Here are the answers to your productivity problems. Stop the mad roller coaster of late, last minute, or left ’till tomorrow tasks with these 5 ways to become instantly more productive. Don’t forget, your success is up to one person… you.
1. Stop multi-tasking!
Just because you can do eight things at once doesn’t mean you should do eight things at once.
It’s simple, really. Using your brain to do 8 different things at once doesn’t just wear you out. It means you are not using your full capacity to get something done. Your mind probably gets turned into a jumbled mess, you get a headache, and you get frustrated and leave it to later. Then you go web browsing.
That’s why this is number one. Stop multi-tasking.
Instead of doing eight tasks at once that will take you six hours to complete (poorly), do one task completely, and then move on to the next.
These things will result:
- You will have something to cross off your to do list ( which is incredibly mentally refreshing)
- Time saved!
Set hard deadlines with rewards. If you need to write an article, paper, or memo, set a deadline, and don’t allow yourself to have a reward until your task is completed:
- No email until the task is completed.
- No lunch until the proposal is finished.
- No Facebook and Twitter until the article is turned in.
2. Let technology do some of the work for you
You’re not suddenly unproductive, I’m guessing. This has probably been something you’ve struggled with for some time.
Habit change is hard, so rather than leaving it up to willpower, let’s use technology to help us break the bad habits!
Step 1) Track where you are spending your time. You know how it’s pretty eye opening when you track your calories and realize just how far off you were from what you thought you were eating? Try tracking your time too! Use a program like Rescue Time or a simple excel sheet blocked out in 30-minute sections to see how you’re spending your time.
Step 2) Download “Self-control” for Mac or Self-Restraint for PC. Select a list of websites that you want to block for a certain amount of time. Once the application is turned on, there is NOTHING you can do to access those sites while the timer is running (uninstalling the program or restarting your computer won’t work).
3. Don’t let email dominate you
What’s the first thing you do once sitting down at your computer? I bet it’s check email.
Even worse, do you check your email while lying in bed when you wake up in the morning on your phone?
Turn off email notifications. If you are on Gmail, don’t keep the tab open all the time. Better yet, block yourself from Gmail when you’re not using it! If you use Microsoft Outlook or another desktop program, turn off the buttons, noises, numbers, and notifications that signal when you have a new email. Consider setting specific times when you can check your email, or only after specific tasks.
- TURN OFF mail and chat notifications in Gmail.
- Set “Go to the next (newer) conversation” as the default option.
- In Labs, turn on the “send and archive” button.
- In Labs, turn on “auto-advance” feature.
- In Labs, enable “background send.”
- In Labs, enable “send and archive” button.
Make two folders in your Gmail account.
It’s time to stop wasting time. Get that email under control. Here’s how:
- If you see an email for a newsletter or announcement that you repeatedly skim but don’t read anymore, UNSUBSCRIBE. Be merciless and get rid of anything you don’t read, you can always sign up again if you really miss it.
- If you are a hardcore social media user, turn off the notification emails you receive every time anything happens. If you’re worried about missing out on some important message, filter them into a special “Social Media” folder, and then hide that folder beneath the “more” button. Check it once a day.
- If you get an email that you actually DO read but doesn’t require action(blog post, Amazon shipment notification, email newsletter) click on “FILTER messages like this,” check “skip the inbox”, and label it as “Non-Essential.”
- For emails that you get from friends, family, co-workers that require action, RESPOND IMMEDIATELY and archive or filter into “Action.” Come back and handle the “Action” emails as quickly as possible when you have time to deal with them, then remove the label once you are done.”
Now all you have to do when you check your email is categorize. Easier than going threw them all one by one, responding, tying to write an article, and scrolling on facebook all at the same time.
Don’t read it anymore? Unsubscribe and archive.
Non-essential? Filter it into “Non-essential,” read and archive.
Email from a friend, co-worker, or something that requires a response?Respond immediately and then archive.
Email that requires a long response? Quickly move it to the “Action” folder and move onto the next one. At the end of the day, come back into the “Action” folder and knock out them out.
4. Organize the space around you.
This might seem like a pretty simple step but, I promise you, it will make a huge difference.
Being surrounded in clutter and mess has a very negative affect on the brain. Clutter plays a big roll in being unproductive, and should be tackled straight away.
Start decluttering your computer, your desktop, your drawers and file cabinets. Build yourself a system that works for you, and revel in the glorious feeling that a fresh, new workspace gives you.
5. Start Small
That’s right, don’t overdue it. This might seem like a lot, I know.
So start with something simple, take your time,
Pick one tiny piece of one part of the advice listed above, and do it today. Filter ONE email. Unsubscribe from ONE newsletter. Block yourself for just FIVE minutes from certain sites to start.
And remember this; stop thinking about it and just do it. Thinking gives you time to come up with excuses not to.
Excuses. Don’t get you. Anywhere.
Cozy Up with These DIY Fall Drinks
Autumn is so exciting! It’s chilly, pretty, and awesome. Warm sweaters, cozy reading socks, and delicious hot autumn drinks. Nothing feels cozier than curling up with a hot cup of your favorite fall drink under a warm throw and not feeling guilty about staying inside because, well, it’s far too chilly out to be out there. So here is a list of our favorite, most delicious fall drinks. Enjoy!
