Category: Productivity

5 Tips For Being Productive When Working From Home

Here’s the thing. The grass is always greener on the other side. It looks easier than your grass, it seems so much softer than your grass and if only you could have ‘that’ grass, how much nicer your life would be. You could probably come up with at least a dozen things that you would do with that grass. Then it happens. You finally have your chance to take ownership of that fantastically greener, softer version of your own grass and what do you know? You’re sitting on the couch in your pajamas watching the 5thepisode of that insatiable reality show that you have a love/hate relationship with.

It happened to me. I worked for 15 years in Corporate America before I had the opportunity to work from home. Like many people working in Corporate America, I’ve always thought that living the life of an entrepreneur would be a piece of cake compared to working for a billion dollar corporation where conformity was the norm and creative freedom was a hobby. In 2010, the opportunity of a lifetime unfolded right before my eyes and for the first time, I was given a chance to step over to the other side of the grass.

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A Life-Hacker’s Call to Action: Start Early, Finish First, Win More

“Diligence is the mother of good luck. Energy and persistence conquer all things.” –Benjamin Franklin

I’m a self-proclaimed “life-hacker.” I like to fiddle with stuff; I’ve found that there’s a lot on this earth that we can focus on, and most of it isn’t worth our time. Since I started blogging, I’ve been able get more “things” done than I’d ever thought possible.

I’ve reached a moment of clarity in my life. Namely, I’ve started building a blog that people seem to care about, I lost over 12 pounds in just over two weeks, and I finished a novel. Many of you have been in a position similar to where I was before all of this; a place of goals, dreams, and aspirations that were destined to be unfulfilled. But there was a reason I wasn’t able to get anything worthwhile done, and it had to do with a lack of clarity.

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Creating More Time

Admit it: you have a project you want to work on. Whether it be renovating the bathroom, starting a personal blog, or just exercising more, there’s something you wish you were doing. You tell yourself that your days are too full. You’d love to pick up a project, but you don’t have the time.

The truth is, most of us can make time, if we’re willing to scrutinize our days. This time doesn’t even need to be taken out of your sleep schedule, your work day, or even your pleasure time. Consider the following options:

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Brian Tracy’s 5 Rules for Greater Productivity

Everyone wants to be more productive to feel more successful and to achieve their big goals in life. While many people have covered the topic of productivity, there is one person that is often overlooked because people don’t automatically think of him when you mention productivity and time management. This man is Brian Tracy. He has written numerous books on topics such as wealth building, success, and time management. Here is a collection of his quotes on productivity that will help you put things in perspective and teach you how to be more productive.

1. “A great life or a great career is built by performing one task at a time, quickly and well, and then going on to the next task.”

You might think multitasking is an efficient way of getting work done, but it’s not. Your brain is hard wired in way it can only focus on one thing at a time, so to maximize your productivity you want to single-task everything you do. Your focus is fragmented and not fully harnessed when you multitask. Just think of calling and driving at the same time, it can be done but it causes many accidents because people aren’t fully focused on driving. So whenever you get a task at hand attack it with laser focus and once finished, move on to the next one.

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How to Get Started When You’re Stuck

How many times have you sat in front of your computer, or your mess, or your appointment calendar, knowing that you needed to do something but were unable to make yourself do it? There’s always something more compelling or more urgent: the phone rings, or you remember an email you need to write. Suddenly you look up, and hours have passed.

What’s really going on?

Well, for one thing, work is hard. It takes effort. Some days, that alone is enough to send us off to one interesting blog post after another.

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Why Craving “Results” Gets Us No Results

One of the most common concerns I hear from people I work with is that, when they’re trying to focus on a project at work, they find themselves worrying that what they’re doing won’t get them any meaningful results.

For example, perhaps they’re writing an article, and they find themselves worrying that no one will read it. Maybe they’re concerned that the marketing strategy they’re working on won’t create sales. Or perhaps they just keep getting the nagging feeling that there’s something more important they could be doing.

Usually, to get rid of this anxiety, people switch tasks, jumping from drafting that presentation to writing that long e-mail. Yet somehow, shortly after they start their new task, they often find the same worry arising. So, they move to yet another project.

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Getting Productive By “Getting Real”

In this post, I’ll talk about how dropping our efforts to please others with the way we look and act can actually help us get more done and find more joy in our work.

As you know, most of us work in environments where other people are around — whether we’re in an office, on our laptops in a café, or somewhere else.

When others are around, many of us start getting concerned about what those people think of us. To manage this anxiety, we start talking and behaving in ways we think will make the “right impression.”

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How To Build A Longer Attention Span

We often read in productivity literature that we’ll be able to accomplish whatever we want, once we take any potential distractions out of our workspace — by disconnecting the internet and phone, putting the TV in another room, and so on.

But there’s something this approach doesn’t deal with. Even if we remove every possible distraction from our environment, we’ll still be left with our own minds. Even if we can’t flee from work by surfing the internet, we can always run away by daydreaming, reminiscing, making up worst-case scenarios about what the boss is going to say, and so on.

In other words, if we find it hard to focus on a single task for a long time, just rearranging our work environment won’t help much. This is why I think it’s important to practice holding our attention.

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Productivity and Owning Our Shadow

In this post, I’ll offer a perspective on procrastination, and an approach to dealing with it, that you probably haven’t heard before.

Often, in my experience, we put off working on a project because we know making progress in our task will force us to face some part of ourselves — some aspect of our personalities — we aren’t fully okay with.

Once, I worked with an accountant who was constantly anxious about turning in reports to her boss, because he tended to make comments she found abrasive. When we explored this further, we discovered that, when her boss was critical, she felt angry. And she was frightened by that feeling — that roiling, fiery energy that came up in her solar plexus.

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Mindfully Moving Beyond Multitasking

It’s become a truism in productivity literature that we shouldn’t multitask. Constantly switching between projects, we’re told, wastes time, because we need to reorient ourselves whenever we change tasks.

In working with clients on productivity issues, I’ve noticed that, although some people understand intellectually that multitasking is bad, they have trouble kicking the habit. As hard as they try to zero in on a single project, they find their attention constantly jumping around — from writing that e-mail, to coding that computer program, to folding their socks, and so on.

In other words, for these people, multitasking isn’t really a choice — it’s more like something that happens to them. But why?

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