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One sure way of to improve your productivity is to understand your "hate to do" list. What is your hate to do list? Basically, these are things you don’t like to do, or things that make you feel uneasy. It can be something like calling a nasty client or setting a meeting with a colleague that does not like you.

1. We All Have Them

Do not feel bad you have a hate to do list. We all have them and there is nothing wrong with having this list. The important thing is as you gain experience, hopefully the hate to do list gets shorter. You will gain wisdom to know how to deal with these things you hate now. To make the list shorter, you have to do them as experience is the best teacher.

2. It’s A Source Of Stress

Your hate to do list is a source of stress as it will keep bugging you till you do it. It is something that hangs above your head and you cannot get rid of. It’s something you need to do and you might just as well start attacking it. It holds you back and you do not even realize it. Once you start, you will immediately feel relieved and you stay focused better, hence helping to improve your productivity.

3. It Will Keep Piling

The longer you drag in doing it, the more it will pile up. Eventually, you will still have to do it. It really makes no sense to delay something you have to do, because it is a source of stress and in the long run you want to know how to deal with it. Best advice? Start working on them and see how you can improve your productivity.

4. It Will Slow You Down

How will it slow you down? In all likelihood, you will create excuses on why you should not work on this list. You will find the elusive better time, telling yourself you have a valid reason for not doing it. But they are all just excuses if you were brutal with yourself. It’s just a delaying technique. If you don’t start, this will just weigh you down. How can you improve your productivity in that case?

5. How Do You Do It?

This list is not likely to be very long in the first place. It is likely two to three items you do not particularly enjoy doing. Within it, there will be subsections. Divide them out into smaller sections then. Once you have divided them into smaller chunks, do the easier ones first. The idea is to get into the momentum and let the action gain traction. You will feel a little better and as you do, you will do more. What if it cannot be broken into smaller chunks? Like having a meeting with a colleague you do not like? Well, then the good news is it is only one meet. Focus on the work needed and what the completion of the work can do for your career. Meanwhile, figure out how you can bring the animosity to a closure.

6. Why Do Them If You Hate Them?

Does it make sense to force yourself to do something that you dislike? Well, if you have a choice, of course you need not do them. But even CEOs have hate to do list. Can one then delegate this? Of course you can. But you will never be better at your work. There will always be that something that is sort of your Achilles’ heel... somewhat of a weakness that will someday catch up on you. Besides, people in the office will soon figure out you are always delegating things you hate to do. How far will that bring you in your career? Or your likability factor? Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.

All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.