Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Tag: Productivity (Page 1 of 2)

My 16 Zen Work Habits

Plum Blossoms - Zen Work Habits

“The single most important change you can make in your working habits is to switch to creative work first, reactive work second. This means blocking off a large chunk of time every day for creative work on your own priorities, with the phone and e-mail off.” – Mark McGuinness

Your success or failure in work and life depends upon your daily habits.  It’s that simple!

If you allow bad habits to rule your life, it will be difficult and maybe even impossible to manifest your dreams.

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9 Quick Tricks for Overcoming Inertia

Mountain Stream

I could write blog posts for Always Well Within all day long.  But, I sometimes suffer from inertia when it comes to longer projects.  A burst of wild creativity gets me going at the start. In fact, I feel unstoppable for a while.  But gradually, inertia sets in when it comes to carefully coloring inside the lines.

The sensation of pushing a boulder up a hill can be unnerving when you have a deadline to meet, a promise to keep, or your livelihood depends on getting the work done. Inertia happily feeds the demon of self-judgment, stirs up the ogre of worry, and gives voice to the devil of self doubt.  Whatever you do, don’t give these monsters free rein!

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Limits: The Key to a Thriving Life

School of Fish

Trying to do too much, functioning on automatic, and/or acting out of obligation only leads to a joyless, burned out state.  You might be able to work 60 hours a week for a while, but in the end you will only damage yourself.  And, when the time comes to part with this life, you may very well be wondering, “Why did I waste my precious, limited time on the unnecessary, unimportant, or mundane?”

If you feel like your life is out of control, off track, or just “too” much, maybe it’s time to pause and consider where you can set limits.  A periodic bout of limit setting can bring improvement even when life seems to be moving swimmingly well.

The Wisdom of Limitation

Setting limits is required to live in a conscious and sane way.  Consider all the possible benefits that can come when you take the reins and become the director of your life:

  • The opportunity to focus on the activities that bring you meaning, satisfaction, and joy.
  • Receiving the greatest benefit and return on investment for your energy and time.
  • The ability to do more in less time.
  • The feeling of being in control instead of reacting to what comes down the pike.
  • More energy and less stress.
  • More time for whatever is most important to you from special work projects to relationships to leisure activities.

Three Essential Questions for Designing a Reasonable Life

How do you focus on the important and let go of the rest?  Try out these three essential questions to help you set realistic limits and design a more reasonable life.

1.  What’s Your Actual Capacity?

Some people thrive on activity while others are introverts who need introspective time.  Some are robust and others have to contend with less than stellar health.  Be honest about your capacity instead of allowing others to determine the number of hours you work, interact, play, or rest each week.

2.  What Are Your Goals and Priorities?

What is it that you truly wish to accomplish today, this month, this year, this life?  The key to setting effective limits is to have a clear vision of your priorities and goals.  Then, align your choices with your vision and set distractions aside.  Focus only on your most important goals – not more than three – rather than a long list of possibilities that may paralyze you with confusion or doubt.

3.  What Could You Limit?

Review your life for non-essential, time-wasting tasks and energy draining activities that detract from your happiness.  Explore the following arenas, ask what’s really necessary, and begin hacking away.

  • Possessions
  • Clothes
  • Work Projects
  • Social Activities
  • Social Media Engagement
  • Number of Clients
  • Healthcare Appointments
  • Blogging
  • Negative Thoughts
  • Thinking Too Much
  • Energy Drains
  • Perfectionism
  • Giving More Than 100%
  • Obligations
  • Time Wasters
  • Clutter
  • Reading – Blogs, Newspapers, Books
  • T.V.
  • Everything – Is a vacation or sabbatical in order?

What did I miss?

Setting My Limits

I’m setting limits myself.  It seems everywhere I turn I see or hear a message advising me to do just this.  My April I-Ching Report spoke of the freedom that comes for establishing limits.  Then, my April horoscope spelled it out beyond doubt:

“Limit distractions so you can shine your torch on your innermost desires.

Most importantly,  I feel this in the core of my being.  So, with this in mind, I’m taking a break this week.  You won’t see me online!

Could your life use a limit review?  Are there areas where you are taking on too much? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra

Image:  99of9

Stay on Track with Daily Non-Negotiables

Is it hard for you to stay on track in these speedy times brimming with non-stop demands and endless distractions?

I completely understand because I face the exact same challenge.  That’s why I was delighted to discover the idea of “daily non-negotiables”.   Setting daily non-negotiables gives me the momentum I need to stay focused and accomplish my highest priorities.

Author Charlotte Rains Dixon shows writers how to keep moving toward their goals in her article What Are Your Writing Non-Negotiables?  However, non-negotiables can be created to enhance any aspect of your life:  work, health, creativity, fitness, housecleaning, relaxation, relationships, and others.

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Mindfulness Saves a Lot of Hassle

If you would like to reduce the many hassles that come from absent-mindedness, you might enjoy the tips in my current post at the What Meditation Really Is Blog.

