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Productivity: 3 Psychological Practices To Boost It

Productivity: 3 Psychological Practices To Boost It

We live in the digital era, where emails, texts, and other forms of communication have facilitated procrastination and “busy” work. However, there are only so many hours in a day, and working outside of work hours, although now a normalized practice, can create burnout. You have heard of time-management strategies such as scheduling and setting time blocks in order to complete your to-do list and reach peak productivity, but it doesn’t need to be this difficult for you to be able to boost your productivity. In fact, research proves that it’s all in our heads and a few mind tricks might do the trick for you. There are many ways to achieve real productivity by influencing your psychological state, but here are three you should try out for yourself.

The Two-Minute Rule

The two-minute rule originates from David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done. It’s a fairly simple rule – if the task takes less than two minutes to complete, start it now. From answering pesky emails to starting a month-long project, you can apply this rule to small and large tasks alike (For large projects, make sure to segment it into smaller goals and tasks to be able to apply this rule). Sometimes getting started is the most challenging factor when tackling a project or task. However, once you are in motion, much like Sir Isaac Newton taught us long ago, it is most probable you will stay in motion. Use this rule to dive into tasks you’ve put aside or are actively trying to ignore, and find yourself surprised when this simple rule reaps results.

Lighting and Temperature

Research backs it up, lighting and temperature play huge roles in your productivity. In fact, a study by Cornell proved that low temperatures (68 degrees or 20 degrees Celsius) enabled employees to make 44% more mistakes than at optimal room temperature (77 degrees or 25 degrees Celsius). Studies about lighting, although still in their infancy, have proven that more exposure to daylight boosts productivity. Therefore, it’s crucial to regulate temperature and lighting in your office space, whether that be your work-place or home office. Simply open the window, invest in a good desk lamp, and keep an eye on the thermometer to improve productivity.

Focus on Progress, not To-Do Lists

Did you know only half of to-do lists are completed every day? And that 41% of tasks are never truly completed? List-making is a reductive format that doesn’t supplement the work of leaders. People who undertake big projects with no deadlines will not benefit from list-making. Therefore, it is important to reflect and document progress rather than checking boxes out of your to-do list. The simple act of looking back on progress positively influences your sense of accomplishment. This also results in feeling competent and effective with your work, impacting your future undertakings and ultimately becoming more productive. Keep a journal and record at least three sentences a day about how much you have done. Pausing to reflect on your accomplishments helps you recognize the value of your hard work. And, in turn, boosts productivity in the long run. 

Although these practices are not a permanent replacement for a good, productive system, they are functional strategies to turn to when you can’t seem to get things done. Productivity is hard to achieve, but with these simple strategies, you can create a work strategy that works. Moreover, these strategies can minimize burnout and help you best utilize your time. Try them out for yourself!

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanProductivity: 3 Psychological Practices To Boost It
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5 Things Successful People Tell Themselves Throughout the Day

5 Things Successful People Tell Themselves Throughout the Day

Internal monologues play an unexpected, yet important role in achieving long-term goals. In fact, thoughts are the first stepping stone in launching your dreams into action. A vision is first sparked by an idea, the thought that inspires a new goal. This vision is then encouraged, fostered, and eventually put into action by maintaining a positive perspective and thinking constructive thoughts each day until the vision is spurred into existence. Read on to discover what are the things successful people tell themselves throughout the day to make their goals become accomplishments and their dreams a reality.

Today I will do at least one small thing that gets me one step closer to my goal.

You can’t do everything in one day – it’s only 24 hours long after all. But you can do one small thing each day. Set little objectives for yourself every day so that you wake up each morning inspired to achieve one small thing that gets you closer to your long-term goal.

I do not care what other people think.

No one can measure your own success better than you can. Remind yourself every day that it doesn’t matter what other people think because at the end of the day the thoughts and opinions of others aren’t going to contribute to your achievements. It’s you, all you.

Complacency is a bit too comfortable.

It’s way too easy to get comfortable with something that is satisfactory. Remind yourself that true success is achieved by those who push themselves farther than they ever thought possible. Go above and beyond the initial goals you set for yourself. Set daily reminders to do something that no one else has ever done before – you might just blow yourself away.

Mistakes are not the same as failures.

Arguably, this is the most important reminder to keep in mind each day. No one ever achieved anything without learning and making mistakes along the way. Remind yourself of this fact, so that when you get discouraged you don’t give up. Simply tell yourself you will take what you learned today and try to do better tomorrow – there’s always another day to get it right.

I deserve it.

You deserve it – whatever it is. You deserve the success that comes along with achieving your goal because you put in loads of hard work, commitment, and determination. But remind yourself that you deserve other things too. If you’re stuck on something or feeling lost on a certain path, you deserve a 10-minute brainstorm session to come up with a new idea. If you’re feeling overworked or overwhelmed, tell yourself you deserve a break to refresh and recharge – because you do. 

Just like the right habits will aid in success, positive thinking and constructive thoughts will guide you towards success as well. 

Pete and Rachael Herschelman5 Things Successful People Tell Themselves Throughout the Day
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One of the Biggest Mistakes Mentors Make (and How to Fix it)

One of the Biggest Mistakes Mentors Make (and How to Fix it)

Being a mentor requires just as much of a learning curve as being mentored. No mentor-mentee relationship is perfect— although, some get pretty close. As with any relationship, being in a mentorship relationship takes a lot of work and a lot of getting to know one another. There will always be mistakes and missteps along the way.

By far, one of the biggest mistakes mentors make on a consistent basis is focusing on the negative and never really relishing in their mentee’s accomplishments.

Recognize Success in the Now

Because your mentee is looking for life advice as well as career advice, they’re more likely to focus on all of the areas in which they’re lacking. They’ll zero in on all of the places they’d like to improve. And, of course, it’s your job as their mentor to help them out and guide them towards the right path for them.

Beyond guiding them when they’re struggling and straying from their desired path, your mentees need you to recognize when they’re succeeding. They may not even see it for themselves. That’s when it’s most vital for you to step in and say, “I know it feels like you still have far to go, but I need you to know that I’m really proud of how far you’ve come. You’ve accomplished more than you originally set out to do. Keep up the good work.”

Let Go of the Negativity

While it’s important never to feel complacent or rest on your laurels, it’s also important not to dwell on negativity.

Positivity begets positivity.

When you’re trying to inspire and motivate your mentees, it’s crucial to adopt a positive mentality and encourage your mentee to do the same. It’s fine to recognize weaknesses, but it’s so much better to concentrate on strengths. In the end, they’re really just opposite sides of the same coin.

And remember: when your mentee succeeds thanks to your mentorship, you succeed, too. Why would you not want to celebrate those achievements as if they were your own? Lift your mentee up whenever you get the chance, and you may just be surprised by how far you can go together.

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanOne of the Biggest Mistakes Mentors Make (and How to Fix it)
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