30-second spiritual practice for joyful productivity

This is a simple spiritual practice that I do, multiple times a day, that has made a profound and positive difference in my work.

Since it takes only 30 seconds, I do it at least 3 times each working hour (except when in a meeting).

I call it the Energy Reboot. Several years ago I published a blog post and video about it: Energy Reboot 1. (If you haven’t tried the first version, it’s a good starting point.)

Over the past 6 months I’ve been using a new version, which I’ll describe below. This new one is a good follow-on…

When doing any kind of creating — writing blog posts, making videos, or outlining a course — I recommend following these 3 phases, in order:




If we get stuck on the project, or it doesn’t make an impact, we’re probably skipping one of these phases.

Let me explain.

(First, I’d like to give credit: the inspiration of this post came from Cal Newport’s podcast “Deep Questions” where he discussed his project framework: friction, flow, finalization. I’m reframing it here into something that may feel a bit more uplifting — “play” instead of “friction” — and I added…

After coaching many people on how to grow their business, I find this recurring issue:

Many people are not spending enough time on the right actions… therefore it’s no wonder their business isn’t growing.

What are the right actions?

My answer: The 8 Practices of Authentic Business.

But how much time to spend with each practice?

Let’s look at each one and how much time you might need to carve out. If you add up all the actions below, it’ll take about 10 hours per week, if done efficiently.

1. Joyful Productivity

Our time management should begin with scheduling in our self-care. By…

Here’s why

Created in Canva by the author

My client was surprised:

“How do you get clients without promising results?”

Other business coaches had promised her piles of cash. When their methods didn’t deliver the kind of business results they sold, she blamed herself… “It’s not the coach… It’s my own fault.”

I used to promise results, too. Isn’t that the only way to get clients?

After years of marketing experience, I’ve learned that sustainable trust is based on honesty and caring, not hype.

What I now promise to my clients is the following:

  1. My content — the best of my ideas for them
  2. My structure — a…

In entrepreneurship, we often encounter a fixation on big goals and dramatic results.

“Get 1 million followers! … Build a 6-figure business!”

When that is the constant focus, two things happen:

1. Your subconscious keeps telling you — daily — that you aren’t there… that you aren’t yet “enough”.

Desire becomes a contract we make with ourselves to be unhappy until something specific happens. (paraphrase of Naval’s tweet)

The fixation on a big numeric goal (such as “6 figure income” or “1 million followers”) creates an underlying layer of unhappiness or anxiety with one’s current life.

2. The more you…

To sustain well-being in any area of life requires discipline (or persistent practice). Specific actions, done consistently, allow you to thrive.

In physical health, good practices include eating nutritiously, exercising adequately, sleeping enough, and caring relationships.

When it comes to authentic business, there are 8 important practices that I recommend.

I’ll describe each of these.

1. Joyful Productivity

Here is the foundation for any thriving business: the ability to consistently work in a focused and joyful way. Balancing rest and action, with a spirit of playfulness throughout.

Joyful productivity is a suite of practices that fuel one’s sense of well-being when working.


These are the techniques that help me…

To build a thriving authentic business requires multiple habits to be cultivated. If I had to name one habit that I would encourage everyone to start with, it would be to practice better sleep.

Surprising? Or maybe not, if you understand that better sleep is required to have the energy to plan strategically, to be creative, to set boundaries, and everything else that’s part of effectively managing your time and relationships.

In this article I’ll share with you what works for me to sleep better. I also welcome your comments on what works for you.

One-Time Preparations

Get blackout curtains for your…

I’m strict about showing up and lenient about the results

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A client asked: “George, how do you stay with such a regimented schedule… yet remain calm and joyful as you work?”

Every workday, I stick to a schedule, getting a lot done in an easeful manner, without undue strain. And yet, even with a full day of appointments and projects — whenever I meet with clients, they don’t feel like I’m in a hurry. I can still be my creative self with them.

It’s taken a lot of practice. Here’s the key:

I’m strict about showing up, lenient about results, and gentle to bring myself back to focus, again and…

Years ago I went to a Robin Williams’ comedy event called “Raw” where he was testing out new material.

As a big fan of his movies — I was very surprised that, at the event, most of the jokes he told were terrible. I had no idea that he was so un-funny :)

But this is how many comedians do it. I’ve heard that Chris Rock does this too. And so did Richard Pryor. These are called “work in progress” gigs. They test out new material in front of smaller live audiences (free or discounted rate) without publicizing the event…

Next time you earnestly pursue a project, yet still “fail” to get the hoped-for results, remember this: There is no failure, only redirection.

Even the lack of feedback is feedback. You’re getting the instruction from Life to try something else.

You are being redirected to another idea, another method, another experiment.

A higher purpose than “getting results” is your own learning, your inner growth in patience, lightheartedness, and courage.

Someone who “failed” many times was Thomas Edison:

“I speak without exaggeration when I say that I have constructed 3,000 different theories in connection with the electric light, each one of…

George Kao

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity" https://www.GeorgeKao.com

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