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Why Focusing on Your Strengths is the Best Philosophy

Why Focusing on Your Strengths is the Best Philosophy

    “Do whatever you do intensely” – Robert Henri

    Are you achieving the results you want from everything you do?

    If not, maybe it’s time to ask yourself the following questions:

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    • Are you focusing on the right things?
    • Is your energy and focus divided? Do you know what your strengths are?

    One of the many lessons I have learnt over the years is that focusing on too many things at once will not enable you to achieve your best results. But even more important than that is to ensure that your focus is on what you do best, this is when you will do your best work and get your best results.

    Positive Psychology

    Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology says that for a person to be truly happy and live a meaningful life, that person must recognize their personal strengths and use these strengths for the greater good. If we are to take Seligman’s advice, we should spend time trying to figure out our personal strengths and not waste our valuable time and life doing jobs that don’t please us and take us away from doing what we were made to do. If this is the secret of happiness, shouldn’t we all be focusing on our strengths and not wasting time with all the other bits?

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    Pareto Principle

    The Pareto Principle shows how filtering what you focus on can help towards more success. The Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule is widely recognized as a principle which holds true in many facets of life. Sales executives use it to identify their important customers. They know that 20% of their customers give them 80% of their revenue and that 20% of their products will also give them 80% of the revenue. The clever know that once they identify that 20% they should focus their attention on that 20%. In this way results will be achieved more quickly and effectively.

    If you focus most of your energy and attention on the important customers, this well reap rewards for your bank balance. Your good customers will become great customers. If you apply this principle to your whole life, if you were to focus solely on what you do best just imagine the results. If you were to stop doing the work that doesn’t add value, the work that someone else could do for you. By directly all your energy on your strengths, this will surely get your the results you aim for more quickly.

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    Happiness is the New Productivity

    Vishen Lakhiani, CEO of MindValley, says that “happiness is the new productivity”. Being in a state of flow or extreme creativity will magnify the impact of everything you do. You must have goals, but your happiness must not be tied to these goals. You must be happy in the now. You will never reach your highest success if you are not happy what you are doing. Do what makes you happy and your will create a state of flow which will bring to you everlasting success.

    So if you don’t already know, spend some time figuring out what your strengths are, what activity induces flow for you? When you know what activity it is, focus on it and do it to the best of your ability. Make sure you “only do what only you can do”, focus on your 20%, and let others do the 80% of the work that you don’t need to do. By doing this not only will you be more efficient, creative, and productive — you will be happier and more successful.

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    (Photo credit: Child Showing Off Muscle via Shutterstock)

      More by this author

      Ciara Conlon

      Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

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      Last Updated on November 12, 2020

      Learn How to Be Productive and Happy With These 11 Tips

      Learn How to Be Productive and Happy With These 11 Tips

      A lack of productivity leads to a lack of happiness. When you can’t see yourself making progress or getting things done, you get anxious and become stressful. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to be productive.

      There are also many things that contribute to unhappiness here: Facebook notifications, emails, texts, and chatty co-workers are just a small fraction of the disruptions we’re bombarded with. These “little things” can stack up fast and lead to hampering your happiness and productivity levels.

      Learn how to be productive with the 11 tips below and reclaim your everyday productivity and your happiness, once and for all.

      1. Be Happy Now

      Life is too short. No matter what you’re doing or where you are, be happy now. Start by finding something to be grateful for; everyone has at least one good thing in their life, and most have many more.

      Most of the world still has trouble getting access to clean drinking water…that means you can even be grateful for that bottle of Aquafina you’ve got on your desk right now.

      2. Finish Your Day Before It Starts

      Proper planning is the secret to peak productivity, and it’s also a good idea to set important goals daily. Get yourself a planning tool and prioritize your daily tasks with it in order to spend your time on important tasks.

      If you know exactly what you have to do and the timeframe you want to complete it in, you’ll be well on your way to learning how to be productive.

