How often have you felt like time is going by so fast, and you wish it could just slow down a little so you could be more accomplished? With technology expanding faster than ever (and only increasing with speed), it can feel like a race toward success. The good news is, that is only a thought running amok in your head that’s not true. In fact, last year the United States alone added 250,000 new millionaires.
You may feel like you have to pick up the pace to accomplish your goals—that you don’t have time to slow down. But the truth is, you’ll get there much faster by taking care of yourself, and it doesn’t require a lot of time for you to put some of these success promoting exercises into your day.
Here are five simple ways for you to reach your goals and prevent burnout along the way:
1. Streamline & Prioritize Your Work
Have you ever gone through your day wondering what to do next, spending way longer than you’d like to admit trying to choose the next thing to do? Usually when this happens, you’re dealing with lost transition time and you’re going back and forth between a few projects, which can make you feel like you’re in constant reactionary mode, putting out fires. This is what a lack of systems will do. Luckily, the fix is simple and fast to implement.
The first thing to do is understand what a system is. It’s not the fancy new SaaS trending on your Instagram ads (although those are cool too!). A system is just a process you use to get things done efficiently, on repeat. Here’s a good example using a system for getting the mail, which might look like this:
- Put on your shoes
- Walk to the mailbox
- Grab the mail
- Walk back to your house
- Come inside
- Sort the mail
- Give the mail to the right recipient in your household
Simple, straightforward, efficient, and repeatable. That’s a system. This is what you can do with your work (and life) to make things run smoother and with more efficiency so you’re kicking your productivity into overdrive, while actually giving yourself more time off. Systems kill the dead space in between activities. That time where you’re staring at the screen, stressing over how much to do, and what to do first— you get that time back.
You can create certain days of the week that are dedicated to specific activities, or have a specific progression throughout the day that lets you accomplish each thing on your list. The key here is to be conscious about the process so you can create and tweak something that works for you.
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done” – Bruce Lee
2. Take Reset Breaks
Staring at the screen and working hard, that’s great and all, but if that’s all you’re doing, you’re actually killing your productivity. Reset breaks are pivotal for high performance.
According to Kansas State University, the average attention span for adults is about 50 minutes. If you’re like most business owners, executives, team leaders, or employees, your life is LARGELY sedentary. Reset breaks help you take advantage of your natural attention span limits, while mixing in activities to move your lymphatic system, resetting your mind and body.
Set your alarm for every 45-50 minutes. When your alarm goes off, push away from work and spend 5-15 minutes doing the following:
- Deep breathing. Bring air in through your nose and let your belly expand. This helps reduce tension and move your lymphatic system.
- Take a walk or short run.
- Meditate or use binaural beats
Exercise. Do some squats, push ups, and or sit ups.
You don’t have to do the same thing every time your alarm goes off. Mix and match these methods or come up with your own. The most important thing is that you move and/or relax. This will help keep your mind and body invigorated so you can increase your productivity.
3. Inspiration Refills
Once a day, take time to consciously get inspired. Most people think they have to wait for inspiration to strike. But the truth is, inspiration is always at your fingertips if you know where to look.
You can watch a video or listen to music that pumps you up. You can also go out into nature or make some art to unleash your inner muse. Getting inspired helps open your mind to new ideas. By keeping yourself open and inspired, it’s easier to solve problems, increase your productivity, and feel more connected to your work.
4. Pay Attention To Your Cycles
Everything and everyone has cycles. Seasons. Bodies. Sleep. Everything progresses in cycles that wax and wane. If you start following your individual cycles, you’ll be able to pinpoint when you’re at your best, and when you need more rest. This is mostly due to hormone shifts in your body, and it’s important to work with your body instead of against it. This will give you the inside scoop on when to buckle down and when to marathon Stranger Things.
“I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.” – Billie Jean King
5. Get Into Your Body
You know those days where you sit in front of your computer and you’re willing yourself with all your might to do something…anything? Yet no matter how hard you try, nothing seems to happen? You can’t get any work done, which only makes you feel bad about yourself. This is what happens when you’re in your head and not in your body.
This is what being ungrounded feels like. What’s happening is your mind is not connecting to your body. Luckily, there are exercises to fix that! Here are a few to try whenever you’re feeling this way:
- Get your bare feet on the grass and breathe deeply into your belly
- Lay down and progressively relax every part of your body, breathing deeply
- Place your hands on your belly and speak into your hands, using your lower register
The goal here is to get connected with your body. Your senses should be heightened, and you should feel more of your body than normal. This helps calm the mind and direct your focus.
Play with these activities to find the special mix that works for you. The most important thing is for you to have a daily burnout prevention routine that keeps you consistently growing toward your goals, so you can have the success you desire and deserve.