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Improve Your Home Office Productivity With These 4 Timeless Quotes

Improve Your Home Office Productivity With These 4 Timeless Quotes

Quotes are a wonderful way to get inspiration for your day. At the same time, they provide us wisdom in a very compact form.

When it comes to productivity, there are lots of great quotes related to that topic. Although they play a very important role when inspiring and motivating us, the true value comes when you apply the wisdom in your real life.

Enter your home office.

You know that you’d like to be more productive in that environment, but you don’t know how. If this is the case, then these quotes and the steps for applying them are for you.

Enjoy this wisdom and make sure to put the advice into action.

1. “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, the rest of your day will be wonderful.”

~Mark Twain

    Do you have a difficult task that you seem to be putting off: Is it calling to clients or sending an e-mail to your customers?

    Whatever the task is, you are not alone, since we all have those kinds of “frogs” on our list. However, some people take care of those tasks as soon as possible while some people postpone them until they are forced to do it.

    Would you like to belong to the first group of people?

    How to:

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    When you eat the frog first thing in the morning, your day goes much smoother than if you were to postpone the task until later part of the day.

    In my situation, I deal with a task like this in 3 steps.

    First, I’ll just make a decision to take care of the task as soon as possible. Sometimes I’ll decide to do the task next day first thing. This way I have more time to prepare for it mentally.

    Then, I set the exact time when I will call that person or send that e-mail. This happens by marking the task in the calendar and also setting a reminder on my mobile phone. This way I don’t have any excuses, like forgetting it.

    Finally, I just get started with the task when the time is right. I take the first steps and then often I realize that I actually want to finish what I have just started.

    For instance, if it’s sending the e-mail, I start writing the message. After few lines of doing so, I want to finish the message at once and send it right away.

    Alternatively, if it’s a phone call, I prepare myself for the conversation by deciding what to say. In addition, I have a pen and paper (or other note taking equipment) ready, since I most likely have to write something down during the conversation.

    After I have “eaten the frog,” I feel much better since the task is now done and I don’t have to think about it anymore.

    2. To do two things at once is to do neither.

    ~Publius Syrus

      When you work on too many things at the same time, you are unable to focus properly on any of them, and thus you’re not making any real progress.

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      On the other hand, if you are putting your focus on the one thing at a time, you’ll notice that you are getting much more done that way.

      How to:

      Try to remember those times when you worked on two things at the same time: What was the end result? Did you have to go back to your tasks and fix the errors since you weren’t focusing enough?

      Now listen to this: Would you like to save time and get things done faster? If so, then single-tasking is the answer.

      If you’re working on your computer and creating content for your blog, then following Facebook or Twitter updates at the same time are out of the question (except if you need those sites for research purposes).

      Or, if you are preparing for the webinar presentation while talking to your wife, neither one will get your full attention.

      On the other hand, if you move to an environment which is distraction-free (from electronic or other type of distraction), you’ll realize that it’s much easier to focus on your stuff and get your work done.

      Finally, if your mind is running wild with ideas while you are doing the task, just write those thoughts down. Have a pen and paper with you while you work and “flush your mind” on a frequent basis so that it’s clear of internal “blabber.”

      Afterwards, you can take a look at the list and do the stuff that you have been writing on your notes.

      3. “The best thing to spend on your children is your time”

      ~Louise Hart

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        Your family is the most important thing you have. If you have children, make sure you spend enough time with them. This applies especially to the time when your children are small.

        How to:

        Make a decision to have a work schedule that you follow and let your children (and your spouse) to know about it.

        When you finish working, be with your children 100%: Don’t play around with your computer or do other stuff, just be fully present.

        Play with your kids, go outside for a walk, and just spend quality time with them. Be truly interested what your children have to say and become a good listener.

        You’ll realize that time will fly fast and your children will grow up quickly. That’s why you should spend more time with them when they are young.

        Do it now while you have the chance!

        4. “If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.”

        ~Lee Iacocca

          Do you know what the most important part of your business is? Are you focusing on something that doesn’t really move you towards your goals?

          Whatever the case is, you need to figure out your essential tasks and focus on them 100%.

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          How to:

          Set aside some time – an hour or two – and really give your business some careful thought: Figure out what the core tasks are which bring you the most important results in your business.

          Then, list all of the tasks that you do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and figure out the ones to get rid of, the ones to delegate, or the ones to automate.

          If possible, hire a coach who can lend an outsider’s view to your business and who can tell you the strategies and tasks that you should be focusing on.

          For me, hiring a coach has been a game-changer, as I have been able to find the right things to concentrate on.

          Besides, having a person to whom I can pitch my ideas to has been very valuable, since he has been able to shoot down my crazy ideas (not all, but some of them), which would have otherwise taken me off track.

          When you know your overall direction, it’s much easier to put 100% on the right tasks – on a daily basis.

          In Conclusion

          Quotes are a great way of giving you more inspiration and motivation for your day.

          At the same time, the true power of them is revealed when you put them into practice.

          Make sure to take at least one of these quotes and implement it into your daily life. That way your home office productivity gets a boost and you will feel more confident in reaching your goals.

