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10 Full-proof Ways to Improve Your Productivity and Balance

10 Full-proof Ways to Improve Your Productivity and Balance

It’s 2017! Time is sure running fast and before you know it, it’s already the second month of the year! Better keep up with it and go with the flow, as 2017 is sure to offer more opportunities and room for growth.

Feeling slightly overwhelmed and a little bit apprehensive on how fast the time is flying? Do you have the inkling that things are spinning out of control, and before you know it, the day is over? Do not fret. Do not worry. All you need is time and balance to improve your productivity. This 2017, efficiency is the name of the game.

This is the Millennial age and every Millennial knows that with the proper mindset, everything is possible. Including a balance in work and productivity. From the moment you wake up till the time you turn off your night lamp, you need to have a balance. That is to make sure that your sleep will be peaceful and your waking hours productive. You wouldn’t believe how much you can accomplish if your mind is in balance. You can never run out of time.

So let us all encourage each other to make things work efficiently, effectively, and with technology.

Take a look at these full-proof tips to get you started on the art of productivity.

1. Write Everything Down

Early in the morning, or while at breakfast, make it a habit of writing everything down. It helps you be organized and on track. This classic move is full-proof and works for everyone. Even big bosses do it – or at least their secretary does – but you get the picture. There is a certain sense of accomplishment and joy in crossing out notes you made on your notepad. It measures up your productivity and gives you a sense of priority.

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Not a fan or note taking? Then you may download apps on your phone and you can scribble from there. These apps come with alarms too, so that you are always on schedule.

Start your productive day right by organizing your daily tasks. You don’t have to be over compulsive for this; a simple note or reminder is enough. A timetable for your tasks can beat the procrastinator in you. The pressures of deadlines make you practically an expert in getting things done.

2. Jazz Is Good

Every time you feel lazy, go and pump up the volume. It may just be the thing to wake your productivity. Play some music and refresh your mindset. Your favorite song can be more effective than your latte.

3. Fuel Up and Rest Well

Busy people tend to skip breakfast because they cannot wait to start the day. Listen to your mother. There’s a reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. How can you face your boardroom battle on an empty stomach? Or how can you finish that long list of duties if it’s not even noon and you’re drained already?

Eat up and fuel up. A fifteen minute breakfast goes a long way. You can be very creative and productive if you are energized. Just remember to eat foods with essential nutrients so that your mind and body can perform at its best.

Also, do not underestimate the power of a quality sleep. Having the right amount of snooze can do wonders for your brain. It can boost creativity and that much needed mental awareness. Do not even consider that sacrificing sleep is a good productivity hack . This is never the case. It will just leave you tired, mentally blocked, and irritated for the rest of an otherwise productive day.

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4. Exercise As Much As You Can

Quality exercise does not always mean hitting the gym. You can have the benefits of a workout even in your office. How? Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go out and buy lunch instead of dialing delivery. Heck, you can even walk over to your officemate’s cubicle to chat instead of sending that instant message.

A little walk, stretching of legs, and moving around your workstation can do wonders for your productivity.

5. Not Multitasking is the Way To Get Multiple Things Done

At one time or another, we all multi-task. We do it in the morning while reading the newspaper and cooking breakfast. We do it in the afternoon, while chatting with co-workers and finishing a report; we even do it on our way home, while driving and talking on the phone.

We cannot help but multi-task, even if we have all the time in the world to finish our tasks. Some of us are even proud to be a multiitasker. Well, there’s really no harm in being a multi-tasker, as long as you deliver consistent and quality results, which very seldom happens. When we multi-task, our brains are wired to finish as many tasks as possible at the same time, instead of to accomplish one quality job at a time.

Regardless of how people think that it’s a cool way to work, psychologists don’t advise it, as most of the time an attempt to do several tasks at once can just result in lost time and productivity. Most of the multi-tasker “experts” tend to start numerous jobs, then ran out of time to finish them all.

So quit multi-tasking and just channel your focus in finishing your task one step at a time. That way you can have more productive results.

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6. Trust Apps To Help You Track

Studies show that on average, a person checks their phone up to 85 times a day, and spending approximately 5 hours browsing the web, checking social media and using apps. What if we can convert that 5 hours of leisurely browsing into 5 hours of productive work? Now, nobody can accuse you of spending precious work hours playing around with your smart phone.

Be as smart as your phone, and start using it for work-related duties like time tracking! Specially designed for field work, which we all know is the most difficult type of job to track, time tracking apps save you a lot of time, money, and effort, helping you to be the most productive you can be. With an app that can monitor your fieldworkers anytime, anywhere, it surely is a non-discriminating method to make sure the job is done on time. Trust technology to help you level up your productivity and achieve a life/work balance.

7. Establish A Healthy Relationship With Your Boss

Being on speaking terms with your boss is not enough. Try harder to reach out to them. You are not playing “teacher’s pet” by trying to understand your boss. You are simply being respectful. The closer you can get to your boss, the higher the chances of understanding them. When you know their taste, style, and expectation in a project, then you will spend less time doing revisions, and produce reports.

Disliking your boss, or even hating how they run things will not get you anywhere but a trip to the HR office.

8. Love Yourself

You can only push yourself harder in achieving your goals by loving yourself. Blaming yourself for every little mistake will just distort your balance, and can ruin your self-esteem. You never produce good results with a low self-esteem. Instead of wallowing over failures, treat them as opportunities for improvement. You can be your very own support group.

9. Go On A Vacation

You have worked hard, so it’s now time to play harder. Companies have vacation leaves as benefits for one reason: to avoid burnout. Go out and have fun! You have earned your vacation and it’s high time to reward yourself.

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Sometimes the best way to be more productive is by leaving everything behind.

10. Smile

Clichéd as it may sound, life is always better when you smile. Your work will be a whole lot easier if you put your facial muscles to good use. You look good, too, with your pearly whites shining.

So the next time you are at work, don’t look at the time, don’t count the minutes. It will just stretch your work hours longer and slower. Your work is not a trap or a burden. It is your key for a better life. The basic way to live your life is to take things one at a time, be calm, and be positive that you’re going to finish whatever you put your mind into.

Remember that you are working to live not living to work. In this age, a smart worker is way more effective than a hard worker!

Have a great and productive year!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash.com via pexels.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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