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5 reasons boredom is essential for good ideas by Michael Yardney

People aren’t often bored these days.

Take a look at your own life.

I bet it’s filled with lots of plans, things to do and people to see.

Ask anyone how they are these days and what do they say?


Everyone is busy nowadays, rushing around and doing a million things at once with barely time to catch up properly.

Being busy has become a badge of honour, a sign that we’re being productive, getting things down, and achieving our goals.

No one ever tells you they’re bored.

But boredom is important, as scientists are beginning to discover.

A study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that bored people are more “readily available” to come up with creative new ideas.

Some say that necessity is the mother of invention, but maybe  it’s boredom.

Here are five good reasons to let yourself be bored:


social-proofThere are numerous studies, such as the one mentioned above, that links creativity to boredom.

It seems that we need to let our mind run off, to stare into the middle distance, while our unconscious does some background work.

Then a-ha! We have a moment, a breakthrough, a new idea.

It’s no different to the way sleep is an excellent way of solving a problem.

We go to bed and wake up refreshed with a new take on an issue.

It’s the same with boredom and creativity. The brain needs to switch of from ‘doing’ mode and enter ‘being’ mode.

You might not think much is happening, but the switch in your focus can have a big effect on your creativity levels.


downloadThe brain is useless under sustained, unrelenting pressure.

Ever tried doing a crossword right before bed when you’re exhausted? It’s not easy.

The brain needs to rest and that means mental time-outs.

Make an effort to let yourself be bored and don’t fill in the empty spaces in your calendar.

No one can achieve much in life if their brain is on 24/7.

You may have read about certain CEOs who only need four hours’ sleep at night, but you need to be honest with yourself: does that work for you?

Can you really get by on that?

There is nothing wrong with giving your brain a break by doing nothing. In fact, it’s essential.


downloadThere’s no shame in making a mistake. We’re all human after all.

But if you keep making mistakes because you’re tired and not looking after yourself, then that’s a problem.

Boredom re-sets the brain and, in doing so, it allows us to focus more fully when we’re ‘on’.

That way we are less likely to make costly mistakes.

But if you’re always ‘on’ and there’s no off time, you’re bound to slip up somewhere.


download (1)When you’re constantly busy, it’s very hard to know what you feel about things and intuition plays a large role in life success.

Often people keep busy so they don’t have to think about things that need to change or that make them uncomfortable.

But if you’re always busy, how will you now what needs changing?

Furthermore, these problems in your like could be sabotaging your career and relationships with others.

Boredom allows us to recognise certain patterns at work or home, and make the necessary changes to help us be successful.


downloadThat’s the thing about boredom: we don’t tend to stay in that state for very long.

Some downtime generally gives us the necessary motivation to throw ourselves back into life with enthusiasm.

We return to the busy world with a fresh lease of life, and end up getting more done.

So boredom needs to be seen for what it is: part and parcel of being productive, a necessary component of an engaged and successful life.

We have to stop running ourselves into the ground on auto-pilot before we all turn into efficient worker bees who are getting stuff done but aren’t making much of an impact in the world.


Guest author:

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog. 

The most valuable thing your money can buy… Michael Yardney

We all know that money can’t buy happiness.

If you’re unhappy before you make a lot of money then extra cash isn’t going to suddenly change your outlook on life.

I have written in the past about people who win Lotto, and the fact that many of them end up losing their fortune.

They’re not used to being financially responsible and they think that coming into a large amount of money means never having to think about it again.

Which, of course, isn’t true.

The more money you have, the more responsible and cautious you need to be with it.

maxresdefaultIt’s hard work being financially responsible and some Lotto winners even said that the money made them miserable!

It’s not hard to imagine is it?

So we know that money can’t buy happiness. But what can it buy?

Well, something much more valuable: time. Your time!

A recent study published in the US medical journal PNAS, found that people who buy time by paying someone to complete household tasks are more satisfied with life.

This was just as true for middle-class earners as it was for high net-worth individuals.

Here is why you should start using your money to buy time, or investing in time capital, as it’s known:


scream!When you’re time-poor, it’s easy to feel stressed about your long to-do list. Insomnia is a big problem these days and I bet that most insomniacs have too much stuff to do rather than too little.

Rather than using your money to buy things that will comfort you only for a short period, you can buy your own time back by outsourcing as much work as you can.

Even if it means you’re able to claw back a just an hour or two a day by paying someone to run your errands, it will be worth it because you’ll be less stressed as a result.


