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6 Ways You Can Accomplish More Today

There’s a definite difference between being busy and being productive. Some people are busy all of the time, but they aren’t very productive with their work. Then there are the people who can get a ridiculous amount of work done every day with a consistent, high quality. The difference is organization. You can be productive and busy by taking these six methods into consideration as you structure your day.

#1. Give yourself daily deadlines. If you set timers for yourself throughout your day, then you’ll be able to track the levels of productivity that you’ve been able to accomplish. It doesn’t have to be a tangible system. If you keep track of work levels in your head per hour, that’s just as good sometimes as having deadlines put into your calendars.

#2. Keep a daily checklist. If you keep forgetting to get something done on a daily basis, then it really does become difficult to achieve your full attention. A daily checklist should have all the chores that need to be done during the day, but also include weekly and monthly tasks on it as well. This will allow you to prioritize your day and increase the amount of work you get done because there is less task switching.

#3. Eliminate all of the distractions. You don’t have to answer every email or text message when it comes in. You don’t need to update your Facebook status this instant. If you have to stop every few minutes because you’re switching tasks, then you could find yourself falling far behind because communication, not work completion, has become your highest priority.

#4. Keep track of your most creative ideas. There are some amazing ideas that have transformed the world that seem so simple, we wonder why we couldn’t have thought of them. Maybe you already have. If you keep track of your ideas that you can’t turn into projects right now, then maybe you can use them later in the future. Ideas that don’t get written down will be ideas that are lost. Your memory is not generally as reliable as you think it would be.

#5. Mentorship is a key component of productivity. The people who train you and encourage you have a surprising amount of influence in how you work. People are a lot like sponges. They soak up bits and pieces of the people around them to make a unique identity. If you have mentors who are encouraging bad habits like always checking email or wandering around the office with coffee in hand, then you’ll be less productive than you could be.

#6. Emotions will stab you in the back. Your feelings are important, but feelings that fester create an environment that emphasizes a lack of productivity. If you’re frustrated about something, then take 2 minutes to cope and then come back to a project. If you’re tired and feel like procrastinating, then take a deep breath, give yourself a minute or two of attention, and then knuckle down to get the job done. Barely keeping your head above water with work is no way to survive.

Being productive on a consistent basis at work takes some effort, but it is a habit that will eventually pay off in many different ways. Incorporate these ideas into your daily routine and you might just be amazed at how efficient you can really be.

Being Happier At Work: 5 Proven Methods for Success

The average person spends just as much time at work as they do sleeping at night. It isn’t uncommon for work to be the dominating factor in one’s life, even eclipsing time that is spent with friends or family. That fact alone can be depressing, but it doesn’t have to make you a miserable employee. Sometimes a few simple changes can bring an added level of contentment at work. After all, happiness is a choice that you can make.

Here are 5 proven methods for successfully choosing more happiness every day.

#1. Give yourself a taste of the outdoors. You don’t need to have a window office to feel like you’re in touch with nature. A little extra greenery in your work space can transform your daily attitude in remarkable ways. Not only do office plants give a slight improvement to the air in an office space, but the greenery provides a calming influence on the mind that lends to longer periods of focused concentration.

#2. Stop multitasking. There are some tangible gains to feeling important at work. It fills the chest with pride to know that you’re important enough to be incredibly busy. Those gains don’t feel so important when you’re bogged down with work, can’t focus, and seem distracted all the time.

#3. Have a friend somewhere close. People who are able to work with people whom they consider their friends are more productive during the day AND are happier at work. Not only does communication improve when people think of themselves as friends, but feedback is more honest and there isn’t as much of the solo competitiveness that can quickly derail a team. Here’s another reason to find a friend: people who have chronic loneliness have a 45% increased risk of experiencing a premature death.

#4. Take a chance. Taking risks at work might seem like self-sabotage, but being in a boring rut can actually lead to higher levels of discontent. Taking risks mean planning strategies, engaging new people, and sometimes risking it all on a single idea. Nothing gets the flow of adrenaline pumping more than that. When people are engaged in all of that, more happiness tends to come around because you will feel like you’re useful and contributing to a good cause.

#5. Allow yourself to fail. It can be difficult to fail at a task, but forgiving yourself and learning from the mistakes that led to failure will lead to more overall happiness. Without forgiveness, people tend to live in a world that is filled with anxiety. It can even lead to panic attacks if it persists for long enough. Happiness comes when control of a life is grasped. That’s what forgiving yourself will allow you to do.

Being happier at work may take a few changes, but the effort to change is definitely worthwhile. By following these ideas, you can shape your working environment to be a place where happiness instead of misery can be found every day.

