Posts Tagged ‘Productive’

Pace Yourself, Especially on Bad Days

Friday, September 12th, 2008
This is #12 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Pace Yourself, Especially on Bad Days. Go slow. Don’t be in a hurry. Just take one thing at a time and keep moving forward. If you’re having a really low day, you might even want to take care of yourself by playing hooky !

I must respectfully disagree with this advice.  Sometimes you SHOULD be in a hurry – but being in a hurry with your actions or thoughts does not necessarily require you to be in a hurry with your emotions.  You can cultivate a sense of calm and joy within yourself even when you’re pressed for time, if you make a conscious, repeated attempt to do so.

-MJ

Choose Happiness, Humor, Enthusiasm, Gratitude, Kindness, and a Positive Outlook.

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
This is #10 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Choose Happiness, Humor, Enthusiasm, Gratitude, Kindness, and a Positive Outlook. Being productive and competitive in business doesn’t mean that you have to be serious all the time. Smiling doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. Enthusiasm doesn’t mean you’re not competitive. Being positive doesn’t mean you’re blind to challenges. Choose to enjoy your time at work. Find others who are like this and spread good cheer. It’s contagious and it grows. Try to avoid gossip and negative chat. It can be tempting, but it doesn’t serve anyone well, including yourself.

This is great advice.  Whether you love or hate your job, you can always improve your work life by consciously deciding to have a good attitude about it.  When I’m overworked, frustrated, tired, or just grumpy, I constantly have to remind myself to take a deep breath, relax, and think of something positive.  Sometimes that positive thought is as simple as, “At least I’m learning from this miserable experience,” or “Thank goodness this will all be over soon,” but even simple thoughts work.

I believe that you too will find that if you actively develop the habit of thinking positively and avoid griping to yourself or others about your problems, you will become a happier, more productive person – and you’ll probably be a whole lot more fun to be around. :)

-MJ

PS -  SMILE!  Even when life sucks, and no one is looking. :D

Transitions.

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
This is #9 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Transitions. Make sure you plan in enough time between activities and appointments, and find ways to fail proof being on time.

I always underestimate how much time I need to finish something, so I’m often rushing from place to place with no time to spare.  This lifestyle is strenuous, and it is not very happy OR productive.   I’m slowly learning to make more realistic assessments of how much time I have and how much time I need to achieve a goal.

I think the instruction to “make sure you plan in enough time between activities and appointments, and find ways to fail proof being on time” could be extended to include your emotions and relationships.  For example, a speedy transition from singleness to marriage would probably lead to problems down the road, if you and your partner haven’t taken time to develop a full understanding of one another.

Similarly, hurrying through the transitory stages of grief or failing to take enough time to adjust to moving to a new city might create more emotional or organizational disruptions for you than would have been created otherwise, if you took your time and eased through these processes.

-MJ

Drop Unimportant Tasks.

Monday, September 8th, 2008
 This is #8 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Drop Unimportant Tasks. Delegate or delete the non-essential items from your to-do list. The best way to do this is to always do your most important things first. Somehow, miraculously, extraneous things will fall away.

Scratching things off my to-do list without even attempting to do them feels wonderful.   Delegation feels even better, because then the to-do is a to-done without my pinkie finger ever needing to lift.

-MJ

The Power Question

Monday, September 1st, 2008

I found an article called “25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work” and decided to go through the tips one by one to see if they work for me.

Throughout the month of September I will chronicle this experiment right here, in this blog.   Are you ready for the first tip?  Here it is:

Power Question. Keep a question like this at your desk to help you stay focused: “Am I making the most of my time right now?” or “Is this the most productive use of my time?”

I have to ask myself questions like that all the time, because I tend to multitask too much and lose track of what’s most important.  But would spending .5 seconds every 5 minutes or so re-reading such a question actually make me more productive, and therefore, more happy?

What if you had to complete a task that, in your opinion, was a total waste of time?  Wouldn’t asking yourself that question frustrate you?

I’ll tell you what would make me feel good: instead of a power question at my desk, I would place a sign reading, “What you do is important.”  Feeling important and believing that we matter to the people around us is vital to our happiness and mental health (Dale Carnegie expresses this in his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People“), and may have a more positive direct impact on our emotional well-being than constantly questioning each of our jobs and tasks.

-MJ