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7 Unique Ways to Be More Productive in 2017

7 Unique Ways to Be More Productive in 2017
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There is nothing better than feeling a sense of fulfillment—may it be in your business, career, school, or everyday life. Achievement truly boosts our confidence, and motivates us to continue doing what we do. It encourages us to work harder because we see that our hard work has paid off. In most cases, we experience a sense of fulfillment when we deem ourselves as productive.

A common misconception of the word “productive” is that it means doing more work in less time. However, it actually means achieving a significant result; not just in quantity, but also in quality.

For instance, if you were a shoemaker and you were given an order to make 10 pairs of shoes, and you were able to create all of these pairs in a short amount of time, but with very poor quality, it would not be considered productive since your customers would most likely ask you to redo most of the work, which of course would take more time. Or worse, your efforts might not even bring any additional sales to your business at all.

Real productivity is when you create something of high quality in the least amount of time possible.

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Now, you may be wondering how to achieve productivity in general. Sure, there are hundreds of ways to be more productive, but let us take a look at the most unique and effective steps.

1. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a person’s ability to be fully present and to live in the moment. While it is true that each one of us has this natural ability, not all of us know how to use it. Oftentimes, the word “mindful” is just understood as minding your own business, but it truly goes beyond that.

To practice mindfulness in your work means focusing on what you are working on, and only on that. Do not let your mind wander. Daniel Law, a Sydney marketing consultant, is well-known in his industry for being laser-focused when it comes to getting his clients results. This, in turn, has earned him a positive reputation.

When you are engaged in important work, it is imperative that you do not find yourself thinking about your last lover, or your next meal, but instead remain focused on the task at hand. Research has shown, again and again, that practicing mindfulness leads to making better decisions and thus, becoming more productive.

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2. Outsource work

If you find that your assigned work is not within your capability, then do not be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help will allow you to save more time. So, rather than incorrectly doing the job by yourself, outsource the work. Ask someone else who is an expert in what you are trying to do; ask them for advice and tips that can help you work accurately and more efficiently.

3. Make a list

If you truly want to be more productive, make a list of the things you want to achieve. Plan ahead of time and get yourself ready. A lot of people choose to not think ahead about the things they want to attain because of the fear of failure, but when you actually write down your goals and create a checklist when making plans, the things you have to do become real and don’t remain in the back of your mind.

4. Know when to say “No

As mentioned previously, most people think of productivity as being able to do 100 tasks in 1 hour, which is completely wrong. We already know that true productivity means completing a good amount of work with the right quality, so knowing when you have enough work to do is a major contributor to productivity.

When a person keeps saying “yes” to everything, chances are that person will go out of their mind trying to get so many things done at once. Additionally, that person may also accept tasks that are beyond his/her skills. This will compromise the quality of work, and may possibly lead to wasting time.

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As long as you know your limits, you will be productive. Do not go overboard, make sure you know when and what is enough, and learn to tell others and yourself, “No.”

5. Avoid multi-tasking

Contrary to the famously advised art of multitasking, one should not do too many different things at once. Ryan O’Connor developed a massively successful brand in One Tribe Apparel by giving important priorities “undivided attention before moving on to other tasks.” Psychologists maintain that multi-tasking for more productivity is a myth that does not do you any good. It only causes the brain to engage and disengage, again and again, when you shift between different tasks—obviously, this is not what we want if we aim to be productive.

Engaging and disengaging between tasks will take up a lot of time, and will compromise the quality of your work as the brain adjusts to the new task and re-adjusts back to the old one.

6. Develop habits you can associate with good performance

It might sound silly, but it works. The notion “mind over matter” is actually effective when it comes to productivity. When your mind connects habits that are practiced simultaneously with tasks that produce positive or good outcomes, it will make it easier for you to perform and achieve the results you desire.

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An example of a ritual may be eating chocolates while writing essays. If this is continuously done successfully, it is possible that eating chocolates will be what it takes for your brain to activate its essay-writing mode. With that, productivity is around the corner.

7. Be courageous enough to decide

Do not spend too much time deciding whether or not do something. Make a decision and challenge yourself. Shaun Ling, founder and executive chairman of iPRIMA Media, built a successful branding company by being decisive and leading his team of associates courageously. Taking too long to decide will only lead to delay in work. Of course, decision-making also involves having the courage to take up challenges—and accept both positive and unfavorable outcomes alike.

Indeed, the journey towards productivity is quite challenging, but with these productivity hacks, there is no doubt that it is attainable.

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Sara Jane Adkins

Blogger at Natural Healthy Living

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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