The greatest gift you can give yourself is a little bit of your own attention. ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo
One of the keys to be more productive is how you start your day. I think it’s important to have some kind of morning ritual to generate energy for yourself to start the day with. Without this boost it’s much harder to get things done or to come up with new ideas. The body needs to activate and the mind needs to be clear and fresh. In that kind of state we get naturally inspired and this creates a state of mind that will continue to generate more energy throughout the day.
A good morning lasts throughout the day. Especially for people like me with an active mind it’s important to have some kind of structure in order have better focus. Having a morning practice really contributes to creating a proper structure, and at the same time it allows you to generate a lot of energy. This practice can come in many forms and it differs per person; some like to work out during the morning, others prefer stretching, yoga, or meditation. But also things like what you have for breakfast, or taking a morning walk.
I think it’s good to take some time for yourself in the morning. There’s nothing more annoying than having to rush the moment you get out of bed. You can create this time for yourself by getting up early. This also means going to bed earlier, but exchanging late hours for early hours is a very good trade. In fact, the amount of sleep you need depends a lot on your sleeping pattern. Going to bed late will naturally make you more lazy and less energized for the next day. You get the most out of your resting time between 10 pm and 6 am.
I myself have experienced many different rhythms, but without the doubt the most productive rhythm is the one where I get up early. After that I have my morning ritual, which consists of yoga and meditation, and my breakfast consists of a fruit and superfood smoothie. Working out, taking a morning walk, and cold showers also make for a good morning practice, because it clears your mind. According to many yogis it’s important to drink a lot of water in the morning, so that the body can flush itself and get rid of toxins.
Giving yourself some profound attention each day is important for personal growth. When we neglect ourselves we start looking for fulfilment outward, even though the source of this fulfilment is inside. Attention is nourishment, so by cultivating a personal practice or ritual we start expanding the spirit, which leads to a positive attitude, inspiration, and a productive lifestyle. When you invest in yourself, then your work, and everyone in your environment will benefit.
A few years back when I was working for Art of Living we used to tell a story about Gandhi during the empowerment workshops that we organized. This story was about the importance of meditation, because Gandhi, being the busy man that he was, took one hour every day to meditate. Then one day his schedule was so packed, that his assistant said there was no time for meditation that day. Gandhi replied that he would meditate two hours then instead. This just goes to show how important spiritual nourishment was to Gandhi; a man who contributed much to the world.
Being productive means prioritizing
In modern society we’re so focused on workload that we rarely stop and take a look at what is really important to us. Why would you waste your time with things that mean so little to you, only to complain later about running short on time for things that do matter? Productive people prioritize properly, which means taking care of themselves, but also focusing on the things that are most important to them.
When we take time to clear our minds, and clean ourselves energetically, then we’re much more receptive to ideas and inspiration. From that clarity it’s much easier to take action, and stay focused on what you’re doing. Remove any distractions from your workplace, in order to create a space for yourself in which you can be productive. If you feel that what you’re doing is not serving you, then it’s time to take a look at what you really want, but it all starts with inner connection. Without that, it’s hard to judge what’s truly important, and what to prioritize.
You become more productive when the mind gains a greater capacity to deal with challenges, and generate ideas. A healthy mind and body are absolutely essential to perform well, and to feel good. The best way to cultivate this is through a consistent practice of the kind that suits you. Other than that it will help establish a strong connection with your inner being, which will help you to determine what’s important to you. Prioritize what’s important, and you’ll find yourself much more productive.
What is your strategy to be productive? Comment and share!