          Featured photo credit:  Young beautiful woman with white laptop in luxury room via Shutterstock

          More by this author

          Timo Kiander

          Productivity Author and Founder of Productive Superdad

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          Last Updated on April 8, 2020

          How to Calm Down When You’re Stressed and Anxious

          How to Calm Down When You’re Stressed and Anxious

          Overwhelmed with work, family responsibilities, financial challenges and health issues are common culprits which catalyze stress and anxiety symptoms that show up differently in each and every one of us.

          Whilst many of us are becoming much better at identifying what can trigger us to feel these, we’re not always that great at recognizing our individual thresholds; we don’t know exactly how to calm down when the mental, emotional storms erupt.

          We can almost see you eye-rolling upon hearing commonly recommended stress antidotes such as taking a bath, lighting candles or going for a walk. Let’s face it. These simply aren’t practical things you can do when you’re on a red-eye flight at 5:30am to run a full day of training interstate and then fly back the same evening not to mention juggling a young family.

          You want to know your triggers, predict the impact of them and have your own suite of tools up your sleeve to calm down that impact for the long-term.

          Doing a little ground work to gain a strong self-awareness of your likely reactions puts you smack bang in the pilot seat to develop a robust mental and emotional toolkit that will work wonders for you.

          A few simple but well-practiced techniques may be all you need to simmer down the cyclonic intensity of emotions, and disparaging thoughts pecking away at your self-esteem and confidence. However, it’s important you do this self-reflective groundwork first to gain maximum impact for long-term effect.

          1. Strengthen Familiarity with What Triggers You

          When you have arguments with your loved one, do you stop and look to see if there are certain things you fight about? Are there certain behaviors they display that drive you bananas?

          Take your focus off them and ask yourself: “What is my usual response?”

          Perhaps you feel the anger welling up inside your chest and you then spurt out that you’ve told him or her ten times before to not leave their underwear lying across the bedroom floor.

          Think a little deeper. Ask yourself what values, standards and expectations you have that are not being met here. You’ll likely be attached to certain ways you believe things should play out. Are there assumptions and expectations as to how you believe people should conduct themselves and principles about how you feel you should be treated?

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          Having a strong attachment to these for yourself is one thing. Expecting others to have the same attachment is often what can make the hot water start simmering.

          It is often when people behave in ways inconsistent with our belief systems and events unfold in discord with what we expect and are prepared for that we feel the most stress and anxiety.

          Make a list of the common circumstances in different areas of your life that cause you to become anxious and stressed. Against each of these, describe your stress response:

          What happens? What do you feel?

          Now think about the values, principles and expectations you have attached to these. You’ll see you have a few options:

          • Change my values and expectations
          • Try to change other’s values and expectations
          • Recognize and be in allowance of others having different values, standards and expectations

          Reviewing how you react when you’re stressed and anxious, and identifying which of these three options above is going to best serve you, can greatly increase your ability to feel and be in control of calming your reaction.

          You move closer to being able to choose how you want to respond as opposed to feeling helpless and the world is spiralling out of control.

          2. Have Coping Statements on Hand

          When you have a washing machine of chaotic thoughts churning in your mind, trying to implant thoughts that are the complete opposite of what you’re thinking and feeling can be pretty hard.

          Not being able to do it can also add another layer of us feeling disappointment in ourselves. We feel we’re failing.

          Having coping statements that you can literally latch on to to help you calm down in those stressful and anxious moments, can be particularly helpful.

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          Look at creating palm cards and just have three to five of these you can have in your pocket or in your purse. Here are 6 examples:

          • Even though I am feeling this right now, I am going to be alright
          • What I am feeling right now is uncomfortable. I won’t feel this way forever. Soon the intensity of what I am feeling will pass.
          • I’ve survived these feelings before. I can do it again.
          • I feel this way because of my past experiences but right now, I am actually safe.
          • It’s ok for me to feel this way. My body and brain are trying to protect me but I am actually safe right now.
          • Ah, here you are again, anxiety. Thanks for showing up to protect me, but I don’t need you right now.

          Choose words and dialogue that feel true and accurate for you. Read the statements out to yourself and test how fitting they are for you. What feels more assuring, calming and right for you?

          Make these statements your own. The aim is of these statements is to de-escalate the intensity of what you feel when you’re anxious and stressed.

          Remember, you want to refrain from having blunt statements which feel or sound like they’re self-reprimanding because they won’t be pacifying in a positive way.

          If you are unsure as to how to come up with statements that fit for you, look to work with a psychologist or licensed therapist to give you a strong start.

          3. Identify and Develop Physical Anchors

          You actually have within you resources to provide some of the most effective ways to calm yourself down in heightened moments you feel stressed and anxious. Renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Peter Levine and expert in treating stress and trauma, teaches us how techniques which do this, such as Somatic Experiencing®[1] can significantly help us calm down.

          By learning to be fully present and applying touch to certain areas of your body (e.g. forehead and heart space), you increase your capacity to self-regulate. You also learn how to attend to and release your unique symptoms that your body has been containing in a way you have not been able to before.

