Getting More Productive: Tip #1 and Four Simple Truths

Do you find yourself longing to be more productive?

Well, you are not alone. This longing is shared by many of us as we navigate the complexity of modern life. There is no one secret to becoming more productive ­­-- I have no formula for success to offer. What I've found is that for each of us the path to being truly productive is an evolving set of practices, an ongoing personal adventure. Alongside developing clarity on the big picture, I help people put their shoulders to the wheel and develop truly productive life habits and structures. Today I'm offering you a high leverage tip that magnetizes productivity, and reminding you of a few habits that you already know are the very foundation of a highly productive life.

The Four Simple Truths: (The ones that you already know)

  1. Get enough sleep

  2. Eat well

  3. Exercise often

  4. Contemplate daily

Tip #1 – Determine One Thing That Will Make a Difference

Take a look at your long list of to-dos and ask yourself: 

What is the one thing that will make the difference if I get it done today?

Choose one thing that will have an impact, that is feasible to accomplish today.  Write that down in bold letters across the top of your list, then orchestrate your day to accomplish that one task and let the rest of your to-dos follow suit --  believe me they will!  Drive your day with the one thing that will make a difference, keep putting your time, attention and energy on it. When you get it done shout out, “Yes!”

Check in with your list at the end of the day and take note of all your accomplishments. Celebrate your wins and let them give you energy. Then determine what the "one thing" is for tomorrow and put that at the top of the list, big and bold,  before you close up the day.  Set it up so the “one thing” greets you in the morning when you start your day.  Do the "one thing" on a daily basis and keep repeating.  The "one thing" will serve as a magnet, attracting your accomplishments with each daily, “Yes!” that you shout out.  You will be amazed at the momentum that putting this simple tip into practice will produce.

This simple tip addresses focusing your attention in the midst of distraction and complexity. Your own productivity challenge may call for a different approach. Contact me for a free initial coaching consultation.  To learn more about productivity read on.

So, what do I mean when I use the term productivity? Well, I don’t mean just getting things done. Productivity is the result of using your time, energy and attention in concert such that you are sustainably making progress on the things that support your well-being and bring meaning to your life. Productivity is the driver of fulfilling our promise. Being truly productive creates momentum. It gives us juice!

In the weeks to come I’ll offer more tips on working with time, energy and attention more effectively. But now I want to explore the four simple truths.  They are the foundation of a sustainably productive life.  They are “no brainers” but many of us have trouble maintaining at least one of them and when we get stressed they tend to fall away leaving us depleted, unfocused and moody. A productive life is built on a solid albeit simple foundation. Nothing will get you more productive than getting these four in place. Nothing will challenge their dynamic equilibrium more than success. So, let go of doing it perfectly, be kind to yourself, and enjoy the ride!

Invite yourself to continually work the four simple truths into your life habits:

Get Enough Sleep – Work with your bio-rhythms and make it a priority 

  • Refrain from caffeine in the second half of your day
  • Sleep clean -- in a room free of the distractions of TV, tablet, and phone
  • Invest in an old-fashioned alarm clock and charge your phone in another room
  • Take naps if at all possible (10-30 minutes is optimal. Too long and you will wake up groggy)

Eat well – Keep it simple and delicious

  • Eat early and well over the course of the day
  • Include lots of leafy green vegetables in your diet
  • Get enough protein
  • Limit your sugar intake
  • Drink plenty of water

Exercise Regularly - Moderation is key to keeping it daily

  • Greet the day with a quick walk or run (10- 20 minutes)
  • Take a short walk during your lunch break
  • Ride your bike or walk, if possible
  • Build upper body strength somehow – lift weights, stack wood, carry children
  • Take an exercise class or go to the gym regularly

Develop a Contemplative Practice – Build your Jedi brain capacity and reduce the allostatic load of modern life

  • If you already have one: Commit to it and deepen it.
  • If you haven’t established one yet: Investigate a way to “meditate” that is right for you.  There are many methods available for busy people with busy minds from many traditions.

My next posts will introduce the productivity triad of Time, Energy, and Attention.  I’ll be offering you ways to boost and harmonize these three critical elements to achieve true productivity.  In the meantime, try focusing your attention by using Tip #1 to hone in on the one thing that will make the difference, and shore up the very foundation of your productivity by inviting yourself to implement the four simple truths.

If you feel called to action and you want to work closely with me in a program that I design just for you, click here to schedule a free initial consultation.

I hope that you are enjoying these glorious summer days as much as I am!

