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Tag: productivity

5 ways to feel rested with no napping

So you have a huge to do list to complete and you really want to sleep, but you know you can’t because there would be no power in the whole world that would get you out of bed if you’ll lay on it? Yeah, I know that feeling all too well. As a student… let’s just say it is almost a daily struggle. So what to do? I have seriously quite many ideas for you but since I know you are supposed to be working/ studying right now, I will give you five. Maybe we can make this into a series if you feel interested 😉

  1. Get up and do some jumping jacks or push ups or just walk. Honestly I know this feels like the dumbest thing ever. What, I’m supposed to do fitness stuff when I want to sleep. Yeah not gonna happen. But honestly you don’t have to do it for hours. Just a couple of movements and a little bit of stretching will get your blood pumping and your heart beating and the best part is since you are moving your brain gets activated because it is getting a signal that stuff is happening. So, move you booty!
  2. Go make yourself a tea or coffee, eat some fruit. This is helpful again because you actually move, you get some nutrients in ya that you brain might just like, annnnd you get to do something else than just stare at the screen or book, without actually understanding shit. But after the pause actually get back to work….no honestly, yeah… I see you on the Instagram… you can’t fool me. I’m the queen of procrastination, I know whats going down when no ones watching.
  3. Chew gum. It activates your brain more because again you are actually doing something. Don’t over do it. But especially if you know you have to remember something, chew gum and use the same flavor in the exam. 😉
  4. Make a realistic to do list. And this is kind of a tip for before you even start working. In the morning (or the night before) you think you are a superwoman(or man) and you can get anything done. Writing a report in 5 minutes? No problem! Then the next day you look at the 50 item to-do list and you start snoring before you finish reading it… So actually make it realistic.
  5. Meditate, journal and/or do some breathing exercises. This make you get to the present moment. To some this will sound very spiritual, but honestly it is just as well psychological. (If you want to make it spiritual be my guest, I myself do it so) How ever if you aren’t into the “voovoo” stuff; here is how I would do it. I would sit down, put calm nature/classical music on and concentrate on the breathing. Nothing more nothing less. This makes you calm down your nervous system and makes you more creative and relaxed. This in turn especially if you make it a routine makes you, more productive. Journaling is also great because it releases all of your brain space. Instead of having 50 things in your mind, you know you have it written down and you can get back to it later, and surprisingly enough you don’t get tired as easily. Why? Because you aren’t busy trying to make you brain shut up. Ever had those moments of writing an essay and having to constantly tell yourself to stop thinking about xyz and no you don’t have to do that other task now rather than writing etc. All of this is by the way also proven scientifically, so go ahead give it a try!

As you might have noticed none of these tips were how to miraculously work through 48 hours and not sleep at all. What this was; plan things smarter and take smart breaks not to be dead. It seriously does work. So go and have a try. Oh and make sure not to disregard these tips because you can’t apply them 100% If you work a very busy job while going to the bathroom do a breathing exercise, or on the bus. If you can go get a cup of coffee, stand up at you desk. If nothing else with a pretense of searching for a paper etc. You can always do something for self-care. And if your company doesn’t allow that, trust me when I say you can find better. Maybe not right now, but you can.

As always thanks for reading and comment down below if you want to ask something or add something!

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Nutrition and productivity

Have you noticed that on some days you are supper productive and efficient. You get an amazing amount of tasks done and you feel like you are on top of the world? But to balance those days out some days you have a feeling that a sloth could get more done and you are no smarter than an amoeba….sound familiar? For me too.

There are many reasons why you might have an unproductive/ sluggish day; lack of sleep, dehydration, lack of exercise. Then what we will concentrate on today; bad nutrition. Now before you start to attack me with your (pitch)forks, I would like to mention that your meals can be generally healthy and you still could be feeling like a blob. And if you can honestly say that you are healthy with your diet, hydration, sleep and fitness and you still feel bad; please contact a doctor. Heck contact them anyway. But for those people who can’t honestly claim even 90% healthy habits, this post is for them. (ME)

why you might have an unproductive/ sluggish day; lack of sleep, dehydration, lack of exercise. Then what we will concentrate on today; bad nutrition. Now before you start to attack me with your (pitch)forks, I would like to mention that your meals can be generally healthy and you still could be feeling like a blob. And if you can honestly say that you are healthy with your diet, hydration, sleep and fitness and you still feel bad; please contact a doctor. Heck contact them anyway. But for those people who can’t honestly claim even 90% healthy habits, this post is for them. (ME)

Through out history we have been developing and adapting. Many theories suggest that one of the biggest changes for us humans, and why we as a species have survived was first introducing fish and meat into our diet and then learning how to cook it as well. This however has within couple of decades turned against us. While I honestly believe that some fish and meat products in our diet can be healthy, I will be first one to admit that being mostly meat based is probably no the healthiest (especially not when it is part of fast food).

