Working Smarter

productivemindset

We’re all looking for clever ways to work smarter and get more done, hoping the next new productivity app will be the one that helps us get things done faster and with less effort.

Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, when you think about it, some of the steps you can take to work smarter don’t involve apps at all.

Some of the most effective things you can do to increase your productivity are as simple as getting more sleep, drinking less booze, changing your diet and getting more exercise.

These are all things you can do. They don’t cost anything and you can safely do them at home. They do, however, require the application of an ingredient known to all successful people: self-discipline.

The big challenge with self-discipline is you can’t buy it and you can’t fake it. Trouble is though, you can’t be successful at anything without it.

The opposite of self-discipline is self-indulgence, and we’re all pretty good at that.

If you can’t exercise the self-control required to get your act together, so that you’re alert and focused before you turn up for work, what makes you think you’ll have what it takes to lift your game once you’re there?

In Everyday Productivity, I share the mindset that helped me deliver forty years of productive work in education, banking and government.

But, be warned. The ideas I share will only be of any use to you if you can apply self-discipline, otherwise you’ll be wasting your time reading information you’ll never use.

Everyday Productivity will be available through online book retailers in early 2017.


Peter Mulraney is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic, The New Girlfriend and Everyday Project Management.

Lifestyle Action Plan – part 3

outofbalancewheelRebalancing priorities

Write down the steps you intend to take to get your life into balance.

It’s not uncommon for people focused on productivity in the workplace to find, when they look at the way they are allocating their time, that their lives are out of balance. Usually the problem is too great a focus on work at the expense of other areas in their lives.

If you picture the aspects of your life as making up the components of a wheel, the aim is to get all things into alignment so that your wheel will turn smoothly. Interestingly, getting things into balance actually makes it easier to be more productive at work.

Relationships

Think about this as you consider how you’re going to rebalance things in your life.

Significant other

Write down the steps you intend to take to maintain or improve the quality of your relationship with your significant other.

If you’re at the point where ending the relationship is your best option, then research the steps you need to take to do that and seek appropriate legal advice, especially if you’re ending a long term relationship or there are children involved.

If you’re looking to attract a significant other into your life, remember to consider Calling in the One by Katherine Woodward Thomas.

Children

If applicable, write down the steps you intend to take to maintain or improve the quality of your relationship with your children.

Family responsibilities

Write down your plan of action for dealing with any family responsibilities that need to be balanced with working.


Now that you’ve drawn up your Lifestyle Action Plan make a commitment to act on it. Go to your calendar and set up a monthly review date, just like you would for any other project, and regularly review your progress and update your plan.


I hope you have enjoyed reading and working with of the content planned for the opening chapters of Everyday Productivity.

Subscribe to Everyday Business Skills to download a FREE copy of the Lifestyle Self-Audit and Lifestyle Action Plan worksheets from the Everyday Productivity Workbook, and be the first to know when Everyday Productivity is available for purchase.

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Lifestyle Action Plan – part 2

slide2Money 

Write down the steps you intend to take to get your cash flow under control. At the very least, draw up a budget and decide what you will be spending your money on before you spend it. This is the reverse of the cash flow exercise you did.

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Spending 

If you live in a two income household, this step cannot be done alone. Before you start, discuss your money situation with your partner and work towards an agreed outcome. Once you have agreement, focus on reducing your discretionary spending to free up the cash required to reduce outstanding credit card debts.

When you have cleared your credit cards, start on a savings plan so that you’ll have the cash to pay for those discretionary items when you want to buy them.

Changing your eating habits might also help you save money, especially if you have been eating out a lot. Going home instead of going to those after work happy hours will also contribute some extra dollars to your bottom line.

Getting control of your cash flow requires self-discipline, and a preparedness to start over if you slip up. And, be realistic; allocate yourself or each partner an allowance to spend without having to account for it.

Income 

The other side of the money equation is income. Can you get a better paying job? Can you earn more in your current job by being more productive?

Is there a way you could earn some extra income on the side? If you have skills to share, consider offering a course on a site like Skillshare.com. The opportunities are out there.


Subscribe to Everyday Business Skills to download a FREE copy of the Lifestyle Self-Audit and Lifestyle Action Plan worksheets from the Everyday Productivity Workbook, and be the first to know when Everyday Productivity is available for purchase.

Subscribe


Peter Mulraney has forty years experience working in schools, banking, and government. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic, The New Girlfriend and Everyday Project Management.