying to tackle three different projects at once, these bells and whistles may seem like useful tools. But the facts are clear: Notifications are costing you time and money. The reason many of us tolerate these digital interruptions is because of the myth of multitasking. “Why not jump over and answer a few emails while finishing this project?” we ask ourselves. “It will save time.” But the truth is our brains simply aren’t wired to shift tasks so rapidly. Daniel J. Levitin, professor of behavioral neuroscience at McGill University, has found that attempting to multitask causes stress, mental fog, and difficulty focusing. Researchers at UC Irvine found that there is a tangible cost to this mental drain, and he estimates that it takes us 23 minutes to get back to the task at hand. Think about how many notifications you receive in a day. All that stress and lost time can add up. In fact, Psychology Today reports multitaskers can lose up to 40% of their productivity, meaning you’re working harder and accomplishing less. So, what can you do to stay on task? Turn off notifications. As hard as it sounds, this is the best possible method to protect your productivity. Trying to simply ignore the tantalizing ding of a social media update or a rapidly filling inbox is a recipe for failure. Using settings like Airplane Mode, or notification-filtering apps like Freedom, you remove the temptation to stray off task. You don’t have to keep yourself entirely in the dark — scheduling regular breaks to check notifications and respond to emails will keep you connected while preserving a healthy work rhythm. Managers can play a big part in helping their team fight task-switching as well. Setting expectations for how long responding to emails and other communications should take, as well as providing windows of uninterrupted work time will boost productivity across the board. You’ll find that team members get more done with less stress, and that’s something everyone can be happy about.

Don’t neglect your landscaping.

Never let overgrowth overtake your property. Criminals view unkempt trees, bushes, and grass as a sign that you’ve been neglecting your property. This implies you may be neglecting other areas, too — your security system, for example.

Let there be light.

Unless you have Batman patrolling your city streets at night, nighttime is when criminals are most likely to strike. Install motion detector floodlights in prime areas around your building, including entrances, exits, gates, garages, in your landscaping, and near ground-level windows. A sudden burst of light can scare off would-be intruders and potentially alert anyone nearby of trouble.

Invest in parking security.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 11% of property crimes and more than 7% of violent attacks occur in parking facilities. If your building has a parking facility, make sure this area has ample security.

Determine who’s in charge.

When reviewing building security, it’s important to determine who is responsible for keeping security up to date. Should the building owner or property manager maintain security, or does it fall to the tenants? Answer this question and make sure the person responsible is following all agreed-upon security protocols. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for security. Depending on the nature of a business or building, you will have specific security needs. You should periodically assess potential risks, make sure your building’s needs are met, and make repairs as needed.

3 Tricks to Reinvent Your Morning Routine A Better Morning

Drinking this brew each morning gives your body a boost by starting the day with extra hydration, vitamin C, and electrolytes. Experts claim this morning cocktail helps increase energy, removes toxins, and balances blood sugar levels. Box Breathing Also known as square breathing, box breathing is a technique where you take slow, deep breaths. You breathe in for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four, exhale through your mouth for a count of four, hold your breath for another count of four, and then repeat the process. The Mayo Clinic reports that box breathing can regulate autonomic nervous system, help deal with depression, improve your mood, and aid in pain management.

The first step in creating an effective morning routine is to actually create a routine instead of lying in bed until the last minute before rushing out the door. The second step is to fill that routine with good habits. Here are a few beneficial habits you can try tomorrow morning. Polar Plunge If you happen to live by an icy lake you can safely jump into every morning, take advantage of it. Otherwise, your next best bet is to take a cold shower in the morning. A study from the Netherlands found that people who finish their showers with at least 30 seconds of cold water tend to report 29% fewer sick days than those who take exclusively warm showers. Plus, that cold burst is one hell of a wake-up call. Morning Cocktail No, we’re not going all “Mad Men” here. This morning cocktail contains just three ingredients, and none of them are alcoholic: • 12 oz water • 1/2 organic lemon squeezed • 1/4 teaspoon pink Mediterranean Sea salt

These are relatively small changes, but when it comes to your morning routine, the smallest habits can make a big difference.

Inspired by “Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.” Apple Carrot Super Muffins


• 3 eggs • 1 cup grated Granny Smith apples • 1 cup grated carrots, peeled • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted • 1/2 cup honey

• 2 cups almond meal • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats • 2 tsp ground cinnamon • 1 tsp baking soda • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt • 1/2 cup walnuts, raisins, or chocolate chips (optional)

Directions 1. Heat oven to 350 F. Line standard muffin tin with paper muffin cups and set aside. 2. Combine almond meal; oats; cinnamon; baking soda; salt; walnuts, raisins, or chocolate chips in a large bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, apples, carrots, melted butter, and honey. Slowly add to dry ingredients and mix until combined. 3. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling each to the brim. 4. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until muffins are brown on top and a knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Carefully remove and allow muffins to cool before serving or storing. (Yield: 12 muffins)

7462 Old Hickory Drive Mechanicsville, VA 23111 804-730-2628


Inside This Issue

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Small Steps to Massive Gains Can You Trust Your Security System? Hack Your Productivity Can Cold Showers Improve Your Morning? Guilt-Free Super Muffins How Goat Yoga Helps You Get in Shape



This Year’s Strangest Fitness Trend Yoga With … Goats?!

workout, this may not be for you, but if you’re looking for an afternoon you won’t soon forget, you’ll have to find the nearest goat specialist. Everyone who participates in one of these classes ultimately walks away with something a little different. Some shared results are usually reduced stress

For those who may be looking for a hidden or

reasonable meaning behind the term “goat yoga,” you’re out of luck because it’s exactly what it sounds like. In this age of

kale smoothies and paleolithic diets, there are few things people won’t try to get in shape. Luckily, as with most fads, there aren’t many downsides to thinking outside the box with your fitness. With a million different ways to stay healthy in this world, doing yoga alongside a tribe of goats may not be so strange after all. At face value, including farm animals in your therapeutic workout routine seems counterintuitive, but it’s intended to be quite the opposite. With this type of yoga, goats will wander around your mat and even take the time to climb on your back or lick your feet while you’re in downward dog. Don’t panic though! That’s all part of the process. These interactions are meant to keep you focused, grounded, and connected with both yourself and the nature around you. If you’re looking for a speedy

and anxiety, pain relief, a boost in happiness, and mental clarity. While we’re starting to hear more about it this year, goat yoga actually sprang up in 2016 and has grown into chapters all around the world, capturing the hearts of everyone, even including some big-name celebrities. Advocates for goat yoga continue to rave that there is no better distraction from the perils of work stress, sickness, depression, and political strife than their sacred farmland pastime.

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