What Are Personal Productivity Skills? | Iris Reading
What Are Personal Productivity Skills?

What Are Personal Productivity Skills?

What Are Personal Productivity Skills?

In the simplest terms, personal productivity skills are your ability to manage your time and stress better while maximizing the benefits of the resource you have. 

Productivity! It’s a simple word that makes all the difference in your life. Be it your personal life, studies, or work; you’ll want to achieve more with less effort.

The 5 essential elements to productivity are:

  • Time management skills
  • Stress management skills
  • Effective decision making
  • Ability to learn
  • The state of your mental and physical health

Think of your overall productivity skills as an umbrella. The 5 qualities mentioned above fall under that umbrella. These skills complement each other to improve your overall personal productivity and shape you into the best version of yourself. 

Read on to learn how you can start doing that from today!

1. Time management skills

Firstly, productivity is based on effective time management. It’s simply organizing your tasks around your available time. You can’t focus on anything if the 24 hours you have don’t seem enough for you. 

You can use all the tools or apps you want or read as many books about productivity, but they won’t help if you’re not using your time effectively. 

Take your workplace into consideration. If you’re in any managerial capacity, you know how important planning is. The words that failing to plan is planning to fail are so famous that it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t heard them. 

So, what’s stopping you from bringing the same organization and planning in your regular life as well?

It might sound difficult or impractical to do so. However, planning your life and focusing on effective time management can do wonders for your productivity. 

Life is much more than a simple 9 to 5 routine. You need time to enjoy the things you love, focus on yourself, and work on self-development. 

Does it all sound familiar? These are among the skillset you need to work on to become more productive.  

While you can’t increase the hours you get, you certainly can ensure that your time is not wasted

Now that you know how important effective time management is, the next question is how to make it a part of your life. 

How to get better at time management?

Here’s a rough list of what needs to be done. 

  • Sort out your priorities based on their importance and urgency
  • Develop a habit of planning your day. Focus on high-priority items and work your way down.
  • Identify areas where you waste the most time. It can be social media, TV, or simply the age-old procrastination. Try to limit the things that distract you.
  • Keep on re-evaluating your priorities to ensure that you focus on all the right things.
  • Finally, take a breather here and there. Planning your day is good, but too much of it will quickly become something you dread. 

Getting better at managing your time is an iterative process that requires consistent effort. 

Not all days are equal, as everyone goes through changes every day. But the process required for effective time management generally remains the same. 

2. Stress management skills

Stress is a trigger for unproductivity in your life. When you are stressed, you’ll live and breathe the source of that stress. It’ll consume your mind, and you won’t manage to focus on anything else. So, you need to avoid stressful situations or adopt strategies to reduce the impact of stress. 

Think of any responsibility you have at work. Now imagine your boss micromanaging everything and pressing you to do better or achieve something otherworldly while spending the least resources.

Doesn’t that sound exhausting? 

That is where the dilemma begins. 

Most things that stress you out are not under your control. You can’t control your boss’ behavior. And there’s no way to avoid a shortage of resources or tough tasks at work. Stress triggers will always be there, and you’ll have to work with them. 

That’s where stress management skills help you out. 

They help you function even in the most stressful situations and prepare you to deal with issues as they happen. 

Being solution-oriented is one of the most common qualities that people look for in their work partners or new hires. That’s because that’s the most defining characteristic of someone productive.  

Manage your stress better with these simple tricks

Here are ways to manage your stress better and motivate yourself to remain productive. 

  • Avoid juggling too many tasks at once. Multitasking is essential for productivity, but too much of it can quickly overwhelm you. Try to ensure that you never take too much on your plate. 
  • Learn to ask for help. No one is good at everything, and you need to accept that. Learn to delegate tasks and ask for support. In many cases, simply having someone to bounce ideas off of can be enough.
  • Follow the 2 minutes rule. It’s simple! If anything will take less than 2 minutes, complete it immediately. Sometimes, seemingly small things pile up to become too much to handle and stress you out. 
  • Spend some time everyday doing something you enjoy. It makes you feel refreshed and even improves your outlook on life.
  • Forget trying to be perfect. People often become their own worst enemies by being too hard on themselves in the pursuit of perfection. Avoid that as it’ll stress you out and have the opposite effect by hindering your growth. 

Some people are just naturally good at dealing with stress. They keep their emotions in check and don’t let any stress affect their performance. Not everyone has that gift. 

Fortunately, you can easily train yourself to be better at handling stressful situations. 

3. Effective decision making

Effective decision-making means going through your alternatives, selecting the most favorable, and implementing them to achieve your goals. 

