Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

Ahmed Raza

CEO of Samurais.co

5 Things Our Parents Expect From Us During Old Age 4 Powerful Strategies to Increase Conversions of Your Ecommerce Business 5 Ways Technology Can Help You Balance School and Life 4 Ways Businesses Can Stand out on Pinterest 3 Ways You Can Make Your Dad Feel Special This Christmas

Trending in Lifestyle

17 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day 210 Surprising Benefits Of Dragon Fruit You Never Knew 311 Benefits of Almond Milk You Didn’t Know About 411 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits) 510 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

Advertising

When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

    Advertising

      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

          Advertising

          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

              Advertising

                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

                  Read Next