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7 Things To Remove From Life To Be Productive

7 Things To Remove From Life To Be Productive
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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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      Kyle Robbins

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

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      1 7 Effective Ways To Motivate Employees in 2021 2 How a Project Management Mindset Boosts Your Productivity 3 5 Values of an Effective Leader 4 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 5 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

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      Last Updated on July 21, 2021

      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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      No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

      Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

      Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

      A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

      Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

      In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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      From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

      A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

      For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

      This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

      The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

      That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

      Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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      The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

      Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

      But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

      The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

      The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

      A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

      For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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      But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

      If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

      For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

      These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

      For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

      How to Make a Reminder Works for You

      Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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      Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

      Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

      My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

      Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

      I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

      More on Building Habits

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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      Reference

      [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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