Personal Productivity

A day well-spent is a day cherished. We always find some days in our life where we achieve much more; all that has been planned is easily taken care of. At the end of such a day, we actually feel refreshed. There is no sign of the fatigue that bogs us down on days where nothing much has been achieved. So what causes this seemingly strange paradox? The answer lies in our personal productivity. 

Personal productivity is the output an individual can achieve given the time he has and the tasks he is supposed to perform. Personal productivity is very satisfying for the inner consciousness. It is a primary source of self-confidence for an individual and boosts his or her moral and raises the self-esteem. It is  the very foundation of success. An individual who is highly productivity on a day-to-day basis achieves a lot at the end of the week, more in a month, much more in a year and so on. 

So why do people suffer from lack of personal productivity and remain busy in unproductive activities that keep a person occupied and waste his time? There are several reasons for this idle state of mind. These can be summarized as follows: 

  1. Lack of Focus: Many people do not proceed with any kind of focus or direction. Without any clarity on what is to be achieved; such people waste away their time waiting for things to happen rather than making them possible. 
  2. No personal goals: Every individual must have personal goals. These include family goals, financial goals, spiritual goals, career goals etc. People with no goals often find themselves being self-satisfied with little or no achievements at the end of the day. 
  3. Too many distractions: Anyone who wishes to achieve good results must give up this habit of ‘multi-tasking’ or trying to do various things simultaneously. Rather he/she must focus on doing one thing at a time quickly and efficiently before more on to the next thing. 
  4. Not preparing a To-do list: People who do not actively plan for the work day – preparing an agenda of things to be carried out during the day handicap themselves by relying completely on their memory and working on an ad-hoc basis. It is always better to have list of things ready before starting work and planning the available time accordingly. 
  5. No review: Even the best of plans may not always produce results. What is important is a continuous review of tasks to be achieved. This will enable unfinished tasks of the previous day to be completed on the day. 
  6. Staying happy and cheerful: Enthusiasm and confidence go together. People who are generally cheerful energetically move about the days and quite easily accomplish much more than those who remain serious and self-restrained.

In conclusion, whatever we achieve in the long term ultimately is a sum total off all the small actions we take on a day to day basis. In everything we do, we must strive to improve our personal productivity so that we can live fuller, happier, and more accomplished lives.

Self Esteem

What is Self Esteem? Self-esteem refers to the person’s self-belief. It embodies how a person rates himself. If you rate yourself high and respect yourself, people will also respect you. At the same time if you are casual about your personality, people will take you for granted. When people take you for granted and do not care for you, you self-esteem suffers further. You start considering that you are insignificant. It is necessary that you have to always ensure that people respect your opinions.

 If you do not know about something the best thing is that don’t give your opinion and accept that your knowledge on the subject is not enough to form an opinion. However if you know the subject and have an opinion and your opponent does agree, never argue. The best thing is to say that we agree to disagree. Let the matter rest there.

When you are attending a meeting or a conference, you must participate actively. Remaining a mute listener will affect your self-esteem. Before attending the meeting it is necessary to collect your thoughts on the subject so that you are well equipped to participate. In the meeting you should be an active listener. It is only when you listen to the speakers that you can express your own view.

You should not interrupt somebody’s argument. If you are alert you will find a space where you can intervene and try to express yourself in a fashion that nobody is offended. But the participants genuinely consider your views.  

However self-esteem is not only about communication. You taking care of your health, your clothes, the way you carry yourself all are important. In order to make a mark in the society and establish your place it is important to keep you self esteem high.

Stage Fright

Stage Fright is a much used term these days. In fact, almost every professional is required to design and deliver powerful presentations while confidently facing the audience. The basic question remains – What is Stage Fright? And how does one overcome it?

Stage Fright begins with certain overt and physical symptoms. These include trembling of the hands, quavering of the legs, dryness of the throat, or just a feeling of the mind going completely blank. One needs to understand that these are only early signs of stage fright. If stage fright is controlled in its early stage it can be prevented from transforming itself into a strong and very real fear of the audience. In fact the speaker must take positive steps to overcome this situation.  Here is what can be done:

  1. Prepare: This is the first and most important way to overcome stage fright. Inadequate preparation is in fact an invitation to stage fright. Never make a presentation without full preparation. 
  2. Practice: It is said practice makes perfect. Practice is that part of preparation, where the presenter not only creates a beautiful PowerPoint – but he also well rehearses it before an imaginary audience. In fact, good presenters anticipate and answer all sorts of questions to fully prepare themselves.
  3. Focus on the opening:  Well begun is half done. Since stage fright is generally at its maximum in the beginning, a good opening will ensure that you catch the audience interest and attention.  That will do work wonders with your confidence.
  4. Interest in the subject matter: A speaker must have strong interest in his subject. Any speaker who is disinterested or half-hearted, can hardly expect his audience to listen to him intently.
  5. Shift focus of attention: Some presenters are always worried about doing a good job at the presentation. Rather the speaker should focus on the audience’s requirements. What do they need? Why have they gathered to hear him speak? How are they responding to his communication? A positive focus on these questions will enable him to gain greater confidence as the presentation rolls along.

