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How To Be More Action-Oriented: Obstacles And Tips

How To Be More Action-Oriented: Obstacles And Tips

Action speaks louder than words. This is a very common expression that explains a very crucial concept that is associated with our life. There are times when words are not suffice enough to complete a work in hand. Words compose planning. Planning on doing something, taking elaborate measures to complete the task consume a lot of time. In certain instances, you may not have sufficient amount of time to make plans. It is in those times, you should keep aside your planning, and start acting out. Express yourself through actions, and not by mere words. For example, you want to bring changes in your community. You open a page in a social media, successfully gather your neighbors to sign up, or to agree to your plans. Then what? Everyone gets busy with their hectic lives, including you, and the page remains as it is, with certain amounts of advices and no action taking place, and therefore, no changes.

What makes people less action-oriented?

Lack of motivation

Once you lose your motivation in doing a certain task, you won’t feel the urge to transform it into action. It happens to people who get easily over-excited about one thing and go for a prolonged plan. By the time the plan is completed, they lose every motivation to carry out the plan because they are distracted doing too much planning.

No self-confidence

In order to be action-oriented, you need self-confidence. You have to believe in yourself. If an ordinary person can climb up the ladder to success, then I believe everyone of us can, too. In order to climb the ladder, you must be actively involved and must be willing to take the risk.

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Being a perfectionist

There is no harm in being a stickler for impeccability, but insisting too much on perfection can lead to waste opportunities in life. Fast feedback loops from your mistakes are more realistic than aiming for perfect performance in one action. People learn from mistakes. If you can learn from the worst times of your life, you’ll be ready to go into the best times of your life.

Confused about your goal

Getting distracted is fairly easy. At one point in time, I wanted to be a doctor. I prepared myself for that too. But it didn’t work out for me. I didn’t put my 100 percent on it because I just didn’t feel right about it. Sometime later in life I realised, my goal is to write. Ever since then, I got stuck to it, I worked hard and I never looked back.

Getting used to procrastination

Many of us have the habit of leaving the work for the last moment, thinking, “It won’t take much time”, but in reality, you are frantic because you have so much to do in so little time. The end result? Not satisfactory at all! There is no procrastination in action-oriented chores. There’s no need to pressurize yourself when you have ample of time.

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Analysis paralysis

You want to do something, but there is a lot of confusion racing through your brain: What to do first? Is it the correct path? What if it backfires? How to deal with the consequences? The prime way to over come analysis paralysis is to differentiate a bigger problem from a smaller one. Prioritise your problems, and act accordingly.

I am not saying that planning is not important. Planning is very important if you want to carry out your action. Without planning, you won’t know the ‘4 W’s and the H’ – What, where,, when, why and how. What I am saying is too much planning will kill your choice for action. There should be a striking balance between planning and acting out. It is because what we think and plan sets a ‘motion’, and it only becomes an ‘action’ once we out it into practice.

‘Motion’ vs ‘Action’

Motion doesn’t necessarily mean action. Motion sets the platform of the task which produces no results on its own. However, action is what that will produce an outcome. For example, you want to know a certain recipe of a food that you have enjoyed at a friend’s house. Searching on the internet, getting hold of it and saving it for the future, that’s a motion. But if you actually buy the ingredients and cook the food, that is an action. To be successful, set your motion to action, because that is how you will reach your desired goal. Here are 6 tips for you to be more action-oriented in life:

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1. Set a limited time-line for planning before acting out

Naturally, you can’t be action-oriented if you don’t know what to do. For this, planning is important. Time management is also valuable too. Therefore, set a limited time-line for planning. Jot down the important things you want to remind yourself before action, so that at least you know where you are going. Don’t over plan or over think. It should be more of a brainstorming for you.

2. Failure shouldn’t dishearten you

Failure is part of life. If you don’t fail, you can never taste success. You may break down many times when failure runs over you, but never give up on yourself. Learn from the mistakes and try not to repeat it again. Instead of stopping a child from climbing a tree, encourage them to do it. If they fall, they’ll be more careful next time, and will continue to do so until they are successful. Be that child.

3. Discipline yourself

A person who leads a disciplined life is more action-oriented than those who lazy around. Being lethargic to work is a deadly weapon. You are not only killing valuable time, you are also wasting opportunities that may come your way if you maintain discipline. Set tasks for yourself and complete them accordingly. Organise your works.

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4. Reward yourself

If you successfully complete an assigned project on time, reward yourself. Be it a treat or some shopping, encourage yourself that if you cut down on procrastinating and work harder, you will be rewarded. But, if you complete a task at the eleventh hour, refrain from celebrating. This will transmit a message to your brain to be more action-oriented.

5. Being curious and impatient

If you want to be action-oriented, you have to be the curious cat. Also, being impatient is just fine. If you are curious and impatient to know the outcome, they will push you to be more active. For this, you need to sharpen your curiosity and urgency.

6. Picture yourself to be the person you want to be

Start from the beginning. When you set your goal, picture yourself there. If you want to start a business, visualise yourself as the chief, and slowly work it up there. If you want to be a successful musician, start from scratch, aiming for the ultimate prize that awaits you. Picturing yourself to be the person you want to be will pave the path for you to be an action-oriented individual.

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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