Posts Tagged ‘ Multitasking ’

5 Things People Do To Look Really, Really Busy

Top 5 Office Pet Peeves (Leadership Quote)

10 Things You Can Do to Look Smart in a Meeting

Tips to Contain the Crazy: Increasing Productivity While Reducing Stress

I love to learn new ways to increase my own productivity while also reducing stress. I call it containing the crazy. Like many of you, I cling to my calendar, my to-do list…I shudder to think of the chaos should I ever lose my phone.

Tips to Contain the CrazyRecently, I decided to try some new ways to be more productive and less stressed:

1. Spa water – in a scientific study, those who were fully-hydrated had improved mood and were less sleepy. So, I decided to try drinking spa water (sometimes called “infused water”) and I’m hooked. You get your water in for the day and it’s flavored without all the calories and chemicals. Refill as needed and enjoy. Here is a wikihow on how to make spa water:

How to make spa water

2. Concentration Music – it is said that listening to baroque classical music has been scientifically shown to improve mood, productivity, and concentration. So, I decided to give it a whirl and wouldn’t you know, it works! I get more work done faster and more precisely while being relaxed the entire time. Gotta love classical music! Here is a sample for your listening pleasure:

3. A Timer – scientific studies also show we have a limited attention span for tasks. This time has varied in studies anywhere from 10 minutes to up to 40 minutes. So, I set a timer and only worked on a task for a specified period and then took a break. I also used a timer to go back and forth between tasks. This has worked wonders for getting many more things done in a day than I could have imagined. A link to a fabulous, easy-to-set online timer:

Online Timer

These tips for containing the crazy work well for my own personal work style and help me to be a more calm, productive, and focused leader.

Share with us your tips to contain the crazy, increase productivity, and reduce stress. No matter how unique they may be, please share! What works for you?

Unhappy? Focus on the Present

Do you find yourself unhappy a majority of the time, especially in the workplace?  Perhaps it’s not the environment or the job, itself.  It could be a simple matter of your focus (or rather, your focus on too many things at once). 

Psychologists at Harvard University recently completed a study to find out how people felt by looking at what they were actually doing.  The researchers asked the participants what they were doing at random times of the day and how they were feeling.

Based on the responses from approximately 2,200 people, it turns out that happiness may not necessarily be linked to what people are doing, but rather their level of focus on the activity they’re participating in at the time. 

In other words, if I’m at a theme park (I am a big fan of roller coasters, mind you), my level of happiness might be less if I’m too busy thinking about my unpaid bills, or that big client presentation coming up on Tuesday.  My level of happiness would likely increase if I were to simply enjoy my experience and stop thinking about the future and/or past.

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense.  Most of us spend too much time at work thinking and worrying about other things.  It could be all the different tasks and requests that we have to fulfill, or we might be thinking about our kid’s baseball game which happens to be at the same time of a very important meeting at work which we cannot miss.  All of this causes stress, which certainly doesn’t give us a happiness booster. 

This research matters now more than ever, especially because of the age we live in.  Technology has given us great tools to share knowledge, but at the same time, it has given us more distractions.  If you take a walk through the downtown area of any major city, you’ll see exactly how few people really live “in the moment.” 

Here’s an activity: Whether you’re at home or at work, try focusing on just one thing.  Block out the rest of your thoughts and concentrate on completing the task at hand.  When you’re done, reflect on how you felt while you completed the task.  Do you notice a difference in how happy you were, or how stressed you might have been?

The full study was published by Science Magazine, which you can view here.

Now that you’ve read through my posting and have focused on it the entire time, tell me how happy you are.  Leave your comments!

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