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The Ultimate Lifehack Guide for Your New Year

The Ultimate Lifehack Guide for Your New Year

If you’re like most people, you likely started 2013 with a solid list of goals that you hoped to achieve over the course of the year. New Year’s resolutions tend to run the gamut from quitting smoking to writing novels, but though many people dive into these pursuits with the best of intentions, their enthusiasm and dedication tend to taper off after a few weeks: it’s estimated that approximately 80% of people abandon their resolutions by the end of January, and only a small fraction of the rest manage to stick to their New Year’s goals for the rest of the year.

ultimate lifehack guide 2

    This isn’t because we’re all a bunch of slovenly trolls with no self-discipline or drive to succeed, but rather that we may be lacking vital tools and resources to help us along on our journeys. Since most of us seem to fall off-course from our resolutions because we lack an effective guide to keep us focused, a little help might keep us all on track this year.

    Below is a list of effective resources and tips that can assist in pursuing any objective: no matter what plans you’ve made or goals you’re striving for, they are all reachable, and achievable, and this guide will help you attain them.

    1. Set a Realistic Goal
    2. Plan Properly
    3. Execute your Plan
    4. Follow Through Your New Year Resolution
    5. Time to Exercise
    6. Quit a Bad Habit
    7. Eat Better and Healthier
    8. Work Improvement
    9. Manage your Money Well
    10. Start your Own Business

    Set a Realistic Goal

    First things first, you need to set a clear and reachable goal no matter what your new year resolutions are. Here are several ways to set a realistic goal.

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    set goals

      How to Plan Properly

      You don’t need to have the perfect plan to achieve your goal but a well structured plan keeps you on the right path.

      plan

        How to Execute Your Plan

        By looking at how the others execute their plan, you may get some insights for your own.

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        execute plan

          How to Stick to Your New Year Resolutions

          By the first half of the year, many people have already failed to stick to their resolutions. Here’s how you can prevent yourself from failing or to learn from them.

          followpa

            Time to Exercise

            If you decide to lose weight or keep fit this year, these tactics show you to how to develop an efficient exercise habit.

            time to exercise

              Quit a Bad Habit

              A bad habit can be harmful to you. Worse still, they are usually harmful to those closest to you. It’s time to quit.

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              quit smoking
                • How to Quit a Bad Habit by Answering Four Power QuestionsMaybe you have even tried, but things haven’t worked out as you hoped. Unfortunately, the very idea of “quitting” can make things difficult for you: let’s discover why.
                • 7 Tips to Help You Quit Smoking: So, you’ve decided to quit smoking. That’s awesome, and you’ll undoubtedly notice that your health and overall sense of well-being will improve exponentially after you’ve quit, but the first few weeks going smoke-free will be hell on wheels.
                • 10 Bad Habits Worth Losing: It’s a good idea to put together a list of bad habits to remove from your life this year. Here are Zoe B’s top 10 bad habits to lose.
                • Breaking Bad Habits in 28 Days: How realistic is it to try and break any habit in 30 days? And where did this idea of habit-busting in under a month come from in the first place?

                Eat Better and Healthier

                Heathy eating is not simply a kind of lifestyle. It actually boosts your productivity and energy levels.

                eat better

                  Work Improvement

                  If you are struggling in your current working situations, it’s time to make some changes for your career growth.

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                  work improvement

                    Manage your Money Well

                    Money management is a problem for quite a few  people… here’s some advice.

                    manage money

                      Start your Own Business

                      It is easier to start a new business than what you can imagine. All you need is taking the action.

                      start a business

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                        The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                        The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                        It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

                        Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

                        “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

                        In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

                        New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

                        There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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                        So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

                        What is the productivity paradox?

                        There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

                        In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

                        He wrote in his conclusion:

                        “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

                        Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

                        How do we measure productivity anyway?

                        And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

                        In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

                        But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

                        In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

                        But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

                        Possible causes of the productivity paradox

                        Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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                        • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
                        • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
                        • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
                        • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

                        There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

                        According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

                        Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

                        The paradox and the recession

                        The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

                        “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

                        This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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                        According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

                        Looking forward

                        A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

                        “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

                        Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

                        “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

                        On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

                        Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

                        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                        Reference

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