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3 Things to Give Up for Lent That Could Improve Your Productivity

3 Things to Give Up for Lent That Could Improve Your Productivity

    This week saw the beginning of Lent, which is described as follows:

    “Lent is the Christian observance of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.”

    Traditionally, during the time of Lent those who observe it either do something consistently or give up something that they know is detrimental to them – or is a habit they;d like to eliminate. Common things include smoking, drinking or eating junk food.

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    But we;re in the 21st century now, and perhaps it’s time we look at a few of the things that in today’s day and age you could give up for Lent that would make an impact.

    1. Social Media

    This is a biggie.

    What if you quit tweeting during Lent? Imagine steering clear of Facebook for that long of a spell? Maybe you should stop checking in on Foursquare instead?

    These may seem like tall orders, but not too long ago these things didnt even exist. Think about how much you’d get done – and be able to do – if you only paid attention to social media when it was absolutely required, like at your place of work.

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    One thing you could look at doing is only tweeting the writing you do on your website during Lent. After all, there are plugins or services that will do that for you.

    Giving up social media for Lent seems huge, but think of the value you’ll get by engaging people by other means for a substantial time period rather than via status updates and retweets. It’s worth exploring.

    2. Mobile Gadgets

    We all love our gadgets. Whether it starts with an “i” or not, they keep us connected to a world that’d be tougher to reach without them.

    Why not take this time of year to set them aside and keep things on your laptop or desktop computer and not take them with you everywhere you go? If that’s not possible, restrict yourself to only the necessary times and applications on the mobile devices you own.

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    Not using these devices during Lent may seem difficult – if not impossible – but that’s all the more reason to make an effort to do so, isn’t it?

    3. Email

    Wouldn’t it be great to not have to deal with email during this time of year? Think about the freedom you’d have of not wondering when the next one was going to arrive.

    Again, quitting email for Lent may not be a luxury you can afford if your job relies on it as a means of communication. But what if you gave up personal email? Adjusted the times when you’ll check it?

    There are tools out there (AwayFind, for example) that can help you do this, and even Gmail has an autoresponder that may be usually reserved for vacation time. If you look at this as a “vacation from email”, then using the autoresponder built into Gmail is an easy thing to do.

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    And you wouldn’t concern yourself with getting to Inbox Zero every day, either.

    Conclusion

    These are just three of the modern conveniences (or tetherings) we have that you could give up if you observe Lent. In fact, they may be tougher to stay away from than the old stand-by vices I mentioned off the top.

    If you’re observing Lent, what are you giving up (or focusing on doing) and why? Let us know in the comments below.

    (Photo credit: Conceptual Image of Faith via Shutterstock)

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

    4 Simple Steps to Brain Dump for a Smarter Brain Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

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    Last Updated on October 14, 2019

    10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

    10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

    When it comes to increasing your metabolism, getting a good workout a couple of times a week is only one of many players. If you’re not a fan of lifting heavy stuff, then you’re only expending extra energy for that, say, one hour of that specific day. But what about the remaining 23 hours? How can you make sure you’re burning blubber all throughout the day? Here are 10 simple ways to increase your metabolism without working out.

    1. Stand More

    Many health practitioners claim that sitting is the new smoking. We sit in the office, we sit in the car, we sit when we get home. It’s not only terrible for your health and posture, but you require a lot less energy when seated. So, a good way to ignite the furnace a bit is to stand as much as possible through out the day. You work in an office? Put two boxes under your keyboard or laptop. There are many free solutions to making a standing desk—so you have no excuses. When you’ve gotten used to standing while working you will quickly find that it’s easier to stay engaged as well—you’re less inclined to drift away mentally. In fact, this post was written standing.

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    2. Gamify Your Life

    Toys such as the Fitbit or Nike Fuelband, or apps like Argus, can help you increase your metabolism by giving you an incentive to walk more. Argus, and other apps like it, use the accelerometer in your smartphone to measure your steps and let you know when you’ve hit your daily goal. Fitbit and the Nike Fuelband do the same, but have a host of other functions to make being healthy a tad more fun.

    3. Eat Your Veggies

    Fibrous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli increase your metabolism by putting your digestive system on overdrive. It just simply requires more energy to break down the tough fiber of these nutritional powerhouses. You’ll also start feeling like a rock star from the overload of vitamins and minerals from eating more vegetables.

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    4. Eat Protein

    This is one of those rules that’s not to be misunderstood. While it does boost your metabolism to eat more protein, it should be instead of other foods, not on top of other foods. If you’re stuffing your face with a chicken breast when you’re not hungry just to boost your metabolism, you’re doing it wrong. Of the three macro-nutrients—fats, carbs and protein—protein is the one that requires the most energy to break down. So, if you switch out some of those cheese sandwiches with a few hardboiled eggs you’re on the right path.

    5. Drink Loads Of Cold Water

    Drinking a few glasses of ice-cold water in the morning can boost your metabolism quite effectively. Your body expends energy on constantly staying in homeostasis when it comes to temperature, so if you chug a bunch of icy water you’re making your body expend more energy on keeping itself at the same temperature. Using temperature to expend more energy is called thermogenesis and it’s one of the most efficient ways of cranking up your calorie burning—more on this further down.

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    6. Spice Up Your Meals

    Spices like cayenne, chilli, ginger and turmeric ignite your metabolism and make your meals a bit more exciting. If you make it a habit to add a little bit of spice to each of your meals it can be a habit that turns you into a fat-burning furnace.

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      7. Drink Caffeine

      No, drinking loads of coffee is not bad for you. The sugar and heavy cream you could be inclined to chase it down with might be though. Caffeine helps mobilize—that is, get rid of—adipose tissue, or fat. It also helps athletic performance, and some individuals report it to have appetite-curbing effects. If you’re very sensitive to stimulants, try not to have caffeine too close to bedtime though, as it can mess with your sleep.

      8. Plan Your Meals Around Exercise

      I know the title of this post says “…Without Working Out” but this trick technically is more a nutritional trick than an exercise-related one. When you’ve exerted yourself and, hopefully, broken down some muscle fibers, your protein synthesis, or the rate at which you build muscle, increases. So, having heavy meals after a workout will make sure those calories get stored in the right places. This is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to get a heavy session in before the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

      9. Do Intermittent Fasting

      It’s long been said you should always eat a heavy breakfast as it kick starts your metabolic rate. There hasn’t been any study proving this though. There have only been behavioral studies correlating obesity with breakfast skippers, but it’s always been a case of confusing correlation with causation. It’s not the fact that you skip breakfast that makes you fat; it’s the poor food choices you make throughout the rest of your day. Studies have shown that fat burning increases the longer you get into a fast, obviously depending on the body fat level of the individual. In fact, in one study lowered metabolic rate did not occur until 60 hours into a fast. Intermittent fasting is very much one of the bigger wins when it comes to increasing your metabolism.

      10. Use Cold Exposure

      For some reason it’s been common knowledge for a while that sweating increases metabolic rate. Scientist have known for a while though that the opposite is actually true; exposing yourself to cold temperatures increase your calorie burn significantly. Just slight shifts in your home temperature can mean pounds lost or gained when you gather the numbers yearly. How else do you think swimmer Michael Phelps is able to eat 12,000 calories a day? Obviously, he swims hours each day, but it’s not just the exercise he gets from swimming that allows him to consume such quantities of food, it’s also the amount of energy the body has to expend to keep itself at its baseline temperature in the cold water. So, taking ice-cold showers, decreasing the temperature of your home, or swimming in cool pools will help you burn a lot more calories.

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