Are you asking yourself what should I do today? Productivity and happiness are intertwined. How do you feel when you fail to accomplish a task? Anxiety and stressfulness sets in when you realize that you aren’t making any progress or getting it done. You definitely require a shift in your life. You need to take charge and adopt result-oriented tactics to get you there. It will be a mistake of monumental proportions if you try to leave things to chance and expect lady luck to drop on your laps. You need to embrace these 7 practices in your life to orient yourself in the positive trajectory of happiness and productivity.
Clearly set your goals
The phrase “Failing to plan is planning to fail” is a timeless philosophy that cuts across all generations. In the journey of achieving productivity and happiness, you need to know what you want to produce. You should also ask yourself whether or not you will be happy with the end product. You should finish your day before it starts. Clarity of the goals is paramount because setting unattainable goals will lead to frustrations which will curtail your happiness.
You should always strive to set goals that concur with the SMART test. Your goals should be:
To lead a productive and happy life, you need something to look forward to. The goals you set will give you a sense of focus and direction. You will have a clear and motivating reason to wake up early or sleep late at night. The most effective way of achieving that daily motivation is writing those goals down somewhere or even hanging them somewhere accessible and visible. When you wake up and as you retire to bed, make an effort of visiting your goals-scene. This will serve as a constant reminder that there is still something to be done. You will therefore own your productivity and happiness constantly.
Prepare a to-do list on a daily basis
After formulating your goals, you will require that roadmap on how to get there steadily. A to-do list will help you to chronologically plan on the specific activities you will carry out during a specified period. Jim Rohn told us that “Either you run the day, or the day runs you”. You shouldn’t wait for circumstances to dictate your actions. Be psychologically prepared to handle any unforeseen events that might arise in the midst of achievement of the set activities on the to-do list.
You should however take caution when preparing the list. Don’t list down too many activities that will overwhelm you and turn out to be unachievable. Remember your main goal is to achieve productivity and happiness. Prioritization is very crucial while preparing your list. Move with the mantra of “First things first”. The specific time-frame you set on each activity will give you purpose and the zeal to conquer. When all the distracting factors are held constant and you follow this list to the latter, you will take pride in your productivity. This accomplishment will automatically necessitate the release of dopamine in your brain which causes happiness. Isn’t that great?
James Allen said that “The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence and his power for good”. Taking some minutes to create a serene environment to switch off is critical in the journey to productivity and happiness. Meditation has a myriad of benefits that will help you in leading that purposeful life you desire.
- Reduces stress – You may experience mental strain in the quest to achieving the set goals. You will need a reliever that will alleviate this adverse effect that can curtail your productivity and happiness. Meditation helps in controlling the cortisol hormone which causes stress. When meditating, your body will release hormones such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins which bring happiness.
- Enhances self-awareness – When you perform certain forms of meditation such as self-inquiry meditation, you will develop a greater understanding of yourself. You will have a complete awareness of your feelings, thoughts and emotions. You will achieve a higher degree of self-control which increases your confidence.
- It enhances creativity – Meditation serves to calm down the brain. When this happens, you will be stimulating the right side of your brain where ideas emanate from. You will be in a position to come up with new ideas which can make your productivity even more efficient.
- Helps to lengthen your attention span – Focused-attention meditation helps to increase the endurance and strength of your attention. Increased attention will help you in processing all the details of any given information. This gives you the upper hand in your life. You will make well informed decisions geared towards achievement of your goals.
- Improves sleep – Insomnia can hamper the achievement of your goals. When you use the time allocated for sleep just staring at the wall, you will use the time meant for performance of duties sleeping. Mindful- meditation improves the severity of insomnia. You will therefore be able to stick to your plan without much distraction.
Through meditation, you will lead a more fulfilling life. You will have an enhanced degree of clarity about the activities that you engage in on a daily basis. Your journey to happiness and productivity will gain more traction as you work to improve in all your undertakings on a daily basis.
Physical exercises will hasten your journey to productivity and happiness. By making your muscles work and requiring your body to burn calories, you will achieve immense physical and mental benefits. Any form of physical activity such as running, swimming, dancing or jogging will do the trick. You will achieve the following benefits that will enhance your productivity and happiness:
- Increased energy levels – Regular exercise alleviates the chronic fatigue syndrome. As you engage in activities you like so as to achieve your goals, you are bound to be fatigued at some point. You need to find a physical activity that you are comfortable with and start engaging in it immediately.
