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5 Simple Ways to Unplug and Be More Mindful In Your Life

5 Simple Ways to Unplug and Be More Mindful In Your Life

In a world that is driven by constant innovation in technology and our innate need to want more and more in life, at what point does the society plateau or get comfortable at what is?  Probably NEVER!  Remember playing outside until the sun went down, leisurely trips to the local library to pick out books for the week, and having to look things up in the encyclopedia?  Nowadays, it seems as though the world is at our fingertips making life so much easier.  Or is it?

Going through life too fast

At what point does it become too much?  No longer do we gasp when a toddler who can’t even talk yet is able to navigate an Ipad or a cell phone better than some adults.  No longer do we question whether it’s ok to take leave from work by a quick text to your superior. Little by little our social etiquette is changing, but at what cost?

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So much stress is caused by the overload of stimulation. The amount of information coming at people is alarming.  Our bodies have not yet evolved to be able to handle it, so it is necessary to be mindful of how much is too much. Simplifying, minimizing, and slowing down are all ways we can create more peace in our daily lives and reduce the pressure we are putting on ourselves to keep up.

Cell phones have become an extension of ourselves

At concerts, instead of the glow of the lighters, the cast of white light recording to capture the moment illuminates the crowd.  Our ability to engage and connect with people and moments in life diminish with the incessant need to post, check-in and hashtag our experiences.

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New generations are losing their peripheral vision, people are injuring themselves while walking and texting, and social skills among our youth are not being developed appropriately for their age. Instead of creating memories in our mind, we rely on our hard drives to store them for us. The art of a handwritten letter or card or even learning how to write a script is becoming a thing of the past.  While social media, technology, and innovation have helped our daily lives, having an awareness of what impact it has on our relationships, quality of life, and stress levels can encourage all of us to unplug and recharge ourselves every so often.

In so many ways, we are all at the mercy of technology.  In order to create balance and a lifestyle that will allow you to be present in your life, it is necessary to create healthy habits.

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5 simple ways to become more present in life

Here are some tips that will help you manage just that;

  1. Create a cell-free time in your day – Often times having your phone next to you at all times creates the need to check in too often.  It’s so hard to shy away from that green or blue notification light blinking away!  Dedicate breaks of time where your cell phone is out of sight, so you can focus and truly be with people during your day.  Create a set of personal rules, such as no phone interactions at the dinner table, while you have company over, or while you are in a public place.
  2. Silence notifications – When you are not required to answer a text, call, or email, turn your phone on silent so that you can avoid constant distraction and not be tempted to answer immediately.  Stress can be caused by the pressure felt by having to answer immediately or multi-task.  We are more efficient doing one task at a time!
  3. Tune into nature – One of the best ways to ensure you are centered and engaged in the present is to be out in nature. Soaking in the sounds, getting some fresh air and sun exposure is amazing for the mind, body, and spirit.
  4. Read a book – Too much screen time is wreaking havoc on our eyes, posture, and brains. Taking breaks from the screen to read a book is a nice way to still get information and enjoyment, but without the physical strain induced by an electronic device. If you like to read in bed, prop a pillow behind your head so you are not looking down at the book, this ensures your neck is in a neutral position.
  5. Play music – Instead of having your television on all day on the weekend, opt for playing music instead.  Music can enhance focus, promote creativity, and relax the mind.

5 benefits of unplugging

This will instantly enable you to become more present in your life and that in turn will do the following;

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  • Strengthen interpersonal communication and your relationships
  • Boost creativity and focus
  • De-stress and calm anxiety or fear
  • Improve gratitude
  • Create inner peace and joy

Try to incorporate these tips into your daily routine and life will suddenly become more engaging and less stressful!

Featured photo credit: www.pexels.com via pexels.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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