7 Keys to Increase Productivity

We’ve all had those days when we feel like we are not accomplishing anything no matter how hard we work. Looming deadlines, increasing workload, multitasking, and stress could all disrupt a person’s productivity. “Work smarter, not harder” has become a famous motto among the workforce. And this statement actually has merit. Sometimes, when we wear too many hats, take on too much work, instead of becoming more productive, our productivity actually decreases. So what can we do to increase our productivity?

1. Have a healthy breakfast… or skip it!

healthy breakfast foods

I don’t mean to confuse you, but there are studies showing that skipping the most important meal of the day can benefit various brain functions. Intermittent fasting has been gaining popularity lately, and there are scientific studies to back it up. However, if you want to give this a try, it is best to ask for a doctor or a nutritionist’s advice first. For anything to work, one has to have the know-how and the right motivation. On the other hand, if you are a huge fan of breakfast and could not possibly start a day without it, by all means, eat! Fuel your body with the right food. Make healthy choices.

2. Take that coffee break

people laughing over coffee

Though it might be tempting to just keep plugging away at work and skip your breaks in order to meet your deadlines, it would not be a very good idea. You need to relax and take a breather. This will give your brain a much-needed break and you a chance to walk around and enjoy a nice cup of joe, maybe even socialize with your other harried co-workers.

3. CBD Oil

cbd oil tincture dropping into bottle

Adderall has been making the rounds around colleges and even workplaces. However, if you prefer a more natural approach to boost your concentration and productivity, why not give CBD oil a try. It has been known to increase alertness, help calm nerves, and boost your mood. So when you find yourself stressed with your head all over the place, why not try popping a CBD gummy, a flavored tincture, or even straight up CBD oil to help ease your stress and calm your nerves. Unlike its addictive cousin, THC, CBD will not get you high.

4. Don’t multitask

desk with productivity tools

Multitasking is not something the human brain is built for. It has proven to cause loss of productivity. Doing too many things at once will take away your concentration from the crucial things that need doing. This will make your work prone to errors and cost you time that you were trying to save by multitasking in the first place. Do one thing at a time before moving on to the next task. This way you can ensure each task is accomplished properly. Try doing the tasks that take the least amount of time to accomplish first. This will get these tasks out of the way and allow you to focus on the more complicated ones.

5. Take exercise breaks

Isn’t it ironic that a post about being productive is talking about breaks a lot? That’s because taking breaks in between tasks is a good way resetting your brain and preparing it for the whole new task ahead. Exercising will send a rush of much-needed oxygen to your brain and will help loosen your muscles that might have bunched up from getting the previous task done. Taking a brief walk, or a short stretch will allow your brain to stop thinking about work and “breathe”. This will help bring your focus back to where it is supposed to be – your looming tasks.

6. Use tools

Using online tools or apps to track your work and tasks for the day is one easy way of getting your day organized. When you have your day organized, you won’t need to spend extra time trying to remember what to do next; you would already have it laid out for you. Most of these tools are free and can be linked to your personal or work email. Just make sure that the apps abide by your company rules and risk profile.

7. Say no to meetings

work meeting people around conference table

Meetings take time. And a lot of the time, these meetings are not even really necessary. If you have a lot of things to do, and someone schedules a meeting, try to find out if your presence is necessary for the meeting. Or if the items on the agenda could be discussed through email, that would be a better venue. You only get so many hours in a day, after all.

This article originally appeared on MadeByHemp.com

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Give Up Perfection and Try Gratitude: 3 Rules for Living Well

Posted by Silvernest Team on Jun 4, 2017 7:32:31 AM

By America’s Favorite Coach for Adults, Midlife and Better, Barbara Waxman MS/MPA

I’m a huge believer in the power of gratitude. I’ve worked with cancer survivors whose gratitude for life’s little and big gifts astounds me. And I’ve worked with people blessed with so much, yet stymied because everything isn’t just right. Regularly focusing on gratitude makes everyone happier. And happier people are most often those living lives of love, meaning and purpose. Brené Brown, one of my favorite storyteller/researchers has worked on this very subject and has found that the happiest people actively think about things they are grateful for. They don’t wait for everything to be just right.

