How to Stop Lack of Productivity from Plaguing Your Health

Time management is a necessary skill that one must acquire. Few of us are  ever born that way, and learning to master it will help you stay on top of it all without feeling like you’re being run over and consumed by it.

The thing about lack of productivity is that if left untouched, it can make you feel even more overwhelmed. Instead of doing something about it, you might spend more time panicking when all you’ve really got to do is start planning to stop it from plaguing you.

Here’s how to get back on track:

1. Make a to-do list
The first step is listing out what needs to be done. You should make 2 drafts. The first should be everything that has to get done. The second draft should be prioritizing all those things. What needs to be done today? What needs to be done this week? Set timelines for completion and you’ll start feeling far more organized and in control.

2. Set goals
Goal-setting is so important because we need to have something to strive toward. Whether it’s for your career, weight loss, or something else, you should have a plan in mind. Don’t just look at the long-term, but the shortterm steps it will take to get there. You’ll find you feel you’re making progress when you set them in motion.

3. Stop distractions
One of the biggest distractions for everyone no matter what job they have are emails and messages. Knowing how to manage those is key to freeing up your time. Set some time aside each morning and afternoon — and set a limit for how long you’ll spend responding. Instead of answering messages all morning as they come in, focus on them from 9am to 9:30am for example. Then, get back on track and respond again later. You’ll find things run more efficiently this way.

4. Quit putting it off
Procrastination is a vicious cycle. We put things off, then we feel we’re lacking in productivity and we wind up putting them off for longer. Instead of letting something overwhelm you at the prospect of doing it, tell yourself you’re going to chip away at it for 10 minutes at a time. Break it down into manageable chunks, and you’ll find that whatever you’re dreading – compiling that big report or even just putting away your laundry – gets done faster.

5. Take real breaks
It’s never a good idea to work yourself so much that you don’t have a moment to yourself. You can’t be at your best when you’re overdoing it. When it’s time for lunch, take an actual break. Eat in the cafeteria or break room. Go sit outside at a picnic table. Just take that time for yourself and let your mind breathe, instead of spinning its wheels all day long. Throughout the day, take short brisk walks around the building to get your blood flowing. You’ll find it not only stretches your legs but also stretches your mind.

By taking on these 5 tips, you’ll begin to feel more productive in all areas of life. What do you tend to procrastinate on the most?

How to Prioritize What’s Really Important in Your Busy Life

How often do you feel like you could use 10 more hours in a day just to get through your to-do list? I know that feeling of spinning your wheels, not knowing how you’ll get it all done, and ultimately riding this stress-induced rush to the finish line each day. It’s exhausting, and it’s not good for us in any way — mentally, physically, or emotionally.

Learning some actionable tips for productivity and prioritizing has helped tremendously, and I want to share some of those tips with you today in hopes it’ll help you, also.

Here is how you can take power back out of the chaos of your day-to-day with prioritization.

1. Start by organizing
Clearing away the clutter from your personal spaces in life is the first thing to do. Clean up your desk at work, your home, your car, and wherever you see physical chaos. You’ll feel immediately calmed when your surroundings aren’t out of control.

2. Make a list that works for you
We all have different ways of making lists that speak to us. Some people love writing them out on paper while others love making digital lists on their phone or computer. Choose your favorite style and list everything that comes to your mind that you need to do. Then, organize that list by short-term items and then long-term items.

3. Set urgency and time limits for your listed items
Next, you’ll have to determine what MUST be done urgently. This is the hard one, for all of it seems essential. Rank them in terms of what absolutely can’t wait, like that report for your boss that needs to be ready for the morning meeting or calling your best friend back to catch up. Adding urgency and timelines makes it easier to get to everything you need to do.

4. Free your brain
Part of what’s stressing you out with trying to complete everything is that you’re leaving it to your brain to do all the remembering about every last detail. Give yourself a break and schedule it into your planner. For example, instead of making yourself try to remember to order the cake for your daughter’s birthday and send the invites, set those things on your schedule so you can free your mind to work on challenges that require problem-solving, not reminding.

5. Push out 5-minute items first
Sometimes, there are things on our schedules that literally take 5 minutes of our time. Just crush it out first, and then you won’t have it on your schedule anymore. The relief it brings is worth it too, plus when you take those 5 minutes and get it done, it feels like you have more time on your hands for those more significant things. Crossing things off of your list psychologically motivates you to keep going, so start with those small tasks and start the snowball effect.

6. Make it a routine
The hardest part is really getting started. Make prioritizing your schedule a habit. There are certain things you must do every day and week, so get them on the schedule at a particular time. For example, responding to messages from clients. Pick a time to do it in the morning, crank out your responses and then set one more time to handle later inquiries. This way, you’ll be getting your projects done without continually being interrupted.

By adding prioritization into your life, you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. What needs to be prioritized the most in your life right now? Drop a comment below and tell me what’s weighing you down.

Why Baby Steps Are Better.

Jumping headfirst into a new habit or endeavor can be exciting and exhilarating.  The desire for change leaves us feeling hopeful and motivated, ready to tackle what’s before us.

Drastic changes, however, often lead to failure to follow through as it’s difficult to make significant changes and stick with them.  Instead of doing a complete overhaul, it’s most advantageous to create baby steps that will guide you to your end goal.

Making incremental changes over time leads to a higher success rate and a simpler time adjusting to your new changes.  You’re much more likely to feel successful when you accomplish each “baby step” along the way, which fuels your confidence in reaching your ultimate goal.

What’s one big goal you’re hoping to accomplish?  Leave me a comment below, and we’ll break it down into manageable baby steps together.