John Lennon once famously said that ‘life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.’

How true.

The thing is: you need to make sure your life isn’t all about making other plans, that there is time to reflect and enjoy a life you’re passionate about.

If you work really hard to earn lots of money and then you never have time to enjoy that money then what is the point?

You don’t want to regret working so hard that you never had time to enjoy whatever it was you were working so hard for.

So what should you do? Keep working hard and doing what you love, but buy extra time by outsourcing any chores that take up your downtime.


fitbit-ionic-3qtr-charcoal-apps-panel-shadow-59a4373af19d7Most of us waste time. It’s only human.

We get distracted or lazy, or we remain indecisive about what to do and so we do nothing.

We vow to go for a run on the weekend, but we end up stuck to the couch, telling ourselves we’ll go tomorrow until tomorrow becomes next week.

But when we buy time, we’re less likely to waste it. We know how valuable (and expensive) it is and so we make the most of that hour or two we have to ourselves or with our loved ones.

It ends up being time well spent.


Caffeine is the drug of choice for most of us each morning, but there is a better way to get energy.

And that’s by doing nothing. If you don’t ever get a chance to switch off and zone out, to refuel the tank, then you will crash and burn.

Your time away from work is just as important as your time at work.  People think they’re two very different worlds, but far from it. They both influence each other.

In order to be successful, I’m talking long-term sustained success, you’re going to need some precious time to recharge.


downloadWe’re all being pulled in a million different ways these days.

There are so many demands on our time, from work to family to social obligations.

But if you buy yourself some time, to do whatever you like, then the various obligations won’t seem like chores.

You’ll be more readily available to others because you made sure, first and foremost, that you were available to yourself.

Time isn’t valued enough in our society. Most people are working hard for money’s sake alone, even though we know that it won’t make us happy without a well-balanced life within which to ground it.

No one asks each other if they’re getting enough time, if they have bought any great time lately.

Can you imagine that?

We need to start prioritizing time, and if the only way we can get more of it is to buy it then that’s what we should be doing.

It’s a worthy investment to make.


Guest author:

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog. 







Why ‘no’ is an underrated word – Michael Yardney

Spare a thought for the word ‘no’.

It gets a bit of a bad rap.

It’s seen as a negative word to use, a slap-down, a refusal.

And many people are uncomfortable with using it.

They tend to stick to ‘maybes’ or they delay making decisions.

Sometimes they will simply ignore an issue, hoping it will go away, rather than issuing a direct no.

But it’s time we embraced the word no.

It’s a vital tool in the entrepreneur’s arsenal.

Not one successful person got ahead without using it.

imgresRefusal is as important as agreeing to something.

Saying yes to opportunities is the easy part.

But in order for those opportunities to come about we have to say no to a whole lot of time-consuming jobs or pathways that won’t really lead us anywhere.

Here are some of the benefits to saying no:


We complain a lot about being short of time, but are we really?

Or is it just what we choose to devote our time to that’s the problem?

imgresHow many times have you said yes to things you didn’t want to do?

Sadly, people can spend their whole life doing things other people want them to do and not really following their instincts.

Learning to say no is what will keep you on track.

Don’t get me wrong: there’s times when all of us say yes to things we would rather not do.

That’s just part of being an adult.

But you should never be afraid of saying no to decisions that will have a big impact on your life or aren’t right for your career.


Here’s what happens when you say yes to everything: you end up doing a lot of work that doesn’t interest you or doesn’t advance your long-term goals.

When you’re absorbed with things that you’re not connected to or inspired by, you’re less likely to meet the right people or get ahead.

You’re simply treading water.

But when you leave yourself open to that right opportunity, when you have your ear to the ground listening for it, great things can happen.


Adult hand holding little child's hand.

Adult hand holding little child’s hand.

This may sound a little strange, but if you say yes too often it loses value.

If you’re a boss who is a pushover and is always giving everyone what they want then your yes starts to meaning very little.

Others assume that you’ll be OK with anything that’s decided and that’s definitely not the way you want to behave or be perceived.

But if you give proposals careful consideration and aren’t afraid to say no to bad ideas, then when you do give a yes, it will carry a lot of weight.

Because people will realize that you don’t just hand out yeses on a platter.


Finally, you need to say no not just for yourself, but so others will respect you.

imgresNo one respects a yes man. There will be deals that you need to say no to, people you will have to stand up to.

