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The Key to Productivity: It’s All in the Approach

The Key to Productivity: It’s All in the Approach

If you’ve ever watched—or played—golf, you’ll have likely noticed that golfers spend a lot more time preparing to hit the ball than they do actually hitting it. They check for environmental factors (such as wind), they swing through a few times away from the ball just so that they can work out their swing before actually hitting it, and they talk to their caddy—or to themselves—to figure out their approach. And they do all of this before stepping up to the tee to hit the ball.

Why?

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Because they want to get the best results from the onset; they want to be as efficient and effective as they can from the very first shot, and they want to go as far as possible toward their goal, all in one swing. Here’s the thing: before they swing, they weigh all the factors that go into it. Some factors are within their control, such as their swing technique, and some aren’t  such as natural elements like wind. All of that plays into the approach they take.

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Key to Productivity

    Taking a Look at Personal Technique

    Technique can often be affected by number of factors, the first of which is continuously trying out new things. Unless you are really familiar with what you’re using, you’re going to have a tougher time getting the results that you want. Look at it this way: a golfer has a sense of what club they should use at what point in time when on the course. You should have a similar strategy when you are attacking a task, project, or goal—if you don’t, then you won’t be nearly as efficient or effective. Ideally you should use familiar tools and tricks for the greater challenges. When you want to experiment with other (or newer) tools, try them out on things that are going to be less daunting.

    What about those elements that are out of our control?

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    You can have the best technique in the world, but when something unexpected comes along and takes you out of your rhythm, it could take that much longer for you to reach your desired outcome. If you’ve put things in place that you can rely on—such as a trusted system—then it won’t be nearly as disruptive when the unexpected strikes. You’ll be able to simply dust yourself off, pick up where you are, and move forward from there. Golfers don’t just throw in the towel when Mother Nature plays havoc with their game, and neither should you.

    You need to figure out your approach when starting towards a project or goal. You can’t just go in swinging; you need to weigh all of the factors. When you do that, you’ll find you’ll get much better results out of every swing—not just your first one.

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    Featured photo credit:  golf at sunset via Shutterstock

    More by this author

    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    Last Updated on July 16, 2019

    15 Productive Things to Do When Bored (So Time Is Not Wasted)

    15 Productive Things to Do When Bored (So Time Is Not Wasted)

    For most people, when they’re bored, they just sit there and don’t know what to do. They watch the clock ticks and the time passes by, and then several hours are gone.

    But what if I tell you that when you really are feeling bored and don’t know what to do during your downtime, there’re lots of things you can do to feel (and really be) productive?

    Here are 15 productive things to do when bored based on the principles of elimination, consumption and work.

    1. Eliminate Clutter

    One of the reasons why you’re not as prolific as you want may be that you have too much clutter.

    Productive things to do when bored include tidying up your desk, removing books you’ll never read from your bookshelf and deleting the smartphone apps you never use.

    Not only will you have done some housecleaning, the task might also give you energy to move on to the next, bigger task.

    This guide will help you make decluttering easier: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

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    2. Eliminate Distractions

    Is there anything in particular that’s distracting you? If you’re looking for productive things to do when bored, zone in on what specifically is slowing down your productivity.

    Social media is a popular detractor, for example. Sign out of your social networks so you can focus on things that actually matter.

    Take a look at these techniques to free yourself from social media distractions: How Not To Let Social Media Control Your Body and Mind

    3. Eliminate Concerns

    Are you worried about something? Is that concern getting in the way of your productivity?

    Deal with the problems that are keeping you from spending your time as well as you should. Examples include tasks like double-checking your schedule and sending follow-up emails.

    By removing all of your stressors, you’ll be a lot more prolific.

    4. Eliminate the Unnecessary

    There are a lot of things in our lives that might be nice but are distractions to our productivity because they’re not necessary.

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    Find out what those things are and remove them from your place of work.

    If you find everything around you necessary, then maybe you can try this One Question to Help You Successfully Declutter Anything.

    5. Eliminate Quick Tasks

    Even if you don’t have enough energy for a big task, you might have enough to do a small one.

    Check off items on your to-do list that can be done quickly like making a phone call or sending off an email.

    6. Consume Knowledge

    When you’re bored, it’s an opportune time to learn. One of the most productive things to do is to learn anything on the internet. It could be watching YouTube tutorials, or learning facts and skills on these 24 Killer Websites that Make You Cleverer.

    7. Consume Data (or Maps)

    Information isn’t the same as knowledge. Are there names, terms, dates, statistics, places or something similar you need to ingrain in your head?

    Studying data or maps is one of the most productive things you can do when you feel bored.

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    8. Consume Fiction

    You have to be careful with this one; you can’t just watch an episode of your favorite TV show and call the time you spent productive. But you can pick some meaningful fictions and start reading. Here’re some recommendations for you: 30 Books That Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

    9. Consume Non-fiction

    Reading a biography about someone in your profession or an account of historical events relevant to your career can be extremely productive things to do when bored. Time can be well-spent watching, reading or listening to something that inspires you:

    10. Consume Culture

    By consuming culture not only are you enriching yourself, you’re also trying a new experience. Taking part in activities you haven’t done before can be very productive things to do when bored.

    11. Work on Your Work

    Work is probably the hardest thing to do when bored, but it’s still possible to muscle through the lethargy and get things done.

    If you’re unmotivated, remind yourself that your time best spent is doing the work that pays your income. A cash incentive goes a long way towards productivity.

    12. Work on Your Craft

    If you don’t feel like doing something career-related, try something artistic!

    Creative activities like painting or creative writing could be the perfect productive things to do when bored.

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    13. Work on Your Physical Health

    If you don’t have a lot of energy to do something mental, hopefully you at least have the energy to partake in a physical activity.

    Some productive things to do when you’re bored are running, walking, biking and lifting weights. Any kind of exercise is likely to free you from boredom.

    14. Work on Your Emotional Health

    Is there a personal issue that’s making it hard for you to be interested in anything? If so, address it. You’ll find productivity a whole lot easier.

    Become emotionally healthy by learning about these 15 Things Emotionally Healthy People Do.

    15. Work on your Mental Health

    Boredom is often in reality something akin to anxiety or depression. Try doing mental exercises that help you focus on positive experiences and mindfulness to alleviate you of what you’re perceiving as boredom.

    Practicing mindfulness and meditation can calm and relax you, take a look at this beginner’s guide to meditation: Meditation for Beginners: How to Meditate Deeply and Quickly

    A few simple steps towards improving your mental health can go a long way, not only towards productivity but your happiness in general.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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