Minimizing Distractions – Improving Productivity

Minimizing Distractions – Improving Productivity

When it comes to productivity, there are a few things that you need to bear in mind at all times. Of course, your productivity depends largely on how dedicated and committed you are to the task at hand but it also depends on certain external or environmental factors. While it is true that you may not be able to control all these external factors, there are a few things that can definitely be under your control. Let us look at these factors or potential distractions that can cause a major disruption in your quality and efficiency of work.

As mentioned above, the distractions or time wasters are a part of our everyday life. By removing these time wasters or distractions, we can quite easily make our day more productive by accomplishing a lot more than it normally would have seemed possible. So, here is the list of the possible and potential distractions. While most of the list below is focused at minimizing workplace distractions, many of these can be applied through other areas of your life and can be beneficial across all activities that demand your serious focus and concentration. Here are some tips with all your time wasters and how you can prevent them from making your day unproductive.

  • Mobile Phone

Now, a mobile phone is typically the most important device that we all use and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it is something we cannot function without. But, this very important device can be one of the major distractions in your everyday life. In order to turn it in to a boon rather than a bane for your productivity, here is what you can do –

  1. When busy, turn your phones into silent mode. But if you think, you may miss out on important calls; you can always create a custom profile setting that allows you to turn off the volume of texts and other notifications except calls.
  2. In case of extremely busy times, use your voice mail service. Set aside time to return back the calls you had missed.
  3. Walk while you talk on your mobile. Research studies indicate that people who stand while they talk on phone tend to keep their conversations brief and to the point.
  • Email

Internet has become an indispensable part of our lives. Taking that, most of us today interact using emails and this is not just to do with professional mails but even personal mails or other emails including marketing mails, promotional mails, span messages and others. Here is how your emails can become productive for you –

  1. Do not constantly check your emails. Keep it for regular intervals based on the kind of job or the kind of work you do and how important emails are in this.
  2. Don’t keep spam lying in your inbox. Delete all unwanted emails immediately.
  3. Attend to emails immediately instead of marking them unread and planning to come back to the tasks later.
  • Family commitments

Family and friends can help you a great deal in dealing with stressful situations but at the same time, spending too much time with your family can imply wasting your productive time. In order to make sure that your family commitments do not interfere with your productivity, let your friends and family know about your important tasks and keep them informed of your deadlines. This will help them either plan family gatherings accordingly or they would at least not ask for explanations if you end up missing out on any family events.

The above are just the most common distractions but there can be several others such as stress, impromptu visitors and others that can be just as disruptive to your productivity as the above mentioned distractions.

Bringing In Positivity in Your Life

Bringing In Positivity in Your Life

If there is one thing that can significantly change the way you live and have a considerable impact on your lifestyle, then it has to be positive thinking. You may wonder how simply thinking positively can bring a major impact on your life but this is true and the results are quite astonishing. Many may think that by just thinking good, it might be impractical to assume that great things will happen but if you have read Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, you know exactly what I am talking about. Thinking good can actually change your world and make it better. The fact of the matter is that yes, you may not be able to literally change the world but with positivity, you can change your perception of the world and to be true, isn’t it all about how we perceive things?

Understanding the importance of positive thinking

Talking about positivity, you will only understand the importance of it when you realize the impact of negativity and negative thoughts on your productivity and overall life. When you do understand how destructive negativity can be for you, you will turn to optimism and positivity without much effort.

Truly speaking, not all negative emotions are bad. A certain amount of negative feelings such as fear, anger and stress are important for us all to lead a competitive life. Typically, these are essential survival skills. These skills basically help us to stay protective of ourselves and take corrective steps that lead us to success. These little negative emotions also help us stay grounded and humble, virtues that are very important to be retained in us. That being said, too much of negativity can actually pull us down. Some people get so used to thinking negatively that it tends to become a habit and bad habits don’t go easy. Constantly thinking negative can lead to loss of self-confidence and more seriously, depression.

