I am in a Joyful productivity practice group over the next six weeks developing the mindset of joy in my work. We are two weeks in and so far the feelings of joy I am experiencing in my life are improving. The reason I joined this mastermind group is for the experience, the learning and the practice of living intentionally with joy in my work and personal life.
You see a few years ago I heard the idea that we must learn to live with joy rather than think of happiness.
Happiness is fleeting however joy is a feeling that stays with us no matter what is going on in our lives. Once I heard that it made me think about my life from living intentionally with joy. If we practice joyful productivity in all that we do it just might make a difference to how we feel. At least this is how I am experiencing this idea in my daily intentional practice of living with joy.
Sometimes we think of productivity only from the perspective of work and yet we believe that to live joyfully we have to be aware of all aspects of life.
It might be challenging to think of exercise as a joyful experience if the only way that this has been thought of as painful and not enjoyable. The same might be true for eating well, thinking well or even play if these ideas are not a part of your daily practice of intentionally live with joy.
Today I will share thoughts on what does productivity has to do with joy.
There’s a link between productivity and joy. However, the connection may not always seem to be a positive one. In order to be joyful, you may think you need to be less productive and work fewer hours. And when considering what it means to have increased productivity, you may envision yourself tirelessly devoting all your time to work. So how could you possibly be joyful?
The truth is, these views aren’t entirely accurate. Productivity can lead to joy. It’s not a zero-sum game. You don’t have to choose one or the other. You can have both. Let’s look at the ways that productivity can increase your overall sense of joy and as a result your wellbeing.
Sense of Pride
Most of us experience a sense of pride in a job well done. Being productive gives you a sense of accomplishment. You’ve completed something and can cross an item off your to-do list. It feels good to know that you’ve gotten a task done and that you have something to show for your efforts. Using your time productively instills a feeling of satisfaction and we find that this fills us with joy.
Perception of Contribution
We all want to contribute, right? This can be to our families, to a cause, to our own livelihood, or to society at large.
Being productive allows us to feel that we’ve contributed to something. When we get a job done or achieve a goal, we know we’ve worked to give something of ourselves and that we’ve seen it through to the end. Knowing you’ve made a contribution is important to overall joyfulness.
When you’re productive, you gain a sense of capability. You see what you’re able to accomplish in a set amount of time and feel motivated to move forward to complete other tasks.
On the other hand, procrastination leads to feelings of guilt and anxiety, which strip you of your self-esteem. Obtaining that feeling of self-worth can be a strong motivator for continued productivity.
Feeling of Purpose
Finally, when you’re productive, you can experience a real sense of purpose. The important thing to remember here is that the activities you’re completing must be meaningful. Being productive for the sake of staying busy isn’t enough to contribute to positive feelings. What you take on must be important to you if you want the action to seem purposeful.
These are just some of the ways that productivity can increase your joyfulness. The two really do go hand in hand. At least this is our experience.
If you are looking for a Joyful Productivity course I highly recommend Mindful Time Management for Joyful Productivity with George Kao - I have just finished this course and the learning in this program has been super helpful in developing joyful practices that are meaningful and easy to implement right away. You can find all the Joyful Productivity course details here and to find all George's Authentic business courses here is our page
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Grow Your Business With Incremental Change
Yesterday we shared a blog post about tiny steps for big changes. And now you might be ready to jump in to begin to make change you and your business. You want to implement things that will transform certain habits into positive areas, right? Awesome! No human on Earth is perfect, but those ready to make changes experience the most growth.
When we think about change for our business there are two parts, the first part is personal change and the second part is how we implement that personal change to grow our business. A mentor told me a long time ago that to successfully grow a business you MUST grow yourself first.
Why Tiny Steps For Change?
✓ Sharing ideas on small changes is that it’s much more realistic to incorporate them into your life straight away
✓ But that doesn’t mean they lack impact!
✓ Small changes could relate to any aspect of your life, if it involves striving for improvement
✓ We appreciate that it’s sometimes difficult to accept change.
