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Become a Lean, Mean, Productivity Machine

The times for high productivity appear to be 10 am to noon and 3 pm to 4 pm

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For many people, Sunday is for rest and reflection. Monday through Friday is a different story.

Daily tasks can either drain or energize you. Completing them can make you feel accomplished; postponing them can leave you frustrated. Surprisingly, the order in which you approach tasks can have a notable impact on your effectiveness, energy, and enthusiasm.

Some tasks are better handled at a specific time of the day, and should be completely avoided at other times. To maintain balance, get your work done, and still have life at the end of the day, ensure that the sequence and the timing of your projects supports, rather than impedes, the likelihood that you’ll accomplish most of what you sought to do during your day.

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When to Tackle the Day’s Toughest Task

Tackle the day’s toughest task first thing. Why, pray tell? Recall if this has ever happened to you: You approach the end of your workday and realize that you didn’t get to the most difficult tasks. Whether they are time-consuming or mind-boggling, the hardest tasks are the ones most likely met with procrastination.

Researchers agree that you are most able to handle your hardest tasks if you do so in the morning. Dr. Norbert Myslinski, a neuroscience professor at the University of Maryland, found that cortisol – a stress hormone that affects your “flight-or-flight” ability – peaks around the time that you wake up.

Cortisol increases your blood-sugar level, better enabling you to handle tasks energetically and with enough momentum to carry you through their completion.

Most vital, tackling tough tasks in the morning often enhances your confidence level. By striving for increased productivity at the start of your day, you are motivated to perform better and accomplish more throughout the rest of your afternoon and evening.

All told, you’re inclined to accomplish more on your daily task list when you start with the hardest tasks. Moving to the easy tasks then seems like a downhill bike ride. By contrast, moving from easy to hard tasks can be an uphill battle.

When to Ease off on Tackling Tough Tasks

When your workday begins to wind down, tie up any loose ends. What can you file so that it is out of the way? What can you make complete? Can you make that one key phone call?

Can you discard any unnecessary items, including junk mail? Can you assemble tomorrow’s project materials or notes to once again be able to tackle the toughest tasks? In this case, the early bird does indeed catch and complete the worm (work).

Tackle that Task You’ve Been Avoiding

As I discuss more broadly in my book The 60 Second Self-Starter, when is an opportune time to tackle a task you’ve been putting off continuously? Answer: When something else comes along that’s even more onerous.

Suppose you seek to start on task A, and find yourself making little headway. Along comes task B, which bigger and more difficult, and something you have to do, you have no choice. Task B now becomes the nexus of your procrastination.

Suddenly, task A doesn’t seem so big and so bad. In comparison to what else is on your plate, you find yourself starting on task A with greater ease than you recently experienced. How so? You have mentally traded off one task for another.

Eventually you’ll have to tackle task B, but for now, work the trade-off to your advantage. Buzz through task A.

A caveat: Often, you don’t have much control over when another huge task is forthcoming. When one such task arrives, that’s when to launch into the earlier task.

About High Productivity

Your body’s temperature goes up and down in the course of a day, a pattern dictated by your brain. According to John Poppy, a former senior editor for Look magazine and long established health columnist, your body’s performance ability for memory, alertness, and physical coordination is optimal when you have a sufficiently high body temperature.

Conversely, memory alertness, physical coordination, and performance ability tend to decrease with a less than optimal body temperature.

For work related tasks, in accordance with your body temperature fluctuations throughout the day, in review, here are noted times for high productivity, and other times worth knowing: From 8 am to 10 am, your mental capabilities steadily rise.

From 10 am to noon, you have the wonderful opportunity to take on a challenging project and succeed, or to hit your boss for that raise you’ve been wanting.

By noon your brain capacity begins to diminish. At 3 pm, the brain power dip you might have experienced in the early in the PM begins to diminish and your productivity rises.

By 4 pm, ‘til at least 5 pm, your muscle tone reaches its peak and so, this is the favored time to exercise for many people.

So, the times for high productivity appear to be 10 am to noon and 3 pm to 4 pm, and the best times for a productive physical workout are between 4 pm and 5 pm.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Life

New Study Shows THESE People are the Happiest

A discussion about a new study on happiness…

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PolitiCrossing Founder Chris Widener talks with Dr. Steve Turley of Turley Talks to discuss a new study about happiness. Check out their interview and be sure to pick up Chris Widener’s new book they mention, Four Seasons. The purchase of the book gets you 20+ hours of personal develop audios to celebrate the launch of the book. Get Four Seasons by clicking HERE. Check out the discussion below:

Want to influence others like Jesus did? New video series shows you exactly how. Click here for more.

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About Turley Talks:

Are we seeing the revitalization of Christian civilization?

For decades, the world has been dominated by a process known as globalization, a secularizing economic and political system that hollows out and erodes a culture’s traditions, customs, and religions, all the while conditioning populations to rely on the expertise of a tiny class of technocrats for every aspect of their social and economic lives.

Until now.

All over the world, there’s been a massive blowback against the anti-cultural processes of globalization and its secular aristocracy.

And it’s just the beginning.

I believe that the secular world is at its brink, and a new conservative age is rising.

Join me each week as we examine these worldwide trends, discover answers to today’s toughest challenges, and together learn to live in the present in light of even better things to come.

This is Turley Talks.

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Life

The Four Horsemen of Aging Baby Boomers

The prospect of being cold, broke, and alone can haunt some baby boomers in their senior years

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To be old, cold, broke, and alone are the four horsemen of aging baby boomers. Aging has been a fact of life since life itself appeared on the planet, and no one has ever doubted that they would age as time passed. It’s the combination of aging with the prospect of being cold, broke, and alone that’s terrifying for some boomers as they head into their senior years.

Out in the Cold

Miracle breakthroughs in energy production, foreseen in the 1970s and 80s, are clearly not here yet. Despite current price fluctuations, the long-term trend in heating, lighting, and relying upon energy to run one’s home can only point upward for the near future. Prices will be only climb as boomers face the ends of their careers, retirement, and years of living on a fixed income.

Going for Broke

With falling housing prices, fears of a retracted recession, and government debt rising to astronomical heights, the long-term savings of many a boomer has taken a big hit. Boomers close to retiring don’t have sufficient time to recover, and even those who are five, 10, and 15 years from retirement will face rocky roads. The prospects of going broke, or at least having to live out one’s days on far less than anticipated, are real and alarming.

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Home Alone

For several decades, one in two marriages in the U.S. has ended in divorce. This doesn’t mean that one out of two people get divorced, because first-time divorcees are unfortunately prone to being divorced again and perhaps again. In any case, the number of single adults above age 45 is at an all-time high and growing. More people heading into their “golden years” are alone than at any other time in U.S. history.

Finishing one’s life cold, broke, and alone is not a pretty picture. Yet, significant numbers of boomers face this prospect. While individually little can be done about macro-economics, the rising cost of energy, or declines in property and investment values, for aging boomers there are more potential partners today than ever before. Online dating services and a variety of local social groups all but ensure that those who don’t want to face their senior years alone, don’t have to.

Old, cold, broke and alone need not be your fate.

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