Have you ever heard the saying ‘you need to slow down to speed up’?
It’s true. The time you spend relaxing or doing the things you love helps to recharge your batteries, better preparing your brain and body for when you absolutely must make progress on your to-do list.
The problem is that, in today’s hyper-busy world, pressing the pause button for a little relaxation seems impossible.
Between our work and our home lives, we ‘think’ we don’t have the time to tend to our own needs. Also, taking time for self-care can feel, well, counterproductive!
But making time for ourselves is actually one of the best things we can do not only to boost our joy and well-being, but also to get high-priority tasks done.
In short, taking a few minutes for ourselves every day is crucial. But actually making that time is another story. Here are four creative ways to squeeze in more time for self-care every single day, and be more productive.
Where do you see excess fat in your life? You know, all the unnecessary distractions that are a drain on your time, not to mention your brain?
One of the biggest time traps? Your phone. In 2017, the average American adult spent 2 hours, 51 minutes on their phones every day, or 86 hours per month.
If you want to get serious about self-care, you’re have to do a serious audit of how you’re spending your time. Identify and write down all the things you’re doing (like social media sites and dating apps) that are robbing you of your time, without providing any tangible benefit.
Instead, consider using that time to take a magnesium salt bath or go for a walk. Both of these practices will work wonders for your body and mind and will help you enjoy deep, restorative sleep. And nothing helps people be more productive than a solid night of rest.
Don’t work through lunch. Repeat: do NOT work through lunch! Instead of treating your break as a power hour, leverage it for downtime. Eat your midday meal outside in the park and then take a short walk to boost your energy levels. Spend a few minutes reading or journaling, which has a number of health benefits like assisting with goal achievement and triggering mindfulness.2 3 You’ll return to your desk feeling revived and ready to attack tasks with a clearer mind and sharper focus.
Look at what tasks you can automate or outsource. Is it cooking? House cleaning? Grocery shopping? If you can outsource one or more routine tasks to someone else, then you’ll have several more hours in the week to do what you really want to do. Some websites even have subscription packages, which allow you to ship frequently purchased household items automatically. Look at your budget and see what makes sense for you.
Some days you may have time to indulge in a 40-minute bubble bath. Other days, you may only be able to fit in several ten-minute chunks throughout the day. Chunks of time are fine; in fact they keep you motivated by giving you something to look forward to. The key is to think about your day in advance and plan for it, so your self-care routine becomes a habit. One way is to make your schedule out first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed at night.
No one likes to say no. But think about it this way: Saying ‘yes’ to everyone else’s request is the equivalent of saying ‘no’ to your highest priorities. Ouch.
Not only that, but overcommitting yourself leaves you depleted, without any time or energy left over to tackle your top to-do’s. Saying no is the best act of self-care. Next time you receive a request, ask yourself if it is consistent with your priorities, or if it will detract from them. Ask yourself how you will really feel if you say yes. Will the yes be worth it? Or will you live to regret it?
6. You have to relax to ramp up
We all have goals we want to achieve. But to ramp up and tackle them successfully, we first need to give our bodies what they require.
Self-care is your body’s most fundamental need. By making the space and time for your own self-care, you can tackle the challenges ahead efficiently and effectively, while preserving critical energy. With a few behavioral shifts like the ones mentioned, you can fit in precious down time, while upping your productivity.
https://www.hw21summit.com/media/zb/hw21/files/H2948_HW_Summit_White_Paper_eVersion.pdf 3 https://med.virginia.edu/mindfulness-center/
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