- Helps your brain health – When you exercise, you increase your heart rate which in turn promotes flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. As if that is not enough, exercising stimulates the production of hormones that enhance growth of brain cells. Isn’t that amazing?
- Enhances relaxation and quality of sleep – The energy depletion experienced during exercise will stimulate recuperative processes when you sleep. This will give you a good night’s sleep. This is vital in your quest to be productive the next day.
- Reduces the risk of chronic diseases – By exercising regularly, you can improve your cardiovascular fitness, insulin sensitivity and body composition. You will further decrease blood pressure as well as blood fat levels. You will definitely need to be healthy so as to do what needs to be done to accomplish your goals.
- Exercising can make you feel happier – Exercising produces significant changes in parts of the brain that help in regulating stress and anxiety. It also increases the production of endorphins which bring about happiness to your life.
Hit that gym or go for those morning runs and your life will never be same again. You will feel good about yourself which is very crucial in achieving ultimate satisfaction.
Spend quality time with friends and family
One of the greatest regrets of the dying is the longing to spend more time with friends and family. Shun from treating this as a mere statistic and engage immediately. A renowned researcher by the name George Vaillant said that “The only thing that really matters in life is your relationship to other people”. You will reap valuable benefits when you dedicate your time to friends and family. Some of them include:
- Improved mental health – close interactions with your close social network curtails the occurrence of anxiety, depression and other mental health illnesses. The physical presence of loved ones generates a strong emotional support that will bring you more happiness to your life.
- Helps to boost self-confidence – It is more likely that friends and family will encourage and believe in you in all your undertakings. This support will help to build your self-esteem which is a positive transformation in your productive life.
- Instills good coping mechanisms – when you are faced with traumas, death of a loved one, divorce or serious illness, you can confide in friends and family. This support will alleviate the adverse effects that can be brought about by these challenges. You will shorten the recovery time and lead a more fulfilling and happy life.
- Boosts a sense of belonging and purpose – There is a good feeling derived from having a particular identity. You will have a higher self-worth and belief when in your mind you know that you can retreat to your friends and family for support.
Friends and family will give you that positivity and hope to face life head-on and own your happiness. You should keep this social circle closely knit at all times and you will lead a productive life.
Help others on a regular basis
Using your time, energy and money to help others will not only make the world a better place but will also give you a sense of wellness and fulfillment. Acts of kindness go a long way in the creation, maintenance and strengthening of your social connections. You will make new friends on a regular basis. I cannot emphasize more on the importance of friendships in your well-being.
Engaging in face-to-face activities like volunteering will keep you engaged and hence you reduce isolation and loneliness. You will discover new things and perspectives while you are at it. You will be able to evaluate your progress as compared to others from different walks of life. This can foster a feeling of gratitude and positive outlook of life in general.
Acts of giving can give you a lifetime experience of achievement. When you give regularly to a particular course, you will observe its growth over time. This growth will always give you joy and a positive feeling that you built something that is thriving right in front of your eyes. Some of these courses can even outlive you and you will inspire a whole new generation. Having this in mind can give you the courage and determination to continue being more productive knowing that the end will justify the means.
Celebrate your achievements however small they are
As you cross every task on your to-do list, you will have a feeling of happiness as you move to the next task. You shouldn’t wait for the opportune time to congratulate yourself. Do it now!! Celebrating does not mean throwing that big party every time you accomplish something. Just sit back and pat yourself on the back, put on that smile or do a thumps-up for yourself. There is no amount of achievement that is small. It is the tiny bits of targets hit that bring that huge victory you consider monumental.
Celebrating your accomplishments can bring forth benefits such as:
- Increased motivation – When you acknowledge your success on every step of the way, you will be energized and motivated to tackle more challenges with zeal and gusto.
- Boosting your confidence – when you realize that you are achieving goal after goal, you will feel good about yourself. You will have that manifestation that you are really good at this. You will have more enthusiasm to conquer even harder tasks.
- Inspiring others – When you finally hold that party to showcase your achievement, you will inspire more people to indulge in what they are doing with determination in the hope of throwing a party like yours. You will also inspire those who don’t celebrate their achievements to join the club and hence you will make the world a happier place.
Your inner self does not care of who you would like to be or who you wish you were. It is interested in your actual belief of who you are. To own your productivity and happiness, you must persist in seeing yourself as the end product of these 7 effective acts. Start small, be consistent, soar higher and don’t forget to celebrate each accomplishment along the way. Chart your own path and own your well-being today!!