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The 5-Hour Energy Guy Resolves to Skip the New Year's Resolutions

Thursday, December 30, 2010
I gave up on New Year’s resolutions years ago. It’s not that I lack room for improvement. It’s the frustration of inevitable non-compliance. My intentions for improvement collided with my character and lost every time. And I’m not alone. As 2011 approaches, Americans everywhere are starting to concoct the token resolutions that will inevitably begin to fizzle following the last verse of "Auld Lang Syne." In fact, of the 50 percent of Americans that add one major item to their to-do list on Jan. 1, only 8 percent will stick to their resolution throughout the entire year. So, do everyone a favor and skip well-intended resolutions of 2011. Instead, focus on you this year. This may sound selfish, but hear me out:

Every year, the top resolutions go something like this: "Eat better," "Exercise more," Quit smoking," "Volunteer," "Learn an instrument." But, while these resolutions, in theory, are meant to improve your quality of life and that of those around you, if you loathe completing the task, you're not doing anyone any good. After all, nobody wants to deal with a crabby volunteer, and what's the point of hopping on the treadmill if you'd rather get your exercise by running away from the gym?

Rather than molding your life goals into a cookie-cutter New Year's pledge, take a moment and examine what people, things or experiences truly make your life more enjoyable and which make you want to scream into a pillow. Is it your job? The people in your life? Something material? Pinpoint the good and the bad, but don't look at them from a short-term viewpoint. Everyone has good days and bad days - on the whole, what makes you happy or unhappy 51% of the time?

Got a list? The key now is to maximize the time you spend doing the things you love with the people that make it that much more enjoyable and slowly phase out everything else. I know what you're thinking, "That's easier said than done." Well, you're right. If you hate your job, it can seem near impossible to pack up your desk, Swingline stapler and all, and head out the doors never to return. But, if you abhor what you do for about 1/3 of your life, that doesn't speak very well for its overall quality. It might take some time, but start making the big changes that will make you love life just a little bit more.

Now let's address those pesky feelings of remorse from what may seem like selfish behavior on your part. I'm not going to sugar-coat it for you, improving your quality of life will mean, inevitably, that you act with selfish motives. But, it's not like choosing to act in your own self-interest 100% percent of the time is anything new. The psychological viewpoint of universal egoism expresses that everything we do, no matter how selfless it appears, is ultimately achieved to benefit ourselves. Though it seems that charity or goodwill wouldn’t survive if this was true, you're forgetting about those who do good works because it makes them feel good about themselves. Therefore, the positive emotions of achievement or and satisfaction that result from helping another means that doing what's in our best interests can nurture positive results on a grand scale.

So, instead of generating New Year's resolutions that look good on paper, act a little selfishly. If you truly enjoy working out - do it. If you hate it, don't resolve to make yourself miserable by vowing to go to the gym every day. If your ultimate goal is to be healthier, find something active that you love doing and pledge to do a little more of it. The point is to tailor the changes in your life to fit what makes you happy, not to live up to any sort of social guidelines that say you have one chance a year to make a personal change for the better. Now, get out there and make some selfish decisions.

Have I changed my mind about New Year’s resolutions for myself? In a way, yes. I resolve to forgive myself of my own shortcomings and accept me as me.

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Overcoming Procrastination: Don't put off reading this post

Thursday, December 23, 2010
For many, one of the biggest barriers to success at work or school might be the compulsion to procrastinate. About 20 percent of us are self-described chronic procrastinators - we buy holiday gifts at the last moment, avoid compiling reports until minutes before the meeting, and try to see how far below "E" our gas gauge can get before we have to fill up. Though our culture doesn't harshly stigmatize the behavior of putting things off until the last minute, the habit can leave you without a job, stressed out, and lacking opportunities.

For some, the act of procrastination is often attributed to poor self-esteem. When faced with a challenging task, some chronic procrastinators fear the outcome, and thus put off the task. Their behavior is shaped by questions of their own ability: "What if I do it wrong or I am unsuccessful?" "What if I don't make the right decision?"

Another reason we postpone tasks is to avoid some sort of pain or discomfort. "Working out will make me sore." "Finishing that paper is going to leave me exhausted." Or, "I'm going to be bored to death while filing that report." It's human nature to put even more effort into avoiding pain than we do pursuing pleasure.