✓ You can break things down into minimal changes that will eventually equate to the big change that you need
✓ Practicing small changes every day can ensure that you are continually developing
30 Small Changes You Can Take Action on Now
Pick one idea and begin to practice it until it is a habit then add another
✓ Wake up earlier
✓ Don’t waste time complaining
✓ Create a powerful morning routine
✓ Cook a simple real food meal once a day for your best wellbeing
✓ Express gratitude and appreciation – journal
✓ Walk to work
✓ Write down your goals - putting your goals down on paper makes them more powerful
✓ Turn your phone off every night
✓ Drink more water – this is super important
✓ Add vegetables to every meal
✓ Ask open-ended questions of yourself, your team and your clients
✓ Take up a new or favorite hobby – this helps to reduce stress
✓ Keep a journal of ideas – write at least 10 new ideas each day
✓ Have dinner with family every night
✓ Turn off notifications while working
✓ Give yourself time to respond to invitations – learn how to keep your email inbox empty for your joyful productivity
✓ Tell your loved ones how much you care
✓ Take a course for your business
✓ Walk your block with a litter bag – give back
✓ Create a savings account
✓ Say hello to your neighbors
✓ Try to solve a Rubik’s Cube
✓ Open a college fund for your children
✓ Learn a new word in a different language
✓ Ask a customer to assess your service
✓ Organize a drawer in your desk (or home)
✓ Organize your computer files
✓ Treat yourself to a new food or learn a new real food recipe
✓ Floss one tooth
✓ Do squats, pull ups and push ups
Share you thoughts on The Power of Incremental Change For Your Best Life
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Make Big Changes By Tiny Steps
Today we want to talk about the idea of how to make big changes by tiny steps. You’ve heard the quote -
“Inch by inch, life's a cinch. Yard by yard, life's hard.” ― John Bytheway
We know that thinking about change by tiny steps is much easier to do and allow yourself to WIN more often. The WINS you allow yourself to have keep you inspired and motivated to keep moving forward for the Big Changes you say you want.
Over twenty years ago when I began to make changes in my life this is exactly the strategy I used. You see I had just been called to the hospital because my mother had an accident which caused her to break her hip and she needed a full hip replacement. As I was in the emergency room with my mother, I knew that night that if I didn’t make some drastic changes to my life I was going to be her twenty years down the road. You see I was 100 lbs. overweight, had low energy and just felt horrible most of the time. Big changes were necessary and I was the only one that could make those changes.
Consider this: How many times have you told yourself that you must quit your job and try something else? How many times have you paid for a gym membership, and yet, you haven't set foot in the gym? The truth is that people resist change. They are afraid of the unknown and prefer to be in control. After all, we are creatures of habit.
What if you could transform your life without actually making big changes? Think of it as a gradual process that you complete at your own pace to WIN with each tiny change. Here are six tiny steps to get started!
Open Your Mind
The first step is to open your mind and embrace change. We are wired to resist any changes that disrupt our bad habits and living patterns. Unless you beat inertia, you'll never be able to transform your life. You must find your WHY. We have written about finding your WHY many times it is that important and here are a few articles we have shared recently that might be helpful for you - https://wendybottrell.weebly.com/blog/three-solid-tips-to-win-with-your-health-fitness-goals https://wendybottrell.weebly.com/blog/to-be-be-better-mind-body-spirt & https://wendybottrell.weebly.com/blog/what-motivates-motivates
Find your WHY and then allow the tiny changes you make day in and day out to become the good habits for big changes over time.
Stop Caring About What Others Think of You
Let’s say you want to relocate to a new city, but your parents disapprove. They keep saying that you'll feel alone, have trouble finding work, and waste a ton of money. Even the tiniest change has its challenges. However, this isn't a reason to give up.
Stop caring about what others think of you. It’s your life, your decisions, your regrets. Focus on the things that make you happy, come up with a plan that will give you the WINS for each tiny change, and go for it!
No matter how much you want to change your life, be grateful for what you have right now. Find joy in the smallest things, such as a walk in the park or the time spent reading a good book.
Gratitude will bring you joy. That will keep you going and boost your inspiration and motivation. Negative thinking may be holding you back and increase your resistance to change.
Celebrate Every WIN of Your Journey
The bigger your goal, the longer it takes to achieve it. However, this shouldn't put you down. On the contrary - take the time to celebrate and enjoy every step of the process.
Go out and have fun, share your accomplishments with friends, family, or call a friend - do whatever works for you. The whole point is to be grateful for how far you've come.
Stick to It
Stick to the changes you have made. Be sure you are not rushing the WINS. Make each tiny change a good habit before moving forward. Don't jump from one thing to the next. Be consistent and take small steps toward your goals.
