No one wants to feel as though they are wasting their time at work. But being productive is not always easy. If you feel like you could have done more at the end of the day, or you don’t know why you still have a pile of work on your desk each day, you might start to feel frustrated and stressed.
A lack of productivity can stem from a variety of things. Maybe you don’t feel fulfilled at work, or perhaps you are already overly-stressed. Many times, though, it is just a lack of motivation or planning that keeps people from getting more done at work.
Thankfully, there are a few clever hacks that you can use to maximize your productivity and leave each workday feeling more accomplished. Let’s take a look at some of these simple productivity hacks that you can put into practice right away.
1. Write Down Your Most Important Tasks
Even if you are not a fan of to-do lists, one way to end each day feeling more productive is to write down your three Most Important Tasks (MITs) for when you get to work the following morning. These are the things that mean the most to you and perhaps will take the most time and effort. But, if you are able to focus your time and energy on those three things and accomplish them, you will feel more productive and accomplished by the time you leave work. Even if you don’t get to anything else during the day, knocking out the three things that are most important will give you a bit of breathing room and will keep you motivated to do more.
2. Don’t Waste Time Checking Emails
You probably do not keep track of how much time you spend checking your email each day, but it is almost guaranteed to be more time than you think! Whether you are diving into your inbox every few minutes out of habit or you immediately check it as soon as you hear a notification, checking your email without a set schedule can waste a lot of time.
Instead, set specific times during the day to check your email. A good rule of thumb is to check it once in the morning, once around lunchtime, and once before you leave for the day. Chances are, you will still be able to read and respond to everything that you need to, and you will be able to get more done since you are not wasting so much time browsing through your inbox.
3. It’s Okay to Say “No!”
Some people have a harder time saying “no” than others. Unfortunately, if co-workers or even your boss realize you are that type of person, they might take advantage of it. You might find yourself getting asked to do extra projects, stay late, come in early, etc.
And, if you continue to agree to those things, you will have less time to focus on the work that you need to get done. You might have so many things on your plate every day that it feels like you are not making a difference anywhere. So, understand that it is okay to say “no,” especially if you are ever feeling overwhelmed. Say “yes” to the things that you are interested in and passionate about, and avoid being pressured into the things that are not as important.
4. Limit Distractions
In this world of ever-changing technology, it is easy to get distracted at work. You might start by watching a YouTube video or checking social media, and before you know it you have wasted an hour of your time.
There are a few ways to easily limit or even eliminate your distractions at work, but they all take a bit of discipline. If you find yourself looking at your phone throughout the day, the best thing you can do is to put it somewhere else. Hide it in a desk drawer, keep it in your bag, or simply turn it off so that you are not receiving notifications. The “out of sight, out of mind” idea really does work, and if your phone isn’t nearby or lighting up every few minutes, you will be less likely to reach for it.
If you tend to browse the Internet while at work, set up website blockers for sites you like to visit. Or use a different browser that does not have bookmarks of your favorite websites. This will help to keep you on track so that you won’t lose large chunks of time on time draining distractions.
5. Choose the Hardest (or Easiest) Task First
If you go into each workday with a specific strategy, you are more likely to get things accomplished. There are two schools of thought on how to get that done when you are faced with both difficult and easy tasks every day. There is no one “right” way. Really, it depends on what works for you.
For some people, starting with their hardest task of the day is the best option for them. Getting that done can make everything else feel easier, so that you can breeze through it quickly. Plus, you will feel more motivated because you have already accomplished something important. Others do better by starting with the easiest tasks on their list and working their way up. This can help if you have trouble building momentum into your day, or you burn out easily. Again, either strategy can work as long as you implement it each day and make the decision to stick with it. It is okay to experiment to determine which one works best for you.
When you end each workday feeling more accomplished and productive, you will experience less stress, more fulfillment, and more motivation to do it all again the next day. So, keep these hacks in mind to boost your productivity and get the most out of every workday.
50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions
What are existential questions?
Existential questions are usually deep, philosophical questions that question just that — our very existence.
They can be great conversation starters and they can also sometimes make for a passionate discussion. The following existential questions can be a great way to get to know someone better and perhaps even learn new things about yourself.
The word existential comes from the Latin word “existentia”, which means to exist. Existential questions challenge our way of thinking, our beliefs and our perspective.
Is there a right or wrong answer to an existential question? Perhaps not, as each question usually just asks more questions.
I have put together the following list of thought provoking existential questions so that you can perhaps start an internal conversation with yourself or start an interesting debate with your friends.
50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions
1. Are there limits to human creativity?
2. What makes something beautiful?
3. How do we know if we’re doing the right thing?
4. Who am I?
5. What is one thing that every human should get to experience in their life?
6. Do you believe in a power greater than humanity?
7. Are we given enough time?
8. Is privacy a right?
9. What is the best way for a person to attain happiness?
10. Are we alone in the universe?
11. What is love?
12. How would you define genius?
13. What do you think your purpose is?
14. If babies are considered innocent, when do people cease to be innocent?
15. Is it better to expand your knowledge or to deepen it?
16. Why do you think we are here?
17. How important is ‘play’ in living a healthy and fulfilling life?
18. Do you have a right to be happy, or should you earn it?
19. What happens when I die?
20. What worries me the most about the future?
21. What is a person? Is it the mind, or the body?
22. Would the world be a better place if all leaders were women? If you answered yes, why?
23. What activity have I done that has made me feel the most alive?
24. Does truth exist without evidence?
25. If I had to instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would I give?
26. Does a person have a soul? If so, where is it?
27. Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?
28. Is it more important to love or be loved?
29. What would make the world a better place?
30. How should we measure our lives? In years? In moments? In accomplishments? Something else?
31. What is the difference between living and simply existing?
32. If you died today, would you be satisfied with the life you’ve lived?
33. What advice would you tell your younger self?
34. Which is worse: failing or never trying?
35. Is a minimum wage a good idea? What about a maximum wage?
36. What is the most important goal every person should have?
37. Can anything ever really be considered ‘true’ or is everything subjective?
38. Is the world a better place with humans in it?
39. If extra-terrestrial life was discovered, how do you think humanity would react?
40. Is happiness just a mixture of chemicals circulating through our bodies?
41. Where do you think we go when we die?
42. Have I done anything lately worth remembering?
43. Can you ever have full control over your own life?
44. How do you know that you are not dreaming right now?
45. Is one lifetime enough?
46. What matters most in my life?
47. Is a person ever truly evil? If so, are they born that way?
48. What is the meaning of life?
49. Is humanity going in the right or wrong direction?
50. What does it mean to live a good life?
I hope that you enjoyed these thought provoking existential questions. I hope that they perhaps made you think about your beliefs, yourself and the world around you (the bigger picture). If you discuss these questions with a friend, remember, there is probably no right and wrong answers, usually just a matter of opinion.
30 Life Lessons That I Would Tell My Younger Self
I clearly remember when I was 18, then 25 and in then what seems like a flash, I have recently celebrated by 50th birthday. While some people might dread the thoughts of hitting such a milestone. (more…)
7 Habits That Will Hold You Back From Success
You have probably heard of the saying that you are your “own worst enemy.” That has to do with nearly every aspect of personal or professional life. While circumstances, and even other individuals can certainly get in the way of what you achieve, more often than not it is our own habits that can keep us from achieving more success in our lives. (more…)