Posts

Beating Email Overwhelm

Sometimes small productivity shifts are actually huge. 

That’s the case with emails. Especially now that so many people are working from home, there’s an expectation that everyone needs to respond to emails and messages immediately.

That expectation of being constantly “on” is actually harming your productivity! It’s a hard one to tackle because email overwhelm is such a big issue in the workplace and it comes from the top down! 

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These Excuses Are Keeping You From Getting More Done

Let’s be honest.  We all hold ourselves back in some way or another.

When we start to fall into a bad habit, it’s so much easier to blame something or someone else than to get to the root of the problem. When it comes to poor productivity habits, I’ve heard all the excuses.

I’ve been over a few of them before, but there are so many I thought I’d go over a few that you might be telling yourself these days and help you get past them:

“I’d be more organized if I had more money”

This excuse differs from the others in the sense that it is – technically – true. If we all had the money to afford personal assistants of course we would be more organized!

But just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to give up on organization altogether. There are plenty of free apps to help you plan your day. If all else fails pen and paper is pretty cheap!

Fix: Stop focusing on what you don’t have and start thinking about what you do. Read more

Bad Productivity Habits You Picked Up In College

 

As graduates around the country end their academic careers I’m reminded that college is great for many different reasons. It’s a chance to expand your mind, meet lots of new people, get involved in new activities – the list goes on and on.

The one thing college is not so great for is your productivity.

The college lifestyle is structured completely differently to your typical working week. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means you might have a bit of a shock the first week of a new full time job.

Here are some bad habits you might have picked up in college that might still be sticking with you today:

Working Until the Early Morning – Everyone has a story of that one paper they left until the last second. Drinking coffee to stay up until 5am, desperately trying to write the whole thing in one night — you remember the scenario. This is fine when you have nowhere to be the next day, but highly impractical if you work.

If you get used to the idea that you can leave things until the last minute without consequence, it can be quite difficult to shake. Try to give yourself a fake deadline, a week in advance. This way even if you leave everything to the last minute you will still have some extra time to polish and refine. Read more

Bad Productivity Habits That Are Good For You

“Bad habits die hard” as the saying goes, but there are some you really don’t have to kick to the curb in the name of productivity. No more feeling guilty about that mid-afternoon nap or holding off that work proposal until the night before.

These “bad” habits can actually help with your productivity and get you motivated to work hard:

1. Procrastination: A pending deadline looming over your head, can actually be one of the biggest motivators. It can be stressful to wait until the last minute, but this can really get the creative juices flowing and spark that adrenaline rush you may need to complete a task. I found that there are three crucial times when procrastinating works the best – check them out here.

2. Napping: Feeling tired after that huge lunch or didn’t get enough ZZZ’s the night before? Take a nap! Yes, I said it! Bring back the kindergarten days and take a snooze. You may feel like you are just wasting precious time, but napping for 20 to 30 minutes can really rejuvenate you.

3. Leave the Dishes in the Sink: If cleaning is on your to-do list daily, feel free to skip over it every once in a while.

4. Texting and Checking Social Media: No need to turn off your phone when you are busy working away.

5. Distractions: Surf the web for cute puppies, read the news or watch an episode of your fave show! Distractions can take us away from work, but can also be a great way to take a break. If you feel stuck let yourself wander, it may spark a new idea and relax your brain. Set time limits for yourself so you don’t get carried away. For instance, I sometimes reward myself with an episode of Breaking Bad after checking off a certain amount of to-dos. It keeps me motivated as well as stopping me from binge watching.

6. Stressing Out: When we feel stressed the first thing we want to happen is for it to just go away!

But according to Heidi Hanna, author of the book “Stressaholic: 5 Steps to Transform Your Relationship with Stress”, stress can stimulate us. She says, “It gives us the energy to get things done. A lot of people procrastinate because the stress of that deadline actually fuels that energy. It gives us a surge of adrenaline which, in the short term, is fine.” Heidi warns that stress does become a problem when you begin to use it all the time. So it’s not something that you should be dependent on but once in a while it’s okay!

So don’t break these bad habits, just learn to use them in moderation. Be sure to comment below if these productivity don’ts work for you!