8 Ways to Work Smarter, Live Better and be More Productive

8 Ways to Work Smarter, Live Better and be More Productive
04 Aug

8 Ways to Work Smarter, Live Better and be More Productive

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The beginning of a new year is a great time to adjust and make productive changes.  Author Camille Preston, from AIM Leadership, has put out a great e-book The Rewired Resolution that will help you rewire for greater effectiveness.

Camille believes that most go-ahead people are over-wired – meaning they are “multi-tasking, multi-thinking and never really being present with the task at hand or the people in (their) lives.” This, she says, causes mental and physical health problems and loss of productivity.


Logically, she says, there are 8 ways to gain control of your life and re-wire for happiness and efficiency. Here they are in summary:

1.  STOP: Running full on. START: Recharging regularly.

“In the same way that an athlete rests his muscles after a big work out, we have to rest our brains and bodies, too. This is done by unwiring.”

The key, Camille says, is unwiring in small, but meaningful ways throughout the day, such as;

  • Start the waking day without phones or emails. Eat breakfast, have coffee or talk to family members and get off to a peaceful start.
  • Travel to work, paying attention to your surrounds, not your mobile.
  • Plan your day around Must Do’s and Should Do’s and structure it.
  • Have a proper lunch break without phones, iPads etc. Walk outside and talk to people.
  • Get up from your desk for five minutes every hour and stretch, walk etc without technology.

2.   STOP: Letting technology use you. START: Using technology.

How many times has your huge inbox caused you stress? You can re-wire yourself from email overload in a few easy steps.

  • It’s your inbox. Take control of it!
  • Before opening anything, delete all non-essential messages.
  • Learn how to use your spam filter, to keep spam at bay.
  • Unsubscribe to all email lists you don’t want to hear from.
  • Establish a protocol with colleagues not to cc you or use 'reply all' unless absolutely necessary.
  • Consider using a cloud where you can remotely access your work information from anywhere. This will ensure you don’t have to be tethered to the spot.
  • Train yourself not to respond every time you see a new email coming in. Better yet, turn off notifications. Instead, pick four or five times a day when you will open, read, and respond to e-mails.

To avoid being chained to your smartphone:

  • Only answer calls you really want to take. Let the rest go to Voicemail.
  • Only divert work calls to your private phone if on call.
  • Let callers know when you will return their calls
  • Use a meeting app so you can attend meetings anywhere, anytime.

 3.  STOP: Shifting clutter. START: Organizing and simplifying.

Take a look around your car, desk or office. Are they cluttered? Research has proven cluttered physical surrounding will reduce your efficiency.

  • Throw out anything you haven’t used in recent times (recycle paper, take useless furniture items to the charity shop etc)
  • Organise files and supplies so you can find them and delete old computer files no longer relevant.
  • Have around you only what you need to be productive and focused.

4.  STOP: Worrying about work/life balance. START: Focusing on doing more of what energizes you and less of what depletes you.

  • Instead of worrying about work/life balance or lack thereof, do something about achieving it.
  • Make time for the things you love and the people who energise you. Do less of the reverse.
  • If you have to deal with certain difficult people, do so on your own terms.
  • Get rid of unnecessary social or professional engagements.

5.  STOP: Multi-tasking. START: Uni-tasking.

Instead of priding yourself on your ability to multi-task (do lots of things at once), try uni-tasking by only doing one thing at a time, well. Your extra focus will allow you to complete each task more pleasurably with more focus and concentration.

When talking to someone, give them your whole attention.

Don’t worry if a distraction pops into your head, simply dismiss it and get back to the task at hand.

6.  STOP: Saying “yes.” START: Saying “no.”

If you want to have a better work/life balance, stop saying YES to everything you are asked. If in doubt, say; “let me think about it,” weigh up your options over the next 24 hours and get back to the person with an answer. Saying NO appropriately will help people respect you and train them not to overload you with their problems/jobs/requests/needs etc.

7.  STOP: Being available 24/7. START: Setting boundaries.

It is particularly important to establish computer-free, screen-free and phone-free times. Establish good strong boundaries that work for you and stick to them.

8.  STOP: Playing catch up. START: Getting out in front

Camille has four key planning strategies for getting out in front:

  1. Look ahead and create space in your life.
  2. Set aside time each morning and evening for getting organised for the day, the following day and the week ahead.
  3. Plan your meetings. Set a time limit and an agenda.
  4. Schedule backups of your critical data.

With these tips you will be able to breathe easy and start enjoying life more.

Read 856 times Last modified on Wednesday, 12 August 2015 00:37

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