By Amanda Hill
Blog Content Contributor
Have you ever looked for guidance on the internet? With the amount of resources available to us it can be easy to not know where to begin. Just a simple Google search results in pages and pages of information. I think I have read about 50+ articles on how to write a proper blog post, each describing the “proper way” a little differently. The reality is, there is bias in each article you read and each will influence your perception in different ways, which can get confusing.
There are only 24 hours in a day, and we often do not accomplish everything. It is common to hear in the workforce that “everything is a priority so, therefore nothing is a real priority.” Who wants to live life confused on their priorities and unable to accomplish anything meaningful? The first step to being more productive is to simplify your life by de-cluttering. Devise daily, weekly, monthly, and annual goals for yourself and have a planner to guide you through the process of achieving these goals. Write everything down to continually be reminded of what you need to accomplish each day.
The second step is to focus. My major covers a broad range subjects including: system analysis, application development, security, and business development. I found myself trying to master all of these subjects only to end up very stressed out because there was never enough time in the day to learn everything. My solution… focus on one subject. I mastered one particular subject that I felt would differentiate me from the competition and what I truly enjoyed doing.
Our minds become cluttered when we do not take a break. When is the last time you actually took a second to sit, uninterrupted, and think? A professor of mine advised that deep thinking will enhance you ability to solve a problem. In addition to that thought, I read an article that discussed the pros and cons of having Google available at our finger tips. This is why the third step is to try to put our smart phones and laptops away when we need answers. Turning immediately to Google for advise may help us be more knowledgable, but it may be affecting our memory and ability to actually think for ourselves. With multiple resources available to us 24/7 it can be challenging to resist the internet and do our own independent thinking. Rodger Dean Duncan, a contributor on Forbes, states that “the ‘do more with less’ challenge presents a golden opportunity for smart, proactive people”. It may be time to go on a technology cleanse to regroup our thoughts, become more productive, and discover what’s important to us without distractions.
Lastly, it’s okay to say no. Saying no could be the hardest thing to do of all because we are constantly trying to avoid disappointing others, and ourselves. Keep in mind that saying yes is going to put that load on you. If you know you should decline a responsibility, but feel guilty about it, you can try giving a brief explanation as to why you have to decline. More than likely, people will understand and not fault you for being honest with yourself and with them. You can never please everyone; so, it is necessary to only take on responsibilities that you know you can fulfill and will not negatively impact you.
The purpose of doing more with less is ultimately avoiding “fake work”. Fake work is a term that is associated with work that doesn’t contribute to achieving your goals, or work that is started and not finished. Fake work consumes your time, prohibits your overall productivity, and actually keep you from reaching your goals. As Rodger Duncan states, “don’t mistake activity for results”. It is about discovering what is truly important. As Martin Fischer states, “knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies their simplification”.
Right now we should all stop, breathe deeply and think deeply.