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5 Ways to Stay Productive During March Madness

5 Ways to Stay Productive During March Madness

March Madness Basketball

    We have all read the articles that tell us how much time and money is wasted during March Madness. Chances are our supervisors have also read those articles as well and will be keeping closer watch on us. Or, perhaps you can’t let March Madness interrupt you. Here are some ways to stay productive during the month of March.

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    1. DVR your team’s game and watch later

    This may or may not work for you depending on how a hardcore fan you are. You might want to know what’s happening when it’s happening if so a DVR of the game won’t work. Also, if you are connected to other people who share your passion for your favorite team on social networks it will be very easy to be spoiled unless you declare a social media blackout till the end of the game.

    2. Listen to the game on your smart phone

    Use an app like TuneIn Radio Pro to find a radio station that broadcasts the game. The good thing about TuneIn Radio Pro is that you can pause live radio to attend a meeting or take a phone call and pick up the action right where you left off.  In effect it’s a DVR for radio. This approach has the added benefit if your team is not local and you your local stations will not carry the games. Plan your “mundane” tasks for the time you’ll be listening to the game to avoid distraction.

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    3. Use bracket predicting as staff development

    Now, if you’re a supervisor reading this consider using the practice of filling out brackets as a staff development tool. People are going to fill out their brackets at work even if frown on it. Instead of being the stuffy place to work why not be the fun place to work? Schedule a time for your staff who are interested to get together and fill out their brackets. Offer fun prizes for the people who were the best and the people who were the worst. Allowing your staff a little time to breathe is a good thing for both office morale and your bottom line.

    4. Give yourself mini breaks and check in via social media

    Everyone needs a break every once in a while to regroup and recharge the batteries before working again. Consider giving yourself mini breaks to check in on how the game is going  via social media. As long as they are not excessive and don’t hinder your work in anyway it should be fine.

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    5. Go to lunch during the game

    Plan your lunch break during the game if the time of the game and or your time zone allow.  Everyone should be taking a lunch break anyway so why not use it to watch your team?  If it’s feasible go home and watch the game at home for a while to give yourself the break you deserve.  If you can’t make it home at least go somewhere other than your work space to watch or listen to the game.  If your team is local consider going to a sports bar that might have the game for some like minded human interaction.

    March Madness should not be a productivity killer, rather it should boost your energy because you’ll be rooting for your team.

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    (Photo credit: basketball on the color glow via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 17, 2018

    Read this and stop feeling overwhelmed…for good!

    Read this and stop feeling overwhelmed…for good!

    We live in a time of productivity overload.

    Everywhere you turn are articles and books about how to be more productive, how to squeeze 27 hours of work out of every 24, how to double your work pace, how to do more and more all in the name of someday getting out of the rat race. Well this is about the side effects of those ideas. If we aren’t multitasking, we feel lazy. If we aren’t doing everything, we feel like we’re slacking. We compare ourselves to others who we think are doing more, having more, getting more and achieving more, and it’s driving us crazy. We feel overwhelmed when we think we have too much to do, too much is expected of us, or that a stressor is too much for us to handle. And we respond by lashing out with emotions of anger, irritability, anxiety, doubt and helplessness.

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    This season especially is the most stressful time of year. Between the holidays, final exams, family gatherings and general feelings of guilt that it’s the end of the year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking of all the things you still need to get done. But if you use these tips, not only will you get the important stuff done, you’ll keep your sanity while doing it!

      Is this you?

      Change your thought pattern-stop thinking negatively

      When you feel overwhelmed, the first thing you do is start thinking negatively or begin to resent why it’s your responsibility in the first place! The first thing you have to do is to stop! Stop thinking negatively immediately. Instead, focus on the positive. If you’re stuck in traffic, think of how great it is to have some time to yourself. If you’re rushing trying to get things done by a deadline, think how lucky you are to have a purpose and to be working towards it. If you’re stressing about a final exam, think of how fortunate you are to be given the opportunity of higher education. After you’ve changed your thought patterns, you must then say to yourself “I can do this.” Keep saying it until you believe it and you’re more than halfway to ending feeling overwhelmed.

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      Take a deep breath/change your body posture

      When you’re stressed certain things happen to your body. You start to breath shallowly, you hunch over, you immediately tense up and all that tension drives your feelings of stress even more. Relax! Straighten your posture and take at least ten deep, cleansing, breaths. Force yourself to smile and do something to change your state. It could be as simple as giving yourself a hug or as silly as clapping your hands three times, throwing them up in the air and shouting “I GOT THIS!” Think to yourself, how would I sit/stand if I had perfect confidence and control of the situation?

      Focus on right now

      Now that you are in a better state of mind and are no longer thinking negatively, you need to focus on the here and now. Ask yourself this question: What is the most important thing I have control of and can act on right now? Keep asking yourself this until you have a concrete next step.

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      Take Action

      Now that you know what’s most important and what to do about it, do it! Start with the first step and focus on getting that done. Don’t worry about anything else right now, just on what your first step is and how to get it done. Once that’s done with, determine the next most important step and get that done.

      Let go of what you can’t control (the gambler’s theory)

      Seasoned gamblers understand the importance of due diligence and knowing when to let go. The Gambler’s Theory is that once your bet is placed there is nothing you can do, so you might as well relax and enjoy the process. The time to worry is when you’re figuring out the best odds and making the decision of what to bet when you can actually take action. I used this one a lot in college. After an exam, there is absolutely no point in stressing about it. There’s nothing you can do. And the same goes for feeling overwhelmed. If you can do something about your situation, do it, focus and take action. But if you’ve done what you could and now are just waiting, or if you’re worried about something you have no control over, realize that there’s no point. You might as well relax and enjoy the moment.

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        Relax and enjoy the moment

        Stop feeling guilty

        Finally, stop comparing yourself to others. If you are at your wits end trying to keep up with what you think you should be doing, you aren’t being fair to yourself. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t strive for improvement, just don’t go overboard because you feel like you have to. Only you know what’s really important to you, and your personal success journey so focus on what your top priorities are, not someone else’s.

        Everyone feels overwhelmed sometimes. The important thing is to realize it’s normal and that you can do something about it by taking focused and deliberate action. Happy Holidays!

        Featured photo credit: Stress Therapy via flickr.com

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