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3 Ways to Improve Your Productivity by Working Out

3 Ways to Improve Your Productivity by Working Out

Health and fitness blogs are popping up all over the internet to encourage you to get more active. It’s easy to make excuses about exercise not being your thing – trust me, I’ve used them all before. I’ve recently discovered that I was missing out on some serious benefits that aren’t just physical. Making the effort to find a workout routine that is best for you can not only make your body and mind stronger but is also good practice in productivity.

Here are 3 essential productivity principles that can be enhanced by working out.

The Importance of Vision

We all know someone – or have been that person- who has said, “I’m going to lose weight this year.” After a few weeks, they’re back to their non-physical routine and haven’t lost any weight.

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Then there are those who say, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds.” The 10 pounds turn to 15, 15 turns to 25, and before you know it they’ve lost 50 pounds!

The difference between the two scenarios is the implementation of vision. Before taking on any project you have to understand the full picture of what it takes to be successful. You need to set goals and then get specific about how you can reach them. Attention to details can create a more motivated and positive mindset about a seemingly impossible task.

I wanted to start training for a 5k race with my friends. I only had so much time in a week to train and knew that would be my biggest obstacle in staying motivated. I set the goal to go to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays to hit the treadmill for 45 minutes. I could run, jog, or walk, but I had to stay on the treadmill the whole time. Accomplishing the hardest task of starting motivated me to gradually increase my speed and eventually set higher expectations for my workout.

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The benefits of this detail-oriented vision plan ended up spilling over into my daily productivity as well. I have an issue with getting up on time. Once I made a goal to not hit the snooze button on Mondays, I eventually broke the habit of oversleeping during the week. Not only did I become more punctual, but I had more time for writing and freelance projects.

It takes practice to build the confidence in the ripple effects of vision. Whether you want to shed 20 lbs or add 20 thousand followers on Twitter, it’s important to have a reasonable plan of action that challenges you to succeed.

The Value of Commitment

Instant gratification is the poison to any form of success. When we don’t see results right away it’s easy to think something is not worth our time. You don’t just show up to the gym and start seeing results. You have to put in quality effort and stay with it to receive the long term benefits so many miss out on.

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Working out for a few weeks might help you with some short term goals, but it won’t help you make a lasting change. Staying dedicated for the long term is evidence to yourself that you can persevere.  Once you face your fears of combating one goal, your brain will start wondering what else is it capable of.

Through this practice of commitment we learn that we get out what we put in. How can we do our best in our careers and relationships if we can’t even commit to doing something good for ourselves first? Working hard for ourselves can spill over into us working hard for others as well.

The Satisfaction of a Job Well Done

The last and possibly most important benefit is the joy of finishing. So many people lack the success of productivity because of they don’t know how to finish.

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You might not lose any weight or gain tons of muscle after every workout. However, your body naturally rewards your hard work by releasing endorphins for you to enjoy. The growing accomplishment in the process of staying dedicated and focused builds confidence from which everyone can benefit.

If you can work your way up to that eight-minute-mile, then why can’t you finally launch that business about which you’ve been dreaming? By taking a little time to slow down and care about yourself, how much better are you going to treat that special someone?

Yes, working out isn’t easy but neither is anything else about life. That’s what makes it the best practice for leading a more productive lifestyle. Just start by making a reasonable plan, sticking to it, and reaping the benefits that surpass the runner’s high.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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