So what stops us? Why do we continue the quest for perfection before giving ourselves credit for small achievements? Perfectionism is actually an overzealous defense mechanism. Like rules, perfectionism is there to protect us. If things are perfect, then we aren’t vulnerable and if we avoid the enormous risk of making ourselves vulnerable, then we can’t fail. The problem is that it keeps us from feeling happy.

How did we get stuck in this rut? Most of us grew up with subconscious messages about how to live so that we would not be vulnerable to failure: “Do well in school and you’ll go to a good college; go to a good college and you’ll meet the right people; meet the right person and things will go just like it did for the Cleavers in ‘Leave it to Beaver’, and on and on.” We’ve seen how well that works. Making all of those right choices on paper and protecting ourselves from going for anything less than perfect was supposed to mean that we’d avoid pain, humiliation, or loneliness.

But life experience tells us that it just doesn’t work out that way. Life is like a perpetual whitewater rafting ride. Sometimes you are in the whitewater and excitement turns to fear or regret for even going on the ride. Then the whitewater passes and it’s calm — but we know that will change so we must be alert to what keeps us safe while also enjoying the thrill of the ride to come. Will we get knocked out of the boat? Will we be able to get ourselves out of the freezing cold and back to safety? We won’t know until we try and if we don’t try, then life isn’t all that thrilling.

Here are my three rules for living life well:

  • Create a ritual of giving thanks daily. This can be for big things and should absolutely include those other things we often take for granted. One of my favorite times is the early morning when I go through the ritual of making my tea. Choose the cup, steep the tea until the color is just right, take in the aroma and warm my hands. I am thankful and I haven’t even taken a sip yet!
  • You are what you think. It is your beliefs, thoughts and intentions that form the basis for everything you do and how you show up at home and at work. The actions you take and decisions you make are based upon how you think of yourself. Make a choice to view things realistically, but on the positive side of the equation. If your thinking hasn’t served you, shift your thoughts. It’s difficult, but it’s effective. Give it a try.
  • Grab those opportunities when they present themselves. Some have called this ‘The Secret.’ But there is really no secret to it at all. What you put forth into the world will come back to you. And this only happens when you take the risk of being vulnerable and maybe even failing. What is something you have avoided for fear of failure? Block out your critics, follow your intuition and go for it.

Choose to be happy! Be well.

Barbara Waxman

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Is It Time To Grow Up?

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The relationship that many of us have to the concept of adulthood can be kind of strange. Previous generations had very clear lines in terms of what constituted the move into adult life. They would leave education, head into work, buy a house, get married, and that was basically what was expected of them. Younger generations have moved away from those expectations and it’s now much easier for people to carve out their own sense of who they are and who they want to be. However, that’s also come with the downside of often leaving a lot of people unsure of how to navigate the complexities of adult life. A lot of people in the modern era end up feeling like they’re no longer kids but they’re not exactly grown-ups either. This can end up causing a whole lot of stress and difficulty in many people’s lives as well as potentially impacting everything from their mental health to their relationships. With that in mind, here are some things in your life that you need to start taking control of if you really want to grow up.

Your car

One of the most common things that leaves a lot of people feeling like they don’t know how to be a “real adult” is that they often have no idea how many of the things in their life actually work, choosing instead to just put it in the hands of someone else. There is no better example of this than your car. If you’re constantly in a position where you’re having to call your parents to give you advice on what to do with your car or you have no idea what a mechanic is saying to you, it’s time to get educated. There are plenty of places online where you can learn basic car maintenance and a lot of it is far simpler than you might think. Of course, there will always be things that need to be dealt with by a professional so make sure you have the number for a great mechanic like Aarrow Transmissions. That way you can be sure that your car is in safe hands, even when things go wrong.    

Your health

When you’re really young it’s often easy to feel like you’re totally invincible. Of course, the moment that you enter the adult world it becomes pretty clear just how untrue that really is. Because of that, a lot of people tend to try and ignore any issues with their health. Whether it’s a persistent cough or some aches and pains, sweeping it under the rug is always going to be a bad idea. Make sure that you’re going for regular checkups with your doctor and if something is wrong, get it looked at straight away. Just because no one else is going to call the doctor for you doesn’t mean that you can just ignore any issues.

