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5 Ways to Connect with Your Inner Self and Increase Productivity

5 Ways to Connect with Your Inner Self and Increase Productivity

If you’re anything like me, it always seems like there’s more work and “have-to-do’s” than hours in the day. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose focus on what’s truly important: your health, family, and friends. If you could use some grounding in your life, try the following ways to connect with your inner self and increase your productivity.

1. Meditate Daily

Spending just 10 minutes unplugged from Facebook, Twitter, and your email gives your brain the opportunity to organize its thoughts. More than 3,000 medical studies have been completed to fully validate the actual positive impact that meditation has on our mental and emotional state.

Personally, I don’t try to control my thoughts during meditation. I spend my entire day trying to amp focus, and that means shoving thoughts to the side. However, when I unplug, I observe my thoughts from a distance. It’s almost like passing cars on the road. There’s no forcing an “experience”. Instead, sitting back and relaxing allows my brain to catalogue all those left-over thoughts and impulses in a way that calms my mind.

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2. Drink Water

Caffeine is the rocket-fuel that gets my brain moving in the morning. It keeps me alert through the afternoon and can even help amp my tired body up for a workout. That said, caffeine and its evil cousin Red Bull have some serious side-effects.

Dehydration, heart palpitations, and bowel complications can all be linked back to caffeine intake. I would never tell you to give up on your coffee addiction, but I would humbly suggest forcing yourself to take in quality fluids as well. Water, Gatorade, and other nutritionally valuable liquids help your brain stay sharp and your body remain in peak condition.

According to WebMD, “Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue.” Make sure you’re getting at least 13 cups (for me, 9 cups for women) per day to maintain optimal hydration. Physical exercise can increase these numbers, so always try to replace the fluids you lose through sweat and urination.

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3. Reconnect with Nature on a Hike or 18 Holes

You need to escape the concrete jungle as much as possible. Working in an office can be hazardous to your health. Whether it’s a sedentary lifestyle, a lack of sunlight, or indoor air quality concerns, too much time in your office is a bad idea.

Heading to the golf club and playing 18 holes used to be something reserved for the wealthier members of society. However, according to John Lines, founder and CEO of GolfSupport, “Affordable golf equipment is more accessible than ever before, and many communities have public courses where you can play for free.” If you can’t commit to time away from work, bring your work with you onto the course. A round of golf is an excellent opportunity to reconnect with clients and members of your team outside of the office.

4. Go Exploring

Humans were once nomads, wandering the Earth in search of food and better weather. Thankfully, modern technology has given us the airplane, automobile, and train. Getting out of town for the weekend has never been easier. Every Thursday, I make a habit of checking Travelocity and other trip sites to find deals on vacation packages.

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I work hard all week, and I need my time away from the office to go out and play hard too. Experiencing some place new is a fantastic way to keep your mind engaged while focusing on something other than work. As a result, you’ll come back to the office with a new story or experience to share, therefore making yourself a more well-rounded individual.

5. Invest in Family and Friends

It’s easy to lose touch with those you care about most. In a world where our entire life seems to exist in the palm of our hand, getting beyond a social media post is important. Get out there and reconnect with people on a deeper level.

I remember my grandparents and how I kicked myself for not spending more time with them before they passed. I was dedicated to my work, but family and friends are the people that actually give our lives meaning. I’ve never heard my bank account tell me it loves me, or ask me about my day. Unfortunately, the psychiatrists and “escorts” that my bank account can pay for do not count as it telling me that it cares about me. Genuine connections with people are worth their weight in gold.

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Conclusion

Unplugging from your email and newsfeed, and experiencing new people and places is important. Even when you’re in the thick of it at work, disconnecting and re-centering your mind for 10 minutes can completely change the trajectory of your day. Don’t let the outside world pass you by.

Use time away to come back and fuel even more productive time in the office. Stay sharp and enjoy all that life has to offer so that you can better relate to your network of clients, friends, and colleagues. You’ll find that the more time you invest in reconnecting, the less time you’ll need to spend marketing your business and searching for answers to the challenges you face in your work-life.

Featured photo credit: crdotx via flickr.com

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Ahmed Raza

CEO of Samurais.co

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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