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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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Published on October 16, 2020

13 Productive Things to Do on a Sunday

13 Productive Things to Do on a Sunday

Sunday’s are amazing days. For most of us, Sunday’s are a day of rest — a chance to relax, spend time with our family and friends and step away from work. Yet, for many people, Sunday’s can be a day of gloom. The thought of having to go back to work the next day and rejoin the hustle and bustle of everyday working life creates a dark cloud over a day that should be a joy.

With the right approach, though, Sunday’s can be days of rejuvenation—a chance to recharge our batteries—and to set ourselves up for a fantastic week. It is just a matter of the way you look at Sundays.

Sunday’s give me a chance to take stock of how my week has gone and decide what I want to achieve the following week. Each Sunday allows me to step back from the everyday grind and to measure my progress against the plan I had for the week and to reset that plan to make the next week even better.

Here are 13 ways you can turn Sunday’s into amazingly productive days:

1. Wake up at Your Normal Time

I grew up thinking Sunday’s were a great day to ‘catch-up on my sleep’. The problem here is by over-sleeping on a Sunday, you often find it difficult to get to sleep Sunday night and that begins the cycle of sleep debt you want to avoid.[1]

Waking up at your normal time maintains regular sleep patterns and this helps to make sure your sleep schedule is consistent throughout the week. When you are in a perpetual sleep debt all week, your productivity will sink. Ensuring you have a good night sleep every night, keeps you in a highly productive state.

2. Start the Day With “Me-Time”

“Me-time” is time you give to yourself.[2] It’s time you can spend doing all the things you love doing without the fear of being interrupted. That could be exercise, reading, going for a long walk or meditation.

Before Google and smartphones, people in the U.K. used to wake up on a Sunday morning, take a short walk to the local newsagent to buy the Sunday papers. The Sunday papers had all sort of supplements on books, lifestyle, gardening and fashion.

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You would get home, settle into your favourite armchair and spend an hour or two reading through all these supplements. For me, I would put on some relaxing music and just relax with a nice cup of tea. It was a wonderful way to spend Sunday morning. No stress, no pressure, just me and the Sunday papers.

Decide what you want to do with your Sunday morning, make sure it is focused on you and start this week. You will thank yourself for it.

3. Do Some Exercise

Now, this does not mean you go out and do a 10-mile run or spend one or two hours in the gym. What this means is to get outside and move.

Our lifestyles today have taken away a lot of natural movement. This has become particularly prominent this year with many of us having to work from home. Those walks to the bus stop, train station and the office have gone. Now we get up, move from one room to another, sit down and start work.

Sunday’s give you a chance to move. Take that opportunity. Get yourself outside for an hour or two. Enjoy nature. Go with your family or friends and just have a relaxing hour or two in nature. This is possibly one of the best ways to reduce stress, get some healthy exercise and set yourself up for a wonderful week.

4. Plan the Day

Not having a plan for the day will leave you at the mercy of outside events. Instead, decide on Saturday evening what you will do the next day. Make sure you wake up at your normal time, indulge in your favourite morning drink and start your day.

Having no plan for the day, will likely result in you waking up late, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep the next evening and you will waste the opportunity to make the day count.

Your plan does not have to be too detailed. Something similar to:

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  • Wake up and make coffee
  • Put on some great music
  • Sit down and enjoy coffee
  • Take a 2-hour walk
  • Read for an hour or two
  • Spend some time with the kids

Just make sure you have a rough plan for the day, but keep things as flexible as possible.

5. Watch a Sports Game

This is a great way to get yourself away from thinking about work and your troubles. I’m a big rugby and motorsport fan and even in these difficult pandemic times, there are plenty of sports events I can watch on YouTube.

Whatever sport you enjoy, take some time on Sunday to watch a game. Just getting into the game, enjoying the skills on show and marvelling at the professionalism removes you from your everyday world for a while. It’s a great way to give your brain some much-needed relaxation and provides a wonderful distraction from your everyday normal life.