Heavy saturated fat based foods make us groggy as it is more difficult to digest, making the blood from our head go to our digestive system. On the other hand too many carbs/sugars makes us have a spike of energy and then we are all of a sudden very tired. Usually this is followed by us eating again or drinking coffee/energy drinks to get us back to being able to work. Then we crash again and it ends up being a vicious cycle.

How should we eat? I don’t think I can answer that without some disclaimers: 1) I am not a doctor, nutritionist nor have I researched the topic enough to promise miracle results. 2) I don’t think there is a diet that fits everyone (and I don’t think there are miracle diets). I can however suggest some things by what I have read. This is based on my research on what are healthiest foods for productivity A well balanced diet with healthy fats from nuts and seeds, avocados (can I hear a YAY from all the millennials) Some good carbs; for example vegetables, fruits, whole grains. And proteins from either plant sources, like legumes and if you aren’t vegan then some fish and lean meats. Now even if you are vegan I know you can have a balanced diet. Just don’t restrict yourself and remember to take supplements. Especially B12 and iron. B12 is very hard to get from plants only and iron while possible, is often something that will be lacking on a vegan diet.

Speaking of vitamins and minerals, some that are supposed to help with productivity are B-vitamins, vitamin D3 (D-vitamin deficiency is especially common in northern countries due to the lack of sun light, just keep that in mind, especially during winter months.) Omega 3 Fatty acids, vitamin C and magnesium. Most of these are reasonably easy to have in your diet. But if you have some dietary restrictions, like being vegan, not being able to eat fish or being allergic to some fruits/veggies with these vitamins/mineral, please do take the time to supplement. More info about these vitamins and where to find them: 5 Vitamins & Minerals to boost focus, concentration and productivity

Productivity is a result of many things. Healthy lifestyle, good habits and systems that make it easier to do things than to procrastinate.

What do you think is the biggest aspect of your lack of productivity? (If you lack it) Eating habits, lack of exercise, lack or sleep (perhaps them all?) Being unorganized, not having discipline(actually meaning having good systems in place)

Comment down below, I would love to engage with you! And as always thanks for reading 🙂

Xoxo

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10 simple things I do for positivity boost

Negativity is a productivity/inspiration killer. But what to do when you are in the cycle? I mean it’s not like we can just buy a ticket to Bora Bora right now and leave. I, at least have school, no money and other obligations. Can’t just up and leave. What to do then, to make your day brighter in a simple way? Here are ten things that work for me, with a bit of an explanation if you feel like trying them out as well.

