The demand to be productive spreads like a disease that is no respecter of persons. It reaches the corporate world and chains businessmen and women to their desks. Being productive infects students from as young as elementary, to junior high, high school, and college. And the pressures put upon mothers and fathers to make sure their children get ahead increases all the time.
As the pressure to be more productive increases, so do the stress levels of people everywhere.
In all the stress of making sure we, and everyone around us, is productive and achieving greatness, taking care of ourselves falls by the wayside. Making a difference with ourselves, first, is important.
However, self-care seems to be the last on everybody’s list of the things to do.
Is the need to be exhaustingly productive diminishing your ability to focus?
I have found in my personal life that when I try to increase my ability to multi-task, or I try to juggle far too many tasks, my attention very easily diverts. Likewise, when I worry about the outcomes of too many things, like heavy concerns about family and business, especially areas that I have no control over, I easily get distracted and cope from the feelings of overwhelm.
The number of ADD and ADHD diagnoses in the world is increasing. People have too much coming at them and their minds are spilling over with too many thoughts.
The brain is already the most amazing multi-tasking machine on the planet. But even more amazing is its ability to choose to focus in the midst of all the multi-tasking and all the interruptions we encounter in a day.
However, when the conscious mind is required to work with too many irons in the fire, parts of ourselves will get burned out and the fatigue of life will numb us into less productivity, not more.
It’s like a sand timer. Only so much sand can go through at once. Try to force too much through and you end up with blockages and other issues that stops the sand from flowing normally.
One of the most common ways to deal with the pressures of life is at the end of the day.
It has been interesting to observe how differently people cope at night with the stresses of the day. Some people decide to check-out with either food or substances or activities that help them forget about any responsibility. Television, social media, “quick-energy” foods or over-snacking are some examples of this.
Do you cope in this way? What do you find happens the next day? I have noticed that when I check-out at night, the next day becomes overwhelming because I spent the night before running away.
And the cycle continues.
Others worry too much about everything they didn’t accomplish in the day and over-think how to manage the next day when they go to bed. Their minds turn over and over and over, and oftentimes, their bodies do the same thing.
Or, they sit and plan the next day at bedtime and think all night long in their dreams, waking up running because their subconscious mind is already behind on their tasks.
Whether you are a planner in the evening or in the morning, the mindset is what is important.
If you make your plan while you are scattered and rushed, then your plan will have holes and it will leak energy. You often end up working too hard.
If you create your plan while you are angry and upset, then your plan will come across harsh and difficult to want to implement. It becomes far too easy to beat yourself up. Not fun.
If you initiate in your mind a plan without taking a moment to complete a short writing and listening exercise, then you will often feel too overwhelmed to ever initiate that which you set out for yourself.
The nonconscious and the subconscious have so much more to do than your conscious thinking mind. However, those parts of you are the ones that either make it or break it. Having the support of those parts of your brain determines your success.
So, how does one stop the madness while still being productive?Well for one, get up and take a recess. If you push yourself too hard, those parts of your brain will slow you down until you do listen.
Self-care of body, heart and mind truly makes for a very sharp mind, a healthy body and a highly attentive brain. THAT is where you find productivity.
“So, What Do I Do?”
Take a moment before you plan your day. Breathe for 7 breaths without concern. This helps you to become grounded. Practice once an hour, to pause life for a moment, and take those 7 calm breaths to feel grounded.
Journal. Write down your thoughts and emotions.
Setting aside a small amount of time every day to jot thoughts and feelings helps clear the mind, open your creativity, and bring purpose back to your daily tasks. I noticed my thoughts becoming clearer and my energy rising as I released my stress with this exercise.
What is your goal? Write it down.
In order to achieve your goal – Write your goal with an objective of the plan?
Write it. Now, Breathe through the process.
Now, ask yourself the question, “What is getting in the way of my objective?”
If you don’t know, imagine being outside in the wind storm. Imagine when you walk against the wind. What part of your life is fighting your objective, like a windy day?
Now, imagine walking with the wind to your back and helping you move forward naturally. Ask yourself, “What would be naturally pushing me towards my goal and objective?”
If you don’t have the natural drive supporting you along your journey, then it is time to meditate, journal, breathe and take time to clear a part of your life out. Then you can open yourself up to a natural attraction towards your goal.
For me, I found that working day and night was starting to fight against me. Of course it makes sense that I would start to feel the effects of this kind of lifestyle, but justifications kept me going.
Eventually, I decided to listen to the signals of my body. I started to allocate time for exercise, breathing, journaling, stretching, fun, and focused attention on business. The allocation of time to give some attention to all parts of me helped me become clearer, and I received more ideas and made more progress towards my goal without pushing myself.
What are the steps you can take today?
What are the mini steps to help you reach each above step? In other words, what simple challenges am I going to take and do today?
At the end of the day. Take a moment to review your day.
Take 5 minutes at the end of the day to de-brief. Write about your day. This is not a time to wade at your failures. This moment is for ReJOYcing. Celebrate the day. Write what you accomplished. Any struggles you encountered will become tomorrow’s challenges. Write what you learned from your accomplishments and your struggles. During the night, your body will process your day differently than it would if you went to bed stressed or upset.
Write and breathe. Engage your heart to let go of regrets. At night your regrets can seem like a tugboat in your mind and heart that is struggling to go upstream – against the current. The breathing and writing exercises help to engage your heart so your regrets can flow downstream, facilitating the process while you sleep.
Did you know that you can change your life while you are sleeping? When you live a life of positive action, clear attention, and fulfillment, sleeping time becomes flowing time. Healing takes place. Integrating your growth and learning from each day takes place.
Go to bed without your troubles with a nice 2-3 minutes of breathing. Ahhhh.
Life is an experience that you can enjoy and embrace. Taking each experience as an opportunity for growth.
Proper Closure of the day brings a morning with some nice rays of clarity.
Are you productive? Are you able to focus and enjoy your day? What is the biggest block you have to fulfilling those things you set out to do each day? Comment below! Join us in discovering how to transform your life.
With Love, Live by Heart