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15 Productivity Hacks For Empaths

15 Productivity Hacks For Empaths

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 November 15, 2019

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems, why?

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

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The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

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The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

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It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

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For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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