Life Hacks to Increase Your Productivity and Success

Want to squeeze out every moment of every day like a superstar? It’s not hard if you program your mind and body with some simple hacks.

 

Start Your Day Right

How many of us switch on our smartphones the moment we get up in the morning? Most of us do, and it’s time to ditch this harmful habit. Instead, stay in bed for an extra five minutes after your alarm goes off. Focus on your breathing and engage in a 15-minute power yoga session or another quick exercise. Do your stretches and feel your muscles unfurl after a good night’s rest. Before the madness of your morning routine begins (making breakfast, packing lunches, etc.), take some time out to acknowledge your body. This is also a great time to quickly make a concise day plan.

 

Don’t Get Distracted

You’re finally stationed at your desk, ready to go, when a notification about the latest recommendation on Goodreads pops up. Ignore it. Studies have shown that it takes a person more than 15 minutes to return to their original task when distracted by an electronic device – usually a smartphone. Along with ignoring devices, you should also shut out unnecessary interactions with people who will take up your time without offering anything productive in return. If you’re afraid of seeming rude, keep these interactions until the end of the day, when all your major tasks are completed.

 

Hate It? Do It!

Speaking of those tasks, many of them can be quite cumbersome or even downright boring. Unfortunately, these are also tasks that absolutely must be done. Remember your day plan? Place your least interesting tasks at the top of your to-do list so you get them out of the way first. It could be proofreading an 800-page document full of spelling errors or mundane research on clams – whatever they are, get them done. Doing so will make your preferred tasks seem even more desirable, and you’ll find yourself more energized to take them on.

 

Finish the Quick-Fixes

Some tasks will be quite easy, and that’s precisely why you keep pushing them to the bottom of the list, promising yourself that you’ll get to them eventually. If they’re brief in terms of time and energy required, just get them done. The result will be a feeling of positivity and accomplishment at having ticked off several tasks. You’re already having an extremely productive day. Now you can reply to those emails, make that phone call you’ve been putting off, or refill the cartridge in your printer – it just takes a minute or two.

 

Smell the Roses

Finally, it might sound insignificant, but take a moment to step back and enjoy life. Half-hour subway ride ahead of you? Read some of that novel you recently started. Extra 15 minutes before your next meeting? Watch a fun video on your phone or spend a few minutes with a mobile game. Appointment cancelled at the last minute? Take a quiet walk in the park with your phone’s ringer off. These short breaks are like power naps – designed to refresh you and reboot your brain. Then, when you’re back behind that desk, you’ll be your best, most productive self.

 

Lisa Day | DBPC Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dealing with Professional Adversity

Laid off when you least expected it? Passed over for that promotion you were counting on? Maybe your small business failed? It’s not the end of the world, and the most difficult times can be learning experiences. Here’s how to pick yourself up when faced with career adversity and look to the future with renewed enthusiasm and confidence.

 

Take a Moment

Take some time to acknowledge this major life change or disappointment. It can be quite a jolt to your routine when you don’t have to wake up in the morning to get dressed for work. Breathe and take it one day at a time – it’s perfectly fine to mourn the loss of a good thing, especially if you loved what you were doing. Activities like long walks, listening to music, and meditating in the morning to relax are great opportunities to take stock, and can help you reboot your system. It’s crucial to purge yourself of the negativity and despair that can come with being laid off before you start job hunting, for example. Wipe that slate clean!

 

Look at the Bright Side

Remember that it wasn’t all bad, even if you didn’t get that promotion. Make a note of some of the positive experiences at your past (or current) job, or lessons learned from a failed startup venture. How can you use that to your advantage moving forward? Perhaps your organizational skills were instrumental in the success of a project, or maybe there’s still a great idea in your failed business. “I’ve made billions of dollars of failures at Amazon.com,” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos told Business Insider. “Literally billions of dollars of failures. You might remember Pets.com or Kosmo.com. It was like getting a root canal with no anesthesia. None of those things are fun. But they also don’t matter.”

 

Spruce Up Your Skillset

Treat as a learning opportunity and write out a list of things that you think you could have known or done better. This could include freshening up your social media skills or updating your knowledge of your industry’s best practices. You can go back to school for short-term courses, watch webinars in your area of expertise, start a blog, or do some volunteering (which looks great on your resume). The learning process never stops, and with the rapidly-changing job market, it will do you good to stay on top of the latest trends. You never know when your next opportunity – a new job, or another promotion – might come along. Be ready.

 

Move on Confidently

With your new knowledge and insight, it’s time for the hard work to begin. You’re wiser and more experienced, so position yourself in the professional world accordingly. Focus on your strengths. Remember to put things into perspective – layoffs aren’t personal, or you may get that promotion next time. Failure is the stepping stone to greatness, and things don’t always work out as planned. As Sir Winston Churchill famously said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

 

 

Baisakhi Roy | DBPC Blog