Wednesday, July 6, 2016

5 Doable Ways to Stop Procrastination

"Procrastination is like a credit card: It is a lot of fun until you get the bill" -Christopher Parker 

Regardless of where we are in life, we always have some deadlines to meet. Hustling and bustling at the last minute in getting ready for school, getting creative with a work task, cooking dinner for the family--these are everyday routine tasks that get done without so much of an issue. However, imagine a different scenario wherein you need inspiration to get yourself to the gym, or take up a new hobby where you have virtually no skills in undertaking, doing an office report for a subject you absolutely loathe--these are just some of the things we tell ourselves to delay doing until we are totally "committed and ready" to them. But, needless to say, if we keep on putting them off, we might never get around to doing them.

This may seem like a harmless habit when you are at home; but in an office milieu, your so-called harmless habit could potentially be the cause of why you would lose your job. The truth is, every single one of us procrastinates. Regardless of whether we are a university student trying to graduate or an SEO specialist skilled in link building services, things that we hold no passion for would cause us to delay. However, making a habit out of procrastination can be very detrimental; it causes stress and would likely overwhelm you with so much to do at the last minute. If you are trying to find ways to overcome delaying tasks, read on below for some tips.

1.) Do it first thing in the morning 

More often than not, dreading to do something causes us to create excuses as the day goes along and delay doing it until it gets forgotten. Doing it first thing in the morning prevents you from creatively making up alibis as to why and how you cannot do it and it effectively ticks one thing off your to-do list. Additionally, the feeling of accomplishment in having done what you were dreading to do is incredibly rewarding.

2.)  Break your work into little steps 

One reason why people procrastinate so much is because, at the back of our minds, we find a task particularly overwhelming that even just starting is already wearing us down. If this occurs, break it down into parts and focus on one part at a time. If you find yourself unable to do it and still procrastinating, break it down even further until it is simple enough for you to do. Make enormous and difficult tasks manageable to do.

3.)  Eliminate things that tend to make you procrastinate 

If you find yourself procrastinating a little too much, then maybe it is because you have made it easier for yourself to procrastinate by surrounding yourself with things that distract you. Finding yourself browsing social media for hours at a time, or jabbering away at the office water cooler for more than your allocated time are cardinal signs that you are getting easily distracted. Come up with strategies for overcoming them such as blocking non-work related websites for at least four hours or so while you are working and giving yourself only three minutes max at the water cool station.

4.)  Commit to your goals 

A universal rule to accomplishing your goals is to list them down. Seeing them on paper gives them a sense of urgency that would enable us to get the inspiration to do them. Similarly, if there are things you find difficult to do or things that you tend to delay day after day, incorporate them into your goals and make them a priority. Accomplishing them and crushing them off your to-do list will give you a sense of achievement.

5.)  Stop over-complicating things 

Looking for the perfect time to do a task or to do something is just a creative way of putting things off. There will never be a perfect time other than now. Get a grip and just do it as if you keep waiting for the right time or delaying it for countless reasons, you are never going to accomplish anything. If you are truly committed to change, start whatever it is you are delaying today. Remember, do not do tomorrow what you can do today!

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Monday, July 4, 2016

Six Fail-Safe Ways to Eliminate Job-Related Stress

“Stress is not what happens to us. It is our response to what happens and response is something we can choose.” –Maureen Killoran 

Stress has often been thought and perceived to be an ignorant state.

This is because stressed people view every little thing as an emergency.  In the workplace, stress seems to be multiplied. Regardless of whether you are working in an accounting firm or a digital marketing agency, your office is a teeming pot full of potential stressors. Stress is not always necessarily bad, though. Within your comfort zone, it can help an individual stay focused, energetic and rise to meet challenges in the workplace. However, excessive stress can be overwhelming and may not only be detrimental to your physical and emotional health, but it can negatively impact your productivity and emotional health.

More often than not, your ability to deal and handle stress can mean the difference between your success or failure at work. Though there are innumerable factors influencing our stress levels, one crucial thing to keep in mind that you cannot always control everything in your environment. However, this is not to say that you are powerless to change it—regardless of how extremely difficult a situation can be.
Though stress can come in varying degrees at your workplace, it is imperative that you need to take measures to protect yourself from the potentially damaging effects on your health and your job satisfaction.  The items below are some of the six steps you can take.

1.)    Take breaks 

You must remember that first and foremost: You are human. This means that you are susceptible to feeling exhausted after taking on so many tasks. No matter how busy you may seem, it is crucial to take little breaks now and then. Additionally, if you have quite a lot of tasks to do for the day, do not be afraid to ask for assistance. You might just be surprised who would be willing to give you a hand.  If you want to stay productive throughout the day without the feeling of being worn-down, take a break for a few minutes. You will see just how much your productivity will improve.

