5 Ways to Speed Up Productivity

Everyone loves high productivity, but is it easier to be said than done? As a person who procrastinates too often, high productivity seems to be out of the question for me. I used to not be able to hand in my best work for school assignments periodically because of that very bad habit of mine – something that I usually referred to as ‘a peccadillo’.

As I grow up and becoming increasingly bothered by my constant unproductivity, I knew I need to do something to rectify my problem.

I ‘googled’ my problem and did some rather intensive research on the remedy. I experiment with a few of the suggestions and it turns out to be beneficial. Hence, I would like to share with everyone here on the 5 ways to speed up your productivity.

1. AVOID MULTITASKING & START PRIORITISING 

(Image: philmaffetone)


Everyone tends to make such a mistake. We all thought that engaging in multi-tasking will speed up our work. But, to disappoint you, no it does not.

Unless you are that 2% of the population who are capable of multi-tasking, but the chances are low, and we tend to overestimate our ability to do so. Just like you are unable to focus on the road while driving and talking on your phone at the same time, multitasking at work or studying has the same detrimental effect. Our brain needs time to refocus and studies have shown that multitasking reduces our productivity by 40%.


Instead of reading e-mails, scrolling through your social media accounts, reading random fanfics, working on your proposals, messaging your friends all within the span of 5 minutes, why not focus on one thing first, complete it, before moving onto the next one?

Prioritising is important. Prioritising what you have to do first can help you stay on track because you will be more organised this way. It will help to keep your mind clear from any distractions and your focus level will go up.
2. IMPOSE DEADLINE ON YOURSELF

(Image: Happyologist)

Since we are on ‘prioritising’, it would not be complete if we do not set a deadline for ourselves. We can be spending hours and days and probably weeks on the task that is on top of our priority list but that is going to defeat the purpose.

Imposing deadline on yourself will create the sense of urgency, expect for those of you are impervous to deadlines. I will always set a deadline for myself on when I have to get certain things done – even for my shopping and fitness schedule.


Spend a little time at the start of the week to schedule your work (if you have more than a week to complete them) evenly, so that you wouldn’t have to panic when the deadline is reaching. If your deadline is on Friday, try and complete it by Wednesday, so that you will have 2 days to fine tune them and make sure you produce your best possible work. It’s not going to be easy, but force yourself – that’s the best advice I can give because I am also still in the process of doing this right.


3. TAKE BREAK WHEN REQUIRED


Not as and when you like, but when required.

American self-help author Melody Beattie once wrote in “Journey to the Heart”,

“Rest when you are tired. Take a break when life stales. Take time to recharge your battery. Energy isn’t something you have – it’s something you are. To give and give and give, to put out without taking in, depletes your battery. It drains you, runs you down.”

Whenever I become wearied, I will put all my work aside and put my mind into rest mode. I am the kind of person who cannot focus once the fatigue level reaches a certain level and my brain will automatically shut down.


Instead of pushing yourself through the ordeal (and you can’t focus anyway), why not take a break, have a cup of coffee, have a KitKat or go for a walk. It’s good to put occasional 15-30 minutes breaks into your schedule so that you know the duration of the break you should be having and prevent yourself from turning a well-deserved break into a period of slacking.

 

4. SKIP THE QUEUE WITH APPS

 (Image: DBS Bank)


Thanks to the developments in technology, it is not surprising that there are mobile apps out there which can aid us in our cause for better productivity at the tip of our fingers. There is a “To-do List” app to keep track on your task, an “Accompany” app to keep track on your daily schedule and much more.


In Singapore, we all love food. But because of that, almost every hawker stalls, restaurants are full of crowds and it is inevitable that we have to spend much of our lunchtime queuing up for our favourite food (especially if your favourite food turns out to be everyone else’s favourite food).

I could be working on my articles or my videos instead of spending meaningless time stalking people scrolling through my social accounts while queuing.


One day, I was introduced to this app. It changes how I work, completely.

Okay, actually it’s a few apps.

Simply search for “DBS FasTrack” in your Apple or Google app store and you will see a list of restaurant apps appearing right on your screen.




Something like that.

After which, download the app that you wish to use.

Launch the app, order from a menu and pay for your food/drink on-the-go. Cashless payment is built into the apps so you can pay using your DBS/POSB credit or debit card, or with DBS PayLah! (a separate innovative mobile wallet app you’ve got to download which allows customers to transfer money instantly and conveniently to anyone, oven non-DBS customers!) [iOS] [Android].


There’s no doubt why DBS Bank is crowned the “World’s Best Digital Bank” in 2016 by Euromoney. They have been putting in efforts, such as embarking on a comprehensive and holistic mission, to change the culture and mindset of staff, re-architecting its technology infrastructure, and leveraging Big Data, biometrics and artificial intelligence to reimagine banking.


