How-To || October

Final In honor of being productive, and respecting my own time enough to create thoughtful content, I decided not to rush this post. It was originally planned to be posted in September, a month after How-To Journal was posted. But sometimes, to be most productive, we must accept that other facets of our lives take greater precedence. Researching this post has been most intriguing and especially helpful. I hope it helps you as well. There are far too many exams on my schedule and a busy holiday season going forward for us all -- maybe we're feeling the fall slow down, or we're already stressing about the end of the year so much that we are having trouble being in the present. These tips are meant for us all. This will be a mini series, as I release part one, two, and three over the next few days. Enjoy!


|| find a space that makes you feel most comfortable ||

Sometimes, when we are uncomfortable, in our sitting position or our surroundings, the work we create can be haphazard and far from our best. We might become frustrated, feeling the need to squirm around, look about, run our hands through our hair, be generally anxious, or unable to focus and unwilling to try. Our sense of unease can manifest its way in many different

At the root of the problem is often the most simple cure; we can boil down our sense of being uncomfortable to the space we have chosen to work. For me, I need to work being able to see the whole room with my back to the wall or in my own room seated at my desk. This way, I can see the flurry of activity in front of me, and zone it out almost meditatively if in a public space, or I can be honed in on one surface working on my writings and projects.

The best space for you will be one where distractions are minimized, seating is comfortable, and there is optimal surface to spread out or hold work items.

Distractions are not the same for everyone; perhaps being in a space that is loud is more feasible to work in than one that is hear-a-pin-drop quiet. A seat that is comfortable for you may be one that is extra cushiony or one that is as hard as a rock to keep you focused. Optimal surface area might be only enough for your computer or writing pad or sketch book, or it might be large enough to house post-its, pencils and markers, and books upon books upon books. Mine resembles the ladder.

The best space is one that makes you feel your best, so experiment and explore, but make that space just yours to escape to and get those work juices flowing. That way, like Pavlov’s experiment, when you sit down in this space (or stand!) than you are at your most productive.

|| stay hydrated ||

Our bodies are composed of about 70% of water. Water is so important to our functioning; in fact I’ve already planned an entire nutrition post all about water. Without water, our digestion would not be optimal and our brain cells would not operate properly. Imagine, just this liquid could make us work harder, better, and faster. howyouglow.comWater also keeps our body temperature regulated, keeping us warm or cool depending on the outside conditions. This means that you’ll be less likely to be distracted by the draft or the heat, because the core of your body will be functioning optimally and maintaining your body’s homeostasis (equilibrium controlled by physiological processes). If plain water isn’t tasty for you, try adding some lemon or fruit – but try to not add crazy flavoring packets and drops or hydrate on Gatorade, as these are filled with sugars and chemicals that will alter the cell functioning in our bodies not for the better.

Staying hydrated is optimal for brain function and staying comfortable for long periods of time. Woo! Where’s your water bottle? What does it look like?

Two down, five to go! Stay tuned for pt. II coming your way tomorrow...

UPDATE: Read Part II and Part III and pump your productivity through the roof!

What are your thoughts so far? Do you utilize these tips already? Did one surprise you?

[ink + brush by emily friend // picture links when clicked]