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- 6 simple tips to improve productivity
Let’s try a little different way to improve our productivity. Instead of starting the day with our to-do list, let’s make a change and see the differences it may bring in our motivation and overall productivity. But before that I want you to take a small pause to understand that there is no right way or one way to increase productivity. Especially on days when we’re going through or experiencing a slump or if we’re in a funk. So, it’s okay if this approach may or may not work for you. But I want to encourage you to give this a shot at least once or twice just to see how you feel about it. If there’s a shift in your mindset or energy. In my experience, all of us have those days when we get bored of a routine or when our to-do list looks extremely scary and overwhelming. Most creatives and entrepreneurs I’ve worked with have complained most, if not all the time about feeling too exhausted right at the beginning of the day, so they tend to find ways to escape, taking the flight response and just don’t show up to do the work. They procrastinate and end up feeling very guilty over not showing up to do the work. We’ve all been there. It’s okay to skip a day of work to recharge but it soon tends to become a habit because we got away with it that one time and before we realize it, we’re repeating this pattern often. When you realize or become aware of repeating a pattern that’s the first and the most important step towards making a good change. The idea is not to punish yourself but find ways that will help you feel motivated once more to get back to that routine. Here are some tips that may help you with that. 1. Make an accomplished list before your to-do list – Try to make this change and notice how your body reacts to this change. Usually, when I try to make this change, I feel energetic and happy, which motivates me to get started and get on with my day's activities. These accomplishments don’t have to be huge and a game changer, they could be small too. As long as they are meaningful to you and something you’re truly happy about. In my guide, get things done, I’ve mentioned how important it is to make this accomplishment list. How important it can be for our productivity and goals when we literally write it down. It doesn’t seem impactful when we just say it but makes all the difference when we write it down. So don’t feel lazy about writing it on actual paper with an actual pen. Make a note of how this feels to you. 2. Share an accomplishment with a loved one – There are always certain people who have your best interest in their mind. Your cheerleaders. We have this tendency to share only bad news with our loved ones, but what about the good stuff? What happens when you share the good stuff? I think it doesn’t even occur to us most of the time that we should share the good stuff too. Why don’t you try this out, start your day by sharing a piece of good news or an accomplishment with someone you know will not snub you. Does that have an effect on your productivity? Do you feel motivated and inspired to do more? It’s similar to writing an accomplishment list, only that you are likely to have a two-way conversation. I personally don’t always choose this, but it does help sometimes. 3. Listen to someone else’s achievement/success story – I woke up to this message that a follower left me. She talked about this achievement she had in her life very recently and she was overjoyed with the feeling and excited to share that with me. I loved the way it made me feel. I was struggling in my life at that moment and her message was so kind that it inspired me to keep showing up, no matter what happens. I was happy on borrowed happiness, from the news from my follower and I couldn’t wait to start my day. It was a different energy and I wasn’t going to waste it. I want to invite you to give this borrowed happiness a shot and see the impact it creates on your productivity. Just try and see. 4. Start with something easy – Speaking of tasks/activities, I would definitely recommend that you start with smaller tasks instead of heavier and intense tasks that require a lot of your energy. Especially the days you feel as if you’ve got to push yourself a lot. It’s not fully productive but it’s also going to help you move and get you started. Once you get into the groove, you can take it from there. Every time I’m in a funk, and If I’ve to write an article, I start with research instead of article writing. It helps me get in the groove and prepares me for when I actually start writing the article. I highly recommend this! 5. Change your scenery/place of work – I think when we’re in the same environment the walls start to close in. When that happens, I don’t know about you but I feel lazy and sleepy. I don’t get new ideas and start to turn to all the things that can help me procrastinate. When that happens, I change my place of work. I’m lucky that my work allows me to work from a café and I happen to take my laptop there and start to work. Changing the scenery helps me with my productivity as I feel less motivated to procrastinate and more focused to work. 6. Have a good breakfast/meal before you get to it – This is something a client told me helps her when she’s overwhelmed with her day. She mindfully and peacefully makes a good breakfast for herself and enjoys it in silence. Post that she gets started with her day and finds that she is more focused and creative. I can understand the beauty in this and good breakfast also helps you stay active throughout the day. You’re not tired constantly and you’re energized. I also recommend this for better productivity. Especially on days when you’re not in the zone or in a funk. There are always going to be those days when you’re not feeling it and it’s always helpful to stay disciplined and show up the way it’s needed. It doesn’t really imply that you force yourself beyond a capacity to push yourself, I do encourage rest and recharge but how often does that happen, that is a very important question and something you need to look at. These are definitely very simple tips, but, they usually help me. Sharing them here, hoping they help you too. If you happen to try any of them and if you liked this article, please write to me and share your experience with me. Don’t get way too serious or let down if you don’t find yourself very productive but don’t give in to excuses and reasons that are unhealthy or learn toward procrastination. Take it slow and find a balance.
