Step two: Adjust your workday schedule and adjust your behaviors to reduce your unproductive time.
Good examples of this adjustment can relate directly to your workday schedule. By taking your lunch break either earlier or later than others at work automatically creates quiet/productive time during the day. Also, arriving early or leaving late can add quiet/productive time to your daily schedule. How many of you parents have learned to do just this (getting up early or going to bed late) regarding your children and their daily schedule?
For those of you who have the freedom to organize your work day, group similar activities together. This means, as much as possible, organizing your day so that certain activities that require focused attention are grouped together and those that relate to interrelating with others are grouped together.
A tremendous time robber is the telephone. It can provide an ongoing series of interruptions. Fortunately, there are certain standards of conduct that relate to returning phone calls. Use these standards to your benefit to gain quiet time during the day. One example is to organize returning phone calls around other breaks in the day. This would be first thing in the morning, right before and after lunch and at the end of the day. And, by the way, e-mail and the Internet have become an excellent means of timing your communication with others.
For those whose work is in the home and/or child development, creativity and negotiation will also be needed. Most all of us appreciate how the automobile lead to carpooling and a way to create shared responsibility. And, what about "Mother's Day out?" A godsend for many.
If you maintain a traditional orientation to work, your spiritualization will become an impossible task. Examples of how to creatively work smarter will hopefully only spur your own creativity. One, use the time alone in your automobile to voice record your dreams from the evening before or reflect and process on your success in yesterday's spiritual practices. Two, use “waiting” time during the day to get in an additional 20-30 minutes of purposeful reading each day.
Three, engage your spouse/partner in shared responsibility of helping your children with their homework so you can take that time on other spiritual practices. Or make a deal with your older child or neighborhood adolescent to help your youngest with their homework for compensation. The key is to be creative and determined to make changes in your life that will benefit everyone.
The most powerful benefit to others is you being and behaving more spiritual. Try brainstorming with friends or co-workers about how to increase productivity. Go through your daily routine and use the following principles to make changes:
1st Spiritualizing Habit:
Work Smarter, not Harder
by Jef Bartow
In today's accelerating world pace and objective material orientation, many of us are caught up in an almost frenzy of long hours and multitasking to be successful in life. Spiritualizing means bringing into balance both our objective focus and subjective orientation. It also means continually increasing our daily spiritual practices until they are our whole life.
Whatever you call work, even if it is also your passion, need not consume your life. To bring balance in life, we need to improve our productivity whenever possible. In addition, we need to balance our goals and responsibilities with the spiritual reality that fulfilling one's destiny will always involve purpose, balance and focus.
Very likely, work for many of us is our vocation. Typically, we receive compensation for working a 40 hour or so work week. For many professionals, the adage is: 40 hours for a paycheck, 60 hours for a career. On the other hand, studies have shown that typically an American worker consumes over one third of their work hours unproductively.
One way to observe this is to see how there are periods of frenzied activity and periods of waiting (getting ready) for the next wave. The waiting is consumed in conversations, meetings, overseeing others (i.e. children, subordinates), getting reorganized, resting (breaks), etc., all of which are considered work, whether professional or in the home life.
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Step one: Reflect and evaluate where you spend time unproductively during each day.
If you don't feel you spend time unproductively each day, keep a diary of your daily activities for a week. Then group the time you spend on various activities by how much it adds to your goals/responsibilities. Group how much time you consume in the activities listed above as possibly unproductive. This total pool of time is your potential to increase the time for other spiritual practices.
The biggest adjustment in working smarter is learning to say no. Unscheduled interruptions can significantly reduce our ability to focus and accomplish worthwhile tasks and/or spiritual practices in a minimum of time. And remember, these interruptions can come from co-workers, family, friends and even our boss, if you have one. But the most powerful use of no is using it in a positive way. "I'd really like to talk about that, so let's schedule a time later today or tomorrow to do just that."
Step four: Adjust your own and others expectations of your commitment and agreements.
Lastly, one of the best ways to improve productivity is to remove unneeded expectations within our self and from others. Bucking the tide of traditional and/or assumed expectations can be a spiritual practice in itself. If needed, migrate the quantity of time spent with your children to quality time. Make or adjust your professional commitments to reasonably balance your focus on work.
With all the above changes, remember that working smart 45 hours per week is far more productive than working a traditional 50 to 55 hours per week. In addition, the increased time and focus on your spiritual practices will make you far more successful in life, both short term and in the long run.
· Create shared responsibility to bring more balance
· Create win-win solutions to barriers and obstacles
· Remove yourself from "the box" to get perspective
· Spiritual solutions come from changing your attitude and orientation
Step three: Learn to say no in a positive way.