Most people will be a bit annoyed at first if you say no to them, but then it mostly passes. What they’ll be left with is a begrudging respect and that’s more important than being liked.

A carefully chosen no can make all the difference to your life, and it increases your chances of eventual success.

Remember: the right no leads to the right yes.

Try it. You’ll see what I mean.


Guest author:

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog. 

The key to financial freedom? Finding your mentor by Michael Yardney

When we think of entrepreneurs we often think of trailblazers forging ahead on their own, someone who’s doing something different or creating something new.

While it’s true that in order to achieve financial freedom, you’ll have to rely on your own wits and talents, it’s also true that no one succeeds on their own.

If you’re going to do something difficult, something that most people would quit when things get tough, then it makes sense to seek out others who’ve been there before you.

Otherwise it’s going to be a very long and lonely journey.

Here are some of the best reasons to find a mentor:


light-bulbThere will be times when you feel that you’re on your own or that the problems you’re facing are unique to you.

That’s when a mentor is extremely handy.

They have been there before and they know exactly what it feels like to lose their footing. They know what to say and when to be tough and when to offer compassion.

This is invaluable when you stumble and feel like giving up.


Many entrepreneurs and risk takers often think they have all the answers.

questions-blogThat’s largely because they’re so self-reliant and confident, and they know that very few people work as hard as they do to get the job done.

But entrepreneurs need to learn when it’s OK to ask for advice.

Even the most talented people don’t know everything, which is where a mentor comes in.

They can provide hard-won experience and wisdom. The kind of knowledge people take short courses and pay good money to access.

Mentors can provide you with the benefit of their hindsight and prevent you from making the same mistakes they did.



social-proofA mentor can also introduce you to new people who could radically change the course of your career.

So much of success on life is based on being at the right place at the right time and talking to the right person.

In life it’s not who you know, but who who you know knows. (And I’m not stuttering)

You see…there’s only so much we can control, but exposing yourself to the inner circles of the well-connected increases your chances of this happening.

And you never know where an encounter at an event will lead…


Yep, that’s right.

A mentor, a good one, will challenge you.

friends-blogThey’ll bring out the best in you by making you look at your decisions, the way you’re approaching your career and how you face failure.

They’ll force you to reach into untapped reservoirs of resilience and forge forward. They’ll expand your mind with their knowledge, and lead by example.

In this way, a good mentor is life-changing.

Don’t think I’m overstating it because it’s true. A truly great mentor is character building.

So you may be wondering how to find a good mentor?

Take a look around your networks and ask yourself who it is you admire.

Is there someone who seems to command a lot of respect?

Look for someone who is always professional, doesn’t gossip about colleagues behind their back, and has integrity.

Experience helps, too.

Because the truth is: you can’t do it on your own. You have to find people to help you on your path in life, and this can be a great thing not only for your career, but for your social life as well.

After all, great friends are made in the trenches.


Guest author:

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog. 








Why you should embrace failure – by Michael Yardney

Everywhere you look these days, people’s achievements are being celebrated, whether it be in the papers, among our family and friends, or on social media.

And why not?

Success is a wonderful thing and worthy of celebration, but so too is failure.

OK, so hear me out on this one.

Failure gets a bad rap and most of us go to great lengths to avoid messing up.

But here is the thing: we are all going to fail at some point — whether it be a succession of small errors or one monumental disaster.

The sooner we embrace failure as inevitable and arm ourselves with a few tricks to handle it, the better off we will be.

Here are four good reasons to celebrate failure:


  1. It builds resilience

little-treeTalent is an important component of success but it is not the only one.

Not by a long shot.

Hard work is also extremely important — as is discipline and focus — but I would also put resilience up there among the most important predictors of success.

Many would-be investors dream of financial freedom and start the journey by reading all the right books, researching the market and lining up their financial ducks in a row.

Then they hit a hurdle. Cash flow tightens or they miss out on a property. It all gets too hard and they give up.

Resilient types know how to take these setbacks in their stride.

Most often, this resilience has been built from a young age, where their parents taught them how to fail and pick themselves up again.

If you were a child who dealt well with failure you will most likely be an adult with the internal reserves to handle setbacks.


  1. It makes us more human and likeable

It’s what psychologists call the pratfall effect: when someone we perceive as competent makes a mistake, we often like that person more because it shows they are human, too.

Being vulnerable at certain times — failing, asking for help — is a necessary part of life and it helps us to bond better with others.

When we fail and we need other people’s help, we are able to cement relationships with family, friends and the community that sometimes we didn’t realise were even there.