For instance, if you start walking or practising yoga, do it every single day. Want to build your own business? Do something in this regard on a daily basis. That could be setting up a blog, creating a Facebook fan page, or connecting with potential clients.
Share your thoughts on How To Make Big Changes By Tiny Steps that have inspired you.
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Making lasting change can be a challenge and today we want to share 3 ideas for you to help you choose the most important tiny changes for your best life. In our experience over the past, almost 25 years of successfully making tiny changes the 3 we will share today have been ones we use regularly.
Deciding what you want to do with your life is one of the most difficult things you'll go through. Adulthood doesn't come with a manual, and it's easy to make mistakes along the way. One way to minimize risks is to make tiny changes rather than trying to transform your life overnight.
As human beings, we have the power to choose. Whatever you do, it's your choice. But how can you tell what's right and what's wrong? After all, the possibilities are endless. Take these three steps to choose your most important tiny change for a better life:
Set Meaningful Goals
Whatever you want to accomplish, make sure it's meaningful to you. Stop setting goals for the wrong reason. Know your WHY when creating any goal. Your WHY goals will keep you inspired long after the initial excitement is gone. We only say this because this has been our experience.
Want to start a new career or have your own business? Do it because you want to, not because your parents are pressuring you or your friends believe it's the right thing to do.
Think of what would make you happy and bring joy to your life. Don't try to change things just for the sake of doing something new. If you do that, you'll eventually lose your inspiration and motivation.
Keep It Simple
Most people have big goals, such as owning a dream home, travelling around the world, getting in the best shape of their life or making a fortune. While there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, these things take time and are hard work.
Let's say you want to have a stunning home at the seaside. Break this goal into small, simple steps. Assess your income and expenses, determine how much your dream home would cost, and what’s involved in the process.
Or let’s say you want to begin a fitness program. The first step is to figure out your WHY. WHY do you want to get fit? I was able to figure out my WHY over 20 years ago when I watched my mother lie in a hospital bed waiting for hip replacement surgery. At that time, I was 100 lbs. overweight, out of shape and struggling with low energy. It was clear to me that night that if I didn’t make some positive changes in my life I was going to be my mother 20 years down the road. Today I can tell you that I am in good shape, fit, energetic and it is all because of that strong and clear WHY.
The first step is to write clearly and in detail your WHY and then figure out what changes you'll have to make to accomplish your goal.
Tackle one challenge at a time. Keep it small and simple.
You could begin by taking a second job or starting a side hustle. Put some money aside every month. As your side business grows, turn it into a full-time venture. Later, you'll be able to get credit and buy that dream home.
Or you might begin getting outdoors for a walk. When I began I could barely walk around the block. That was the starting point. Every day go a bit further. You see it doesn’t matter where you start, it only matters that you don’t quit. With a clear why and strong, meaningful goals you will stay on course.
Whatever changes you make, turn them into habits. It's not enough to get out for a walk once a month. The consistency of getting out each day for a walk will get you the results that you desire.
If you feel like giving up, remember WHY you started in the first place. Focus on your end goal and remind yourself that everything you do brings you one step closer to the destination. Don't give up - your hard work will pay off. It's just a matter of time. And always remember it is how you choose the most important tiny changes that matter most for you.
"Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different?" -C.S. Lewis
Share any thoughts and ideas on the most important tiny changes you have made.
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We have been practicing the habit to declutter our mind for a long time now and today we wanted to share some ideas that might help you declutter your mind for your best business life.
One of the things you notice when you start decluttering is how so much of the clutter in your house reflects the clutter in your mind. If you’re hanging onto clothes that don’t fit, or the ugly vase your mother gave you for Christmas or the exercise bike you might get around to using, you don’t just have a problem with too much stuff. You have a problem letting go. Chances are you’re also hanging onto a whole bunch of bad feelings, ill-founded assumptions, old grievances and future worries.
If it feels good to declutter your house, it feels even better to declutter your mind. Here are some useful expert tips to make some space in your mind.
You don’t have to do the full sitting on a cushion in a darkened room thing to benefit from meditation techniques. If you’re feeling overwound, some simple breathing techniques can help you calm down and focus. For a few minutes, focus only on your breathing and nothing else. If your mind wanders or gets back into the worrying groove, you must put that aside and come back to focus on your breath.
