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How to Be Productive: 11 Ways to Be Productive and Happy at Once

How to Be Productive: 11 Ways to Be Productive and Happy at Once

A lack of productivity leads to a lack of happiness.

When you can’t see yourself making progress or getting things done, you get anxious and become stressful.

There are also tons of things that contribute to unhappiness here too: Facebook notifications, emails, texts, and chatty co-workers are just a small fraction of the disruptions we’re bombarded with. These “little things” can stack up fast and lead to hampering your happiness and productivity levels.

Learn how to be productive with the 11 tips below and reclaim your everyday productivity and your happiness, once and for all.

1. Be happy now

Life is too short. No matter what you’re doing or where you are, be happy now. Start by finding something to be grateful for; everyone has at least one thing to be grateful for.

Most of the world still has trouble getting access to clean drinking water… yhat means you can even be grateful for that bottle of Aquafina you’ve got on your desk right now.

2. Finish your day before it starts

Proper planning is the secret to peak productivity, and it’s also a good idea to set daily goals. Get yourself a planning tool and prioritize your daily tasks with it.

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Here’s a smart technique on planning and prioritization: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

3. Celebrate the small wins

Every time you check off a task from your to-do list, you release a “happy chemical” in your brain called dopamine. This gives you the motivation to move forward and do even more.

For example, after I finish writing this article and I’ve crossed it off my list of things to do today, I’ll get a nice burst of “happy chemicals” releasing in my brain. The best part? Zero side effects!

Learn from here: How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

4. Leverage like there’s no tomorrow

Look for ways to use the good old 80/20 rule by identifying tasks that you might be able to outsource or leverage out to a virtual assistant.

Stop wasting time doing things that don’t challenge you or ignite your passion. Hire out or automate anything and everything within your means.

Check out this guide to find out how to start to delegate: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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5. Recharge your batteries

Figure out how many hours of sleep your body needs and make sure you get it. Take time to stretch, walk, or relax—you’ll be glad you did.

Here’re some simple ways to relax completely and get rid of stress.

6. Become an early riser

This is one of the most underused productivity “hacks” on the planet. Ever since I decided to start waking up at 5am every day, my productivity levels and happiness have gone up dramatically.

Most people aren’t up that early, so no one can bother you or disrupt you from what you want to do. Use this time to exercise, meditate, or to get a head start on your day.

Not sure how to wake up earlier? Here are 11 Ways To Become an Early Riser Like Most Successful People Do.

7. Do work you’re passionate about

Make it your goal to blur the line between work and play by doing more things you’re passionate about. This promotes happiness both inside and outside of the workplace.

Find what you’re passionate about and do it, or learn how to enjoy what you do with these tips: How to Enjoy What You Are Doing No Matter What

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8. Use time blocks

For example, when I wrote this article, I gave myself a one hour time block. This prevents unnecessary dilly-dallying like updating your Facebook status and checking email.

Use an app like Alarmed to keep you on track.  Here’s a snapshot of the app from my iPhone.

    9. Avoid interruptions

    Interruptions are among the biggest barriers to both productivity and happiness. Every time you’re interrupted in the middle of a task your level of productivity takes a hit.

    We’ve all been there: you’re fully immersed in an important project until all of a sudden the workplace chatterbox appears out of nowhere and starts talking about stuff that doesn’t matter. By the time she’s gone, you’ve already forgotten where you were and it takes 30 minutes to get back on track.

    Avoid this by letting people know that you’ve got important work that’s got to be done.

    Learn more about how to stay focus in this guide: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

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    10. Shut down the digital disruptions

    iPhones, mailbox notifications, twitter, facebook, and everything that pops, slides, or fades in and out of your screen has got to go. Shut them down and focus.

    It’s as easy as turning off the notifications or scheduling only a specific time to check all these notifications and texts.

    11. Measure your success

    Every now and then, it’s a good idea to measure your results and see how things are coming along.

    How’s your progress? Are you pacing in the right direction? Are things getting better? Worse? It’s always a good idea to track your progress regularly.

    With an app like Rescue Time, you can easily keep track of the time you spend throughout the day. It helps you to find out how much time you’re really on-task and so you can review your progress.

      With these 11 effective ways to improve productivity, you will get more things done timely and become happier.

      Start small and take up each suggestion one by one, you can boost your productivity and create your happiness too.

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

      More by this author

      Dean Bokhari

      Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host

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      Last Updated on July 16, 2019

      6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

      6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

      Have you ever thought of yourself as a problem solver? I’m guessing not. But in reality, we are constantly solving problems. And the better our problem solving skills are, the easier our lives are.