Failure can open the door to better relationships with those around us because nothing puts things in perspective, or keeps our egos in check, quite like a run of bad luck.


  1. It makes us better at what we do

In my time in the property industry, I have seen many people fail at investing only to return to the game successfully, many times over.

When we fail it gives us a chance to reflect on our business and what went wrong so we don’t make the same mistake again.

We learn and adapt, and hopefully we grow from the failure.

It is amazing so many of us are afraid of failing when it is really one of the best ways to learn.


  1. We ask more questions

questions-blogWhether you choose to own up to your failures or hide them from others, they are a part of life.

If you learn to accept the possibility of failure, and not be so terrified of saying the wrong thing or messing up at work, then you will be a lot bolder.

This will mean you will ask questions without being afraid of looking stupid.

You will take calculated risks without being overwhelmed by fear and you will not be concerned what other people think and will therefore listen more to your own gut instincts.

And that will make you truly successful.


Guest author:

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog. 


The Secret Power of Persuasion by Michael Yardney

We’ve asked Michael Yardney to write a special guest column today. Michael has been a friend of mine for many years and is our ‘go to’ guy when it comes to property. I’m sure you’ll find his insights powerful. Now… over to Michael.


Have you noticed how people who are successful in most walks of life usually have the gift of being good negotiators.

In fact they are more than that – they are good persuaders.  They have the ability to influence others to go along with their point of view.

We’ve all heard of win/win negotiation, but let’s be honest….in many of our negotiations we would really like a bit more than win/win.

When you buy your next car, you’d really like the negotiations to end up favouring you and not being an even handed win/win?

Think about it…when buying a property, or any other big-ticket item, we usually want to buy it at the best price possible, while the vendor wants to sell it for the highest price they can achieve.

Good negotiators have developed he art of being able to influence to see things their way. They know how to get others to do things they want to get done.

They seem to have an innate gift of understanding others needs and wants and finding a way of delivering that within in the bigger context of getting what they themselves want.

InfluenceA number of years ago I came across a powerful book, Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion, in which Robert Cialdini outlines six universal principles of influence that he discovered as he studied what made people do the things they do, in his role as a professor of psychology.

Let’s look at these in more detail…


  1. Reciprocation

We were all taught that we should find way to repay others for what they do for us. That’s only fair – most people will make an effort to avoid being considered an ingrate or someone who does not pay their debts.

Cialdini explains how in the 1970’s the Hare Karishnanas used this principal to raise millions of dollars. They would give passers-by a flower and requested no money. However this innate principal was so strong that even though the recipients didn’t really want the flower, they felt the need to repay the debt of kindness in some way and many donated money.

You probably have come across this principle, where someone has delivered a number of uninvited “first favours” over time and then you feel obliged to deal with them or do business with them.

Put simply, whatever you give out in life you tend to get back sooner or later. If you go through life looking for good in others and helping others get what they need, you may not always get an instant reward, but the principle of reciprocity will provide somewhere along the line.

  1. Social Proof

social-proofCialdini points out that we decide what is correct by noticing what other people think is correct. Innately we want to be like others and people are comforted knowing others are doing the same thing.

This principle is often used by sales people who give testimonials from people “just like you” who have bought and appreciated their product or service.

Most people feel at ease if they know others have already done what they intend to do. Celebrity product endorsements are an obvious application of this principle of Social Proof.

If you want someone to do something for you, be sure to let them see that other people are already doing it or are willing to do it. Show them that others like them believe in your product or service and are using it.

  1. Commitment and Consistency

Once people have made a choice or taken a stand, they are under both internal and external pressure to behave consistent with that commitment.

When people tell their friends they are going to give up smoking, or going lose weight, it motivates them to keep going with their decisions. We tend to feel pressured to behave consistent with the choices we have made. No one likes to admit they were wrong.

You can use this principal in negotiation by taking time to understand what motivates others and speak to them in their own language.

Try and elicit their values. Find out what they want, what they are trying to achieve. This will allow you to tap into their natural motivators, while also giving them what they want.

When you can get someone to commit verbally to an action, the chances go up sharply that they’ll actually do it.

  1. Friends

friends-blogWe all like doing business with people we know and like. And people tend to like others who appear to have similar opinions, personality traits, backgrounds or lifestyles. More people will say ‘yes’ to you if they like you, and the more similar to them you appear to be, the more likely they are to like you.

