I know exactly the kind of a woman you are.
You’re a highly ambitious woman on a mission to be a better you and make your business better every day. You strive for greatness and have high expectations for yourself.
I know, because I am that woman too.
You wouldn’t be here, reading Femme & Fortune, if you didn’t relate or aspire to that at least a little. And I respect that. You want to be better, strive for more, achieve more. I’m all for it, sister. And as a Holistic Business Coach, this is exactly what I help other passionate women like yourself do as well.
But today, I wanted to talk about an important issue that plagues many entrepreneurs and solopreneurs – the issue of productivity.
The question is, since your schedule tends to be packed and you’ve got lists of things you have yet to do, are you being busy or are you being productive?
Ahh, yes. This is quite a dreaded question because the truth of the matter is – a lot of the time we sure are busy but we aren’t necessarily productive. We don’t function at the highest level we could. We don’t use all of our creative mind power and we frequently aren’t in the right state of mind to tackle tasks with gusto and pleasure. (yes, doing nitty gritty tasks can be pleasurable, bear with me!)
In this post, we’ll talk about five habits you can start tomorrow (or today) to make sure your days are more productive, efficient, and satisfying – so you can do the best work you can and actually love every minute of it. Ready?
1. Give gratitude every single day
If you don’t recognize everything you have already accomplished and everything you have in your life that makes it amazing right now – you start forgetting and taking it for granted. This is a recipe for disaster.
When you aren’t conscious of the amazing-ness that is your wonderful life, you start to get weighed down by the stresses and the to-do’s. You lose sight of the grand vision and the bigger goals. You forget how far you’ve come and can only see how far you have yet to go.
Start each day and end each day with gratitude. Name off five things you are grateful for each day and truly feel the love you feel for having the opportunity to experience all you are experiencing. You are alive! You have a business! You have a roof over your head! You have friends and family who love you! Keep these things close to your heart and it will stay open to invite even more great things into your life as well.
2. Stay active in a way that feels good
Exercise is a big part of being productive. Not only is exercise a great stress-relief, it is also a fantastic way to have some alone “me” time to recharge and feel re-energized for the rest of the day. If the idea of including exercise into your current routine seems daunting, I want to please ask you – breathe, relax – exercise doesn’t have to be daunting!
There are so many ways to include exercise into your life that do NOT have to be in the form of going to the gym, if that’s what seems daunting to you. Going for a walk, for a nice 30 minute jog, maybe a swim, or maybe some yoga.. all of this counts! Maybe dancing around your room as you take a break from working? That’s exercise too!
The sooner you let go of the belief that exercise is a chore, the sooner you will be able to benefit from the amazing benefits it provides.
3. Turn off distractions at least an hour before bed time
Ever have trouble falling asleep because your mind is just buzzing with ideas and to-do’s? Ah, yes. I can relate. When I first started my latest business, I had some serious trouble sleeping. My mind just would NOT shut off – it was frustrating and it started affecting my productivity levels.
To get yourself ready for bed, it’s important to turn off your distractions first. If you spend a lot of your time on your laptop working your night away, make sure to step away from it for at least an hour before bed. The light from computers and phones has been shown to stimulate our senses in a way that can make it harder for us to relax and wind down.
Put away your distractions (especially technology) and spend your evening with some relaxing activities: reading, taking a nice relaxing bath or hot shower, meditating… just wind down and relax.
4. Meditate, whichever way you want to
This brings me to the next point – meditation. If you are not currently meditating, I cannot recommend this enough. It will seriously change your life, as it has changed mine.
I used to be resistant to meditation, felt I didn’t need it and it was crazy spending time doing nothing when I could be doing SO much. In fact, I NEEDED to be doing so much cause the to-do list was not getting any shorter. I ain’t got time for no meditation.
Then I started after a recommendation by a friend of changing my mindset and making meditation a non-negotiable every day. And the thing is – you don’ t have to sit there for 20 minutes focusing on your breath. Even FIVE minutes is great, it’s better than no minutes at all. There are also so many different ways to meditate, if you feel bogged down by the traditional idea, don’t do that one – try dance meditation, chanting, swimming (yes, you can meditate while swimming) or just plain ol’ mindfulness in every moment. It will change your life and make you so much more productive in return.
5. Create a morning ritual
I recently read somewhere that all truly successful people have a morning ritual – and it’s a great idea. Whether it’s meditation, breakfast, reading the paper, or something else – it’s great to have a ritual to start your day in the way that sets the mood for the rest of the day as well.
Each person’s ritual is different based on their needs – some people do their daily task lists in the evening, some in the morning. Some people prefer to meditate in the morning while others do in the evening. One thing I would suggest is try to keep your morning ritual away from technology as much as possible – don’t go checking your email inbox right as you wake up. Do your things first, take care of YOU first, then get down to business with a clear mind that’s ready for action.
Hopefully these five habits inspire some change in your daily routine. Let us know in the comments below which habits you plan on taking on!