  1. Cleaning. This isn’t something that makes me happy while I do it (Unless I am procrastinating doing an essay or reading for an exam). But I feel better after it. I can concentrate better and I feel good about myself. Happy that I could be productive. As a side note. Cleaning doesn’t mean the whole house. Just washing the dishes. Or putting my clothes away etc. Can sometimes be enough to clear my mind and make me feel better.
  2. Going on a walk. Fresh air (cold in Finland right no) always wakes me up. Even if the weather isn’t the best it makes a world of a difference for me. I always come back with more energy and a lot more awake. Don’t over do it. 15-30 minutes can do wonders.
  3. Taking a shower. A warm shower, washing away the stress and negativity. Smelling clean and fresh. It is almost like I wash away the believe that I can’t do something. If you haven’t done this before let me suggest you a exercise called shower meditation. Imagine that the water that cascades over you washes away the bad things. It doesn’t matter what it really is. Stress, bad memories, negativity about others or yourself. Just imagine you are cleaning all that junk away.  Check for another shower meditation idea here:  https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-26626/heres-a-5minute-meditation-you-can-do-in-the-shower.html
  4. Meditation in general. Just five minutes pause. Breathing and being. Trying not to think about anything, or if you think about something (which is more than common) try to make it something positive. And after the thought “passes” go back to thinking about you breathing. I have a post about meditation here. 
  5. Reading (Audio books work as well). Reading gives you a chance to be ANYWHERE you want to be. If you want the book to be about dragons, you will find it. If you feel like jumping into a world of magic and excitement… Harry Potter here I come. Or it can be a book on something you want to learn or that just interests you. I myself prefer reading books that are not about the reality or if they are, it has to have a twist. Because when I read to relax I want it to have nothing to do with the world that is causing me to stress/be negative in the first place.
  6. Make a cup of tea/coffee. This personally helps me even if I am doing some school work while I drink it. Making the tea/coffee gives me exactly the small pause I need to get my head back on my shoulders. And having that cup of a hot beverage just makes me feel somehow very business like and efficient. Like I am in a office so productive that I don’t even have time for a coffee break.  I know it might seem a bit silly but that idea helps me often if I’m stuck.
  7. Stretch. Again gives you a pause and it is good for your joints and body in general. And you also must admit that when you stretch and you reach that sweet spot ( I am sure you know what I mean) it is very satisfying.
  8. Dance like like no one is watching (cos they aren’t you are in your room alone.) Put a silly song on for example Girls just want to have fun by Cyndi Or if you want something more masculine(Hehehe) YMCA. Seriously tho I don’t care what songs  you like or want to dance to. It shouldn’t matter as long as you are having fun. Heck I have danced to AQUA- Barbie Girl. It’s all about the fun.
  9. Sleep/power nap. Look working hard is good. Studying for them A* is great. But not at the expense of your health. Sleep is such easy way to get back on track. And imagine. One bad nigh can effect you for 4 days. So think twice before pulling an all nighter.
  10. Write/draw/paint. Write the good stuff, the bad stuff, just because you enjoy writing and any other reason in between. Draw or paint circles, do something creative with your hands while your brain is almost turned off. This just gives you time to process things and not over analyse and makes you free to relax. Just don’t make this about some kind of goal of writing a book this year or to paint a master piece. This thing is just for you. As an outlet.

Thanks again for reading. Sorry if this post got a bit longer than usually. Hope you guys find it still interesting and helpful. Tell in the comments below what helps you.

-Alisa

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How to overcome overwhelm (or not get there at all)

Here we are again. The fall is upon us and the real life slaps us in the face an angry ex. The summer was so fun, but now we are back to the reality of everything. School started, or a new project at work. On top of that you have to do a billion of other things. Go to yoga, update blog, and with work or school (or worse yet both) you have more than just one obligation. And now you wake up at night with a feeling of a constrictor cobra squeezing your insides. Yay!

But what if we don’t have to feel overwhelmed? How to make sure, that you can enjoy almost every-single task you do, and not feel like it is sucking out the juices of life from within your soul?

First make sure you know that this isn’t something more serious like a burnout. If your overwhelm has already jumped over the edge and became a burnout I would highly suggest you check out my post about relaxing, why we should and how to do it. The link is here: https://changedlife365.net/2017/06/03/how-to-relax-and-why/