      Problems arise in many shapes and forms. They can be mundane, everyday problems, or larger more complex problems:

      What to have for dinner tonight?

      Which route to take to work?

      How to fix a project that’s running behind schedule?

      How to change from an uninspiring job to a career you’re really passionate about?

      Every day, you’ll be faced with at least one problem to solve. But it gets easier when you realize that problems are simply choices. There’s nothing ‘scary’ about them other than having to make a decision.

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      No matter what job you’re in, where you live, who your partner is, how many friends you have, you will be judged on your ability to solve problems. Because problems equal hassles for everyone concerned. And people don’t like hassle. So the more problems you can solve, the less hassle all-round, the happier people are with you. Everyone wins.

      Why Are Problem Solving Skills Important?

      Problem is something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with. It can be a task, a situation, or even a person. Problem solving involves methods and skills to find the best solutions to problems.

      Problem solving is important because we all have decisions to make, and questions to answer in our lives. Amazing people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., are all great problems solvers. Good parents, teachers, doctors and waiters all have to be good at solving different sort of problems as well.

      Problem solving skills are for our everyday lives.

      How to Enhance Problem Solving Skills

      Most people believe that you have to be very intelligent in order to be a good problem solver, but that’s not true.

      You don’t have to be super smart to be a problem solver, you just need practice.

      When you understand the different steps to solve a problem, you’ll be able to come up with great solutions.

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      1. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

      Neuroscientists have proven that your brain cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem.[1] This is because when you focus on the problem, you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity,’ which in turn activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions.

      I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem,’ instead, try to remain calm. It helps to first, acknowledge the problem; and then, move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be, rather than lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.

      2. Adapt 5 Whys to Clearly Define the Problem

      5 Whys is a problem solving framework to help you get to the root of a problem.

      By repeatedly asking the question “why” on a problem, you can dig into the root cause of a problem, and that’s how you can find the best solution to tackle the root problem once and for all. And it can go deeper than just asking why for five times.

      For example:

      If the problem is “always late to work”…

      • Why am I late to work?
        I always click the snooze button and just want to go on sleeping.
      • Why do I want to go on sleeping?
        I feel so tired in the morning.
      • Why do I feel tired in the morning?
        I slept late the night before, that’s why.
      • Why did I sleep late?
        I wasn’t sleepy after drinking coffee, and I just kept scrolling my Facebook feed and somehow I couldn’t stop.
      • Why did I drink coffee?
        Because I was too sleepy at work in the afternoon, not having enough sleep the night before.

      So there you see, if you didn’t try to dig out the root of the problem, you may just set a few more alarms and have it beep every five minutes in the morning. But in fact, the problem you need to solve is to quit Facebook surfing endlessly at night so you’ll feel more energetic in the day time, and you won’t even need coffee.

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      3. Simplify Things

      As human beings, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it.

      Remove all the details and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive.

      4. List out as Many Solutions as Possible

      Try to come up with ‘ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS’ – even if they seem ridiculous at first. It’s important you keep an open mind to boost creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions.

      Coming from 10 years in the corporate advertising industry, it is drummed into you that ‘No idea is a bad idea’ and this aids creative thinking in brainstorms and other problem-solving techniques.

      Whatever you do, do not ridicule yourself for coming up with ‘stupid solutions’ as it’s often the crazy ideas that trigger other more viable solutions.

      5. Think Laterally

      Change the ‘direction’ of your thoughts by thinking laterally. Pay attention to the saying,

      ‘You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging it deeper.”

      Try to change your approach and look at things in a new way. You can try flipping your objective around and looking for a solution that is the polar opposite!

      Even if it feels silly, a fresh and unique approach usually stimulates a fresh solution.

      6. Use Language That Creates Possibility

      Lead your thinking with phrases like ‘what if…’ and ‘imagine if…’ These terms open up our brains to think creatively and encourage solutions.

      Avoid closed, negative language such as ‘I don’t think…’ or ‘But this is not right…’.

      The Bottom Line

      There’s nothing scary about a problem when you start to adapt my advice.

      Try not to view problems as ‘scary’ things! If you think about what a problem really is, it’s really just feedback on your current situation.

      Every problem is telling you that something is not currently working and that you need to find a new way around it.

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      So try to approach problems neutrally – without any judgment. Practice focusing on defining a problem, keep calm and not to make things too complicated.

      More About Problem Solving

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Planet of Success: Problem vs Solution Focused Thinking

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