Decadent Nutella Hot Chocolate *Crock Pot
- 6 1/2 cups skim milk
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 T vanilla
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1 cup Nutella
- 1/4 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in the Crock Pot and cook on low for 2 hours. For a less sweet, more milky version, add 1 to 2 cups more skim milk.
Pumpkin Spice Coffee
- Brewed Coffee
- 1 T Pumpkin pie filling
- Pumpkin pie spice to garnish
- Vanilla creamer
Mix pumpkin pie filling and a splash of vanilla creamer to taste with cup of brewed coffee. Add whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice to garnish as desired. Enjoy!
Read Next: 50 Warm and Cozy Fall Dinner Recipes
CARAMEL APPLE CIDER
- 4 cups apple cider
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp apple pie spice
- 1/4 cup caramel
- cinnamon stick (optional)
Cook to simmer and serve!
Salted Caramel Mocha
- Mocha latte k-cup kit from Starbucks
- Sea salt
- Caramel Sauce
- Turbinado sugar (for garnish
Add a dash of sea salt and caramel sauce to Starbucks mocha latte k-cup kit. Garnish with whipped cream and turbinado sugar as desired. Enjoy!
Read next: Easy and Delicious Butternut squash Chili
3 Unusual Ways to Improve the Value of your Home
A house is one of the biggest things you’ll ever buy. It’s also one of the most significant investments in your portfolio. After all, when all else fails, you can rest assured that people will always need real-estate. However, it’s up to you to make sure that the house you purchase continues gaining value in the years to come. While there are many outside factors that can affect the value of a home, including changes in the ecosystem, and even the arrival of new amenities in your area, there are also things that you can do as a homeowner to make people want to pay more for your property. Since you’ve probably already thought about common options like replacing your kitchen or designing a new bathroom, we’re going to share some of the less conventional things you can do to transform your home.
Create a Fisherman’s Paradise
If you have a property that’s close to a body of water or even has its own riverside, then you’re going to be ahead of the curve already when it comes to gaining real-estate value. However, you can always take the desirability of your home another step further by making sure that you have fishing rights to offer your buyers. Let people know that buying your home comes with the option to spend their weekends fishing on the side of a beautiful river, and they’ll be biting your hands off for the chance to move in. Estimates suggest that this adds a value of about 15%.
Add a Residential Lift
Finally, if you’ve got a beautiful home to offer a couple looking for a great place to spend their retirement, then there’s one easy way to help them imagine their life in your property. Australian residential lifts show buyers that they’re going to be able to manage and maintain their independence when they get a little older, because they won’t have to worry about using the stairs. What’s more, residential lifts can also appeal to younger buyers too, because they give them a unique and modern selling point to share when the time comes to sell the property in the future. You’d be surprised at how affordable it can be to place a lift in your home these days, and the value that you get out of the investment can be astronomical. Just imagine how much easier it would be to carry laundry upstairs!
Give Your House a Name
This might sound like a strange way to upgrade the value of your home but bear with us. For most people, it might not matter whether they live at “The Oak”, or 35 Oak lane. However, research has shown that 88% of buyers would prefer to pay more for a home with a name. Perhaps it’s just because people feel like they’re getting a property with more personality this way. Just make sure that you have permission to name your house with your local council and choose a title that’s fitting for the property. It doesn’t make sense to call a city-based property “The Orchard” for instance.
Read next: Importance of Saving for Retirement
No More Computer Eyestrain – Get Rid of your Headaches for Good
My eyes feel strained, I have a headache, and my brain just feels tired.
This is what’s known as computer eyestrain, and anyone who frequently uses a computer has probably had it. It’s no fun, and it keeps our work from reaching its full potential. It also keeps us from resting well at night by throwing off our circadian rhythm, especially if using a computer after daylight hours, in a poorly lit room.
This is caused by the blue light computer screens emit which is designed to mimic the sun.
Here are 5 sure fire ways to get rid of those darn computer eye strain headaches for good.
Computer eye strain headaches – get rid of them for good
1. The 20-20-20 rule
Looking at something in the distance will give your eye muscles a break to reduce fatigue and headaches. This trick is intended to exercise your eyes and give them a break from your computer’s bright backlight.
2. Take frequent breaks
I know this might sound counter-productive, but I guarantee if you take more short breaks from your computer screen your eyes will thank you and you will see an immediate improvement in your productivity. Here’s some tips for making it happen:
- Drink more water. Not only will this keep you hydrated, it will also demand frequent trips for refills…and bathroom breaks.
- Set a reminder on your desktop. This goes for the 20-20-20 rule as well.
- Avoid the elevator. If you work 17 floors up, maybe not or you’ll be late for work. However, if you’re on the second or third floor, or you need to run downstairs for something, this extra bit of exercise will improve your circulation and engage your muscles, giving you an extra boost of energy, and a mental boost as well!
3. Increase your font size
When you can, increase your font size. If the text is too small, you’ll squint, which is the number one culprit of eye fatigue and headaches.
4. Try computer eyestrain glasses
Computer reading glasses are specially made to help reduce eyestrain. They have an anti-reflective coating to help reduce glare and a tint that helps increase contrast for easier viewing. For those of us who already wear glasses, prescription computer glasses are also available
5. Give your eyes a break
It can be tempting to binge on netflix as soon as you get home from work, but try giving your eyes a break from all the blue light that’s causing them grief. Staring at a screen all day not only weakens your vision, but it could lead to worse problems, like computer vision syndrome.