Think it's impossible to be productive and in ease at the same time? Think again!
I used to think this combo wasn't possible either, until I learned that it is! It is actually possible to be in a state of ease while being productive. In fact, most times I even get more done while being in ease.
You see, most of us have been conditioned to believe that we must remain very busy (all the time) in order to accomplish all that needs to get done in a day. We also believe the outrageous belief that, the more I do, the better I am. These are big fat lies!
Lies that I used to believe. Lies that I used to live and breathe. I can't tell you how many times I've bragged about how much I could do in a day. My ego totally believing that I was above those who couldn't check off as many things from their to-do lists as I could.
I used to be a master at accomplishing a lot in a small amount of time. And guess what? I paid for it - in big ways! Living this way left me feeling exhausted all the time. I was often miserable for doing a whole bunch of things I didn't really want to be doing. Not surprisingly, I was super unhealthy; relying on sugar, alcohol, and caffeine to keep me going. I had a terrible time falling asleep because there was so much adrenaline coursing through me. I always felt that time was against me. And, it didn't matter how much I did, it still wasn't enough.
I was sick and tired all the time. Literally. For years, I found myself in a continuous cycle of being sick. I would stay in bed for a couple of days until I began to feel better. Then the minute I felt my energy coming back, I went right back into the old pattern of endlessly doing. What I now know is that getting sick was the only way my body could get the rest it so desperately needed.
One day I realized that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I knew I couldn't go on living the way I had been. Thus began my own journey to living well.
Over the (more than 10) years that I've been on this path of living well, I've learned so many valuable lessons. One of them being that I can be in ease, meaning I'm not jacked up on adrenaline, and still be very productive. The warped belief so many have is that, to be in ease = being lazy or unproductive. This is not true! I've learned that being productive is more about doing something with intention and purpose, rather than simply getting lots done.
It's no longer about how much I can accomplish in a day, it's about how well I accomplish what I do in a day.
These days I find myself resisting adrenaline. (Unless I'm about to be hit by a car while crossing the street. In that case I'm more than happy to have adrenaline flowing through me). It's the exact opposite of how I used to live. In fact, I used to strive to keep myself adrenalized so that I could keep going.
The only way to remain constantly busy, doing things quickly all the time, and continuing to live in the lie that, the more I do, the better I am, is to rely on adrenaline.
I learned the hard way that living this way is detrimental to my health. Feeling constantly adrenalized:
- hinders me having a clear mind to problem solve and easily make decisions
- zaps my creativity
- significantly increases my stress
- drastically decreases how well I sleep each night
All of these make for a pretty miserable life. I used to be OK living like this because I didn't know there could be a different way. How grateful I am to now know better.
Another lesson I've learned is that somedays I simply don't feel like being very productive. In the past when I used to feel this way, I would push through to make myself do more. Today when I feel this way I know that it's not me being lazy. It's my body talking to me. Now that I respect my body and its innate wisdom, I'm willing to listen to it and honor its needs. Most importantly, I do so without self-criticism or any feelings of guilt.
Self-criticism and guilt are not productive.
They both keep me stuck on a treadmill of feeling bad about myself.....I'll keep moving and doing things, however I won't be going very far.
Here's some of the ways I keep myself in ease throughout the day:
Sleep - My Evening Ritual ensures I'm able to fall asleep with ease each night. This sets me up for success to rising in the morning feeling well rested, thereby helping me move through my day more easefully. Waking up feeling well rested sets me up for success to moving through my day with ease. When I make a point to receive the sleep I require, I'm less likely to rely on adrenaline and quick fixes, like sugar and caffeine, to keep me going. I also find myself feeling far less triggered by the stressors of daily life.
Eat Healthy - I always say, 'Eat the foods that love your body.' A gluten-free diet that's low in sugar, alcohol, and processed foods works great for my body. The more real food I eat, the better I feel. Learn what foods best suit the needs of your body. A great way to do this is to keep a food journal. Write down everything that you eat and how you feel afterwards. You'll soon learn what foods work for you and which ones don't.
Breathe - Allowing deep, intentional breaths multiple times throughout the day helps to keep my body at ease. I like to allow these kinds of breaths every 15-20 minutes. In the beginning, to train my body to breathe deep regularly throughout the day, I used to set a timer for 20min. Every time it would go off, I'd allow a breathe. Then reset it so I'd know when to allow another one. Now my body just knows to allow deep breaths frequently and it does so naturally.
Meditate - I credit my daily meditation practice with being one of the things that changed my life. Meditating is one of the best ways to bring your body into a state of ease. It's proven to be a very effective way to reduce stress and bring you into the present moment.
Increase Feel-Good Hormones - Did you know that you have feel-good hormones in your body just waiting to be released? It's true ~ how fabulous is that?! One easy way to help release endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, is to engage in physical exercise. Oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, is particularly powerful in women (this is the hormone released during childbirth and breastfeeding). It can be released several different ways, some of which are during hugging, light touch, and orgasm. The more your body releases all these feel-good hormones, the more positive and energized you feel.
Reduce Technology - I love technology as much as everyone else, however for my health and wellbeing, I limit how much I use it. This is especially true of my phone use. It's no secret that all the ringing, binging, and pinging we hear all day long from our phones, distracts us. It also increases our stress and anxiety. As does continually roaming social media where we naturally compare ourselves to others. This constant state of comparing ourselves to what others want us to see about their lives, doesn't encourage feelings of ease.
Increase Play - My old keep-myself-busy-all-the-time ways prevented me from having fun in my life. Once I learned how to lighten up and play, I realized how much joy and pleasure there is in just having fun. Increasing play provides so many benefits, one of them being that it helps reduce stress and boost feel-good hormones.
Gratitude - Expressing and feeling gratitude many times throughout the day has become second nature to me. This practice helps me create a life that overflows with abundance, rather than keep me stuck in feelings of lack. I no longer live dwelling on the negative, feeling sorry for myself, and always being a victim, as I did before I learned to be grateful. My gratitude practice has greatly contributed to reducing my stress, thereby contributing to me living in ease.
Last, but most certainly not least ~
Be Present - No more multi-tasking! First of all, multi-tasking doesn't work. Yes, you can get many things done simultaneously, however not one of those things gets your full attention. Furthermore, attempting to do multiple things at the same time puts your body into adrenaline, which is the exact opposite of being in ease. Allowing yourself to do one thing at a time while being present with it, actually helps you become more productive. You're less likely to make careless mistakes that would require you to do something over again, when you're present with what you're doing.
Do you believe you can be productive and in ease at the same time? Leave a comment below and let me know. I'd love to hear from you!
If you love this blog, I'd greatly appreciate you sharing it so that others can benefit from reading it as well. Thank you.