Your bills

Money is a serious cause of stress for just about everyone. That’s just the nature of the society we live in. If you want to do anything, you’re going to need the money for it. However, if you’re not keeping track of your finances in a clear and consistent way then you’re setting yourself up for a whole lot more stress and anxiety than you really need. Keeping a budget isn’t that complicated, it just requires a decent degree of dedication. The same goes for monitoring your spending and trying to put some money away in a savings account.

Your communication

One of the main signs that someone is struggling to really act like an adult is that they are unable to communicate with the people around them. If you really want to feel like a grown up then the first step is being able to express yourself clearly to the people around you and be honest with them. Hiding your emotions or letting them out in aggressive outbursts are the behaviours of children, not responsible adults.

Of course, one of the most important things to remember is that there really isn’t anyone out there who’s going to define what “adulthood” means for you or for anyone else. Sure, the things in this list are great starts to help you begin to feel more like you have a sense of control over your adult life. However, if you really want to figure out what being an adult means to you, that’s something you have to come to on your own. That can be a pretty scary prospect but that’s the trade-off for the freedom that comes with it. And it’s a trade that many would gladly make.

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Maintaining Wellness During and After Divorce

by Sandra Hughes

Navigating a divorce is stressful and unpredictable.  Regular exercise and a healthy diet go a long way in managing our stress and making us feel a whole lot better in general. A grounding activity like yoga or Pilates is relaxing and helpful. Maintaining healthy habits and taking care of ourselves is vital during this uncertain time.

My Journey to be Well

Around the time that I separated in 2014, I read an article about staying healthy during divorce. I started a holistic health care regimen while I was going to graduate school. Just as that regimen helped alleviate the stress and pressure of school, it stood to reason, it would help alleviate the stress and pressure of the divorce process. That article certainly confirmed it, so I continued my health and wellness path, switching modalities as needed, based upon how I was feeling and what I needed at the time.

For example, when I first began my holistic journey, I adopted a daily meditation practice. That was fine-tuned later when I took a Spirituality in Leadership class in business school; then I started taking classes to learn Qigong, the meditation practice that goes with Tai chi. Now I do a simple 10-minute breathing/meditation exercise every morning and set my intention for the day. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it is a very simple, grounding experience.

Exercise is key. I try to walk or use the elliptical every day, preferably in the morning, after my meditation exercise and before I start checking and getting involved in answering and sending emails. If I exercise first thing, then I’ve done it and don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day.

Get Yourself a Team

The rest of my wellness regimen is covered by my wellness support team. Much of the stress and unpredictability of your divorce can be alleviated from the beginning, if you put a wellness support team in place, and I highly advise it. The wellness team members are there in their expert capacity in each of their modalities to help you deal with the stress and intense emotion caused by the divorce.

My suggestion is to get referrals for all of these team members from people that you trust, family, friends or colleagues, and then interview each to make sure that the person is the right fit for you. It is important that you feel truly supported by each of your team members.

The Four Members of your Wellness Team

Therapist (LFMT, MFT) – Hopefully your divorce attorney or mediator has suggested that you start seeing a therapist; I am suggesting that you do. There will be a lot of emotion during the divorce process and a lot of diving deep into the whys and hows of your relationship. A therapist is the best person to work through all of that with you.

Massage Therapist – Massage is a great stress reliever. I started having regular massages about eight years ago and it has made a world of difference relieving stress during my divorce.

Acupuncturist and/or Chiropractor– Either or both of these practitioners helps relieve the stress that manifests itself in different parts of our bodies, most often our neck, shoulders and spine. We tend to tighten all of these when we are stressed and in “fight or flight mode”.  Personally, I hadn’t been to either for 30 years because my first experience with both was not that great: huge needles at the acupuncturist and intense bone cracking at the chiropractor. I learned recently that there are acupuncturists who use little thin needles with great effect, and a chiropractor who uses less intense bone cracking techniques. I am now a huge fan of both and I receive treatments regularly. Both have done wonders helping me to achieve stress relief! Also, it is often possible to find practitioners who are also covered by health insurance.