Finally, many of us put off less pleasurable tasks in favor of more gratifying activities. For example, in the 1960s and 70s, Walter Mischel conducted experiments demonstrating the persuasion of instant gratification versus making investments for future gains. Mischel put treats in front of children and said they could either eat their treat now, or wait a few minutes and they would be given double the booty. Not surprisingly, the children found it difficult, if not impossible to wait - but those who did were rewarded. Adults operate on the same premise. We want pleasure now, and we'll deal with the pain later. The future is a very abstract concept for us. The "Future You" always seems more responsible and less vulnerable to temptation than the "Now You."

Understanding why you do things is important, but taking action to counteract these intrinsic flaws carries just as much weight. Here are some tips to stop procrastinating and take action right now:

To start doing a task in a timelier manner, focus on the concrete details. According to a study published in Psychological Science, an individual's level of procrastination may be the result of how they interpret a given activity. Those that focused on concrete aspects of a task were more likely to complete it sooner than those who viewed the situation from an abstract perspective. When deciding whether or not to start going to the gym again, don't picture a far-in-the-future you with ripped abs and toned legs, picture yourself lacing your shoes and tuning in your favorite workout song on your iPod.

Reward yourself for finishing early, instead of punishments for getting it done late. Over time, if you continually need to resort to self reprimand, you'll begin to equate giving yourself a task with an inevitable punishment. Conversely, incentives for completion lead you to associate tasks with rewards.

Address your fear of failure. Assure yourself that even if you do fail a task or complete it incorrectly, no matter how big the blunder, at least it's a step in the right direction. Who knows, you might surprise yourself.

Deduce that the outcome of not completing the task will be more painful than the act of completion itself. Yeah, completing the report probably won't be fun, but getting fired or flunking the class will be even worse.

Realize that "Future You" and "Now You" are one in the same. Unless you undergo lifestyle changes between now and whenever you decide to reschedule the action, you're going to be presented with the same choice and you're going to want to act in the same way. Getting up after hitting the snooze three times is going to feel about the same as hopping out of bed when the first alarm sounds. Choosing a doughnut over a salad today is going to be just as appealing as it is tomorrow. Understanding this will help you to "just get it over with" and start enjoying the positive effects of your good behavior sooner. In addition, as was the case with Mischel's study, you'll also see more impressive results in terms of your current and future success.

Procrastination can be a tough habit to overcome, but once you do, you'll see the advantages of turning the "I should do that" into the "I have done that" so we can reserve the future for the stuff we truly enjoy.


I'm Right. You're Wrong. Period

Monday, December 20, 2010

I have come to realize something about people. Everyone has an opinion and theirs is always the right one. This observation was driven home today when 5-Hour Energy was presented with an award from Beverage Spectrum Magazine for Best Marketing Campaign of 2010. Better than Budweiser. Better than Coke. Better than Pepsi. THE BEST.

The puzzling thing about receiving this award is that the very same campaign was nominated for the Absolute Worst Ad in America by The Consumerist. We didn’t win the coveted AWAIA award. We came in second to McDonald’s.

The marketing campaign that achieved this polar opposite recognition is our now famous, or infamous, 2:30 Feeling campaign. This campaign was spearheaded by a television commercial featuring a young man roaming a typical workplace and pointing out all the people suffering from an afternoon slump. Naturally, 5-Hour Energy comes to rescue. You remember it, right?

According to Beverage Spectrum, “… loss of focus on TV (at least for the beverage industry) – is part of what makes the “No More 2:30 Feeling” campaign tops when it comes to marketing efforts in the industry this year. The other part is that it’s a clever invention…”

But The Consumerist says, “The actor behind McDonald's 'not before I have my coffee' jerk might wish he'd slept in this morning, because he was the clear victor in this category (35%). His closest competition came in the form of another pitchman for a liquid pick-me-up, 5-Hour Energy's Mr. 'Do you know what 2:30 feels like?' Well, we'd like to ask him "Do you know what it's like to annoy 28.5% of our voters?"

The array of e-mails we received during the run of this ad was truly staggering. Fans loved the handsome young man in the commercial. Haters couldn’t stand his ugly face. Fans bought 5-Hour Energy in record numbers. Haters vowed they would never buy 5-Hour Energy because of such a terrible commercial. The right opinions came from all corners.

What’s an advertiser to do? This is a rhetorical question, of course. We go with what works, and that ad worked. During its time on the air, 5-Hour Energy experienced record sales and a growth trend that buried all potential competitors. Our share of energy shot sales, already impressive when the campaign began, increased dramatically. According to a Beverage Spectrum writer, “It’s hard to argue with the sales numbers that it produced.”

