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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 December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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