Finding the Spring in your Step - Becky
Well, we are well and truly on our way into Spring, the evenings already seem longer, and change is afoot - both out in nature, and in our own lives too as we see further restrictions lifting. Our newly approved range of activities is slowing increasing again and we’re all looking forward to spending more and more time outside of our own four walls as the weather continues to improve too.
But I can’t be the only one feeling somewhat less than motivated… can I? We’ve had so many lovely blue skies and sunny days that I find it hard to get any of the routine jobs done now. The taste of freedom is too great and life outside of housework, errands and routine chores calls.
So I thought over the next three days we could have a look at some tried and tested ways of improving motivation and productivity. These will be easy to implement things that we can build into our daily routines that should help nudge us on with some of our other tasks too. Best part? Some of these are even fun and things we’d enjoy building into our daily routines - if they can benefit us too, where’s the hardship? I’m sure we’ve all complained at one time or another that there’s never enough hours in the day to achieve everything we need to get done. So we’ll be looking at some of the daily habits of the world’s business leaders and successful public figures to see if we too can channel some of their energy and efficiency!
Getting up early
People that get up early, the elusive ‘morning people’, are often touted as being energetic problem solvers, the leaders of departments, businesses, and maybe even countries. But the early bird really does get the worm.
Many studies have explored the benefits of getting up early, and if you’re keen to improve your organisation, energy levels, stress-management, and general happiness and wellbeing, then you’ll be pleased to know that becoming an early riser can actually help you with these things.
Becoming an early riser will take time. For the first few months, you'll likely be relying on your alarm clock to wake you up, but it will get better and your body will naturally adjust to your new sleeping pattern. By taking a proactive approach you will start developing a more structured sleep routine that will help you avoid the post-lunch/mid-afternoon lull.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, has taken early rising to the extreme and gets up daily at 3:45 am! Now, panic not! I’m not suggesting you go to this extreme, but perhaps try bringing your alarm forward by half an hour. Both of the Obama’s are early risers too, along with the Queen, who at 94 is still sticking to her routine of getting up at 7:30am. If there was a shortlist for those with a great work ethic, I think we can agree the Queen would be on it! The important thing is to use that extra time to your benefit; use this time to help get things squared away, mentally, before the day ahead.
Now you’ve gained an extra 30 minutes/hour/two hours(?!) in the morning, you must recognise this time as being truly precious. These are the hours that will shape the rest of your day. So use them wisely.
Meditation is something we’ve spent some time on over the last year, here on the blog. Perhaps this is something you’ve even used your hygge corners for. The benefits of meditation are great though - even just five minutes a day of quiet, deep breathing and reflection has been proven, in many different studies, to help alleviate stress, improve your mood, increase your motivation and enable more effective and creative approaches to problem-solving. In the world of technology, business tycoons Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn’s CEO) and Jack Dorsey (CEO of Twitter and Square) have also both acknowledged the benefits they’ve found in daily mediation. Bill Gates is another who meditates several times a week - and nobody can deny his success! Meanwhile, Prince Harry has long practiced daily meditation - and even Kate and Wills were advised at their wedding by a Buddhist monk guest that daily meditation is good for a happy union, for clearing the mind and for enabling forward momentum.
So what do you think you could best do to help yourself? Are you naturally inclined to pray or meditate in the morning, before life starts getting in the way and the day is suddenly busy? Or is it something you might try, starting from scratch? Why not give it a month or two and see how you get on?