Having effective ways to develop competence can help us improve our performance and become better achievers.
As we give more attention to developing competence in any area, we’ll create better results.
What is Competence?
Competence is the ability to do something successfully or efficiently. It means we can do something well.
Having competence means having adequate knowledge and skills to carry out a task. Competence on a task means having the ability to think and behave that will lead to the successful execution of that task.
The Benefits of Developing Competence
When we develop competence in areas important to us, the benefits will include:
- Having greater levels of confidence.
- Completing tasks quicker or more efficiently.
- Making fewer mistakes which means we need less time to finish a task.
- Lower chance of compromising our safety.
- Becoming more knowledgeable and informed.
- Improving our chances of taking advantage of opportunities.
As we learn ways to develop competence in any area, we’ll not only benefit ourselves, we’ll also benefit others.
When we have a high intention to achieve something we want, with no attachment to it, we can achieve it faster.
The starting point to achieve anything new is a desire or an intention. The stronger our desire or intention, the more energy we’ll give to achieve it.
A high intention can be the difference between achieving something we want or not.
What Does Having High Intention Mean?
Having a high intention means we’ve defined what we want and are emotionally connected to it. It’s having the awareness and the commitment to do what’s required to achieve our goal.
We can make things difficult for ourselves if we have a high intention for something with an attachment to it. Sometimes, constantly striving and becoming obsessed about what we want, in an unhealthy way, can slow down our progress.
The ideal situation is to have a high intention to achieve our goal, but have a low attachment to it.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care or take action to achieve our goal. It means we don’t have to focus on our goal obsessively. We have to learn to trust we’ll achieve our goal at the right time.
The Different Stages of Intention and Attachment
- High Intention / High Attachment. This is when we’re constantly striving and pushing ourselves. It can lead to mental and physical exhaustion or burnout.
- High Intention / Low Attachment. This is when we’re doing what’s required to achieve our goal, but we don’t make mean anything about us. If we fall short or don’t achieve our goal, we know we did the best we could. If we achieve our goal, we can celebrate the win and be satisfied with our efforts.
- Low Intention / High Attachment. This is where we want to achieve something, but don’t take the necessary actions to achieve it. This often generates unhealthy emotions when we don’t achieve our goal.
- Low Intention / Low Attachment. This is where we don’t have goals or aren’t clear about what we want, therefore we do nothing new. Since we don’t know what we want, we achieve nothing of significance in our lives.
Our ability to have a high intention and a low attachment to what we want will make us progress faster.
If you apply this simple technique, you will be more effective and get more of the right things done.
Since we live busy lives, having ways that can make us work smarter is an advantage.
Does This Way of Working Sound Familiar?
You sit down to work on your first task. A few minutes in, you get a notification on your phone or computer. You read that notification and respond if required.
Now, you get back to working on your task. As you’re working, you remember you wanted to check something online that you didn’t check before you started working.
You switch over to your internet browser and before you know it, 15 or 20 minutes have gone by. You’re annoyed with yourself for going on the internet. You get back to your task.
You take several minutes to refocus and get back to where you had left off.
As you’re concentrating well again, your phone rings. Now, you’re deciding whether to answer or ignore it because you have done nothing productive so far. Since you’re already distracted, you answer it.
And so it goes. Distractions and interruptions will affect how much you produce every day.
The Downside of Working That Way
If you’re constantly stopping and restarting when you’re working, it will:
- Slow your progress.
- Cause you to lose focus.
- Generate more stress because you’re not progressing as fast as you’d like.
- Make you unproductive.
- Cause you to feel fatigued easily.
- Affect your ability to deal with distractions.
- Cause you to feel you’re always behind and trying to catch up.
- Not allow you to get into a rhythm while working.
This is a bigger challenge if you’re trying to do many similar tasks or repeated processes throughout the week.
There is one simple technique you can apply to become more effective.
Knowing how to take better notes can help us remember or reference things later to have more success.
While it may seem unimportant, learning how to take better notes is a useful skill to develop.
Why is it Important to Learn How to Take Better Notes?
Taking better notes is important because it will:
- Help improve our ability to recall and understand what we’re learning or want to remember.
- Lead to less stress especially when we have to reference something from the past.
- Improve our listening skills.
- Help our ability to focus on the present moment.
- Improve our creativity as we’ll learn how to connect topics or points discussed.
- Make us more productive, efficient and effective because we’ll have a system for capturing and recalling information.
Situations Which Require You to Take Better Notes
We have many situations where knowing how to take better notes can be a huge advantage. These include:
- Learning and studying.
- Brainstorming Sessions.
- Team meetings.
- One-on-one meetings and interviews.
- Educational settings such as conferences, seminars or training programs.
As we improve our ability to take better notes, we’ll gain more confidence to apply what we need. This will lead to more intelligent actions, which will help us achieve the success we want.
With our daily distractions continuing to increase, it’s important to prepare for better productivity to have great days consistently.
We all want to use of our time well and be as productive as we can be. How we use our time impacts what we accomplish every day.
What is Productivity?
Productivity is defined as “the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services.”
It’s the act of producing something or an outcome. It’s easy to confuse busyness with being productive.
If we’re always busy, it doesn’t mean we’re producing the right things to enhance our lives.
