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Staying Focused At Work: How To Be Productive In A Challenging Environment

A lot of organizations deal with challenges like maintaining productivity and quality of work. Employees constantly complain about the increasing chaos that hampers their productivity and this directly affects the business. Because of that, managers are quite pressed to find a solution that can motivate their team members while boosting their productivity.

In this article, we’ll share with you few essential tips on staying focused at work.

Prepare a To-Do List

prepare to do list

Half the battle is won once you prioritize your tasks. Make a master list of what needs to be done.

For example, you can put all tasks that require urgent attention under “A”.  Create a list “B” for things that are important but not urgent and List “C” for tasks that can wait for a while. Complete all tasks under “A” first before you move on to “B” and “C”.

Plan your day through these lists and set realistic deadlines to accomplish each one of them. Once you’ve completed everything, don’t forget to reward yourself to keep your spirit up. When you start prioritizing, you won’t just be focused but efficient, too.

Start With Cognitively Challenging Tasks

After preparing your to-do list, start with cognitively demanding tasks. Suppose your List “A” has three tasks. Start with the most difficult tasks before moving on to the easier ones. Do the same thing for the “B” and “C” lists.

Once you complete the difficult tasks, you are all set for the rest of the day. Now, you can relax and take care of the other tasks that aren’t as mentally draining.

Schedule Your Work

Don’t overstretch yourself with your work. Rather, split your work into segments and sub-segments. Try working within a 2-hour window and then take a break. Don’t sit for more than two hours at a stretch or else you’ll feel exhausted. Even a leading study suggests that “Sitting is the New Smoking”.

To avoid such burnouts, take a walk to revitalize your brain, allowing it to concentrate better. Though breaks are essential for a healthy workday, you must learn to take them with a pinch of salt. Frequent breaks can be addictive and can hamper work.

To draw a line, you can optimize your breaks by doing the following:

  • Schedule your breaks
  • Keep a track to ensure you are not overdoing or under doing your breaks

Learn to Set Priorities

Responding to each and every request of your co-workers can immediately affect your focus, preventing you from doing deep work. If you have a habit of entertaining every request, you are most likely to lose your value. On top of that, tackling on-the-fly requirements can also deplete your focus.

With that, you have to make others understand that their requests will be entertained but only once you are finished with your priorities. For better focus and results, it’s also important to avoid indulging in non-work related discussions or “grapevine.”

If there are sudden urgent tasks, you can deal with them with a simple project management tool. Simply make a note of the new task, assign a deadline and you are good to go. Once you’re done with your current task, start finishing the others one at a time.

Desist Multitasking

It might feel tempting to do multiple tasks simultaneously to enhance your productivity. But, honestly, it just makes things worse.

Multitasking drains your mind and it can cause a significant decline in your mental sharpness with time. It can prevent you from achieving your most important goals and make you more vulnerable to work errors.

Avoid Distractions

Nowadays, being online on various social media platforms is a trend. Several notifications pop up every now and then, commanding your attention. If you are constantly attending to such notifications, how are you supposed to do meaningful work?

One of the greatest tips in staying focused at work is to identify distractions and just get rid of them. While working on an important project, put your phone on silent or switch it off. If you really want to stay updated with your social media accounts, you can designate dedicated time slots to check your phone.

Be an Email Ninja

Though emails are important, they can be distracting, too. They have the potential to divert your attention from your work to something that can wait.

So, lay down personal rules and follow them religiously. Set specific times for your emails and stick with them.

Pay Attention to Chat Status

More often than not, people take your chat status wrongly. If your chat status says “available” all the time, they’ll think of it as a sign to forward more requests.

When you are doing a task that demands a razor-sharp focus, set your chat or email setting to ‘busy’ mode. Needless to say, you can change the chat status after you’re done.

Cut Outside Noise

avoiding noise distraction

Managing your focus in an office environment can be quite tricky. Until you do away with noise, you won’t be able to focus.

Limiting auditory distractions is crucial in increasing attention span. You can use noise-canceling headphones for that. If you still feel distracted, you can move to a quieter place, such as a conference room. In case that doesn’t solve the problem, opt for remote work for a day or two to regain your lost focus.

