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Last Updated on July 25, 2018

Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive

Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive

Why do you look for tips, tricks and ideas to hack your life? Why do you test new and exciting products and theories so that you can produce at more optimum levels? Why is productivity important?

When you really think about it – I mean, really break it down – there are 10 reasons why.

Some of them work in tandem, some don’t. Some rate higher on one person’s scale than on another’s. Some are practical, some are quite silly. But all of them are reasons – and here are 10 of them:

1. You’ll do more with less of your time.

This one is at the top of the list.

There aren’t enough hours in the day to allow us to meet all of the demands we have, so by being more productive with the time we have, we can do more stuff.

To-do lists keep us moving forward, checklists track our progress and reminders and calendars serve to keep us on schedule.

But is that enough of a reason to want to be more productive? Just to do more stuff?

Speeding up doing the stuff you’ve already got on the go just so that you can do more may seem like a good move, but it depends on what the “more” is. If the “more” is the important stuff, then you’re on the right track.

If it’s just stuff, then you’re way off course.

2. You’ll do better with your time.

Putting some form of productivity system in place – a trusted one that best suits your personality – will allow you to achieve better results of the stuff you do with that time.

You’ll be on the ball more often, be able to move fluidly from task to task and not get lost nearly as much with a trusted system at your side.

The fact that you want to do better with your time means you’re stuck as-is. You know you’ve got more in you, and you’ve decided that you’d much rather to better with what you have than add more to your plate just to appear better to others.

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You can’t fool yourself or others with this strategy. This is clearly a case where less is best.

3. You’ll earn more with your time.

By being more productive (or being seen as more productive) you’ll increase your earning potential. This can be true…if you’re willing to work on this over the long term.

It also will work if you manage what you have rather than add more to what you’ve got to do. If you fail to do the latter, then you’ll be in a perpetual state of overhwhelm. And no amount of extra earnings is worth that.

Outsourcing your owrk can be one way to earn more with your time, but you need to take the time to choose wisely about what you’re going to offload. Make the wrong call, and you’ve got twice the mess to clean up.

Treat your time as a commodity and you’ll have a better chance of taking advantage of it when the chips are down.

4. You’ll have an easier time.

Some people just want to be able to relax. They want to know that everything is able to run on autopilot so that they can enjoy the fruits of their labour.

Being more productive can make life easier for you, especially if you commit to the system that will work best in keeping you on top of things.

Adopting the system won’t be easy, though. You’ll face challenges that are both external (Why do you need to capture that?) and internal (I’ll remember that…I don’t need to write it down).

If you can overcome hurdles like those then you may very well have an easier time with things going forward.

5. You’ll have time to do something different.

You hate what you’re doing, it’s not your calling. Or you want to take on a hobby that you’ve been eyeing up for awhile, but time just won’t permit it – at least not the way you’re using time now.

That’s when being more productive with your time can make the “same old, same old” turn into opportunities for new and different things.

Whether you’re pursuing a passion that you know you could make a living at or want to take up knitting, you can get there by planning your time better.

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That may mean giving up stuff that isn’t moving you closer to that new and different thing (cutting back or eliminating television, starting your day a little earlier, etc.), but it’s a big first step.

That’s how you’ll go from being more productive in general to being more productive with purpose.

And your purpose is really the best one of all. Work towards that purpose with productive use of time in mind.

6. You’ll have more time in a day.

This one is more a matter of how you handle time than actually gaining time.

We all have the same amount of time; how each of us uses it can be the difference-maker.

You may be the type of person who needs a rigorous schedule. So you do that.

You may be the type of person who can only take on one big project at a time so that you can get it done and have more time for play later. So you do that.

You may need to scale back on your current plans so that the bigger plans you have your life can stand a chance. So you do that.

The more time you’re looking for is time you already have; it’s just used in a way that doesn’t work for you. Make it work for you…because we don’t have a lot of it.

7. Time will be on your side.

Time seems to run away from you. You can’t keep up. The clock works against you and there’s nothing you’ve been able to do about that.

By being more productive with it, then it will start to play nice with you.

It won’t. Not unless you give it the respect it deserves.

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Time hates to be abused. You abuse time by wasting it or squeezing the life out of it by using every second of it in the act of doing.

Time needs a break, and so do you. So you can’t just be more productive without really looking closely at how you treat time.

Proper planning and knowing when to just let go will go a long way in making time a fast friend.

But it’s a fickle beast – and that makes it a tough friendship to maintain.

8. You’ll be able to control time better.

This is one of the silly ones, and yet people put systems and checkpoints in place so that they can try to do it. Things happen. Plans go awry. Balls get dropped. Why?

Because we’re human…and we live in a world full of humans.

