Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reclaim That Positive Energy Pt 3 - Work Smarter Not Harder!

 [source] I love her colorful Caftan! 
This is our 3rd and final installment on how to Reclaim Positive Energy. If you haven't checked out the first two, you can find Part 1 here [How To Reclaim Your Positive Energy - Part 1], and Part 2 here [Reclaim That Positive Energy Part 2 - Bring Light & Balance Into Your Life]. 

In today's virtual meeting of the minds, we are going to talk about creating healthy habits which in turn fosters productivity. Creating healthy habits and increasing your productivity level is essential if you are going to quench your insatiable thirst to improve the quality of your life. 

These very simple tactics, have really helped me change a lot of my undesirable habits [like procrastination, very poor work habits], and made more time for me to work on accomplishing the things that mean the most to me [such as fitness, getting more in touch with my spirituality, community outreach, and generating content for my blog]. I am still very much a work in progress, but I can honestly say that without implementing these principles and values I would still feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. 

Write down the habit you wish to change, and how you wish to change it - Since we are focusing on productivity, try to identify your habits that prohibit your productivity; these can be issues with television, internet, an active social life, procrastination etc.  

Devise a "workaround plan" -  Identify the triggers for these bad habits, then identify your replacement habit. For instance; if stress triggers you to sleep more which takes a toll on your productivity, you can opt to meditate, walk, run, or listen to music when stressed vs sleeping. It's all about identifying triggers to your current habits, and replacing them with more ideal habits. 

Work on ONE habit per 30 days - Don't overwhelm yourself with all of these resolutions. Studies show that the best way to change a habit, is to work on ONE at a time. Ever wonder why most New Years Resolutions fall through the cracks? It's because most people tend to bite off more than they can chew.

Make a commitment to exercise those new habits for a minimum of 30 days - Stay focused, try to complete your new habit repetitively for 30 days without exception. 

A Few Reasons Productivity Is Important:
  • You will work more effectively; it will be much easier for you to cut the fluff and dive into the work that creates the most impact!
  • You get more work done faster with less angst, energy, and stress!
  • Working more efficiently helps prevent fatigue and burnout [don't you feel much more energized about a project when you have accomplished a goal vs looking at an unfinished task that has been staring you in the face for the past two weeks?] 
  • Productivity will allow you to have MORE free time! 
  • Productivity will push you to become so efficient you can excel in various aspects of your life simultaneously

How to Stay Productive:                                                                                                                            
Get Into Do Not Disturb Mode: If possible, turn off your cell phone, and just say no to Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Online Magazines etc. while working, as these vices tend to drain productivity. Save the multi-tasking for work-related duties and you will find that you get work done twice as fast. 

Set Daily Goals: Every night before bed, write out a list of simple goals that need to be done by the end of the next day. Setting daily goals helps you to better manage your time, and workload. - Do not add any new goals to your list until the existing goals have been completed. You can also take it a step further and implement sanctions for missed deadlines. You can either dock 10 minutes from your weekly "quiet time", or drop $5 into a jar. 

Find Your Natural Working Rhythm: Are you most productive at night? In the morning? If possible, tailor your workload around your natural working rhythm to ensure you stay motivated, and have optimal levels of energy.

Spend A Reasonable Amount of Time Weekly Doing Nothing: This is your "me time", this isn't time to pick up the kids, cook dinner, do your hair regimen, catch up on your budgeting, or your reading for school. This can be time you mediate, window shop, brunch, spa, or lay around and watch Lifetime Movies [my personal fave]. This time is meant for you to recharge your energy, maintain your sanity, and focus on things other than a "to-do list". - My me time is 30 minutes daily.

If Possible, Work Outside The Home: Confession; when I blog at home, I get nothing done. I normally blog at my local Cafe because it's more conducive to work [there are no tv's, sofa's, beds, I'm less likely to answer my phone etc] - If working outside your home is not a viable option, try a tip I listed in this post and clear your workspace of everything except for what you need to complete the task you're working on. For instance, if you are to get two chapters of reading in for school, you don't need a cpu, blackberry, ipod, etc. A book, pen, pad, sticky notes, and highlighter should suffice. 

30 Minute Self Assessment Sessions: Spend 30 minutes a week assessing your weekly progress, roadblocks, and solution brainstorming. 

Learn How To Say No: There may be times you may have to miss a movie date, or let a call from your BFF go to voicemail. Learn how to be firm with friends, associates, and family without guilt [even if they run the guilt trip on you]. Do not allow anyone to delegate your time!

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  1. Simply wonderful! This installment is def. valuable!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. I do the habit-changing exercise with my students on academic probation (under 2.0 gpa.) 30 days are important because they say it take 4 weeks to break a habit. My students do a worksheet, where they track their progress on that habit. They can fill in happy face or sad face and then write notes about their progress.

  3. I will share this with my 17 year old she's slowly picking up my procastinating bad habit thanks very helpful.

  4. great post. I also get a ton more sone when I blog from starbucks

  5. I love that you utilize your site to promote total well being!! inspired information.

  6. You are an amazing person! I have been reading your blog for a minute, forgot how I cam across it, but it was definitely memorable. I had to add it to my favorites. I have been inspired by you and several other "jazzy bloggers to start my on blog. Thanks for all the healthy hair posts. I am natural too!

  7. This is a great post. I agree on working outside of home. Sometimes I can get things done early a.m. but after 9 if I am not out seems like the day is one long hour at times. I find as a writer, it is so important.

    I also take e-mail stops. I will not keep my email open as a tab, during the time for email that is all I do, that is another distraction if you allow it to become one.

    Great post.

  8. I'm such a procrastinator! I'm constantly looking for ways to put order in my life. Your tips are great! Thx!

  9. What an awesome post! The tips are very helpful, I plan on putting some of these to the test. Love your blog!

  10. What a great post! I love all of your self-enlightenment series. This post actually reminds me of Zen Habits. He launched a small site to help form new habits one-by-one as you mentioned. Think you'll like his stuff if you don't already :)

  11. Great tips, especially blogging outside of your house. When I'm home I turn on the TV, get up and cook and get nothing done. I need to take the weekends and go elsewhere to write.

  12. great advices, some I need to implement in my own life.

  13. Awesome post. I really enjoyed the series.

  14. I have adopted your tip re: spending time weekly doing absolutely nothing. Especially now that the school year is about to begin. :)

  15. Great tips I really need to apply the learning to say no thanks

  16. Thanks Nikole. May God continue to allow you to inspire others. I came across your youtube channel, and decided to check out your blog, and I've been reading it. I enjoy fashion, cooking, reading, writing, and many of the things that you are. Keep it up lady!


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