Developing habits that lead to positive thinking

Positive thinking needs some practice. For those who are used to thinking negatively about themselves and their environment may have to put in a little extra effort but the fact of the matter is that though it takes time, people can inculcate this and learn to be great positive thinkers. To start with, you should equate positive thinking to being happy. Yes, you should teach yourself that positivity brings happiness and keep repeating this to yourself day in and day out. When you do that, you will soon begin to see the change in your attitude towards positivity.

Here are three habits that you can practice on a consistent basis to incorporate positivity in your thinking and in your life –

  1. Meditation:

It is a widely accepted truth that people who meditate on a daily basis have a rather strong inner peace. This inner peace becomes the foundation for positive thinking. Meditation does not have to necessarily mean that you spend hours reciting your religious chants. Spending a few minutes in silence thinking of what really your goals in life are will help you look at yourself with pure positivity.

  1. Writing:

It might seem too simple a thing but in reality, writing can be a great stress buster. Research studies indicate that people who write about their positive experiences and make written plans about their near future with positivity see better success and are happier.

  1. Play:

It’s most important to have fun. Yes, when you enjoy yourself, you spread happiness and that way, you also spread positivity.

The above habits may seem too simple and you may even wonder how such simple things can actually bring significantly positive changes in your life. But when you do practice these habits diligently, you will actually propagate about how easy it is to lead a positive and happy life!

Simple Ways to Enjoy Learning English

Simple Ways to Enjoy Learning English

Learning English has more or less become essential in today’s times. We are not talking about basic English here. It has become immensely important to learn fluent or professional English for this is the language of the World. Yes, it would be no exaggeration to say that English speaking is a skill that can make or break your professional career. This is also a skill that can say a lot about your overall personality. That being said, if you are not a native English speaker, you will need to put in some effort to acquire fluent English speaking skills. If you had your formal education in English medium schools and colleges, this wouldn’t be too difficult but if that is not the case, you may have to take special coaching to learn proficient English, both written and oral.

English communication skills are most important. The first thing that you need to understand and always keep in mind, as a learner, is that you have to have loads of patience and utmost determination to learn a new language. You need to motivate yourself and equate yourself to a little toddler who is trying to learn to speak. Of course, that’s exactly where you stand if you are completely unaware of English and have to start learning it from the scratch. If you only want to improve your fluency and are aware of the basic language, things would be much easier for you. In either case, here are some tips that will help you with your learning –

Simple tips to enjoy English language learning

  • Read, read and read more

Read as much as you can in English. Read anything here that interests you – from newspaper to entertainment magazines, comics, story books or anything that you find interesting. A golden tip to always follow here is to have a dictionary always at your disposal. This way, when you fail to understand any word, you can quickly check its meaning. This will improve your vocabulary. One more tip here is to try to use the new words that you learn as many times as you can when you speak, this will reinforce the meaning and you will get used to speaking more and more new words and this will eventually help you in improving your fluency.

  • Understand the culture of the native English speakers

Learning a language is incomplete without understanding the culture of the people who actually speak the language. British and American people use certain slangs and terms that can have a different literal meaning but may be used in a completely different sense when spoken. That being said, it will help you to understand the culture of the native English speakers as you will then be able to understand their way of speech.

  • Interact in English

This interaction need not just be your everyday, regular interaction. Start sharing your experiences with a blog. This will not just improve your written English skills but will actually make you enjoy as you will know there are people who are reading your personal experiences and getting involved in your life in whatever little way that is.

  • Dare to speak up

Your learning can only be perfect when you are challenged and when you overcome the challenges. Whenever you get an opportunity to speak in English, even if that is in front of proficient, native English speakers, grab the opportunity. Overcome your fears and this is how you will gain confidence.

  • Relax, everyone is a learner!

Lastly, tell yourself that you need to relax and don’t take everything too seriously. You are bound to make mistakes because you are learning and just like you, everyone else is. Of course, it might not be English learning for everyone but you may have skills that the most proficiently English speaking people don’t –so yes, relax!

