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Two Things You Must Do To Become More Productive Now

Two Things You Must Do To Become More Productive Now

Everything in your surrounding, including the a specific group of people, are influencing you in a tremendous way you’re probably not consciously aware of. If you want to “streamline” your life so that you can be more productive, feel better, have better health, nurture a better mindset, and essentially have a happier, more productive life, continue reading this short article. First I’ll go over why it happens, and then I’ll go over what you can do to have a more effective life.

Laws of Success. In the 1900s, there was a book written by a man who interviewed and studied over 500 of the world’s most successful people at that time to find out what set them apart from the rest of the world. It took him 20 years to write the book which he called “Think & Grow Rich”. The authors’ name was Napoleon Hill.

Law of Association. In that book, one of the premise to success was something he called the law of association. Essentially, we are the socio-economical average of the 5 closest people we surround ourselves with. You’ve known this all your life but it was just never said so scientifically. You knew that if you hung around 9 people who smoke, you’d become the 10th. You knew that if you hung around 9 people who drank, you’d become the 10th.

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With that premise in mind, it’s important to begin to really recognize who you surround yourself with and begin to take inventory of 2 areas of your life: your surroundings & your associations.

Fundamentals Of Presuppositions. We naturally base and compare our thinking with other people. This could also be called a “Reference Group” – a group which you reference your thinking with.

Remember, language is a reflection of our neurology. In the same way that our body language is a reflection of how we feel (our emotions), language is an expression of our neurology and vice versa. We already have the syntax of language in our minds and it’s up to the existing neuro-connections in our minds that will present itself through our vocal communication.

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Just the same as rich people think differently than poor people and healthy people think differently from unhealthy people… the key difference-maker is thinking.

Our thoughts and our language are based on our foundational beliefs. Anytime you hear someone’s communication and you agree with them either automatically or consciously, you, unconscious to your awareness, buy their beliefs through accepting the presuppositions of that statement. It becomes scary when the beliefs are fundamentally wrong. 

Changing Internal Mindsets Through External Surroundings. What you see everyday is constantly shaping your thinking. Haven’t you ever noticed, when your environment is clean and organized, you’re more motivated to accomplish things and when it’s cluttery, your mind also feels cluttered?

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One advice I would give recently separated couples is to get away from their current environment (their apartment or any living area they’ve shared with their partner). Have you ever heard a song where upon hearing that song, your mind takes you all the way back to the moment you first heard it and you see the sights you saw, the feel the same feeling you felt, and maybe even heard the same sounds you’ve heard? This is a neurological process called anchoring and we anchor emotions with things (e.g. that specific couch will always remind you of that moment with that person, or that specific picture frame that will remind you of that special moment with that person, etc.)

If you’re trying to lose weight and you have cookies in your cupboard, anytime you open that cupboard, you’ll be reminded of how delicious those cookies are and will probably say, “Well, I’ll eat a couple pieces. It’ll do no harm.” On the other hand, if you craft your environment so that it’s conducive to your goal (get rid of that cookie), then it can almost be inevitable that you accomplish what you want.

Two Steps To A More Effective Life

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Craft Your Surroundings.

Align your surroundings with your goal. Get rid of the clutter and things that you don’t need. Get rid of the old stuff you’ve forgotten about. Clean your environment. Have an organized plan or structure as to how you’ll prioritize your activities towards ultimately your goal. Include motivational items such as computer wallpapers that motivate you or portraits that inspire you.

Limited Association and Expanded Association. 

Take inventory of the closest people to you. Take those five special spots and make it so they all add value in your life whether they motivate you, inspire you, teach you, mentor you, love you unconditionally, support you, or help you. If you have negative, toxic people in those spots, get rid of them. Soon enough, you will attract better people into your life and in turn will make you happier, become more productive, and have a more effective life.

Featured photo credit: Doubling Your Productivity by iBSSR via farm9.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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