Clearing your mind and living in the moment isn’t about putting productivity on hold. You can be more profitable with less brain clutter.
If you are like me, you probably find yourself multitasking more, yet feeling like it really isn’t benefiting you. As a society, we’re stressing out about more and accomplishing less, adversely impacting both our mindsets and our productivity.
Most of us think of this as the new normal, and we’ve gotten used to juggling more. The begrudging acceptance of this attitude prevents companies from taking actions needed to keep workers focused and productive.
A stretched-thin, stressed-out workplace is not the workplace of the future. It falls on business managers to change this culture and promote focus and compassion—a concept making the rounds in workplace circles known as “mindfulness.” This is the technique of tuning out the noise and focusing deliberately on what is important.
Studies have found that mindfulness at work can increase engagement, productivity, innovation, and measurable business results. Here are three tips to increasing your mindfulness so that you cross tasks off your list and stress about them less.
If your motto is no new friends, it’s time to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone. The payoff will be worth it.
We all seem to gravitate toward our comfort zones from time to time, and one of the easiest ways to stay there is to spend time with people who are just like us.
These people agree with us, think like us, and have a similar viewpoint on issues. But while this may seem to make our lives easier, there is also a downside.
Only spending time with people like us prevents us from growing, and even though we may be less comfortable hanging around people who are different from us, doing so also helps us to expand in crucial areas.
Here are five benefits of spending time with people who are different from us:
Rather than making a decision when the time comes, if-then planning allows you to plot out your defense ahead of time so that you’ve already made the right decision when the time comes.
Unfortunately, though, we can’t always plan for what’s ahead, which is when our willpower really needs to kick in.
Psychologist Roy F. Baumeister and science writer John Tierney, who wrote a book all about willpower, believe that willpower is like a muscle. It is something that we can build up through the right sustenance and exercise, and it is also something that can get worn out.
Here are some quick tips to boost your mental strength and fortitude:
Does your morning look like Margaret Thatcher’s, or Ben Franklin’s? These routines might inspire you to create your own.
Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, we all start our day at some point. And we all seem to start it differently.
Some of us hop online to check social media, others dive in to email, still others eat breakfast, exercise, or pack lunches for the kids. There’re a million different ways a morning could go.
Which morning routine might be best?
While there’s probably not an ideal morning routine that fits everyone, we can learn a lot from the morning routines of successful people as well as from the research and inspiration behind starting a morning on the right foot.
I collected a wide range of opinions on how best to start a day, from the scientific to the successful. Here’s the best of what I found—maybe it’ll help you get a little more productivity, creativity, and enjoyment out of your morning.
Careful listening, collaboration, asking good questions—these “soft skills” aren’t always taught in school.
Today’s college graduates need every skill-related edge they can get when it comes to applying for and landing a full-time job.
Numerous surveys and reports indicate that recent U.S. college graduates face a wildly competitive job market along with astronomical student loan debt. More than 40% of recent graduates are underemployed and 16% are working part-time jobs, according to Accenture’s 2013 College Graduate Employment Survey.
One employer survey, conducted by staffing company Adecco, indicates that 44% of responding companies cited “soft skills, such as communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration” as the area with “the biggest gap.”
Additionally, a Talent Shortage Survey from ManpowerGroup discovered that nearly one in five employers worldwide is unable to fill positions because they can’t find people with soft skills.
So what are these soft skills—and other critical workplace skills—that are necessary to join today’s collaborative, fast-moving, real-time workforce? Here are five:
You can unplug the Internet and pull the shades—or you can phone a friend.
You’re reaching the frayed ends of over-caffeinated overtime and if your inbox pings one more time, you might throw your laptop at a wall. If you had the time to read a whole self-help book on being overwhelmed, well, you wouldn’t need it, would you?
Using a psychology model of coping mechanisms called selection, optimization, and compensation, the researchers tested each method with a sample of 294 employees and their supervisors. Only one of these strategies actually worked. But first, a review of their definitions:
Do your Internet habits hold you back, or help you succeed?
In theory, technology should increase both work flexibility and productivity, but it is also responsible for procrastination and a major threat to people’s work-life balance.
In fact, much of the recent debate about work-life imbalance is concerned with our relationship with technology, in particular our inability to disconnect or go offline.
For example, in the U.S. almost 50% of working adults report being “hooked” on email, which is estimated to cost the nation’s economy at least $900 billion a year in productivity loss. According to consulting firm McKinsey & Company, professionals spend 28% of their work time reading or answering emails. These statistics explain the international success of bestselling books like The Four Hour Work Week.
Furthermore, even people who manage to keep their email addiction in check are prone to getting hooked on other sites or apps, such as Facebook or Twitter, with a growing number of people trying social media sabbatical, where they detox from these sites for a couple of months or so. Needless to say, our digital excesses may harm not just our productivity but also our personal relationships with others, especially if they demand exclusive attention from the physical world.
So how can we better manage our web-life balance? Here are four practical suggestions you may want to consider:
When you look back at your career, do you see a distinct plan unfolding or a bunch of random connections, chance encounters, and detours?
After working for 25 years, and through trial and error, I finally realized something powerful. I understood and acknowledged that it wasn’t a random set of acts or events that produced the success and joy I have felt in my career.
What I learned in going through challenges, in encountering roadblocks and obstacles, is that I have to be true to myself. These six promises are commitments that I’ve made to myself and mindfully put into practice in every situation that I’ve been in. My advice, from someone who has been there, is to make these six promises and keep them: