Don’t Be a Headless Chicken: 8 Tips for More Happiness and Productivity

regain-your-head-for-more-productivity-and-happiness

As soon as the headless chicken wakes up, it starts running in circles. It becomes frantically active, checks its mail, and feels the urge to do something. Anything that can relieve the stress and the worries will do.

While handling the phone, it opens the pantry to refill the coffee maker. Too bad, there is no more ground coffee left. Well, instant coffee will do for now.

“Shit, it put the coffee in the kettle instead of the cup…”

The chicken has no time; it wants to do everything at once.

And so it forgets some of its papers on the nightstand and runs back and forth and all around the house to fetch everything for the office.

It truly has lost its head.

Fortunately, the drive to the office is without any major incident. While still at the wheel, the chicken’s head is already at the morning meeting.

It doesn’t see anything to its left or right.  Neither beauty nor danger! Had a little chick suddenly run out from behind the parking cars, it would have been flat!

In fact, a little bit earlier, there was a little chick.

Luckily, by the time the headless chicken drove by, the little chick had already safely crossed the street. An elderly couple saw it early and stopped to allow the chick to cross safely.

The headless chicken didn’t know anything about this though when it angrily flashed its headlights at the slow moving car in front of it – the car of the elderly couple that had just spared the headless chicken a nightmare.

What does this have to do with me?

I have been a headless chicken at some point in my life. Sometimes I still am, I am afraid.

But now I have more experience and strategies to re-find my head in most situations. I am still learning, mind you.

In this post, I want to share with you how we often lose our head in the craziness of our busy mind, and eight simple techniques that help me to stay happy and productive.

If even one of them helps you to get back your peace of mind and cruise through the day, this post has served its purpose.

How the chicken lost its head

At the root of our frantic activity are worries that we are going to run out of time or money and the realization that we have no control over this world.

We feel we have to do something, anything to get back in control and on top of things.

Here are some common causes for our headless-ness: Continue reading

Use Timeboxing to Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done

Use timeboxing to boost your productivity and stop procrastinating

Most of us have a tendency to put off work we don’t like very much, or work so daunting that we cannot see how we can ever finish it.

Do you postpone work because you don’t know where to start or how to finish it?

When I was a child, we had a large garden, and if it wasn’t winter, I regularly had to attend to it and pick weeds. To me, the vegetable patches appeared to be huge. I just could not see an end to my work. And actually, there was no end to it!
My concept of time was very different from my parents’.

I became increasingly frustrated and started killing time by engaging in dirt throwing competitions with my brother. Sometimes we spend more time procrastinating than working.

This is a pity, because our productivity could have been much higher. Instead of wasting time, we could have gone for a swim or played football with our friends. We lacked structure and possibly some rewards.

If you too are procrastinating because the task at hand is too complex or time consuming, you need to break it into consumable pieces and structure it.

I know, this is easier said than done, but here is what you can do…

Spend a few minutes to reflect on what you can do to move your task forward. Ask yourself, “What are the very next action steps I have to take to move this forward?”
Note down these steps, perhaps three or four, and then get going:

Timeboxing to the Rescue

Continue reading