          Here’s one technique example:

          1. Get in a comfortable position
          2. Have your eyes open or closed, whatever feels most comfortable for you
          3. Now place one hand on your forehead, palm side flat against the skin
          4. Place the other hand, palm down across your heart space above your sternum… the flat of your chest area.
          5. Gently turn your attention to what you feel physically in the area between your two hands. Observe and just take notice of what you physically feel. Is your chest pounding? How strong are its beat and the rhythm? Do you notice any other sensations anywhere else between your two hands?
          6. Don’t try to push or resist what you’re feeling. Try to just sit with it and remain this way with your hands in place until you feel a shift, a physical one. It might take a little longer, so try to be patient.

          You might feel a change in energy flow, a change in temperature or different, less intense sensations. Just keep your hands in place until you feel some kind of shift, even if gradual.

          It might take you even 5 to 10 minutes but, riding this wave will help you to process what discomfort your body is containing. It will greatly help to release it so you gradually become calmer.

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          Purely cognitive exercises can be tough at the outset. Learning somatic experience techniques is particularly helpful because you’re engaging in exercises where you physically can feel the difference. Feeling the changes helps you increase confidence you can control and reduce the discomfort you’re feeling. You’ll be motivated to keep practicing and improving this skill you can take anywhere, anytime.

          4. Move and Get Physical

          If you’re not one to exercise, you’re robbing yourself of some very easy ways which help you calm down and reduce stress and anxiety responses. Many neuro chemical changes take place when you engage in exercise.

          At certain levels of physical exertion, your brain’s pituitary gland releases neurotransmitter endorphins. When they bind with certain opiate receptors in your brain, signals are transmuted throughout your nervous system to reduce feelings of pain and trigger feelings of euphoria. You might have heard the term ‘runner’s high’.

          For the last 20 years, University of Missouri-Columbia’s Professor Richard Cox has conducted research showing that high intensity interval training (HIIT) is more effective at reducing anxiety and stress levels than other forms of aerobic exercise.[2] However, if you would rather slay dragons than turn up an F45 class, it’s essential you still find something that will physically shift you and alter your current mental and emotional state of mind, even just a fraction to start with. It’s 100% ok if this is not your cup of tea.

          So in a day full of back of back-to-back meetings, what can you do?

          If you’re sitting, stand. Change your posture and open your body up. Have a suite of discrete stretches you can do regularly as you deepen and engage in diaphragmatic breathing.

          If you’re looking down at your desk at work and feeling increasingly stressed, look up and change what you’re looking at. Give yourself more than a few moments to decompress.

          The main thing is to change your disposition from the one you’re in when you are experiencing anxiety and stress symptoms. You’re shaking it up to calm it down.

          5. Transform Your Unhelpful Inner Dialogue and Its Energy

          Learning cognitive restructuring techniques can truly work wonders in helping you recognize and re-frame unhelpful dialogue and negative critical thinking patterns. This involves a little preparation being transparent with yourself about what exaggerated perspectives you might ascribe to what’s happening when you’re feeling stressed and anxious.

          When you open your email inbox and see a flood of requests which require more time and energy you have for that day, dread starts to settle in and the following comes to mind: “This is impossible. How can they expect me to be able to do all this? It’s completely unreasonable!”

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          Instantly, many other thoughts that reinforce this line of thinking as well as the emotional energy of your first conscious thought start unravelling. A 4-step process you can engage to calm the eruption is:

          1. Catch and notice that first thought you had. What was it? What did you think and/or say to yourself?
          2. Recognize that what you’re feeling and be in allowance of the initial intensity of whatever those emotions are.
          3. Breath deliberately a little more deeply and slowly for a few seconds.
          4. State to yourself: “Right now (in this moment) I’m feeling overwhelmed by this, however maybe I can look at what I can make good progress and headway with as a start from here on.”

          Notice the language in step 4 is tentative, supportive, soft and not resistant nor defiant of what your original thought was. You accept your original thought, but gradually you become stronger at pivoting it.[3] You’re expanding your growth mindset language.

          It’s definitely worth working with a coach or trained therapist to learn how to tailor re-framing statements which can truly help you calm down.

          Final Thoughts

          We know, in our minds what we should do. When we’re in the thick of experiencing mental and emotional turmoil, it’s actually harder to implement what we know. In those moments, you’re unlikely to have capacity to think about what you need to do, let alone do it effectively to help you feel calmer.

          The key is to practice so that when the storm is brewing, your toolkit and supplies are in easy access. You already know your safety drill well.

          Knowing you have strategies and prepared processes up your sleeves helps you not only become better at calming yourself in amongst currently stressful situations. You have more confidence now to face more anxiety-provoking stressors because you have developed the resources to handle it.

          How you invest time and energy into getting to know your triggers and thresholds will influence how effective these strategies will work for you. We’re not denying relaxing baths or regular massages are helpful, however these band-aid-like solutions don’t really confront the root causes.

          If you truly want to turn your experience of your stress and anxiety symptoms around, dig deeper, do the groundwork and that which rattled your cage will quickly become a thing of the past.

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          Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

          Reference

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