- Here's why you should be open to saying how you really are when you're not okay
If I ask you, ‘how are you?’ what is the answer you tend to or are likely to give? I’m okay. I’m fine. I’m well. I’m good. Most of us do it almost automatically. It’s polite to ask and because we don’t want to burden anyone, we respond with a lie when we may not be okay. I’ve often talked about how it’s not okay to show up with a façade. How it’s better to say how you are instead of hiding. I’ve personally felt this so many times and I’ve been practicing this often. When there are times when I genuinely don’t feel good, and upon asking how am I, I’ve often landed up telling people that I’m not okay or things haven’t been good but I’m hopeful, or I’ve been better and I’m navigating through a challenge. The response to my honesty has often not been rewarded with kindness. There have been moments when I’ve been received with a simple, oh okay or a nod or a hmm and it’s all good today I don’t feel upset or bad. Initially, it would rile me up. I felt insulted or started questioning myself and wondered if I was boring or if my problems were petty. I didn’t want pity or sympathy however I was tired of lying and appearing okay when I wasn’t. It was more about me and less about them, I’d slowly started to realize that. Often, I would try to put myself in their shoes and think about how I would react or have reacted in my life when people have truly and genuinely expressed how they’ve felt. I felt that I often did not know the right way to respond to their feelings, so I wouldn’t say much. At times, it felt like a huge responsibility that I didn’t want and I would try to be sympathetic but not involve myself a lot. There were moments I felt they simply wanted to be heard and I was happy to listen. I’ve often wondered how I would’ve come across to people to whom I couldn’t respond in a way that felt right or appropriate. I’m certain there would’ve been a moment when they would’ve thought me to be rude or insensitive. So, I try to also understand that it can be scary for the people at the receiving end to deal with so much responsibility. I no longer feel angry or upset but I also don’t change my response. Being open and honest about how I feel has been amazing in a beautiful way. 6 out of 10 times, I’ve had a great experience and I wanted to share that with you today. a) experience freedom – There’s something so light and calming to simply saying how you feel. As if a load is lifted from your shoulders. Even if the other person is not in a position to help you, there’s a feeling of sanity. A feeling of normalcy that comes from being heard. Often times there’s a lot of shame attached to our feelings and emotions when we’re not okay. When we’re in deep peril and helpless, we feel there’s no one who can understand us. When we express how we really feel, we experience the freedom that brings a lot of peace, if only for a little while. b) a sense of comfort – We’re all vulnerable but we’ve been told that vulnerability is a weakness. Something that we’re not supposed to endure as it makes it appear weak. I’ve always hated the notion of always having to appear strong just so I’m not taken advantage of. It has never made sense to me. I’ve always felt uncomfortable pretending to have it together all the time. I also have come to realize that if someone ‘shows’ to have it together all the time I don’t trust them. I find it very difficult to place my faith in them. It most certainly is a very personal feeling that you may or may not relate to and that’s perfectly okay. In my opinion, expressing how you feel should be comforting. It’s more about you and less about others. It’s okay if you’re not received with the level of sympathy and understanding, you expected or hoped. c) brings you closer – When you’re going through something you tend to withdraw and shut down, making it confusing and allowing people to assume the worst about you. When you express how you feel you give them an opportunity to understand you better. In my experience, it has often brought me closer to people, in my personal life. I’ve had the good fortune of being friends with people who have received me and whom I’ve received so comfortably. Yes, most times it doesn’t go that well, but you can’t expect comfort and closeness from people who don’t possibly understand you or accept you. But what I realized is that not everyone is the same. It’s possible to feel comfortable and connect with certain people. The right people! d) makes you stronger – Imagine how brave it is to be so honest about yourself. To be comfortable with the idea that it’s okay to not have everything together all the time. That’s it’s perfectly okay to be not okay. It made me stronger emotionally by being vulnerable about my life. I appeared confident to the right people. I was complimented for being so connected to myself. For being okay with not being perfect. I received appreciation and praises from people who were supportive. There’s a thin line between being a complainer and being vulnerable. And that’s something only you can figure out. I don’t believe in the concept of positive or negative. I believe in what can be construed as healthy and not healthy. Complaining can be unhealthy for you and for the person you’re complaining to. Being open and vulnerable is healthy as long as you’re expressing yourself. I hope this helps you in some way. If yes, please write to me. I’d love to know more about what you felt and if you’ve had an experience that you’d like to share with me.
