Tag Archives: productivity

Double Your Productivity: Three Simple Steps


If time is one of the main reasons why you have not accomplished some of your New Year’s resolutions, help is here. With no time to waste (pun intended), let’s examine three ways in which 2022 can be different.

Learn to delegate. At work, consider delegating projects and tasks. Match the task with the person who can do it the best…provided you are comfortable in asking for help. You now have time  to focus on parts of the projects you excel at. Refrain from trying to control their actions. Be confident the team around you can do an exceptional job, even if their methods are different. Fostering a team spirit allows everyone be part of the success. The better you are, the less everyone feels the need to turn to you for everything. At home, delegating chores teaches children responsibility, enables them to feel like an integral part of the family, and enjoy the feelings of pride and confidence for a job well done. You now have more time to enjoy with family, and practice self care. Relax, exercise, pray, and meditate, all contribute to helping you relieves stress, and recharge energy. 

Affirmation: I will let go of the need to do and be everything. Taking time to rest fuels my creativity and stamina.

Self-Reflection Questions:
Do I ask others for help?
How can I delegate some of my current responsibilities?
Do I arrange my schedule so I have time for myself?

List Making. Our days quickly become full of tasks. Priorities are often incredibly fluid, forcing us to constantly reevaluate what we must—and can—accomplish before the end of the day. Creating lists aids our ability to focus on the current tasks, while maintaining an awareness of what needs to be accomplished next. Start the day by plotting work. Visualize which tasks need to be completed first, and estimate how long they may take to complete. Giving yourself extra time to complete assignments allows for a buffer, in case unexpected obstacles arise. If possible, attempt to plan for the unexpected. After a break or lunch, quickly revisit the list. Bear in mind the working list is always open to revision, because new tasks arise throughout the day. Priorities change, and  being adaptable is key as things change. Removing completed tasks and adding new work, enable us to see the progress we make during the day.

Affirmation: Today, I anticipate the unexpected. In order to be successful, I must be flexible. Therefore, I allow my list to change with time, fluid priorities, and the can-do attitude that I bring to each new task.

Self-Reflection Questions:
How much time should I spend creating a list of tasks and priorities?
When is the best time to evaluate (and reevaluate) my priorities for the day?
How does making a list help me outside of the workplace?

Organization. Throughout the day, we encounter situations that require us to take action to resolve them. The more efficient the action, the quicker we can tackle other tasks. Your organizational skills are paramount to living life the way you want. You can fill your days with accomplishments and still leave time for fun. Plan ahead, by preparing as much as possible the night before. Before beginning a job, gather the materials and tools needed to finish it. Know beforehand where everything you need is located.  Give everything a home. Declutter regularly. Avoid procrastination. If you encounter something that requires sorting or straightening, do it right away.

Affirmation: Today, I plan to take action to increase my organizational skills. I know I can streamline my home to provide easier access to tools, materials, and personal items I need to live a more organized life. I find that the more organized I am, the better life I live. 

Self-Reflection Questions:
In what situations do I show effective organizational skills?
Are there times that I wish I was more organized? When?
Starting today, what can I do to increase my organizational skills?

Oh look, January is almost over. Where has time gone? I know many of us have discarded our resolutions, because why bother? If you are plagued by self sabotage, keep putting things off, need a mental shift, to help you refocus, the posts I have planned for the rest of the month, will push you to do just that. 

To Your Success,
Juan

Insanity.


…is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” Tony Robbins. So it’s a new year, you want to change old habits and develop good ones. It’s important you understand why change is not easy. Old and bad habits are comfortable, safe, and does not require too much effort. However, if you are hoping for some insight into how to form new habits, the next few minutes is guaranteed to prepare you for change.  Think you can form a new habit in a few weeks? I used to think so too. Wrong. If you’ve been doing the same thing for decades, the truth is a bit more complicated.

