Don't let stress ruin your effectivity

Is Your Monkey Mind Ruining Your Effectivity?

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December 28th 2020
Is Your Monkey Mind Ruining Your Effectivity? 1 Veronika Mikec is a full-time student, writer, and future revolutionary.

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Effectivity is something I personally struggle with on a daily basis—I don’t let it stop me, though. But I know some of you might have problems with productivity when at work, especially with thousands of other obligations running through your mind. To help you jump over this obstacle, here are some of the most basic techniques I use to stay focused and do my work right.

1. Taking on More Than You Can Handle

Do you still remember your student years, when you somehow managed to finish tonnes of homework in a week, all while prepping for oral presentations and the exam period? And yet you still found the time to have a drink with your friends, even work occasionally? I bet you thought you’d be able to keep the same pace once you enter the work force, didn’t you? 

While I truly hope you’ve been able to keep up with all of the tasks coming in, I’m sure you find it overwhelming at times. There’s nothing wrong with that, actually, quite the contrary—it means you’re human and not some futuristic high-tech cyborg! Everyone has a point at which they feel overworked, no matter what they do, and how much they love doing it. Even if we feel super inspired to tackle a hard task, we still might end up giving up. And it’s usually ourselves that create an impossible to-do list with a thousand tasks we want to finish ASAP.

The Solution

To be truly able to successfully tackle your tasks, I must urge you to shorten your to-do list. I don‘t care if you have seven assignments to finish until later this week, make it five at most. The mental image of a shorter list alone will help you finish your tasks sooner—only then you can approach the remaining two. Another great tip is to sort them in terms of hierarchy—the most urgent and hardest ones at the very top, the easy-breezy ones at the bottom. This way, you can deal with the important ones when you’re full of energy, and do some passive work with those which can be spared for later.

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2. Not Being Able to Focus

Do you ever find yourself singing a tune inside your head? I’m doing it right now! I haven’t been able to get it out my mind for hours. And it’s not just catchy songs that ruin our effectivity at work—it’s people talking while we’re trying to finish an important project in peace (one of my biggest pet peeves), whirring sounds of computers, doors opening and closing … All of it!

It’s usually the loudest around us when we’re really trying to just focus and work. Maybe it’s our own minds concentrating on everything else because, deep, deep down in our soul, we actually want to be doing something else. Which is completely natural! I mean, who wouldn’t rather have a chat with their friends instead of counting and calculating numbers, or writing up an article about how our monkey minds are ruining our effectivity (hint, hint)? 

The Solution

I get it, once you notice even the slightest bit of noise it will haunt you for the rest of the day, and ‘ignoring’ it won’t do much. So why not try tuning out all the background noise by putting on noise-cancelling headphones and turning on that song from before? The one that’s been playing on repeat in your mind all day? This way, you’ll kill two birds with one stone—you won’t be able to hear all the babble happening around you (meaning you’ll be able to finally focus on your work), and, in addition, you’ll get more creative. Music has been proven to boost creativity and keep the listener focused—depends on your playlist, though.

Alternatively, take a break. In some cases, it’s best to simply leave, and find a quieter place. Now, of course this sometimes isn’t possible, but I’m talking about being distracted when working at home, for example. Take a short pause, pick up a book or a wireless speaker and head out into nature. Find a quiet spot just for you, put on some relaxing music, and take two hours or so to simply gather your thoughts while reading or meditating.

3. Trouble Staying Positive 

Staying positive is one of the most vague and overdone advices, but it holds true. Sure, there are countless ways of boosting effectivity at work (two of them I discussed above), but one of the most important things to remember is to keep a clear mind. Mental health is not talked about enough, and often we simply brush off negative emotions that come up due to a stressful work environment. This directly affects our performance, and, more often than not, creates disadvantages for the entire company. A more positive attitude will help you take initiative, encourage you to tackle the tasks you’ve been dreading for days, and make for an overall more inspiring environment.

The Solution

The only advice I can offer you is to just talk to people around you, and try to keep a positive mind when dealing with work issues. If you ever feel overworked, taking a day off might make all the difference. It’s better to take a break and finish a job properly later, than doing it poorly or not doing it at all. Talk to your executive about creating a more positive atmosphere in the offices by suggesting small changes than could be made. You never know, maybe one or more of your co-workers feels the same, and would benefit from the changes just as much as you.

Communication is also important not only when you try to better the environment you work in, but when you want to fix any issue at hand. Remember, if you don’t say anything, no one will know anything about it. By talking to people you’ll also make sure no other problems come up when working together in the future.

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