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15 Productivity Hacks For Empaths

15 Productivity Hacks For Empaths
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Empaths have an above average understanding of emotions and connecting with people. While logic is important, emotional understanding and skills are vital in the art of human relations. Let’s explore 15 ways that empaths reach success through their emotional skills.

1. They focus on the speaker

By focusing on a single person, empaths gain several advantages. They absorb information form the speaker and tend to remember that information better. Second, close focus affirms the other person’s value. You can develop this ability by learning listening skills. When in doubt, look directly at the speaker’s face as they speak to maintain focus.

2. They read facial expressions

Effective communication requires a combination of skills that go beyond words. Empathic people are skilled at reading facial expressions to understand if a person is angry, happy or sending other emotional signals. These facial messages are vitally important to making a true connection.

3. They read body language

How we move plays a role in communication and productivity effectiveness. Empaths know how to read hand gestures and know what to avoid in presentations. Likewise, empathic people know when and how to send signals with their body language. Using body language to communicate often saves time compared to sending emails back and forth.

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4. They manage stress through conversation

Empaths know how to manage stress in conflict situations. After all, screaming is rarely a good solution in the working world. Empaths know how to talk through their problems to manage stress at the end of a long day. They are able to have these conversations because they take the time to develop good relationships.

5. They learn faster with relationships

Learning new ideas and techniques is one of the best ways to increase your productivity. While reading books is a great idea, there are limits to what you can learn through that method. Empaths are skilled at learning how experts and other people do tasks – it is one of their ‘secret weapons’ to get ahead.

6. They tell good stories to connect with people

Empaths know that telling stories is one of the fastest ways to build a connection with people. That’s why empaths know how to deliver a good story. For example, empaths know how to create metaphors to make sure their ideas are remembered. To improve your storytelling skills, read the book “Made to Stick.”

7. They know how to manage their emotions

Managing your emotions through the day is a skill that empaths have developed to a strong degree. This high level of self-awareness means they know when to avoid difficult conversations. Likewise, empaths know when to express their emotions to make a point such as celebrating a big sale or the completion of an important project.

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8. They bring a positive attitude to work

Empaths know the merits of bringing a good attitude to their work. A good attitude means smiling at coworkers and refusing to get involved in gossip. Empaths know the world is filled with joy and suffering. That means we can choose what to focus on. For more instruction on this point, read John Maxwell’s book The Difference Maker. Attitude is an outlook we choose to adopt every day.

9. They give good compliments

Giving good compliments makes empaths more productive. It’s true! Giving good compliments improves relationships and makes it easier to ask for help later on. Giving praise and positive feedback is a valuable skill, especially for those in management jobs. Variety and detail matter in compliments – it is effective to give compliments in emails, letters and in-person.

10. They listen closely during conflict

Conflict is all around us as we strive to achieve challenging goals. For example, project management conflict includes meeting deadlines, satisfying the customer and managing the project team. To solve conflict, empaths start by listening closely and asking good questions. Many conflicts are easily solved or reduced in complexity through effective listening.

11. They know how and when to encourage people to grow

Empaths know how to build other people up at work. It is one of their best people management skills. For example, an empath knows their staff well so that they know when to encourage. Some shy professionals may prefer a 1-on-1 conversation to receive encouragement. Encouragement helps people revive and get back to work after suffering defeats or setbacks.

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Tip: Read 20 Encouraging Quotes to Level Up Your Life for inspiration.

12. They get big wins by building relationships over time

Many people date for years before they decide to get married – relationships simply need time to develop. Professional relationships also need time to develop and empaths are masters at this front. For example, empaths in sales know how to gradually build rapport with potential customers. The process is similar for networking and job hunting: empaths get to know people gradually through a series of meetings before they ask for anything.

13. They have a “dream team” to help them

Winning in life requires a team who supports you with favors, advice and resources. Empaths know how to build a network of mentors, friends and sponsors who help them reach their goals. Empaths are also giving people who avoid keeping score in their relationships. Remember, you have value to share with other people – ideas, book suggestions, introductions and more!

14. They have friends who support them

A strong social life is an asset that makes empaths productive and happy. After all, relaxation techniques have their limits. By going out with friends and relaxing, empaths come back to their work feeling refreshed and happy. In her books about successful people, author Laura Vanderkam found that successful people plan leisure activities on the weekend. Empaths take that idea up a notch by including friends and family.

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15. They reflect on their feelings

Self reflection helps empaths understanding their feelings and make sense of their day. If this practice does not come naturally to you, consider using the 5 Minute Journal. For example, you may realize that you always feel angrry after meetings with a certain client. After self reflection, you may do an 80/20 analysis and decide to part ways with that person. Constantly fighting off negative people is a major drain on your productivity.

Featured photo credit: Smiling Man/Paramjeet via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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