The myth about behavior becoming automatic in 21 days, started when journalists misinterpreted a popular self-help book on Psycho Cybernetics back in the 1960’s. After all, you can probably eat more vegetables starting today, but complex tasks like playing the violin will take more time to stick. On the other hand, the New Year is an ideal time to begin forming constructive habits, geared towards enhancing your overall happiness and wellbeing for the rest of the year

Here are some basic strategies for habit formation. Set yourself up right now. Remember, it is okay to ease you into your new routines: 

Plan ahead. Eliminate excuses by plotting out your course in advance. If you want to wake up earlier, go to bed on time.

Be consistent. Regularity reinforces itself. Soon, it will be easier hit the gym after work, even if it’s raining, or colleagues are heading out for beer and pizza.

Spot triggers. Kicking a habit requires you to notice what happens right before you bite your nails or buy another pair of shoes. Are you bored at work or arguing with your spouse?
Develop substitutions. Once you know your cues, you can choose a different response. Take a walk or invite a friend out for coffee.

Review your reasons. Go over the reasons why you want to adopt your new behavior. For instance, remind yourself about the benefits of drinking water instead of soda.

Personalize your goals. While contemplating your why’s, visualize your future self. Focus on what you have to gain instead of just pleasing others.

What if you’re tackling something as ambitious as managing diabetes or transforming your dead-end dating history? Here are a few advanced strategies to get things going: 

Practice compassion. You’re bound to slip up occasionally. Forgive yourself, and move forward.

Team up. Enlist a friend, exchange support and encouragement. Eat lunch with a colleague who is trying to lose weight too.

Write it down. Raise your awareness by keeping a journal about your campaign to stop swearing or start flossing. Note what happens on the days you stick to your program,compared to the days when you drift back into old patterns.

Remove temptations. Eliminate the triggers that distract you from your objectives. Clear the junk food out of your kitchen, or the cigarettes out of your car.

Design obstacles. Make it difficult to give in to your old tendencies. Leave your credit cards at home to prevent impulsive shopping sprees.

Go on vacation. Leave home for a while. If you can afford one, vacations are an ideal time to forge new habits,  you can make a fresh start in different surroundings. 

Make time to sit down to meditate each morning. instead of becoming caught up in searching for lost socks or checking your email.

Make daily exercise (and parallel parking:) so easy you won’t even have to think about them. Positive habits make advantageous choices automatic so you’ll stick with them. You’ll also have more energy to devote to other challenges.

I hope you found these suggestions helpful. Feel free to share this post with your network.

You Your Success,

Juan

#officeessentials


Let’s be real, the pandemic caught many people with their pants down. The list is long. There is more than enough coulda, shoulda, woulda, to go around. Millions were not prepared to work from home. However, we managed, we quickly adapted to our new normals. Have you now made plans to change how you live and work? Do you no longer want to be tied to your 9-5 desk? Reopening NYC will take place in stages, however, we are getting close, and it looks like sometime next month, the majority of us will be back on the road. Last month, the only Birthday promise I made to myself, was to not let the next one, find me slaving away for an employer. No sir. I am getting ready for a full-time self-employed role, working from home!

So, how do you and I set up the “office” environment to accommodate the new and emerging trends? If you want to boost your productivity levels when working from home, it helps to set up an office. Having an area purely dedicated to working will help you to separate work from leisure. The question is, how can you set up an effective home office environment? Here, you’ll discover some of the best ways to do so, and other key things to consider.

Consider how long you’ll be working from home.
The first thing you need to think about is how long you’ll be working from home. If it’s only a very short period of time, it would be pointless investing in an entire home office set up. In this case, it would be better to invest in just the essentials. However, if you have the budget, and plans to continue working from home, it could be worth setting up a permanent home office. Do it once, in the right way, and it will pay off in the long run.  

Making sure you have the right equipment.
You’re going to need some level of equipment to work from home. At the very least, a laptop or desktop computer and a desk. If you aren’t setting up a permanent home office, you can use things such as the dining room table or a makeshift bedroom office. Some people are even getting creative and using an ironing board as a stand-up desk option. Space needs to be dedicated to working and away from general foot traffic. Chances are you will be accessing private information for companies and other employees. Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you are home, it’s okay to leave your computer unlocked, when you step away. Consider how you would react if you found out, your personal information was left unprotected. Another important thing to consider is a reliable, secure internet connection. So many American companies are now requiring WFH employees to use a wired, Ethernet connection. Personally, I hate slow internet connections! Last year, I upgraded to 1Gig speed, I can’t go back. 

