Simple tips for getting work done


While I talk to students there is one complain I hear, and that is  not having enough time in a day to learn something new  and they are always distracted by friends or TV or other activities. I always wonder what will happen to them when they start working in a very challenging work environment when they get hired. Modern work is very challenging and at the same time companies are trying to squeeze more work from employees in less time.  During the day you will be constantly distracted by emails from colleagues, friends and others. You will be called into meetings. You will be disturbed by people walking to your cubicle and chatting with you.You may be tempted to watch a new song or video online or shop for something online. Your friends want to go to a movie with you.  All these consume time , that otherwise you might be spending on finishing the work/studies  you supposed to finish that day.

When you are not prepared for that kind of environment then you will end up frustrated, ruin your health as tensions rise with approaching deadlines of finishing work on time. Also Many of us ignore the signals body sends as we get immersed in stressful work environment. 

In order to achieve what you planned to do you need to focus on that task only.

So let’s see how to be effective with time we have in a day and save ourselves from ruining our health or frustrated for not able to do enough in a day. In the age of distractions what research and one Harvard professor  said is that you should break your day time into intervals of 90/60/30 minutes with 5/10 minutes of break. For 90/60/30 minutes you should only focus on the most urgent work by not getting distracted from any kind of activities that distracts you. That 90/60/30 minutes you should have  patience, attention to details, concentration, and should have reverence for the moment.  Then take a break of 5 to 10 minutes go enjoy the nature or do yoga,spend time with friends,  play a instrument or take a walk or do something that won’t consume more than that 5 or 10 minutes and keeps your mind pleasant for the next 90  or 60 or 30  minute time slot work or studies.

There is no hard and fast rule that you should slot your day into 90 minutes schedules only. It can be 60 minutes of intense work/ studies and a 5/10 minutes break. Scheduling the time slots is up to you. If you can focus witout distraction for 90 minutes then you can do the 90 minutes rule. Without a doubt focus and concentration are the keys to productivity. It has been shown that when we come off a task or are distracted it can take a substantial amount of time to get back on task. You cannot really manage time, but you can manage yourself with this kind of planning.  This is especially helpful if you have several competing priorities and need to focus on one at a time.

With this kind of planning you can achieve 12 hours of work in 4 to 5 hours of time depending on what  kind of challenging work /studies you are involved in.

Here are the links for learning more on this techniques of time management   http://pomodorotechnique.com/ and

http://elembee.com/time-management-for-creatives/

https://forum.quantifiedself.com/thread-my-pomodoro-experiment

http://99u.com/articles/7032/a-day-without-distraction-lessons-learned-from-12-hrs-of-forced-focus

Your 5 to 10 minutes breaks can be used for improving health. Check this info http://www.escardio.org/about/press/press-releases/pr-11/Pages/Sedentary-time-EHJ.aspx

Office manners


Bad manners can severely damage your reputation and effectiveness as an employee and can reflect poorly on your company.  In today’s culturally diverse workforce, the chances of saying or doing “the wrong thing” are much greater than ever before. Sometimes because of your behavior you may loose your job or may not get promotions until you fix your behavior.

The changing business environment demands that employees on all levels master the principles of etiquette as quickly and thoroughly as possible in order to avoid the serious ramifications of inappropriate behavior, poor judgment, or cultural insensitivity.  Here is the list of things you need to be aware off and change your habits.

  1. You are in an important meeting and you are always on your mobile and ignoring people around you. Technology, which was supposed to make our lives easier, has increased expectations on our productivity. Work load is very high and time given to you will be  shorter, and you are required to handle multiple situations and tasks but you should never ignore people around you who are expecting you to participate in the meeting.
  2. You have a loud voice and you are shouting to your peak in the mobile phone ignoring your colleagues who are working quietly.
  3. You use the office kitchen and don’t wash the utensils that you used.   You fill up the office refrigerator with your food and forgot to remove it after several weeks. The fridge smells bad and it reflects on your callous attitude.
  4. Forgetting a name of a person you just got introduced to within few minutes of introduction.
  5. Forwarding company confidential email to a wrong person or to wrong company, or outsiders and not able to realize about it. This one will bring you a lot of trouble if you are not paying good attention to whom you are forwarding or talking to about company affairs. Be very watchful when you talk about confidential information to outsiders or even your close outside friends.
  6. You are in a meeting and forgot to switch off your cell phone and it started ringing loudly disturbing the meeting.
  7. Your lunch which has onions or garlic or strong smelling ingredient  can cause bad smell in your mouth that  your co-workers are unable to bear.
  8. Be observant and ask questions.  When traveling internationally, notice how people act, dress, and treat each other.
  9. Think before you speak.  Avoid slang.  Stay away from controversial subjects like politics and religion, unless, of course, your host brings up the subject but be aware whether you are in business meeting or personal meeting. While on company meeting be polite and divert the attention back to work from politics or religion.
  10. Keep an open mind.  Be aware that something as simple as a handshake differs from culture to culture.  In some countries, eye contact may be kept to a minimum as a way of showing  respect.  And don’t be surprised if someone greets you with a kiss on the cheek.
  11. Never refuse hospitality when it is offered.  In most cases your international host will offer you water, coffee or tea.  Gladly accept their offer, even if you are not thirsty.  By not doing so, you run the risk of insulting him/her.
  12. Appreciate the differences.  Don’t compare living standards of your country. with those of your international hosts.  There’s nothing wrong with being proud of where you live, but boasting and comparing can be counterproductive to establishing a successful relationship.
  13. Be apprised of world events.  You don’t have to be an expert in international affairs, but it is helpful to know the basics, like what foods your visitors or hosts enjoy, what holidays are observed in their country, and a lot about rules of the country and their favorite sports.
  14. Learn a few phrases that connects you to your international friends and make them comfortable talking to you .  Learn at least a few common phrases before traveling abroad Your efforts will be appreciated.
  15. When on international projects or in a different country do mix with other nationals as much as possible and try learning about their culture and habits. You may end up  becoming best friends for ever.

Some ideas to rectify the problems  you may have noticed in your personality while reading some of the above points are as follows.

Return to Courtesy
When confronting a colleague about his or her annoying behavior, focus on solving the problem and maintaining the relationship rather than venting your anger or embarrassing the other person. Speak to them in private and sort out the matter as quickly as possible.

Ask the bad mannered employee if he/she was aware of the effect his/her actions had on others and discuss possible solutions.

Start viewing your actions from the perspective of those around you so that you don’t create the same trouble to others.

However, even the most self-aware person can have blind spots, so ask a trusted colleague or good friend if there are areas in which you can improve. If you’re the boss, get feedback via anonymous surveys from your staff. You might also consider hiring a coach to shadow you.

And quit multitasking. Not only is it insulting to others, but it doesn’t work–research has shown that multitasking reduces both your effectiveness and your efficiency.

Finally, make sure the words “please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome” are a regular part of your vocabulary. Just saying “Thanks, great job” can make a world of difference and that brings smile to other person”s lips.

if you have any questions contact us via a comment on this blog. Keep reading the blogs just written for betterment of your life.