The Efficient Human

We’ve been up to no good since White Light White Night…

 

Our pilot session of Heart to Home took place, we’ve enlisted a family to Temporary Family Support, hosted a Friendship Activity at the beach and matched some amazing mentors and mentees. While reflecting on all these incredible things, I realized that I need to step up my personal proficiency every day, so that our team can continue to thrive.

 

I need to be efficient.

 

After an internet search and flipping through countless self-help books, I found Dan Ariely. He is well renowned in the study of irrational behavior, and my takeaways from The Observer and his TED Talks on being efficient follow:

 

  1. Have a Plan

As we walk down the streets, we cross paths with advertisements, businesses, and people with their own agendas, not yours in mind. When we are passive and go with the flow, we buy things we don’t need and do things that waste our time.

  1. Control your Environment

Obviously, if we are distracted, we will not perform the tasks efficiently. Make your environment a space where the things you need to get done are easy, and the things you shouldn’t be doing tough. For example, my high school Spanish teacher made us leave our backpacks and phones at the back of the classroom. We only had our textbook, pen and notes to entertain us for a whole hour. I did end up doodling a lot, but art is good for you.

  1. Write It Down

You are more likely to get something done if you write it down. The time it takes to write it helps you remember the task itself. If you were to forget the task, it is on your list, so it can’t slip through the cracks. Also, if it is on your calendar you will more likely do it because it seems like a final decision. You already wrote it down; it is already in your calendar; you are going to do it.

  1. Timing is Everything

Studies show we are most productive around 2 hours after waking. On average, we have 2.5-4 hours of peak productivity. We must choose what we do with that time wisely. This is the time for the tasks that demand the most focus. Email, meetings, small to do’s, and even writing to-do lists should be done at another time.

  1. Avoid or Taper Time-Munchers

Coincidently these include email, meetings and multi-tasking (all those small to-dos) make us feel like we are getting things done. It is instantly gratifying but it is not thinking about the big picture. We have to do little things yes, but be sure they are aiding the overall goal.

6. Don’t Multitask.

Just don’t. Better to get things done completely than have endless half-finished projects. When switching tasks, your brain takes a while to get adjusted to each new thing. If you need to reset, close your eyes for a moment instead of grabbing a snack.

Considering I was supposed to post this yesterday, I still have a long way to go. However, progress is good no matter how small. This is written in hopes that it may help you as well. We are just slightly irrational humans working on becoming the best versions of ourselves.

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