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When You Follow These 9 Simple Tricks, You Will Stay Organized And Productive Every Day

When You Follow These 9 Simple Tricks, You Will Stay Organized And Productive Every Day

Everyone wants to have a productive and organized day, but they don’t have the productivity tips to pull it off. Here are the productivity tips that, if followed, guarantee you  an extremely well-organized, super efficient workday.

1. Have A Relaxing Start To Your Day

Whether you commute or work at home, give yourself a chance to get zen after you wake up. That means not checking emails right when you wake up, and just in general avoiding work talk and and work thoughts for at least half an hour. Take the time to read something that makes you think but isn’t too challenging, either; the paper or your favorite online media outlet are great options. Eat a healthy and hearty breakfast that makes you glad that you woke up after only a certain number of hours of sleep, and pour yourself your favorite form of caffeine to jump-start your day.

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2. Look Over Your To-Do List

One of the best productivity tips I can give you is to have a to-do list, ideally one that was at least partly prepared the day before. Ask yourself what the most important thing is that you have get done today. You don’t have to do that thing first, but you shouldn’t save it for the end of the day, either. Also see what you can add to your list based on any new information you have about what you’ll be doing today.

3. Make Goals/Make A Checklist

Finalize your list. Know what you’re going to do today, and preferably when you’re going to do it. You’ll feel obligated to your timetable and, best of all, you lower the chance dramatically of missing an important task.

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4. Get Started

Now is the hard part, and if you approach it the right way it’s really not that hard. My favorite approach is, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities, to just work on your first task for ten minutes. Anyone can do ten minutes, and that’s all it takes to get the wheels spinning. Once you into the groove you won’t want to get out of the groove.

5. Take Breaks!

A list of productivity tips isn’t complete if it doesn’t recognize the need for downtime. Don’t risk overexerting yourself; that would lose you more time than you’d gain by working straight through the day. When you’re starting to feel weary, give yourself a few minutes to find your center again. Whether it be reading your Twitter feed or stepping away from the desk, do something that helps you recharge your batteries.

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6. Don’t Give In To The Mid Day Slump

There’s a time in the workday, usually around the middle, that your productivity seems to slow to almost a standstill. Push past it. Marathon runners have a “wall” they have to overcome, and then the rest of the run is relatively smooth sailing. The same is true about work. Break down your wall.

7. Don’t Let The Missteps Slow You Down

Just because you trip doesn’t mean you have to fall over. There will be things that take longer than you thought or don’t go as planned; what you need to do is roll with the punches. Getting over a mistake faster is one of the best productivity tips you can work on improving.

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8. Keep A Record Of Your Accomplishments

Even the tiny ones. Not only should you check items off of your to-do list; you should add unexpected things you get done during the day to it to check off, too. By doing that you can fairly analyze how productive you were that day, and either take pride in it or learn what to do differently next time.

9. Have A Productivity Sprint

Even if you jog most of the way, you always want to race to the finish line. When you’re on your last hour or so of the workday, put pen to pad or fingers to keyboard and make the most out of that hour that you can. If you’re lacking motivation, just remember what’s waiting for you once you run through that checkered tape.

Featured photo credit: Thomas R. Stegelmann via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 15, 2019

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems, why?

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

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The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

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The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

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It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

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For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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