6 Habits that will make you feel More Productive

**Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase.

As I talked about in my Journaling post, I was really drawn to the daily ritual discussed in The Miracle Morning. It sounded equally like a great way to ease into the day as well as a way to get the creative juices flowing and as it touts "feel productive before 8am." I'm a bit of an overachiever; so, anything that makes me feel like I've already accomplished something is a win for me.

What constitutes this ritual? Why do habits and routine make us perform better? A habit is defined as "a settled or regular tendency or practice" which means it's something we perform on auto-pilot. It doesn't take extra thought or motivation to complete the action. When we have positive habits and rituals, our body goes through the motions without extra effort and sets us up with a foundation for daily success. Similarly, bad habits do the opposite but are oh so hard to break because they come naturally (eating fast food or smoking are some obvious examples). Good habits allow for us to reach life goals and set the tone for everyday life. With the Miracle Morning, you are training and implementing good habits while helping to visualize your end goal or life goals.

The first habit is silence. Just taking a few moments in the morning to give thanks for what you have; to meditate (if you wish to call it that).  Simply engaging in the act of not rushing to emails or social media or to your kids gives a fresh perspective on the day.  Daily gratitude has been shown to create real and long-lasting effects in one's everyday life.  Research done at Berkeley has proven that those that practice gratitude have better immune systems, have more joy, and are more helpful and generous.   Those alone seem like great reasons to start practicing silence and gratitude!

The next is affirmations.  I show my full affirmation board and talk about affirmations in another post.  Suffice it to say, I'm 100% on board with doing daily affirmations.  They make you feel better and according to some research, they help sculpt the brain and work the positivity muscle.  More can be read about affirmations here.

Along with affirmations, visualization is another key habit in the Miracle Morning.  If you can really see in your mind's eye what you want, you are already half way to getting there.  Most people wake up in the morning and go through the motions of everyday life without a thought as to what they want out of life.  Beyond thinking of the paycheck they need, that they have to feed their kids, that they somehow have to pay for college, that they need a bigger house, that they need more stuff.  Some are little better than zombies on the treadmill hoping they'll somehow run into the life of their dreams when they aren't actually going anywhere.  Yes, we all need money to pay for various things, but what do you really want out of life and why?  

Why do I want a really big 5,000 square foot house?  I love to entertain; I love traditional Southern decor and the grandness it demonstrates to me.  Those are the selfish reasons.  Ultimately, I want to have a house where fundraisers are thrown to generate donations to give back to the community.  I love historic preservation; I love children; I want to be able to give back.  No, you don't need a big house to give back - you can have a tiny house, not spend as much, and give cash.  That's just not me.  Plus, I've been living in less than 1500 square foot for a decade and I want room to spread out!

Exercise: the habit I love to love and love to hate at the same time.  We all know with our desk jobs that we have to exercise daily to prevent our middles from growing as we age.  Truthfully, I feel better when I exercise regularly. I used to go to the gym for an hour a day and walk for 2 hours a day, but I also lived in Washington, DC where everything was walkable and all I had to do was walk out the front door of my building.  I currently live on 400 acres full of forest without trails and on a relatively busy road.  I have to drive to go walk which takes time I don't have with a child and full time job.  This is an important habit I know; I'm just hoping with the new house and neighborhood I can get back to my walking habit!  I now try to do 20 minutes of exercise with Skimble or Sworkit.

Reading, as a habit, is important for a variety of reasons, but most importantly, it helps to develop the mind.   It boosts creativity, gives you new ideas, and helps you grow as a person.  Reading is my favorite habit and I have read every day of my life for pleasure with the exception of those 2 years of grad school!  You couldn't pay me to read for pleasure then!  Even 10 minutes can expose you to something you might not have otherwise encountered that day.

Scribing or writing every day is something that might seem to take a lot of time, but it doesn't have to.  Keeping a one-sentence journal every day is enough to get into the habit of it.  Writing down our thoughts and feelings helps to flesh them out, give them clarity, and make us really think about the swirling emotions, feelings, thoughts constantly circulating in our brains.  The Artist's Way does an excellent job of going into detail about how writing every day helps to unblock your creativity and open the mind to new possibilities.  

While the acronym is SAVERS, they certainly don't have to be practiced in any particular order.  Although, starting with Silence seems to work best, otherwise, you start going and promptly forget it!  I prefer starting with silence, making coffee, writing, doing affirmations/visualization, and the exercising but that's just me.

What about you?  What rituals and habits do you do daily?


No comments: