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Survive: Learn the Productivity Cycle

Anything that you can do in tough times to enhance your productivity is to the good

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If you think the last 14 months have been tough, wait ’til Joe Biden’s civilization-destroying, $6.0 trillion, socialist spending binge kicks in, given that Congress is sufficiently moronic enough to pass it.

Taxes will have to rise markedly. The U.S dollar will be worth much less. The return of crippling inflation is likely. More companies will elect to operate elsewhere and jobs are bound to decrease. U.S. productivity will drop. The we want more ‘free stuff’ chorus will only become more demanding, and each year expect more.

Productivity Matters

On a personal basis, anything that you can do to enhance your productivity is to the good. The person who always knows best about what will keep you most productive is you. As often as you can, you want to work with your internal rhythm so that you get the best of yourself.

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For example, if you’ve been seated at your desk for twenty minutes or so, it’s best to get up and stretch, even if for a few seconds. Your veins need this and so does your heart.

Physiologically speaking, your body gives you the cues you need at precisely the right moment. It’s actually counter-productive to ignore bodily messages that say it’s time to stand up, to stretch, to take a drink, or what have you.

Daily Performance Ability

While we each have what is called a “normal” temperature, rarely does your body temperature maintain a steady 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Body temperature fluctuates over the course of a day in a relatively stable pattern controlled by the brain. Why does this matter?

Most aspects of your body’s performance ability are highest when your temperature is highest. This is true for physical coordination, memory, and alertness – all of which decrease as temperature decreases.

John Poppy, a health writer whose articles have appeared in Esquire, Men’s Health and Look Magazine, offers these tips for undertaking work-related activities, given your body’s natural capacities at different points in the day:

  • 10 a.m. Mental skills begin to rise. From now to noon is the best time to attack a challenging project or to make that pitch for a raise.
  • Noon. Brain power starts to dip. Contrary to popular belief, this “post-lunch dip”  can’t be entirely blamed on your midday meal. Scientists are not sure what prompts it. The dip occurs even though temperature is still curving upward.
  • 3 p.m. Alertness returns. Whatever the reason for the noon dip, it loosens its grip and you get your mental acuity and efficiency back.
  • 4 to 5 p.m. Best time for exercise. Muscle tone is at its peak at this time of the day. So good, in fact, that for many people, late afternoon is fitness time.
  • 8 p.m. Last call for alcohol…. if you want to sleep soundly during the night.

Tackling the Day’s Toughest Task

Has this ever happened to you? You approach the end of your workday and realize that you didn’t get to the most difficult tasks. If you’re like most people, you’re likely to accomplish more of what’s on your daily task list if you start with the hardest tasks. Moving on to the easy tasks then seems like a downhill bike ride.

Tackling tough tasks in the morning generally enhances your confidence level for the whole day. By increasing productivity at the beginning of your day, you often are motivated to perform better and accomplish more throughout the rest of your afternoon and evening.

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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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Bite-Sized Motivation

The insights or wisdom we need to get us going often don’t have to be more than a few words

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I’ve spoken to 1075 audiences at conventions, conferences, and meetings, and have had the opportunity to hear probably 800 other speakers as well.

The insights, perspectives, or wisdom we need, to get us going often don’t have to be more than a few words. Here are 52 of my own six word “speeches,” drawn from my keynotes and breakout session on the topic of work-life balance. Some of these likely will resonate with you:

Choose from what you already have.
Everyone needs breathing space, especially you.
Information overload obscures meaning and relevance.
Deep breathes are essential for well-being.

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Make every day an organized day.
Allow your natural rhythms to rule.
Stay confident and in control daily.
Manage your time, manage your life.

Slow down to plot your course.
Look for the best in others.
Make yourself indispensable on the job.
Compete with yourself, not with others.

Learn to take control of today.
Manage your time to make time.
Take control of your desk clutter.
You’re the best when you’re fresh.

Do something to take control now.
Major projects often require a jumpstart.
Methodically pare down your paper piles.
Don’t attempt too much at once.