How to Prepare for Attending a Group Discussion

How to Prepare for Attending a Group Discussion

Group Discussion or the GD have become a commonplace in today’s selection process whether it is for a job selection or for getting admission to a top rated college or university. If you have applied to organizations and institutions that conduct a GD as a part of their selection process then it would important for you to prepare yourself to face a GD apart from preparing yourself to face the interview.

To be true, an interview isn’t as challenging as a GD because in a personal interview, you would be evaluated solely on your performance. When it comes to a GD however, your evaluation is comparative and based on other candidates’ performance as well. GD helps the evaluators compare and select their ideal candidates. Also, a GD majorly shows your team building skills which are absolutely essential in any organization.

To brief it all up, a GD is conducted with about 8 to 10 candidates for about 20 to 40 minutes. Sometimes, it can be just for about 15 minutes too. The topic is given to the group a few minutes before the GD begins. Typically, a GD reflects the inherent skills of the candidates as the topic leaves them with not much time to prepare. That being said, if you are keen on performing well at a GD, it does call for some preparation. While you cannot definitely get to know the topic of the GD beforehand, you definitely can hone your inherent skills. Here is what you can do to prepare yourself to face a GD –

  1. Read:

This is the first and perhaps the most crucial step in preparing yourself for the GD. The more you read, the better acquainted you would be to deal with the various topics that can be presented to you for the GD. You can read anything and everything across various subjects and industries but make sure that you are well versed with the current affairs as most often, the topics for GDs are based on recent happenings.

  1. Participate in Mock GDs:

Create an informal group with your friends or colleagues. You can even find like minded people with similar interests and qualifications through social media. Meet regularly with your group members and conduct mock GDs. This will benefit you all.

  1. Improve your communications skills:

Practice listening and speaking skills. These skills are essential to express yourself in the right tone and manner. Being assertive is important but being too aggressive will run down your chances of getting selected. So, practice well. You can try speaking to yourself in the mirror. This is a great way to evaluate yourself, your body language as well as boost your self-confidence.

While preparing yourself for the GD, keep in mind what the evaluators will be looking at – leadership skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills and persuasive skills. Also, the panellists will test your ability think and make your point to the group. Your clarity of thought, how you handle a conflict of opinion, your individual understanding of the subject, how flexible you are towards new ideas and opinions and your ability to create a consensus with the others in the group.

Of course, you may not be able to reflect all the above characteristics in the short time allotted for the GD. But whenever you do get a chance, make sure that you reflect your confident self and bear in mind the above aspects that the panellists would be looking out for. If you are able to generate a positive response, you are good to go!

Memory and How it Works?

Memory and How it Works?

One of the most common concerns of students is the fact that they tend to keep forgetting their lessons or they do not have enough memorizing ability to be able to prepare well for their examinations. As a matter of fact, memory skills are needed on a rather daily basis and not just during examinations because when students attend classes, they are taught something new every day and the learning or lessons from one day have to be carried forward to the next. Being able to remember or simply, memorizing is a skill that you will need to practice and over time, you will master it. Yes, a person who is able to memorize better isn’t born with the skill but is someone who practices it.

How memory works?

In order to practice skills that help you with your memory, we first need to understand how memory really works. Well, for that matter, it isn’t too clear on how memory works just as the brain but yes, there is some information that will help you with understanding the mechanism of memory based on the types of memory. Memory is typically of two types –

Short term memory:

This is generally considered to be the skill to remember your daily activities. This is also known as your working memory and in most cases, you tend to repeat the activities and hence, you may not really have to make an effort to remember the tasks in your short term memory.

Long term memory:

This is either related to what you did in the past or what you will need to do in days ahead. This is the part of your memory that retains most important events and typically, you tend to remember what your mind considers important. The long term memory can be explicit memory, implicit memory or autobiographical memory.

How to maintain and improve your memory?

