10 Time Management Tips To Increase Productivity & Happiness

Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose. Indeed, one of the best ways to feel les...

Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose. Indeed, one of the best ways to feel less afraid is to realize happiness doesn’t come from anything or any person around you. Striking a healthy work-life balance is a difficult challenge even in the best of times, but it is all the more daunting and necessary during times of economic stagnation and uncertainty.

Make happiness a habit to practice unconditional self-love and surround yourself with people who will accurately reflect your intrinsic worth — doing so will provide you with the confidence to weather any fears, which means they're less likely to knock you off track.

Time Management Tips To Increase Productivity & Happiness
Placing responsibility for our personal happiness on other people’s shoulders is a guaranteed fast track to unhappiness and poor time investment. When we believe that our feelings and our power to improve our situation lie within other people’s control, it’s easy to feel bitter, resentful, and downright frustrated with those around us. And when we spend our time thinking about what others should do for us, we’re wasting valuable time and mental space that could be used to solve the issue. We start to believe we have to wait for them to take action, which makes us the victim — and can stall our progress.

Steps to a Work-Life balance to be happy

Achieving a healthy work-life balance requires managing our professional and personal life in sustainable ways that keep our energy flowing, our minds and bodies healthy and our whole selves happy and content.

It means giving due attention to all of the things that enrich and fulfill us including work and career, health and fitness, family and relationships, spirituality, community service, hobbies and passions, intellectual stimulation, rest and recreation.

Do the most important thing first to be productive

Disorder and chaos tend to increase as your day goes on. At the same time, the decisions and choices that you make throughout the day tend to drain your willpower. You’re less likely to make a good decision at the end of the day than you are at the beginning.

I’ve found that this same trend holds true in my workouts as well. As the workout progresses, I have less and less willpower to finish sets, grind out reps, and perform difficult exercises.

For all of those reasons, I do my best to make sure that if there is something important that I need to do, then I do it first.
If I have an important article to write, I grab a glass of water and start typing as soon as I wake up. If there is a tough exercise that I need to do, then I do it at the beginning of each workout.

If you do the most important thing first, then you’ll never have a day when you didn’t get something important done. By following this simple strategy, you will usually end up having a productive day, even if everything doesn’t go to plan. If you actually do the most important thing first each day, it is the only productivity tip you’ll ever need.

Track your time to be more productive

Analyzing your present situation is the beginning step in achieving a balanced life. Keep a time log of everything you do for one week, including work-related and personal activities. This data will serve as an eye-opener, helping you understand how you are using -- and where you are losing -- your time.

Take your vacation to find happiness

Sometimes making time for yourself means taking a vacation and shutting work completely off.

"A vacation could be a 15-minute walk around the block without looking at your phone, or a vacation could be two or three weeks traveling with family/friends," Stone said. "It’s important to take a step back to physically and mentally recharge. If you are surrounded by good people at work, a vacation should be easy to take."

Choose a well-balanced diet

Making healthy choices about your diet can make you feel emotionally stronger. You're doing something positive for yourself, which lifts your self-esteem.
A good diet helps your brain and body work efficiently, too. Aim to have a balanced diet that includes all the main food groups.  

Take Care of Your Health

Your health should always be your No. 1 priority. If you are not in good shape physically, mentally, and emotionally, both your work life and your personal life will suffer. Take care of yourself by eating healthy meals (especially breakfast), exercise at least three times per week and sleep a minimum of seven hours per night. While you may not think you have time to add exercise and extra sleep to your jam-packed schedule, these practices relieve stress, raise your energy level, increase your stamina, improve your mental clarity, boost your immune system, and make you a happier, more engaged, and more productive person. Additionally, refrain from the excessive use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to relieve stress. These substances only tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause even more problems. 

Don't be afraid to unplug

We live in a connected world that never sleeps. Turning off from the outside world provides time to recover from weekly stress.

"It also gives us space to let other thoughts and ideas surface. When you are always on, you don't allow other things to surface that might be more important," Stone said. "I meditate each morning for 10 minutes, which provides me with a great start to my day."

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Find purpose and meaning in life

Everyone derives meaning and purpose in different ways that involve doing things that benefit others, as well as yourself. You may think of it as a way to feel needed, feel good about yourself, a purpose that drives you on, or simply a reason to get out of bed in the morning. In biological terms, finding meaning and purpose is essential to brain health as it can help generate new cells and create new neural pathways in the brain. It can also strengthen your immune system, alleviate pain, relieve stress, and keep you motivated to pursue the other steps to better mental and emotional health. However you derive meaning and purpose in life, it’s important to do those things every day.

If you've made consistent efforts to improve your mental and emotional health and still aren’t functioning optimally at home, work, and in your relationships, it may be time to seek professional help. Following these self-help steps will still be beneficial, though. In fact, input from a caring professional can often help to motivate us to do more for ourselves than we’re able to do alone.

Set Specific Goals

Take your list of priorities and turn them into concrete and measurable goals. Block time into your schedule for activities just like you would for an important meeting or a doctor's appointment.
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Work Smarter Not Harder

Using time more efficiently is an important skill that everyone from the receptionist to the CEO can learn. Adopting the right combination of time-management practices can cut stress and save you up to an hour a day. This can include the use of technology to become more organized, grouping emails and voice messages, avoiding procrastination and learning to say "no."

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