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Improve Your Productivity with 5 Laws of Physics

Improve Your Productivity with 5 Laws of Physics

When looking at the different laws of physics, it’s interesting to see how many parallels can be drawn from the world of numbers, calculations and formulas, to our own every day lives, particularly when it comes to our productivity levels. The analogies between the laws of physics and the Five Key Ingredients To Productivity below will give you a new perspective on productivity, as well as some insights into how you can improve it.

1. Setting Goals And Achieving Them

Newton’s First Law Of Motion (The Law Of Inertia) – This law suggests that objects have a natural tendency to keep doing what they’re doing. So an object will remain at rest unless it is forced into action by another force. Likewise, an object in motion will continue to move at the same speed (and direction) unless it is stopped or acted upon by another object/force.

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If you don’t kick-start your system into motion, your productivity levels aren’t likely to magically increase on their own. Finding the motivation to get started is only part of the solution; learning to set goals and developing the right time management techniques will help you achieve an effective and sustainable “speed” on your journey towards achieving those goals. It will require some effort but once you get started, productive routines will become second nature!

2. Self Management – Working Towards Your Goals

Newton’s Second Law Of Motion (The Law Of Force And Acceleration) – This law states that the greater the mass of the object that’s being accelerated, the more force will be needed to accelerate/move it.

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How much energy you put into your goals, as well as which goals you choose to put your energy into, has a huge impact on your productivity. Prioritizing and strategically planning what to focus on and when, will give you clarity on how best to manage yourself. In any equation, all the variables involved are dependent on each other, so how much force/effort you put in, affects not only how much of the mass/task you move, but also with what acceleration and speed you are able to achieve it!

3. Habits: Out With The Old And In With The New

Newton’s Third Law Of Motion (The Law Of Action-Reaction) – This law states that for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction. In other words, if object A applies force to object B, object B will push back from the opposite direction, with the same amount of force.

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For many of us, every day is a battle between productive forces (motivation, focus, etc.), and unproductive ones (stress, exhaustion, etc.). In order for the productive ones to have a consistent enough lead in our lives to make a difference, we need to create the right patterns and habits. When trying to balance the positive and negative forces on your productivity, identifying and eliminating the negative habits isn’t always enough; the creation of new, positive ones, is equally as important.

4. Diet Choices And Why They Matter

Clausius’ First Law Of Thermodynamics (The Law Of Conservation Of Energy) – According to this law, energy can’t be created or destroyed, instead, it can only change forms. The two processes involved in this law are heat and work – in a thermodynamic cycle, the amount of heat that is put into a system equals the amount of work done by the system.

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Your body is a system that expends energy every time you carry out a task, be it mental or physical – it gets this energy from food. When it comes to food, it’s not so much about the quantity but rather what sort of food you choose. Different foods not only provide different amounts of energy, but also differ in how sustainable the energy they provide is. By making healthy diet choices, you’ll instantly be able to tell which foods give you the best results.

5. Using Your Mindset To Move You Forward

Coulomb’s law examines the forces that exist between two electrically charged objects. It states that as the distance between objects increases, the electric fields and forces between them decrease. The force between the two objects can be either negative or positive, depending on whether the objects are repelled or attracted to one another.

Think of yourself as one object and of any one of your goals as another. In this analogy, your mindset is the force between the two objects – it has a direct impact on whether you and your goals are able to connect. A negative mindset force, will lead you further away from your goal, while a positive mindset will let you work your way towards your goal and to actually achieve it!

Learning To Control The Forces That Bring You Closer To Success

Even though initially, rules and laws may seem limiting, this is actually far from the truth. Think of it this way, while the formulas/ingredients to productivity stay the same, the variables and results strongly depend on you! Work through The Five Key Ingredients To Productivity to help you overcome your productivity barriers and to master the forces that will lead you towards success!

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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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