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3 Ways to Improve Your Productivity by Working Out

3 Ways to Improve Your Productivity by Working Out

Health and fitness blogs are popping up all over the internet to encourage you to get more active. It’s easy to make excuses about exercise not being your thing – trust me, I’ve used them all before. I’ve recently discovered that I was missing out on some serious benefits that aren’t just physical. Making the effort to find a workout routine that is best for you can not only make your body and mind stronger but is also good practice in productivity.

Here are 3 essential productivity principles that can be enhanced by working out.

The Importance of Vision

We all know someone – or have been that person- who has said, “I’m going to lose weight this year.” After a few weeks, they’re back to their non-physical routine and haven’t lost any weight.

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Then there are those who say, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds.” The 10 pounds turn to 15, 15 turns to 25, and before you know it they’ve lost 50 pounds!

The difference between the two scenarios is the implementation of vision. Before taking on any project you have to understand the full picture of what it takes to be successful. You need to set goals and then get specific about how you can reach them. Attention to details can create a more motivated and positive mindset about a seemingly impossible task.

I wanted to start training for a 5k race with my friends. I only had so much time in a week to train and knew that would be my biggest obstacle in staying motivated. I set the goal to go to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays to hit the treadmill for 45 minutes. I could run, jog, or walk, but I had to stay on the treadmill the whole time. Accomplishing the hardest task of starting motivated me to gradually increase my speed and eventually set higher expectations for my workout.

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The benefits of this detail-oriented vision plan ended up spilling over into my daily productivity as well. I have an issue with getting up on time. Once I made a goal to not hit the snooze button on Mondays, I eventually broke the habit of oversleeping during the week. Not only did I become more punctual, but I had more time for writing and freelance projects.

It takes practice to build the confidence in the ripple effects of vision. Whether you want to shed 20 lbs or add 20 thousand followers on Twitter, it’s important to have a reasonable plan of action that challenges you to succeed.

The Value of Commitment

Instant gratification is the poison to any form of success. When we don’t see results right away it’s easy to think something is not worth our time. You don’t just show up to the gym and start seeing results. You have to put in quality effort and stay with it to receive the long term benefits so many miss out on.

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Working out for a few weeks might help you with some short term goals, but it won’t help you make a lasting change. Staying dedicated for the long term is evidence to yourself that you can persevere.  Once you face your fears of combating one goal, your brain will start wondering what else is it capable of.

Through this practice of commitment we learn that we get out what we put in. How can we do our best in our careers and relationships if we can’t even commit to doing something good for ourselves first? Working hard for ourselves can spill over into us working hard for others as well.

The Satisfaction of a Job Well Done

The last and possibly most important benefit is the joy of finishing. So many people lack the success of productivity because of they don’t know how to finish.

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You might not lose any weight or gain tons of muscle after every workout. However, your body naturally rewards your hard work by releasing endorphins for you to enjoy. The growing accomplishment in the process of staying dedicated and focused builds confidence from which everyone can benefit.

If you can work your way up to that eight-minute-mile, then why can’t you finally launch that business about which you’ve been dreaming? By taking a little time to slow down and care about yourself, how much better are you going to treat that special someone?

Yes, working out isn’t easy but neither is anything else about life. That’s what makes it the best practice for leading a more productive lifestyle. Just start by making a reasonable plan, sticking to it, and reaping the benefits that surpass the runner’s high.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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