2.)     Resolve your concerns 

Identify what causes your stress and find ways to come to terms with them. One example would be, if you are stressed out about a complicated work task, consider asking around for some clarification or assistance. If you have a particular conflict with a co-worker, think of some ways you can both resolve it. Try to fix what is within your power. Remember, if there is something you can do to fix it, do it.

3.)    Focus on one thing at a time 

When you are inundated by innumerable tasks, multitasking may seem like the logical thing to do. Unfortunately, multitasking can be very counterproductive. You end up committing more errors; your attention is all over the place, and you get stressed out a lot more quickly. Instead of attempting to deal with everything at once, focus on accomplishing one thing at a time. This would effectively minimize stress and would help you zero your focus on the objective at hand.

4.)    Adjust your expectations 

Work challenges are imperative to encourage professional growth and keep us motivated. However, taking much more than you can handle can create unnecessary stress. Have a realistic view of what you can handle and what you could not and avoid creating needless stress by taking on more than you can chew.

5.)    Think ahead 

The foundation of a stress-free work experience is effective time management. One great way to manage your time is to think ahead of work tasks that ought to be done and deadlines to be met. From your standpoint, tasks with faraway deadlines can be pushed for later. However, you need to take into account that you may be given other necessary tasks to complete in the days leading up to the deadline. So, do work tasks as soon as you can to prevent yourself from scrambling to get things done at the last minute.

6.)    Breathe and relax 

When you feel rather overwhelmed with work tasks, take a brief moment to stop and breathe. Relax and release the stress and allow yourself to calm your mind and body down. Reconnect with the present by solely focusing on your breathing and try to breathe with your bellow for just 1-2 minutes. Focus only on the air you are breathing in and out, and you will have a much clearer head.

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Five Reasons Why Multitasking Kills Productivity

 "In the modern desktop environment, with multitasking and alerts and constant activity, there are always more distractions. When you are at a computer, your hands are always on the controls.” –Marco Arment

Multitasking has been widely considered as a form of distraction by itself; yet surprisingly, a lot of people would still do it in their endeavors in doing more productive work. Unfortunately for chronic multitaskers, studies have shown that the brain, however, prevailing and powerful, is still human and thus limited. It does not have the same multitasking capacity as your computers do and overworking it past its breaking point—say, focusing on five things at once can cause detrimental damage to your work tasks. No matter how skilled you may be, if you split your attention to more than what your brain can handle, chances are you would be committing a lot of errors along the way and would instead be putting fires out throughout the day.

From that perspective, multitasking is indeed counterintuitive to productivity. Regardless of whether you are working for a law firm or an SEO company in the Philippines, multitasking should not be a core technique in improving productivity. Here are the top reasons why multitasking runs counter to work efficiency and productivity.

1.)    It is slowing you down

Contrary to popular belief, you do not achieve more tasks in lesser time by multitasking. On the surface, it may look like you are speeding through tasks. But when you are jumping back and forth from task to another, it will take you longer to finish two tasks than it had been if you attempted to complete each one of them separately. Instead of doing things at one time, do things in batches and you would effectively save more time. Send your emails all at once, pay your bills all at once and the like.

 2.)    You are making more mistakes

Essentially, because your attention is split and your focus is fragmented, you are likely to commit more mistakes than focusing solely on one task. In fact, experts have estimated that switching between tasks can cause you about 40% loss of productivity. From this standpoint, you can readily see how multitasking would hardly help you at all, most especially if what you are doing requires critical thinking. The brain can handle as much as only two tasks to do at once. Adding a third more, however, would overwhelm it and likely increase the number of errors you commit.

3.)    It causes you unnecessary stress

The physical act of multitasking causes stress, but incidentally, so will its consequences. Additionally, multitasking is potentially precarious to your health. This is because the rush of adrenaline and other stress-related hormones into the blood stream can cause permanent damage to the brain cells that store memories. If multitasking is something you chronically do every single day, you might eventually find yourself having trouble completing tasks even just one thing at a time.

 4.)    It tends to make you overeat

Distractions occurring during mealtimes have been proven to prevent your brain from fully processing what you have eaten. Mainly, this is the reason why you would not feel as full and may be tempted to scoop more food into your mouth or eat again after a short while.  One way to make sure you are paying enough attention to what you are eating is to refrain from turning on the television when you are eating. During meal times, let your focus rest on the food alone and nothing else.

 5.)    You are missing out on life

It all boils down to this: When you are focused on doing so many things at one time, you will neglect to see the most obvious things right in front of you. You may be looking at your phone while still taking stock of your surroundings, but chances are, you would not even notice what is truly going on in your environment. This phenomenon is called “inattentional blindness” and though you may be looking at your surroundings, it would not register in your brains.

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