Day 324-330/ 365 Days of Fulfillment Blog
Day 330/365 – November 27 – Productivity
“Turn off Pop-Up Notifications on Your Phone”
Distractions and interruptions are one of the most consistent causes for lack of productivity, however, they are also one of the easier disruptions to control, if we choose to be conscious of them. By turning off pop-up distractions, alerts, notifications, text messages and emails from our phone, we not only increase our ability to focus on the task at hand, but we will create a more structured routine in regards to when and how long we spend on certain apps on our phone.
By taking back control of our attention, we dictate how we approach the day, not the other way around. From a psychological standpoint we need to first understand and adopt that there are very few urgent matters or emergencies that need our immediate attention. By accepting this, we can put uninterrupted time aside for the projects we’re working on and optimize our time much more effectively.
Simply put, turn off any possibility of getting notified of anything that can be taken care of later on, and protect those precious work periods. Let our mind work in a space of pure clarity and undivided attention…for once 😉
Day 329/365 – November 26 – Organization
“Consolidate our apps for Increased Efficiency”
Our phones are an incredible tool for efficiency and increased convenience, but can also be a place of chaos. Optimizing our phone layout and making navigating our phone more user friendly is as simple as organizing our apps into specific categories. By clumping our information apps, social media apps, music apps, podcast apps etc. together, our phone layout becomes a one stop shop for that specific task. Anything you can get a notification from would be a great idea to clump together too. For example, apps like instagram, linkedIn, Messenger , email and Facebook would all go in one place. No more scrolling through your phone screen to reply to notifications, and with this, you can reply to all notifications at specific times of the day (a Tip I shared on a previous blog post). Talk about optimized planning!
Day 328/365 – November 25 – Productivty
“Use our Commute Time for ‘To Do’ Items”
This tip goes falls under the, “what’s easy to do, is easy not to do” category. Our commute is such an opportune time to get things done! It’s a great time to get a head start on the day, and an opportunity to build momentum and knock off 1-2 items that will propel us forward for the day. We often say we have “no time”, but just imagine we optimized our commute and listened to a book on tape, wrote out a business plan, listened to a podcast, posted a piece of content (for branding purposes), generated motivation or inspiration from an article we read, structured our workout schedule for the next couple of days, completed 5 minutes of breath work or wrote a blog. How kick ass would our mind, body, soul and day feel?! Rhetorical question, we’d feel awesome!
Depending on what our commute looks like – hands free vs. hands on wheel, will determine what efficiency tasks we can dive into. (see above for examples). The “what” is easy to discover, it’s the actual doing that gets us stuck. It’s all about re-framing our perspective. Rather than see this time as a “I have to”, look at it as, “I get to”. Programming ourselves for a more productive, successful, optimal day is an opportunity for increased fulfillment and less stress – two concepts we should be looking to maximize daily. Embrace the commute and make the hours ahead of us less cluttered.
Day 327/365 – November 24 – Productivrt
“Plan out the Day For Trivial Tasks”
According to University of California information scientist Gloria Mark, it takes us 26 minutes to ‘recover’ or dial our attention back fully, when interrupted by a trivial task i.e. emails, text messages, notifications. In order to rectify and protect ourselves from lost productivity we need to start compartmentalizing when to address specific tasks throughout the day.
A great baseline structure and first place to start is to make the time we spend on a particular activity, time for just that activity. Instead of trying to be Mr. or Mrs. Multi-tasker extraordinar, allow ourselves to escape in that moment and completely focus on the subject or activity at hand. For all the benefit we think we are getting from juggling 3-4 ‘To-do List’ items at once, we are in actuality getting far less efficient results than we would if we just directed our attention on one thing at a time. Remember, more doesn’t always mean better, the goal is to work smarter not harder. Use our time as efficiently as possible so we can truly optimize our day, and with that, get more done with greater accuracy and have more time spent in true flow states – a state that has shown to garner remarkable benefits for our over well-being and promote optimal experience.
