We are challenged for time.
We are challenged by our desires.
We are challenged by our colleagues, spouses, family, and friends.
There are a couple simple tricks that can give us an advantage when it comes to these daily challenges.
Everyone wants to boost their productivity, whether it’s at your day job or your personal development goals. Why does it seem so difficult?
One of the reasons many people fail to see results when attempting to increase productivity is because they don’t realize there are two very different levels to which attention must be paid. Focusing on one to the exclusion of the other will usually result in only short-lived gains if not outright failure.
|Written on 4/6/2012 by Vic Lawrence. Vic is a US Army Veteran that blogs about Self Improvement and Personal Development. Vic wants to inspire motivation and passion into individuals that live a life of unhappiness. Vic offers practical advice for becoming your best self at Hang In There. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.|
We all wish we had just a bit more time.
Just think what you could do with an extra hour or two each day: you could finally stick to an exercise routine, or spring-clean the house, or write your novel, or learn the guitar, or get a new qualification.
I can’t magically make all your days 25 hours long. But I can help you find more hours in your day for the things that really matter.
Whatever you do during the day, there are probably times when you need to concentrate. Perhaps you’ve got a project at work that requires focus (it could be anything from writing a report to carrying out some important lab tests). Or perhaps you’re studying – for a degree, for a vocational qualification, or just for your own enjoyment.
If you can’t concentrate, you’ll have problems:
|Written on 11/21/2011 by Ali Luke. Ali writes a blog, Aliventures, about leading a productive and purposeful life (get the RSS feed here). As well as blogging, she writes fiction, and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing.|
When it comes to accomplishing our goals we’re encouraged to reach for the stars and set big hairy audacious goals. Although it’s great to be ambitious when we set goals like this, we get so overwhelmed by how we’re going to actually manage to accomplish such things that we don’t bother to take action in the first place. As a result our goals simply remain unrealized dreams.
With a few changes in the way we do things and the adoption of some simple mindsets we can make progress towards our goals much faster.
|Written on 10/04/2011 by Srinivas Rao. Srinivas is the author of the Skool of Life, where he writes about surfing, personal development, and things you never learned in school but should have. If you’re ready to to become a student, check out his FREE course on the 7 most valuable lessons they never taught in school. You can follow him on twitter @skooloflife.|
Do you have trouble staying focused?
Whether you work for yourself or for an employer, spending hours surfing the net and updating your Facebook profile won’t get you any closer to your goals ... yet you find it hard to keep on-task.
Even when you do try to concentrate, you might get to 5pm and feel like you’ve not accomplished anything.
Here’s how to stay focused and get more done – every day.
|Written on 9/27/2011 by Ali Luke. Ali writes a blog, Aliventures, about leading a productive and purposeful life (get the RSS feed here). As well as blogging, she writes fiction, and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing.|
Being stressed and overwhelmed with a lot of work is quite common. Whether it's real work or a perception of "I'm so swamped", it is difficult to think straight and fast. To help, we often talk about prioritization, creating SMART goals, etc. Today, let's look at a hybrid model.
The Tag-It Approach is about setting an order of importance and time to your task list. You don’t want to be spending time on the least important tasks while the more important ones are left unattended. Further, you don't want to waste time looking for a task that you can knock out before lunch, this list approach will have weigh priority and time so that you can quickly move from task to task.
|Written on 9/13/2011 by Avani Mehta. Avani writes on motivation, happiness and personal effectiveness on her personal development blog. Hop on to her site to grab a copy of her free e-book: The Fabulous Motivators|
Do you ever hear yourself saying "I just don't have time" yet find yourself plopped in front of the TV for the better part of every evening?
As our to-do lists grow so does our stress and anxiety over getting everything done. While we can't add any more time to our day (unfortunately) we can use the time we do have in a more productive manner. Let's face it watching TV isn't that interactive or demanding. Below are 30 simple little ways to make the most of your TV watching time.
|Written on 9/26/2010 by Sherri Kruger. Sherri writes at Zen Family Habits, a blog celebrating all things family. Sherri also writes on personal development at Serene Journey, a blog dedicated to sharing simple tips to enjoy life. Republished on 8/20/2011.|
A few months ago, I received a business pitch. It was from an acquaintance I was on good terms with, and the pitch was based on something we verbally discussed and agreed on in the past. However, sometime had passed since our last conversation, and things had changed.
I was no longer keen on the opportunity, but didn't quite know how to put it across to him. I didn't want to jeopardize our relationship and any potential future working opportunities because of this.
|Written on 6/10/2011 by Celestine Chua. |
Celestine writes at Personal Excellence, where she shares her best advice on how to achieve personal excellence and live your best life. Get her RSS feed directly and add her on Twitter @celestinechua. If you like this article, you will enjoy one of her top articles: 101 Things To Do Before You Die.
Motivation can be tough. Even when you want to do something – like exercising regularly, eating right or keeping a journal – it’s easy to find your enthusiasm slackening off.
But motivation gets really tough when the task at hand is downright boring.
They’re tasks that are repetitive, unchallenging and uncreative. There might be relatively little reward or recognition for completing them. No wonder you put them off, or struggle to focus when you’re tackling them.
The problem is, you can’t simply ditch these tasks. For whatever reason, they need to be done. So here’s how to stay motivated (and sane!) while you’re tackling them:
#1: Remind Yourself WHY
Whatever the task at hand, there’s a why behind it. Sometimes, focusing on the why can help you feel more motivated to do a good job – even though the work itself is boring. Your why might be:
#2: Think How Good You’ll Feel When You’re Done
Chances are, you might have been dreading this tedious task for a while. Maybe you’ve been putting it off for days, weeks or even months. It’s been hanging over you.
Think about how great you’ll feel once you’re done with it. You’ll have it off your mind, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment, and you’ll be able to get on with the rest of your life without dreading this one thing.
The faster you get on with the task, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits of having finished. Yes, I know that’s obvious – but we sometimes need to remind ourselves of it.
#3: Work in Short Bursts
You know what happens when you try to concentrate on something for hours on end ... your attention wanders. Perhaps you manage 20 minutes or so, but then you’re onto Twitter, and you click on a link, and you end up reading web comics. Or you flick the television on and get drawn in.
By working in short bursts, you help yourself stay on task. If you spend 15 minutes cleaning the kitchen or 30 minutes entering data, before taking a break, it’s much easier to focus – you know the end is in sight!
#4: Crank the Music
I find that music distracts me from my more intense, creative work – but it’s ideal for boring tasks. You’ll probably want to choose something with a fast tempo and a bit of energy to it – maybe rock music, or whatever works for you.
If you’re not a music fan, or if you’re working in an environment where loud music isn’t appropriate, try audio books. Try LibriVox for classic books, read by volunteers – they’re free.
#5: Use Your Task as a Breather
This might sound odd – but you can actually use those dull tasks as a welcome break in the day. Sure, two hours of cleaning or data entry might drive you nuts, but spending 15 or 20 minutes doing something unchallenging can give you a chance to unwind, in between more intense tasks.
You’ll find that it helps to pay attention to the times of day when you’re most creative – and the times when you’re feeling a definite slump. Use dull tasks to fill your “slump” times, and keep your most important work for your best hours.
#6: Work With a Partner
You might not always have this option, but when you do, it’s often a great way to improve a dull task. Find someone else to work with. That might mean:
...and so on. It’s motivating to have someone else along because you’ll be sharing the work (so it’ll get done faster), you’ll have someone to talk to, and you won’t want to slack off because you’ll be letting them down. Of course, you’ll probably need to return the favor in future...
What hideously boring tasks are festering on your to-do list? What could you do to make them a little more bearable?