Every day, we face our to-do lists, full calendars and plans to accomplish projects or meet up with family and friends. Keeping a busy schedule is certainly one way to keep your mind occupied and thereby feel like it’s engaged and productive. But a necessity to being effectively productive is knowing how to manage daily stresses and a workload while still leaving some time for self-care.
It doesn’t take much. Sometimes, just a few simple tricks can help you energize your mind and make you more balanced, and thereby, more useful for all of those accomplishments you’ve set on course.
Take a walk
This may seem like a no-brainer, or maybe something your grandmother would have told you. But there’s a reason why this is a time-tested and obvious solution to keeping a solid mindset in a crazy, busy world. A simple stroll around the block might suffice. Or, make some time to find a local hiking trail or a park through which you can walk.
Just some peace and quiet in the outdoors will give you time to think, clear your head and focus on what’s most important coming up in your schedule. Or, you can use this time to disconnect entirely and just, as they say, take time to smell the roses. Nature has this beautiful way of making you feel present.
Limit screen time
Look, we know you’re busy. So are we! With devices, computers, emails and everything else to keep up with on a daily basis, it’s difficult to pry that phone or tablet from our fingers or shut the computer off for a bit. But, it’s so beneficial (trust us!) if you can plan a specific time each day to be screen-free. Use this time for self-care, spending time with family or just focusing on a new, yet overlooked hobby. We’re willing to bet that there’s something you’ve been meaning to focus more time on (a new book, painting, spending some playtime with your pet, etc.) that you just aren’t quite present for because some device draws your attention away.
If you’re like so much of the world and addicted to your device, there’s plenty of apps you can search for that will help you limit your screen time altogether, or even cut out certain time-wasting apps that keep sucking up all your attention (we’re looking at you, Facebook).
Learn to say ‘no’
For most of us overachievers, we have a tendency to take on way too many obligations, and often we do it with the best of intentions. However, giving yourself partially to many things will never be as rewarding as giving your whole potential to a few, select things. Keep this in mind when you decide to take on new projects. Plus, remember that a “no” isn’t always a bad thing.
You can be honest about your capabilities and offer to help in the best way that you can without overexerting yourself and your capacity. Instead of agreeing to every project or signing up for every event, take the time to determine where you can make the most difference with the most focused effort, without stretching yourself too thin or not bringing the best of yourself to the plate.
Always remember, if you aren’t keen to say “no,” you can consider making it a priority at a time when you can fully commit, and be honest with yourself and others about what you can do, and when.
We know that not everyone is a culinary genius in the kitchen. Quite often, busy people eat on the go. But don’t use that as an excuse to neglect your nutritional needs. Make it a point to keep healthy snacks with you so you don’t have to scramble for a less-than-ideal choice in a rush. Spend some free time on the weekend to come up with a meal plan for the week.
A little planning on one day will save you a ton of time for the rest of the week. Plus, you can budget for groceries and avoid making unhealthy choices at the last minute. Most of all, drink lots of water. Hydration is the key to our survival – and it just so happens to make your brain function better.