"A proverb a day keeps distractions at bay" ... Okay, you caught us. That's not a real proverb. We just made it up, but it's true nonetheless. We collected 10 well-known proverbs about productivity and backed up their claims with insider business tips and facts to encourage you on those difficult work days. Today, we'll give your our first five insights. Post them on the wall by your desk for inspiration, or share them with your friends and colleagues when they feel like throwing in the towel.
1. "It is possible to move mountains by carrying small stones."
Have you ever looked at a project and felt completely overwhelmed without a clue for how to start? If you have read The Progress Principle by Theresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, then you know about the power of "small wins." They say that small wins ignite our motivation to work and make further progress possible. By moving one stone at a time, eventually we will have moved so many that the entire project is complete. For the best productivity, one study says you should work in small chunks of time as opposed to straight through an 8-hour day. Split your progress into 90-minute work sessions followed by 15-minute breaks to increase your focus by 16%.
2. "A picture is worth a thousand words."
Whether you consider yourself a visual learner or an auditory learner, that fact is that we process visual information faster than written information. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. This is why marketers love infographics, why Instagram and Snapchat are so successful, and why you hire a photographer instead of a journalist for your wedding. Pictures just work.
3. "A dull pencil is greater than the sharpest memory."
Do you have the memory of an elephant or of a goldfish? A study by the Dominican University of California shows that people who write down their goals (and share them with a friend) are 33% more likely to accomplish their goals than those who only rely on thought formulation to push progress. Next time you have a bright idea, grab a napkin and the closest writing utensil - be that a dull pencil or your child's favorite green marker - and write it down to keep you more accountable. Or better yet, jot down your idea in Wrike for safe keeping!
4. "No living man all things can."
If you find yourself mulling over work 25 hours a day, 8 days a week, it's time to re-prioritize your work life. The Harvard Business Review shared this fun fact: 41% of a knowledge worker's daily tasks could be handled more competently if they were delegated. Easier said than done, we know, but the benefits are worth it. Harvard Business Review said that knowledge workers who redistributed their tasks saved themselves about 6 hours of work and 2 hours of meetings per week. One man can't do everything, so learn to rely on others.
5. "A stitch in time saves nine."
If you can fix it with one stitch now, you'll save yourself nine stitches in the future. The GTD method recommends that if the task will take less than two minutes then tackle it without delay. If you comply to this method, you won't have to waste future efforts on the small task AND any mistakes that have resulted from not fixing the issue early on. You'll thank yourself later.
Feeling inspired? Share these with friends and colleagues, print them out for the office, and make everyone's productivity shine.
And don't forget, this is only the beginning. If you liked these, we bet you'll love the next five proverbs, too. Stay tuned to re-examine more tips that can give you the extra boost you need.