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5 Habits You Need To Delete From Your Life To Increase Productivity

Workin' Girl

For most women, achieving productivity is an ever-changing goal. While you may have rituals and routines that you believe are supporting that goal,every now and then it is important to revisit the things you give your energy to.

Ultimately, productivity is defined by your energy, time, and focus. Keep in mind that your brain is configured to make a certain number of decisions per day, according to Forbes. Once that limit is reached, it is literally impossible to make more, even if you force it.

We want your mental and physical energy to be sustainable so read on and check out some ways to ensure you are doing just that.

Multitasking

We all think that we can do it all, all the time. The ugly truth is that it is impossible to multitask and be productive. Krystal Covington, CEO & Founder of Women of Denver, a social enterprise association helping women earn their worth, focused on one thing for an entire day and her mind was blown. She told Thrive Global, "I realized how taxing multi-tasking really is on our minds and bodies. When burnout finally set in, it was time for me to re-evaluate what productivity really means for me and how to make the most of my limited energy."

Failing To Set Boundaries

As women, we often abandon boundaries in an effort to please others. From coworkers always stopping by your office to your supervisor asking you to review files right before you are leaving for the day, these interruptions are a result of not setting boundaries. I am definitely guilty of not setting boundaries because I want my work to be perfect while also making others happy. In doing this, I enable others to continue to deplete my time. One way to set boundaries is by utilizing your calendar and scheduling your time in a concrete way.

Poor Communication

I'm sure your mom told you that a closed mouth doesn't get fed. However, it is very common to not communicate your needs in fear of burdening others. Whether you work for a company or work for yourself, you have to be intentional with your communication. Now more than ever, with email and text messaging, it is important to be clear and direct with instructions and expectations.

Fear Of Failure

I can't tell you how many hours I have spent on pitches because I am afraid that they are unworthy. Our culture thrives on perfectionism; it inevitably leads to unattainable goals.

Tip: Try not to hyperfocus on details – the devil is in the details for a reason. Also, choose excellence over perfection.

Putting Profit Over Passion

Do what you love and love what you do. Feeling inspired and satisfied is so important to productivity. The Huffington Post even shared that 55% of Gen X and Gen Y workers believe that finding a job that's personally fulfilling is worth sacrifices in salary. Try prioritizing tasks that you enjoy to increase effectiveness.

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Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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