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10 Management and Business Skills Everyone Should Learn To Be More Productive

10 Management and Business Skills Everyone Should Learn To Be More Productive

Business leaders measure productivity by the quality and quantity of output over input. Management seems to have a big part in a business. They decide, implement actions, and take the control. The professional skills and roles of managers are important to be adapted and put into practice not only by business people but all people who want to do and be more everyday.

1. Prioritize tasks

Lining up your daily tasks can be one of the effective ways to be productive. Focus on what is important by asking what are the things needed to be done first or by measuring the value of each task needed to be accomplished. It is essential to assess the things needed first to finish the right job at the right time.

2. Manage time properly

Get an early start. Doing things now instead of later is the ultimate secret that business people use to get more done, providing a schedule and record to help them track their activities and progress during the day. They reward themselves with a break that is short enough to avoid wasting time but long enough to refresh and clear their minds.

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3. Know when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’

“I nourish myself by saying “no” when I mean no, and “yes” when I mean yes. I know what I want.”

What keeps people from saying ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ (when they mean ‘no’) is the fear of losing opportunities. In some cases, there are people that don’t want to be rude to others and make others feel rejected, so they take the responsibility. But, it is all up to you. Come to think of it, everyone has their own desires and priorities in life. There is nothing wrong with saying ‘no’ to the things you don’t want and you are no longer interested in doing, as long as saying it will do no harm to others.

4. Begin with the end in mind

Business people have a clear picture of the goals they desire to achieve or to have at the end of the day, week, month or even year. It helps them focus more on important concerns. It also involves the idea of “believing in yourself” that you can do it. Efficient and timely strategies can lead to successfully achieving the goal. Nothing happens in waiting for things to come your way, so the most important step is to make it happen.

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5. Keep on learning and finding new ways

Knowledge can be found everywhere. It is not only something people can get in school, but is also acquired through their personal experiences. Productive business people look for hobbies that will encourage their learning everyday. They explore. They are open to new great things that could help them grow mentally, physically, and emotionally.

6. Allocate resources efficiently

In business terms, resource allocation is the proper assignment and management of scarce resources to effectively support an organization’s goals. Management knows how to maximize their time (to get duties done before the deadline) and power (to create and accomplish more productive things everyday). They learn to value what they have today and create wise actions out of it, because not all things will be present at all times.

7. Use the right tools to stay productive

Productive tools can improve the level of productivity and maximize efficiency while working. Mobile phones, although not objectively stated, are obviously essential when dealing with your team, for example, in group projects, since it can bridge the gaps of communication with the members. With the rise of technology, productivity applications on mobile devices are highly useful and powerful and helps business people keep track of daily agendas and increase their productivity level.

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8. Live for today

“Work smarter, not harder.”

Productive business people normally dwell on things they have yet to achieve, but they always have breaks intended to appreciate life and to focus in the ‘now.’ They avoid worrying about things regarding the future that can ruin the day.

9. Deal with the unexpected

Unexpected events can come anywhere, at any time, to anyone. Business people prepare for the worst. They learn to keep everything in mind to deliver a quick and meaningful response.

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10. Get organized

Like beauty, organization comes from within. It has to start within oneself before other people can actually see it. Organized people know how to keep everything in its proper place. They carry a journal and love to make lists. They are busy categorizing so everything will fall into place.

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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