Unconventional Ways to be more Productive

Careerbuilder.com partners with CNN.comh to provide good, quick reads regarding employment. I like these articles because they tend to be helpful, logical, and easy to read. Here is an excerpt from one I liked called Experts: Goof off at work, read a book, ignore e-mail by Patrick Erwin:

Here are some surprising work habits that might seem to contradict
conventional wisdom, but have helped these workers achieve their goals.

1. Read a book at work

Gail Hernandez, a marketing coordinator in New Hampshire, faced a
challenge. “I had to learn several software programs without attending
classes,” she explains.

Her solution was to press the “pause” button on her regular work so she could read the instruction materials at her desk.

“I received some kidding from co-workers, but I am now able to use Illustrator and Dreamweaver,” Hernandez says.

Whether it’s a textbook, newspaper or white paper, it’s beneficial to
be informed. Learning and training is always an ongoing process.

2. Take frequent breaks — or longer ones

Many workplaces have designated break times, but several experts
suggest that employees follow their instincts instead of schedules and
unplug for a moment when your mind or body are on overload.

“Humans can only concentrate for 45 minutes at a time,” declares Doris
Jeanette, a psychologist with the Center for New Psychology in
Philadelphia. Jeanette suggests that employees work for 50 minutes of
the hour and use the other 10 minutes to change focus or shift gears.

Sue Painter, a marketing consultant and president of The Confident
Marketer, proposes an even longer break. When things are hectic,
Painter leaves the office.

“I absolutely force myself to leave
for at least an hour. I gain perspective, get refreshed and go back to
the office in a much calmer and more effective state of mind,” Painter

3. Blow off low-priority tasks

Author and speaker Allan Bacon insists that blowing off work — the most unimportant work — can be beneficial.

“See if anyone notices or complains,” Bacon says. Why? In addition to
making your “to do” list less cluttered, Bacon believes this tactic
gives you more time. “With the extra time, put more thought and effort
into your top priorities.”

4. Ignore e-mails and voice mail

5. Set aside time to clear away the cobwebs

6. Goof off

Setting aside time to goof off at work
can relieve stress, improve morale and even help with team building
efforts. Most importantly, it can recharge workers who are in the midst
of a long, stressful workday.

“It makes a huge difference,”
reveals consultant Deborah Grayson Riegel, president of Elevated
Training. “Surf the Internet, play solitaire, close your eyes. Check
out, rest and repair,” she suggests.

7. Lower your standards

Riegel says that many people
“procrastinate because they are perfectionists. They put off getting
started on projects because they want all the conditions to be perfect.”


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