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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

How to Become Productive Without Getting Stressed Out

How to Become Productive Without Getting Stressed Out

Being productive is more important than ever in this age. As technology improves, the expectations that we are under from our jobs, our family and even our friends also seem to rise. Therefore, we all look for ways to be efficient as we can in all areas of our lives. But how do we do this without getting stressed out?

Knowing how to deal with stress is becoming a serious problem, especially in the United States. We stress over getting along with our co-workers, fitting more into our daily schedules and, most prominently, we even stress over trying not to stress.

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So let’s take a look at seven ways to up our productivity, while still keeping our stress levels in check!

Video Summary

Plan Your Next Day a Few Hours Before Bedtime

Many of us make the huge mistake of planning our next day as we lie in bed. Instead, try to make a quick “To Do” list a few hours before bedtime, that way you can clear your mind and be energized for the following morning. Not only will you feel more organized, but that stress that you feel when you “might be forgetting something” will also be a thing of the past.

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Delegate What You’re Not Good at

Many productive leaders only do what they’re good at. In other words, if you have the ability to outsource a task or a project that you’re just not cut out for to another team member or a freelancer, then go for out! It doesn’t do you any favors to volunteer for something that you know you won’t excel at just to appear “eager to learn”. You know your skill set and your limitations, so if you’re not the best in the world at a particular task, then outsource it to someone who is.

Create Time by Having a Small Tweak of Your Daily Schedule

Well, there are actually quite a few things that are within your control that can help add some more time to your day. Take lunch a bit early or a little later than most, avoiding that long line at the area restaurants. When you’re at home with family, do your grocery shopping at off-peak hours and see the latest movie during a matinee. You will definitely find it easier to manage time in your busy schedule, plus you may even put a few dollars back into your pocket!

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Ask for Help When You Feel Overburdened

If things ever get to be a “little too much,” learn to ask for help. This can mean talking to a friend to clear your mind or even taking a step back from some of your responsibilities in the office. It could even mean setting up that first therapy appointment. So, it may be just the thing to help you get rid of that stress and anxiety for good! Once you are thinking with a clear mind, you’ll see your productivity levels will thank you for it.

Get in Great Physical Shape to Energize Your Mind

Working out is not only good for our bodies, but it releases endorphins, which also energizes our minds. Plus, stepping away from your desk for even ten minutes to get your blood pumping can make you much more focused when you return. You can also add one of those standing desks that everyone has been talking about. You can place more attention on the project you’re working on, while also alleviating those cramps you get after sitting for an hour or so straight.

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Stop Letting Your Relationships Drag You Down

Relationships can be one of the biggest stress builders on the planet, and being around negative people only compounds that. Try to remove as many of these people as you can from your everyday life. If you find yourself in a situation at your job where you have no choice in the matter, put up your “negativity shield”. Remind yourself that you don’t need the additional stress or the decrease in productivity, and remain in control of your own emotions and how you choose to deal with the situation before you.

Eat and Drink Fresh to Boost Energy in Your Body

The next time you need a boost of energy, don’t reach for those sugary drinks. Energy drinks may provide a short bout of energy, but they can also make you jittery, welcoming in those stressful feelings. Instead, grab a piece of fresh fruit or some low-fat chocolate milk. If you’re feeling a bit stressed out, reach for a piece of dark chocolate. Yes, those rumors are true!

Staying as productive as you possibly can and learning how to deal with stress are two very important things to accomplish in your life, and they go hand-in-hand quite a lot more often than you might think. As you follow these seven tips to keep stress levels at bay and learn to be more efficient, be ready to see your life change for the better!

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Angela Ash

Writer and Editor

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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