Why is it Valuable to Prepare For Better Productivity?
The ability to be productive doesn’t just happen. We have to give it thought to produce the results we want.
If we prepare for better productivity every day, benefits we can expect include:
- More clarity on what we have to do.
- Greater levels of focus or concentration when working.
- Faster progress by working less.
- More free time.
- Increased satisfaction with what we’re accomplishing.
If we don’t prepare for better productivity, we put ourselves at risk of getting distracted. We may also end up wasting valuable time on things or activities that aren’t important.
If you’re like me, one struggle you face consistently is to do what you know you should.
Even though most times, we know what’s best for us, we don’t always do what we know we should.
Doing what we know we should is important if we want to achieve meaningful things and feel good about ourselves.
Signs You Are Not Doing What You Know You Should
There are obvious signs that indicate you’re not doing what you know you should. These include:
- You procrastinate when you have things to do.
- You stay up late even though you have to get up early.
- You don’t take good care of yourself.
- You binge despite knowing it’s not good for you. This may include eating, drinking or watching movies.
- You don’t change things in your life even though you know you’re not happy or inspired.
One thing I have struggled with in the past is exercising consistently. Even though I knew it was important to do physical exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I wasn’t doing any.
The consequence was I gained weight and didn’t feel good about myself, which affected my confidence. When I exercised regularly and paid more attention to what I was eating, I got healthier. That helped me lose the weight I wanted to, which made me feel better about myself and gain more confidence.
The better we understand why we don’t do what we know we should, the more likely we’ll change our behaviour.
Knowing how to improve your sleep cycles is important because it will make a difference to your quality of sleep.
We don’t function at our best if we don’t get enough rest. If we learn more about sleep cycles, we can take appropriate steps to ensure we get a better night’s sleep.
What is a Sleep Cycle?
A sleep cycle is like a stage we go through every time we sleep. There are five cycles we can go through if we give ourselves enough time for sleep.
Each cycle or stage takes around 90 minutes. To get through all the cycles, it’s beneficial to get a minimum of seven and a half hours sleep every night. If we can give ourselves nine hours of sleep, that’s highly beneficial because we’ll get through six sleep cycles.
Benefits of Improving Your Sleep Cycles
Improving our sleep cycle will lead to better quality sleep, however there are additional benefits. These include:
- Waking up feeling rested and relaxed.
- Maintaining a positive mood which means having a healthy attitude throughout the day.
- Feeling more energised and alert.
- Having greater levels of focus or concentration.
- Staying more present which means higher productivity.
By giving more attention to what we can do to improve our sleep cycles, we can have highly productive days.
Knowing how to get unstuck and move forward is valuable to know because our daily pressures often slows us down.
Feeling stuck can be painful but staying there for a prolonged period is even more painful.
What Does it Mean to Be Stuck?
When we’re in a state of feeling stuck, it can cause:
- Mental turmoil and emotional stress.
- Reduced levels of motivation.
- Lack of clarity and confusion.
- Slow progress towards what we want to accomplish.
- Low levels of positive expectancy or happiness.
Commons Reasons People Get Stuck
There are many reasons why we feel stuck and some of these include:
- Having too many things to do with no clear criteria for prioritising them.
- Lacking self-confidence to pursue something.
- Not believing in ourselves and our ability to achieve what we want.
- Ignoring problems or pretending we don’t have them.
- Comparing our progress or success to others.
- Not having plans resulting in not knowing what actions to take.
- Believing we don’t have the resources to reach our goals.
- Being afraid to fail.
- Criticising ourselves for mistakes we’ve made.
- Doing the same things hoping to get a different result.
Having ways to get unstuck will help us get back into action and move towards the things we want.
One way to become more productive is to adjust your habits to support you in accomplishing what you want.
Our lives and our results are the accumulation of our habits. To make changes that will last, we have to review what we’re doing, what’s working or not working.
Once we have that awareness, we can take relevant actions to identify and form habits that will help us.
As our habits are like deep roots, changing them can be challenging. We often experience resistance which plays out as excuses, justifications or stories we tell ourselves why changing something is not the best idea or won’t work for us.
How Habits Work
Before we adjust our habits, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of how habits work. We can break habits down into these stages:
As we know more about what’s happening at each stage, we’ll notice what’s happening when we’re going through the process of adjusting our habits.
As we’re living such busy lives, having the ability to cope with overwhelm, without losing focus, is a distinct advantage.
It doesn’t take much for us to start feeling overwhelmed because we have to deal with many things in our personal and professional lives.
Things That Can Cause Overwhelm
Whenever we feel overwhelmed, it means certain things are happening or playing out for us. Some of these include:
- Lack of clarity on what’s most important now.
- No clear criteria for managing priorities.
- Having more things to do than we have time available to do them.
- Not having the confidence or competence to do something.
- Failing to set boundaries with others.
The Costs of Overwhelm
Even though feeling overwhelmed is self-generated, it’s not a pleasant experience to have. The costs of overwhelm include:
- Emotional turmoil which can cause irritability, frustration or anger.
- Failing to meet deadlines.
- Not being able to focus well which can cause poor quality work.
- Having low confidence and motivation to get things done.
- Losing self-trust and trust with others.
Being able to cope with overwhelm means we’ll still complete things without losing focus.