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5 ways to make super-fast decisions today

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Do you ever struggle with indecision?

Sometimes, right? And I’m betting it’s usually about something small too, like what to eat for dinner or if you should finish your work tomorrow when you feel more rested.

It’s really no surprise, life is nothing more than a bunch of small-scale decisions. But here’s the thing, all those decisions eventually add up.

And together, they can drastically alter your life, especially when it comes to productivity.

How so?

Decisions can occur before, during, and after work sessions. And a single decision alone can throw your productivity out the window if it’s handled inefficiently. All it takes is that you spend a few precious minutes weighing a decision, and before you know it you’ve wasted an hour doing nothing.

Luckily though, there are some simple tips that can prevent this from happening to you ever again.

You don’t make fast and effective decisions

Maybe you think it’s smarter to carefully weigh your options and scrutinize every single detail. Well, that “sort of” works, but ultimately it ends up costing you more time than the outcome warrants.

The truth is this – the majority of decisions you make only need to be “good enough.” If you make a string of “good enough” decisions, you still get great results out of it because you accomplished something, so long as you acted on those decisions.

But considering the time and energy it takes to go beyond making a good decision, and the fact that slow and thoughtful decision making doesn’t always lead to significantly better results, makes slow decision making the lesser choice in most situations.

You don’t know how or why to make more efficient decisions

Most people don’t drastically alter the way they make decisions in life. Some people don’t think their decisions through at all, leading to reckless behavior. Others though, can spend all day on a decision and still having nothing the next day.

You, of course, are the latter (or else why would you be reading this?). The question is – how do you fix it?

5 ways to make efficient decisions

Slow decision makers struggle because they don’t know how to leave the “information gathering” process of decision making.

These tips will help you push past that barrier so you can start making more efficient decisions today.

1. Limit decision making time

To the slow decision maker, extra time is useless. It’s just going to be spent gathering more information not really needed.

Instead, you should force efficiency by establishing a time limit. A time limit will urge you to restrict thinking to only the most important criteria (see tip #2 for more info), streamlining your decision making process.

The limit should be dependent on the importance of the decision, but in general 2-5 minutes should be adequate for 90% of decision making.

Limit-time

 

This time limit works because most decisions are small-scaled; try not to increase it if you can.

2. Establish the minimum criteria

If you’re a stickler for needing “more information,” then you should focus on the most basic, essential criteria needed to make a decision and no more.

Just say “I only need x,y, and z.” If one of your options has those essential characteristics, then that’s the correction option. Don’t see if something else is “a little better,” make the decision and move on with your life.

3. Keep a backup decision in mind

Some decisions we make on a regular basis (e.g. what should I have for dinner?). In these cases it’s best to have a backup decision in case you find yourself wasting more time than you should on a small-scale decision.

Example, don’t know where to eat? Mcdonald’s is your backup decision. Simple, right?

(That’s just an example, I don’t recommend making Mcdonald’s your backup decision for food).

This is a perfect tip if find yourself making the same decision on a regular basis, especially if it costs you time.

Backup-decision

4. Make many small decisions

The best decisions are the ones based on experience. If you can, make as many decisions as you can and learn all you can from each outcome.

This way you’ll build up a knowledge base that lets you naturally make quicker and faster decisions over time.

5. Favor action over perfection

Finally, be of the mindset that action is more powerful than a perfectly crafted decision.

Action-over-perfection

Sure, a well thought out decision can be a great thing. But here’s the thing, unless it’s a big-picture decision, it isn’t worth expending the energy.

Like I said, 90% of decisions are small-scale. Over time, though, they can add up and become something big. But if you aren’t constantly refining your decision-making through practice, those decisions won’t amount to anything great.

Over to you

Are you a fast or slow decision maker? Do you have any decision-making tips to teach me? Leave your answer below because I’d love to hear it 🙂

photo credits: JakeLiefer , Joiseyshowaa, Garrett Coakley

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Gamification: the fun way to mastering productivity

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Gamification

You hunker down to get some work done, with everything prepped for a productive session.

You pick up your pen, put it to paper, and then…

“I don’t want to do this.”

“This is going to be boring.”

“I wish I could be playing video games or something.”

Instant thoughts of loathing come into play, and it’s so fast that you don’t even realize your procrastinating.

You wish you were doing something else, something fun… Like television, internet, or best yet – video games. Well what if I told you there was a way to combine the allure of video gaming with the productivity of working?

 

You dread doing your work

It’s easy to fall off the productive path well before even doing a single task, and it’s because you know it’s going to be “work”, in other words boring or hard.

What does this cause you to do? Procrastinate.

 

You treat work like work

Your problem is the perspective you take when it comes to work. You see it as a hassle, a chore, a bore, anything but something you’d like to do. This is causing you procrastinate way before any work even needs to be done.

 

You need to “gamify” things

There’s a neat solution if you like gaming, and it’s called gamification. What’s gamification? It’s where you treat your work sessions like a video game.

In videogames, progress is always explicitly shown. When you get stronger, you “level up,” which shows you’ve progressed. Video games reward you with level ups after winning several small battles, and it’s these small battles that prepare you for the “boss” battles.

With gamification, you treat your small accomplishments (e.g. completing a task) as if you just won a battle. You then give yourself points until you “level up” in real life. Once that happens you can reward yourself, maybe with candy or a movie trip – whatever works for you.

There are different methods and tools online that make gamification easy, We’ve got some of them listed here for your viewing pleasure.

 

How to gamify your productivity

If you’re interested in gamification but don’t know where to start, try out these tips. They’ll give you the feeling of gaming without the hassle of trying out some new app.

