How to Be More Productive.
I struggle with productivity every. single. day. It’s so easy to procrastinate and leave things to the last minute, but doing this can leave you feeling incredibly unfulfilled with yourself and your life. I’m a big believer in getting things done as soon as you have the energy to do them, as well as doing everything you can to increase your productivity. By doing these things I hold the belief that your quality of life will increase, and your self-esteem will increase as well.
Being productive is something we need to practice everyday. It’s a skill like everything else, and if we don’t work at it, we never improve. For those that struggle with mental illness, productivity can be an even bigger challenge. Some days can be so difficult that it feels physically impossible to get out of bed. Feeling this way is completely normal, but letting it affect you can only go on to a certain extent before it becomes a serious problem. At some point, you need to move on and find ways to cope, because wallowing in sadness for a long period of time will only get you into the habit of remaining stagnant in your life. On days where you feel like cooking yourself lunch and brushing your teeth is too hard, making your goals easy to accomplish is so important.
If you adjust your goals to your mindset, you will always be fulfilled. If you’re having an incredibly hard day and you can’t stop crying and everything feels impossible, accomplish something small. Whether that’s going for a 10 minute walk to get some sunshine, emptying your dishwasher, or baking some cookies, allow yourself to be PROUD that you took that small step. Even if your goal is to just take a shower, allow that to be enough. But for the days when you feel like you can accomplish an abundance of tasks, accomplish them and do not procrastinate. We are strong, resilient beings and we can achieve absolutely anything that we want to. We just need to take the time and have the patience and willingness to do so. It’s easy to get discouraged and then fall into a state of procrastination, but don’t let the bad days consume your life.
Allow yourself to be okay with receiving help and know that by doing so, you are stronger then ever. Everyone on this little blue dot has experienced life differently then you have, and we can learn a lot from the people we interact with. I know it’s easy to get defensive and react negatively to an offer of help, and it’s normal to assume the worst in others, but if you have an open heart and mind and you will learn so much. Below, I’m going to offer my help to you, and I hope you will take my hand and listen. I’ll be listing a few things that helped me to become more productive in my day to day life, and the happiness that came with doing so.
Wake Up Early
I’ve heard this thousands of times and never believed it, but this small tweak to your life really makes a world of difference. When you have your entire day ahead of you, nothing feels impossible. There are only so many hours in the day and if we’re waking up in the late afternoon (still guilty of this from time to time), we feel unfulfilled and like our day has already been wasted. Waking up at 8 or 9 am gives us the chance to shower first thing in the morning, eat a good breakfast that fuels us for the rest of our day, and enjoy the early morning with a great cup of coffee. It also gives us time to prepare and get our minds organized for the day ahead, rather then feeling rushed to do everything at once. Waking up early can be hard, especially if you’re a night owl or sleep in regularly. Don’t push yourself to wake up at 7-8 am if you’re normally not up until noon. Start off by waking up at 10 am, and push the clock back from there. Make your goals achievable, or else they won’t be met. This is the most important thing I’ve learnt.
Exercise and Eat Healthy
I’m not saying run a marathon at 6 am and eat a salad for breakfast, but doing some yoga or going for a walk in the morning can make all the difference. It releases endorphin’s in our brain that keeps us happy for the day ahead, which naturally increases productivity. Eating a big breakfast that has a decent amount of nutrition value to it, also fuels our minds for the day. It’s so important to care for our bodies, and exercising once in a while and healthy eating is a big part of what keeps our bodies going. We only have one body to carry us through our entire lives, so be good to it. A big thing that motivates me to go to the gym in the morning is knowing it won’t be crazy busy. I get social anxiety when the gym is packed, and having the weights and treadmills to myself is such a relief.
Keep a Clean Environment
This is something I learned after moving out of my parents house. When my space is a mess, my mind is a mess and I get insanely anxious. If I’m keeping up on chores regularly I feel way more calm then I would if there was a pile of dishes in the sink. Your house doesn’t need to be spotless every single moment of the day, but doing a chore or two daily is definitely a way to be more productive and feel fulfilled. Cleaning doesn’t have to be boring either! I open all my windows to get light in, put some music on and dance while I clean. People on the outside of my window probably think I look insane, but I have so much fun I forget I’m cleaning and that’s the whole point!
