Where Time Gets Lost at Work (And How to Get It Back)

wheretimegetslostatwork

We’ve all been there: heads down on an important project, cranking away, and then  woosh. You fly into a meeting. And then woosh, you fly into another meeting. Your stomach grumbles. It’s lunchtime. You decide to work at your desk so you can keep cranking on that project. But then ping, there’s a message from your manager. You have to drop everything and help put out a (digital) fire. By the time you get back to your important project, it’s 6 p.m. and everyone is packing up to go home.

What the heck happened to the day?!?

If you believe in the supernatural, you might be tempted to think that a Bermuda Triangle-esque time warp has opened up in your office, and you’ve been unwillingly sucked into its swirling vortex of temporal confusion.

But for a more scientific answer to the question, the team at Scoro has got you covered. Their infographic highlights some of the workday’s biggest time-wasters, along with suggestions for how you can avoid them.

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https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/why-how-where-our-time-gets-lost-at-work-infographic

8 Top Tips for Being Productive

 

9 Smart Ways to Stay Motivated All Day

StayMotivatedOver a century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt delivered a now-famous address that immediately cemented its place in the Motivational Speech Hall of Fame.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,” Roosevelt said. “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming.”

Well … yeah. Roosevelt was right — decisions are made (and victories claimed) by those who show up. But maintaining that kind of resilience day in and day out is easier said than done. On days when you’ve been pummeled with one setback after another and have worked 12 hours straight with no end in sight, how do you keep going?

You could quit. Or you could read on for nine ways to buck yourself up and work through it.

9 Easy Exercises for Staying Motivated All Day

1) Keep a Running List of Wins to Refer Back to When the Going Gets Tough

HubSpot sales rep Greg Fung has a simple, ingenious way of keeping discouragement at bay. Fung keeps an Evernote list of all the sales deals he feels he’s unjustly lost — the “wrongs” — along with their value, and does the same with his sales wins and job-related “gifts.”

“Keeping a record of where I’ve been ‘wronged’ actually helps me mentally release the negativity,” Fung says. “And more importantly, when I tally up the dollar amounts for both columns, I find that my ’rights’ far outweigh the ‘wrongs.’”

2) Set the Right Mood with the Right Music

Our environment can have a huge impact on our moods, and while you can’t control the weather or the traffic, you can set the right tone with music. There’s real science behind the way we react to different types of music — for example, research suggests that video game soundtracks improve concentration, while nature sounds could enhance cognitive function.

3) Pump Yourself Up with a Motivational Video

For some of us, a song just might not cut it — maybe you need a more direct message, or maybe you (like me) can quickly tune out music as background noise.

4) Set a Morning Routine

Your willpower is strongest in the morning, so start your days off right. Making a routine of the things you need (or want) to do each morning will make it easier to get through the rest of your day, because you’ll be starting every day having accomplished something.

5) Knock Out a Few Quick Wins in the First Half Hour of Each Day

This one requires reframing how you view a “win.” It doesn’t have to be a successful connect call — leaving a great voicemail or sending a good prospecting email are both small, yet significant, things you can celebrate.

While you should always be working on improving your weak areas, there’s no reason to start your days discouraged. Prioritizing the things you’re great at allows you to start off your day strong and puts you in the right frame of mind to stay positive and focused.

6) Start Your Most Difficult Task the Day Before

Oftentimes, the hardest part of completing a difficult project is simply to get started. When I write long blog posts like this one, I don’t try to complete it all in one fell swoop — even though I could, it’s not the way I prefer to work. The psychological burden of knowing I have to research, outline, write, and format a post all in one day causes me to procrastinate and dread starting.

But I’ve found a system that circumvents this problem. I spend the last part of each day researching and outlining the posts I’m going to write the next day, so that when I head into the office each day to write I know I’m not starting from scratch. This technique accomplishes two things:

  1. Outlining requires less brainpower than writing. Outlining posts the day before keeps me productive at the end of my day, when my willpower is drained and it’s harder for me to focus.
  2. I can dive straight into the most challenging part of my day as soon as I sit down. This sets the tone for the rest of my day and keeps me moving forward instead of getting sidetracked or discouraged.

If you have a big meeting you need to prepare for or a major project you have work on tomorrow, start it today or create a plan for how you’re going to tackle it. You’ll be amazed by how much more you accomplish when you do a little prep work.

7) Do Something Every Day that Makes You Happy

We don’t procrastinate because we’re lazy or have poor work ethic — generally, it’s because we’re unhappy. In Temptation: Finding Self-Control in an Age of Excess, journalist and public policy scholar Daniel Akst wrote that ultimately, “procrastination is a mood-management technique.”

Build some simple joys into your routine. Take time out of your schedule every month to volunteer for a cause that matters to you, put on a favorite piece of music while you’re brushing your teeth, or do something as simple as packing a lunchtime treat for yourself in the morning.

8) Reward Yourself

In his landmark study, Ivan Pavlov trained a dog to salivate at the sound of a bell by ringing it every time he brought the dog food. While I certainly don’t mean to compare you to a dog, you can hack your brain the same way to great effect.

“Research shows that rewards are responsible for three-quarters of why you do things,” neuroscience blogger Eric Barker writes. “So treat yourself whenever you complete something on your to-do list.”

9) Use the “Chameleon Effect” to Get Inspired

1-800-GOT-JUNK? founder Brian Scudamore uses the chameleon effect to feed off the energy of a particularly focused or driven employee when he’s feeling distracted. Simply by sitting next to his more focused colleague, Scudamore is able to mentally reset and get himself back on track.