Manage Stress

Working on a crucial project with close deadlines? Growing expectations, increased competition, and pressing deadlines can increase your stress at work. This can make your productivity suffer.

To solve this, try turning on a soothing music to lower your stress and calm your mind. Apart from that, you should also pay close attention to your diet. As much as possible, avoid the following:

  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Don’t forget to exercise regularly and sleep well.

See Also: 4 Ways To Reduce Stress Inside and Outside of Work

Declutter Your Workdesk

Visual clutter can take away your focus, preventing you from doing any meaningful work. Therefore, you must declutter your office desk to increase work performance.

Keep everything that’s essential to your work, like your pen, notepad, marker, and files, on top of the table so you can easily get them when needed. Lock all other unnecessary things inside your drawer.

See Also: 12 Desk Hacks To Make You More Productive At Work

In Summary

Focus on bringing tranquility to your workplace, so the whole environment undergoes a positive change. You can add positive images to your work desk or you can write down quotes to boost your focus. Practice a simple routine of keeping a clean desk and make sure that you don’t leave food or other things lying on your desk.

Keep on practicing these positive habits and you’ll surely see a noticeable improvement in your productivity level at work.

The post Staying Focused At Work: How To Be Productive In A Challenging Environment appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Achieving The Perfect Balance Between Studying And Working Full-Time

Balancing work and school can be difficult. If you are looking for ways to make the best of your time, here are a few tips you can use.

Review class syllabi

Class syllabi are those small documents created by your instructors, teachers or professors to assist with your studies in the course of the semester. Make a point to go through the syllabi for all your classes. That way, you will have a clear understanding of what will come in the following weeks, including topics to be taught and dates for exams.

Use a good calendar to schedule work and school deadlines

good calendar

Using a calendar, like Google Calendar, can go a long way in keeping up with end-term exams for school or important projects at work. With your entire schedule in front of you, you’ll find it easier to know when you’re available. Setting deadlines for both school and work will also ensure that you’ll never miss any deadlines or fail to prepare for exams.

Start working on assignments the moment they are issued

Avoid postponing school assignments to the last minute. That way, you won’t need to study all night to the point that you get too exhausted to perform effectively at work.

To avoid this, work on your school assignments at the first opportunity. Taking those initial steps, like researching for the assignment and taking a few notes, will help you build some momentum.

Manage your debt to avoid getting distracted by stress

The stress of huge credit card debt, mortgage, car loans or student loans can weigh you down. It can make it difficult for you to concentrate on your education and perform at work. Seek expert advice on debt relief to learn how to take this weight off of your shoulder.

Try out a few different study methods

Use your study time in the most optimal way. To do this, you might need to try a few different methods of absorbing, retaining and synthesizing information.

Some methods include having a study partner, rewriting notes and jotting down some concepts. The only way of finding out which method of study is the most appropriate for you is by experimenting.

Have clearly set out tasks for your studies

study method

While at the office, it’s typical for you to have a defined set of tasks. This can include meetings with your workmates, writing/replying emails, speaking with clients, etc.

You should approach your studies the same way. You should come up with study tasks that are clearly set out, like writing reports and researching term papers. This can help you manage your study time better.

See Also: How to Stay On-Task…Every Day

Schedule your entire week’s study sessions

The last thing you want to do is study in a haphazard manner. Simply opening a random textbook and reading a random chapter won’t help.

So, set aside chunks of time in your calendar for tackling specific topics. These blocks of time can be anything from 30 minutes to three hours, depending on your work/school calendar.

Construct an emotionally supportive network

Have a solid emotionally supportive network both professionally and by and by. That emotionally supportive network can represent the moment of truth you,” says Amy Chen, advertising and correspondence administrator for TINYpulse.

Regardless of whether it’s your administrator, guide or a relative, ensure that everyone around you is energetic about your choice to set off for college.

Time administration is everything

I had at regular intervals of my life (with the exception of Sundays) planned for 30 minutes increases,” says Gabe Lumby, CPA and organizer of Gabe Lumby CPA. Lumby says the way to adjusting classes, examining, work and your connections is dealing with your time purposefully.

See Also: 5 Essential Time Management Tips to Live By

Make your director mindful

Ensure that your director knows that you’re going to school and knows your work limit. Bringing your manager into the discussion at an early stage may even result in acknowledgment or an advancement after graduation.

