Relax! Be More Productive

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Too many people are under the false impression that it is a virtue to work yourself to the point of exhaustion.   This is damaging in so many ways to the mind, body and spirit, but ultimately the real irony is that by overexerting ourselves, we eventually damage the quality of our work.   If we really want to be productive, we have to incorporate relaxation techniques that focus on removing stress and anxiety from our lives.

We all have to deal with the pressures of balancing our personal responsibilities with our professional ambitions, so if you feel like you are constantly deciding between what sacrifices to make, trust us, you’re not alone.

Unplug

homeguides-articles-thumbs-unplug.jpg.600x275_q85_cropTechnology was supposed to make life simpler.  However, our dreams of automated cars and live-in robot maids like Rosie from the Jetsons haven’t yet panned out for us.  Instead, what we have are a flood of status updates, a 24/7 news media with constant breaking news, emails, Facebook messages, Tweets, Snapchats, text messages, Netflix, Hulu Plus etc .  The point is while we have greater access to information and tools for communicating, it’s also easy to get addicted to the routine of constantly checking into what may be happening elsewhere.

No one is advocating for a call to be a Luddite, I think we all understand the digital world is here to stay, but you have to make it work for you.  It’s important every so often throughout the day, to press the reset button, and take a break from world. Here are two tips to avoid it becoming a distraction:

  • o-WAKE-UP-HAPPY-facebookWake up offline: What’s the first thing we do in the morning? For a lot of people it’s shutting off the alarm on their phone.  Then since it’s right there, the next thing we notice are the messages, the notifications, the onslaught is already in progress, we’re already distracted, and the stress starts immediately.  This is the pattern we have to break away from.  Wake up with clearness of mind, allow yourself to focus on the important goals you have in mind for that day, and what needs done for that to happen.
  • mzl.rrxurerkThere’s an app for that: Fine, call me a hypocrite for advocating an app to monitor your time, but whatever works, right? Binary Hammer’s 30/30 (iOS) is a time management system built around the 30/30 work cycle concept, which alternates between work and rest in 30-minute increments.  It’s based upon the idea that productivity and creativity increase when we are intensely focused on a project for relatively small amounts of time.

 

Fuel Yourself with Tea Instead

detox-teaIf we have a lousy car, generally we don’t care what kind of gas we use, usually it’s the cheapest available.  But when we have a nice ride that we value, we tend to give it the best treatment we can.  Think of your body in the same way. I’m certain you don’t want to think of yourself as a beater, one that can break down at any moment, and won’t end up getting you anywhere.  You want to be a finely tuned machine, able to hit on all cylinders.  With that in mind, think about kicking the coffee habit, and drinking tea instead.

Too much caffeine from coffee has been shown to cause anxiety, jitters, muscle spasms and restlessness.  Like other drugs, our tolerance for caffeine can increase to the point, where if we try to go without it, we experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking this is a productive way to get things done.  The physical and mental toll is more considerable than you realize.

DSCN0285That’s why many people today are switching to herbal teas rich in antioxidants instead. Chaga tea is one type that is a natural source of B vitamins, and it has exceptionally high levels of vitamin B5. This is because chaga mushrooms absorb the B vitamins from the birch trees they grow on. The chaga mushroom also provides ten times the amount of antioxidants per gram as a pomegranate, which means in addition to providing the body with natural energy, it provides a powerful boost to your immune system, helping your body take on the stresses that come along the day.  The different variety of teas are fun to experiment with  and to learn more about, so think about making this adjustment as a valuable replacement to coffee.

Practice Breathing Exercises

Breathing-ExercisesI know what you’re thinking – I don’t have time for breathing!  Or how about –do I really need to practice something I’ve been doing since the minute I was born?

The right responses to those are – yes you do, and yes you do.

The best way to train your body to maintain a sustained state of relaxation and help take on the daily work load is through deep breathing exercises, a technique that dates back to research from Harvard in 1970.  The fact that many who begin deep breathing exercises comment on how unnatural it feels shows that without realizing it, we are often breathing incorrectly, which causes us to carry uncomfortable stress with us throughout our body.

When you breathe deeply, the air coming in through your nose fully fills your lungs, and the lower belly rises. Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange — that is, the beneficial exchange of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide, which can slow the heartbeat and lower blood pressure.  As you practice, keep these factors in mind:

  • Choose a special place where you can sit (or lie down) comfortably and quietly.
  • Don’t try too hard. That may just cause you to tense up.
  • Don’t be too passive, either. The key to eliciting the relaxation response lies in shifting your focus from stressors to deeper, calmer rhythms — and having a focal point is essential.
  • Try to practice once or twice a day, always at the same time, in order to enhance the sense of ritual and establish a habit.
  • Try to practice at least 10–20 minutes each day.