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      Here’s a smart technique on planning and prioritization: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

      3. Celebrate the Small Wins

      Every time you check off a task from your to-do list, you release a “happy chemical” in your brain called dopamine. This gives you the motivation to move forward and do even more.

      For example, after I finish writing this article, and I’ve crossed it off my list of things to do today, I’ll get a nice burst of “happy chemicals” releasing in my brain. The best part? Zero side effects!

      4. Leverage Like There’s No Tomorrow

      Look for ways to use the 80/20 rule by identifying tasks that you might be able to outsource or leverage out to a virtual assistant.

      Stop wasting time doing things that don’t challenge you or ignite your passion. Hire out or automate anything and everything within your means.

      Don’t be afraid to trust others with tasks you believe they can do. They’ll likely be happy for the opportunity, and you’ll feel better about lowering the amount of work you have to get done.

      5. Recharge Your Batteries

      Figure out how many hours of sleep your body needs and make sure you get it. Take time to stretch, walk, or relax in order to recharge throughout the day and after work.

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      One study found that the best way to ensure consistent productivity throughout the day is to work for about 50 minutes, followed by a 15-20 minute break[1]. As you’re trying to learn how to be productive, follow this pattern to get started[2].

      Take breaks to be more productive

        Here are some simple ways to relax completely and get rid of stress.

        6. Become an Early Riser

        This is one of the most underused productivity “hacks” on the planet. Ever since I decided to start waking up at 5am every day, my productivity levels and happiness have gone up dramatically.

        Most people aren’t up that early, so no one can bother you or disrupt you from what you want to do. A productive person will use this time to exercise, meditate, or get a head start on their day.

        7. Do Work You’re Passionate About

        Make it your goal to blur the line between work and play by doing more things you’re passionate about. This promotes happiness both inside and outside of the workplace.

        Find what you’re passionate about and do it, even if it’s just through a hobby. Make time for the things you love and learn how to be productive more easily.

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        8. Use Time Blocks

        When I wrote this article, I gave myself a one hour time block. This prevents unnecessary dilly-dallying, like updating your social media and checking email. Instead, start developing better work habits and manage your time for a more productive day.

        There are plenty of apps that can help you do this, or you can simply set an alarm on your phone so you know when you can take a break and enjoy some free time. During your set time block[3], do your best to eliminate distractions. Find a quiet space, declutter your desk, and create a short to-do list to keep you on track.

        Time Blocking for Productivity

          9. Avoid Interruptions

          Interruptions are among the biggest barriers to both productivity and happiness. Every time you’re interrupted in the middle of a task, your level of productivity takes a hit.

          We’ve all been there: you’re fully immersed in an important project until all of a sudden the workplace chatterbox appears out of nowhere and starts talking the crazy night they had last weekend. By the time s/he’s gone, you’ve already forgotten where you were, and it takes 30 minutes to get back on track.

          Avoid this by letting people know that you’ve got important work that’s got to be done.

          Learn more about how to stay focus in this guide: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

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          10. Shut Down the Digital Disruptions

          iPhones, mailbox notifications, Twitter, Facebook, and everything that pops, slides, or fades in and out of your screen has got to go. Shut them down and focus when you want to learn how to be productive.

          It’s as easy as turning off the notifications or scheduling only a specific time to check all these notifications and texts.

          11. Measure Your Success

          Every now and then, it’s a good idea to measure your results and see how things are coming along.

          How’s your progress? Are you moving in the right direction? It’s always a good idea to track your progress regularly.

          Of course, in order to track you progress, you need to set specific milestones so you know that you’re on your way to achieving any big or small goal.

          The Bottom Line

          With these 11 effective tips, you’ll learn how to be productive and find more time to do the things that make you happy.

          Start small and take up each suggestion one-by-one. That way, you can boost your productivity, and create joy along the way.

          More to Boost Productivity

          Featured photo credit: Emma Dau via unsplash.com

          Reference

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