Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's All About Rhythm

When your life seems out of balance, you may find that what you're doing isn't lining up with the sheet music you're trying to play.  I'm not talking about musical notes, I'm referring to patterns that are similar to musical compositions.  Maybe your brain wants to play a fast song while your body is wanting to slow things down.  When you get the rhythm right, your productivity soars.

I've been tinkering with my own sheet music to find the best patterns for my own personal productivity.  My most productive time of the day is in the morning when I first wake up.  If I can handle my most important tasks early in the day, it makes my workload for the rest of the day flow better and I get more accomplished.  I also make sure to take breaks at two hour intervals so I don't burn out before the day is done.

One area of my life I'm working on right now is tuning up my body.   I'm finding that by incorporating small bursts of exercise into my daily routine, my body responds better and it's easier to get things done.  I know my ways are unconventional.  You may need to modify some of these ideas to fit your specific personality.  I wanted to share what's working for me so you have a starting point for experimenting with your own rhythm.  Here's a sample of my daily routine:
  1. Match the most challenging tasks with the most productive times of my day.  I reserve one morning a week for working on my novel, The Caveman in the Mirror.  My family is respectful of this time and they give me space to work without many interruptions.  During this time, I stay off my cell phone and avoid checking my email. 
  2. I allot about an hour every morning to work on my blog.  The first five minutes is warm-up time.  I close my eyes and let my mind drift.  As soon as the inspiration comes for my daily story, I turn on my laptop and let the story flow.  Find your most productive time of the day and use it to work on your most important projects on your to do lists.
  3. Once my writing is done, I prepare breakfast.  There is usually about a minute of down time while the eggs are frying or the microwave is heating up my oatmeal.  This is my window of time for 100 stomach crunches.  I do them quickly so the eggs don't overcook.  Turn your down time into exercise time and watch how quickly you can get in shape.
  4. Every morning when I shave, brush my teeth, and floss, I work on my 50 leg raises and stretches at the same time.  This helps get the blood flowing and increase my energy levels.  I also find I'm more consistent with these exercises when I associate them with activities I must do on a daily basis.
  5. Slowing down and stopping at specific intervals helps you reach your daily finishing line at record pace.  Your body can't function at top speed all day long.  Take breaks before you get tired.  For me, 15 minutes every two hours keeps me going.  I like to eat a piece of fruit during my rest breaks to give me energy.  Don't forget to stay hydrated.
It helps if you can find accountability partners who share your goals and dance to your beat.  My wife and I will be going on walks together as soon as the weather warms up.  Our oldest son likes to challenge me to a game of racquetball when he's in town.  I'll be incorporating some tennis into my life again once our community leaders resurface the high school tennis courts.  Yes, my life has all the rhythm I need to get things done and enjoy life at the same time.  If you have a moment, please share what you do to keep your rhythm at the right beat.  I look forward to reading your comments and promise to respond within 24 hours.

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