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5 Ways To Increase Your Productivity

5 Ways To Increase Your Productivity

There are several ways in which to improve your day-to-day productivity and ensure that you’re gaining the most from your day’s work. Here are my top 5 ways to increase your productivity.

1. Plan your day

In my mind, it’s absolutely vital to plan your day above anything else. My first task of the morning, after my morning workout, is to plan my schedule for the day ahead. This can be in hourly increments, or just a general list of tasks to achieve — you just need something to keep you on track and moving towards your ultimate goals.

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As you begin to see the benefits of planning, you may find you can plan your entire week on a Monday morning. This will really help you to increase your productivity and get the results you truly desire. Always remember to build in contingencies though. Day-to-day life has its own ways of creeping into your schedule.

2. Establish a routine

Having a routine is vital for anyone wanting to get the most from their day, and so should it be for you. From setting a time to get up in the morning to what time you should take lunch, having a routine will truly help you to control your day and how you spend it.

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I for one wake up every day at 5:00 am, rain or shine, and I ensure I’m always in bed by 10:00 pm at the latest. I know I require 6-7 good hours of quality sleep to ensure I’m fresh the next day. It doesn’t take long for your body to adjust to a new routine, and the more you repeat the cycle, the easier it becomes.

3. Prioritize

Knowing which tasks require completing first really helps to get your day off to a good start. I always believe in swallowing the frog first. For those of you wondering what I mean by this, don’t be alarmed! I don’t actually eat a frog — what this means is to take the hardest, biggest, most difficult task and do it first. Once this task is out of the way, all the others will feel like a breeze. You may not have difficult tasks, but you will definitely have some tasks that are more important than others, and it’s key to tackle these first to remain productive.

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4. Take breaks

Believe it or not, taking breaks when required will actually boost your productivity. We’ve all been there, staring at the screen trying to think. I often find 5 minutes away from the computer helps me to gain clarity and focus better when I return. This could be taking a break to grab a cup of tea or coffee, or having a 5-minute walk around the office. Anything that takes your mind away from the confusion just long enough to help you see what you’re missing.

5. Ensure a healthy mind and body

For some this is an obvious point, but for others it’s not so. It’s absolutely vital to ensure that you keep a healthy mind and body. This is obtained by eating a balanced diet, exercising 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes each time, and staying hydrated throughout the day. It’s also vital to ensure you get good quality sleep at night and wake up rested the following day. This ties in with point number 2 — keeping fit and healthy will help you to remain focused and energized throughout your entire day.

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If you agree or disagree, or just feel like maybe I’ve missed something in this list, please comment below and let me know your top 5 ways in which you stay productive.

For more posts like this, visit www.williamstokes.co.uk.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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