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All The Productivity Tips You Need In 9 Infographics

All The Productivity Tips You Need In 9 Infographics

Ever notice how some people come across as having their act together? They are able to get their work done on time, every time. They have the time and energy for 100 different things. Yet, they always seem non-frazzled, non-overwhelmed, and non-frantic.

Do you console yourself with the thought that these are a special breed of people with a special DNA sequence? Sadly, that is far from the truth. These are regular human beings like you and me. The only difference is that they know the tips and tricks to being super-productive. Productivity is achievable once you learn the tricks and apply them in your life. The following 9 infographics will arm you with the knowledge and productivity tips you need.

1. Reclaim your mornings

One of the most frantic and chaotic times in most people’s day is the morning. Add a couple of kids to the morning mix and your productivity score is gone for a toss. The following infographic gives us a three-step approach to tackling this problem, starting from the night before. Follow the tips given for the night before, for the morning, and tips for after you get to work to effectively reclaim your mornings and your productivity score.

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    2.Your mouth as the gateway to productivity

    Believe it or not, what you put in your mouth can affect your productivity. The sluggish feeling after lunch, the incessant need to take a nap in the early afternoon, or your body’s craving for caffeine are all symptoms of the food you consume. The following infographic provides tips on the right kinds of foods to eat at various times during the day to remain in the productive zone.

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      3.  Exercise boosts productivity

      Eating healthy is not enough. Combine it with moderate bouts of exercise during the workday to up your productivity level. No gym at work? No problem! A brisk walk during lunch time could lead to enhanced time management skills, better ability to meet deadlines, and improvements in mood.

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        4. Sleep your way to success

        A good night’s sleep is key to not only our well-being but to our productivity as well. Time and time again research studies have identified the benefits of sleep. A minimum of 6 hours of sleep is necessary for staying productive. The infographic below highlights the impact of sleep on our productivity levels and also shares tips to sleep better.

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          5. Your physical workspace impacts your productivity too

          Clutter and disorganized workspaces are time suckers and cause frustration, leading to decreased productivity. You don’t have to be a feng shui believer to organize your workspace for maximum efficiency. The computer you work on should also be set up effectively. Unsubscribe from unwanted emails, keep your inbox clutter free, organize your desktop icons, and have the latest virus protection softwares to prevent valuable losses of information (and time!).

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            6. Single-tasking is the way to go

            Research has proven that multi-tasking causes a 40% drop in productivity levels. Our IQ drops by 10 points, too! That is a steep price to pay on our quest towards increased productivity.

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              7.  Zap out unproductive meetings

              Most  workplaces use meetings to brings employees together for a certain purpose. However, meetings have now become  unproductive, leading to time and money drainage for organizations. A whooping $37 billion is wasted on meetings each year! The below infographic shares the perfect meeting recipe to avoid this drain. Is the meeting necessary? Can you achieve the meeting purpose without a meeting? Who should the participants be? What should the agenda be to achieve the desired outcome? Send the agenda and any other preparatory materials ahead of time — this is how to get the maximum benefit from a meeting.

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                8. Relax to be more productive

                All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Working without taking breaks through the year can lead to decreased productivity. Our brains need time to rest and recharge. A recharged brain is re-energized and more creative, leading to more productivity. Vacations with a complete disconnect from work are must-haves to re-energize our brains. This UK-based infographic highlights the importance of taking vacations. Though the best vacation spots listed here are all notably on the east side of the Atlantic ocean, you do not have to fly to Italy or Portland to increase your productivity! Take a vacation wherever you can afford to go and disconnect from work, truly.

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                  9. Technology to aid productivity

                  In this technologically advanced age, it would be amiss to not mention apps that can help boost our productivity.  The infographic below shares 20 apps that help you remain on task and stay focused.

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                    And here’s a BONUS one.

                    A compilation of 50 productivity hacks.

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                      Which of these tips are you going to implement today to boost your productivity?

                      Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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                      Last Updated on July 17, 2019

                      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                      What happens in our heads when we set goals?

                      Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

                      Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

                      According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

                      Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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                      Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

                      Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

                      The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

                      Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

                      So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

                      Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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                      One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

                      Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

                      Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

                      The Neurology of Ownership

                      Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

                      In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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                      But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

                      This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

                      Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

                      The Upshot for Goal-Setters

                      So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

                      On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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                      It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

                      On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

                      But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

                      More About Goals Setting

                      Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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