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6 Ways to Improve Your Life in Under a Minute

 Goals like getting healthier and being more organized can sometimes seem quite big, daunting and worst of all time consuming. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are little things you can do each day, that may not radically change your life, but they can make it a bit better.

Here are some little ways to improve your life and, since I know how time conscience you are, they’re all things that can be done in less than a minute:

1. Eat a blueberry – Blueberries are not only delicious, they’re also really good for you. They’re high in antioxidants, high in fiber and low on the glycemic index. Plus this study shows eating blueberries can help ward off degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Stretch out – A minute is not enough time to go for a run, but you can still get a little workout while you sit at your desk. These desk exercises are a great way to get your blood flowing again. Or there’s a new book called Happy Go Yoga that gives you some quick yoga moves to do on the go.

3. Doodle – When you’re scribbling away on a piece of paper it may seem like a waste of time. But studies show that doodling helps you to focus and increase your memory. So feel free to doodle away at your next meeting.

4. Make a cup of tea – I love tea! I’m practically obsessed. And for a good reason. Tea can help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. So why not make yourself a cup today? Green is my favorite but darjeeling comes in close second.

5. Look at cute animals – Animals are adorable and they are also good for your productivity! Researchers at Hiroshima University have found that looking at cute pictures or videos of animals trigger care giving impulses, which can improve your work performance. That’s because you’re more likely to be attentive.  I suggest checking out CatsvsCancer.org because as you’re watching cute cat videos and increasing your productivity, you’re also helping to raise money to fight cancer.

6. Change your shirt – In a study from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, adults reported feeling happier around the colors green and yellow. So put on something brightly colored to help lift your spirits.  It just takes a few seconds.

What are some little things that you do to improve your life in under a minute?

Don’t Drop That Hobby — It Could Make You More Productive

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 4.34.16 PMHobbies can be a double-edged sword. You’re always trying to carve out more time for them but then when you actually do them — you feel like you should be doing something else to stay productive. What’s the fun in that?

Well here’s some good news. Did you know that your favorite distraction could actually be boosting your productivity? It’s true – here’s a list of some popular hobbies that will build up your mind and muscles to help you get things done!

List-making: Yes! List making is a hobby. Organizing everything into lists is a great way to get all of your thoughts out. This will also prepare you for things you want to get done. As I mentioned in my book, “Listful Thinking” many celebrities reached their level of success by making lists. A few of these people include Richard Branson, Octavia Spencer, Bobby Flay, Heidi Klum, and Sandra Bullock!

Exercising: There are countless ways to get your body moving. Recently, a friend of mine was talking about how she wanted to start being healthy, but she didn’t know where to start. Starting small is the way to go, before you can move onto anything else.

If you live in a big city like I do, you’re already getting a ton of walking in! Some of my other personal favorites include hiking, swimming, and dancing. Physical activity releases endorphins in your brain which gives you that feel-good sensation.

Writing: Write, type, record– anything! Get your thoughts out of your head and express yourself for at least 10 minutes a day. Turn it into a book or just throw it away. Writing in your spare time is a perfect place to channel your energy. This will get your creative juices flowing. I’ve found that once you make a habit of something – even just writing an idea down once a day- it will become so much easier to do on demand.

Art: Whether it’s painting a picture, doodling on your notebook or sculpting some play-doh, creating something is one of the best ways to calm your mind. This is one of those hobbies that are great for thinking outside of the box and getting in touch with your creative side. *

Listening to music: Music can increase your productivity in two different ways. If you’re trying to clear your head, put together a relaxing playlist. If you’re trying to get motivated, knock out your to-do’s with an inspirational playlist.

Puzzles: Challenge your mind with a puzzle. This will put your brain to work and help you improve your problem solving skills. People who solve puzzles are more likely to creatively assess problems in their lives.

Meditation/Yoga: This is perfect for you if you are overstressed and desperately need a release. Practicing meditation and yoga will put your focus back in check, calm your nerves and clear your mind. It’s also important to pay attention when you’re doing one pose at a time. This is great practice for when you’re working on only one task at a time.

Reading: Reading is a great pastime to open yourself to new ideas and take you to new places. So pick up a new book or listen to a podcast! Read something you wouldn’t typically read and try out authors you’ve never heard of. This is the best way to sharpen your mind and learn new things. This will help you think quicker on your feet. Something we could all do when trying to be more efficient.

How does your hobby make you more productive?

3 Items for Your To-Don’t List

Stop_sign_at_sunsetSome mornings when I wake up – I start running through all the things I need to do that day in my head. Even though I already have my to-do list written from the night before. Does this happen to you? But I’ll tell you what I don’t do – I don’t think of things that I need to STOP doing. And I would bet you don’t either. But maybe we should…

The New Year is coming up and you might already be thinking about your resolutions, which I think are a waste of time if they aren’t super targeted. Maybe you want to stop obsessively checking your emails, or drinking less soda. Why not start with some simple things so you’ll be in good shape when the New Year rolls around? Read more

Take Yourself on a Date Tonight

cakeladyI was working with a private coaching client the other day and she told me that she was very stressed out and anxious. No one wants to be stressed out, so it does start to make sense when some people mention that the use of products like CBD Cannabis is what helps manage their symptoms of stress.

We will all find our ways of dealing with stress in our own way, but suffering in silence is never the answer. I totally understand since she works full time, plus she has a small child and husband. So she’s juggling a lot of things at once. Sound familiar? Even if it means speaking to someone about how you feel, writing everything down or doing some research over at i49.net to try alternative methods like medical marijuana to help reduce the stress. We all deal with stress, but we can manage it a lot better.

I asked her how much time she’s spending with herself, all alone, recharging. She said — very little. She said she felt sort of guilty about taking time for herself because that meant taking time away from her child and from her husband. Read more

Boost Your Productivity in Just 15 Minutes

yogaWe’ve all been there, working on a difficult project where everything seems to take so much longer.  Or a Monday morning when our minds are just moving a little slower.  What you really need is something to help kick start your energy.

Here are some quick things you can do in 15 minutes or less to make you more productive and help you get motivated:

10-Minute Yoga –  Exercise is a great way to stay healthy, reduce anxiety and  elevate your happy hormones.

Listen to Music – According to a recent study listening to music for 15 minutes can not only helps to improve your mood, but it also increases your creative problem solving abilities and task performance. So next time you need to brainstorm ideas – plug in your headphones and put on some of your favorite tunes!

Add a plant to your desk – Plants can help to liven up an otherwise dull office, and studies show that productivity can increase by up to 15% when plants are introduced into the workplace. This is most likely due to the perception of improved well-being. As well as the calming effect that plants and greenery naturally have on humans.

Go for a Walk – Like yoga, walking can help to boost creativity and mood, but an article in The New Yorker claims it goes beyond that. Writing and walking use similar parts of our brain. When we walk, we are surveying the world around us and constructing a mental map. This mental exercise can help us to organize our thoughts and come up with a plan of action.

Sniff a Lemon – It’s true — Scent Psychology finds the scent of lemon sends your concentration and energy skyrocketing.  It can also calm you down without making you less alert. So start using all those senses to get stuff done. 

What are some of your quick tips for boosting productivity?