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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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