It can help to write down anything that’s on your mind. Once all those worries are down on paper, you can prioritize them and work out a plan to deal with them. You can also assess them to identify what’s essential and what isn’t. When you can see what’s important, you can focus your energy and free up some of that mental space!
Brooding over the past and worrying about the future take up a lot of space in your mind and achieve precisely nothing. Let go of regret over past mistakes or resentment of past slights and move on. Keep your focus on what you can influence right here, right now.
Multitasking is not only overrated (it’s very inefficient), it also leads to greater anxiety, and you never do any one thing properly. Focus on doing things methodically and thoroughly. As you finish one task, move onto the next.
We talk about being available 24/7 and the 24-hour news cycle, but there is only one person who can control that. You. You can choose to switch off your computer, smartphone, and tv and control the amount of data your brain is trying to process.
Decluttering your mind will pay off in all sorts of ways you hadn’t imagined. You will be more productive, less stressed and more motivated.
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We believe that inspiration is an inside job and finding your WHY is an important part of staying inspired to do good work. We also believe that exercise and fitness are important for your business. So, today we want to share some ideas for you to inspire yourself to work out before work.
“Inspiration comes from within yourself. One has to be positive. When you're positive, good things happen.” - Deep Roy
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” - William James
“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” - William James
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive.”- Maya Angelou
Being self-employed makes it 100 times easier to stick to a workout. Now you have much more control over your time and you will be much more able to choose when you want to work and when you want to relax, or exercise.
The problem is, if you aim to finish early at the end of the day and workout then, you will almost always find that it never actually happens. The problem is, you'll still get tired and once you get into the 'flow' you'll find it's almost impossible to break out of it and to return later on while being just as productive.
In our experience we find working out first, on the other hand, means you'll have more energy and a better mood as you work during your day.
It's just a matter of being disciplined enough to plan your workouts into your day and inspired enough to honour your schedule.
Here are some tips that can help.
Be Prepared the Night Before
One way to work out before you start work is to set up your gym kit etc. the night before. The aim here is to create the minimum barrier or good habit between you and the workout so that there's no effort involved other than the workout itself. Setting things up the night before means you can just grab your workout gear and go and that helps a lot.
Make Your Workout Fun and Enjoyable
If you're going to be inspired to workout first thing in the morning then it can help a great deal to do a workout that you actually find fun. Working out is fun – and especially if you do something like rock climbing or sparring with a heavy bag. Find a workout that you enjoy and don't worry too much about your strict goals – they'll come with time as long as you put in the effort.
Oh, and your workouts don't have to be super long either. Ten to twenty minutes doing a High-Intensity Interval Training session first thing in the morning is a fantastic way to begin the day! We use and recommend the Home Workout Revolution system and use can find out more here is our affiliate link - http://go.earlytorise.net/SH1X
Exercising Is Good for Your Mental Health
We all know that exercise is good for your physical health. In fact, it would be somewhat difficult to overlook that fact. But, not only is it good for your physical health, but it is also very good for your mental health as well. Exercising regularly encourages blood flow, which in turn helps to keep the brain healthy. We find this an inspiring reason to workout for entrepreneurs.
Workout At Home
We have enjoyed working out at home for years now and find it to be the best use of our time and money. Meaning we have invested in an excellent online training system that we have followed for years and this has saved a great deal of money rather than paying for a gym membership. It has also allowed us to buy some equipment like dumbbells, bands, plates, bar, weight bench and a few kettlebells for our resistance training.
We save time because we don't have to travel or wait for equipment at a packed gym.
Simply get your workout clothes and get training. We use the Home Workout Revolution System for our HIIT workouts, weight training programs and follow along, talk about challenging. http://go.earlytorise.net/SH1X
If you're struggling to work out at all, then you might bear in mind that the problem is most likely linked with stress or your energy levels. It may just mean you're taking on too much work, in which case: readjust the habits that you create to reduce the stress!
Let us know your thoughts in the comments
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We have compiled a handy checklist for the work from home professionals. This checklist will help ensure that you get off to your best possible start.
We have been working from home for a long time now and understand that there can be challenges when you are beginning a business.
Not every line will be relevant to you, and if that is the case, just skip it and move on to the next one.
Work from Home Checklist
We left a few empty spaces in case you wanted to add anything. If you do have more ideas please share them with us in the comments
While this list may not be exhaustive, it is a great start to making sure you set things up right from the get-go.
Be sure to contact us if we can help you
We share ideas for building a business with joyful productivity