It’s a fact of life that in big cities and because of constant changes in our lives we have to constantly commute from one place to another, be it in a car, public transportation, planes, trains, or buses. The time we invest in moving from place to place either for business or pleasure is always getting longer and most people consider all that travel time as lost time and end up wasting it.
What can I do?
There are many ways to use all that time for our benefit, here we will talk about some of them and about some tips that will help us make the most of each minute.
An excellent use of the commute is to keep ourselves up to date with books that will support your development or that count as continuing education. Whether you prefer to hold a physical book or to listen to an audio book, either one will offer you an excellent opportunity to continue learning about subjects that interest you while you commute from place to place, the advantage of audio books is that you...
Last week we talked about the importance of taking a good vacation, since it relieves stress, helps improve your mental health which allows you to be more creative, and find sources of inspiration to solve problems, a lot of them even beyond “normal” solutions or as we say, think outside the box.
However, it is also true that the day before we have to go back to work, we start experiencing anxiety just thinking about all the things we will have to do as soon as we get back: the number of emails we have to check, get up to date on several things we have to deal with and catch up on the meetings we did not attend, plus the work that probably piled during that week.
This is precisely one of the reasons why many people think twice about going on vacation since they know what’s going to be waiting for them when they come back, or maybe they decide not to completely disconnect to somehow reduce the work load once back from vacation.
How often do you take vacation days from work? Your answer will probably be “Not often enough”. You’re now probably thinking back on the last few years and about what you have done to enjoy those well-deserved vacations that are the result of years at the job. Do you really plan your vacations to spend with your family, or do you just take a day off here and there when you have some type of emergency?
This time we will talk about the importance of taking days off to rest and to use those days to recharge your energy, relieve stress, and to do things you normally cannot. You don’t have to go to another city or country to have a real vacation. There are people who plan trips with their families and there are people who prefer to stay at home, rest, and make improvements or renovations they normally don’t have time for.
What’s important is that you completely disconnect from work and that you spend the time doing...
A few weeks ago we talked about the importance of sharpening the saw, as Stephen Covey describes in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, regarding habit #7 and we talked about the importance of learning every day, keeping current. Don’t do what others do, leaving it for later because the truth is that, if we do not make the commitment and include it in our weekly to-do list, it’s not going to happen.
And what will happen if we don’t do it? Well, it will just continue to have a negative impact on our productivity levels as well as on our short and long term efficiency.
That negative impact can be financial as well as on our health and other aspects of our life. Financial in the sense, as we said in the Excel spreadsheet example, of not knowing the program very well, which causes us to take a lot longer to do calculations or build a project than if we were to do it using the systematized functions built into the tool. For...
We have talked about topics related to productivity and to concentrate on the tasks that will help us advance towards meeting our objectives faster, but there’s another important factor that will help us reduce the time it takes us to perform a specific activity. Especially when talking about repetitive activities like preparing a report, doing some sort of evaluation, filling out a survey, organizing paperwork, creating forms, etc. These are activities that, although we don’t have to do them daily, we most likely encounter them once or twice a month.
The idea of this factor is that we become experts in those types of activities so that each time we perform them with less effort and in less time, and this will allow us to invest more time in those activities we’re not so familiar with or where there is no specific starting point due to the nature of the task.
Most continuous improvement methodologies focus on organizations. ...
Between work and personal obligations, reaching our goals and meeting them may seem difficult, however, creating an efficient list of tasks is one of the first steps to achieve our goals and objectives.
Many of us are drowning in the amount of things we have to do. We live in a world of calls, constant messages, notifications and tasks that compete for our attention. We are swimming in a constant source of stress.
When we finally go to sleep, instead of feeling satisfied, most of us are thinking about what we could NOT do during the day, how our time was trying to do something and how we will have to recover the day morning.
This is why today is more important than ever, really crucial, to SIMPLIFY.
The answer may seem simple, but it is not. We need to define what things we should focus on.
As you prepare for your day, you will probably review the list of tasks you must complete, the number of places you should go and the people you need to see.
Your to-do list...
It is common that in a normal day we find an endless number of tasks that we must or want to carry out. We have activities related to work, family, social activities, entertainment, among others. It becomes complicated to be able to attend everything that is presented to us on a day-to-day basis in addition to the overdue tasks that we drag from the previous days.
It becomes even more complicated when we don’t have an agenda or do not prioritize the day's activities to select which are the most important ones and will bring us the best results. To avoid the stress caused by the lack of planning what you must do is attack the tasks as soon as possible.
As you must have heard before, you should do the activities with the highest priority first, and choose which activities are more urgent and which are more important. We will not always be able to do them in the order that we decided, since emergencies arise daily that we must...
Stephen Covey, in his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", one of the bestselling books internationally, talks about the importance of training and development, he calls it: Sharpening the saw.
What does the concept of Sharpen the Sierra mean?
He defines it as seeking continuous improvement and professional and personal renewal, that is, preserving and improving the most important asset you have: YOURSELF.
He mentions that it is important to have a balanced program of self-renewal in what he calls the four areas of your life:
Physical. Through good nutrition, exercise and rest.
Social / Emotional. Making social and meaningful connections with others.
Mental. Through learning, reading, writing and teaching
Spiritual. Spend time with nature, expand your spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer or service.
He says that renewing in each of the four areas will create growth and change in our lives. It keeps us fresh to be able to obtain better results in...
Many of us know from a young age what we want to be when we grow up, and although many times they are just simple fantasies, as we grow up we adapt that idea to what is most interesting to us in each phase of our lives.
The more we grow up, we also develop abilities and aptitudes that make us perfect for an activity and move us further away from the possibility of being good at others, both physical and mental abilities separate each person and make them unique and perfect for a specific activity.
“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why”.
No one likes to be the villain, very often we find ourselves saying YES when asked to do something, because we feel obligated to do so, or because we are the type of person who likes to please, although we really want to say no, since we already know that if we commit ourselves to do even more things, other activities that are important to us will end up being neglected.
Maybe, you are going to tell me, how am I going to say no to my boss, who is asking me to finish this by tomorrow?, or to my friend that’s asking me for a favor?, or to so and so that’s asking me for this and that, etc. etc. etc.?
But honestly, between your job, your projects for this year, and your daily obligations, you have very little time to do all the things you want and need to do, imagine if you add more?
We may think that the things we want to do for ourselves can be set aside, in order to deal with this new commitment, but let me tell you something, that is the worst mistake!
For example, many...