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5 Keys to Discovering Your Life’s True Mission

5 Keys to Discovering Your Life’s True Mission

In today’s busy world, it’s very easy to get caught up in the daily grind. It’s easy to spend your time rushing from one task to the next, crossing items off your ‘to-do’ list, and at the end of the day wondering where your time went. Eventually, if you’re like many people, you end up feeling trapped in a lifestyle that’s not fulfilling and you question whether you’re really living your purpose.

So, how do you break free from the treadmill existence and feel a strong sense of purpose in your days?

Here are 5 important keys to discovering your life’s true mission and focusing your life on what truly matters to you:

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1. Cut Out the Noise

In order to discover your life’s true mission, first you’ll need to filter out the noise. We are bombarded nonstop by distractions that steal our attention away from what matters most. The average American checks their phone 150 times per day. According to another study, the average American spends 10 hours 39 minutes each day consuming media.

When you’re constantly plugged into this hyper-connected world, it’s very hard to focus on what matters most to you. Intentionally cutting out the noise is one critical key to discovering your life’s true mission. By getting rid of it, or cutting back on the unimportant, time-sucking activities in your daily schedule, you’ll create the space in your life to discover who you are and the difference you want to make in the world.

2. Become a Self-Expert

Becoming a self-expert is a crucial step in discovering your life’s true mission. We are all wired differently, with different strengths, gifts, and personalities. You have something unique to offer to the world. As you discover your innate strengths, it’s important to give yourself the opportunity to maximize those strengths. Frequently, when we utilize our innate strengths, we can make a bigger impact, and our success feels purposeful because our actions are aligned with who we naturally are.

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As you work on becoming a self-expert, it’s important to pay attention to what lights you up and what tugs at your heart. What are you passionate about? Do you feel a strong sense of compassion for people who suffer from something specific, and you’d love to help relieve their suffering? Are you determined to solve a certain problem in the world? What really energizes you and totally lights you up? If you’re not sure what lights you up, check out this free workbook to find your passion.

3. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Serve

It’s easy to feel unmotivated and uninspired when every day is the daily grind. If you don’t feel a strong sense of purpose in your daily life right now, chances are that feeling isn’t going to magically disappear. You’ll need to change things up in your life and get out of your comfort zone.

In order to become the best version of you, and live your best possible life, you’ll need to step out of your comfort zone over and over. You’ll need to experiment and take action on a regular basis in order to discover what lights you up, which path you want to take, and the difference you want to make in the world. You can research over and over but until you get out of your comfort zone and take action, you’ll likely continue to feel confused.

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When you get out of your comfort zone to serve others, you not only feel a sense of fulfillment because you’re brightening someone’s day, but you also learn a ton about yourself. You learn how you make your best difference. Perhaps you’re a great listener, or an awesome leader, or you have a profound way of encouraging others. As you break out of your bubble and focus on serving others, you will gradually start to uncover your life’s true mission.

4. Learn to Think Big

Too often, people hold themselves back from living their potential because of thinking small. What if Mother Teresa would’ve said, “Ah, I’m just one person. I can’t really help the poor?” What if Walt Disney would’ve said, “My big dream is crazy; people would never come to Disney World. Who do I think I am?”

Living your best, most meaningful, fulfilling life, where you’re spending your days on fire for your purpose, starts with your mindset. You really can make an impact on the world. Work on your mindset and your ability to think big. Immerse yourself in learning from people who have already done what you aspire to do, and surround yourself with others who inspire you to make your best difference in the world.

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5. Take a Small Step Every Day

You don’t have to move to a remote island by yourself in order to discover your purpose. You also don’t have to march into your boss’s office tomorrow morning and say, “I quit!” and embark on a soul-searching project while you watch your savings account rapidly deplete. You can start by taking a small step every day out of your normal routine to make a difference. Ask yourself, “What’s one thing I can do today to make someone’s day a little better?” When you spend time every day intentionally brightening the world, you will find yourself having more and more fulfilling days and the daily grind feeling will be a thing of the past.

Featured photo credit: Heidi Sanstrom / www.unsplash.com via unsplash.com

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Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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