- Looking for inspiration? - Ask yourself these two questions
This is my perspective on inspiration based on my experience as a creator and as a psychologist! From this article take what you like and let go of what you can't connect with! I find inspiration from, photography, vlogs, articles, paintings, books, videos, metaphors, everyday events, and sometimes just by taking a stroll or observing people. I once read somewhere that inspiration is usually found outside of you. I often find myself subscribed to this thought. Have you ever had this experience, where you were stuck, spiraling, and not motivated to do anything, felt this block in your heart and mind only to feel completely energetic and optimistic after meeting someone, talking to someone, or coming across something that fills you up with a jolt of ideas and uplifting thoughts? Yea, that’s the way inspiration feels. The best part about it is that inspiration is found almost surprisingly and almost unexpectedly. Unfortunately, we tend to miss out on this because we aren’t as mindful and are always on the go. We barely have the time and energy to observe anymore. We have this notion about always being on the go and always running and chasing something. I’m someone who appreciates ambition and most of us have this goal-oriented mind. We like results and we want them now. The thing about inspiration is that inspiration may not necessarily be goal-oriented. You may look at the rains and it may inspire you to bring more stillness into your life, it may inspire you to stay more grounded and connected with nature but you may not do anything actionable about it. It could be a fleeting moment. A beautiful idea that may or may not have a goal or an end result. As someone who is creating on a daily basis. I tend to search for inspiration. And I’ve realized that I tend to find inspiration in people. Someone doing something really meaningful tends to inspire me and thus motivate me to do something for myself that will help me in my goals. I often find myself feeling almost happy and energetic anytime I have a conversation with people. I love connecting with new people and listening to their stories. So yes, stories inspire me too. Recently with so much knowledge at our disposal, I think we’ve forgotten to simply open our senses, all of them. And because we’re that closed it can sometimes feel as if we’re wearing blinders. Walking the same road up and down and seeing the same things over and over again. Kind of like living in a bubble. I see people spending so much time and money going on retreats and ashrams just to find some inspiration that can help give them a sense of purpose. I’m all in for retreats and ashrams to unwind but why do that when all you need is to pause and open up a bit? It’s almost impossible to get inspiration of any kind if you ignore your senses. One of the most instant and effective ways to do that is to check in with your body and mind from time to time. Ask yourself these two simple Questions – 1. What is my body trying to communicate with me today? – Allow spending time to understand what your body requires. Does it require more sleep and food or does it want a different scenery? 2. How can I allow my mind to breathe and stay calm? – You can go to all the retreats you want but if your mind is noisy and chaotic, it’s going to cause distress even in the calmest and most beautiful places. So, pause and give your mind a better direction. Observe, see and hear things that will help you stay calmer and balanced instead of running away or trying to suppress the noise. When you check in with your mind and body from time to time, you tend to create more space as opposed to occupying space. Inspiration is better felt when you’re open to receiving and no help at all when you’re already occupied with a tired mind and body. So next time you feel lost in life or demotivated or just don’t tend to see a sense of purpose. Start by asking these 2 questions to yourself. Be honest and open with your responses. It’s not about being perfect or right but about growth and peace and stability. If you check in with yourself from time to time, I can guarantee that you’ll feel more inspired and inspiration will pour into your life from almost every direction. If you do take the time to try this, I’d love to know how you felt and what were you inspired by. Send me an email or dm me on IG. If you’re stuck and need external support and guidance, please look at the coaching and counselling program and apply to work with me today. Lastly, if you did enjoy journaling these questions, I’m sure you’ll really enjoy this journal. As the title also suggests it is created to help you feel more inspired. Thank you for stopping by. If you liked this article, please like the heart. It’ll only encourage me to bring out such articles more and more. All my Love, Nikita
- Preparing, Practicing, and Positive Thinking
