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8 Things Productive People Do During the Workday

by Ilya Pozin

Forget about your job title or profession – everyone is looking for ways to be more productive at work. It’s time to set down your gallon-sized container of coffee, toss out your three-page to-do list, and put an end to those ridiculously long emails you’ve been sending.

Experiencing a highly productive workday can feel euphoric. But contrary to popular belief, simply checking tasks off your to-do list isn’t really an indication of productivity. Truly productive people aren’t focused on doing more things; this is actually the opposite of productivity. If you really want to be productive, you’ve got to make a point to do fewer things.

Recently I spoke with project management and productivity genius Tony Wong to find out the secret to a more productive workday. He provided me with some excellent insight into what he and other like-minded productive individuals do during their work week.

Harness your productivity by taking note of these eight things:

1. Create a smaller to-do list. Getting things accomplished during your workday shouldn’t be about doing as much as possible in the sanctioned eight hours. It may be hard to swallow, but there’s nothing productive about piling together a slew of tasks in the form of a checklist. Take a less-is-more approach to your to-do list by only focusing on accomplishing things that matter.

2. Take breaks. You know that ache that fills your brain when you’ve been powering through tasks for several hours? This is due to your brain using up glucose. Too many people mistake this for a good feeling, rather than a signal to take a break. Go take a walk, grab something to eat, workout, or meditate – give your brain some resting time. Achieve more productivity during your workday by making a point to regularly clear your head. You’ll come back recharged and ready to achieve greater efficiency.

3. Follow the 80/20 rule. Did you know that only 20 percent of what you do each day produces 80 percent of your results? Eliminate the things that don’t matter during your workday: they have a minimal effect on your overall productivity. For example, on a project, systematically remove tasks until you end up with the 20 percent that gets the 80 percent of results.

4. Start your day by focusing on yourself. If you begin your morning by checking your email, it allows others to dictate what you accomplish. Set yourself in the right direction by ignoring your emails and taking the morning to focus on yourself, eat a good breakfast, meditate, or read the news.

5. Take on harder tasks earlier in the day. Knock out your most challenging work when your brain is most fresh. Save your busy work – if you have any – for when your afternoon slump rolls in.

6. Pick up the phone. The digital world has created poor communication habits. Email is a productivity killer and usually a distraction from tasks that actually matter. For example, people often copy multiple people on emails to get it off their plate – don’t be a victim of this action. This distracts everyone else by creating noise against the tasks they’re trying to accomplish and is a sign of laziness. If you receive an email where many people are CC’d, do everyone a favor by BCCing them on your reply. If your email chain goes beyond two replies, it’s time to pick up the phone. Increase your productivity by scheduling a call.

7. Create a system. If you know certain things are ruining your daily productivity, create a system for managing them. Do you check your emails throughout the day? Plan a morning, afternoon, and evening time slot for managing your email. Otherwise, you’ll get distracted from accomplishing more important goals throughout the day.

8. Don’t confuse productivity with laziness. While no one likes admitting it, sheer laziness is the No. 1 contributor to lost productivity. In fact, a number of time-saving methods – take meetings and emails for example – are actually just ways to get out of doing real work. Place your focus on doing the things that matter most as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Remember, less is more when it comes to being productive during the workday.

What’s your secret to productive workdays?

About Ilya Pozin:

Founder of Ciplex. Columnist for Inc, Forbes & LinkedIn. Gadget lover, investor, mentor, husband, father, and ’30 Under 30′ entrepreneur. Follow Ilya below to stay up-to-date with his articles and updates!

 

 

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Three Neuromarketing Questions and Answers to Help Your Business Succeed

Have you ever wondered why some companies succeed and others do not? With all of the money and time that can be spent on sales and marketing, how do you choose which strategy leads to making that all-important sale?

The key is actually all in your mind—quite literally, as a matter of fact. Are you not sure where this is going? Marketing messages that are optimized for the human brain will deliver the greatest impact. The following are three frequently asked questions about the concept and amazing power of neuromarketing.

• What is neuromarketing?

Neuromarketing is essentially using sales and marketing techniques that appeal directly to the human brain on a biological level. To understand how consumers make buying decisions, you must first understand the brain and how it works.

According to scientists, the human brain has 3 different parts.

1. The “New” Brain “thinks” and rules rational thought

2. The“Middle” Brain “feels” and processes emotions

3. The “Reptilian” Brain “decides” and responds by instinct

According to neuromarketing experts, the Reptilian Brain, the oldest part of the brain,  plays a key role in all decision-making.

• How can I use this powerful phenomenon?

There are four steps to effective neuromarketing.

1. You must do what is called “diagnose the pain.” 

Due to the fact that the Reptilian Brain is mostly concerned with survival, you have to show this aspect of the mind that there is a problem/need that needs to be solved/met. (And, of course, your product or service is what will fix it.)

2. You will need to “differentiate your claims.” 

The Reptilian Brain seeks out novelty in order to choose between one item and another. It is of the utmost importance that you can say how and why your product/service is different than a competitor’s product/service; this will help the Reptilian Brain of the customer see your business as special and thus make the decision to buy from you.

3. You will need to “demonstrate the gain.”

This step requires that you show your potential customer how they can benefit from choosing your item or service over all others. You will need to show that your company offers a value that others do not. This makes it more convincing to the Reptilian Brain.

4. You will need to close the deal.

The combination of these three steps culminates in “delivering to the Reptilian Brain,” or closing the deal. This final step creates a condition that makes the mental atmosphere favorable for you to swoop in for the sale.

• Where can I learn more?

If you are interested in discovering more about neuromarketing and how it can help your business succeed, websites like SalesBrain.com can give you valuable information on the subject. You can also arrange neuromarketing speaking engagements at your company to help you and your team tap into this exciting niche of marketing.

Raymond really enjoys writing about different things. One of his favorite things to write about is markeiting. For more information on neuromarketing speaking engagements, please visit http://www.salesbrain.com/

 

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