Yet, many will continue to argue, and that’s fine. Keep the complaints coming. Just keep in mind that we get plenty of compliments, too. Everyone has an opinion and theirs is always the right one. Here at 5-Hour Energy, we only care about what works.

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5-Hour Energy's Tips to Ace Your College Exams

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Starting Now: Avoiding the Midnight information cram

If your exams aren't for a week or two, start paying some extra attention to your professors. No, I don't mean bringing in apples for the teacher or throwing your prof a couple winks during lecture. Pay attention to what they're saying. Despite what you might think, they actually want you to do well, so they're likely stuffing their final lessons chock-full of content they've written into the exam. Before your next class, go through and scan your notes from the semester. If you find your professor is mentioning some of the same points again, that information will likely become a test question.

Use the time between classes to review the notes you've already taken. Giving yourself ample time to review important information will increase the likelihood that it will stick in your long term memory. Resisting the urge to cram the night before also means you'll have time to clear up any key points you don't fully understand. Write down any information that's unclear and ask for an explanation in class or in a small group of your classmates. Depending on the size of your class and the policies of your professor, he or she might be willing to answer your questions one-on-one. As an added bonus, seeking help will also earn you brownie points - you'll be showing your professor that you are dedicated to the class and want to do your best.

Throughout the study process, determine how you retain information most effectively. Use Edutopia's online quiz to pinpoint your own learning style. Following the quiz, the same site explains your preferred learning style and gives you tips to get the most out of your classes and to study more effectively.

The Night Before: Cramming for the exam

Hopefully, for the past couple weeks, you've used the study tips above and you already know most of the required information. However, if you're like many college students, procrastination might have gotten the best of you. Well, I'm going to save the "Shame on You" speech for another day and assure you that all is not lost. Though advanced preparation would've probably been less stressful and earned you a better grade, you can't go back now. So, I guess it's time to cram:
  • Energy? Check!: You can't absorb information by way of osmosis (if you don't know what that is, you better make studying for biology a priority). Meaning, you're not going to learn the required test info while you're dead asleep on your notebook. So, if your energy is waning, go ahead and grab a shot of 5-Hour Energy, review these tips to stay awake, and we'll get this study session started.

  • Get organized: Compile all the materials for one class at a time and clear all other distractions from your workspace - which includes turning off your cell phone and closing out of Facebook and Twitter (unless you're posting study questions to your online communities).

  • Don't read, skim: You're on a time crunch, so you may not have time to read every page of your notes or each chapter of your textbook. Focus on chapter overviews and summaries and pay attention to the highlighted and underlined portions of your notes.

  • Test yourself: You might think you've banked the information while you were reading it earlier, but can you fully explain the subject an hour later? If not, give it another look.

  • Use memory tools: Employ techniques to help you remember new information that seems foreign. Repeat facts over and over, make songs or rhymes out of the material or create acronyms and acrostics to remember the facts. At this point, anything that can make the content stick is worth a try.

  • Think like your prof: Give some thought to the information that is likely to appear on the exam or topics that might show up as essay questions. Remember, if you talked about it in class more than once, it's probably going to be on the exam.

  • Rest: Take a short break every 20 minutes while you're studying or you'll find that your studying is becoming less and less productive. You also need to get some sleep before the exam. Don't try to pull an all-nighter - give yourself at least a few hours to rest up or all the studying in the world won't make a difference.

During the exam: It's all downhill from here

Stay calm, clear your mind and don't let test anxiety get the best of you. If a question has you stumped, examine the question and the possible outcomes and try to make a logical guess. An article submitted to HubPages titled "The art of taking multiple-choice-question tests and how to get the right answers." might help you out.

After the Exam: Learn something

There are a few possible scenarios here. Either you studied hard, knew the material and rocked the exam; or your performance has left you biting your nails until you receive your grades. In either case, you still have some learning to do. Remember that you're taking these classes for a reason, so either way, go over your exam to see which questions you answered incorrectly. If you find you did poorly, don't dwell on it. Fail with purpose - identify where your studying habits went awry and fix them for next time.

Sharpen your pencils 5-Hour Fans, because college exam week is fast approaching!


