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If You Want To Be Much More Successful, Learn These 4 Skills (People Would Be Impressed!)

If You Want To Be Much More Successful, Learn These 4 Skills (People Would Be Impressed!)

Sometimes, our lives seem to be so routine and we find that our actions are so repetitive that we forget to put thoughts into our actions. We just do the same things over and over and do it the same way that we have been doing it for a long time. We also often procrastinate, putting off simple things that are in front of us to do for later. We also tend to let technology do everything for us, lessening human efforts. Technology is a good thing, but forgetting to use your human, natural ways of doing things is not good.

You should not rely on technology to make you a more efficient person. Below are 4 tips on how to use your natural skills to turn you into a more efficient and successful person.

1. Use the CAR and STAR approach.

When you are in a job interview, do not answer like you are answering a text message. That means, do not give short and abbreviated answers. Instead, use the CAR approach or the STAR approach in answering the questions.

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CAR stands for Context, Action, Result. An example is:

Question: How do you handle stress at work?
Context: Working as an accountant, there are times when you look at numbers on the computer screen too much and it starts to make your brain tired.
Action: So, I pause for a few minutes, stretch, get up and walk to the break room to get water or a drink.
Result: Getting up, stretching and walking physically help distress. And drinking water or coffee gives me new energy to get back to work and work on numbers again.

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Interviewers use this to predict future behavior. An example is:

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Situation: The interviewer wants you to present a situation when you had handled an irate customer.
Task: What task did you have to achieve?
Action: What did you do and why?
Result: What was the outcome of your actions?

2. Consume and create.

Have you ever held a book only to find yourself looking at the summary because you did not want to read the whole book? Turning consumption into creation means that with every piece of information that you consume, you should create something out of it. For example, in reading an article that you see on Facebook, you should read it with focus and concentration rather than hurrying to get to the end of it. You should let yourself absorb the information, and that way you are are actually creating information. You consume by reading, and create by absorbing.

3. Take notes by hand.

Let’s face it, nowadays we use the keyboard more than we use pen and paper. And that necessarily is not a good thing. When we take notes using a laptop, computer or your tablet, we do type in more information because we type much faster than we can write. When we take down notes through writing, we tend to write less because we write slower than we can type and we tend to catch up with what we are listening to. Yes, we write down less with pen and paper, but with this we are more selective with what information we write and this makes us process more information. The extra-processing of information improves our learning and retention. So in short, writing is better than typing in learning.

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4. Use examples, but understand the root of it.

To help yourself learn, do use examples. But what will help you learn better is understanding the logic and mechanism behind the example.

Example:
1 + 2 = 3

Understanding the logic of the example:
a + b = c

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If you understand the logic, the next time that you are presented with the same problem but with different figures, you would know what to do. You would know that 2(a)+3(b)=5(c) because you would know that to get c, you would ned to add a and b.

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Sarah Bonander

Writer, Human Resources Professional

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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