6. Make Sure You Do Something Different

Doing the same things day after day will eventually turn every day into a grind. You want to be looking forward to your Sunday’s. Plan to go out for a drive in the countryside, or a walk in an unfamiliar park, or go to the cinema or an outside concert.

Do anything that breaks up your routine. Like watching a sports game, it takes you away from the normal everyday life you lead and gives you something refreshingly different to enjoy and experience.

7. Clean Up

I know, most people hate doing house chores but having a clean, ordered home does wonders for your overall mental wellbeing. I love ending Sunday with a beautifully clean home, knowing everything is in its place, the floors are clean and all my laundry is put away and ready for the following week.

It can be hard to find the time to stay on top of all the cleaning during the week, so setting aside some time each Sunday to do a cleanup leaves you feeling refreshed, energized and ready for whatever the following week will throw at you.

8. Prepare You Clothes for the Following Week

This may seem a bit excessive, but it saves so much time and cognitive overload. All it takes is one bad night’s sleep and you wake up and find yourself rushing around trying to get yourself ready for your first appointment.

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In that state, trying to decide what clothes to wear in another decision you just don’t need. It’s far better to make a rough plan on a Sunday what you will wear for work and have all these clothes ready, washed and ironed.

It also prevents discovering the shirt you want to wear for the early morning meeting is still in the laundry basket when you need it. Plan ahead. It saves so much time and stress.

9. Do a Weekly Planning Session

I’ve experimented doing a weekly planning session on different days but by far, the best day to plan is Sunday. I find that Sunday evenings are the best times to open up my calendar and to-do list, and to plan for the week ahead. It sets me up for the week ahead.

It also helps me to sleep better on Sunday evening, knowing exactly what I need to accomplish the following week. I can start Monday morning without wasting time trying to figure out where things were left the previous Friday.

What I am looking for are where all my meetings are, which days I can focus on my deep and project work and to make sure I have everything processed from the week before.

10. Clear Out Your Email

What? Doing email on a Sunday? Yes. Why? Because the worst thing you can do is start the new week with an inbox full of last week’s unreplied-to emails.

For most of us, Monday morning is likely to be the one day in the week we do not have a lot of email in our inboxes, so we can begin the day on our most important project work. If you spend an hour or two cleaning up your email from last week, you miss a tremendous opportunity to start with a clean slate.

We don’t get a lot of email in on a Sunday, so you can process your inbox and actionable folders to make sure when the new week begins, you not only have a set of outcomes you want to achieve that week, but also begin the new week with no hangovers from the week before.

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11. Do Some Work on Your Side Project

Now, this does not mean work. This means your own personal projects. It could be a DIY project, doing something in your garden, restoring an old car or writing your book.

Sunday’s give you incredible opportunities to do all those things you dream of doing but never seem to find time to do them. Just getting on and doing these side projects removes you from your everyday work, and allows you a few hours to do the things you love doing.

12. Read a Book

During the week, it can be hard to read a good book. We get up, rush out the door to get to work (or move to our home work station and start the computer). When we finish the day, we are exhausted and just want to vegetate in front of the TV.

Don’t waste Sunday’s. They give you a great opportunity to spend time with the books you want to read.

13. Prepare You Meals for the Following Week

This is a great one for those of you who are following a healthy diet and exercise plan. Preparing meals for the following week not only saves a lot of time, it also encourages you to eat healthy on those exhausting days when all you want to do is eating pizza and flopping down on the sofa.

Having a set of pre-prepared meals reduces the temptation during the week when your willpower is at its lowest. It’s quick, healthy and easy to do. It makes sure you are sticking to your diet plan.

Bottom Line

I am not suggesting you try and fit all these things into Sunday. Just pick a few that resonate with you. Do those that will give you the biggest benefit and most joy.

Sunday’s need to be restful, relaxing and give you a chance to do those things you do not normally have time to do. It’s an incredible day, so don’t waste it laying in bed watching endless episodes of your favourite TV series.

More of What You Can Do During Weekend

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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