The 7 Habits of Super Achievers

There are a number of habits that will make you successful. Then there are the habits that will make you really, really successful. If you want to be able to take your life to the next level, then think about adding these attributes to your life.

#1. Get the day started early. Time is an asset that is unfortunately fleeting. That’s why those who are really successful wind up getting their day started as early as 4am. This gives you more control over your morning routine so you don’t feel rushed. It also allows you to pursue personal interests when your energy levels are high.

#2. Think about a good workout. You don’t have to hit the gym to get some exercise. A little stretching is enough to get you to start thinking more clearly. Exercise isn’t always easy to make happen, so try to add 10 minutes of exercise when you first wake up to clear your mind.

#3. Spend your energy wisely. There’s only so much energy that you’re going to have on any given day. Even if you drink 10 cups of coffee, there’s a certain limit to what the human body can do. Those who are successful know how much fuel is in their tank and make sure to dedicate time for inspiration and creativity before it’s time to fuel up at the end of the day.

#4. There’s a certain level of gratitude. It’s one thing to say that you have gratitude. It’s a whole other practice to write down what you’re grateful about. Start a gratitude journal and you will force your mind to look for the small, perfect moments that are happening around you. As you look for the positive, a natural consequence occurs: you begin to ignore the negative.

#5. Is there substance to what you’re doing? If you knew that your time was limited on this planet to 24 hours, would you still do what you’re doing right now? If the answer to this question isn’t positive, then you’ve got some changes to make in your life. Everything matters to those who are really successful.

#6. Do the hard stuff first. The hardest work of the day seems a lot easier when you’ve got extra energy to do it. Save the easy stuff for the late afternoon when you’re ready to call it a day so that you can stay productive.

#7. Meditate. 9 out of 10 illnesses today are related to stress. If you are able to keep your calm and capitalize on those few moments of quiet that happen during the day, you’ll be able to keep going strong and stay well.

Those who are really, really successful practice these components of life every day. It allows them to chart their own course, reduce stress, and find happiness. Incorporate the habits into your own life and you will be amazed at how much success will want to head your way!

7 Ways To Work With a Recruiter

Are you stuck in a dead-end job? Do you feel like your career potential is being wasted? A recruiter is a great relationship to have because they may have access to job opportunities that you can’t find on your own. Recruiters may even have leads that are half a world away, but just a phone call within reach. Here are 7 ways that you can enhance the time you spend working with a recruiter.

#1. Always be honest. Your recruiter should be treated as a trusted adviser. This means trying to enhance your credentials isn’t going to do either of you any good. Be honest about your skills and qualifications and let the recruiter do their job for you.

#2. Keep communication transparent. Recruiters need to move quickly sometimes to get someone placed into the perfect job. Timing really is everything, which means it becomes your job to keep communication open and transparent. Your recruiter may need to contact you at a moment’s notice. This will make that happen.

#3. Take time to build a relationship. Recruiters are going to want to meet you and verify several references so that they know how to best represent you. Making time to build a relationship with your recruiter will make their presentation about you more effective and give you a more completed working relationship.

#4. There’s nothing wrong in turning a position down. We all tend to avoid disappointing the people we care about. Because of this, the relationships that we build professionally sometimes make us all feel like we’re forced to do something we don’t want to do. Recruiters do work hard to create open positions, but it’s fine to turn down a position. It’s better that a job opportunity is a right fit instead of a forced fit.

#5. Patience is definitely a virtue. Whether you’re out of work or looking for a better job, not being somewhere you want to be can create a lot of stress, frustration, and uncertainty. Recruiters want to find a good fit with a good compensation profile so that a long-term position can be successfully filled. Being patient can be difficult sometimes, but is a necessary component of the process.

#6. Be ready to go when the time is right. Great positions can sometimes open and close in a matter of hours. If you aren’t prepared to take action on that opportunity immediately, then there is a good chance that the perfect job could slip away. With updated application materials in hand, just one potential interview could be what puts you over the top.

#7. Stay committed to the process. If you aren’t 100% committed to the change you want a recruiter to help you make, then not only can you damage your own reputation, but you can also damage the recruiter’s reputation as well. Relationships are extremely important in this industry. If you aren’t quite sure what to do, take some time to confirm that you want change to happen before you proceed.

Working with a recruiter can create long-term success for you and your career. It just means you’ll need to work as hard as your recruiter to make sure you can get the perfect position. In doing so, the dream job you’ve always wanted may be just one phone call away.

