Challenge: How do I disconnect and rest without losing productivity?
Solution: Employ four simple steps to see major boosts in productivity and overall happiness.
We live in a society that moves at lightening speed with very little down time. Disconnecting is just not part of the equation. In order to achieve our goals, we feel the need to constantly be working and always staying busy. I know this feeling of urgency and strong desire to always be going after more. My lifestyle revolves around my work. Whether I am writing articles for Shape, developing my own projects or training clients, I take very few breaks. Even when I come home at night, I check my emails, post blogs and stay plugged into social media.
Unfortunately this constant connection and lack of downtime can take a dramatic toll on the body. After lacking energy and feeling very off, I decided to take a blood test. The results were staggering. My cortisol levels (stress hormone) were through the roof and my estrogen was post-menopausal low. I felt like I was way too young to have these harmful hormone levels. Turns out, my lifestyle was the culprit. Always being busy and constantly on the go, my body was being thrown off. This resulted in weight gain, lack of energy and an overall burnt out feeling.
It’s very difficult to just change our lifestyle completely, but it’s definitely doable to make small changes that add up to a substantial shift. Here are a few strategies I have put into place that help keep me healthy, happy and at my very best.
- Take 10 minutes a day mediate, do yoga, write or read. The benefits these practices can have on your focus and productivity are absolutely amazing. It does not need to be more than 10 minutes a day to start seeing results.
- Turn off your phone and all other devices after 8pm on weekdays. Unless you are going out and have to meet someone, turn off those devices. Even though it seems very difficult and not so fun, you will soon realize how great it is for your brain to take a break. You will be more present with those you’re spending time with. If that cute guy you’ve been eying at the gym ends up texting you, make him wait. No need for him to think you’re waiting by the phone. He will be very intrigued.
- Change “busy” to “productive.” We have no problem staying busy. Everyone I ask always says they are so busy, but still feels like they have so much to get done. One issue I always come across is trying to do everything all at once. I come up with a long to-do list and then try and work on it all. It is much more productive to set an allotted time aside for one thing, and one thing only. Once you accomplish that one task, move on to the next task. Your productivity levels will skyrocket.
- Play. Always schedule a little time each day for something fun. Even if it’s just 15 minutes of ping pong or a quick cup of coffee with a friend. Scheduling the fun into each day is crucial to your happiness and success. Treat it like any other appointment. Take the time for it and enjoy. Your work with benefit!