Adore your learning

When you’re really energetic about your training and vocation, it stops feeling like work all of a sudden. Don’t simply consider it as doing assignments and checking in hours. Instead, consider it as enhancing your brain and propelling your vocation.

“You have been given an open door that few individuals in this world have: a school training,” “Don’t simply take a class, satisfy a fantasy. Cherish what you are doing!”

The post Achieving The Perfect Balance Between Studying And Working Full-Time appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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The Reason Days Feel Like They’re Flying By And How To Fix It

A lot of people often find themselves wondering why time flies.

Well, time isn’t what it used to be. It seems just yesterday that I started writing this article and yet it was three days ago. At this rate, I fear I will awaken at an elderly home tomorrow morning. And I’m just 26 now.

It wasn’t always like this.

I remember each of my childhood years as lasting an eternity. Unlike the other kids, I never wanted to grow up. It felt like a scam and I was right.

Upon reaching legal adulthood, everything sped up. Days mix with each other to form an indistinguishable blur of events and I don’t like it. I can’t seem to remember what this past Wednesday felt like or what decisions I made on Tuesday that lead me here. Moments like this often make me wonder why time flies.

Three weeks ago, I returned from a trip to Rome for three days. At the end of the first day, I laid exhausted in bed from a thrilling time in the city. That day felt as if it lasted more than 24 hours. The second day felt exactly the same way and so did the third. They were days full of excitement, joy, stress and learning.

As I played back the days in my head while flying out of Rome, those three days felt like twenty. I could recall each past activity in detail. I felt like I lived more in those three days than I had in months before the trip.

The Science

Intense moments, good or bad, feel as if they lasted longer. This is because the brain remembers much more when the information is relevant or if it causes a strong emotional reaction. I’ve washed dishes a million times, yet I can only recall one or two occasions. I would hate to remember the color of every dish soap I’ve ever used.

the_feel_of_timeWe spend more time doing yellow, but we only remember yellow. The varied experiences in colors feel as if they last longer.

In the beginning years of our lives, most experiences are new and important. The brain remembers most of these pieces of information in great detail throughout the day. Remembering days in their entirety creates the illusion of living longer, both during real-time and when accessing memories.

In contrast, as we age, few experiences are new, more mundane and less relevant. Days seem like they fly by that we can’t even remember past eve.

Holding On To Slippery Time

Understanding why time flies or what we can do about it isn’t hard. Intuitively, if our time feels like it’s going by too fast, we need to slow down.

I am aware of two types of feel for time.

Type one is how long each day feels from the moment I wake up. Going through a stressful moment at work would make my day feel longer as I count the hours ahead. Type two is how long the past days feel relative to today.

It is vital for me to have a good control over these two types of time. As often as I could, I try to get out of my comfort zone in an attempt to seek new powerful experiences — a great solution for both types of “time feel”.

I join local groups to talk and share and this often results in an exchange of powerful moments. I travel monthly to absorb new places and their culture.

Every day, I take some time to break the routine and monotony of my daily tasks by replacing them with new activities. I talk to strangers, hear their stories, eat my lunch seating under a different tree or share my stories through the web.

having fun

See Also: The Call for Change: Time to Step Out of the Comfort Zone

Time Halt Summary

Here are your key takeaways in making each day special and different.

1. Get out of your comfort zone as soon and as often as possible. Take risks as they are healthy in mild amounts.

2. Visit new places. Have you been to the broom closet in your job?

3. Share with people and hear their stories. People appreciate unloading their emotional baggage and an engaging story might be the tipping point in your day.

4. Break your self-imposed discipline. Don’t repeat the same tasks every day.

5. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s not always healthy to feel safe in your daily decisions or the type of clothes you wear. Only with mistakes will we know what works and what doesn’t.

See Also: 7 Ways to Get More Comfortable With Feeling Uncomfortable

The post The Reason Days Feel Like They’re Flying By And How To Fix It appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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8 Time-Saving Hacks for Busy Moms

The homemaker has the ultimate career of all. She has regular work hours, makes each day both useful and pleasant, and proves the worth of time by employing it well. Whoever is stuck on the myth that a housewife has no other work to do than cooking for her husband and kids and watching daily soaps has never seen a homemaker for an entire day.