I don’t even need to bother about wasting time to queue. Just order it using the app and take note of the waiting time, go down to pick up your food/drinks once it is ready (the app will send you a notification). Just take and go, what can be more time-saving in comparison? It really helped me utilise my time to the maximum because instead of queuing, I could be doing my work to speed up my productivity.

Restaurants like Old Tea Hut, Five Star Restaurant, Old Kim Guan and Koufu (100AM and Square 2 branches) already have apps powered by DBS FasTrack available for download!

You can check out more information right here!

5. KEEP YOUR WORKING AREA CLEAN

(Image: Empiretoday)
 
My workplace is never that tidy. It is always in a constant mess, hence it explains why if I were to rush out my articles or any work, I will leave the comfort of my work desk and probably find myself sitting in the dining room to get them done.
 
The dining table is much cleaner as compared to my work desk – which is filled with magazines, stationaries, and drafts lying all around. It is not surprising how a cleaner workplace does aid in increasing your productivity level. 
 
According to a study done by Jeffery Campbell, PhD chair of the facilities management program at Brigham Young University, on the relationship between cleanliness and learning in higher education, 88% of the 1, 481 respondents reflected that ‘productivity, concentration and learning is hampered by dingy places.’ The reason being? When there are too many things on your work desk, you will tend to get easily distracted from what you are supposed to do.
 
 
Take me for an example. I have a stack of Men’s Health magazines on my desk, right beside my working area. Over the period of an hour when I was trying to research for this article, I’ve realised I’ve probably spent at least a quarter of the time flipping through the magazines. And after which, I got my brain really drained to even able to focus on my research. You see, when you are not focusing on something, that something suddenly becomes more interesting. 
 
Hence, remove everything that could be a distraction to you on your desk and keep it clean and tidy. If not, move to another tidier place where nothing else will distract you. Trust me, your productivity will increase.

Charmz 21st


For those who were born in 1996, like myself, this will be the year when we officially attained adulthood. 

And some of us decided to celebrate this ‘milestone’ by organising a party. And on Charmaine’s 21st, I get to attend my first 21st birthday party for this year.

On 12th March, Charmz reached the milestone ahead of most of us. 

On 11th March, we joined her family and her other friends to give her our blessing on the coming of age. It was a joyous occasion, as all of us gathering at her house that evening.

I reached the venue together with two couples: Peishan and Jinming, and Yap Qi and Kishan. It could have been worse for me if the third pair – Clarice and Ding Yuan – had not decided to head to the venue themselves alone. I was on the bus, serving the role of a navigator – because none of us were confident on the directions to Charmz’s house.

By the time we reached, Clar and Ding Yuan had already reached (they said they will be late) while Wanlin and Michelle were there way earlier before all of us.

The two girls became, respectively, the make-up artiste and the make-up intern for that evening. Wanlin was helping the girls out with the make-ups.

We must have felt honoured to be the group of friends who were entitled to ransack occupy her room while her other group of friends and relatives occupied the other rooms and the living room. We even locked her out of her own room because we were doing the final touches to the ‘explosive box’ that we’ve made for her. 

The entire house was bustled with people, and the birthday girl had to go around entertaining everyone. When we were ready with our surprises, Mish went out to ‘trick’ her into the room, while we waited patiently inside with the lights off. We held e-candles that we downloaded from the app store in replace of the birthday candles.

Talking about the kind of efforts we put in. HAHAHA

She came in and got really shocked by the scene right in front of her as “Happy Birthday” echoed around the room.

The little one was so amazed by the content inside the ‘explosive box’.

We had a second round of “Happy Birthday” singing when everyone assembled in the living room for the grandest moment of the evening – the cake cutting ceremony.

 

 


Our girl has grown up. *Insert tear dropping emoji*

Okay, not really because she was standing on an elevated platform. Oops. HAHAHA

She was asked to make a speech.


And then, we managed to capture a very meme-worthy moment.




I swear the birthday tarts that her friend(s) made were damn nice!

 

 

 

 

Our group is getting larger and larger year by year. Awww

Because there are three couples right now. 🙂

 

I could smell love at every corner.

While we were lingering around enjoying the birthday tarts/cakes, Nic proved to us that she is indeed a ‘baby whisperer’.

Featuring the behind the scene of that previous photo. HAHAHA

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ONCE AGAIN, CHARMZ! (Although this post is two weeks late omg)
 

 

Chinese New Year 2017: From Flowers to Food

It’s already close to two month since CNY – time flies doesn’t it? Earlier in the year, I wrote on my Dayre that I aimed to write at least 4 blog post per month from February onwards. But then, I failed myself. I didn’t have time to sit down and complete all those drafts that had been rotting in my account. Although I am still able to post on Dayre almost everyday – cramming my thoughts into a post within the last 15 minutes of the day – witness how much of a procrastinator I am?

Since it’s already March, I think I need to do something to keep this blog going.

Initially, I had three separate posts about this year’s CNY but I think I am getting too lazy – is that a signal that I am aging prematurely? I shall just combine them into an omnibus edition and just fill them up merely with pictures.