Evaluate your situation and what’s important.
Narrow your priorities to stay focused.
Avoid making promises you can’t keep.
Learn to embrace your many talents.

Take the time to become organized.
Become aware of how you react.
Arrange your space; help isn’t coming.
Manage the flat surfaces in life.

Periodically challenge yourself to perform better.
Take long, deep breaths as needed.
Reclaim your places, spaces, and graces.
Start big projects well in advance.

Don’t rush the truly important things.
Make the best use of today.
Schedule accordingly: plan for your future.
Be kind, cut yourself some slack.

Opportunity knocks, but are you answering?
Conventional wisdom has diminishing value.
When practical, substitute time for money.
The market for top talent lives.

The self-reliant survive and thrive.
Leadership requires forethought and super-vision.
Learn from and capitalize on mistakes.
Firmly face the future with confidence.

“Now” holds a lot of opportunity.
Control but don’t curb your enthusiasm.
Treading water won’t propel you forward.
Have you ever really tested yourself?

Life goes on; do your best.
Continually seek out the higher ground.
Luck is distributed evenly, but disguised.
You must be doing something right.

 


 

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Work-Life Balance in Your Life

It the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home-life

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Work-life balance (WLB) is the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home-life with sufficient leisure. WLB, also referred to by some as work-life harmony, work-life shift, work-life blend, work-life effectiveness, or work-life integration, requires focus and awareness despite seemingly endless tasks and activities competing for our time and attention.

Work-life balance entails having what I call “breathing space” for yourself each day, feeling a sense of accomplishment while not being consumed by work, and having an enjoyable domestic life without short-changing career obligations. WLB is rooted in whatever fulfillment means to you within the course of a day and a week, and however many years you have left in your life.

Supporting Disciplines

Several disciplines support work-life balance though, individually, none are synonymous with work-life balance:

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1) Self Management

Sufficiently managing one’s self can be challenging, particularly in getting proper sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Self-management is the recognition that effectively using the spaces in our lives is vital, and that life, time, and available resources are finite. It means becoming captain of our own ship; no one is coming to steer for us.

2) Time Management

Effective time management involves making optimal use of your day and the supporting resources that can be summoned – you can only keep pace when your resources match your challenges. Time management is enhanced through appropriate goals and discerning what is both important and urgent, versus important OR urgent. It entails understanding what you do best and when, and assembling the appropriate tools to accomplish specific tasks.

3) Stress Management

By nature, societies tend to become more complex over time. In the face of increasing complexity, stress on the individual is inevitable. More people, noise, and distractions, independent of one’s individual circumstances, require each of us to become more adept at maintaining tranquility and being able to work ourselves out of pressure-filled situations. Most forms of multi-tasking ultimately increase our stress, while focusing on one thing at a time helps decrease stress.

4) Change Management

In our fast-paced world, change is virtually the only constant. Continually adopting new methods, adapting old, and re-adapting all methods is vital to a successful career and a happy home life. Effective change management involves offering periodic and concerted efforts so that the volume and rate of change at work and at home does not overwhelm or defeat you.

5) Technology Management

Effectively managing technology requires ensuring that technology serves you, rather than abuses you. Technology has always been with us, since the first walking stick, spear, flint, and wheel. Today, the rate of technological change is accelerating, brought on by vendors seeking expanding market share. Often you have no choice but to keep up with the technological Joneses, but rule technology, don’t let it rule you.

6) Leisure Management

The most overlooked of the work-life balance supporting disciplines, leisure management acknowledges 1) the importance of rest and relaxation, 2) that “time off” is a vital component of the human experience, and 3) that one can’t indefinitely short-change leisure without repercussions. Curiously, too much of the same leisure activity, however enjoyable, can lead to monotony. Thus, effective leisure management requires varying one’s activities.

Entirely Achievable

Achieving work-life balance does not require radical changes in what you do. It is about developing fresh perspectives and sensible, actionable solutions that are appropriate for you. It is fully engaging in life with what you have, right where you are, smack dab in the ever-changing dynamics of your existence.

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