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10 Methods To Acquire Effective Knowledge

10 Methods To Acquire Effective Knowledge

Knowledge is the basis of everything in existence. Without knowledge nothing would exist as we perceive it to be. It is imperative and indispensable. Knowledge is the building blocks of any foundation. Knowledge is the key to opening doors that would otherwise be locked. Commodities are only sought after due to knowledge and awareness.

1) Research Meticulously

Being immersed in this world of information can be a daunting task to handle and comprehend. Ensuring proper research is completed has been proven to be conducive to fact finding. The truth is what holds value when researching a particular topic. Try your best not to let emotions play a role in how you perceive what’s being explained. The Internet is a wonderful place to start, and it can end there as well. However, the addition of reading books is a surefire methodology to enhancing your research. Having clarity and precision is the difference between gaining knowledge or becoming bamboozled.

2) Read Books

The level of convenience is unmatched when reading a book, whether it is electronic or physical. This process can be done anywhere you decide to go, and has zero limitations. The Internet cannot always be accessed, and cannot be relied upon to broaden your horizons. The information provided in books is direct, as opposed to reading published articles online.

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Reading stimulates the brain to focus solely on each word written down in the text, and expands the lens of imagination. The cognitive function changes direction when reading digitally. Shortcuts are taken, keywords are searched for, and the page disappears once its finished, making it impossible to turn back to the page for a review. That said, this doesn’t mean one method is better than the other. Balance is what matters. Don’t neglect the power of books.

3) Operate Consciously

Many people get caught up in the routine of doing what they need to survive, which can cause their actions to be mechanically inclined. Actions are then executed without thinking, while the procedure can be affected negatively. Sit back, clear your mind, and contemplate deeply on every move you make. Setting yourself into a trap is the most deadly decision you can make. Ameliorating circumstances are part of living a happy life. Remaining consciously aware of your surroundings and environment can prevent horrendous problems from occurring. Understand that your actions affect those who are around you, as well as people you may never meet. Push forward with firmness of purpose and constancy.

4) Develop Good Habits

We are all plagued with having bad habits. They are the flaws we all possess, but don’t settle for letting your bad habits outweigh the good. Every day is new and different; however, there are still responsibilities, duties, and tasks we are held accountable for. We have to do similar things everyday to survive, which are the habits we choose to develop. Replacing bad habits with good habits can take months, and it isn’t an easy feat. When you are locked in on something that isn’t improving your circumstances, it constitutes a bad habit.

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Whatever the habit may be, acknowledge you’re wasting time doing so, and replace it with a passion that will benefit you. These habits can range from something as simple as cooking more, to setting a deadline for a project you’re creating.

5) Harness Productivity

Work ethic goes a long way in this life. There are times for playfulness and relaxation, but you must devote the entirety of your day to the grind. Everyday you must work towards something better. Apart from your job, you must work on something new that will stimulate your mind. There’s always work to be done. It could be working on yourself, helping others, growing a business, finding another job, or even something simple like cleaning and organizing your residence. Boredom is a result of being uninspired and not challenging yourself to become better.

6) Set Obtainable Goals

Create realistic deadlines for the goals you want to accomplish. Don’t fool yourself by trying to complete what you’re working towards too quickly. Moving hastily is a dangerous sojourn to embark on, and it must be regulated. Try to set a date that suits your schedule, and then push it ahead a few days. This way you may be able to complete the goal before the deadline. If you are focused on completing a goal too soon, and don’t meet the deadline, you will only get discouraged and possibly give up. Goals are like anchors; once they are set they will stay in alignment.

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7) Encourage Others

Support people’s visions, and give them positive feedback on what they’re trying to accomplish. Let them know what they’re striving for is larger than them. Show up to their events. Constructive criticism is only warranted if you’re a genuine individual, and should only be expressed if there’s a personal relationship involved in the matter.

8) Believe In Yourself

Having faith in what you do is a tremendously insatiable power. It forces you to grow, helps you love yourself more, and constantly pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Understand the vast reality of what it takes to be what you want to become. If anyone doubts you, don’t bother listening to them, because if you indulge their negativity you’ll waste your time and energy. Definitely take what they say into consideration, but never let it diminish the vision you have been blessed with.

9) Embrace Pain

History has taught us that those who experience the most pain are the successful ones. Nothing will be given to you in this life; pain is an inevitable emotional state. You must learn how to enjoy the shackles of pain, push through it, and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Darkness is only the absence of light. We all have the ability to shed our own light.

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10) Learn From Your Mistakes

Failure is a part of life. Without failure none of us would be able to learn. Your best teacher is the last mistake you made, and nothing can trump the consolidation of experience. Think critically about why you failed at particular actions, then make adjustments, strategize, and try again. The process of learning is a cyclical process like the Earth spinning on its axis.

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Published on January 16, 2019

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

  • Are you a great strategist?
  • Are you an effective planner?
  • Is Project Management your strength?
  • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
  • Are you the ideas person?
  • Is Implementation your strength?

Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

4. Take Time for Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

You can take the time to think about:

  • What’s the purpose of the project?
  • How Important is it?
  • When does it need to be delivered by?
  • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
  • What are the KPIs?
  • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
  • Who is working on this project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
  • What tolerances can I add in?
  • What are the review stages?
  • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

5. Focus on Priorities

Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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    The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

    If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

    If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

    6. Take Time Out

    To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

    If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

    Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

    In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

    Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

    I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

    Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

    If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

    8. Stop Multitasking

    Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

    So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

    When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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    If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

    9. Work in Blocks of Time

    To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

    I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

    Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

    Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

    Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

    Then take another 10-minute break.

    Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

    By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

    10. Get Rid of Distractions

    Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

    “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

    Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

    If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

    11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

    You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

    Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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    Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

    12. Take a Time Audit

    Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

    Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

    You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

    Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

    Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

    At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

    If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

    13. Protect Your Confidence

    It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

    When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

    Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

    When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

    Final Words

    A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

    The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

    If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

    Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

    Reference

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