7 Effective Time Management Tips To Start Using Right Now

Does it seem like you’ve got a day that has just slipped away from you? Do you head home feeling like you didn’t accomplish everything you wanted to be able to accomplish? That happens to everyone, so the first step is to release any guilt you might be feeling. If this is becoming a chronic feeling, however, these 7 effective time management tips can help you take action to eliminate the problem.

#1. Find the things that waste your time. Every time you swap your focus from one task to another, you lose 15 minutes of time on average. That means things like updating your Facebook status or watching a cat jump over a unicorn while running on a rainbow will need to stop. List these out and then eliminate them.

#2. Get rid of the apps too. Social networking apps are bad, but modern game apps are worse. Their push notifications sound alarms or even vocally encourage you to play the game. Even the sound can rob you of your focus. Just eliminate the apps, mute your phone, or turn off the push notifications if you can.

#3. Have a daily goal. People are more productive when they have daily goals to meet. Everyone starts strong in the morning, but will hit a mid-day lull that can cause them to quit if they don’t have a goal to meet. With an achievable goal, you can power through the fatigue or boredom and set new records of productivity.

#4. Start with the important stuff. If you start with the hardest stuff to do first, as many people do, you don’t always leave time for the most important stuff. Do the important tasks first and then rank the importance of other items. If you rank things based on difficulty, you’ll just be disappointed.

#5. You’re probably not a supertasker. Multitasking is a popular interview question, but only 2% of the human race can actually do it effectively. Most people lose time through daydreaming, window staring, or laughing at a funny fast memory. Just don’t try it and you won’t lose time because of it.

#6. There is always wasted time somewhere. How long did you have to wait for your last doctor’s appointment? Or stand in line for a sandwich at lunch? Instead of reading the 6 month old magazines, take along items that can help you be productive. Many offices and restaurants have access to free WiFi, so you can take work along with you and not fall so far behind.

#7. Get legitimate feedback. Content like this can give you advice, and following it is a good first step, but receiving feedback is better. Listen to what people are telling you about your habits and take the good out of that advice as much as possible. Don’t take constructive criticism personally. This kind of feedback allows you to see yourself through the eyes of others. That’s why it is such an effective mechanism for change.

You don’t have to feel guilty about a wasted day any more. Use these 7 effective and proven tips today to better manage your time and tomorrow just might end up being a perfect day.

5 Proven Methods To Conquer Stress Proactively

Stress happens in some form every day. It might be in the form of a relationship that needs to be repaired, a micro-managing supervisor, or an overdue project that you’re not sure you can complete. When stress happens, the mind tries to shut down. If you can handle stress when you’re in that moment, then you can overcome it and do amazing things!

 #1. Take 3 deep breaths when you feel stress attack. One of the problems of stress is that it creates a lot of tension. Instead of investing in aspirin or pain relief creams, try taking 3 deep breaths as soon as you feel the tension of stress hit you. These deep breaths can often alleviate the tension and reduce the impact that stress tries to make on your life. If your neck or shoulders feel tight, try moving them about just a bit.

#2. Find a friendly ear that you trust. One of the most effective methods of coping with stress is to verbalize your feelings. If you can find someone who will be willing to listen to you vent and not take the words that you are saying personally, then you’ll have an ally that can help you handle stress more effectively. It often takes just a few minutes of turning stressful thoughts into words to eliminate the tension that sets in. If you can’t talk it out, then try writing it out as a method of expression instead.

#3. Give yourself some positive feedback. “Stop being so stupid.” “Why did you decide to do that in the first place?” “You’re being ridiculous right now.” These are common phrases that people tell themselves when they are stressed out. It’s a form of venting, most certainly, but it also increases the level of stress that someone feels. Negative self-talk always lowers confidence and self-esteem, which then creates the conditions for more stress. Give yourself some positive feedback instead, like “You’ve got this” or “Let’s calm down for a minute and then get back to work.”

#4. Maybe you’re not actually feeling stress. The anticipation of a big project or a lot of work actually kicks the body’s adrenal glands into high gear. You might be feeling agitated and crazy, but that could be because your body has flooded your system with a high level of adrenaline. Instead of focusing on the feelings, focus on what you can do with the increased energy levels. There’s a good chance that you can funnel your agitation into huge productivity.

#5. List it out. Making a list of the things you need to do can help you better organize your day and relieve the stress that comes with uncertainty. A simple task-orientated list where you prioritize what needs to be accomplished is often good enough to eliminate the tension that tries to bog you down. Listing out the chores for the day also tends to help people accomplish more throughout the day.

Are you proactively managing your stress? These 5 proven methods will help you conquer stress before it conquers you. Implement them today and you will be amazed at how productive you can be!

