Updated: Nov 1
What's covered: How to consciously boost productivity with mindful work/life habits; PLUS, a guide to working with your body's natural rhythms for more joyful doing!
I can be an intense person.
In other words, I put my all into everything I do, and in many ways that can really work for me.
At other times, I push myself too hard and it bites me on the bum - big time.
That's why earlier this week, I decided to skip doing my tax, and instead put my feet on the grass with a take-away coffee in hand and start writing this blog.
The old me would have pushed through any resistance or physical discomfort and gone and got my tax done, initially loving the feeling of getting an item crossed off my to-do list, and then later on resenting the growing fatigue or developing headache.
Can you relate?
Painful Productivity: Stuck In "ON" Mode
Just like the rise and fall of the sun, your body has its own natural rhythms too.
Expecting your body to always be productive and in doing mode is like expecting the day to always be sunny, or the tide to always be rising.
In our school years and then later on in the workplace, we're conditioned and trained to do, achieve, be productive and get things done, regardless of how we're feeling and what our body is communicating.
It's no wonder we have a dodgy relationship with doing and are unaware of how to be mindfully productive.
Something I've learnt - and I'm continuing to learn and practise - is to work with my body and acknowledge the energy of the day, or what energy I have in the moment.
Harness Your Body's Natural Energy Rhythms For Greater Productivity
Flow days vs Dense days...
Some days for me - and this can be very personal and individual - have a "doing" feel to them.
I get things done with ease and flow; I feel like I'm in my zone and in my timing.
Whereas other days, I feel like I'm walking through thick air or treading turbulent water; things take longer, my focus fluctuates and my energy dwindles.
Unlocking Your Inner Energy: Not Wellness Woo-Woo
This isn't spiritual woo-woo stuff when I say "the feel of the day."
Most of us can instinctively feel whether it's more of an introverted and gentler kind of day OR an outgoing and doing kind of day.
We all have this in-built sensing system, and yet we often ignore it.
Stress, Strain & Pain: Pushing Too Hard To Be Productive
Here's the kick...
Going against the energy of the day or your own personal body rhythm comes at a price: body tension, headaches, feeling fatigued, drained or irritated.
We may get stuff done and seem productive, but often to the detriment of our physical, mental or emotional wellbeing.
It's short-term gain, while conditioning ourselves for long-term pain.
I'll sometimes say to clients, you're acting like a "mind on legs."
In other words, your mind is determined to do something, regardless of how you feel, what your body's communicating and the overall energy of the day; you're pushing yourself to get things done and be productive, and then there's an incredible amount of mental judgement and inner frustration if you don't.
Joyful Productivity: Tips and Tricks for a Happier Workday
Ditch the dodgy doing!
How to start changing your relationship with getting things done and being productive:
Be willing to alter or adjust your day to suit how you're feeling
Don't get too far ahead of yourself
Give yourself permission to slow down or stop
Even a 5-minute break can help
Don't compare yourself with other people
Drop the inner judgement and honour your own unique body rhythm
Release the fear around lower energy days
Trust you will feel stronger and more capable on some days compared to others
Resistance to what I'm saying?
While reading this blog, is there a voice in your head saying: But I have to work. I don't have the freedom to change my schedule or do what I want, when I want.
You may feel like you aren't able to change WHAT you're doing in your life right now, but it is within your power to change HOW you're doing it.
Practical Ways to Boost Productivity With Mindful Work Habits
Achieve mindful and joyful productivity in your daily tasks, ask yourself:
Does what I need to do have to be done right now?
Can I delegate or get help with this?
What smaller or easier tasks can I do instead?
Remember: Even small daily changes can bring much more joy, balance and mindfulness to your life and the way you work.
Choosing Joyful Productivity: A Mindful Approach
Essentially it comes down to this choice: Hammering your body, pushing you-know-what uphill and soldiering on no matter what.
Listening to your body, adjusting how or when you do things and flowing with the energy of day.
What would you like to choose?
The latter option sounds pretty appealing to me.
Keep listening to your body and trusting your wise self,
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