Change Your Mind, Improve Your Productivity
“How are you?” a colleague asks. “So busy” you reply; all you can think of is how much pressure you’re under. Another typical day in the life of getting things done.
Have you ended a day recently where everything on your to-do list didn’t get finished? Sometimes when you want to get the important things done, you’ve got to think your way there. When our day-to-day productivity depends on teamwork, collaboration and group-effort, it’s important to remember the importance of “perspective.”
Yes, you have a lot to do. Maybe you even think there’s TOO much you have to do; and, as a result, you’re NOT going to be able to get to everything you think is important. Furthermore, you’ve probably convinced yourself you don’t have enough time; that is something a lot of people .
It is possible to work smarter and achieve more. This is especially true when you’re working with a group of people who are also interested in getting things done.
You can start a day with a plan to be more productive and achieve success by using just a few tactics to get more done. The good news, it’s easy to get started. The bad news, you’re going to have convince yourself it’s worth the effort!
Every day, there’s more going on than what you can see going on. When you’re always “so busy,” it’s easy to get frustrated with how slowly things seem to move. What are the kinds of things you have to deal with?
A client is dealing with something you can’t imagine;
a vendor is under unseen pressure;
a friend just got hit with some life challenge.
In the world of productivity, it’s easy to forget that other people are just as busy – or even busier – than you are! If getting things done for you requires cooperation and teamwork with others, it helps if you practice perspective.
Thinking from this angle will help you save time, save money and make it easier to get more of the right things done. When you change your mind, you can change how productive you feel. And, the better you feel, the easier it is to get more done. Momentum is circular that way.
Bring to mind a typical day in your work-life. Surely, you have a way of doing things that you repeat (almost) daily. Routines can be valuable when they streamline your workflow. But, if you’re feeling frustrated (or overwhelmed), it’s time to practice perspective. In order to be more productive tomorrow, you may need to see things differently.
Here are 3 ways to change what you see, and what you do:
1. Think and plan in a place you won’t be interrupted for at least 30 minutes. Reserve a conference room, or find a quiet(er) corner of a cafe. Go there with a pen and a journal to think deeply about a big, long-term project. You’ll get more quality work done in a shorter amount of time if you protect yourself from interruptions by (1) other people, (2) your own workspace and (3) your technology.
There are two reasons to do this: (A) you just may be interrupted fewer times during that work session, and (B) you just might interrupt those you work around a bit less! One of the most significant impediments to getting things done during the day is the constant “task-switching” people have to do going from one interruption to the next.
2. Meet a mentor and talk about what’s real. A coach, a therapist, a sponsor…you need someone you can talk to in confidence. Hearing another point of view on your problems can give you a fresh perspective, relieve some stress and produce new solutions. Also, when you take the time to think through your situation(s) from another perspective, you’ll realize that there are ways to see how OTHER people are managing their unique issues.
Of all ways to take on the “other” perspective, this can often be the fastest and most impactful one there is. When we get to share what we’re thinking, and then have that reflected back AND processed by someone who knows us well, we can see more than we had seen before.
3. Think. Move. Then think again. It’s all routine: how, where, and when we think. So, change it up. Write the name of a project on a note card, get a pen, and go for a 15-minute walk outside. When you get 5 minutes away, stop and write down what you’ve thought of about the project. Then, return to your desk. Changing your location changes your perspective. Stimulating your brain with a fresh supply of oxygen can give you the creative boost to notice what was right there, but just needed a “perspective check-in” to access.
Of course you’re busy. Change things up and get ideas to work smarter and better. Now that’s a way to create momentum. Get started and keeping moving to get your most important things done, feel more productive and work better together.
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