6 Ways You Can Find Joy In a Job That You Really Hate

You dread going to work every day? Millions of people around the world hate going to their jobs. It might be a great paying job, but the pit of their stomach drops at the thought of being at their job for majority of the day. Happiness is but a fleeting emotion. What if there was a way that you could increase the joy that you feel at work while minimizing the hatred that makes you want to be anywhere else but at your desk?

It can be done. Here’s how you can start achieving positive emotions at work.

#1. Don’t allow negativity to take root in your soul. Misery loves company. Nothing can make you more miserable during the day than a boss giving you a job that someone else should have completed already. Not only do you have to do that person’s job, but now you have to do your own as well. That perspective doesn’t make you feel good. Flip the perspective around. You got that additional job because your boss has confidence in your ability to do something great. You have been entrusted to fix the mistake. When you allow negativity to take root in your soul, it will grow into a tree of misery that will make you hate everything about your job.

#2. Joy comes from more than just a bigger paycheck. Companies can’t always provide their employees with raises. Even though having more money is nice, there might be other benefits that an employer could give you. Maybe you could get flexibility to work from home. If you don’t ask for something, your employer is not generally going to be proactive and just give it to you. If they know what you want, and they can provide it, then doing a good job will motivate your employer to give you the things that will make you happier in life.

#3. Take your commute seriously. Sitting in traffic is a unique stress all its own. By the time you get to work after a long commute, you’re already stressed out enough for the rest of the day. It’s time to re-think how you get to work. Don’t allow others to dictate this time for you. Learn a new language. Listen to your favorite podcast. Find a way to be comfortable, enjoy the time you have, and more happiness will come.

#4. Take over your working space. The things that impact our five senses are also the things that can make us joyful or miserable. Pleasant memories can make for a pleasant working experience. Put up pictures of your loved ones if your employer allows it. Bring in a favorite plant. Bring some of your favorite snacks so you can take a relaxing break and enjoy them. By planning ahead and taking over your working space, you can set yourself up for joyful success.

#5. Try to build relationships every day. The reason why we are so miserable at work is because we don’t have any genuine friendships at work. We think of our coworkers as acquaintances or people who are at the periphery of our existence. People who have best friends at work also have the most joy at work.

#6. Make an honest attempt to be grateful. You might need more money and you could use some vacation time, but there are people who would donate their right leg to science in order to have the job that you currently have. Make an attempt to be grateful in your circumstances every day will find that it is easier to be content, even when the day seems like it won’t go your way.

Are You Working Smart? Or Are You Just Working?

Many of us have put in 12 hour days at the office, working hard to get that last minute project completed. The only problem is that even with a fresh attitude and a lot of energy, it doesn’t take long for the distractions of life to take hold. Most people can only go about 2 hours before they start spending time on Facebook or Twitter. Add in emails, text messages, phone calls from home to pick up the milk… and out of those 12 hours, you’re maybe actually working 5-6 hours in total.

That’s all well and good when you’re earning a paycheck from an employer. When you’re an entrepreneur and your pay is based on your productivity, however, those distractions could cost you a lot of money every year. It pays to work smart.

Why Are We Always So Busy?

The modern lifestyle is a busy one for everyone these days, but it is a choice that each person has made that makes it this way. We can each choose to slow life down, work hard for 8 hours with a break here and there, and then spend time pursuing a hobby, taking a hike in the woods, or playing with the kids. We choose to be busy because it’s a badge of honor.

We were busy. That means we had a good day.

Many times we’ll complain about how busy we are and this too becomes a badge of courage. If you’re more swamped than someone else, then you’re more important than that person – at least in your eyes. The only problem is that your busy life is taking away the things that truly matter in life. ears from now, it won’t be the busy times that you look back upon fondly. It will be those special, perfect moments where you did the things you love with the people you love.

How Can Changes Be Made?

The good news is that you can begin to change right now. The fastest way is to set deadlines for yourself that must be met. When we have actual deadlines, we stay focused. Those distractions go away because you have tunnel vision on the project at hand. You can give yourself 45 minutes or 4 hours – as long as the timing makes sense and you stick to it, you’ll find that a line in the sand helps a lot.

Once you’ve done that, then cut out the non-essential tasks you’ve got going on. Eliminate low paying activities to give high paying ones a better priority. Get rid of meetings that are just a waste of time. Always be working on something that will pay you now or in the future as an entrepreneur.

The final change is to set rigid scheduling. This might require help from someone, like a virtual assistant, but it will keep you on task every day. In the end, you’ll be surprised about how much work you can get done… and you may just find that you’re not complaining about how busy you are any more.

