Part Two || How-To || October

Welcome to part two of this month's How-To series -- How-To Be Productive!! Couldn't tell from the picture or the title, huh? I know -- I'm so sneaky. Yesterday I kicked off the post with the two ways to jump start productivity... jump back and read Part One if you'd like. Tomorrow, I'll release the final two -- enjoy!



|| find the right caffeine for you ||

Let’s be real here – caffeine is a great way to keep us charged and on a roll when we feel tired and unmotivated. While a need for an excess of caffeine might signal to your body that it really needs some rest and recharge, in the event that you have to push through and stay chugging along, try to find some clean sources of caffeine.

Tea, like black tea or green tea, can give a great push to the system while also urging our metabolism to rev up and push us into power mode. Coffee can do the same thing, but might cause some jitters or a ‘crash’ when coming off of the caffeine high. Disregard those sugar packets in the photo above (the brunch serving platter was too pretty not to snap a picture of) -- sweeten with almond milk and some stevia if black coffee doesn't suit you. If caffeinated drinks are too much on the system, or you know you only have to push through for an extra hour and it is nearing bedtime, a great source of energy that deepens our contemplative state are back bends such as camel pose (ustrasana) or bridge pose (supta bandhasana). These postures delve deep into our central nervous system and can be incredibly energizing in a different way than caffeinated drinks.

Perhaps caffeine works for you, or maybe it does nothing but unsettle your stomach and make you jittery. Remember to do what works for you. A backbend might not be a good idea if you are experiencing back pain – listen to your body. Remember, being productive is all about you functioning at your best level. If caffeine doesn’t help with that functioning, no worries, just keep sipping that water!

|| stay current and reliable in terms of email and phone calls ||

Even though I wish this weren’t true, we have become an ‘instant’ society where sending emails or making phone calls expects an immediate and instant response. Being this person, who responds promptly and thoughtfully, can greatly increase the reputation you hold. A tip that I picked up a few weeks ago was to star each email that required attention or a quick response, and be sure to get through that list by the end of the day. If the email is being treated similar to a text, respond to it in a similar fashion, but otherwise, the list can be great to fill in the spare minutes of your day. Don’t think you have any minutes to spare? The five minutes waiting for coffee, the time waiting for a meeting to start, and the time before an appointment arrives are all examples of minutes that add up quickly! Pretty soon, emails that piled into the thousands will become a handled inbox waiting for the next one to arrive. If there is a great influx of messages, try to get the starred emails down to five, knowing that five is far more manageable the next day than not having responded to a single one in the first place. Also a great trick to make a quick message appropriate rather than abrupt is to add the footer ‘sent from iPhone’. While most of you out there will be responding using your phone, this will probably already be at the bottom, but adding it or taking it out can signal both an appreciation for time as well as an understanding of urgency.

Email has turned into another form of being available 24/7. If it helps you to turn off your email after seven and finish all of your correspondence by then, or not respond to emails over the weekend, that sounds great! Find a schedule of email attentiveness you can stick to and try and work it into your lifestyle. See if it fits. Being able to respond to emails as if they were an instant message just delivers another skill set to your resume and appearing even more so ‘on top of things’. As always, it’s okay if responding to emails right away isn’t your thing – it doesn’t make you any less of a human being.

Four down, five to go! Stay tuned for pt. III coming your way tomorrow...

UPDATE: Read Part III and be fully armed with productivity forces!

What are your thoughts so far? Do you utilize these tips already? Did any surprise you (from yesterdaytoo)?

[coffee by emily // computer picture and yoga image link when clicked]