Posts Tagged ‘Productivity’

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

Planning.

Sunday, September 7th, 2008
This is #7 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Planning. Establish a routine of planning your week and your day. This will allow you to have your most productive week all the time. Start your day an extra 15 minutes early to do this planning everyday. Write down the top 1-3 important things you must do that day. Plan your upcoming week on Sunday evening. The weekly plan doesn’t have to be extremely detailed. Just include the major items.

One of my favorite Butter Bee Happy users (he’s one of my favorites because he was an early adopter and posts such cheerful happy thoughts all the time), EddieStarr, once posted this happy thought:


I have fabulous plans for the weekend

Planning your activities, for both work and play, gives you a plan to follow and a goal to achieve.  You will also have something you can look forward to: either the completion of that activity or the activity itself will probably give you satisfaction.

Don’t forget to add a few question marks to your plan, to leave room for spontaneity. :)

-MJ

Take Breaks

Friday, September 5th, 2008
This is #5 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Take Breaks. It’s a fact that taking breaks will increase productivity. It’s been proven in studies. If you need to, find someone to help ensure you take a morning and afternoon break.

My favorite way to take a break is through a short nap, followed by a rich cup of coffee (although some researchers recommend that you drink coffee prior to napping, so that the caffeine will act as a natural alarm clock when it kicks in 20 minutes later).  In Japan, where workdays often  last 12 hours, naps are becoming a common tactic to maintain mental agility throughout the day.  Read more about their innovative nap salons here and here. I wish every public space has a safe, clean place to take naps.  Can you imagine how well rested and cheerful we would all be?

Another effective way to take a break at work is through “desk yoga.”  I always feel better at work, physically and mentally, when I take a few moments every now then to stretch out my cramped legs, strained back, and typing-weary fingers.

If you’re a guy, and you’re about to skip reading this section of the article because you think of yoga as a predominately female activity, wait just a second.  Read through these simple yoga-inspired stretches and seriously consider giving them a shot.  They are designed to increase alertness and release stress, and most people find that they really do work.  Read instructions for desk yoga here and here.

What kind of breaks do you take to stay contented and alert on the job?

-MJ

Don’t Check Email First Thing

Thursday, September 4th, 2008
This is #4 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Don’t Check Email First Thing. Unless this is required in your job, then let it go until after you’ve completed your top priority of the day. And then process email in batches, say two or three times a day.

This makes sense.  I would feel very happy if I could knock out my day’s top priority before checking email.  Unfortunately, I often feel like I have about 10 things to do in a day that are all labeled “Top Priority.” By working at them all a little at the time throughout the day, I generally finish enough of them to feel satisfied.

How do you manage your email? Do you really feel like wading through email each day decreases your contentment or productivity?  Do you have any suggestions for alternatives?

-MJ

Accept That You’ll Never Finish Your Task List

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
This is #2 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Today we’ll look at this this suggestion:

Accept That You’ll Never Finish Your Task List. For perfectionists and overachievers this is as frustrating as a greyhound forever chasing the mechanical bunny around the track. Get off that track. Just make sure you work on your most important stuff first. Let the fluff slide, not your priorities.

If you didn’t waste valuable time going down little roads to nowhere, pursuing activities that just don’t really matter, you would have more free time.  Then you would be able to say what ButterBeeHappy user mrsdonnad says in her happy thoughts: I’m enjoying “me” time.  Maybe like garyk, you would feel “gratefuller for waking up feeling calm,” because you’d accomplish your greatest priorities without allowing insignificant details to gnaw away at your mind.

Don’t forget to click on the picture above to read the cute story about that to-do list!

-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