Someone has said that stage fright and confidence are two sides of the same coin. You turn one and the other appears. So the next time you are feeling a little nervous, tell yourself your feeling confident, and believe me you may quite be able to work things out. Remember, it only takes one really good presentation to take your communication skills to the level of a public speaker.

Posture

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Posture

Posture is a very important part of your personality. It’s necessary to develop an elegant posture- while standing, walking or even sitting. If the posture is not correct the breathing is also affected. It becomes shallow. Shallow breathing is not good for speech. The voice is impaired and becomes feeble. So even from the point of view of effective communication, good posture is a must. Recommended standing position of an elegant posture is described below:

  1. The feet may be slightly apart.
  2. The general disposition of the weight should be slightly forwards.
  3. The pelvis should be above the instep.
  4. The torso should be directly above the pelvis; neither in front of nor behind it.
  5. The abdominal muscles should feel braced without tension.
  6. The torso should feel raised, but not stretched, away from the pelvis.
  7. The shoulders should be directly above the pelvis and should be in line with the breastbone at the front.
  8. The head should feel well balanced immediately above the shoulders. It should be neither in advance of them nor behind them.
  9. The chain should be in a medical position, neither showing the underside of the jaw, nor pulled back allowing a ‘double-chin’ to form.

Developing ability to say ‘No’

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Developing ability to say ‘No’

Often times, we are scared to say ‘no’ even if we want to, even if we need to.

Suppose a friend asks you for ‘help’ to complete a project. You know that you are extremely busy and you don’t have the time for the ‘help’ requested. Being scared of offending a friend you just accept the request without proper thinking. This is lack of ‘assertiveness’. It will lead to a greater problem when the relevant time comes. If you help, you will consider in your mind that your friend is inconsiderate because your own work is suffering. If you don’t, your friend will be upset because you have gone back from your commitment and let him/her down.

So, what should you do?

Develop assertiveness. It’s developing your ability to say ‘no’ when you need to say ‘no’. But you have to say it in a manner that it does not offend your friend. You must use your language and articulate your inability in such words and such tone that your friend appreciates your position rather than feeling upset. The same holds good for your colleagues in office and others.

 

Act never React!

3 Magical Words that can change you life. What do these words mean? Simply stated these mean that your words must simply stated these mean that you must always remain composed – Never exceedingly happy, and never heavily sad.

Never react to a person, nor to any situation. It may so happen that someone has told you something which he or she should not have said. You may become angry and give it back in the same coin. But that will not solve the problem. It will aggravate it. Then what should you do? Should you take things lying down? No! Yet, you must practice to remain composed and ask your mind what you should do? You will mind will surely respond. You will be able to say  such words ‘cooly’ to your opponent that will work out to be a befitting response. The person will never dare to insult you again. Is it easy to acquire such strength in character? No it is not. But, it is quite possible by consistently reminding yourself that you must never ever react. You should ‘act’ instead. Asking your mind is in fact your ‘action’.

We must all remember that when we ‘act’, we use our mind. But when we ‘react’, we lose our mind. Using the mind is surely a better alternative. Your mind provides you with ample opportunities to overcome difficult, indeed very difficult situations. It is worth becoming adept in using your mind gainfully, always

‘Voice Modulation’

We hear a lot about voice modulation in the age of public presentations.

What is modulation? And why is it so important?

Voice Modulation is your ability, rather, talent to bring in variance in pace, pause, pitch, emphasis on the key word and the tone. Unless you modulate your voice while speaking to a group or even a lone listener, the chances are that you speech will not be effective at all. We have often seen some members of the audience dozing away while the speaker continues his/her speech. Now, I will explain- pace, pause, pitch, emphasis on the key word and the tone.

Pace: if you speak very fast you will not be understood but, if you speak very slowly you tend to become dull and listeners will not like to listen to you. However, when you speak with a medium speech, though audience can understand you but the same pace of your words will render your speech monotonous.

Pause: Just as in written text you have coma, full stop, paragraph and other punctuation marks, your speech too must reflect the same by means of pauses of different durations. This will make the speech effective.

Pitch: It is the note on which you speak. While attending a solemn meeting you cannot speak on higher pitch. But at the same time if the commentator of a football match speaks at a low pitch, nobody will like to listen to him.

Emphasis on the key word: Just as you get unwanted results if you Google a wrong key word, different meaning will be conveyed by the same sentence when you emphasis a wrong word.

Tone: Tone is most dicey. It is easy to control the words and the sentences. But it is very difficult to control the tone. Tone represents the emotions with which you speak. Often times, due to inappropriate tone the speaker lands into trouble.