The Idealog Guide to Self-improvement

It seems you can’t walk through an airport bookshop these days without having your eyeballs assaulted by shelf after shelf of books promising all manner of personal and business success.

Your life would be a bed of roses if only you took five minutes a day to do things as simple as thrive, lean in, and have the same parents as Mark Zuckerberg. Somewhere in those dozens of books lie the secrets to utopia. But who has the time to read all that? Instead, pause for a moment and lean in to Idealog’s Ultimate Guide to Self Improvement and lifehackery.

Dress for success.

Nothing says you mean business like a sharp suit and well-polished shoes. But if your goals are more specific, try these suggestions:

Hoodie, t-shirt: look at me wrong and I will bring the server down;

Anything crocheted: personal grievances are my friend;

Hipster glasses: see me for craft beer and ukulele-related issues;

Fishnet stockings: I went to St Cuthbert’s; will do overtime for toots;

Suit and tie: I really wish I’d paid those parking tickets before it came to this.

Five minutes a day.

We asked 100 top executives how they’d use 300 precious extra seconds:

12%  tweeting about silly question magazine just asked them

20%  prank calling Lance Wiggs

25%  reconnecting with friends, family

27% staring at mirror, calling self “Tiger”

13% choosing pen to start writing to-do list

3% adding up pie chart percentages

Healthy mind, healthy body.

Exercise matters. So how are New Zealand’s top business leaders getting theirs?

20% exercising their right to eat this here pie

32% wearing cycling gear to a café

17%  doing the work yoga class behind Janice from finance

11% taking the stairs sometimes

7% choosing the toilet cubicle farthest from door

4% carrying money for $1 cheeseburgers as coins, not notes

Go go gadget!

Used wisely, technology can be your ally in the battle for career success:

Raise the tone: pick a ringtone that screams “success.” Good: “Eye of the Tiger”. Not so good: “Toot toot chugga chugga Big Red Car”;

Go virtual: can’t afford Google Glass? Knock the lenses out of your ordinary glasses then walk around stroking your ear saying “OK Glass” lots;

Repurpose: convince people you’re not really on home detention by printing out a Fitbit logo and sticking it to your ankle bracelet.

Drink up to the top

The human body is 80% water, so your choice of tipple is critical:

Coconut water: scientifically proven to be far more effective than plain water at making you look like a pretentious arse-hat;

Red Bull: gives you wings (also: red tongue and, used to excess, elevated heartbeat and rolls of fat where your waist once was);

Herbal tea: why not just shout out that you have a stress problem?

Obscure craft beer: because it’s not enough to be hated for your hipster moustache.

Timesavers terrific.

Top three efficiency tips:

Delete is the new Reply: too many emails? Delete the lot. If they’re important they’ll try again (or fire you);

Power up the shower: eliminate unproductive shower time by slipping a condom over your phone and catching up on calls;

Stare at a fixed point on the horizon for hours at a time. If anyone tries to interrupt, moan almost inaudibly for a few seconds then say “Not now. Maybe never.”