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The Ultimate Advantage of Group Effort: Why Some Goals Require Group Effort for Faster Success

The Ultimate Advantage of Group Effort: Why Some Goals Require Group Effort for Faster Success

I recently acquired a property that is over 100 years old and was a former stately mansion turned into a triplex. My intention was to use this as one of my rental properties in my real estate investment portfolio. Like many houses of this age, it required a lot of repair although there were still signs of former elegance including original wooden floors, stained glass, bay windows and an Italian marble fireplace (that no longer works). In fact, the property was elegant enough for film producers to do a movie shoot inside one of the rooms where Christian Slater was the leading star.

One of the apartment units was already tenanted and two were vacant by the time I took ownership. Repair issues included many cracks in the walls and ceilings, plumbing that needed fixing, lighting fixtures that needed replacing, broken windows and screens as well as a full repainting of the walls. I personally don’t have the expertise to do most of these renovations so I hired contractors to do what I cannot do.

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Why Achieving Goals Alone is Not Always Effective

In order to save some money, I initially tried to do as much of the renovations work myself and this included most of the painting, since I had already painted my own house before. I could also do other simple tasks like replace broken window screens since again, I already did that at my own residence. I was thinking that doing as much as I can on my own would be shortcuts to success in the overall renovations.

When the renovations crew came onsite, the plan was for them to repair the major cracks on the walls so I could do the painting. However, things did not turn out that way. They told me that my painting skills were quite poor being slow and messy. As a result, they would have to clean up after my mistakes.

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Ultimately, I got ‘fired’ by my own contractors, in a nice way of course since I was the guy paying them. So I was effectively demoted by my own crew to being the clean up man since that was the only thing I could not mess up.

You’ll Achieve Faster Success in Goals with the Advantage of Group

I could take the time to learn how to do many of the renovating tasks on my own because new skills just take an effort to learn. However, such skills in repairing houses would have taken me so long, that there would have been much delays in achieving the overall goal, which was to get all of the vacant apartments rented out. Each week that a unit is vacant costs a property owner money.

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So I gave in and decided upon the advice of my contractors to let them do most of the work, including painting. In many ways, getting fired by my own renovations crew was very helpful. The renovations would be completed much faster with the professionals handling these tasks. Meanwhile, this freed up my own time to focus on the things that I did well, which included marketing the vacant units to potential tenants.

In fact, the marketing campaign was so effective with my total focus, I was able to get new tenants signed up on leases before all of the renovations actually finished. This of course resulted in minimal financial loss due to vacancies.

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My example here with my real estate rental property shows that some of our goals in life are not meant to be achieved alone or in isolation. Instead, success will come easier and faster if such goals were worked on with the help from other people.

Such teamwork with others also occurs in nature as many animals including wolves and killer whales hunt together in numbers. It is much safer for these animals to bring down certain prey, especially larger and dangerous ones, if teamwork is utilized.

The assistance of the right people involved with your goals can result in major success that you would not otherwise have achieved by yourself. So it is important to determine which of your goals should be attempted on your own and which ones are best with group effort.

Featured photo credit:  Young man touching icons of different people via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

Let me guess.

You should be doing something else rather than reading this article. But due to some unknown force of nature, you decided to procrastinate by reading an article about how to hack procrastination. You deserve a pat on the back.

Fortunately, procrastination is not a disease. It’s just a mindset that can be changed, however, here are some productivity tips you need to start getting work done:

First, you need to acknowledge that procrastinating is an unhealthy habit. Not only you’re prioritizing unimportant things, basically, nothing gets done. Still unsure if you’re a procrastinator? Check out this article: Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Procrastination And Start Doing)

Second, your commitment to change is very important. You should be physically, emotionally, and mentally determined to change this habit. If not, then you’ll just succumb to the tempting lure of doing other things rather than your tasks or chores.

Here are sthe best productivity hacks to improve productivity and keep yourself from procrastinating at work:

1. Give (10+2)*5 a Try

Let’s start with a classic but very effective hack called (10+2)*5 created by Merlin Mann,[1] author of 43Folders.com. Don’t worry. This is not a complicated Mathematical formula you need to solve.

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The (10+2)*5 simply means 10 minutes work + 2 minutes break multiplied by 5, completing 1 hour. It is crucial to stick with the time limits and not skipping work and break schedules. The point of this is for you to create a jam-packed routine of work and break schedules. The result? You will eventually skip your break schedules.

2. Use Red and Blue More Often

Clean your desk and remove things that might distract you. According to a Science Daily study[2] about which colors improve brain performance, red was found out to increase attention to details while blue sparks creativity. Surrounding your workplace with these colors not only benefits your brain, it’s also pleasing to the eye.

