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.
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.
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.
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.
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