But having to make too many decisions may make you feel tired and increase your chances of procrastinating. This is called decision fatigue in psychology, and it’s among the biggest productivity killers out there. 

Most people tend to take it lightly, but there is a finite number of decisions you can take before your intellectual capacity starts to diminish. 

You must have heard about Albert Einstein having multiple variations of the same gray suit to avoid deciding what to wear. That might be extreme for some, but no one can say Einstein didn’t lead a productive life. 

On the subject of decision-making, there is another important thing you must note. 

On the subject of decision-making, there is another important thing you must note. 

People sometimes spend a lot of time reviewing their past decisions and lamenting how things could have been different. Doing so prevents them from improving their lives as they are stuck in the past. 

Retrospection is a good thing as you can learn a lot from your past, but too much of it will have the opposite effect. 

Tips to start making better decisions from today

The exact way to improve decision-making skills varies from person to person, but there are some steps you can take to get started. 

  • Consider using mind maps to visualize and better understand complex decisions.
  • Take a look at an issue from another person’s perspective.
  • Weigh out all the pros and cons before deciding anything but don’t spend too much time on it. Once you feel that you’ve got it, take action. After all, we learn from mistakes.
  • Always make a backup plan for important decisions. 
  • When you feel overwhelmed by a decision, try changing the environment, listening to music, lying down, or other relaxation techniques.
  • Take a look at your past decisions and learn from your experience. However, don’t spend too much time doing that, or it’ll take your productivity down.

Decision-making is a leadership skill that you can develop over time. Iteratively work towards it, and you’ll notice yourself getting better and better at it. 

Most importantly, learn to own your good and bad decisions.

4. Ability to learn

The ability to comprehend and understand new things is among the most sought-after skills. Learning new things and improving yourself in the areas where you are weak can help develop your overall personality and make you a more productive individual.

Think about it; there are things that you are good at. Tasks that you complete with brilliance without needing any help. 

What if you could replicate the same brilliance in everything else you do? It would make you more confident and increase your enthusiasm.

You can also try to improve in the areas where feel your strengths lie. 

For instance, someone good at communication can take a few courses on negotiation and sales skills to augment their existing strengths. 

3 ways you can get better at learning new skills

Here are 3 things you can do to get better at picking up new skills. 

  • Read as much as possible. Books are still among the best ways to accelerate personal development, and their benefits aren’t limited to just that. Reading improves your memory, gives you more exposure, and opens you to new experiences.
  • Join a group on the skill you want to learn. Picking up a new skill alone can be a little challenging. However, joining a group focused on the same thing can help you learn faster as you open yourself to new ideas. 
  • Focus on one skill at a time. Just like work, many people fall into the trap of picking up too many things simultaneously. That doesn’t help. You should prioritize the skills you want and work your way from the top. 

5. Your mental and physical health

Your mindset has a lot to do with your performance. That’s why you need to ensure that you have a healthy lifestyle and a certain level of optimism if you want to remain productive. 

For instance, consider a situation where you are overwhelmed at work with tight deadlines. You can treat it as an exciting challenge to improve your time management skills and reward yourself once it’s done. 

This is called Neurolinguistic Programming, NLP, and it can do wonders for your productivity.

Having a positive outlook doesn’t just end at thinking optimistically. You also have to focus on your body. 

Experts suggest that simple exercises like taking a short walk or going up and down the stairs can release endorphins that help you manage stress better and keep you productive. 

Now you have another reason to stay active. Just like everything in life, you can also learn to be optimistic and improve your positive outlook on life.

Simple hacks to improve your health

Here are a few things you can do to remain healthy and productive. They are very generic, but sometimes the simplest things make the most impact. 

  • Watch what you eat
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get enough sleep
  • Spend time with your friends and family
  • Surround yourself with happy people
  • Take regular breaks

Create more time by boosting your productivity: Here’s how we can help

Productivity skills are those that help you do more with what you have. They revolve around time management, decision making, stress management, learning, and good health.

We all get the same 24 hours in a day. Then why is it that so many people accomplish way more than some others in the same timeframe? 

There are several reasons behind this, but you can’t ignore that they simply have better personal productivity skills.

Improving personal productivity skills requires commitment and a set routine. Everyone has off days when they are not motivated to do anything. In such times, a set routine or a feeling of obligation can keep you motivated.

Perhaps it can stem from joining a course. 

Iris Reading partnered up with leading experts from Ivy League schools like Harvard and Stanford to bring you the ultimate personal productivity course. Signing up gives you access to a video-based course along with access to multiple webinars with industry experts who can show you exactly how to stay productive. 

From managing your to-do list to creating a balanced schedule and improving your decision-making skills, Iris Reading is there to help you stay ahead.

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