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One Simple Thing You Can Do To Instantly Improve Your Day

One Simple Thing You Can Do To Instantly Improve Your Day

    “Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” – Etty Hillesum

    Are you familiar with those days where you feel like you have too much going on — way too much work, a dozen errands, e-mails to check, voicemails to listen to, and a growing list of things you really need to handle?

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    Or what about those days where you feel like you’re on autopilot and just going through the motions? Nothing is really wrong, but for one reason or another you just feel…blah.

    I am way too familiar with all of those types of days. In fact, I spent years having crazy days, blah days and all the other type of mentally draining days in between. It wasn’t that I didn’t have those “great” days, but they absolutely didn’t show up as consistently as I would have liked.

    I thought, “There has to be a better way. There must be something I can do differently.”

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    I knew I wasn’t supposed to rush through my day. I also knew that I was supposed to really live and experience the day — and sometimes I was able to actually do that. I had glimpses of how good the day could really feel, but I just wasn’t able to consistently not get sucked into the day.

    But, one day I figured out stumbled into “Time Ins” and life hasn’t been the same since.

    Take Some “Time In”

    A “Time In” is simply a conscious decision you make to take a break from all that you have going on and give yourself just 60 seconds to relax, recharge and most importantly enjoy silence.

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    You can be anywhere — work, in the shower, at a stop light, waiting for an elevator. The key is just to stop what you are doing, make a conscious decision to unplug from the world for just one minute and to focus on taking some deep breaths.

    I think one of the greatest things about any day is that we can choose to make little changes and instantly see things improve. It doesn’t take much to make the day better, but it does take intent.

    And, all that is required is that you choose today to change your routine up a little and add some “Time Ins” to your day.

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    3 Tips For Integrating “Time Ins” Into Your Day:

    1. Do it 3 Times A Day. Aim to take a “Time In” three times a day for 60 seconds. Ideally, you will take a “Time in” in the morning, the middle of the day and the evening. You can certainly take more if you remember, but three is a good number to start with. After you continually take “Time Ins” day after day, you will most likely want to take more than three. This is definitely a situation of “the more, the better” – so take as many as you can.
    2. Use All 60 Seconds. Take the entire minute to unplug. Just relax and focus on taking deep breaths for 60 seconds. Really focus on slowing down your mind and enjoying the “Time In”. Enjoy the silence and let go of whatever you were thinking about for just 60 seconds. Use a “Time In” When Needed. If you notice your energy draining or that you are getting worked up, stop what you are doing and take a “Time In”.
    3. Use the “Time In” to recenter and reenergize yourself before you jump back into whatever you were doing. It’s amazing how taking just sixty seconds to yourself will instantly relax and recharge you.

    Start taking your “Time Ins” today. I promise it will be one of the best things you have ever done for yourself.

    (Photo credit: Painting Sky via Shutterstock)

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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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