There's more to productivity than just getting and staying organized. Being productive, like being healthy and happy, takes a little bit of work to achieve. Luckily there are many ways to enjoy a productive life that are easy to incorporate into your already busy life. While I mostly focus on organizing, it's a lot easier to get and stay organized when you are happy and healthy as well. Think of all 3 of them are part of a larger whole that leads to an amazing life. When you incorporate them into your daily life, they become part of your life plan rather than a "have to" that you stick into your life only when things look or feel horrible.
These are my top 5 ways I've incorporated into my life to be more productive that have nothing to do with organizing.
I started eating healthier when I developed a serious illness and chose to rely on natural remedies to heal myself rather than conventional western medicine. However, here is what I learned when I started eating healthier:
- I can eat more. In fact, I have to eat more. Fruits and vegetables naturally have less fat and calories than processed foods so I have to add in more food during the day to make up for that.
- I get to eat more often. In fact, I learned that if you eat a snack or small meal every hour or two, it helps you keep your brain and body functioning at its peak.
- No guilt. I can eat as many fruits and vegetables as I want and I know that all of them are healing me from the inside out.
- In the 6 months since I've incorporated more fruits and vegetables into my diet, I've noticed an improvement of my skin, I'm naturally feeling more positive and more resilient and my body has been healing and getting stronger.
- Try apples, clementines, bananas, celery, cucumbers, carrots, raisin and dried apricots as snacks during times you feel peckish and see how much better you start to feel!
Most of us are exhausted and running on empty. This is not a healthy way to go through life and it certainly isn't going to make you more productive. In order to maintain focus and complete tasks, you must have energy. Eating healthy foods will provide you with some energy but without enough rest, you still won't be functioning at 100%. Here are some tricks I use to fall asleep every night more easily:
- Go to bed at the same time every night. It helps your body get into a routine and you're much more likely to fall asleep quickly because your body and brain are expecting it.
- Remove or cover your electronic devices. They give off both light and energy which can distract you from your slumber.
- Remove all your work from your sleeping area. Give your brain a rest. If you keep work in your sleeping space your brain will automatically assume you still want to work, even when you're trying to sleep. Removing it will allow you to relax and enjoy a restful sleep.
- Try Implementing a Bedtime Routine. You know you did it as a kid. Your mom or dad would probably tuck you in and read you a book and halfway through you were asleep. It was the routine that did it so try incorporating a bedtime routine back into your schedule.
- Lavender and other scents are known to naturally aid in sleeping. Trying putting some on your body, in the room or on your pillow to help you relax and fall asleep more easily.
Take Deep Breaths
Breathing will help take you back into the present. We often get so worried and focused on the past or the future, which are both things we can't change right now, that we forget the only time we really have is now. Taking deep breaths will automatically force you back into the present.
It will also help you focus and deliver much needed oxygen to your body and your brain.
- Try taking 3 deep breaths every time you feel stressed. It will automatically start to de-stress you and allow you to think more clearly.
- Try meditating at least for a few minutes every day. The longer you can meditate for, the better, but even a few minutes of the practice will start to help you de-stress and focus more clearly.
Exercise is beneficial to the mind, body and spirit. We know this and yet so many of us don't exercise. However, I think a lot of it has to do with many of us thinking exercise has to be hard and at least an hour and done at a gym. It doesn't and it shouldn't unless that's how you enjoy exercising. There are so many forms of exercise to choose from that it should be easy to find something you actually enjoy. Also, exercising can be done at any time, anywhere and doesn't have to be done all at once - even taking the stairs once a day can add up to a lifetime of health benefits.
- Stretching is a great way to put some blood back into your body and can be done for as little as a few minutes a day.
- Tai chi is a great exercise for those with or without limited movement.
- Every hour or two stand up and stretch at your desk and/or walk around the block. It will help get your heart moving and your brain refocused.
Have More Fun!
Sounds counter-productive, doesn't it? However, fun is a great way to alleviate stress and just be in the moment. By incorporating fun into your life, you're giving yourself permission to rest and relax which then allows your brain and body to do the same thing. When you let go, sometimes that's when problems are solved because you aren't focusing on them.
- Watch a funny movie or tv show
- Play with your kids
- Play a game on Wii, the Internet, a game board or with cards
Even 10 minutes of play every day will help you refocus and get more done while becoming a happier, healthier person.