The term ‘productivity’ can often be confused with the word ‘stress.’ These words are often found jumbled in a box together with tired, overworked, the lovely coffee addicted, and the even lovelier pre-maturely wrinkled.
For today’s post, I want to attempt to liberate ‘productivity’ from its less desirable sidekicks…
There was a time when my life was made up of a very specific set of moments: Waking, Eating, Working, Exercising, Sleeping. Extra focus on Working. I wore my stress as a badge of honor. In order to feel as though I was worthy or dignified, I felt it necessary to wear as many figurative hats as possible.
Simultaneously, I filled the role of full time student…waitress…intern…bank teller…sales associate…fiancée…
Fast forward a few years and my hats had been rearranged. Married, my hat switched to wife. Graduated, my jobs coalesced to the ultimate in stressful: Corporate Mortgage Specialist.
Along with these titles came responsibilities. And without proper management and delegation, responsibilities come with stress. I would argue that large amounts of stress do not neccessarily result in fabulous productivity. Personal experience (and observation) leads me to conclude the exact opposite: Being stressed out doesn’t mean you’re being productive, and you will probably see increased productivity by consciously decreasing your stress level.
Some of the most productive people I know are enjoying life AND getting their work done. They are making time to consciously enjoy their daily responsibilities without skipping a beat.
Today, my life is much less stressed. However, that doesn’t mean I’ve been relinquished from all responsibilities. This simply means that I’ve consciously decided I want my life to be more enjoyable. Read: MORE productive and LESS stressful.
See below as I’ve listed my top 5 tips for being more productive and less stressed.
1. Download the (free) app Wunderlist. Ross and I have been using this app religiously. We’ve recently spent 3 weeks on a road trip across the continental United States. Upon return, we packed up our entire lives and moved 3 hours from our former abode. We love the grocery list feature and enjoy being able to share our lists with each other. About the app: Wunderlist is a simple to do list and task manager app that helps you get stuff done. Whether you’re sharing a grocery list with a loved one, working on a project, or planning a vacation, Wunderlist makes it easy to capture, share, and complete your to-dos. Wunderlist instantly syncs between your phone, tablet and computer, so you can access all your tasks from anywhere.
Check out an awesome blogger who takes Wunderlist to the next level by clicking the photo below:
2. Purchase a label maker. I’ve never been one for label makers. I have always been a semi-organized with much room for improvement type of girl. Definitely not messy, but possibly a bit underwhelming when it came to my cupboards. Using this label maker has helped hold me accountable for what I put where.
3. Meditate. This might be the 28th article you’ve read this week encouraging you to meditate. It’s trending right now, which is great. However, let’s get one thing straight: Meditation is really effing difficult. Especially if you’re doing it correctly. But also, there is no ‘correct’ way to meditate…see what I mean?
This is what has helped me: Take 5 minutes. That’s it. Take 5 minutes out of your day to simply breathe and focus on nothing more than your breath. If a thought intrudes (and thoughts LIVE for moments such as this…thoughts are natural born intruders) simply follow this process:
- Acknowledge the thought.
- Accept that you’ve let your mind wander.
- Don’t judge yourself.
- Lastly, picture your thought as a bubble rising above your head and visualize watching it pop.
4. Learn how to say ‘no.’ Doing more is not the key to success. Arguably, doing less with greater focus will yield sustainable prosperity. Using my last tip (meditation) you will get to know yourself on a deeper level. Being more in touch with your mind and body is the way to knowing when you’ve overextended yourself. Be vigilant about this. If you do slip up and find yourself spread too thin, make to sure recognize this fact. Try not to continue full speed ahead, choose instead to delegate responsibilities or cut down in other areas of your life. Once you’ve finished the particular project or engagement which caused the conundrum, vow to never put yourself in the same position again. It’s really that simple.
5. Unsubscribe to unwanted emails. Trust me on this one. I had daily emails cluttering my inbox from everyone from NFLShop.com to bareMinerals. It wasn’t pretty. And it accumulated quickly. I use my personal email for business inquiries as well, so the important messages sometimes got lost amongst the less important. (I’m looking at you Zazzle and Tiny Prints…) The task is surprisingly simple and satisfying. See my screenshot and red arrow below:
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