Here’s the introduction:

“When was the last time you missed a turnoff, misplaced your cell phone, lost your car keys or overlooked an important detail at work?

If you counted the number of times these small errors of mindlessness occur in a single day, you might be taken aback.  In fact, a great deal of time, energy, and money can be lost through these simple mishaps of mis-attention.

Mindfulness is not just an esoteric practice for monks ensconced in Himalayan caves.  It actually has a very powerful and practical application at work and in daily life.  It can increase your effectiveness and productivity, bring more presence into your interactions, and foster more joy in your family life.”

Please continue reading at The What Meditation Really Is Blog.

Image: Public Domain Pictures (dot) Net

If you liked this article, please share the link with others using the share button below.  Thanks so much for your support! Sandra

How To Focus – 10 Practical Tips

I was a workaholic.  So much so that I burned out my body and brain.

In fact, I burned myself out by not being focused.  I tried to do everything and that’s impossible.

As you can imagine, I now highly value relaxation and rejuvenation.

In fact, I spend several hours each day relaxing and caring for my body, mind, and spirit.

This commitment to myself limits the amount of time available for work.  Therefore,  I need to focus and use work time efficiently.

But – as you probably know quite well yourself – it’s easy to get distracted.

Whether you are too busy working or – like me – too busy relaxing, the answer to distraction is the same:  focus.

10 Ways I Focus

Here are 10 ways that I focus inspired by Leo Babauta’s excellent new ebook called focus, a simplicity manifesto in the age of distraction.

1.  Resisting the pull of email

Without thinking about it too much, I had my email program set to auto check every five minutes.  Yes, almost every time it beeped, I would disrupt my work flow to have a “quick” look.  Of course, that often led to more distraction.  Now it’s reset to check every hour.  The sound notification is turned off.  I will probably turn the auto-check off completely and just check email once or twice a day.

2.  Turning away from excess entertainment

My husband and I haven’t had a television for over four years now.  We watch a movie or documentary, but we limit it to just once a week.

We often choose movies or documentaries about nature or ones with an uplifting message, which inspires our mind and heart.  The violence that is an ordinary part of many television programs adversely effects all of us, but children and highly sensitive people – up to 20% of the population – are at greater risk.

Limiting television, movies, and other forms of mindless entertainment opens up so much time and space in your life, and allows you to focus on what’s really important to you.  It’s such a wonderful way to find more peace, freedom, and creativity.

3.  Limiting social media time

I value social media and the wonderful connections I’ve made there.  But it can be a place where I easily fritter away time.  I’ve decided to limit myself to 30 minutes a day.

4.  Unsubscribing

I have hundreds of blog posts in my inbox. Since I follow all my blog friends on twitter, I see their new posts there – far before I see them in my inbox. I don’t need to receive them in my inbox too.  I’d rather follow the twitter link and visit their blog.

I’m gradually unsubscribing to blogs – one a day.  Don’t take it personally if I unsubscribe from your blog.  I’m still reading it!

5.  Turning off email notifications from social media.

I don’t need to know every time I have a new follower on twitter or a friend request from Facebook.  This further clogs up my already hopeless inbox, which takes more and more time to clear.

6.  Cleaning up my computer desktop

I tend to let files accumulate all over my desktop so I can barely see the bright blue sky behind them.   It makes it difficult to find what I need, another time waster.

7.  Choosing only the most important tasks each day

I love Leo’s suggestion of selecting just 1-3 most important tasks each day, focusing on the single most important task first, and single-tasking until it’s finished.  This is proving to be a much more relaxing and productive way to work.

8.  Blocking off undistracted time

I’m learning to work in 50 minute blocks of undistracted time interspersed with 10 minute breaks for stretching, resting, breathing, meditating, and other rejuvenating activities.

9.  Disconnecting

Since the publication of Leo’s book, so many of my internet friends are disconnecting – some for short periods of time and others for far longer.  To be honest, I miss them although I support them too.  I’m myself plan to unplug periodically to focus on – you guessed it – relaxation, inner focus, and my close relationships.

10.  Simplify my writing style

I tend to write long blog posts.  There are times when I can deliver the same value with fewer words saving both myself and my readers time.

I’m putting these new habits into place gradually, there’s no need to rush.  With every small step, I’m already enjoying the increased clarity and added simplicity that is blossoming in my life.

I recommend focus

In his simple, yet compelling writing style, Leo Babauta helps you step back and explore your own personal obstacles to focus.  He tells you how to beat the fear of disconnecting and the rewards that focus will bring to your life.  You’ll find easy to use ideas and methods for clearing distractions, simplifying your life, and finding focus.

Leo is a deep thinker and caring person, which sets Babauta’s focus apart from other ebooks on the topic.  Whether you get the free, premium, or Kindle version, you will benefit from reading this manifesto.

How are you finding focus in your life?

If you liked this article, please share it with others on your social networks.  Thanks so much!  Sandra


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