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The biggest and most unusual deadline of the year

Every year before New Year we realize and wonder that a year has passed without really noticing it and very likely without having spent as much time on the important things as planned. In fact, 80% of New Year’s resolutions don’t last.

New Year is a deadline with an unusual dynamic. It’s not like all the other deadlines where we speed up and start getting done 5x as much stuff to meet it. Instead, we slow down, we look back, we recall all the exciting plans that we’ve made at the beginning of the year and wonder how few we’ve actually achieved.

And then that little sad voice in ourselves asks:

“Why did I not take care that much about my health, played with the kids, followed my passions or spent time exploring the world?”

Interestingly, the simple answer is to say that we did not have the time. But why? Well, almost always we go like: “I was too busy working”.

Turns out this is the #1 reason why as kids or elderly we have plenty of time but in between it’s a rare thing to have.

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Don’t get us wrong. Work is a good thing, but the common work culture is not. When it comes down to decide between work and life, we almost always opt for work and there are good reasons to do so. Work pays the bills, gives us safety and makes us feel good. However, we at Timeular really believe, that if we do it right, we can still achieve great things at work and have a great life too.

The first thing we have to change is how we judge our performance

It’s not about how many hours we work, it’s about what meaningful outcome we achieve within those hours. It’s about saying no to all the distractions and fake-urgent things and focus on the really important tasks instead. In sports we all know that training a huge amount of hours a day is counter-productive, so why do we keep pretending it’s good at work?

We at Timeular want to change this by helping you to spend more time on your important things and keep being successful at work. We support you to understand where your time is going and to improve from there.

Imagine you could stop after 8, 7, 6 hours working very productively, then recharge by enjoying the other beloved things in life and come back the day after full of energy. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

We like to say instead of working harder and play harder, we have to work smarter and live healthier. It’s easy to be busy and it’s super hard to be not because you have to say no to many things, but believe us, once you get there, you’ll enjoy a much higher quality of life.

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The #1 way to get there, is to start taking control over your precious time and prioritize how you spend it. It’s time to find out what you are spending most of your time on and what to change. The key to success here is to change one thing at a time. It’s a step by step journey where it will be easy to fall into old habits and to avoid that we need to start with only one goal. One! Sorry, we can’t stress it enough.

If you want to make 2019 better, apply this loop:

  1. What’s currently your number one important thing you want to spend more time on? Trust your gut. How much time does that require per week? Common examples are doing sports twice a week, playing with the kids at least 1 hour every day and cooking a healthy dinner every day.
  2. Measure where can you take the required time from and how e.g. you find out that you spend 3h per week in unnecessary update meetings which could also be done via email and asynchronously. Time to change that.
  3. When you know that, start shifting time from that one thing to the other step by step. After you’re done start over with 1. again.

 

If you think it’s not possible to shift time because other things are more urgent and important, just look back at 2018 and at how often you or your boss thought something is super urgent and important and looking back as of today it was not.

What’s important to you personally should be your highest priority and if you manage to spend more time on those things you will see that next year in December the unusual thing will not be the New Year dynamic again. Instead, it will be you having a happy smile on your face because you and your life have both improved a lot.

And if it was us that helped you to do so, we will be smiling with you, because we want to make your time count!

 

 

P.S. If you want to increase your chances to succeed, share this article with your team members because you can’t change your team’s work culture alone.

How To Do More By Doing Less

It might seem counterintuitive, however, the only way to achieve more is by doing less. Productivity is not about working harder. It is about working smarter.

Do Less.

Frequently, the desire to achieve massive results transforms into the desire to do everything and be everywhere at the same time, trying to seize every opportunity available.

Productivity is mistakenly associated with hard work and the results are often associated with the amount of work you are capable of doing. Work harder, get up earlier, stay up later — those have been considered to be prerequisites of better results and incredible productivity for a long time. In reality, this advice very often appears to be completely misleading.

In fact, the only way to achieve the highest efficiency of your work is to start doing less than usual.

1. Cut Your Task List In Half

Firstly, postpone the tasks that are not urgent. This will relax some time constraints and let your work at a normal pace. Secondly, delegate. Identify the tasks you are not good at. Delegate it to a person that has exceptional knowledge in that field and will enjoy the execution of the assignment. You do not have to do everything. Learn to delegate. Thirdly, find those points on your To-Do list that could be simply deleted. Seriously. There are always things that do not have any weight and the absence of their completion is not going to harm your overall progress. Delete them and move on.