That’s why it’s important to build rapport with people you plan to negotiate with.

  1. Authority

Most of us were raised with a respect for authority, so we tend to place importance on information given to us by authority figures like doctors, policemen or professionals.

Sometimes people confuse the symbols of authority such as titles, appearance or possessions with the true substance. This means you can use this principle to your advantage during negotiations.

Look and act like an authority yourself – dress like the people who are already in the positions of authority that you seek. Or cite authoritative sources to support your ideas.

  1. Scarcity

The feeling that we may miss out on something special or unique will drive us to take action. Things always seem more valuable is there’s an element scarcity. Hard-to-get things are perceived as better than easy-to-get things.

Look at most advertising and you’ll see words like “limited offer”, “closes this weekend” or “limited edition collectors items.” How can you use this principle of scarcity in your negotations?

Professor Cialdini’s Six Weapons of Influence are incredibly powerful and can be combined in many ways. Use them whenever you approach people you want to influence and they will assist you in becoming a powerful communicator.

On their own these principals are ethic less. They can be used to create a win/win outcome for you and for those who you negotiate with. Or they can be used for dark purposes of influence. Obviously I would suggest you don’t use them this way.


Guest author:

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog. 




How you see the world has a significant effect on your success by Michael Yardney

I’ve asked Michael Yardney to write a special guest column today. Michael has been a friend of mine for many years and is our ‘go to’ guy when it comes to property. I’m sure you’ll find his insights powerful. Now… over to Michael.

There are, broadly speaking, two ways to see the world and these have a great influence on how successful you become.

The first is what psychologists call the “external locus of control,” and the second is the “internal locus of control.”

You see… as the world around you changes, you can either attribute success and failure to things you have control over, or to forces outside your influence.

And which orientation you choose has a huge bearing on your long-term success.

This concept dates back to the 1960s with Julian Rotter’s investigation into how people’s behaviours and attitudes affected the outcomes of their lives.

Locus of control describes what individuals perceive about the underlying main causes of events in his/her life.

Put more simply:

Are you the pilot of your life or you just a passenger?

Do you believe that your destiny is controlled by you or by external forces (such as fate, the government, your boss, the system or others)?

Here’s how Charles Duhigg—the author of the book Smarter Faster Better describes locus of control:

“Locus of control has been a major topic of study within psychology since the 1950s. Researchers have found that people with an internal locus of control tend to praise or blame themselves for success or failure, rather than assigning responsibility to things outside their influence. A student with a strong internal locus of control, for instance, will attribute good grades to hard work, rather than natural smarts. A salesman with an internal locus of control will blame a lost sale on his own lack of hustle, rather than bad fortune.

“‘Internal locus of control has been linked with academic success, higher self motivation and social maturity, lower incidences of stress and depression, and longer life span,’ a team of psychologists wrote in the journal Problems and Perspectives in Management in 2012. People with an internal locus of control tend to earn more money, have more friends, stay married longer, and report greater professional success and satisfaction”

What is an external locus of control?

Well, we all know those people.

In fact, sometimes we are those people.

Nothing is ever their fault. There is always an excuse. The world is out to get them, life is unfair.

Duhigg describes it as follows:

“…Having an external locus of control—believing that your life is primarily influenced by events outside your control—’is correlated with higher levels of stress, [often]because an individual perceives the situation as beyond his or her coping abilities,’ the team of psychologists wrote” (24).

The benefits of an Internal Locus of Control

In general, people with an internal locus of control:

  • Engage in activities that will improve their situation.
  • Emphasize striving for achievement.
  • Work hard to develop their knowledge, skills and abilities.
  • Are inquisitive, and try to figure out why things turned out the way they did.
  • Take note of information that they can use to create positive outcomes in the future.
  • Have a more participative management style.

The bottom line:

We aren’t born with an unalterable locus of control, so it is critical to keep an eye on in ourselves so we can improve the way we look at the world.

Sure, bad things happen to us.

But rather than dwelling on them, it’s better to find a useful belief about them and move on.

It’s important to remove the idea that your life is dictated by forces outside of your control.

Of course, to one degree or another, it is. But there is plenty that we can control. You can create your own luck through study, hard work and perseverance.

It’s often said that you become a blend of the five people you hang out with the most.

This is important to keep in mind. Associate with positive people who believe they are in control of their own lives. Their beliefs and energy will rub off on you. And then yours will rub off on them.

It becomes a very powerful and positive feedback loop!


Guest author:

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog. 

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