Warmly, Lyedie Geer


 

 

Harnessing the Energy of Spring

May 2nd, Walpole, New Hampshire

It is a glorious May morning and I'm just in from a walk. While I was out there I got inspired to offer up a few simple practices for harnessing the energy that spring offers. My hope is that you enjoy them, and they are helpful to you in some way.

Many of us are looking to further our intentionality, resourcefulness and the ability to enjoy life.  Working with the cycles of nature can help us to understand how to sustain these capacities over time. The practices below are intended to build your capacity:
  - To initiate more intentional communications with others
  - To work actively with the cycles of the creative process that are inherent in nature
  - To be more resourceful

Harnessing the Energy of Spring   (A few practices)
Recent breakthroughs in the field of neurobiology are telling us just how connected we are to the natural world and to each other. The palpable uptick of spring is a gorgeous example of this truth.  Our bodies and minds are attuned to the waking up energy at play in the natural world. This provides great support for initiating communication, moving up and out in purposeful ways.

Take a Daily Infusion: Carve out time on a daily basis for an infusion of spring. This could be just 7-10 minutes of your lunch break or a longer stretch if your schedule allows. The idea is to go outside and commune with spring as it bursts forth.  Leave your mobile phone behind and refrain from engaging in conversation. Dedicate this time to being fully receptive and aware of what is occurring in the natural world — the rain falling, sun warming, buds swelling, ferns unfurling, sap rising. Let it all bring a smile to your face. Invite it infuse your energy level and mood as you go on with your day. Doing this on a daily basis will support the initiating practices outlined below

Reflection: Take note of how being receptive to the uptick of Spring actually shifts your well-being, how it changes your energy level and emotional state.

Look for Opportunities to Break out of Winter’s Grip:  As you go through your day, look for ways to break out of the stasis of winter and to push forward into new possibility. The stasis of winter is something we often experience internally as a kind of inertia.  When you are on the verge of breaking out of it you might feel euphoric (and a even a little reckless) from the uptick that spring is giving your limbic system. But it is just as likely that you will experience at least a twinge of anxiety and feel your courage quicken. At those times consciously attune yourself to the energy of spring, the “yes” energy of inspiration and yearning; go with that.

Two Ways to Break out of Winter’s Grip:

1. Start Something: Start a project (small or large) that is dear to your heart, one that you have been considering but that has been in the grip of winter's inertia. Initiate that new project at work. Make that recipe that appears daunting. Throw that dinner party. Send that letter of intent. Teach your child how to knit.  Hurl yourself into preparing that garden bed.
 
Reflection: How much energy do you gain by applying your attention and energy to something that is meaningful to you?
 
2. Break Through and Melt Ice: Communicate intentionally by saying what you see and what you’d like to see.  Tell someone what you notice is happening in the space between you. Begin with the data; describe what you observe in as objective and straight forward a way as you can. Then express your warmth and what you hope for, what you would really like to experience and perhaps why. (It could be that there is something you'd like to see more of, or something you’d like to have less of, or perhaps there is something you wish was different than it is.) Be as real as you can, be your authentic self, listen to their response, stand in your intention.  This may feel risky at first and I encourage you to start with the small stuff. Sentence stems are a great help:  
 
I notice that . . . 
I see that . . . 
 
Followed by
 
What I’d really like to . . .
What is important to me is . . .

Here are some examples:  
I notice that we don't have dinner as a family the way we used to . . . I really miss it and it is important to me that we get back on track by having dinner together at least three times a week.
 
I notice that when you ask me to make changes in the work I submit for approval, even though I value your input, I get defensive. . . . I'd really like to be able to accept criticism more gracefully and be open to feedback so that we can collaborate more effectively .
 
I notice that when you greet me at the end of the day with that quick little kiss on my cheek . . . that I really want you to linger there with me a little longer. 
 
Reflections:
What does it take for you to say what you see and to offer your tender hopes to another?
What happens when you do?
How could you become more adept at these conversations?
 
Go ahead.  The idea here is to work with the inherent full-bodied invitation of spring. Experience how spring works with you to support your intentions. Notice how spring invites us, by its very nature, to be restless in our frozen old habits, to envision new patterns and potential, and to move up and out into the fullness of life. I urge you to harness the energy it offers to do what really matters to you.

Feel free to let me know how it goes.

As a life and leadership coach I help my clients develop capacities they need to meet their objectives, and to fulfill their promise.  Developing a new capacity is building a new muscle; it takes repeated effort and awareness through practice. 
May spring bring be all that you hope for!
 
Warmly, Lyedie