5 Habits of Successful People

There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world today. With Twitter, SMS texts, video calls, and plenty of other distractions, it’s understandable that some things don’t get done like you’d intended during the day. Yet some people always seem to come out on top. What are their secrets? What habits do they have that make them consistently productive?

1.      Highly Productive People Don’t Multitask

To be a team player, many managers like to hear how you can effectively multitask multiple projects. If you’re switching back and forth between different jobs every 15 minutes, however, you’ve got a recipe for getting nothing done very quickly. Your brain reacts negatively to multiple switches, so highly productive people will focus in on one task, complete it, then start on the next task. The myth that people who multitask is simply not true.

2.      Set Realistic Tasks for Yourself

What are the things that you need to get done today? If you’ve got macro-goals listed, then chances are you’re not going to accomplish them whatsoever. Macro-goals, or the completion of a major project, are generally not completed in a work day. Instead, look for micro-goals that you can complete, which are the tiny steps required for the macro-goal to be realized. You’ll feel like you accomplished a lot more in a day if you can accomplish several micro-goals instead of zero macro-goals. Inch by inch, life is a cinch.

3.      Schedule Time for Your E-mail

One of the worst distractions there is today is the e-mail. Many people have a work account, a personal account, and a mobile account that will all notify you when you’ve got a new message. Instead of immediately responding to each and every e-mail you receive immediately, set two or three times during the day where you dedicate yourself to answering messages. This will help you be more effective with your answers… and more effective with your other work. Some very successful people actually turn off their email notifications so that they are not constantly being distracted.

4.      Don’t Let Your Day be Dictated

If you know that you’ve got specific goals that need to be accomplished, then work on your own terms and get that stuff done! The world won’t end if someone needs to have a request delayed for 24 hours in most circumstances in most jobs. There might always be that emergency situation that demands an immediate response, but for the most part, you can control how people influence you. Ignore the negative, focus on the positive.

5.      Work Smarter, Not Harder

Have you ever felt tired after a long meeting? Do you feel hungry after a creative session? Your brain consumes a lot of glucose during the work day and long sessions of output can actually drain you of the ability to create a professional level of work. Every hour or so, get up, grab a snack or something to drink, walk around for a few minutes, and then let yourself get back to work. The short break will help you produce more, with better quality, and that will make everyone happy and you more productive.

Could Your Diet Be Affecting Your Focus?

How many times do you hit the 3pm wall? Most afternoons, even on a fairly light work day, can seem almost impossible to get through without feeling fatigued and unfocused. You’re ready to call it a day and veg out in your favorite spot on the couch. The problem may not actually be your energy levels. That 3pm wall could be a result of the food that you’re eating for lunch.

The food that you eat during the day affects you more than you might think. A bad choice at lunch or extra snacks at your desk could be having a direct impact on your mind’s performance.

What Are You Choosing To Eat During the Day?

Many workers tend to grab a fast lunch when they’re hungry because they have limited time. Fast lunches generally mean a burger, a sandwich, or maybe some pizza. It is pretty common to follow these foods up with a soda. The result is that you feel energized for a couple of hours, but the glucose that is created from these foods ends up burning away very quickly. By 3pm, you’re not only feeling hungry, but you are feeling tired because the glucose has peaked and now it’s very, very low.

Healthy lunch options aren’t always feasible. Fast lunch options feel like they are the most efficient option that there is. Saving 15 minutes because you grabbed a double cheeseburger through the drive-thru, however, could be costing you 120 minutes or more at work thanks to the weaker performance your body has with the weaker fuel that you’ve given yourself.

How Can This All Be Changed?

It is important to plan out your day’s eating choices before you end up getting hungry. When the body gets hungry, temptations tend to dominate the choices that are made instead of the healthy foods. In other words, when your stomach is growling, you’re more likely to eat junk food than a salad with low-fat dressing. Choose where you’re going to eat when you get to work instead of making it a last minute decision.

When plans are made, it becomes a lot easier to resist high fat, high sodium foods that taste delicious, but are terrible for productivity.

Changing how you eat at work can also help a lot. Your body has a relatively small gas tank, which means a large meal is only going to get you so far. The spikes in blood sugar make you feel great, but then you feel lousy. Smaller meals that you can eat throughout the day, instead of a high sugar snack or a few crackers or chips, will help you get past that wall much more effectively.

That’s not to say snacking is a bad thing. Healthy snacking, when it is planned out, will dominate your eating habits. Place visual cues to eat healthier foods, such as placing a can of nuts on your desk. Have some fruit around. The vital nutrients will help you think more clearly and limit the temptations to eat unhealthy foods at lunch.

In return, you’ll break down that 3pm wall and stay strong throughout the rest of the afternoon.

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