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5 Great Ways To Work Effectively From Anywhere

5 Great Ways To Work Effectively From Anywhere

Gone are the days, where people use to sit in their offices and work from a computer with a telephone stuck on their ear all the time. It’s a new world out there, where you don’t necessarily need an office from which to work. The world has evolved into this dynamic platform that is not defined by physical boundaries anymore; rather, it is strongly connected with the evolution of information technology and wireless communication. The anytime anywhere working culture is making it increasingly hard for professionals to  work effectively.

Wireless communications have enabled us to be more productive as we work on the go with people from around the world 24/7. With the help of our Smartphones and Tablets we can send and receive files, talk via video call, attend virtual meetings and so forth regardless of where we are. Remote access to our files has made traveling with data easier. Here are five ways how you can make the most out of working on the go:

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1. Share your schedule

Make a schedule in advance and share it with important people, including details on how to reach you. This will keep your meetings organized with co-workers and other parties. People who will be depending on you to get their work done will be able to reach you as well. Take special care of your schedule and make every attempt to be available for those who depend on you despite of you being out of the office for a day, week or month.

2. Don’t lose your focus

It is easy to get distracted with beautiful sights around you. Don’t let your environment distract you from completing your work. Stick to the schedule you have set for yourself. You are away from your office, and you have no one to keep a check on you, thus, you are your own motivator and a lot of people depend on you to get the work done. Rigorously follow your schedule, and any updates in your schedule should be conveyed to all parties involved. Maintain a to-do list and review it after every few hours.

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3. Be your own savior

Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual, you are supposed to fix situations as you see fit.  Whenever you find yourself in a situation outside the comforts of your office, you have to be a little creative and responsive to get through it. Assess the situation and take into account the resources at your disposal, improvise if you have to get the problem fixed as soon as possible.

4. Take time out for socializing

It’s easy to get lost in the routine of work away from work. You start to feel a little lost without your usual social interactions. Pause! And take a breather. Go out with people who you have been recently interacting with and if you haven’t had personal contact with people, take out time to socialize with people. Consider scheduling virtual coffee breaks with co-workers or other colleagues who also work outside the office. It will revitalize you, giving you an energy boost so you can focus on your work again.

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5. Make backups

If you travel often, there are bound to be mishaps. You can be robbed, your equipment can malfunction or you can misplace your equipment. So keep data backups. The most convenient one is carrying data in a USB, but travelling with USB’s can also lead them to get lost. So introduce yourself to the world of cloud computing, where you can sync data online and access it anywhere with a few keystrokes. Backup your phones, because your contacts are priceless. In case of malfunction or loss of your phone, you can have your address book restored.

 

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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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