Day 324-330/ 365 Days of Fulfillment Blog
Day 330/365 – November 27
“Switch off Pop-Up Notifications on Your Phone”
Distractions and interruptions are one of the most consistent causes for lack of productivity, but they are also one of the easier things to control, if we choose to be conscious of them. By eliminating pop-up distractions, alerts, notifications, text messages and emails from your phone, you will not only increase your ability to focus on the task at hand, but you will create a more structured routine on when and how long you spend on each of these apps on your phone.
By taking back control of your attention, you dictate how you approach our day, not the other way around. I think psychologically, we need to first understand and adopt that there are very few urgent matters or emergencies that actually need to be addressed. By accepting this, we can put a specific time aside for the platforms we need to spend time on – time that we will work best on them, and that make the most sense to use – and optimize our time much more effectively.
Put your phone away; turn off any possibility of getting notified of anything that can be taken care of later on, and protect those precious 2-3 hour work periods. Let your mind work in a space free of distraction and interruption…for once 😉
Day 329/365 – November 26
“Consolidate Your apps for Increased Efficiency”
Our phones are an incredible tool for efficiency and increased convenience, but can also be a place of chaos. Optimizing your phone time and making navigating your phone more user friendly is as simple as putting all your information apps in one place. We are able to clump apps together on our phone screen, and this should be done for the right reasons, to eliminate wasted time searching through your phone. By clumping your information apps together, it becomes a one stop shop for that specific task – anything you can get a notification from would be a great idea to clump together – apps like instagram, linkedIn, Messenger , email and Facebook can all go in one place. No more scrolling back and fourth to reply to notifications, and with this, you can rock out 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
“Use Your Commute Time for ‘To Do’ Items”
This tip goes back to, “what’s easy to do, is easy not to do”. Our commute time is a great time to get a head start on the day. It’s an opportunity to roll up your sleeves and knock off 1-2 items that will propel you forward for the day. We say we have “no time” but just imagine you 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 you read, structured your workout schedule for the next couple of days or wrote a blog. How kick ass would your day feel?
Depending on what your commute looks like – hands free vs. hands on wheel, will determine what efficiency task we can dive into. If you are hands free, you can even get a jump on sending emails and setting up project deadlines/action plans. The “what” is easy, it’s the actual doing that gets people 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 yourself for a more productive, successful, optimal day is an opportunity for increased fulfillment and less stress. Embrace your commute and make the hours a head of you less cluttered.
Day 327/365 – November 24
“Plan Out Your 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 through out the day.
A great baseline structure and first place to start is to make the time you spend on a particular activity, time for just that activity. Instead of trying to be Mr. or Mrs. Multi-tasker extraordinar, allow yourself to escape in that moment and completely focus on the subject or activity at hand. For all the benefit you think you are getting from juggling 3-4 ‘To-do List’ items at once, you are getting a far less efficient result than you would if you just directed your attention on one thing at a time. Remember, more isn’t better, the goal is to work smarter not harder. Use your time as efficiently as possible so you can truly optimize your 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.
With all this in mind, put time aside to answer your phone, check messages, post on LinkedIn and respond to emails. Without this structure you will lose hours upon hours of valuable time that could have been focused on activities that would further you in all pillars of your life.
Day 326/365 – November 23
“Use a Stress Ball”
Stress balls are proven to quite effective, not only mentally, but also physically as well. A Stress ball, through the repetitive act of squeezing and releasing, helps relieve tension and with the release of tension, comes the release of stress. Tension naturally builds up in our bodies, 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 in real moments of stress, the healthier we will be. In terms of health, stress balls have also been shown to aid in greater blood circulation and help with the 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 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 of tension release and how this can aid in our performance, happiness and overall fulfillment.
Day 325/365 – November 22
“Accept that Change is right around the Corner”
Change is inevitable. It’s something we all experience in all its glory and in all its down fall. What gets a lot of people stuck are the unexpected changes that happen to their lives. 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 you expect change, and accept that life can change at any moment, you stop taking things for granted as much, and you approach situations with a stronger, more rational mindset – a mindset that can adapt gracefully and with logical thought behind the next steps.
This acceptance works in all manners. If you are someone who is going through a tough stretch in your 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, 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 to accept change, the highs will never get you too high, and the lows will never get you 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, where as being too low will lead you to staying in a rut for a far greater amount of time than any person should.
Change isn’t bad, it’s just different.
Day 324/365 – November 21
“Set aside 15 minutes in Your Day for Problem Solving”
This strategy and exercise is meant to be passive, meditative and organic, with the intention of giving you some real clarity and time to solve your problems. Setting aside time to think doesn’t mean you 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 favourable avenues to think and try to problem solve. In most cases, this 15 minutes set aside will clear your head, give you some direction in your approach, and at the very least help you put your problems in perspective – “At least it’s not 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 we rectify?) compared to thinking negatively (What can we possibly do?). 15 minutes a day in a healthy, calm environment, focused purely on solving your problems only does us some good. And who knows, you may just get the epiphany you were looking for.