Remembering is a skill and you need to hone this skill. It does require some training and practice but what more you will need is to keep your mind healthy and free from any external factors that can impact your ability to improve your memory.

Staying healthy

One of the most important things that you can do to maintain your memory is to stay healthy. The healthier you are, the stronger your memory would be. Here is how you can keep yourself healthy –

  • Eat right

There are certain foods that are known to improve your memory. Include such foods in your diet. Generally, you should be eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet. If your general health is good, your brain functions at its optimum best and that typically means, you will have a good memory.

  • Sleep well

Good sleep is extremely important for your mental health. if you sleep well, your brain gets the rest it needs and this only implies, you will have a stronger memory.

  • Stay active

Staying physically active is also important for a healthy mind. Regular exercise is important for those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

  • Avoid stress

Stay positive about yourself and your environment. Avoid stress triggers and most importantly, remember that every bad situation will pass on and get you to good and happy times.

Some useful tips to improve memory

Improving memory needs practice and a consistent effort. Here are some tips that will help you in this regard –

  • Retrieval is the best way to remember. Once you have read something, try to recall what you have read with your eyes closed. This will help in improving your memory.
  • Explain to yourself what you have read. This will help you remember.

Reflect. When you elaborate, try to understand the topic better by reflecting. This activity will help you in remembering.

The Importance of Good Hygiene Sleep

The Importance of Good Hygiene Sleep

Many of us do not really know why we sleep but we all do understand the impact our mental and physical health can have due to lack of sleep.The most important hygiene sleep  measure is to maintain a regular wake and sleep pattern seven days a week That being said, it is not just lack of sleep but the quality of our sleep that can have a major effect on how we conduct our everyday life. It would be no exaggeration that our overall quality of life can be significantly affected by not sleeping well. As for students, getting a good night’s sleep is even more important as it will help them establish focus and gather the right amount of concentration that they need to attend their classes. For working professionals, good sleep will have a direct impact on their productivity levels. Considering the importance of good sleep, promoting good sleep hygiene needs to be a priority.

What is good sleep hygiene?

Sleep hygiene basically covers all environmental and behavioural factors that tend to impact our quality of sleep. People who have medical conditions such as insomnia may need to work harder on their sleep hygiene in order to fall asleep and stay asleep for a good amount of time. Here, it is important to understand that good sleep and staying asleep throughout the night needs some minimal effort and some good practices. Here are some tips that will help you practice good sleep hygiene.

Tips for good sleep hygiene:

  • Avoid eating late in the night. The later you eat; it is more likely that you may have a disturbed sleep. Also, avoid having heavy meals in the night. It is true that having a heavy meal may make us feel lazy and you may think that you will get a good sleep but in reality, heavy eating will make you uncomfortable too. This discomfort will prevent you from sleeping quickly and staying asleep.
  • Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol for at least two hours before bedtime. Caffeine and alcohol contain stimulants that tend to keep you active and thereby prevent sleep. Nicotine is also believed to be a stimulant so smoking also should be avoided for at least an hour before bed time.
  • Maintain your sleep pattern. That will help you get accustomed to sleeping and staying asleep through the night. Create the right sleep environment; keep it dark and quiet so that you are able to get into the sleep mode. Make sure that you stick to your daily routine. This will help you immensely in establishing a sleep pattern.
  • Avoid screen time immediately before bed. Keep TV watching and using other electronic devices away from your bed space and bed time. Screen time is not just destructive for your sleep but also for your mental health if you do so before bed time.
  • Take a warm bath a few hours before you sleep as this will help you relax. While a warm water bath is relaxing, taking a bath right before bed time is not a good idea as your body needs to cool down before sleeping so plan accordingly.
  • Regular exercise is important but do not exercise right before bed time as this will get you pumped up and active making it difficult for you to fall asleep quickly.

Stay cool and hydrated during the night. Keep a bottle of water by your bedside to drink before sleep and also when you wake up in between the night. Walking all the way to get water can cause sleep disruption.