Life can sometimes feel overwhelming, but there are simple things that you can do to make yourself feel and be more productive. For starters, take a deep breath and then exhale away your anxiety. Integrate the following easy habits into your life and see your productivity soar.
Wake up in the morning with a good S T R E T C H.
Try it now: If you are standing, raise your arms over your head and reach up as high as you can go. You can even use the top of a door frame for support. If you are sitting, extend your legs and stretch them as long as you can make them. Doesn’t that feel good? Now try this first thing in the morning–you will feel great.
Make your bed as soon as you get up.
This simple morning ritual will immediately have you feeling as if you already accomplished something. Plus, a nicely-made bed instantly relaxes the mind. It also helps you fall asleep easier — I mean why fight with your sheets from an unmade bed? There is just something from a cozy bed to give you a good night’s rest. . .which brings me to number 3.
Get a good night’s rest.
Get in the practice of going to bed before 10 p.m. Use that time as a bedtime goal. Sure, you can read in bed — that helps you fall asleep anyway — but BE IN BED by 10 p.m. Being well-rested is so integral to one’s ability to be focused, clear-headed, and productive.
Meditate or be still.
Spend at least 10 – 15 minutes in the morning taking time to meditate or be still. This helps calm the brain and eliminates the morning frenzy and frantic feeling. This silence also allows for insight and new-found clarity.
Read a positive affirmation about yourself OUT LOUD.
Create a positive affirmation that reinforces your goals. (Click here for how to effectively create positive affirmations.) Be your best friend and not your worst enemy–what you say about yourself ultimately comes true.
Listen to inspirational interviews or segments on your way to work.
Be inspired by others’ greatness. Listen to stories, interviews, and segments about successful people as they share their insight about accomplishing goals. Positivity breeds positivity.
Tackle the hardest thing on your to-do list first.
Procrastination is productivity’s worst enemy. Do not put off what you can do now. Pick the one item that is most challenging and tackle it head on. Often people get caught up on the little things as a way of avoiding the big things. Doing the big thing will motivate you to proceed with your other action steps.
Maximize your peak times.
Everyone has them–peak times and down times. A peak time is the time of day when you feel most awake, focused, and energized. A down time is when you find yourself crashing and not being as effective. Recognize your peak and down times and use them appropriately. Your peak times should be used for more challenging tasks and your down-times can be spent doing more mundane tasks (e.g., stuffing envelopes).
Get your steps in creatively.
Get away from your desk and avoid always being stationary. Park your car far away from the entrance, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk a few laps around the parking lot at lunch, respond to messages from work colleagues in person rather than by phone. Think of ways in which you can get up and walk. This physical break is necessary to refuel.
End your day with a to-do list.
Do not leave work until you have written out your to-do list for the next day. Give yourself time-allotments: write out when and for how long you will work on these items. Have your scheduled meetings listed as well. Just having a plan for the next day will allow you to — for the most part — leave the work stress at work.
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