If you incorporate these tips into your daily and weekly routines, you will not only get extra work accomplished, but you will find more enjoyment in the process.  The key to productivity is keeping yourself motivated, and the key to motivation is keeping yourself in the right frame of mind, body, and spirit, so with that in mind, go out there and relax!

Time Management Tips and Tricks

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Staying busy does not necessarily mean that you are using your time well to accomplish your life goals. In fact, trying to be hyper-productive will often lead to the opposite results. Therefore, instead of giving in to your constant need to get moving, look for ways through which you can save the time you usually waste on menial tasks. The following tips and tricks on time management will help you become more effective and more productive in your everyday life:

Work Smarter (Not Harder)

Instead of being robotic in your approach to tasks, duties and responsibilities, think things through first. As you do so, try to find solutions that will either help you do things more effectively or eliminate them altogether.

Keep in mind that managing time is not about squeezing as many tasks as possible into the few hours you are active. Instead, it is about simplifying your work schedule, relieving stress and doing things faster.

Consequently, you should always strive to clear away space in your life. In this manner, you will be able to make time for play, rest and those people who are at the core of your life.

Complete Important Tasks First

Another tip on how you can be productive in your daily life is to ensure you always complete your most important tasks while you still have the time and energy. To do this, identify 2 or 3 tasks that you MUST complete; then, do these first. Once you are done, you will feel more productive and can later move on to the other things you need to do (or even let them wait for another day). The important thing here is to always ensure you finish the essentials.

Learn to Say No

It is very easy to take on unnecessary engagements that you can do without. Time commitments, especially, consume most of your productive hours. Therefore, you need to learn how to decline opportunities that do not necessarily resonate with your plans and dreams. In this manner, you will have more time to concentrate on those engagements that are actually productive.

Get Enough Sleep

It is impossible to stay active and productive without getting adequate rest. Of course, at times you will have to sacrifice sleep to accomplish certain goals. However, by planning your time, creating schedules and sticking to deadlines will ensure you have enough time to sleep.

Actually, most people need between 7 to 8 hours of sleep for their minds and bodies to function optimally. In case you have not been sleeping enough, listen to your body and get enough sleep to rest your body for the duties you need to do the following day.

In conclusion, there are many other tips and tricks that you can use to manage your time better. These include concentrating on the tasks at hand, giving yourself an early start to every project and task, ignoring unnecessary details and turning your key tasks into daily habits. When all is said and done, you will only notice a spurt in your productivity levels once you learn how to value, treasure and manage your time. Use the above tips and tricks and watch your productivity soar to new levels.

 

 

Tea and Breathing: Simple Ways to Become More Productive

Drinking-tea

The people who drive nicer, more modern vehicles for the most part purchase the higher grade gasolines, enabling the car to function at the most elite level it can. Your body deserves the same care.

When it comes to coffee vs tea, coffee is the low grade fuel and the tea is the higher, more healthier grade.

Breathing exercises are also an excellent way to maintain energy throughout the day. It can give the brain a release, and provide you the ability to make decisions quite easier than they previously have.  By incorporating these relaxation techniques into your life, it will help you better manage your workload.

Chaga Tea and it’s countless Vitamins and Nutrients

It is a known fact that drinking large quantities of caffeine can create an overwhelming sensation which is normally accompanied by anxiety issues, jitters, restlessness and muscle spasms. As with other substances similar to caffeine, the longer it is used, the more our bodies become desensitized by it, needing more to feel the effects. Sometimes an individual gets to the point that if they withdraw, they can exhibit unpleasant symptoms.

This is the central reason why so many people are deciding to become herbal tea drinkers. High in antioxidants, chaga tea is a flavorful herbal tea that is rich in Vitamin B.

The reason is that Chaga mushrooms, which helm from the birch tree, perfectly absorbs the B vitamins, allowing the consumer higher levels of this essential vitamin. The mushrooms also have the ability to provide up to 10x the amount of B5, as much as pomegranates. This will give the tea drinker more energy and it adds a considerable amount of power to the immune system. The stresses of life reduce, the body becomes more calm and with such various assortment of herbal teas, the benefits are plentiful to say the very least.

Breathing Exercises can Brighten the Day

Deep abdominal breathing can lower blood pressure and the advantages of incoming oxygen exchanging with the outgoing carbon dioxide will amaze you. This process can relax the heartbeat and create an overall sense of well-being which for many is highly welcome. Pick a unique spot where you can sit or maybe even lie down with ease, comfort, in the peace of quiet. Never attempt to do too much breathing, this may simply create your body to tense up.

Try to never become too passive as well, as the concept of the ultimate relaxation is keeping a prone shifting focus in line and steady. Make sure to practice at least a couple times a day, focusing on reducing the stresses into heavier and calmer rhythm.