With all this in mind, putting time aside to call people back, check messages, post on LinkedIn and respond to emails is a healthy structure to embrace. Without this structure we will lose hours of valuable time, adding up to more time spent on tedious tasks and jobs, and less time doing the things we actually want to do.
Day 326/365 – November 23 – Mental well-being
“Use a Stress Ball”
Stress balls are proven to be quite effective, not only mentally, but also physically speaking. A Stress ball, through the repetitive act of squeezing and releasing tension, helps relieve aforementioned pressure and with this release of tension, comes the alleviation of stress. Tension naturally builds up in our bodies as we involve ourselves in taxing stressful tasks, leaving us feeling tight, tense and uneasy. The more subtle activities or simple movements we can implement throughout our daily necessities, like working at our desk for example or sitting in traffic, the healthier we will be. In terms of health, stress balls have also been shown to aid in greater blood circulation and help with preventing carpal-tunnel and arthritis.
Relieving any sort of tension, even in our hands and wrists, through the simple repeated act of squeezing a gel or clay like ball can also go beyond immediate visible acts of improvement. A recent study on stress showed that 45 percent of respondents said that stress caused them to lie awake at night over the past month. Thus the alleviation of stress achieved through the stress ball also has the added ability to promote greater sleep and ward off illness in the process. Stress alleviation compounds significantly, so never underestimate simple acts that promote the release of tension and how this can aid in our performance, happiness and overall fulfillment.
Day 325/365 – November 22 – Mindset
“Accept that Change is right around the Corner”
Change is inevitable. It’s the one thing in life we can truly count on, along with taxes and death, as the saying goes. Change is something we all experience in all its glory and in all its down fall. What gets a lot of us stuck are the unexpected changes that happen to our lives and our inability to adapt gracefully. We tend to get very comfortable or focused on one path to success, and once that door shuts, we lack the awareness to adjust with the change and instead resist it, only to make things worse, often times diverting us from the path of true happiness. When we expect change and accept that it can happen at any moment, we stop taking life for granted as much, and we naturally approach situations with a stronger, more rational mindset – a mindset that can adapt gracefully and with logic behind the next steps.
This acceptance of change works in many manners. If we are going through a tough stretch in our life, accepting that life can change for the better tomorrow is enough of a reason to choose a more productive path today. On the other hand, when we expect things to stay the same, thinking rather nihilistic, we stop trying to make things better, and we dwell on what life has become, rather than on what opportunities may arise the next morning.
When we accept change, the highs will never get us too high (keeping us grounded), and the lows will never get us too low. This is critical, as the highs, when embraced to an unhealthy degree, can lead to complacency and a lack of gratitude and humility, whereas being too low will lead us to staying in a rut for a far greater amount of time than any of us should.
Change isn’t bad, it’s just different. Accept it as a part of life and move forward accordingly.
Day 324/365 – November 21 – Problem solving
“Set aside 10-15 minutes a Day for Problem Solving”
This strategy and exercise is meant to be passive, meditative and organic, with the intention of giving us some real clarity and time to solve our problems. Setting aside time to just think doesn’t mean we have to come up with “the answer” or achieve true enlightenment, it is simply meant to give us the opportunity to just be with our thoughts and see what arises. Problems are often times best approached from a more relaxed, logical state of mind – time when the mind and body are disconnected from the problem at hand and can think big picture.
I find passive environments are great in eliciting effective problem solving; activities like walking, showering and lying down are some of my favourite avenues to think and problem solve. In most cases, this 10-15 minutes put aside will at the very least clear our head, give us some direction in our approach moving forward, and typically help put our problems in perspective – “At least my problem isn’t a Brain Tumour”. This attitude shift alone can do a great deal for our ability to problem solve efficiently and keep us thinking positive (What can I rectify today?) compared to thinking negatively (How am I ever going to fix this?). 15 minutes a day in a healthy, calm environment, focused purely on solving our problems, only does us some good. And who knows, we may just get the epiphany we were looking for all along.