10 Simple Ways to Boost Productivity

I’ll be the first to admit I procrastinate from time to time. It’s something that has plagued me my entire life. However, I’ve managed to find ways of being productive despite my natural urge to delay.

Like most adults, I can’t afford to fall behind. Because of this, I found ways to get things done even when my heart isn’t in it.

1. Stay off social media.
Social media is a black hole that sucks away large chunks of time and productivity. I logout of all my social media profiles when I need to get work done. I don’t have to worry about notifications distracting me or inticing me to have a peek at what’s happening on the interwebs. Plus, logging in feels like work, so I won’t put forth the unnecessary effort. If you just don’t have the will power to log off, there are apps that help block time wasting activities and keep you on task and productive.

2. Make a list.
I live by my to-do list. I rely on it to get me through my days. If it doesn’t make the list, it doesn’t happen. Figure out what you need to do and put it on the list. Don’t go crazy. If the list is too long, you will get discouraged before you begin. Only list important tasks.

3. Break down your list into simple tasks.
Remember the to-do list I mentioned in #2? Break that list up into bite size pieces. This gives you a natural path to follow. You get to check things off your list as you go. Who doesn’t love that feeling?

4. Delegate.
I always struggled with delegating activities to others. I felt like if I wanted it done right, I had to do it myself. Then I realized that was my ego and understood if I wanted it done at all, I needed help. Don’t be afraid to pass along tasks that others can and should do for you.

5. Do the hard stuff first.
Rip the bandaid off and jump right in. Finish that task you’re dreading first, so you don’t spend your day avoiding it. Anxiety kills motivation and causes procrastination. Get it done and keep it moving.

6. Stop waiting for the perfect time.
People love to tell you they will get something done as soon the conditions are right. Usually, this is fear talking. The right time is now. Do it while you can. Don’t let fear be your guide. It’s a liar.

7. Change your environment.
Sitting in bed with your laptop while streaming Netflix in the background is not the best working environment. Don’t ask me how I know. Make sure your workspace is the right space. You will know it when you find it. Find that place that gets you into work mode and commit to operating out of that space.

8. Reset.
Take a break. After you check a few things off your list, take time to clear your head. Your brain will thank you. It’s amazing what 5 minutes of downtime can do for your mind. When you return to your to-do list, you will have the energy and clarity you need to finish your day.

9. Talk about what you want to accomplish.
Your word is your bond. Tell people about your goals and they will hold you to them. You will get things done to avoid the awkward conversation about why you didn’t follow through with your plans.

10. Visualize.
This should actually be number one. Take time to visualize exactly what you want to accomplish. Picture yourself completing everything on your to-do list. Use your visualizations as a map to guide you through your day. Let your thoughts become your actions.

*Write down the tips that resonate with you and refer to them often.

7 Ways to Stay Healthy at Summer Cookouts

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It’s officially cookout season! Here are 7 ways to stay healthy and happy all summer long.

1. Don’t overindulge.

We tend to go a little overboard when we make our plates at cookouts. With so many delicious options to choose from, making healthy choices can be challenging. Balance is key to enjoying food without heartache and indigestion. Throw some grilled veggies on your plate with that  burger or hot dog. Eat sweets in moderation.

2. Keep cold food cold and hot food hot.

Food safety a common concern in the summer. It’s important to store to food at the proper temperature to avoid food-borne illness. Keep cold foods, especially those containing mayonnaise, chilled below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot foods should maintain a temperature above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Bring healthy offerings.

Do everyone a favor a bring something healthy to eat. Bring vegetables for the grill or fresh fruit. A low fat dessert like Jello is also a good choice.

4. Stay hydrated.

Most of us don’t know when we are dehydrated until it’s too late. Drink plenty of water while you’re outdoors. This is especially important for young children and the elderly. Avoid drinks that contain sugar and caffeine as they will increase the risk of dehydration.

5. Go easy on the alcohol.

It’s all fun and games until somebody gets drunk. Don’t be that person. Drink responsibly.

6. Use sunblock.

Not only is sunburn literally a pain, but too much sun exposure is bad for your health. Wear hats and use sunblock as directed. Take advantage of shaded areas to minimized direct sun exposure.

7. Unplug.

Enjoy being in the company of friends and family. Summer is all about making memories. Put your phone away and have a great time!