One of the things that I have contemplated and struggled with over the years is how two people, working side-by-side in the same office, doing the same work with the same resources, can accomplish vastly different amounts of work, carrying unbalanced stress levels and earning significantly different amounts of income. Why? How?
Who do you think of when you read the following scenario? After visiting with other employees for a while, his coffee cup now refilled, he settles into his workspace, waiting for whatever the day presents to him. He is always aware of the time. He takes numerous restroom and smoke breaks, anxiously awaiting lunch-time where he heads to a local fast food joint, shoves down a burger and fries, consciously consuming every minute of his lunch hour before slowly return to the office. The same routine re-initiates for the afternoon cycle where he anxiously awaits the five o'clock hour. He goes home, grabs a snack, sits back in his chair and proclaims to his spouse "what a hectic, tiring day," looking for sympathy, dinner and rest, soon napping in his Lazy-Boy chair. Sound familiar at all?
How do you do get motivated and productive? I prefer to view this discussion from a whole-person, personal development position. Some time ago, I wrote an article concerning personal productivity enhancement tips. After now searching the web and reviewing the various opinions and suggestions of many productivity experts, I have arrived back at my original article. The answer is actually quite simple: When you work, work smart and hard. Dive in. Work quickly. Be serious. Allow no distractions, interruptions or wastes of your time. Make a prioritized list of activities and methodically pursue each until completed before moving on to the next one.
Ben Yoskovitz has instigated a group writing project challenging contributors to submit their secrets for developing superior personal productivity. In addition to my favorite personal productivity tips mentioned above, I would like to contribute the following simple ideas that really work:
1. Get the proper amount of restful sleep. Arise promptly, expecting a great day!
2. Take a minute to review your goals and plans for the day.
3. Take time to stretch and exercise. It will get your blood flowing.
4. Have a balanced breakfast, preferably with your family. That will energize your morning!
5. Listen to a motivating audio program, or a great book on the commute to and from work. Continuous learning is so important.
6. Arrive twenty minutes early. Get your coffee. Make a prioritized to-do list for the day.
7. Schedule returned calls early, then put the phone in voice mail mode.
8. Close your door and get busy on your list. Do the most unpleasant or most difficult things first. Allow no interruptions.
9. Work diligently and quickly. Stay organized. Make quick, confident and competent decisions.
10. Check messages before lunch. Return important calls and delegate lesser tasks.
11. Eat a good lunch. Load up on complex carbs and a little quality protein. Drink water. No alcohol.
12. Schedule your afternoon like the morning. Work smart. Be diligent.
13. Do not allow other employees to get you off track. Stay focused on your tasks.
14. Have a mid-afternoon power-snack. An apple or orange is a great choice. Drink water.
15. At the end of the workday, write a new, empowering, prioritized list for the next day. Make certain that your desk, files and computer are properly organized for a productive next day.
16. Relish your accomplishments and productivity today. Smile.
17. Go home, leaving the remaining work there until tomorrow.
18. Relax. Have a light dinner with your family and re-charge. Reward yourself by plugging-in to an activity that you enjoy. Get lost in it. Enjoy some exercise. The main idea is to unplug from work mode and plug-into play mode. Play hard.
19. Go to bed at a reasonable hour, assuring you of the rest and quality sleep you need. Tivo any programs that you must see and watch them on the weekend.
20. Be thankful for your many blessings.
This new scenario ultimately begins with a change in attitude, acceptance of a new paradigm. Decide to do things differently and immediately take action. Do it now. Be proactive. There is no magic at work for those who enjoy high levels of productivity, only personal discipline, focus and desire. You can learn to do the same. Will you?
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