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.

Collaboration

The act of working together.

 

Collaboration is the cornerstone of all successful societies and enterprises. 

Before you question the veracity of that statement, think about how food ends up on your plate. Can you see the long line of people that collaborate to get it there? It starts with a farmer. It involves the person that made the plate and the person regulating the supply of gas or electricity to your kitchen. It ends with you. There are many others in the chain.

Even solitary pursuits, like writing a book, involve working with others to get that book into the hands of readers. Maybe you think that in today’s world of self-published ebooks an author can do it all alone? It doesn’t happen that way.

In my case, I’m collaborating with Amazon, who is collaborating with internet service providers, so that you can read books on your device of choice. Even Apple collaborates with Amazon so that you can download the Kindle App and read books purchased from Amazon on your iPad or iPhone. That’s the thing with collaboration – all parties get something out of it.

Every employer – employee relationship is a collaboration. Sadly, not all collaborations are based in equal relationships. If they were, governments wouldn’t be having discussions about increasing the minimum or basic wage and we wouldn’t be hearing stories of exploitation of employees by employers.

Isn’t it strange that we know that we need each other to be successful but, at the same time, we think it’s okay or smart to take advantage of others in the name of self-interest?

Self-interest is the Achilles’ heel of all societies and enterprises.

If you think that’s a bit strong, what do you think is driving the regime in Syria? What do you think led to the 2008 global financial crisis? Why do you think the earth is polluted? Why do you think it’s so challenging to get action on climate change? Why do you think we have special interest lobby groups?

I’d like to see more collaboration on working for the common good of everyone on the planet from every nation, community, corporation and individual.

It’s not that hard. All it requires is that we recognise the short-sightedness of acting only in our own self-interest.

Blue earth |openclipart.org
Blue earth |openclipart.org

It’s a small planet, friends; and we’re all on it together – breathing the same air.


IMG_0156Peter Mulraney is a creative writer from Australia. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, and Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic. He has also published colouring books and journals under the Sharing the Journey banner.

Prosperity

We all want prosperity.

When we say that, what exactly is it we want?

Some starting pointers from the Oxford Dictionary:

  • Prosperity (n). a state of being prosperous; wealth or success.
  • Prosperous (adj.) 1 successful; rich 2 flourishing; thriving 3 auspicious
  • Prosper (v.) 1 succeed; thrive 2 make successful.

Maybe it would be better to say we all want to prosper. We all want to succeed; we all want to thrive.

I suspect that most of us dream about the getting rich side of prospering.

There is nothing wrong with aspiring to be rich, but that’s only one aspect of the state of being prosperous. Mind you, being rich enables you to do a lot more things than being poor, so it’s understandable that we want to be richer than we are.

I think there is more to it than becoming rich.

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What about flourishing as a person? What might that mean beyond or apart from having a healthy bank balance? What about healthy relationships? What about well-being and good health – physically, mentally and spiritually?

In a way, prosperity is about feeling good about yourself and being able to enjoy what this world has to offer.

If we think about prosperity as success, we can see that it’s much more than just having a lot of money. Most of us know that’s only one kind of success. We know that we can enjoy success in many aspects of life beyond accumulating money.

Maybe you can get that sense of prosperity simply by feeling happy with your lot. Maybe it comes from being in a loving relationship. Maybe it comes from living in communities where we respect each other or living in societies where everybody gets a fair go.

When you expand your definition of what prosperity means for you, as in the above examples, you start to see that there are no limits to prosperity. You start to understand that your prosperity adds to the prosperity of all and does not subtract from the prosperity of others.

If there is one thing I’ve learnt in life, it’s you can’t get what you want by focusing on what you don’t want.

If you want to experience more prosperity in your life, decide what prosperity means for you, and devote your energy to creating more of that. That’s what I’m doing.