People like you and I, who go out to earn and come back to the comforts of a ‘home’, should not forget that it is a homemaker that makes the house a comfort zone. She is on duty 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. She’s an alarm clock, a cook, a maid, a teacher, a waiter, a nurse, a security officer, a counselor, and a comforter. She doesn’t get a holiday the entire year, and still gets asked, ‘What do you do all day?’

She doesn’t get a holiday the entire year, and still gets asked, ‘What do you do all day?’

Here’s to all the hard-working homemakers. Here are 8 ways you can save your time and energy, and work efficiently.

Have a To-Do List

to do list

Like every other profession, homemaking in itself is a profession that demands perfection, and nothing less. As much as being organized in any other profession is important, homemaking too, should be done in an organized manner. The first step to this is to keep a to-do list ready for every day. Keeping a list ready helps you sort between important and unimportant, urgent, and not so urgent work, and you can plan your day accordingly.

The first step to this is to keep a to-do list ready for every day. Keeping a list ready helps you sort between important and unimportant, urgent, and not so urgent work, and you can plan your day accordingly.

See Also: Todo List Apps for People Who Don’t Like Todo Lists 

Keep Important Things Handy

This is yet another important thing that all homemakers should implement. Keep a copy of your important documents ready, a first aid box readily available, a list of emergency contacts and some extra cash for those contingencies. After all, it is better to be prepared than to panic.

Learn From DIY Lessons

Social media is not just a waste of time. Nowadays, with YouTube, Instagram and Facebook streaming with hundreds of DIY videos and hacks, there are so many lessons that you can learn and put into use immediately. There are cooking hacks, home décor ideas and time-saving tricks that are easy to learn and implement.

Do Easy Cooking

I see people who think that the only thing that a homemaker does is cooking. False. There are so many other things that she does daily. It is just that cooking occupies most of her time.

There is always a solution to a problem. Homemakers should learn easy cooking tricks, start using the microwave often, and learn quick and healthy recipes. These cooking hacks will save you enough time for your hobbies.

Storage Ideas

I’ve seen people who spend a large chunk of their day just cleaning the mess around. This especially becomes tedious when you have kids and guests visiting you very often.

Mums have a tough time keeping things in place and maintaining the house well. This is where storage ideas come into play. Keep light-weight baskets and bins around the house where you can quickly dump the mess when a guest is expected, or a toy basket to stuff all your kids’ toys once they’re done playing. They’re quick as well as less tiresome than cleaning the entire house twice or thrice a day.

Hire Domestic Help

Depending on where you live and if you have the means, you can hire domestic help or outsource some of your daily chores. You can employ a helper or a cook, or even hire an assistant to help you with household tasks.

Shop Online

With so many advances in technology, it is only fair that homemakers also update themselves with the latest advancements in e-commerce and shopping. Instead of standing in long queues at the supermarket or traveling to stores, you can try the convenience of online shopping. It is easier, more reasonable, and you get to choose from a range of products without even moving an inch. This also saves you the extra bucks that you spend on in-store compulsive shopping.

Take Power Naps

power naps

Homemakers work a 24×7 shift especially when there are sick kids. There’s no pause button to their routine. They keep working from dawn to dusk and hardly get any time to stop and relax. This affects both their mental and physical health. It is important that they take at least one power nap, or relax for a short time in the middle of the day. This little break or power nap helps reduce stress and rejuvenates them for the latter half of the day.

See Also: 7 Easy Tips on How to Get the Perfect Nap 

Homemakers work harder and longer than any other class of worker. They go through stress and anxiety just like anybody. By applying these time-saving hacks, the busy homemaker earns some precious “me” time for much-needed rest and relaxation.

 

The post 8 Time-Saving Hacks for Busy Moms appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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A new lawsuit alleges anti-aging startup Elysium Health hasn’t paid its sole supplier

elysium health Chromadex, the sole supplier of anti-aging startup Elysium Health‘s two main product ingredients pterostilbene and Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), is suing the startup for failure to make payments on those ingredients and for breach of a trademark and royalties agreement. According to a document on Chromadex’s website, dated December 29, 2016, Elysium “made… Read More

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