“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” Tim Ferris
I love this quote by Tim Ferris, which I have also heard put this way: work smarter, not harder. We may spend a great deal of time working, but that does not mean that a lot is getting done. Productivity is the word we use to designate the quantity and quality of work that we produce. We want to produce better results with less effort.
The way to do this is to limit distractions. For myself, I can honestly say that I need some isolation to get my best work done. Even when I am working on team project, I need some time away from the team to produce my individual contributions. This time must be time that is spent without a lot of distractions.
Time-wasting activities are not only limited to interminable phone calls, emails and chats. They can also be “leisure” activities that creep into our work time. For example, it is almost impossible for me to get any work done when I am sitting in front of the television with my laptop. It is not because I am really watching the show; the television may just be one for background noise. However, every time a show or even a commercial comes on, my attention is pulled away. This means that I am spending far too much time in “mini-breaks” of even a few seconds. Every time my attention focuses on something else and I have to come back to the task at hand, I am essentially restarting my thought process. This is an incredible time waster that will eventually show up in productivity.
There is nothing wrong with leisure time, but make it real leisure time. Allot a certain number of hours per week for relaxation and fun, and do not let that relaxing activity creep into your daily work life. A time and place for everything, as our grandmothers would probably say!
The answer may not be the one you want to hear, but it is relatively simple: limit wasted time watching television or playing video games. Remain productive!
“Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.”—Unknown
One simple fact of life is that we can achieve more together with others than we can alone. Some of us like to work alone and even avoid being part of a team because we have had poor experiences in the past working with others. However, the right kind of teamwork utilized together with others brings us much closer to success at a much faster rate than if we insist on working alone. Never ignore the power of teamwork; it can exponentially increase your success and make you much better at whatever it is you want to do.
I like to use the acronym TEAM, which stands for Together Each Achieves More. I like this acronym because it not only highlights the importance of teamwork but also teaches us a much more subtle lesson. Teamwork not only benefits the team collectively but each individual individually as well.
What I mean by this is that, as a member of a team, you are more than you are alone. You have others who shore up your weak areas and you, in turn, shore up theirs. You instantly become stronger, faster and better. You accomplish more and you have access to more resources. You become a Super You! The great thing about this phenomenon is that it has a ripple effect into the rest of your life, as well. If you work as part of a team, you absorb their knowledge and skills and they, in turn, absorb yours.
Being part of a team not only multiples your success but divides your work, making it more manageable. In true teamwork, there is always the benefit of having people around you who are good at what they do and who can take off much of the load you may be carrying. You will be able to work more effectively and get more done yourself, which in turn benefits other members of your team. Working together, you are much more likely to experience success and to experience it more quickly than you would have done alone!
“Never allow waiting to become a habit. Live your dreams and take risks. Life is happening now.”
When it comes to living, many of us suffer from one of two problems: we spend all our time looking back or all our time looking forward. When you really live, you live in the moment, not in the past or the future. That does not mean that you cannot follow your dreams, but it does mean that you must take the time to appreciate what is happening right now. We must learn to live each and every day as if it is the last. What will do you today to promote this mantra?
It may help to get a little perspective on time itself. Time is something that passes around us, but we are also a part of it. You have been alive every second since you were born, and during that time millions of seconds have passed. Every single moment you have lived you have been doing something. What you were doing might not have been productive; you may have been worrying, regretting or engaging in some other negative mental exercise. On the other hand, there have probably been moments of joy and happiness as well. We live each second, but we do not always enjoy each second we live.
Since we have to live every second of every day for the rest of our lives anyway (and I do not suggest you try not living them!), why not make the most of every moment? It simply makes more sense than struggling through the day. You can start by getting rid of the mindset that says, “Tomorrow I will start taking care of myself,” or “The past was so much better than the present.” You really do not have any other day but today, because yesterday is done and tomorrow is not promised.
When you live in the moment and follow your dreams on a day-by-day basis, you really begin to live, maybe for the first time in your life. No matter how much time you may have wasted in the past, start right now living in today!
I am always fascinated by the power of motivation and how it influences everything in our lives. In order to be successful, you have to get up every morning and tell yourself, “I can do this,” but what makes you do that? What motivates you?
Enthusiasm drives most of the choices we make. Of course, we may also choose to behave a certain way based on our perceptions of responsibility or obligation. We can also even choose to do something because we expect an eventual payoff, such as when we engage in painful exercises in the hope of looking and feeling better at some point in the future. We also make choices in order to avoid pain or a perceived disadvantage, as when we manage to avoid charging something on our credit cards because we do not want to face the big bills.
Ideally, however, ambitious women understand what motivates them from a passionate standpoint. They know the secret of how to tap into that motivation to push themselves to do more.
When the movie Saving Mr. Banks was first released, audiences were fascinated by the story of how Mary Poppins came to be. Walt Disney waited 20 years for the screen rights to that story, but he finally managed to make the movie in 1961. Not only did he know that the movie would be successful but he also knew that children around the world deserved to see it made professionally and beautifully. It was a labor of love for the children of the world, and you better believe Walt Disney was passionate and motivated!
It has been said that you must be passionate about something or disturbed by something in order to be motivated. I believe it is always better to be passionate than to work from a position of negativity, although I realize that negatives can be powerful motivators. Think about how it feels when you look forward to something: the excitement, the physical reaction, the joy you have just thinking of an event. Now think about how you feel when you are facing a relatively unpleasant or boring chore that you could care less about doing. Do you see the difference?