I don’t know what you think, confidence really looks like in general. I remember asking a client this very recently, what does confidence look like on her? and she instantly said, a better version of me. This is true for most of us who look at confidence as this goal that needs to be achieved instantly by finding some potion or magical herb and consuming it. As Popeye used to do with spinach to gain physical strength and develop muscles. Believe it or not, as a child, I wanted something like that for my confidence. I wanted something that could make me confident in minutes. Obviously, I was enlightened as I grew up and understood confidence as a concept in its true form. So, how do you form a better version of yourself? I asked my client and she said, that’s why I’m working with you and we both smiled. Let me ask you the same question. How do you plan to achieve the kind of confidence you need? But before that, I’d like to also ask you this, do you feel that confidence is something that’s innate, something we’re born with, or do you think it’s a learned behaviour, something that we cultivate over time? According to me, confidence is a skill. It’s an action and a behaviour that can be learned over time just like any other skill. It’s not something we’re born with. It’s something we eventually become. But I understand the confusion because when we use confidence to describe someone we tend to say, ‘she’s such a confident person’, but we don’t look at the act that’s making this person confident. We fail to fully express what we truly see. Like, ‘she’s so confident about wearing this dress’ or ‘she’s so confident in her voice’. From my experience, people cannot be defined as confident people, as everyone experiences fear or worry and that’s not a sign of confidence. People are complimented for the act of being confident in or with something. As I mentioned before, confidence in anything is a learned behaviour. It’s a skill that can be learned over time. The 03 tools that help with building confidence over time – Preparing, Practicing, and Positive thinking. Preparing – Preparing is a very strategic part of building confidence. According to me, preparing is a bit like becoming aware of what we’d like to build confidence in and how to go about it step by step. It’s about understanding what we already have and what we need to work more on. Like an assessment of our existing confidence. For e.g., you may want to build more confidence in speaking in a group. For this, your preparation would be trying to understand your communication style, your knowledge of the topic of discussion, and your expression including your body language. Preparing is like setting the stage. It’s a strategic step in my opinion and also doesn’t make you feel as if you aren’t confident at all. Another e.g., you may wish to learn how to drive. Preparing, in this case, would be training yourself to understand the insides of the car. Gathering knowledge of the safety that’s required. Even training yourself for days before you take it out for a proper drive. Practice – Practice is quite literal here. Repeating it over and over helps build confidence. Practice helps you gain experience. Every mistake helps you move a bit closer to feeling more confident. Even if you make mistakes, it helps you to understand what doesn’t work and you inch closer to doing it the right way. The important part of this is showing up constantly and not allowing that critical voice inside you to pull you back. That’s why when we practice, we need to make room for mistakes and setbacks. It’s always a scary feeling to face failure so closely. The awareness that we may fail is physically and emotionally daunting and frustrating but, it’s always better to show up, try, fail and improve rather than feeling scared and not trying at all. Positive Thinking – I’m not going to ask you to keep chanting affirmations every time you need to step up and show up but I do believe that it’s essential to self-motivate from time to time. Especially when you have failed or have to get started. Positive thinking is a beautiful tool if we learn to use it effectively and without pressurizing ourselves. It’s strategic to have ways to self-soothe or say words of affirmation that will uplift your spirit and help you bounce back. You are going to experience setbacks and feelings of doubt. You are going to feel exhausted by constantly showing up if you can’t see the results, you want just yet. Positive thinking doesn’t mean setting unrealistic expectations. It means to look at the reality of what is happening and find pragmatic ways to have faith in yourself. I know it’s all easier said than done. I’ve often been told how confident I am when it comes to a lot of things and the truth is, I wasn’t born confident. In fact, I’ve seen days and months, and years where I’ve felt the lack of confidence in myself and the envy, I would go through any time I met girls who were super confident in the things I lacked confidence in. I’ve worked really hard to become confident in the things that mattered to me and I kept showing up no matter what happened. I’ve slipped time and again even at things that I had become confident in. I had to keep using these 03 tools to bounce back and feel confident. To be completely honest with you, there are many tools that can help improve your confidence but these 03 are definitely the ones that help me time and again and I wanted to share tools that have been tried and tested by me. I don’t know how the lack of confidence has affected your life and the belief you have about yourself. I also understand the strength that you may require to get started but I hope you find the courage in you to do so. Because I know, that you can turn this around and become confident. By regularly practicing this, you can become the best version of yourself! If this article is helpful to you, share it with as many people as you can and like the heart so I know that you found it helpful and I can come up with more articles like this one.