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
This can be said with finances or just general “stuff” in your home. Decluttering and getting organized can make you feel less overwhelmed which naturally increases productivity. Cut down spending on your credit card, reduce the amount you spend on eating out or going to clubs and put those finances in a separate account to save for travel, a home, or whatever you’ve been really desiring. Donating clothes not only makes you feel good because you’re giving to a charitable organization, but studies have shown living a more “minimalist” life increases happiness. Declutter your work space, kitchen and closet for a more relaxed and organized life.
Make a List of Your Goals
Like I said above, we can achieve anything our heart desires. While this is true, we also need to remain realistic. It’s great to chase a dream on the side, but in reality, we all need to pay bills and do taxes and buy groceries. We have car payments, cleaning and family commitments. Make a list of all your goals, and then organize which ones can be achieved easily and more realistically and which ones will take more work and time. Both goals are great to have and can most definitely be met, but don’t give yourself too many goals that you won’t achieve, because you will 110% feel unsatisfied doing this. And also understand that when the more serious goals fall into place, your life will fall into place and then as a result your dream goals will be MUCH easier to achieve.
Develop a Routine
I cannot stress how important this is. Having a morning and/or night routine is so essential for living a happy and balanced life. I’m not saying do the exact same thing every single day, but developing an outline of a routine (or a mini routine) can make you feel so much more organized. Try to wash your face and practice skin care every morning and night. Not only will you have glowy, beautiful skin as a result, you’ll also feel like you did something productive and form a little routine for yourself. Every single night I eat a bowl of granola with almond milk and berries while doing a gentle face mask. It makes me feel pampered, relaxed and helps me wind down for the evening.
Accept Yourself Unconditionally
You are you, no matter what and you have to live with yourself every single day. Why spend all this time being disappointed and angry with who you are when it’s just a waste of time? I get it. It’s not easy to just shut off that little voice in your head telling you that you’re fucking up, but you have to try. We’re never going to ALWAYS meet every goal we want to in a day. That is okay and you need to accept yourself, even on days where it feels impossible. You need to love yourself, even on days where all you did was eat chips in your underwear while watching Gilmore Girls because even the busiest of people need their down time too. Be okay with who you are. If you have a mental illness that inhibits you from accomplishing things sometimes, be okay with that, but always try to do better when you’re out of that dark place. You need to be happy with yourself first, and surround yourself with people who will only build you up and influence you to be a better version of yourself. This is the biggest tip I can give you to become a more productive and accomplished person. Work every day towards loving and accepting yourself, because if your best friend, significant other, or parent was having a hard time and just couldn’t meet the goal that they wanted to meet, you wouldn’t drag on them for it would you? You’d accept them and tell them that you love them and that you know they’ll do it next time. So why would you treat yourself any different then you’d treat them? You’re just as important and valuable and loved and you need to know that. I’m here to tell you, you need to know that.
All my love and best wishes on your journey to productivity,
Today I’m going to be sharing my vulnerable journey to finding happiness. Even though I struggle some days and am still working towards creating a happier life for myself, I’m so far from where I used to be and am so proud of that. Taking the first steps to manifesting your dream life can be hard, but once that initiative has been taken, everything starts to fall into place.
About 6 months ago I was sexually assaulted. It’s something I still struggle with to this day, but I’ve been through so much in my youth aside from this, that I know in my heart and soul I will overcome this bump in the road and look back on it as a great lesson. I won’t go into the detail of my assault, as it’s just not what I want this post to be about. All I will do today is share how I came back from a dark place, where flashbacks, suicidal thoughts, and severe anxiety consumed me. I had no idea who I was, who I was going to be, where I was going to end up or what I wanted out of life. I was so unsure of everything, and so scared because of it. I didn’t know what career path I wanted if I wanted to go to school, and worst of all, my relationship with someone I loved so dearly had started to fall apart. I had a lack of trust for people, I was scared to have sex, and I never really liked to be outdoors because I was terrified of the same thing happening again. For a long time, everything seemed hopeless.
I think my biggest turning point to loving myself and life again was finding a creative outlet. For example, I started to meditate and do yoga. It started off in small doses, with me just practicing mindfulness alone in my bedroom when I would become overwhelmed or have flashbacks because of the assault and then it slowly turned into something I believe healed me. When I was younger, I never really had anything I was passionate about. I tried to paint when I was 11 or 12, but because I wasn’t really good at it, I gave up after my first painting. I never liked sports, because if I wasn’t the best, I felt anxious and embarrassed. I tried to dance, and low and behold that didn’t work out either.