Day 2 of CNY – 29/1 

As per tradition, my family and I went to my aunt’s house for a mini gathering before heading out for a family outing – with just the three of us.

Ever since the passing of my maternal grandfather roughly 8 years back, our CNY becomes much simple. There was no more large gathering over at the old house, no more staring sessions with the dog, no more wandering around the Venus entrance of the MacRitchie Nature Trail. It is kind of funny that how much I used to dread traveling to grandpa’s house when I was young. Probably one reason was that my maternal family is really large. The moment as I stepped into the gates, I had to hide behind my mum before being greeted by 20 over people – some of them I hardly recognise. Fair enough, I get a lot of ang bao because of that, but it was kind of intimidating coming face to face with so many people.

Despite that, I have to count my blessing that I have never yet faced any questioning regarding my future plans – a problem that most Singaporean youngsters face during the festive season. Probably I was still quite young back then. I did not have any plans other than trying to complete my PSLE and grow up. 

Anyway, fast forward 8 years, it becomes just a small gathering where we will have a simple lunch over at my aunt’s house, just a few streets across from where I stay. 

 

Of course, I need my annual OOTD – something that all of us started becoming frenzy about since Instagram appears in our life. After the gathering, we decided to head to Gardens by the Day – for the second consecutive year – to see the spring flowers.

We obviously took a lot of photos at Marina Bay Sands, on the way to our destination.

 
My mum and I – Her attire just fits the entire mood of the festival.
My dad and I.
 
As my parents seldom have photos together because we seldom go out as a family together due to work and my parents’ knee problems, I find that there is a need to help them take more shots together during the trip.
 
It’s the duty of a son to make sure they have a lot of memories throughout their years of marriage captured and archived. THEY LOOK SO GOOD TOGETHER!
 
The flower exhibits at both of the domes in Garden by the Bay for this year’s Chinese New Year looks similar to the one we saw last year – I mean spring flowers doesn’t change overnight, it’s always that same old species of flowers that will bloom during this period of the year.
It’s the Year of the Rooster, so I guess it is mandatory to display the mascot around the garden. 
 
I was busying taking pictures of the flowers because they were just so beautiful. I love the sight of flowers because they can make your day any time.
Day 4 of CNY –  31/1
On the 4th day of CNY, my family and I went down to Chinatown – after all the CNY hype was gone. Chinatown on the 4th day of CNY is still as crowded (like what else can one expect of the tourist destination?) Everyone was there either to have a walk before the end of their holiday or to take this opportunity to taste the delicacies Chinatown has to offer.

Home to two of the Michelin-starred stalls, Chinatown is no doubt the ‘food heaven’ for both Singaporeans and tourists alike.

We didn’t have the chance to patronise the two Michelin-starred stalls because we were lazy to queue up that long for food so we looked for other alternatives.

There are a lot of soya sauce chicken stalls in Chinatown Complex alone, so we were definitely spoilt of choices. We settled for Ma Li Ya Virgin Chicken and a big plate of lohei from Zhen Jie Facai Yusheng. A bit too much for just the three of us but well, it was CNY period and I was serving my cheat week.


The lohei from Zhen Jie was dubbed as the most famous in Chinatown – and it definitely lived up to its reputation when I had to queue a good 15 minutes for it. (The queue was much longer when I revisited Chinatown Centre three days later during the seventh day of CNY – when the local Chinese has the custom of gathering for lohei.)

Of course, that was one of the few lohei I had throughout this CNY. We had a mandatory one on the seventh day – which also coincides with Lichun – which signifies the actual beginning of spring.

I tend to call lohei as ‘Chinese Salad’.

Day 8 of CNY – 4/2
A gathering over at Tricia’s house for a steamboat session with my bunch of morons.

The gathering was discussed way back last year when I realised she stayed in one of my dream private housing estate. So I was like, “Next year’s CNY gathering at your house!” I am glad it became a reality to visit one of my dream houses (Yes, I have lots of dream houses, all spreaded across this tiny island). 

I was wowed by both the exterior and interior design of her house the moment I stepped into it. I just love it so much and it even has a roof top where we hang out talking about random shit (as well as listening to Audrey’s very happening story) after we were done with our dinner.

I know we look like a big family. HAHAHA

Meanwhile, I discover a yearbook from SRJC on Trish’s bookshelf, so I took it out and browse it through. I didn’t have a change to get my hands on SRJC’s 25th anniversary handbook because I left the school before the 25th year.

And hey look, I spotted Viv and my other former classmates on one of the pages.

Day 15 of CNY – 11/2
Another CNY gathering and this time it’s at Nic’s house! I was late because I can only joined them after my work so they started eating first without me.

And because Viv had to go early, before I arrived, so they also took a group photo without me. HAHAHA

But hey, they actually left a sit there for me to photoshop myself into the picture. HAHAHA. They are always so cute. It’s always great to see all of them again.