How many hours of your work week do you devote to relaxing or just enjoying time with family and friends?
If you find yourself becoming increasingly distracted and unable to focus (or even physically exhausted and emotionally drained), it’s worth making some lifestyle changes. Try giving these healthy habits a go.
1. Put away your devices.
Our mind and body crave activity, and we owe it to ourselves to look for pastimes that promote productivity and don’t always require going digital. If you already spend 8 hours at work in front of a screen, give your eyes a break. Edwin Soriano, life coach, trainer, and author of You Can Be Happy Again, advises to “make your bed a no-device zone. The glow of screens emit light that mimics the effect of sunlight on our body, thus keeping the body ‘awake,’ and messing up our sleep cycle.”
2. Eat slow.
Food should be as much about enjoyment as it is about sustenance. Take notice of the various tastes, colors, aromas, textures, and temperatures of every meal. Paying attention to what you eat creates small delights that inspire a daily “discovery,” rather than a much desired escape from work.
Soriano suggests scheduling “a monthly lunch with a mentor, to learn something constructive while enjoying a good meal.”
3. Drink water–plenty of it.
Staying hydrated can do wonders to your brain activity and general well-being, encouraging productivity. It helps boost the immune system and flush out toxins.
In his book Water for Health, for Healing, for Life: You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty!, author Fereydoon Batmanghelidj says that “the body can suffer from deep dehydration without showing a dry mouth.” Don’t wait until you feel thirsty.
4. Have regular personal conversations.
Nodding to acknowledge someone is nice, but making the effort of conversing with a person you see on a daily basis can exponentially brighten both your days. Make it a habit to speak to different people. It will improve your social skills, and allow you to build relationships easily.
“Smile more often,” says Archimedes Miranda De Leon, San Francisco-based life coach of 10 years, fitness trainer for 15 years, and yoga teacher for 17 years. “It helps release serotonin and oxytocin for joy, and helps create trust.”
5. Add one song to a playlist every day.
Music can enhance experiences, heighten emotions, and perk up moods. So if or when you’re stuck in traffic, take the opportunity to look for new artists and discover old ones. Not only will you chance on some gems, but you’ll also build an interesting playlist worth sharing.
“You can also listen to motivational audiobooks,” De Leon suggests. Learning can distract you from the negativity of road traffic, and help you get to work or home in a better mood.
6. Get your unread emails down to zero.
It’s unsettling, isn’t it? Those little numbers staring back at you on your desktop and mobile, and never quite going down. You don’t know what’s what anymore, and it’s better to leave them be than go through each of them individually. But it’s a chore that needs to be done.
Open those newsletters, click “unsubscribe,” then delete. Commit to a few minutes of digital decluttering everyday for a friendlier inbox. Create folders so you can keep track of important matters, and use those folders to help you organize your affairs.
If or when you’re on holiday, Soriano suggests setting up an “out of office” auto-reply to let everyone in your professional circle know that you won’t be available until a certain time. “If there is anything important, have the sender re-send the email when you’re back at the office,” Soriano adds.
7. Learn to prioritize instead of multi-task.
This is easy. You need only remember two factors: important tasks and urgent tasks.
To help you identify which is which, ask yourself if the task is for you or for someone else. Most tasks demanding immediate action are most likely for someone else. They qualify as urgent because ignoring them can have implications for another person that is not you. But that’s not to say you can’t put yourself first.
If you feel that a task can wait and your needs are more important, communicate this with the people involved, and try to find a reasonable middle ground. By prioritizing, you are giving yourself more time and energy to do what you feel matters more, rather than trying to do everything at once. This can greatly enhance your personal productivity.
8. Don’t ruminate.
In other words, get out of your head. Don’t spend too much time thinking about something over and over. Do it, then move on to the next.
Whenever you catch yourself lost in thought, ask yourself why this matters…then find an outlet. Write down your thoughts, draw them, and share them with someone you trust. Don’t keep it inside, and don’t brush it aside. It will come back, and you’ll be running the same circle over and over again.
Take it from Derek Doepker’s book Why You’re Stuck: Your Guide to Finding Freedom from Any of Life’s Challenges. He says, “The first obvious reason why awareness is important is that you have to be aware of what the problem is in order to overcome it.”
De Leon says that focusing on what’s happening in the moment instead of what happened or what could happen, is key: “Be awake and be present to what is now.”
Soriano also shares a wonderful nugget of wisdom. “Instead of spending excessive time and energy on making decisions, learn to make ‘provisional decisions.’ You will never have all the information you need, so work with the information you have at hand. Move forward by taking that one step…and be okay with making adjustments later.”
9. Weigh the costs of your projects and commitments.
Everything has a price; the currency just varies. Some projects will cost you more time than necessary; others will cost you energy you can invest elsewhere. Opt for projects and commitments that give you the best returns.
Assessing opportunities is a good habit to have in achieving work-play balance, so ask yourself these questions: Does the project demand more than I’m happy to give for the amount it pays? Will it help me grow personally and professionally? Am I in the company of people I admire?
10. Live close to places where you work and play
Cutting down travel time will certainly boost your productivity as well as enhance your happiness. Alveo Land properties are always within ideal locations in the metro that help promote a happy and productive lifestyle. This includes residential condominiums for sale in Makati, BGC, Pasig, or QC, so choose to invest in the best place for you.
Once you work all these into your consciousness, you should be able to notice bits of positive shifts in your daily routine. In time, these will contribute to a significant and mindful life.