3. Create a Break Agenda

List all the things you want to do on your break, be it surfing the web, checking your emails, snack time, taking selfies, Facebook/Twitter—everything.

Like the (10+2)*5 hack, squeeze these in between work time but the difference is you schedule these activities for ONLY 20 minutes. Eventually, you’ll take your break minutes wisely. You’re finishing tasks while sidetracking to doing the things you enjoy.

4. Set a Timetable for Your Tasks

Like any other habits, procrastinating is a tough wall to break. Replace this habit with another habit. When you’re assigned a task, set a timetable for each step. Let’s say you have a big research task. Here’s a sample timetable:

9:00 – 9:10 am – Set up all your tools, browser tabs, emails, coffee, etc..
9:10 – 10:00 am – Internet research
10:00 – 10:45 am – Look through existing files
10:45 – 11:00 am – Break time!
11:00 – 12:00 pm – Outline the research report

Deadlines are the best hack for getting things done. Setting a specific time to finish a task creates time pressure even if the deadline has passed.

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5. Take It Outside!

Do yourself a favor and don’t ruin the comfy vibe of your home. If you need to work on a stressful project, do it in a library or coffee shop. You’ll never finish it anyway. Your cozy sofa and toasty bed will just lure you into napping yourself to doom.

6. Become Productively Lazy

Instead of finding all sorts of ways to unproductively procrastinate, use your habit to look for shortcuts and new ways to finish your tasks. Staple multiple papers at a time or master the 3-second t-shirt folding technique. A strong drive combined with laziness sometimes bring out the productive and creative side you never knew you have!

7. Assign a ‘Task Deputy’

It could be your colleague, your supervisor, or your significant other, anyone who has the unforgiving guts to reprimand you when you procrastinate. You could go the extra mile by paying up unfinished tasks or times you open your Facebook or watch a funny cat video on YouTube. Let’s see how five bucks every time you procrastinate will change you.

8. Consider a Gadget-Free Desk

According to a study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, average users check on their phones 150 times per day and having your phone just an elbow away just creates sizzle to this habit.[3]

Removing mobile devices and gadgets allows you to focus on your work without the constant interruption from notifications, calls, and text messages. It eliminates the very distracting ambiance and the urge to unlock your phone just because.

9. Prepping the Night

Before hitting the sack to oblivion, prepare everything you’ll need the next day. This will probably take you 15 minutes tops, saving you more time for coffee in the morning.

Spin class at am? Pack up your gym clothes, shoes, socks, etc. or better, create a checklist so you don’t miss anything. You can also prep your food into containers and just grab one before leaving.

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10. Do a 7-Minute Workout in the Morning

Exercising is proven to increase productivity and stimulate release of endorphin or “Happy Hormones”.

Take a jog outdoors and get warmed up for the day. Don’t feel like running outside? Hop on a treadmilli. It’s a great investment and there are a lot of ways you can use a treadmill like endurance running and metabolism training. On a budget? Here’s a 7 minute, no-equipment needed workout you can do at home:

11. Set-up Mini Tasks

If you’re given a big project, break it down into mini tasks. Create a checklist and start with the easy ones until you finish. Got an article to write? Just start with the title and the first sentence. Or perhaps you have a visual presentation to make?

Spend 15 minutes on your outline, take five minutes coffee break, then finish the first two slides. Accomplishing something, no matter how tiny, still gives you that sense of fulfillment.

12. Create an Inspirational Board or Reminder

I found these mini desk chalkboards from Etsy you can use to write motivating quotes.

Or you know what? Simply write “Do it now!” and stare at it for 10 seconds every time you feel like dropping by on Reddit.

13. Redecorate Your Room

Redecorating my room motivates me to maintain that ‘new’ look for some time until I get use to it and eventually stop. So I redecorate again and again, it became a monthly habit really. Here are some DIY ideas you can do to any room without spending much.

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14. Ready Your Nibbles

You know that trip to the pantry? It’s just seconds away but it took you several minutes just to get your fruit snacks in the fridge. Before starting a task, prepare your nibbles on your desk to avoid zoning out and losing yourself on the way to the pantry.

Bonus productivity hacks you can do at home:

15. Schedule Your Chores

Write down your chores in a weekly basis with matching day and time when you should be doing these.

For the artsy folks, you can create fun chore charts like these or simply stick the list somewhere visibly annoying e.g. mirrors, doors, TV. The trick is listing as many chores as you can for the week and including unfinished chores the following week. Who likes seeing a long list of chores first thing in the morning?

More Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

Reference

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