Feeling down at work? Go find the most enthusiastic, motivated person you know — the one who bleeds your company colors, always seems to have a new side hustle, and actually follows through. Grab coffee with them and feed off their good energy.

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/motivation-exercises

7 Simple Hacks to Kickstart a Productive Day

KickstartDay

Ever wish you could flip a switch to activate your motivation? Some days are just more of a struggle than others. We get it. We’ve been there. 

And while there’s no magic switch, there are quite a few things you can do to get yourself going — especially in the morning.

Willing to give it a try? Start your mornings off right and set yourself up for a productive day with these seven quick morning motivation exercises.

7 Morning Motivation Rituals

1) Get up early.

Research shows that early risers are more successful, more proactive, better planners, and better at anticipating problems. Not to mention that many uber-successful people also get to the office uber-early. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour is out of bed by 5:45 a.m., GE CEO Jeff Immelt gets up at 5:30 a.m., Xerox CEO Ursula Burns at 5:15 a.m., and Apple CEO Tim Cook sets his alarm for as early as 3:45 a.m. to get a jump start on their days.

Yes, waking up early gives you more time to work, but there are other benefits as well. You’ll be able to eat a healthy breakfast (see #2), fit in a workout (#4), or even spend time doing an activity that’s not work-related (#7). The more time you give yourself in the mornings, the less you’ll have to rush and the more ready you’ll be to tackle the day.

Not an early riser? Not to worry — here are 19 tips for becoming more of a morning person.

2) Eat a good breakfast.

You are what you eat. According to research from the Health Enhancement Research Organization, people who have consistently healthy diets are 25% more likely to have high job performance and 20% more likely to be more productive. Plus, if you eat a lousy meal or no breakfast at all, you’ll be hungry all morning — and it’s difficult to concentrate when you’re not feeling at your best.

My colleague Lindsay Kolowich put together this infographic on the best foods to eat to keep you on your game. Eat eggs, bananas, yogurt, or blueberries for breakfast to start your day off right. 

3) Optimize your alarm.

Your surroundings have a huge effect on your mood, and while you can’t control the weather, whether you have enough hot water in the morning, or if there will be traffic (another reason to get up early!), you can control your alarm clock.

The right wake-up call can set the tone for your entire day, so get rid of the traditional grating beeps and replace your alarm with a song that fits the mood you’d like to wake up in. Classical music is hypothesized to increase your intelligence, pump-up songs like Queen’s “We Will Rock You” make you feel more powerful, and “feel-good” songs improve your mood by actually causing your brain to release more dopamine.

If you’re not sure where to start, my colleague Carly Stec has compiled six playlists for you, each of which corresponds with a specific mood and different productivity-boosting effect.

4) Work out.

It goes without saying that exercise is good for you. Exercise increases the production of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that decrease the risk of depression and improve your mood and long-term memory, respectively. Exercising in the morning forces you to wake up earlier, gives you a totally natural mood-booster, and increases your energy.

And exercise has benefits beyond improving your mood. A 2006 study showed that regular physical exercise led to increases in willpower and self-regulatory behavior.

5) Start with “why.”

It’s hard to get excited about getting out of bed in the mornings when you’re not totally sold on what you’re getting up for. And even if you love everything about your job, the daily grind can make it hard to keep your eye on the prize all the time.

Boost your intrinsic motivation — behavior driven by the enjoyment of a task — to keep yourself going. Intrinsic motivation is a more powerful force than extrinsic motivation, which drives you to act because of incentives like money, recognition, or praise. Remind yourself why you got into sales — for example, you could tape a list to your bathroom mirror and reach for it at the start of each day, or write down one thing you’re excited about every night to read the next morning. The important thing is to be able to quickly remind yourself of what drives you to be great at your job.

6) Remind yourself of your wins.

It’s all well and good to know that you love sales because you believe in your product, but on days when you’ve dealt with rude prospects, been reprimanded by your boss, or lost a big deal you’ve been chasing for weeks, you’re going to need a more concrete reminder.

Greg Fung, a HubSpot sales rep, keeps a list of wins and losses in an Evernote document that he refers to when he’s having a bad day.

“Keep your list handy and add to it as new good and bad incidents come your way,” Fung says. “You’ll be surprised by how quickly the ‘rights’ outpace the ‘wrongs,” and you now have a great tool to lean on during tough times.”

To adapt this exercise for a boost of morning motivation, keep a “master list” of your biggest wins and keep it on your nightstand or somewhere easily accessible so you can refer to it on mornings when you just don’t want to go into the office.

7) Do something that makes you happy.

Breaking news: We do better at work when we’re happy in our personal lives.

Multiple studies have shown that happiness is closely correlated with job performance, and of course, happiness is closely tied to our personal health as well.

So set aside some time each morning to do something that makes you happy. Whether it’s reading a chapter from your favorite book, spending 30 minutes on a side project, or just eating a really, really good breakfast sandwich, if you dedicate time to improving your personal life, it’ll pay dividends in your career as well.

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/kickstart-productivity

Feeling Unmotivated at Work? 7 Ways to Get Back in the Groove

Do you ever find yourself struggling to feel motivated at work? Perhaps you’re bored or tired. Or maybe you just don’t see the point in what you’re doing.

It can be really hard to focus and get your work done — let alone do it well — when you’re feeling unmotivated. Luckily, though, there are things you can do about it.

Check out the infographic below from ProEssayWriter to learn about the seven most common reasons people feel unmotivated at work — and how to fix them. You’ll be back on your A-game in no time.

 





http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/stay-motivated-at-work