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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 January 21, 2020

    What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

    What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

    Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

    Can I Be Creative?

    The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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    How Creativity Works

    Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

    What Really Is Creativity?

    Creativity Needs an Intention

    Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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    Creativity Is a Skill

    At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

    Start Connecting the Dots

    Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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