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5 Techniques You Should Practice Every Morning For a Productive Day

5 Techniques You Should Practice Every Morning For a Productive Day

We often find ourselves trying to figure out ways to be successful; initiating ideas that could be stepping stones towards the goals we set out. Sadly, certain obstacles may set us back in our tracks, and what started off as a plan of action may turn into something we wish we could have done. Little did we know that success comes in different forms—it could happen overnight or it could take months, or even years. The fact remains that what we’re able to accomplish every single day contributes to the likeliness that success is just a few steps ahead.

The ability to have a productive day in which you feel motivated and completely refreshed is something not many of us have. We need alarm clocks just to get us up, are barely able to pull ourselves out of bed, and our bodies feel drained and lethargic through most of the day. Can you actually say that you’ve never wished the day would end as quickly as possible?

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It’s for these reasons that I have put together 5 Simple and Effective Techniques that require just a few basic changes to your morning—mostly physical changes that will guarantee not only an energized body, but a motivated mind that’s ready for action. You may have already known some of the stuff mentioned in the article, but what’s the point of knowing without doing? Take a shot at using all of these steps and you should definitely see a change in the way you feel every day.

5. Complete 30 Squats When You Wake Up

Squats are known for being fairly easy with just a bit of challenge to them,  but aside from the physical benefits to your outer body, squats get you worked up and essentially increase your heart rate with a corresponding increased blood flow. This means you’ll have a juiced-up body in a short space of time. I’ve practiced this when studying for exams in the past and it worked wonders to keep me awake.

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4. Alternate Water Temperature When Having A Shower

A great way to start the day and feel refreshed is by having a shower. The problem that sometimes arises when we take them is that these showers can over-relax your body. I’ve had that problem quite a lot:  I’d be quite excited to get on with some piece of work, after I have a hot shower, all I can think of is relaxing and taking things easy. A great way to combat the side effects of a relaxing shower is to make it quick, and end the shower off with a sudden burst of cold water. The shock to your skin will certainly wake you up if your shower relaxed you a bit too much.

3. Eat a Proper Breakfast

My friends have a habit of rushing through their breakfasts, which and usually just consists of coffee and a muffin. Sorry folks, but that does not count as a good breakfast. You need a proper combination of fiber, protein, and preferably some dairy , but that doesn’t mean it has to be huge enough to feed a king. Try to eliminate coffee because once the sugar and caffeine spike goes south, you’ll be down before you know it. Try oats, fruits, cereals or even whole wheat toast with a great smoothie, which will combine to get you energy levels up and keep them that way.

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2. Groove to Some Music

Music is known as food for the soul, but it can also be a great motivator if you listen to the right choice of songs. Pick a few songs that get you worked up, inspire you, and have a good beat to them that you can groove to. Engaging your body with music is known to evoke certain feelings and emotions, so with the right choice of music and even a few dance moves, you’ll be feeling ready to get on with your day and achieve the best you can.

1. Don’t Fret the Small Stuff. Be Happy.

There are so many things you could  do physically to have a productive day, but if you’re not happy, it’s going to be one hell of a roller coaster ride focusing on work and progressing toward your dreams. We respond to things according to our emotional state, so this final in the article is the most important one of all: try to avoid fretting the small stuff—things you can’t change—and aim at solving what you can, while being happy with yourself. Appreciate small milestones because the little things you accomplish encourage you to strive for more.

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Featured photo credit:  grass and sunset via Shutterstock

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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