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7 Things To Remove From Life To Be Productive

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7 Things To Remove From Life To Be Productive

The world is noisy. Messages come from every direction and from seemingly every source.  Our cars talk to us for goodness sakes!  With this noise everywhere, staying productive is harder than ever.

Here are 9 things to remove from your life to increase productivity.

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You love social, but turn it off
    1. Remove Distractions From Social Media

    This is easier said than done, but distractions creep into every aspect of our lives.  Take an hour every day and turn off the Facebook Messenger, let the Instagram feed move on without you, and ignore the SnapChats.  It’s amazing what you can do in just one hour when half your time isn’t spent checking your social platforms.

    2. Remove Emails From Your Inbox

    For most professionals, email is a tool that they use daily and can’t do without.  The little red dot with the number of pending messages can be daunting.  Keep your inbox clean! Check your mail when you get it, categorize it, and move it to a folder filing system.  You don’t have a file folder system in your email box?  GET ONE!  Keeping your inbox clean and taking action when a message is received will save you time and keep you out in front of your day.

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    3. Remove Tasks Through Delegation

    You don’t have to be the CEO to delegate tasks.  Find creative ways to utilize every resource available to ensure you’re productive.  This can be as simple as having lunch delivered rather than going out and picking it up yourself or utilizing a live chat on a retail website to find the product you need to buy rather than spending hours searching.  Always be looking for ways to increase your productivity and efficiency by utilizing resources around you.

    Remove Roadblocks
      4. Remove the Roadblocks You’ve Created Over Time

      Most people spend the majority of their time today doing something very similar to what they did yesterday.  Life is very cyclical in that way.  And it’s very easy to fall into a trap of doing tasks the same way you’ve always done them.  Remove the roadblocks you’ve created by being a creature of habit.  Always look for new, efficient ways to do your most repetitive tasks.  By focusing on the things you must do and finding a slightly better way, you get the most productivity boost.  Think about simple things like the route you drive to work or requesting a new keyboard rather than using the one with the broken left shift key.  The small details, over time, lead to big boosts in productivity.

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      5. Remove Your Resistance to Change

      Without change, you will only be as productive as you’ve ever been. Embrace new ways of doing things.  Learn from others around you.  If your co-worker always finishes before you, study what they do differently and be open to changing if it makes sense.  Change can be a powerful force to drive a productive life.  Stay open to it.

      6. Remove Things That Don’t Matter

      We too often hold on to things that no longer matter, whether for sentimental reasons or because we are so unsure of what the future brings. Don’t be afraid to remove the clutter.  Whether the clutter is physical objects on your desk or in your home, relationships that just need pruning, or emotional scars that you hold on to, let them go.  When you focus on what’s truly important you will live a more meaningful and productive life.

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      7. Remove Your Dependence on Others

      When you only need yourself, you control your own destiny.  Whether it’s huge things for which you depend on others like paying for bills or getting to work, or small things like working in a software or finding answers on your own, take a step back and see what dependencies you can remove.  Make sure you don’t bite off too much to chew, but push yourself to learn more and be independent.  You’ll appreciate your success more and become much more productive.

      There are distractions everywhere, keeping us from being truly productive.  By finding things to remove from your life, you can become more productive each and every day.

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      More by this author

      Kyle Robbins

      Kyle is the founder of Branding Beard. He writes about communication tips on Lifehack.

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      Last Updated on October 21, 2021

      How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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      How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

      Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

      Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

      The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

      Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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      Program Your Own Algorithms

      Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

      Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

      By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

      How to Form a Ritual

      I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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      Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

      1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
      2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
      3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
      4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

      Ways to Use a Ritual

      Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

      1. Waking Up

      Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

      2. Web Usage

      How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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      3. Reading

      How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

      4. Friendliness

      Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

      5. Working

      One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

      6. Going to the gym

      If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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      7. Exercise

      Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

      8. Sleeping

      Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

      8. Weekly Reviews

      The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

      Final Thoughts

      We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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      More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

       

      Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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