You need natural sunlight.
When you’re stuck indoors, you won’t be getting as much natural sunlight as you usually would. This can have an impact on how productive and motivated you are. Numerous studies have revealed the damaging impact limited natural daylight can have, on workers in an office setting. The same applies to the home. Try to set up your home office space in a part of the home, which helps you to benefit from some form of daylight. If there isn’t a space available, you might want to consider investing in a daylight bulb. These are designed to replicate natural daylight.

Focus on Comfort
Your home office should be a comfortable place to work. This means, providing plenty of support for your back if you’re working at a desk for example. If you aren’t comfortable, you’re not going to get much work done. Whatever you do, please invest in a proper chair. Thank me later. You’ll also find it beneficial to surround yourself with things that make you happiest, such as photos of the family, plants, or flowers.

Take Meaningful Breaks!
If you are not mindful, you will work five or six hours before stopping for lunch. Give your eyes a break from the screen. It’s so tempting to have your phone close by to check social media, during your break. Get up and move around. Meaningful breaks include taking a walk, doing some stretches, reading a chapter from your favorite book, meditation, listening to music, etc. Make that time count. The 3pm slump will have nothing on you, and won’t leave you feeling drained and unproductive

These are just a few basics to consider when setting up a home office. Whether you’re setting up a permanent or temporary office space, your environment should encourage productivity,  be comfortable, and gives you more than just freedom. Next week, we will look at how to deal with distractions.

Until the next post,
Best,
Juan

Fix Your Focus


Are you constantly wishing you had more time? Truth is, you probably have plenty of it. You’re just not focused, and not using your time wisely. Everyone receives 24 hours each day. There’s a reason why some people accomplish much more than others.

Reasons you never have enough time, and how to free it up

You fail to prioritize. What’s the most important activity you must do in order for you to accomplish your objective? If you’re not asking yourself this question regularly, you’re not getting the most bang for your time and effort. It’s easy to stay busy and accomplish very little. Once you decide what is important, the next question is “ “What is the best way to accomplish it?”
You waste it. This could be due to procrastination, and inefficient work habits. Make the choice to avoid wasting time, period.
You’re disorganized. When you’re not organized, everything takes longer than it should. You spend valuable time looking for a pair of clean socks, car keys, searching for computer files, trying to pull things off at the last minute.
Disorganized people never seem to have enough time, they’re frequently late with their work. There are countless resources available (apps, calendars, dropbox, project management software, etc.). Use them.
You have too many distractions in your life. Social media interactions, TV, needlepoint, your baseball card collection, noisy kids, clutter, or your prize-winning rose bushes. Remove unnecessary things and schedule. Minimize the distractions you can’t remove!
You don’t start your day early enough. Most of us do little in the evening. Often, we ly around the house, crawl social media etc. Many highly successful people skip these hours, by going to bed and waking up extra early. Your brain tends to shut down by the late afternoon, whether you started your day at 9:00AM or 5:00AM. Give yourself a few extra productive hours, by getting up early and going to bed early.
Failing to keep track of your time. Track how you spend your time every day. Switch tasks when appropriate so everything receives the attention it requires. Keep a simple journal. Make a record of how you spend each hour.
You don’t have a plan for the day. Your days shouldn’t be random or determined on the fly. Plan the next day before going to bed. Spend your day executing the plan as much as possible.
You’re not focused. We’ve been told to “focus” or “concentrate” since kindergarten. Too bad the education system never taught us how. If we sit down to work on something for an hour, how many minutes is our attention truly focused on the task? We probably have plenty of time to accomplish our daily tasks, if we focus. Practice meditation. Practice focusing. Every change we desire takes time. Be patient with your setbacks and failures.

Make the most of your time by prioritizing, removing distractions, and learning how to focus. You have all the time you need if you’re willing to make the necessary adjustments to yourself and your life. You have 24 hours each day. What will you have to show for tomorrow?

Until the next post,

Juan