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How Your Relationship Influences Your Career

How Your Relationship Influences Your Career

It’s natural to want a romantic partner who shares your ambitions, goals, and dreams—your relationship influences your career in major ways. If your partner believes in your goals and pushes you to accomplish everything in your professional life, you are actually more likely to succeed in your career. Not only because your partner will push you to get out of your comfort zone (in other words, tell you to get a raise), but also because you will receive constant praise and admiration from your partner, which will motivate you even more. With the right support, you can advance in your career smoothly and reach your goal more quickly. Research from Washington University in St. Louis even found that “a spouse’s personality influences many daily factors that sum up and accumulate across time to afford one the many actions necessary to receive a promotion or a raise.” Meaning that if you and your partner are on the same wavelength when it comes to professional paths, you will both succeed.

Since your partner’s personality can have an imprint on your personality and your career, discussing each other’s priorities is always a necessity. There is a lot that you may know up front about them but there will always be some hidden truths that can only be found with careful questions.

Some good questions to ask your prospective partner:

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What are your long-term professional goals?

Understanding your prospect’s long-term goals will shine a light on where they want to be in their career. You’ll know whether or not they have the same professional goals as you, and whether they put a lot of importance on career advancement itself, money, or something other than their career.

What are your short-term professional goals?

Short-term goals will tell you how motivated your prospect is about their career. If they don’t have any short-term goals for their professional life, they might be in a stage of life where they’d rather focus on something else, like family. It’s very different from the long-term professional goals question because it covers the changes your prospect wants to make in the near future, rather than the dreams for 10-15 years down the line.

What’s your one, five, and ten-year plan?

If your prospect makes a yearly plan for their life, they’re organized. Period. They know what they want from life and they are working on accomplishing it. Some people might answer the question with a simple, “I don’t know.” This either means that they are confused about their life or haven’t really thought about the future so far. Either way, you can decide on whether you want to be with an individual who takes each day as it is, without planning it, or if you want to move on to the next one. Remember, your partner’s lifestyle and personality will rub off on you.

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How do you plan to accomplish these professional goals?

It’s all great if they have a plan set out for the next few years, but do they have a plan of attack? Are they going to do something to accomplish their goals? If not, they’re just dreams written on a piece of paper. Chances are that you’ll have to push him/her to make those dreams a reality. Are you ready to invest that much time and energy?

This is what I want to do, what are your thoughts?

This question will tell you a lot about their personality. Are they jealous? Envious? Pessimistic? Opportunistic? Are they going to get excited about the idea and in turn make you even more excited? Depending on the answer your prospect gives you, you’ll have an idea of how they will be in a relationship—whether they’ll push you toward your dreams or pull you back by being negative or “realistic.”

What have you accomplished in the last five years? Is it what you wanted to accomplish?

Five years is a lot of time for someone to change their life around. Heck, people change their life around in a matter of months sometimes, so imagine what they can do in five years! This is a great question to follow-up on the yearly plan question, since it will tell you whether or not they work on making their goals a reality. If they’ve accomplished what they wanted to accomplished in the last five years, chances are that they’ll do the same thing for the next five years. Being in a relationship with someone who’s motivated and determined to make their dreams a reality will most definitely have a good impact on your life and career.

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What’s your morning routine like?

Someone’s morning routine says a lot about the type of person they are, since mornings determine how someone’s day will go about. If you get into a fight in the morning, your whole day will be ruined, but if you get into a fight in the evening, you get over it more quickly because you have less time to think about it. On the same note, if someone is very productive in the morning, it means that the person has a purpose and will work hard in accomplishing his/her goals as fast as possible.

Have you been in a long-term relationship with someone who was high in the corporate ladder? Why didn’t it work out?

Better to have a few glasses of wine before asking this question, since you want the real reason it didn’t work out. You want to find a way to get the truth out of him/her. By getting to the truth, you’ll know whether your prospect can handle a person who has ambitions and who has to deal with a lot of responsibilities at work. You’ll know whether he/she is the type of person to be envious or the type who will push you towards accomplishing your goals. Of course, I was kidding about the glasses of wine… or was I?

These questions will shine a light on the type of person you’re dealing with, and if they will influence your career positively or negatively. Not only will you get to know the person’s personality and ambitions on a deeper level, but you’ll also see if their personality and ambitions match yours.

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Sarah Anton

Editor and founder of The Fitrepreneur, aspires to improve people's living style.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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