 

Produce That Lasts The Longest

Is there anything more frustrating than buying fresh produce and having it go bad within a few days?  Inspecting your fruits and veggies at the store before check-out helps mostly alleviate spoiled produce, among washing your fruits and vegetables and storing them properly once you get them home.

However, some produce lasts far longer than others, and these items are worth keeping in your weekly grocery rotation — you’ll rarely have these spoil.

1)     Onions

2)     Apples

3)     Potatoes

4)     Winter squash

5)     Garlic

6)     Carrots

7)     Beets

8)     Cabbage

9)     Lemons

10)   Celery

What’s on your weekly grocery rotation?

Hopping into bed without turning your mind down a few notches will leave you tossing and turning through a restless night of poor sleep.  Your brain works hard enough during the day, help it to turn off at night adequately.

If you generally look over at the clock and realize it’s past your bedtime, try setting a timer this week to remind you to slowly make your way to your bed calmly and intentionally.

Are you a bedtime reader or phone scroller?

How do you start your day?

Your morning routine is a crucial beginning to your day and can set the pace for the day to unfold. Starting off on a strong foot helps you be more productive and stay on task, reduces mental fatigue and helps you to move through your day feeling refreshed and collected.

Start your days at the same time every morning and set intentions for the day by planning out how your day should look. Then follow it up with something that makes you happy, along with something to clear your mind to prepare for the day ahead. Tweak your routine till you find something that sets you up for success. A morning routine can set your mindset for the rest of the day and can do nothing but improve your day!

How do your mornings look typically?

I want you to try something new this Winter, and I think you’ll love it.

Try implementing a wind-down routine at bedtime that includes a hot beverage.  You could also use this time to read or journal, as either of those are fabulous complements to a warm, cozy drink.

Brew up some sleepytime tea, a fresh homemade turmeric latte, or even a simple hot water with a squeeze of lemon.

Each of these warm beverages packs substantial health benefits, and I know you’ll see a difference in how you feel.  I even bet you’ll sleep better with your new wind-down routine.  Give it a try!

Let’s kick off November with a little challenge.

This month, let’s focus on 2-3 healthy habits all month long.  It can be as simple as taking a 10-minute walk every day or as complex as 50 push-ups a day.

This way, once you get to the end of the month when the holidays begin, you will have been focusing on your health all month long.  You won’t feel as guilty eating that slice of pie, and you certainly won’t feel like one meal has derailed you from the health goals you’ve been working all month long on.

What are your 2-3 healthy habits going to be?  Challenge accepted?

Relaxing Bedtime Routines to Help You Sleep Well

Do you have trouble falling asleep each night no matter how tired you are? If so, you need to enact a relaxing bedtime routine to help get your body and mind in the right mood for sleep. Repeating these actions nightly can help signal to your body that it’s time to go to bed, which might be all you need to actually get a restful night’s sleep.

Here’s how to get into a relaxing bedtime routine for yourself.

1. Power down
Smartphones and electronic devices have made our lives easier in many ways, but at night, that blue screen stimulates our brains, keeping us awake. Try to avoid looking at your devices for about one hour before you go to bed to calm your mind. You might think you’re getting ahead for tomorrow by reading those emails, but the reality is you’re just adding more fodder for your brain to worry and mull over. Forget about it until morning.

2. Meditate and unwind
If your brain just doesn’t stop it, try meditating or performing relaxation exercises. Even yoga poses that prime you for sleep are a good idea. By
doing these, you get your body to relax and de-stress, which is good for sleep.

3. Read a real book
Sit in your favorite nook and read a book for pleasure. Make it nothing to do with work or school and devote yourself to reading for a good 20 to 30 minutes nightly. Your brain will relax and go to another place, allowing you to feel more primed for sleeping.

4. Relax with music
You might love music, but it really is good for your soul. Just choose something relaxing instead of upbeat, and you’ll find it helps you get the shut-eye you need.

5. Write that down
If you have a habit of laying down in bed while your brain nags at you about upcoming projects or things you shouldn’t forget at the supermarket, then before you wind down, write it down. By taking it out of your brain and putting it on paper, you free your mind from having to remember it. And by doing that, it will actually stop pestering you to remember. Ah, relief!

6. Check the thermostat
Research has shown that if your bedroom is too hot, it can keep you from sleeping. Lower temperatures signal to your body that it’s time to sleep. By keeping your room at a comfortable temperature, you’ll sleep more soundly and without waking often.

7. Get up if you can’t sleep
Still can’t sleep and find yourself wide-eyed and awake? Get up and go into another room. Keep the lights dim and do something relaxing like reading or listening to calming music. Give it 15 minutes and then try to lay down again.

Don’t forget that during the day, take care of yourself by getting exercise and eating right. These things will help your body feel good and can help you get the sleep you need when it’s time to go to bed.

When I talk to people about their top health concerns and stumbling blocks, poor sleep quality, lack of sleep, or some sort of negative sleep pattern is the top most popular response.

Most people are chronically exhausted because they aren’t getting enough sleep and aren’t getting sufficient quality sleep.  This ties into other habits we have, but the overall conclusion is we don’t place a high enough value on quality sleep.  We let that suffer before other things on our to-do list, and that’s just what it ends up doing… suffering.

So, how’s your sleep?  Do you sleep well, or do you struggle when it comes to sleep?

Luckily, even if you struggle with sleeping well, there are so many tweaks and tricks you can do to improve your sleep quality.  My favorite ways are to journal before bed and to have a routine that I try to follow most nights.