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Improve Your Home Office Productivity With These 4 Timeless Quotes

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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

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          More by this author

          Timo Kiander

          Productivity Author and Founder of Productive Superdad

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          Last Updated on October 7, 2021

          Are You Addicted to Productivity?

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          Are You Addicted to Productivity?

          “It’s great to be productive. It really is. But sometimes, we chase productivity so much that it makes us, well, unproductive. It’s easy to read a lot about how to be more productive, but don’t forget that you have to make that time up.”

          Matt Cutts wrote that back in 2013,[1]

          “Today, search for ‘productivity’ and Google will come back with about 663,000,000 results. If you decide to go down this rabbit hole, you’ll be bombarded by a seemingly endless amount of content. I’m talking about books, blogs, videos, apps, podcasts, scientific studies, and subreddits all dedicated to productivity.”

          Like so many other people, I’ve also fallen into this trap. For years I’ve been on the lookout for trends and hacks that will help me work faster and more efficiently — and also trends that help me help others to be faster. I’ve experimented with various strategies and tools . And, while some of these strategies and solutions have been extremely useful — without parsing out what you need quickly — it’s counterproductive.

          Sometimes you end up spending more time focusing on how to be productive instead of actually being productive.

          “The most productive people I know don’t read these books, they don’t watch these videos, they don’t try a new app every month,” James Bedell wrote in a Medium post.[2] “They are far too busy getting things done to read about Getting Things Done.”

          This is my mantra:

          I proudly say, “I am addicted to productivity — I want to be addicted to productivity — productivity is my life and my mission — and I also want to find the best way to lead others through productivity to their best selves.

          But most of the time productivity means putting your head down and working until the job’s done.” –John Rampton

          Addiction to Productivity is Real

          Dr. Sandra Chapman, director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for BrainHealth points out that the brain can get addicted to productivity just as it can to more common sources of addiction, such as drugs, gambling, eating, and shopping.

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          “A person might crave the recognition their work gives them or the salary increases they get,” Chapman told the BBC.[3] “The problem is that just like all addictions, over time, a person needs more and more to be satisfied, and then it starts to work against you. Withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression, and fear.”

          Despite the harmful consequences, addiction is considered by some experts as a brain disease that affects the brain’s reward system and ends in compulsive behavior. Regardless, society tends to reward productivity — or at least to treat it positively. As a result, this makes the problem even worse.

          “It’s seen like a good thing: the more you work, the better,” adds Chapman. “Many people don’t realize the harm it causes until a divorce occurs and a family is broken apart, or the toll it takes on mental health.”

          Because of the occasional negative issues with productivity, it’s no surprise that it is considered a “mixed-blessing addiction.”

          “A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, just as an exercise addict is very fit,” explains Dr. Mark Griffiths, distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “But the thing about any addiction is that in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh any short-term benefits.”

          “There may be an initial period where the individual who is developing a work addiction is more productive than someone who isn’t addicted to work, but it will get to a point when they are no longer productive, and their health and relationships are affected,” Griffiths writes in Psychology Today.[4] “It could be after one year or more, but if the individual doesn’t do anything about it, they could end up having serious health consequences.”

          “For instance, I speculated that the consequences of work addiction may be reclassified as something else: If someone ends up dying of a work-related heart attack, it isn’t necessarily seen as having anything to do with an addiction per se – it might be attributed to something like burnout,” he adds.

          There Are Three “Distinct Extreme Productivity Types

          Cyril Peupion, a Sydney-based productivity expert, has observed extreme productivity among clients at both large and medium-sized companies. “Most people who come to me are high performers and very successful. But often, the word they use to describe their work style is ‘unsustainable,’ and they need help getting it back on track.”

          By changing their work habits, Peupion assists teams and individuals improve their performance and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the overarching strategy of the business, rather than focusing on work as a means to an end. He has distinguished three types of extreme productivity in his classification: efficiency obsessive, selfishly productive, and quantity-obsessed.

          Efficiency obsessive. “Their desks are super tidy and their pens are probably color-coded. They are the master of ‘inbox zero.’ But they have lost sight of the big picture, and don’t know the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.”

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          Selfishly productive. “They are so focused on their own world that if they are asked to do something outside of it, they aren’t interested. They do have the big picture in mind, but the picture is too much about them.”

          Quantity-obsessed. “They think; ‘The more emails I respond to, the more meetings I attend, the more tasks I do, the higher my performance.’ As a result, they face a real risk of burnout.”

          Peupion believes that “quantity obsessed” individuals are the most common type “because there is a pervasive belief that ‘more’ means ‘better’ at work.”

          The Warning Signs of Productivity Addiction

          Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you may be succumbing to productivity addiction. After all, most of us aren’t aware of this until it’s too late.

          • Can you tell when you’re “wasting” time? If so, have you ever felt guilty about it?
          • Does technology play a big part in optimizing your time management?
          • Do you talk about how busy you are most of the time? In your opinion, is hustling better than doing less?
          • What is your relationship with your email inbox? Are you constantly checking it or experience phantom notifications?
          • When you only check one item off your list, do you feel guilty?
          • Does stress from work interfere with your sleep?
          • Have you been putting things off, like a vacation or side project, because you’re “too swamped?

          The first step toward turning around your productivity obsession is to recognize it. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to make a plan to overcome your addiction to productivity.

          Overcoming Your Productivity Addiction

          Thankfully, there are ways to curb your productivity addiction. And, here are 9 such ways to achieve that goal.