We've Found Ourselves A 5-Hour Energy Racing Scavenger Hunt Winner!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Congratulations to all the 5-Hour Energy Fans who successfully tracked down the 5-Hour Energy Racing tokens on the 5-Hour Energy site. The lucky grand prize winner, Chris Mueller, will receive a one-year supply of 5-Hour Energy - that's 365 shots of 5-Hour!

Chris told us that he loves 5-Hour Energy because it makes him more alert and energetic, which is a big help both at work and when he's home with his family. Despite his busy schedule, we managed to catch up with Chris and get some insight into why he's a fan worthy of the 5-Hour Energy Racing Scavenger Hunt Grand Prize:

5-Hour Energy Guy:
We have had fans writing in that they have been drinking 5-Hour Energy since the energy shots hit the shelves in 2004. About how long have you been getting that boost from 5-Hour Energy shots?

I've only been using them for the past year. I really like the berry flavor, but am also interested in trying a few of the other flavors as well.

5-Hour Energy Guy:
What made you start taking 5-Hour Energy shots?

I started taking 5-Hour Energy shots when I had a 10-hour drive coming up last year. [They] worked great, and I've been using them ever since.

5-Hour Energy Guy:
What do you plan on doing with all your winnings?

I plan on getting even more work done, enjoying more free time with activities instead of "sitting and relaxing." I also plan on sharing some with friends to let them see how 5-Hour Energy can help them.

So, Now You Want to Score Some Free 5-Hour Energy, Huh?

Whether you didn't find all the codes or you weren't chosen as one of our lucky winners, don't fret, because we have another chance for you to score up to 365 free bottles of precious 5-Hour Energy shots.

Our newest contest, "Where is Your 5-Hour Energy Shot?" invites you to snap a shot of you and your bottle of 5-Hour Energy on the road, in the air, at sea - anywhere - and post the pic! We'll select the coolest photo and reward the winner with a supply of 5-Hour Energy shots that will keep him or her focused and energized for a full year - plus the bragging rights that'll accompany the win.

Good luck 5-Hour Fans!

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Get Organized and Stay Focused at the Office and Home - Part 2

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
In the last blog post, you learned tips for getting organized and staying focused at the office. In this post, let's focus on organizing your home life.

You wouldn't expect that you'd have more paperwork to deal with at home than at the office, but the bills, documents and junk mail all seem to pile up. Between the potential risk of "death by paper cuts," the after work/school activities and simple household obligations, managing your home life can be exhausting. But, keeping you and your family organized will allow a little more time for much-needed rest and relaxation.

Maintain a Home Workspace

Thought you only had to be at a desk for 8 hours a day, didn't you? Well, you may not need an actual desk, but designing a workspace to store mail, important documents, receipts, etc., will keep the paper pileup from taking over your house. Just like your work desk, your home workspace doesn't have to look neat (unless you have a spouse or roommate that's particular about those kinds of things), it just has to work. You don't want to spend time searching for a bill or medical document when you're in a time crunch.

Make a Household Notebook:

If you don't live alone, a good chunk of time is probably spent planning around the others in your household. Whether you have a family or needy roommates, it can be tough to keep track of everyone and everything. Instead of scrambling when communication mix-ups occur, keep a household planner.
Make sure this planner has a calendar, a place to write notes and phone numbers and a spot to store lists and reminders. Pass it around and let everyone fill in their personal schedules for the week or month so the entire house is on the same page. It will also serve as a one-stop-shop for chore lists, meal plans, frequently used and emergency information, to-do lists and documents that need immediate attention.

If you can't find a suitable planner that will meet your home organization needs, Organized Home provided tips on making your own.

Schedule Your Weekly and Monthly Tasks:

Errands. If just thinking about them makes you cringe, you're probably going about them the wrong way. If you dread the obligatory weekly and monthly tasks such as grocery shopping, laundry and weekly cleaning, stop procrastinating and start scheduling. Make a list of the errands you have to run and lump related tasks together so you don't have to take multiple trips. If you have a Smartphone, use apps like Evernote and Remember the Milk to keep track of your to-do list.

For you, the dread of errand-runs might be inevitable, but don't procrastinate because you hate the tedium of the activity. Do the most unpleasant jobs first and get them out of the way. Comparatively, the remainder of your tasks will feel like a breeze.

Take a Break

Instead of the mini-breaks during the workday, schedule a day to relax outside of work. Yes — stop being productive. The premise is the same as it is at the office — if you're not absolutely exhausted, you'll get more done when you are hard at work tackling errands and "honey-do's."