by Ciara Conlon
The word productivity on the outset may appear like a word reserved for the business community, but the reality is that productivity can be a benefit to each and every one of us. We all need to get things done and if we can organise ourselves in such a way that we get what we need to get done efficiently, quickly and with the least stress possible it can improve our quality of life, our health and our wellbeing.
Modern life is full of responsibilities, demands, hassles and frustrations. If you find yourself regularly feeling overwhelmed or with too much to do, you are likely to suffer from stress. Stress can make you feel angry, irritable, or withdrawn, different people respond in different ways. Long term exposure to stress can be very serious and people can suffer from reduced immune function, high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack and stokes and many more.
It is important to learn how to manage and control your stress. Learning how to organize yourself better can help you to take control of your life and get things done. Here are some of the things that I do when my life is demanding:
1. Clear the Clutter
Decluttering involves clearing your life and your space of all the unnecessary items in your life. It helps to clear the mind and make way for greater things to come. Organizational Expert Barbara Hemphill describes clutter as postponed decisions. A clean environment allows you to feel more in control, fosters creativity and greater focus to name but a few of the benefits.
2. Reassess Goals
When you have too much to do it is easy to get confused about what is highest priority. Redefining your goals will help you with this. Whether you work for yourself, for an organisation or simply need to organise your home life. Having goals or knowing the goals of your organisation will help you to decide what you should be working on. A question I often ask myself when I get side-tracked by different ideas and projects is the following: “What one thing if completed this week/month/year will make me the happiest?” This helps me to decide what I need to work on next to make this happen.
3. Organize and Schedule Work
“If you fail to plan you plan to fail” Remember these words of Peter Drucker, what gets scheduled gets done. If you don’t already do it, get yourself a diary or use an online calendar such as Google Calendar. By scheduling your work and planning your tasks you will feel more in control of your life and your work and you are much more likely to get things done.
4. Exercise and Healthy Eating
When Richard Branson was asked at an interview what his number one productivity tip was he replied “Workout”. Regular exercise improves the mood by stimulating brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. Exercise can also decrease stress hormones like cortisol.
To learn how healthy eating can help you be more productive check out this article by Linda How Productive is your Diet
Taking on board these tips will help you to take control of your life, and stay healthy and stress free.
Ciara Conlon is a personal productivity coach and author. You can read more from Ciara at her blog Productivity and Positivity (Getting things done with a smile) or sign up for her free eBook Clear the Clutter Find your Life.