          1. Set Limits

          Just because you’re hooked on productivity doesn’t mean you have to completely abstain from it. Instead, you need to establish boundaries.

          For example, there are a lot of amazing productivity podcasts out there. But, that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them all in the course of a day. Instead, you could listen to one or two podcasts, like The Productivity Podcast or Before Breakfast, during your commute. And, that would be your only time of the day to get your productivity fix.

          2. Create a Not-to-Do List

          Essentially, the idea of a not-to-do list is to eliminate the need to practice self-discipline. Getting rid of low-value tasks and bad habits will allow you to focus on what you really want to do as opposed to weighing the pros and cons or declining time requests. More importantly, this prevents you from feeling guilty about not crossing everything off an unrealistic to-do list.

          3. Be Vulnerable

          By this, I mean admitting where you could improve. For example, if you’re new to remote work and are struggling with thi s, you would only focus on topics in this area. Suggestions would be how to create a workspace at home, not getting distracted when the kids aren’t in school, or improving remote communication and collaboration with others.

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          4. Understand Why You Procrastinate

          Often, we procrastinate to minimize negative emotions like boredom or stress. Other times it could be because it’s a learned trait, underestimating how long it takes you to complete something or having a bias towards a task.

          Regardless of the exact reason, we end up doing busy work, scrolling social media, or just watching one more episode of our favorite TV series. And, even though we know that it’s not for the best, we do things that make us feel better than the work we should do to restore our mood.[5]

          There are a lot of ways to overcome procrastination. But, the first step is to be aware of it so that you can take action. For example, if you’re dreading a difficult task, don’t just watch Netflix. Instead, procrastinate more efficiently,y like returning a phone call or working on a client pitch.

          5. Don’t Be a Copycat

          Let’s keep this short and sweet. When you find a productivity app or technique that works for you, stick with it.

          That’s not to say that you can’t make adjustments along the way or try new tools or hacks. However, the main takeaway should be that just because someone swears by the Pomodoro Technique doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for you.

          6. Say Yes to Less

          Across the board, your philosophy should be less is more.

          That means only download the apps you actually use and want to keep (after you try them out) and uninstall the ones you don’t use. For example, are you currently reading a book on productivity? Don’t buy your next book until you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading (or permit yourself to toss a book that isn’t doing you any good). — and if you really want to finish a book more quickly, listen to the book on your way to work and back.

          Already have plans this weekend? Don’t commit to a birthday party. And, if you’re day is booked, decline that last-minute meeting request.

          7. Stop Focusing on What’s Next

          “In the age when purchasing a thing from overseas is just one click and talking to another person is one swipe right, acquiring new objects or experiences can be addictive like anything else,” writes Patrick Banks for Lifehack .

          “That doesn’t need to be you,” he adds. “You can stop your addition to ‘the next thing’ starting today.” After all, “there will always be this next thing if you don’t make a conscious decision to get your life back together and be the one in charge.”

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          • Think about your current lifestyle and the person you’re at this stage to help you identify what you aren’t satisfied with.
          • By setting clear goals for yourself in the future, you will be able to overcome your addiction.
          • Establish realistic goals.
          • To combat addiction, you must be aware of what is going on around you, as well as inside your head, at any given time.
          • Don’t spend time with people who have unhealthy behaviors.
          • Hold yourself accountable.
          • Keep a journal and write out what you want to overcome.
          • Appreciate no longer being addicted to what’s next.

          8. Simplify

          Each day, pick one priority task. That’s it. As long as you concentrate on one task at a time, you will be less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed by an endless list of tasks. A simple mantra to live by is: work smarter, not harder.

          The same is also accurate with productivity hacks and tools. Bullet journaling is a great example. Unfortunately, for many, a bullet journal is way more time-consuming and overwhelming than a traditional planner.

          9. Learn How to Relax

          “Sure, we need to produce sometimes, especially if we have to pay the bills, but, banning obsession with productivity is unhealthy,” writes Leo Babauta. “When you can’t get yourself to be productive, relax.” Don’t worry about being hyper-efficient. And, don’t beat yourself up about having fun.

          “But what if you can’t motivate yourself … ever?” he asks. “Sure, that can be a problem. But if you relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll be happier.”

          “And if you work when you get excited, on things you’re excited about, and create amazing things, that’s motivation,” Leo states. “Not forcing yourself to work when you don’t want to, on things you don’t want to work on — motivation is doing things you love when you get excited.”

          But, how exactly can you relax? Here are some tips from Leo;

          • Spend 5 minutes walking outside and breathe in the fresh air.
          • Give yourself more time to accomplish things. Less rushing means less stress.
          • If you can, get outside after work to enjoy nature.
          • Play like a child. Even better? Play with your kids. And, have fun at work — maybe give gamification a try .
          • Take the day off, rest, and do something non-work-related.
          • Allow yourself an hour of time off. Try not to be productive during that time. Just relax.
          • You should work with someone who is exciting. Make your project exciting.
          • Don’t work in the evenings. Seriously.
          • Visit a massage therapist.
          • Just breathe.

          “Step by step, learn to relax,” he suggests. “Learn that productivity isn’t everything.” For that statement, sorry Leo, I say productivity isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.” However, if you can’t cut loose, relax, do fun things, and do the living part of your life — you’ll crack in a big way — you really will.

          It’s great to create and push forward — just remember it doesn’t mean that every minute must be spent working or obsessing over productivity issues. Instead, invest your time in meaningful, high-impact work, get into it, focus, put in big time and then relax.

          Are You Addicted to Productivity? was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

          Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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