Certified Coach – A certified coach plays a different role than a therapist. A coach is more like a mentor, a person with whom you discuss your goals and your plan for achieving them. In the process you explore your values and life purpose. A coach will guide you and help you to be accountable for what you say you want/are going to do. Together, you will create a vision of your reinvented life!

My wellness team told me they were pleased that I was being proactive and preventative in keeping myself healthy during this time in my divorce, instead of waiting to seek them out when the process was over and I was ill from the stress of it all. That, unfortunately, is what most of their patients did. I encourage you not to be MOST patients! I celebrate your continued path to health and well-being!

To learn more about navigating the transition of divorce, visit my website at http://www.sbhcoaching.com. You can also join my private Facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LifeReinventedPrivateGroup

 

Sandra Hughes is a leadership coach for adults 40+ going through significant transitions. She  created Life Reinventedto help people navigate divorce. She has a CPCC designation from The Coaches Training Institute, and MBA from Santa Clara University. Sandra had a long corporate career before navigating her own divorce after 27 years of marriage. She is committed to helping people achieve integrated lives and finding the joy they deserve.

You can learn more about homesharing at Silvernest.com – Silvernest boldly breaks the rules of aging so you can share your home on your own terms. We’re creating the next generation of roommates. A more modern kind. A well-matched kind. A kind that’s just your style. Because around here, the details are totally up to you.

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Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet!

We’re a few month into 2019 already, but there’s still plenty of time left to switch things up, have some fun, and become the best version of yourself. You don’t have to make a ton of resolutions in January to have a good year. In fact, doing this can be demotivating. We’re all still full from the festivities in January, of course we’re not going to want to head to the gym and turn our lives around just yet!

Whatever point in the year it is for you, you can make a change if you want to. Here, we’re going to talk about things you can do to make this year your best yet – even if you’re reading this from the future!

  1. Do Something About That Thing You Keep Thinking About

Most people have a little tingle in the back of their heads telling them they should do something. We often ignore it, because we tend to wonder what the point is. What’s the point of doing something for the enjoyment of it, when nothing will probably come from it? Plus, you probably have more important things to do, right?

This attitude is not going to get you the life you want. Having fun for fun’s sake is a totally valid and important way to spend your time. You’ll learn new things, have fun, lower your stress levels, and you never know who you might meet. Plus, you never know where it might take you eventually. This might become a long-held hobby of yours that helps you to relax after a long day. You might even decide to create a side business out of it. You just don’t know unless you try.

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  1. Set Some Goals and Be Specific

When it comes to setting goals, you should be specific. Rather than thinking to yourself, ‘I want to buy a nice car’, be specific. Say you want to buy a New Audi A5 Sportback. The more specific you are, the more you can picture these things in your brain. Once you can picture them, you’re more likely to work towards them – even subconsciously!

  1. Create a Vision Board

A vision board can help you to keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. Seeing them everyday should get you excited, and thinking about where you’re going to be. Many people credit their vision boards with feeling motivated and exciting for what’s to come. Make one now and put it somewhere you see it all the time!

  1. Vow To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Nobody ever, ever, ever, did anything good inside of their comfort zone. It’s comfortable, sure, but you need to get out of it from time to time. Once you do, you’ll see just what you’re capable of. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

  1. Keep A Journal

A journal can help you to figure out patterns in your behaviour and emotions, which can help you to move forward if you’re feeling stuck. Not only that, they can be so fun to read back on!

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Warning: Running A Business Could Be Hazardous To Your Health!

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Sorry to be alarmist, but it’s true!

While we aren’t trying to put you off from running your own business; there are plenty of reasons why you should work for yourself instead of ‘working for the man,’ but in terms of your health, there are definite hazards that need to be avoided.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to hurriedly shape up your resumé to return to the safer confines of a 9 to 5 job to preserve your life, but you should consider the following issues.

#1: The sedentary lifestyle. For those business owners working from home, especially when seated in front of a computer screen for many hours during the day, it is worth knowing the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle. These risks include weight gain, high blood pressure, and the increased chances of a stroke and heart disease. You can find out more here. Therefore, make every effort to exercise each day, both before and after work, and take regular breaks to stretch your legs and give your eyes a rest from the computer screen, to offset any issues associated with the sedentary lifestyle.