- Here's why your surrounding matters
I realized the value of leaving home and getting fresh air when during the pandemic. I’m a homebody you see and I was working from home before it became the new norm. Even though I went out occasionally. I never really did think about its importance of it till the pandemic. I realized what it actually meant to get some fresh air. I guess you don’t pay attention to small things till the freedom is taken away. When someone tells you, ‘Hey this thing you’ve been taking for granted is no longer available’ That’s when you start regretting stuff that tends to mount up and implode. Life can be weird that way. I’m actually writing this article at a café, well the first draft of it anyway. I never really thought I’d be writing an article about it too. But here I am. Of course, I understand the basic idea of getting some fresh air but if I had to be more specific about what I inferred about it, is that your environment and surrounding plays a huge role in your mood shifts, thought process, creativity. If you’re going to be in the same environment time in and time out, odds are you’re going to go through a funk, feel unmotivated, uninspired, and slowly don’t find the physical energy to improve your situation. Artists I’ve worked with tell me that’s when they go through a creative block. For creatives and artists, the environment can be everything. Sometimes, the walls no matter how pretty, start to close in on you and even if everything around it is pretty amazing, constantly being in the same place can cause your mood to change and cause severe burnout. My experience with the environment and surroundings is related to my burnout. I know I’m going through one when all of a sudden, I stop going out. I start binge-watching shows instead. Sometimes watch the same stuff even while eating. I feel so loud in the head that I feel it’ll explode. I don’t see myself smiling and physically feel as if I’m carrying the weight of the world. It takes me a whole two to three days to understand that I’m going through stress and burnout. That’s when I force myself to make an effort to get ready and leave home. Once I’m out everything changes. I always imagined how powerful those women must feel when taking their books and laptops to cafes and getting engrossed in reading or working and the onlookers can’t help, but wonder what must be so interesting in that book or what must they be working on so intently on their laptops. I always found it quite attractive and inspiring. As silly as I sound, I wanted to be that! I’m on the other side today, I’m the one with my laptop, typing away intently on this laptop, with people looking at me wondering who am I and what must I be doing and honestly, it hardly makes a difference. I feel important to an extent, but the allure isn’t about power in my experience. It’s about the surrounding. I don’t know about those women. Maybe it was about the surroundings too. I do love to write in a café. Surrounded by strangers doing their own thing. I don’t have to talk to them but I like that I’m not lonely. I love the idea of coworking spaces cropping up so creatively nowadays. As an introvert, it’s a dream come true, to just smile at a stranger, do my work, leave when I want. Don’t you think so? Maybe you’re wondering ‘this isn’t going to solve my problems’ What is the point of this article anyway? You’re right. It won’t. But that’s not the point. The point is that your surrounding plays a huge impact on your mood. It changes the way you feel, think, understands, and experience. That’s the reason so many people travel, they save up, so they can travel! They’re looking for a change in their surroundings. I remember having a conversation with a client a while ago who didn’t give herself permission to go out or try a place she could work from. She didn’t see the point. I completely understood. But I could also see how harmful the effects could be in the long run. I remember when I was trying to improve my writing or at least understand how I felt about it, I had a meeting with someone in the creative field. He told me, ‘Your creativity will never flow if you’re going to have only one view. You need to step out and explore. You need to see colours that are unfamiliar to you. You need to see faces you may never see again. You need to have conversations that are beyond everyday life. You need to break the pattern of routine. It won’t make you a better writer but your creativity will flow. It’ll expand and your perception of life will change drastically. And for that, you need to go out and get some fresh air.’ It obviously never made any sense to me at that time. So, I didn’t give it much thought. But slowly I realized what he meant. It wasn’t about just going out and spending money. It was about exploring and opening your mind to amazing things you didn’t know existed. But the point is, to do that every day, almost every day. Have you ever experienced a moment when you felt trapped and claustrophobic? Maybe not literally, but with your situation, your thoughts, your mood? At that moment, did you ever just step out and change the scenery? Met someone new? Observed other people? Do something other than locking yourself up? That liberating feeling is what helps us move past the slump. It makes sense that it’s impossible to do that every time you go through a slump or if you have a full working day. But don’t allow these reasons (read: excuses) to stop you. Here’s what you can do – Go out if your work permits you to go out. If not every day, try to go out every other day. Make it mandatory. If you can’t work outside, try to take your lunches or dinners outside. Go out. If you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, freelancer – try to take your meetings outside. Can be close to your area, can be a small place but try to take your meetings outside or rather in-person. Even at home, change your workplace from time to time. Sitting in one place can cause boredom and burnout. If going out is not an option at all, try to create an ambience at home, especially when you work. Any kind of ambience that works for you or you want. This may seem simple, silly even. But something that you may consider as insignificant as your surrounding will play a huge part in your day-to-day life. Burnout is easy and very real. It creeps in on you when you least expect it. Or want it. Stagnation easily happens. It clogs your mental wellbeing and creativity. I’ve worked with designers, creatives, artists, who have always told me how important the surrounding is for them. How easily they lose touch with their creativity and experience mundane ideas because they’re stuck due to their surroundings. Th