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3 Tricks To Become Much More Productive And Motivated

3 Tricks To Become Much More Productive And Motivated

In the middle of the day, have you ever felt like you were just ready for a nap? Or, at work, have you ever felt that one whole hour felt like a full eight hours? For times like these, our go-to solutions include drinking coffee or grabbing an energy drink to get a dose of caffeine to boost our energy. But, the good news is, it is not only caffeine that can boost our energy and make us feel more productive and motivated. Follow the tricks below for a much more productive day:

Stay near natural light sources.

As much as you can, do not lose sight of natural light. Try to sit beside a window, or go outside for walks during your breaks. Doing this will make you feel more energetic because it will make you feel more awake. The explanation for this is that the hypothalamus in our brain, which regulates energy and sleep levels, signals for our body to ramp up or down the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, when it senses a change in light. That also explains why, when we use our cellphone in bed in the middle of the night, we find it hard to get back to sleep.If for any reason you are not able to see natural light during the day, you can use alternatives such as a mood lamp or a sunlight LED light.

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Do not forget to exercise.

Exercising is not only good for the heart. Exercising also helps you sleep well. A research study[1] concluded that people who exercise for 60 minutes on 5 days a week get more sleep than those who do not. Have you ever gone to work after a sleepless night?Obviously, a sleepless night will not give you a very productive day because you will feel very tired and sleepy. So, do not forget to exercise if you want to sleep soundly. Make an extra effort to get good sleep using strategies other than exercise, such as avoiding caffeine in the afternoons and evenings, using comfortable bedding, turning off the light, and keeping the sounds down. If you sleep well, you will definitely feel much more energized the next morning when you wake up.

Learn to manage stress.

Someone who is stressed will not feel motivated or productive. In a research study, 40%[2] of Americans said that stress makes them feel tired and fatigued. Fatigue definitely will make you less productive and motivated during your day.To counter that, you should learn to combat stress. There are a variety of ways to counter stress such as:

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Yoga – Yoga clears your mind and slows down[3] the breathing and heart rate.

Exercise – Exercise reduces[4] stress and fatigue. It improves your overall cognitive function, alertness and concentration.

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Meditation – A study[5] has found that mindfulness meditation can help ease stresses like depression, pain and anxiety.

Eating a healthy diet – Eating high-fat food can make you feel lethargic and leave you without much energy to deal with stress. A healthy diet that combats stress is composed of high-fiber, carbohydrate-rich and low-fat meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables. These foods do not sap energy and boost the immune system.

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Keeping a positive outlook – When stress and negative thoughts come in, it is important to shove those negative thoughts away and to replace them with positive ones. That way, you will not dwell on negativity, which causes stress and depression.Whether we feel motivated and productive can be up to us. If we take extra steps, such as those suggested above, to make sure that we are motivated and productive, the results will definitely show in our work day and will be a reflection of how we take care of ourselves.

Reference

[1] Journal Sleep: Journal of Sleep and Disorders Research
[2] American Psychological Association: Stress and Sleep
[3] Harvard Health Publication: Yoga can blunt harmful effects of stress
[4] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Exercise for Stress and Anxiety
[5] The JAMA Network: Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being

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Sarah Bonander

Writer, Human Resources Professional

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Last Updated on December 13, 2019

7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

Are you keen to reinvent yourself this year? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.

Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

1. Just Pick One Thing

If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

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Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

2. Plan Ahead

To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.

Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.

Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.

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3. Anticipate Problems

There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.

4. Pick a Start Date

You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.

Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

5. Go for It

On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

Your commitment card will say something like:

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  • I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
  • I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
  • I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
  • I meditate daily.

6. Accept Failure

If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.

Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

7. Plan Rewards

Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

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Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.

Decide what you want to do this year, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.

Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new? Why not pick one from this list: 50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them

Featured photo credit: Ian Schneider via unsplash.com

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