2. Flex Your No Muscle

We all suck at saying “No” to people. The reason for that is we do not want to seem rude. Every time someone asks for help she hears “Yes!” in response. Eventually, after several yeses you end up showing your commitment towards things that matter most to other people and not for you. As a result, you spend your most precious asset, namely time, executing things that have nothing to do with your own goals. Therefore it is crucial to learn to say “No”. You can be sure, it will not sound rude if you say that you already have another commitment and do not have any time for help. This magic word is going to save you a lot of time and let you focus on what matters most to you.

3. Do Not Overwork

The desire to stay up late often seems to be a great possibility to do some extra work and make a leap in your progress. Regrettably, in the long run, this strategy is going to harm your productivity and make you more vulnerable to stress and failure. The pace you attain your goals with is not measured in hours spent struggling over extra tasks. Therefore, quit this race and make sure you stop in time. A few additional hours of work will do nothing but make you feel tired and ruin the entire next day. Work a decent amount of time per day and then stop just in order to do the things you love and let your brain have a rest. If you want to better manage the time you are working, try to track it. 

Max Lukominskyi is the CMO at Evopaper, company behind Slice Planner – app-powered paper planner that makes your schedule look intuitive, so you can manage your time and get things done easily. His writing has been featured on Inc, Business Insider, BBC, The Independent, Huffington Post, IB Times, Thought Catalog, Medical Daily, The Muse and dozens other outlets.
www.evopaper.com

    

3 Ways To Tame The Monkey Mind

Do you ever find yourself jumpy, anxious, and overwhelmed with a million thoughts racing through your head? Is the feeling so overpowering that you become paralyzed and unable to take action? The monkey mind.

The origins of the monkey mind date back to the buddha. The expression is used to describe the inability to quiet our mind when there are many thoughts, ideas, and worries swirling around in our head. Our tendency to multi-task and our addiction to technology exacerbates the problem.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of the monkey mind include inability to sleep, exhaustion (maybe due to lack of sleep), memory issues, and inability to focus. Now that we’ve identified the problem and the symptoms, what can be done?

Three ways to tame the monkey mind

By practicing these strategies on a daily basis, you can quiet the monkey mind:

1. Meditation:

Taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly or follow a guided meditation helps to quiet the mind. When meditating, you breathe in and out through your nose. The idea is to inhale deeply and exhale slowly, focusing only on your breath. This is where you might say, “but there are a million thoughts flying through my head.” Exactly…that’s the monkey mind! If you have tried meditating before and thought you were not doing it correctly because your mind wandered, give it another chance. Your mind is expected to wander and it is in no way an indication that you are doing it wrong. Let the thoughts drift to the side, with no judgment, and bring yourself back to focusing on your breath. As you do this repeatedly, you strengthen your ability to focus. Imagine how this can help you throughout the day when you are trying to concentrate and other thoughts fly into your head. If you have trouble meditating on your own, try a guided meditation such as insight timer.

2. Mindfulness

Do you ever find that when you are in a meeting or waiting in line at the supermarket your mind starts wandering to (and stressing over) what you have to do later that day? We have all been there. You have so much to do before leaving the office…when will this meeting end? E-mails, phone calls, quarterly reporting…why is that vice president still talking? Or, perhaps you are still stewing because the barista at Starbucks got your coffee order wrong this morning. Either way, you are contaminating the time you are in. Your participation in the meeting is marginalized because you are not focused on the content – you are busy worrying about other things. The monkey mind has taken over again. Wherever you are, be totally present and try to only focus on what is being discussed. This conscious state of being is mindfulness.

3. Attitude of gratitude

According to research, repeated thoughts create neural pathways. The more you identify positive things in your life, the deeper and more pronounced those pathways become. Consider keeping a gratitude journal. I started one last summer and have already seen a change in my overall outlook on life. At the end of each day, i write three things for which i am grateful. Over time, this daily practice trains your brain to look for the positive in things…it becomes a reflex. So, even if you feel like you were born or raised a pessimist, you can start to see your cup as being half full and even overflowing. Summary The combined daily practice of meditation, mindfulness, and gratitude brings a sense of peace and order, keeping the monkey mind at bay. The more you practice, the greater your ability to focus and react calmly in stressful situations.

This post was written by Sharon Feldman Danzger and first appeared on her blog.

Sharon Feldman Danzger

Sharon Danzger is the founder of Control Chaos and author of ‘Super-Productive: 120 Strategies to Do More and Stress Less‘. Her firm helps clients improve personal productivity and performance through corporate training programs and individualized coaching.
www.controlchaos.org