Raise your hand if you’re feeling personally victimized by the “that girl” trend on TikTok! Honestly, the pressure on society to be on at all times started decades before this trend (S/O to the industrial revolution!) If you’re unsure of what we mean, we’re talking about a certain trend online right now that glorifies constant productivity and excludes rest. You’re only seeing videos of the 5 AM workouts and lemon water, but never seeing the BTS of watching Netflix or going out to dinner with friends – everything is edited to make you feel like they are doing more than you. Seeing these videos while you're heating up last night's dinner in last week's PJs makes us feel a little…crappy. It makes us feel like we’re not doing enough like we’re not where we should be. This is not how we want to start or end our day!
This blog post is dedicated to anyone who has felt unproductive, unmotivated, or lost. We’ll be teaching you 5 simple ways you can boost your productivity this year and guess what? None of these include waking up at 5 AM and working out every day. You can sigh a breath of relief.
HERE’S WHY YOU MAY BE FEELING UNPRODUCTIVE:
You’re Burnt Out: It’s 2022, if you’re reading this by now you or someone you know has experienced burnout from their job, personal life, or both. Burnout is a mental, emotional, and physical state of exhaustion that can leave us feeling resentful, unmotivated, and helpless. If we’re feeling this way, we’re most likely not going to get the most work done. Stress and burnout can mean a ton of anxiety which leads to missed deadlines and slow response time. Let’s just say we really hope you don’t experience this one.
Feeling Lonely: It’s no surprise that when people feel a sense of belonging and emotional connection, it sends a positive ripple effect on all aspects of their lives. In a study done by the Academy of Management, they found that isolation is linked to low motivation which results in decreased productivity.
You’ve Set Unreachable Goals: The average human will end up quitting or moving on to the next thing if they don’t see results right away. This stems from living in a world full of instant gratification – even our food is delivered insanely fast. Because we’re so used to having everything now, we tend to think our goals will come just as easily…far from the truth. The goals you’ve set for yourself aren’t impossible, but the timeline you’ve set for yourself is. Bill Gates always says: “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Setting a realistic timeline will help you fight procrastination and overwhelm!
5 SIMPLE WAYS YOU CAN BOOST YOUR PRODUCTIVITY:
Make Your Bed: The simple task of just making your bed gives a sense of accomplishment that carries into your day, even if you don’t realize it. The beautiful thing about this - everyone can do it. One example is retired U.S. Navy Admiral SEAL William H. McCraven, who wrote New York Times bestseller “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...and Maybe the World.” He calls the habit of making the bed one of the most important lessons he learned as a Navy SEAL. They always say how you do anything is how you do everything.
Cold Showers: Now here’s a fun fact – research suggests that cold showers help activate the sympathetic nervous system, creating an antidepressant effect that actually increases your productivity. How you may ask? A cold shower feels like much more of a task than a normal shower. What this means is that every time you get out of the cold shower, it feels like you succeeded. And if we learned anything from that Navy Seal who loves making his bed, succeeding early in the day always boosts your mood and makes you feel more productive.
Follow the 80/20 Rule: When you wake up and begin writing your tasks for the day, how do you decide what’s most important? This is where the 80/20 rule comes into play. Written by an Italian economist in 1849, this rule is also known as the Pareto principle. It states that 80% of your outcomes should come from 20% of your actions. So how do you use it? First, identify the most important goals and then ask yourself “which specific tasks do I need to focus on to align with those goals?” Delegate or even drop the rest.
- Take Frequent Breaks This one may come as a shocker to you – capitalism has done a fabulous job at brainwashing us into thinking those who take breaks have failed, or have become lazy. This is quite literally the opposite of what it means, Psychology Today has even stated that taking breaks increases productivity by:
Reducing Decision Fatigue: This means that the more decisions you make throughout the day, the more tired your brain gets resulting in poor-quality decisions. This was made famous by a study that found judges were more likely to grant paroles to prisoners after coming back from food breaks, as compared to when they’d been working for hours at a stretch.
Own Your Mornings (AKA Lose the Phone): Our mornings are so sacred, it’s the only time of the day we truly have to ourselves before life gets in the way. We could go on and on (and we have before) about the importance of creating a morning routine that works for you. If there’s one thing that you take from this blog post, it’s that the key to productivity is putting the phone away. It’s the ultimate distraction, especially when our brains are in such a priming state first thing in the morning, phones release cortisol (the stress hormone) which is the last thing we want before starting our days.
Breaks Increase Motivation: University of Illinois psychology professor Alejandro Lleras says. “From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task.”
The main goal with MAGIC Mornings is to give you realistic, actionable tasks that you can slowly begin to implement each and every day. It doesn’t matter where you start, it just matters if you start. Let’s make this year one of our best and here’s to actually finishing that never-ending to-do list.
Join the community over on Instagram at @mymagicmornings and let us know what productivity hack you’re going to try!
The Magic Team