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Want To Be Insanely Productive For A Whole Day? You Should Know These Hacks

Want To Be Insanely Productive For A Whole Day? You Should Know These Hacks

We live in a production-oriented world. The numerous types of cars, shampoos and cereals are tell-tale signs that producing products, even content, is how some define success.

But this push, this drive to produce is not rooted in being busy, busy, busy. Instead, it requires a focus, a single-eyed vision to pursue one thought, one idea into completion. When we think of the phrase, “Just do it,” we think of one “it,” not “them.”

So multi-tasking, although it sounds productive, is actually counterintuitive. Research suggests that when we focus on doing several things at once versus one thing well we do not get much done any quicker. Therefore, slowing down can be productive.

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1. Know your ABC’s

Getting back on track after a distraction can be as easy as counting to three – using the alphabet. “A” means be aware of your options. “B” means breathe deeply and “C” stands for choose carefully.[1]

When you are given the option to defocus from your primary task, be aware of what is going on. Tell yourself, “I am focused on this project and that distraction is not helpful.” Then, take a deep breathe and choose whether you will stay focused on the task at hand or derail your focus by doing something different.

If you buy into the idea that multi-tasking will make you more productive, the distraction may seem appealing. However, if you want to be insanely productive, stay focused on the task at hand until you reach its completion.

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2. Set the tone for your day

Awareness begins with the self. How are you feeling? What is on your mind? Is there a list you could make to declutter your brain for the day?

In order to set the right atmosphere in your mind, body and gut, a sense of self-awareness is necessary. What is going on internally that could prevent this task from reaching its full potential? Once you answer that question, through journaling or self-reflection, you can set the tone for your day to remain focused on what is most important.

3. Technology can be an ally

Need to empty your brain of clutter? Use technology to help you remain organized and focused. There are plenty of apps available for both android and iPhone products to keep us on track. If you, like many other people, are bombarded with personal, professional and familial responsibilities to children and partners, technology can be an ally in keeping you on track, on time and on fire with the task at hand.

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Set alarms on your phone so you can completely lose yourself in a project. Reminders placed in apps can keep your to-do list stay relevant and the items of high priority at the top of the pile.

4. Breaks are necessary

Rejuvenating the brain so it remains fresh is imperative. When working on a project to completion, it is wise to factor in setbacks, moments to problem solve, deal with frustrations or stone walls, and a chance to regroup. By taking a break, such as a walk or to chit chat with a friend or coworker, you are in a position to keep your mind fresh and up to date.[2]

A fresh mind is a focused mind.

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Summary

As individuals, we contribute to the amount of ideas and products available in today’s society. Whether our contribution is grooming a child to become a productive citizen or designing the next space shuttle to launch into outer space, our individual efforts matter.

However, we are more likely to be successful in our pursuits of productivity with the right amount of single-minded focus and tranquility.

Reference

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Michelle Owens

Freelance Writer/Editor

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

How to Stop Information Overload

How to Stop Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

How Serious Is Information Overload?

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem.

This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog posts we don’t even consider reading, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it.

We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on.

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The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control.

Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it.

But first, admit that information overload is really bad for you.

Why Information Overload Is Bad for You

Information overload stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here.

When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

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You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work or enjoy your passion.

How to Stop Information Overload (And Start to Achieve More)

So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with setting goals.

1. Set Your Goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place, you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. Know What to Skip When Facing New Information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks, you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans, then skip it. You don’t need it.

If it does, then ask yourself these questions:

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  • Will you be able to put this information into action immediately?
  • Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks?
  • Is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away?

If the information is not actionable in a day or two, then skip it.

(You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant.

Self-control comes handy too. It’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future, then SKIP IT.

3. Be Aware of the Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour BodyTim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs.

Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose, no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life.

Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

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4. Don’t Procrastinate by Consuming More Information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article, we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

The focus of this article is not on how to stop procrastinating, but if you’re having such issue, I recommend you read this:

Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

Summing It Up

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance.

I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over.

I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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