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The Number One Rule Of Productivity That Most People Find Challenging To Follow

The Number One Rule Of Productivity That Most People Find Challenging To Follow

Always busy? Always in a mode of crisis?  Your to-do lists are never ending and most don’t get resolved?

Looking back at the day you realized that most of the day was spent dwelling in your inbox responding to streams of email? Now, if checking email prevents you from getting other tasks done you are confusing important and urgent and draining away your energy.

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What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.” – Dwight Eisenhower

In simple terms, an urgent task demands immediate action and an important task contributes to long-term goals like reaching career goals, having financial security and staying fit.

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The distinction seems simple enough, and many confuse the two, The Eisenhower box maps out the main quadrants that seem like an easy enough distinction, however, we’re quick to muddle all up.

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    Let us analyze this model with a few examples in each quadrant:

    Urgent and Important

    • A crying baby
    • A work crisis
    • The rent payment

    Important, yet not urgent

    • Saving enough for the future
    • Exercising sufficiently
    • Sleeping  for full recommmended hours a night

    Not Important, but urgent

    • A flight booking
    • A  deadline

     Not Important and not urgent

    • Watching a movie
    • Checking Facebook
    • Eating favorite cookies

    If we have not worked out our list of ‘to do’s’ within this quadrant, the tasks can evolve into a looping mired circle and any enterprising projects will not get completed. You know the feeling when looking at the list and realize nothing was accomplished.

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    Many will infer that if you are always busy with ‘urgent’ matters you crowd out’ important but not urgent future goals. If you are working seventy hours a week, you might be withering away friendships, close family and decreasing your personal health.

    Successful people with demanding jobs schedule important but not urgent tasks on their daily routine. Your number one on the ‘to-do’ list for today? 1. Take time to work on your personal urgent and important schedule.

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    Nena Tenacity

    Nena is passionate about writing. She shares her everyday health and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on July 2, 2020

    7 Ways To Stop Being Lazy And Start Getting Things Done

    7 Ways To Stop Being Lazy And Start Getting Things Done

    “I’m going to take a lazy day today.”

    Okay, there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s called a day off, and it’s a magical thing.

    But when every day is a “lazy day,” there’s a problem. Sometimes we just need a kick in the butt to get us up and moving, so we can handle our business effectively.

    Often, laziness has a deeper and darker cause that we don’t want to think about, let alone acknowledge. Here are 7 ways to stop being lazy and become more productive.

    1 Find Out the Root Cause

    Are you burned out from working 27 hours a day, 9 days a week since before you can remember? This is a signal that you need a rest or a change.

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    Human beings are not meant to work all the time. Our paleolithic ancestors worked, on average, about 20 hours a week. (Yeah, we members of modern society are getting hosed.) Maybe you feel overwhelmed, are afraid to fail at the task, or you just don’t want to do the task; these are discrete problems with separate solutions.

    Finding out the root cause of your laziness can help you make the changes you need to make to be a more effective and energetic person.

    2. Find Your Passion for the Work

    You started doing what you do for a reason, but sometimes, even the tasks we love the most can become dreary and mundane. When this happens, remind yourself why you started doing it in the first place.

    You must have had a passion for it at some point, or you wouldn’t be bothering with it. Remind yourself of the good points of the work, not just the parts that suck.

    3. Break up Your Time

    People work more efficiently when they have ample rest time. Working in short, focused bursts is far more effective than trying to slog through the task all at once. Not only will you be happier with the end product, but you’ll feel better and more energized after completing it.

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    Learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    4. Look at Ways You Can Do the Task More Efficiently

    When possible, work smarter instead of harder.

    We’ve already talked about why working hard doesn’t work as well. If you can find a better way to do the task, you’re more likely to enjoy it because you’re not simply performing the task by rote, but rather, using your creativity and imagination to their best effect. This will make you feel better about the job and probably enjoy it more, too.

    Try these 12 Ways to Work Smart.

    5. Ask for Help or Support

    Sometimes, we just need a little extra backup. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help from a more motivated coworker, friend, or family member. This is a useful way to get you up and moving, because they will motivate you to do the task.

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    At the same time, you may be doing them a favor by motivating them to work harder. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone!

    Learn How to Ask for Help When You’re Afraid To Do So.

    6. Think About Why You Don’t Want to Do the Task

    This sounds like a rehash of number 1, but it’s really not.

    Some jobs we don’t want to do because they’re just not fun. Mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, or getting under the car and replacing the alternator all have one thing in common. People don’t like doing these jobs because they take time and energy, they’re not pleasant, and we know that sooner or later, we’ll just be doing the same thing all over again.

    However, instead of thinking about why you don’t want to do the task, think about the benefits. Your car will run better, the Homeowners’ Association won’t be leaving you a nasty gram for the sixth time this month, and your house will look nicer and feel more welcoming.

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    By turning a negative into a positive, you’ll find your outlook about these tasks will be more positive too.

    7. Force Yourself

    Sometimes there’s just no getting around it. All the good advice and wishes in the world won’t make the job look any better. In these cases, you need to remember you’re an intelligent, mature member of Homo Sapiens, and get off your butt.

    While it may not be fun at the time, you can look back on the task you did later and say, “Yeah. I did that.” You shouldn’t have to force yourself out of bed every morning (this is a warning sign of depression that you should NOT ignore), but every once in a while, we need to force ourselves to do something we just don’t want to do.

    Believe it or not, you’ll be proud of yourself once the task is done.

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    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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