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Motivation is a tough thing, especially if you're in the midst of some difficult circumstances. If you're at all like me, and things aren't going the way you planned, you might have a tendency to fall into a funk. Instead of conquering the world, you might just want to put on some pajama pants, crack open some Ben and Jerry's, and watch TV. This is a poor solution to your problems.
by Gina Trapani | 10:23 AM June 16, 2009 Over the past five years I've worked off-site and online for employers across the country using email, chat, and web-based collaboration apps. My work life has been the envy of my traditional nine-to-five friends. While they suit up in an office-appropriate outfit, grab the briefcase, and brave a commute every weekday, I get to work from home (and my employers get to save money on office space). But working with people in different cities and time zones with minimal face time presents a whole new set of challenges.
There's a core set of habits and techniques that filter and color a lot of what we write about at Lifehacker, but we rarely step back to explain them for newcomers. Let's get back to basics with 10 productivity tactics. 10. Doable to-do lists As our founding editor so aptly puts it, every worker of any stripe has two different hats they wear, and can switch between them often: the Boss hat, when tasks are thought up, broken into steps that can be done, and a deadline set; and the Personal Assistant hat, when work is cranked out and reported on. Gina's breakdowns of the art of the doable to-do list and practicing a simplified Getting Things Done method are great places to start out on the path toward getting better at setting up your tasks and knocking them down.
Mac OS X only: Freeware menu bar application Isolator is another simple tool in the fight against distraction on your Mac. Similar to previously-mentioned Think and Backdrop , Isolator covers your desktop with a solid overlay and helps you focus on one app at a time. The two best features of Isolator (in comparison to its previously mentioned counterparts) are the shortcut key (F8 by default), which lets you easily turn the focusing feature on and off, and the fact that Isolator runs from the menu bar. The other major difference between Isolator and Think is that Isolator only lets you focus on one application at a time. If you Cmd-Tab to a new app, your currently focused app disappears and your new app pops into focus.
Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. Several weeks ago, I reviewed Laura Stack’s Find More Time – and loved it. It was an excellent collection of specific tactics to apply towards maximizing time in your personal life and I have actually applied a few of the lessons successfully in my own life.
If you work from home, the central part of your work life is the home office. For some, that means the kitchen table, but most of us assign a specific room to be the base of operations and (try to) do our work from there each day. Given that we must take into consideration strategy before tactics , it stands to reason that we should make it a room we enjoy being in, and furthermore, a room that gets us in a productive mood, and by considering these things provide a strategic framework to the hacks we can apply in the office. What puts you in a productive mood?
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." —John Bay Those of us who are busy all the time can experience burnout, exhaustion, and fatigue from spending long periods of time in focused concentration.
8 Rituals to Crank Up Your Productivity and Happiness There are some people who are amazingly organized. They calmly complete their daily tasks in order, and at the end of the day they feel a sense of accomplishment and contentment.
From the way it’s talked about on sites like this, you’d think productivity was a long-lost secret of the ages. Really, though, there’s quite literally nothing to productivity: for the most part, it’s just a matter of staying on task and working hard. The problems tend to arise more when self-motivation is required: when there are no deadlines, working consistently isn’t easy. This guide won’t make you productive: only you can really do that for yourself.
Instant Boss will time your work/break cycles, reminding you when to work and when to take a break. The defaults are 10 minutes of work, 2 minutes of break, and this is repeated 5 times for a total of 1 hour. These values can be changed to suit your needs. Instant Boss will remember the values you used during your last session. Start by entering in the values you desire: The first box is for how long you want to work.
Note-taking is one of those skills that rarely gets taught. Teachers and professors assume either that taking good notes comes naturally or that someone else must have already taught students how to take notes. Then we sit around and complain that our students don’t know how to take notes.
Today’s job market favors employees . The attitude of most workers is that they should have a job that makes them happy. So it’s no surprise that at any given time 70 percent of the workforce is job hunting, according to the Wall St. Journal.
25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work Have you gotten into a rut at work? Would you like to be more engaged, satisfied, and fulfilled in your work? Would you like to be more productive and feel a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of each day? Well you can. It just takes a desire and commitment to renew your habits and routines.
Click to view Most likely you use more than one computer in the course of a day—a work computer and a home computer, maybe even a laptop and a desktop. That means you've got at least two workspaces that can get horrendously out of sync if you don't keep them in check. The key to staying productive at all your computers is building a consistent workspace—that is, a computing environment that is the same (where it counts) everywhere you use a computer. Today we'll highlight several methods for creating consistent workspaces so that whether you're at home or work, your bookmarks, essential files and folders, favorite applications, email, and calendars are all in perfect harmony. NOTE: This post was inspired by weblog Scholastici.us' 5 Steps to Creating a Consistent Workspace . Several of the author's suggestions differ from my suggestions below, so I'd encourage you to check it out as well.
The Internet Age allows you to get whatever information you want, as much as you want it. This, however, may do you more harm than good. The reason is simple: there is usually far too much noise in the information we consume. It becomes increasingly difficult to get the gems out of it, and it takes a lot of time and energy to deal with. Besides, increasing noise means decreasing clarity, and that means decreasing effectiveness.