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How to Be More Efficient at Work, at Home and in Life

How to Be More Efficient at Work, at Home and in Life

If you go to bed every night feeling like you didn’t do enough, you’re not alone. Lots of people are just not able to meet the expectations they set for themselves.

Luckily, efficiency is only a single habit away.

It is not as easy as it may sound. The solution that I am speaking of is not a Band-Aid, but rather a life-changing decision that will require a fair amount of sacrifice on your part.

Nothing worthwhile ever comes for free, so let’s take a look at the secret followed by its practical applications in your workplace, home, and life.

4 Steps to an Efficient Day at Work

To act effectively, first, you need to think effectively. Here are four things that you can do to sharpen your mind and get yourself ready for a productive day.

1. Set Precise Goals

Many people underestimate the importance of goals. ‘I will be productive today’ is not a goal. ‘I will make five sales today’ or ‘I will spend time with my kids’ is a goal. You should start making both short-term and long-term goals which are clear and concise.

Another helpful tip is to write down your goals and take a look at them once or twice every day. It can serve as a reminder of what is essential and help you to not stray from the path.

2. Have an Enterprising Mindset

An enterprising mindset means that you do what’s important right now.

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According to the famous entrepreneur his Do it now’ attitude is one of the main reasons for his success. Once you have set your goals, it is vital that you develop an enterprising attitude.

The simplest way to do that is to focus on the most important activities first. You might be tempted to get the easier tasks out of the way before you focus on the more difficult ones, but putting first things first is an important step on your way to an efficient life.

3. Let Your Desire Burn Bright

It is also important to have a ‘never back down’ attitude.

Napoleon Hill in his legendary book Think & Grow Rich interviewed 100s of the most successful people in the US and found the desire for greatness to be one of the few traits all of them had in common.

Once you have the drive to succeed, you will find yourself automatically drawn to actions that help you pursue your goals.

4. Set a Dynamic Schedule

‘The more useful you become, the more your time is not your own.’

Since very few people are efficient, the few who do manage to transcend mediocrity are called for help numerous times throughout the day.

The best way to combat this is by setting up your schedule in an adaptive way.

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Rather than having a set time for everything, list out your daily/weekly tasks in your schedule based on priority and get started on the most important one. In case of an unforeseen interruption, deal with it and get back on the horse.

Following a timed schedule is extremely difficult in the modern day and failing to keep up with it will only demotivate you. And in case you need a little more help about your schedule, here’s a useful article:

Time Management: Handling Disruptions in Daily Schedules

3 Steps to be Efficient at Home

Remember that your newfound mindset is not just confined to your workplace. Regardless of whether you work 4 hours a day or 14, it is vital to make use of the time you get to spend with the people you care about.

Here are some of the ways through which you can be effective in your relationships to find success not only in the financial world but also in the spiritual one.

1. Find Solutions, Not Problems

Stephen Covey, the founder of FranklinCovey regularly mentioned the importance of a Win/Win mentality in his works. When faced with a conflict, a person with a Win/Win mentality finds solutions which work for both parties as opposed to just one.

Winning an argument is only a solution for the party that won, not for the party that lost.

Whether you have a problem with your friends, children, spouse, or parents, remember always to see things from their perspective. Once you understand their viewpoint, you can empathize with their feelings and work on a solution that benefits everyone. A great book that can help you with this is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

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This good thing is that this newfound mentality can also be applied to your relationships at work, not only making you more effective but also a more likable and trustable person.

2. Let Your Passion Burn Bright

Just like your workday should be fuelled by desire, your time at home should be powered by passion. It is essential to explore new things and find out what you like.

Activities which make you feel miserable afterward are not your passion. If you feel like you can do better after downing a ton of beer or playing video games for 4 hours straight, it is because you can.

Find activities that encourage you to break out of your shell, and try to do them with the people in your life that you care about so that they can also benefit from the changes that you are making in your life.

3. Reinforce the Process

One more thing to remember is that there are little things you can do to reinforce all that you have learned continuously.

An excellent example of this is making your bed as soon as you wake up. This way, you have already done something that makes your surroundings better within seconds of waking up, and it sets you up perfectly for a productive day.

Once you have successfully integrated the ‘Enterprising Mindset’ in your home, you will start to see the benefits it brings in your relationships at a breakneck pace.

Eventually, you will begin to notice your efficiency rub off on the people around you.

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Efficiency: The Secret to Happiness in Life

According to Phillip Fisher’s(Legendary Investor and author) son, his father never worked more than 8 hours a day. The reason why Fisher was able to have such extraordinary success for over 70 years is because the little time he did spend working, he donated it to the maximum of his ability.

A recent study suggests that during an 8-hour workday, most office workers are productive for less than 3 hours.[1] Just imagine how much more could each of those workers achieve with an enterprising mindset.

Remember that I am not saying to stop working for 8 hours. Those who work more usually end up achieving way more too. What we are merely pointing out is that to do more, you need to make your time count rather than sacrifice more of it.

Efficiency isn’t just tied to the workplace. If you decide to work long hours, it is imperative that the precious time you spend with your loved ones reminds you of what is essential in life, and why you strive to make yourself a better as well as a more efficient person every day.

Once you embrace the maximum of efficiency, you will immediately notice vast improvements in your life. However, remember that to truly embrace what I’ve just told you, you need to implement it too.

More Resources to Boost Your Productivity

Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

John Obstander

John is a productivity geek and a writing enthusiast who has no limits and got wings to take over the world.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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