 

1. Set up a point/reward system

 

Point Rewards

 

The basis of gamification lies in the point/reward system. You go from battle to battle earning experience, and once you get enough experience you earn a level.

It’s not that different from real life: you go from task to task earning experience. But with gamification, once you do enough tasks you get a reward.

First you need to set up a point system, for example:

    • 3 points for every task completed
    • 10 points for completing every task for the day
    • 50 points for completing every task assigned during a week

Not too complicated, right? That’s just an example, set up your own numbers for best results.

Next you need rewards as well, some examples:

    • 10 points for a piece of chocolate
    • 30 points to watch a movie
    • 100 points to eat out at a restaurant.

Of course it’s best to assign rewards that would motivate you personally. Afterwards, you just combine the two for a little gamification.

 

2. Track your progress

 

Track Progress

 

In a video game, you know exactly you’ve progressed since the beginning of the game. It’s explicitly displayed, usually as a level (e.g. level 12) or perhaps with statistics.

You can do this by simply marking down every task you complete and compare it to tasks that you don’t complete. You’ll know how productive you are and it’ll motivate you to work more when you see the incomplete tasks building up.

A fun way to do this is by using star stickers and placing them wherever you want to keep track. And when you fail to complete a task, you can use an X to mark it instead.

This is similar to the seinfeld’s Don’t Break The Chain method of productivity, which might work for you as well.

 

3. Race against the clock

 

Race Clock

 

A lot of games use time to pressure you to stay on the proper path. This keeps you focused on the goal at hand, as you don’t want to fail because you weren’t able to stay in time.

This tip is already popular actually, and can be done with the Pomodoro or any other basic timing technique. But when combined with the other tips, it can elevate the experience of gamification far more.

 

Tools for gamification

 

Tools Gamification

 

If you’re interested in an app that automatically gamifies things for you, then here’s some you might be interested in.

 

1. HabitRPG – Desktop, iPhone, Android

One of the most popular apps is HabitRPG. It takes the core aspects of RPG’s (Role Playing Games) such as leveling up, defeating monsters (tasks), and earning rewards. You can even team up with other people, increasing your accountability and improving productivity in the process.

 

2. Life RPG – Android

Life RPG is similar to HabitRPG, so it’d come down to preference if you had to choose between the two.

 

3. EpicWin – iPhone

EpicWin is a simple, streamlined app so you can get gamified without any hassle. You can choose one of three avatars (two more available on purchase), and earn loot and other prizes as you overcome your tasks.

 

4. TaskHammer – Android

TaskHammer is even more simple than EpicWin. You still get that great RPG element, but you can dive into it fast and without complication.

 

Over to you

What do you think of gamification? Does it work for you? Please leave your answer below, because we’d love to hear it 🙂

Photo credits: Rob Boudon, Hub, Titanas, John Christian Fjellestad & meddygarnet via Flickr

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4 morning rituals guaranteed to make your day more successful

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Morning rituals

Let’s be honest, for most of us… mornings suck.

Great, another workday…” is without a doubt a feeling we can all relate to.

And why not? How many mornings do you have to drag yourself out of bed? How many times do you hit the snooze on your alarm? Once? Twice? Not nearly enough times, am I right?

And I’m betting most mornings you’re rushing to get out the door because you wanted to maximize the amount of sleep you got.

Maybe you don’t realize it, but starting your mornings like this makes the rest of your day less productive, and in general, less successful.

Why? Because each morning sets the tone for the entire day. But I’m betting you want your whole day to be a success, right?

Well luckily for you, you can make your mornings not only better, but more desirable as well.

The morning rush is your morning habit

Now be honest, how many of you set your alarm to go off as late as possible so you can maximize your sleep? Probably a lot of you, and that’s the problem.

Your mornings are a hectic rush, and that’s no way to start your day off.

You aren’t armed with early wake-up skills

People already dread waking up in the morning, but waking up even earlier? No thank you. People don’t want to do that, even the idea of it can make people feel annoyed.

And this is completely understandable, which makes the problem even more prominent.

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6 lazy ways to improve your productivity

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Ever wonder how to be lazy and improve your productivity at the same time?

It might sound contradictory, but there are effortless tactics out there guaranteed to improve your productivity, and all you need to do is keep reading to find out what they are.

Be lazy

How to be both lazy AND productive

Let’s be honest, nobody likes to work harder than they have to. Once it’s habit of course, then it’s easy (well, relatively easy). But the part where you need to get there, the part where you actually improve your productivity, that’s the hard part.

But you don’t need to overload your task list or even become a productivity expert to improve your skills. On the contrary, that’ll just burn you out on your quest to mastering productivity.

That’s why you should read this article, because it’ll show you the easiest – and therefore, best – tactics known to improve productivity.

The 6 lazy tactics that’ll improve your productivity

Thanks to how easy these tips are, you should be able to implement most of them at the same (if you want to of course). But we can make it easy and just do one at a time, after all, that’s the theme of this article, right?

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The 5 missing habits to your productive success

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productive success 1

 

What if I told you that you might be sabotaging your productivity levels?

Would that surprise you? Well the truth is several of us are missing key habits that allow us to really tune into a productive work mode.

Don’t believe me?

You should. After all, it’s your natural work habits that prevent you from recognizing this fact, and it’s because you automatically bypass the good habits without realizing it.

But hey, that’s just the way habits work.

We don’t always realize there are better options till somebody points them out, so even when we think we’re being productive, it’s possible we’re only working half-optimally; and it’s because we don’t realize we’re missing essential habits that can drastically improve our productivity levels.

But we can fix this problem, and all it takes is a little awareness of what habits you’re missing.

 

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