#2: Feelings of stress. We can all feel stress, but if not dealt with, there are consequences to our health, both physically, with headaches and high blood pressure, and mentally, with issues around depression, anxiety, and burnout. So, should you run a business, it is important to deal with your stressors. If you have strict deadlines to meet, as an example of one common stressor, you might want to hire other staff to help you tackle other work pressures, or outsource certain tasks, so you have time to commit to the project deadline at hand. Within your business life, you should also improve your work-life balance as this can reduce feelings of stress. And forming good habits within your lifestyle will also help, as by eating a healthy diet, and by exercising regularly, you will be more physically and mentally able to deal with the stress in your life.

#3: Neglecting health problems. When working for yourself, you don’t have the sickness benefits that are provided within a usual 9 to 5 job. Therefore, you are more likely to neglect and fight through any health problems instead of taking time off, especially when you are reliant on money coming in. And you might neglect a visit to the doctor or to the pharmacy, especially if you are snowed under with work. By being neglectful in either way, you might suffer the consequences to your health later on. So, here’s our advice. For starters, get into the habit of saving money so you can afford to have time off when you are unwell. Secondly, if you notice any symptoms of ill health, don’t ignore them, hoping they will go away. The sooner you get to see your doctor, the sooner you will be able to deal with any issues and get back to work. And finally, you might also consider registering with a doctor dispensing of medication, so when you are working, you won’t have to disrupt your working day too much because of long queues at the pharmacy.

Running your own business is an excellent idea, but you won’t make a success of it if you fall prey to ill health. Follow our suggestions, then, and not only will you have better health physically and emotionally, but your business should also be healthy on a financial level too!

Take care, and thanks for reading!

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Taking Active Steps to Improve Your Life

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Whether you are in a slump or leading a lifestyle that leaves you relatively content, it’s always important to bear in mind that things can get better. There’s always opportunity for improvement and increased levels of happiness in your living! Something else to bear in mind? Positive change rarely makes its way towards you. You have to actively seek it out yourself. So, what kind of steps can you take to actively improve your life? Here are just a few to consider!

Cutting Out Bad Habits

We all have some sort of bad habit – after all, nobody’s perfect. But acknowledging your bad habits and taking steps to remove them from your life can significantly boost your happiness. So, take a moment to mull over some bad habits that you have. They could pertain to your physical health or your mental health. Common bad habits for your physical health that you might want to cut out could include:

  • Smoking – smoking is highly addictive, so admittedly, it is a pretty difficult habit to kick. But we are all well aware that it is highly detrimental to us, as it can cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, and a whole host of other health issues. Consider making use of alternatives that can be used to cut out smoking and ween you off nicotine, such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum, or vaping.

 

  • Excessive Drinking – sure, alcohol may well be legal for adults to consume. But excessive drinking can cause liver damage and can prove addictive. If you feel dependent on alcohol, you might want to consider sober living for men.

 

There are also plenty of bad habits out there that can have a negative impact on your mental and emotional wellbeing. Some to consider removing from your life could include:

 

  • Procrastination – as the old saying goes, procrastination is the thief of time. We tend to procrastinate when we feel anxious about something, but putting off the task at hand only serves to increase anxiety levels in the end.

 

 

  • Perfectionism – being a perfectionist can result in high quality work. But you’ll often find that it unnecessarily places excessive pressure on you. Don’t allow yourself to become distressed by setting unachievable or unrealistic targets!

 

Spend More Time Doing What You Love

Many of us end up spending most of our time doing things that we feel we have to do. But why not spend more time doing things that you love? This can give you a greater feeling of satisfaction with life. Sometimes it just means turning down plans and events that you feel obligated to attend when your attendance isn’t actually necessary. If you have an interest, chase it. Join a class, attend a club, dedicate your free time to it.

Sure, life might be coming along just fine for you right now. But why settle for mediocrity? “Okay” shouldn’t be enough! Taking active steps to improve your life can see you become a much happier and more rounded individual, placing a smile on your face!

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