Now to the topic at hand

  1. Figure out why are you feeling like all the walls are falling on you? List all of the things you are “supposed” to do. Now from that list see if there is anything you can disregard. Do not take tasks on your plate that will make your energy bank get depleted. If you have extra things you just can’t do, then make sure you organize it so that you don’t offend anyone. If it is already promised, make a mental note not to promise things that make you feel like shit. As a side note, do not take away those things that bring you happiness in the long run or are there for your health. So, I think yoga should stay. But proofreading your friends essay for the next day, when you still have to write yours… well that can go.
  2. Now that your list looks more realistic. (Hopefully) figure out what the task monster is. A task monster is one task that seems so big and time consuming you feel like someone punched you in the gut right after reading that task. Now think of ways to make it smaller; more manageable. Make an action plan. All the tasks that are bigger than just 15 minutes of work, can be made into bite sized prices. You don’t eat a full pizza in one bite, so why should you do a huge project/essay that way?
  3. Make sure you haven’t got too much to do on one day. Make a to-do list that you know you can complete. Prioritize. If you have an essay in two days and a project in three weeks you could still work on both but definitely the essay is a priority. Even if the project is supper important. I think a smart to-do list would be: Finnish essay, do project for 30 minutes, activity you like. Or something similar.
  4. Do not do everything in one sitting. No matter who you are, people don’t concentrate well for more than 45 minutes and several studies show that even less. So don’t just sit on your butt for hours on end. Take pauses. But make them count. I can make a post about this later in detail. But if you sit in the same space with the same computer and that vacant look in your eyes, after your pause you won’t feel rejuvenated. Do anything at all but not computer or phone. Make that pause count. Stretch, meditate, visualize your dream life.
  5. Do not beat yourself over things not always being 100% perfect. Chances are that they never are. You can get an A+ on a paper and still have a couple comma mistakes. It isn’t the end. Done is better than perfect. And with every mistake you learn. So don’t beat yourself up. Make sure that every task you do is the  best that you can give at the moment, and then be proud you completed it.
  6. After you have finished the things you had time for that day. Stop. Do not do an all nighter. Do not sit for hours just to get that list less long. You will hate yourself next day and feel more overwhelmed. Make sure your evening has some time for yourself. Take a long shower. Read a book you love. Re-charge for tomorrow. You may wake up a bit earlier if you feel you need the extra time. But do not forget to take care of yourself. Sleep and food and exercise, meditation all of that is like fuel to a car. You can’t disregard it no matter how you have to get from place A to B.
  7. In order to not get overwhelmed or god forbid burnout, have one day a week with at least one afternoon just for you. It can be going out with friends. Reading a book. Making a bath. Going for a longer relaxed gym session (not the squat and go type) doing your nails or anything that will make you feel like yourself.
  8. I think this might be the most important. Do not let your negativity and self pity take you to the path of inflating the issue to be more big than it is. You can’t just not do the things you are obligated to do. So just sitting and crying for days over how unlucky you are and how life isn’t fair won’t help. I mean crying a bit can be helpful, to let out the feeling of frustration but then you have to wipe your face and get to business. No one else will do your work for you. So remember to make your health a priority but do not make it an excuse why you can’t do things.

I just had this feeling of overwhelm and just self pity to be honest. Felt like no matter what I did I was banging my head against the wall. That is why I wrote this post. I hope it helped and I hope everyone will feel energized and productive this fall.

A lot of inspiration for this post I got from this video, it is great, check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDixLnjgRrw

As always, thanks for reading

-Alisa

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Why the rush?

Hacks are everywhere! How to do this faster! What is the shortcut to this place? Ugh! I really  don’t want to walk there because it takes me 20 minutes more than going by car. Rush rush rush! Time is money. Everything is about being as efficient and fast as possible. But is this the way to live?

I am all about personal development, about being the best you, that you can possibly be. And that is why me talking about being more slow might be a bit of a contradicting topic but bear with me. I promise it makes sense.

We live in the world with productivity and fastness have become the new “trend”. People want to hire people who are fast as a bullet and get at least 5 things done at the same time. But what does it do to us?

Doing things at the same time has been proven not to actually work. Our brains as amazing as they are, are wired so  that we can properly do one thing at the time. This has been proven for example by a Dichotic Listening test where a person listen to 2 things at the same time. They are asked after what they remember and in the end they remember mostly from just one one of the two things they were listening.  (more about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dichotic_listening)

Now you needing to just concentrate on one thing, or do things a bit slower isn’t something you should regard as a weakness. Actually I think it is the other way around. If you just sit down and do one thing, and do it properly, chances are your results will be much better than a so called multitasker. And on top of that you will stress a lot less. Running around like a headless chicken isn’t one of the most relaxing past times.

Have you noticed that if in the morning you wake up late and have to rush out of the house you feel very disorientated and just kind of meh? That is because you didn’t have the time to just spend time doing things in order and making sure you have everything together. But if being in a rush and “multitasking” in the morning is bad, why would it be good for you later during the day?

How to lessen the feeling of a rush? 

  1. Give yourself more time: Wake up 20 minutes earlier, it isn’t that much so you can lose that amount of sleep. But it will give you the extra 20 min to have a calm morning. If you lost your sock, you still have time to find another one.
  2. Give yourself more time to get to places. Sometimes walking is a good idea okay? It gives you time and space to have your own thoughts and process what is about to happen soon plus you get fresh air.
  3. Give yourself more time to finish tasks. Most of the time we overestimate our capacity on doing things. And when we do not reach our goal in time we feel like a failure and like we are out of time constantly because we “take away” time from the next task. So just allot yourself 20/30 minutes more time that what you originally planned the task to take. That way you will not feel stressed all the time.

Please note the common thread through all of these tips: give yourself more time! 

Thanks for reading and good luck!

xoxo

The Writer

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