Increased productivity doesn’t happen because of how you handle the moments you are in control; it happens because of how you handle the moments that you’re not.

9. You’ll free up more time.

This one works in conjunction with making things easier on yourself, but with a slight difference. Those who free up time tend to be more fulfilled than those who just want to have an easier time.

That’s because the freeing up of time presents a variety of things to do, places to go, people to see and more.

The people who want to free up time have things they want to pursue with that time. The people who want an easier time simply don’t want to do much with it other than know they’ve made their lives a little bit easier.

So, do you want to live a more fulfilled life because of increased productivity or just have “less filled” life because of increadsed productivity?

The answer separates those who want more freedom and those who want it easier.

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10. You’ll improve over time.

It seems to many of the other reasons but has a distinction about it:

It focuses more on the journey than on the destination.

How you improve over time is subjective when you aim to be more productive. It could be in work, life or elsewhere. It could be in many areas, with the focus on improvement being shifted when either the priorities shift or the mood strikes.

By looking as far ahead as possible, you put yourself in the position for major renovations in your life.

As you gain knowledge and wisdom, your productivity will improve. You may not be more efficient at things, but you’ll be more effective.

When you have this reasoning in mind, time is your friend because you’re not in a race against it. You’re working with it, alongside it for years and years.

You learn how to treat it and it learns how to treat you. There is an ebb and flow, a give and take. And the struggles and skirmishes are minor and forgotten. You don’t hold a grudge against time and it doesn’t hold one against you.

The journey is essential to the improvement, and you’ve brought along all of the right equipment (upgrading as you see fit along the way) to make sure it’s an amazing one.

Productivity is important not only to your work, but your life overall. 

Time is limited, only when you know how to manage time better will you be able to achieve more, especially to achieve the things you desire most.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on October 17, 2018

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

How is your memory? Is your cognitive function as strong as you’d like it to be?

If not, then you’re definitely going to be interested in the memory improvement tips I’ll be sharing with you in this article.

Despite what you might think – or have been told – improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it. (Don’t worry, as you won’t need to make any significant lifestyle changes.)

So how to improve memory? Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve your memory significantly.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. And research suggests that the more information and distractions, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory.[1]

Fortunately, meditation can help you out.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

If you need help in shifting into a meditative state, I recommend trying an app like Headspace – which can assist you to achieve this in a convenient and structured way.

And don’t forget, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get plenty of sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then I’m guessing you’re not remembering well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities – including your memory.

How much sleep should you be getting?

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Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things.

Now, I’ll be honest with you, maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!). But if you care about improving your short-term and long-term ability to remember things, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

Are there ways to hack the sleep cycle?

Yes, there are.

Try these three things:

  • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
  • Don’t eat too late
  • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory…

3. Challenge your brain

When was the last time you challenged your brain?

I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or undersleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory games.

To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself, has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-thinking ability and memory.

There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

  • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live – while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it, try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

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4. Take more breaks

When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctively remember working all the hours under the sun – and many under the moon too!

At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat and tears.

However, I was wrong.

Taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

Let me explain.

Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it – in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

Namely, extended study sessions are rarely a good thing, as your ability to retain information naturally declines after a certain period of time.

It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

It’s the same with your brain. If you overload it with information, you’ll suffer from mental fatigue.

What’s the answer?

Make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

If you don’t want to be as regimented as that, then take breaks as soon as you find yourself losing the ability to focus on the new material. Your brain will thank you – and your learning aptitude will move up a level.

5. Learn a new skill

I love this quote, as it’s 100% true – but frequently overlooked:

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

Let me give you an example of this:

Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day – many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you – rather than letting you work in your own way.

Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like, and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction in to learning a new skill (computer coding). It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career – and the ongoing learning made the call centre job much more bearable.

Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking our new information. And when learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly, becomes a habit too.

6. Start working out

If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory.

Regular exercise increases blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. And a well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

“But I just don’t have the time?,” I hear you say.

Not a problem.

A research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines.[2] So, if you’re short on time – now you know what to do.

Interested in getting started?

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Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

  • Join a gym
  • Join a sports team
  • Buy a bike
  • Take up hiking
  • Dance to your favorite music

7. Eat healthier foods

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

This applies to your brain too.

The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health too.

Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery and dark chocolate. But anything high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory.

Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain – leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

Want to be mentally healthy? Then eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

  • Turmeric – helps new brain cells grown
  • Broccoli – protects the brain against damage
  • Nuts – improves memory
  • Green tea – enhances brain performance, memory and focus[3]
  • Fish oilfish oil supplements can increase your brain power

Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

Final thoughts

I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be of help to you.

You don’t need to implement them all. I suggest just trying the ones that appeal to you.

But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested. I’m confident you won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

Reference

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