One day, my boyfriend said to me “Shelby, you need a hobby. You spend all day in this house scrolling through your phone or watching TV, but you never have anything that you do for creative expression”. He’s said this to me before, but every time I would brush him off because I was afraid of facing the reality; that I was the problem. But I started to grow tired of this unfulfilled, unhappy person that I was looking at in the mirror every day. I knew something needed to be done to shift my overall mood and state of mind. So I went downtown to the Mona Lisa art supply store and bought canvases, acrylic paints, and brushes. I said to myself “Stop letting your ego get in the way of doing something you might love”. That night, I painted on my kitchen floor, half naked and I have never felt more free. I painted a simple sunset. The blending was atrocious and I’m pretty sure the sun looked like a child’s drawing, but making it “good” wasn’t the point of why I was painting, it was to me, a form of self-expression. I felt happy, satisfied and I had created something out of nothing, even if it wasn’t the best art piece in the world.
I had been so consumed by my ego up until this point. I had let it get in the way of everything. I used to be afraid to make friends because I thought they might not like me, so I’d avoid putting myself in social situations where things could have a possibility of being disliked. I was afraid of pursuing a passion in case I wasn’t good at it when in reality, no one is good at something when they first start. Unless you’re a prodigy or something, which I know I’m not, learning a new skill is a process. I finally realized that until I let go of these unrealistic standards I had placed on myself, I would never be happy.
I basically needed to change my entire viewpoint of the world. I was so cynical, that I hadn’t even realized how bad it had got. I would go outside and be jealous of people who were successful, rather than showing them the love they deserved. I truly believe in the law of attraction, and if you don’t know what that is, take some time out of your day to watch The Secret. It’s on Netflix and I’m sure you can find it on YouTube or stream it for free, but it basically states that whatever energy we are putting out into the universe, we will receive back. So rather than showing these successful, happy people love; I mocked them and in return, the universe gave me more pain. I was angry that they knew what they were doing and I didn’t. And so often, we get into that habit of being jealous of others success without even realizing it.
Becoming so cynical wasn’t something I even knew I was doing. I just hated life, didn’t believe I’d ever get anything out of my time on this planet and thought everyone just generally sucked. Once I started finding passions for myself, like yoga, painting, and meditation and now being lucky enough to write on this blog and reach all of you, I started to grow and heal. I soon came to realize how in this world we are so co-dependent on one another. Naturally, we all need each other to make life work. Coming together as one creates an ebb and flow that we all need in our lives. I’ve always been independent and looked at receiving and needing help as being weak, and when I finally learned that everyone needs a helping hand once in awhile and started to accept help when it was offered, I started to heal a little more.
I don’t necessarily have a step by step program to heal your soul and to find peace with yourself and this planet. All I can do is share my personal experiences and hope you gain some sort of wisdom from these stories and possibly apply them to your own life. I think the main thing that really changed my perspective was forming a new found appreciation for this planet and the people that reside on it. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the bullshit of how “corrupted” this world is. It’s so easy to turn on the news or scroll through your Facebook feed and hear all the stories about how terrible things are. And while I agree, there are things happening in this world that need to be corrected, I also know that we can’t fix “war” with exuding more hate from our hearts.
So all in all, my healing came from a variety of things. It wasn’t just a simple x,y, z formula to flip the switch to make everything all better. There needed to be an abundance of change, and I needed to be willing to put in the work to be a happier version of myself. And all of the things I needed to do to heal, I needed to do on my own. No one can fix you but yourself. We need to take responsibility for our lives and care about how we live them. I may not know exactly where I’ll be in 10 years or even 2 months, but all I know right now is that I’m enjoying my life more than I ever have before, and that is such a relieving feeling. I can finally breathe and be at peace with myself and those around me. Everything feels right with the world, and I’m exactly where I need to be. You have to trust life’s process and your own intuition. Nothing about life is simple or predictable, and that’s okay. It’s a journey that we’re all in together, and we need to support one another during this life, to accomplish our own wishes and desires.
Sending all my positive vibrations,