Practical Advice for a Productive Week

Mondays exhaust people.

Actually, scratch that. The thought of Monday exhausts people, starting Sunday afternoon.

It’s no wonder, considering 50% of Americans say they are constantly drained at work — a rate that’s tripled since 1972, according to the 2016 General Social Survey. Being burn-out is a real problem.

Even after you’ve gotten through Monday, you may be thinking:

“It’s only Monday? How am I going to get through the rest of the week?”

If so, here are some small steps you can take to find what works for you:

  1. Stay off one single source of distraction for 3 consecutive days.

No need to go overboard and delete all apps from your phone. Maybe focus on one app that you don’t need to use every day, and see how you do without that app for 3 days.

2. Meditate for 5 minutes.

If you haven’t tried meditating before, try a guided meditation. There are apps out there such as Simple Habit and Calm that tell you exactly how long to breathe in and out, so you can just focus on following the instructions.

3. Focus solely on what you’re doing at the moment.

This means that if you’re eating dinner, you’re just eating dinner — as in chewing and swallowing your food, not simultaneously thinking about what you’re going to prepare for lunch tomorrow or responding to messages. I realize doing this even for a single day is not practical for many, so just try it for one evening after work.

4. If you’re looking to make a specific lifestyle change, try this exercise recommended by Austin Belcak. Copied from his e-mail newsletter:

Set a timer for 2 minutes on your phone. Close your eyes and think about what life would be like in 2 years if you had everything you wanted. Where are you living? What would you do? Where would you travel? Try to really experience it as though it were happening.
When the timer goes off, reset it again for 2 minutes. Now close your eyes and think about what life would be like in 2 years if everything were exactly the same. If you didn’t wake up an hour earlier to start a business or if you didn’t take the time to really focus on your job search. You’re stuck in the same apartment, with the same salary and same lifestyle.

Though the idea of failure or monotony is an uncomfortable thought, this can be extremely valuable for staying disciplined. It only takes 4 minutes.

I hope you’re able to try one of these steps, modifying to fit your lifestyle and what works for you. If you have more ideas, let me know below!

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