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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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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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