Keep a proper breathing routine throughout the week, making sure to always motivate yourself, maintaining the best frame of mind, which will help you knock out more work than ever.

 

 

4 Best Productivity Apps in 2015: Get Your List of Priorities in Order

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Many of us are using smartphones for entertainment purposes only, but these devices can also be used to keep you productive, whether it relates to your job, your day-to-day workout routine, or your diet efforts. Many app developers are implementing new concepts that aim to simplify mobile users’ everyday tasks. Having one or more of these apps on your smartphone can help improve the quality of your life, and cut back on the stress of scheduling meetings, reaching appointments on time, and keeping yourself productive.

Check out our list of the 5 best productivity apps in 2015.

Timeful
Timeful is an iPhone app that utilizes artificial intelligence to schedule tasks in your calendars based on the meetings and events you are already committed to. The app will determine when you are most likely to complete certain tasks, and takes into account when you are most productive to schedule them. At the same time, it will estimate how long it will take to complete each task. If you are in need of a personal assistant to help keep track of your tasks in an agenda, Timeful will be the best option you have – and also the cheapest, as the app is free to download from the iTunes App Store.

RescueTime
Have you ever thought of limiting Facebook usage, and allocating more time to important tasks in your agenda? RescueTime runs in the background of your mobile device, tracking minutes spent on each task you perform, whether it is logging in to Facebook or browsing the Internet. RescueTime is a must-have for those mobile users who want to get in control of their bad habits, and it will certainly help you become more productive once you finally overcome them.

Fanurio
Aimed specifically at freelancers and business professionals, Fanurio is a great app to have on your smartphone if you want to increase productivity. Fanurio allows you to create activities and classify them as either billable or non-billable, which is of a real help if you are billing time to multiple projects. What’s more, this app generates invoices and expense reports to help you with your billing system, and ensure that you are consistently productive – and that you get paid for that. One major drawback will be, however, the huge cost of the app – $59/license, with one year of free technical support included.

Clear
If you are looking for an effective way to write down your to-do list, Clear will be the most suitable productivity app to get. Clear allows you to put together to-do lists, and create reminders that help you stick to them. With a clear and user-friendly interface, the app brings iCloud integration and emailing lists, as well as other features that will make it easier for you to handle your tasks. Moreover, Clear will let you mark the tasks you have already accomplished, so you will never have to keep track of them by yourself.

Final Thoughts
If you cannot manage an agenda yourself, getting one of the apps above will be the best solution for your productivity issue. Remember that not all apps will be available for both Android and iOS, so you might want to check their specs before you go ahead and download them. Not only will they be great at keeping your organized, but they will also help you stay focused on important tasks and limit distractions as much as possible.

How to be Productive in Your Daily Life

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You can be productive in your daily life by recognizing that you have unique talents and unique ways of expressing them. There is something you can do as good as or better than anyone else. Even if you are in a job you do not like, and you find that it does not provide fulfillment in your life, you can turn this into a positive experience by focusing on what you can do to help people around you.

We underestimate the power of a kind word, or praise for something done well or something that makes us happy. You might be surprised to realize how many people are hungry for this kind of reaction. We know that service to our fellow human beings begins by asking ourselves, “How can I help all of those I come in contact with?” The results of this effort will deliver results that will surprise you. One person can transform a work environment slowly by lifting the spirits of others who work there.

Of course, being productive in your daily life means that you must live a calm life. Herbal teas are just one method for creating calm in our life. Another is proper exercise and meditation. Keeping your mind and your body at optimum performance is going to help you achieve the power to live a productive life.

You need to be open to accepting situations, people, events and circumstances as they occur. By accepting the events of the moment and not wishing they were different will help you be free to spend your energy on being productive. Realize that every problem is an opportunity disguised to transform you into a person who can find fulfillment in a more productive life. It is important to remember that productivity is not born of defensiveness. Be open to all ideas and different points of view.

If these practices have not been introduced into your life, then there is no better time than now. Transforming your life into being more productive is simply a matter of practicing giving. Sounds too simple? Well, it isn’t. If you give joy to others you will receive joy, if you want attention and appreciation, then give attention and appreciation, if you want fulfillment, then help others to find fulfillment. You really do need joy, attention and appreciation to unlock your ability to be productive.

Many people hinder their fulfillment from blossoming because they have not found the ways to release it. Fulfillment is not just a state of mind; it is rather an accumulation of satisfying experiences that enrich a person’s life. You do not need to be a CEO or have a lot of money. Too many people believe if only they had that nice car or that bigger house they would be happier. They may or may not be happier. What we do know is that many people have found fulfillment with very little material possessions.