In a world where working remotely or working from has now become a part of our mainstream culture, staying productive has become so much harder. We are constantly distracted by our home or social environments. We mismanage our time throughout the day and week. We're guilty of choosing to catch up with friends, scroll through social media, or engage in almost anything else that prevents us from owning our day. And we're not one hundred percent wrong for this. Americans are known to be overworked and burned out. It's only now we are catching up to the world in adopting a better work-life balance. But it doesn't mean we should drop everything and forget about our priorities.
So, how do you boss up and own your day when we live in a society that is made to distract you? Boundaries. Strong boundaries. Creating boundaries for yourself is key to managing your day. Boundaries apply to productivity the same way they apply in friendships, relationships, and family. The problem we run into is standing by our boundaries. It takes a level of discipline and consistency. This requires continuous commitment and practice.
Here are 7 boundaries you can set for yourself to be more productive and slay not only your workday but all your goals.
1.Limit Social Media
You can't tell me you're not mindlessly scrolling through the 'gram or TikTok throughout your day. Because I do it too. We are all guilty AF of this. It's like an addiction or some type of FOMO. We have to constantly be in the know. We have to ensure we are not missing out on someone else's life. Read that again. Someone else's life. When we should be paying attention to our own life. Some people will spend 4-8 hours a day on social media like it's a whole job. I mean, if social media is your job, you're exempt from this conversation.
Thanks to app updates and Apple, we have the tools to physically limit social media. It's called Do Not Disturb. It's a setting that can be turned on or off to your choosing. But if that doesn't work for you, consider deactivating your social media accounts or deleting the apps from your phone. In 2019, I took a social media break for a whole year. And I'm currently on a social media break now. Trust me, you're not missing anything. And I have been able to manage my time better, complete my to-do list, and do more of what I love.
If it's not work-related or an emergency, it can wait. There's no need to respond to every single call, text message, and/or email. Those people in your DMs can wait too. We are also guilty of this. We feel like we have to be responsive to everything and we don't. If it has nothing to do with your time or money, it can wait. This goes for work emails, messages, and meetings as well. If it has nothing to do with you and your position, kindly excuse yourself from the meeting. Set time aside in your day to respond to work messaging platforms and emails. Ask to schedule work communications for certain days and times of the week. There is no need for daily meetings if it's not an urgent matter. Provide updates on pertinent projects through emails and/orproject management apps.
3.If It’s Not Written Down, Don’t Worry About It
Plan out your workday or workweek with a daily planner. I typically do this on Sunday nights or Monday mornings. I even go so far as to color code events, projects, appointments, and deadlines. If a task is not written down in your planner as a to-do for that day, or week, don't worry about it. These tasks can be done when you have time and energy to complete them. And don't go adding more things to your day when you know you may not have the time to dedicate to it. Worrying about what you didn't complete only adds more stress. Minimize stress by setting this boundary.
4.Break Down Big Projects
Large projects can be daunting. It's hard to know where to start and where to end. The key is to break down large projects into smaller parts, then assign estimated due dates for each part of the project. You want to also track project completion using agannt chart.A gannt chart is a project management tool that displays project activities set to a timeline. You can adjust the timeline based on external factors or dependencies. This way, you are not overwhelmed about completing the project on time. If you only have 2-3 hours a week to work on parts of the project, that's OK. Honor the time that you're able to give.
5.Set A Routine And Stick To It
Day drinking or weekday bar hopping is not it. Do not expect your day to go your way with a hangover. I yelled at my client for this. Shout out to him because he was the inspiration for this whole article. Having a daily routine will help you move through your day effortlessly. Your daily routine should include habits like eating a good breakfast, waking up early, going to bed early, drinking water, and daily exercise. Habits like these help you prioritize and understand what is important.
6.Take A Break
Being productive does not mean working 6 to 8 hours straight without a break. We are not robots, and we are not made to constantly be on. We are human, we need to rest and recharge daily. Don't skip breaks or lunches, take them. You would be surprised what a 20-minute break can do for you. It allows you to reset your energy levels.Research shows that our minds naturally need a break after 90 minutes of intense work. Science doesn't lie. Use your breaks to practice mindfulness or take a walk. Research also shows spending time outside helps relax our minds.
7.Know When To Call It Quits
Listen, I stop working at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. On a good day where I checked everything off my to-do list, I call it quits at 3 p.m. too. And I don't work weekends unless it's necessary. We have to end our day. How else would we know when a new day begins? Again, we are not meant to be one hundred percent on. But this is America – we live in a capitalistic society that expects high-performance 24/7.
I know some of us don't have the luxury of controlling our schedules. Not all of us are exempt employees or self-employed. With that being said, I would suggest taking 30 minutes before you go off the clock to start preparing for the next workday. This is called a shutdown ritual. Organize your desk, close tabs on your internet browser, write out your to-do list, or check your calendar.
The goal is to be productive, not busy. We often use the word busy to imply we don't have time, but it doesn't mean we are productive. According to Google, to be productive means achieving or producing a significant amount or a result. To be busy means having a great deal to do. Do you see the difference? Productivity is associated with a result or outcome.
With that said, I think it's time to change how we use our words when it comes to managing our workdays. If we can master this, we can transform our day.
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Camille is a lover of all things skin, curls, music, justice, and wanderlust; oceans and islands are her thing. Her words inspire and her power is her voice. A California native with Trinidadian roots, she has penned personal essays, interviews, and lifestyle pieces for POPSUGAR, FEMI magazine, and SelfishBabe. Camille is currently creating a life she loves through words, self-love, fitness, travel, and empowerment. You can follow her on Instagram @cam_just_living or @written_by_cam.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
One thing about Megan Thee Stallion is that she’s going to motivate you to stay active. From afar, she seems like the perfect gym bestie, and up close, it looks like her workouts would have us gasping for air. But hey, she doesn’t call her routines “bootcamp” for nothing.
After an extended break from social media and the public eye, the Houston Hottie is back sharing the high-energy workouts that are keeping her lean and she’s happy to report that “the results have been resulting."
The 28-year-old rapper dropped an Instagram Reel, detailing the workout routine that’s putting her endurance to the test. With the help of her personal trainer, Megan has one word in mind when it comes to her progress and that’s: “Consistency.”
The “Savage” artist has been traveling, making “hot girl moves," and after returning from a trip to New York, she expressed that her trainer is pushing her to keep the same energy back in the gym.
“I had just gotten back from New York and I told my trainer, ‘Look, friend, I was having a time. Can you please take it easy?’” Megan said. “He said, ‘Hmm, I’ve seen you doing all that hot girl s—, so what you need to do is get in that gym and have that same energy.’”
Her trainer then instructed her to do jumping squats with an exercise ball and resistance band around her legs for an extra burn. “I put my thing down, flipped it, and reversed it and that’s what happened. This sh– burned like a motherf—,” she teased in the video’s voiceover while executing both forward and backward jumping squats.
It’s clear that when it comes to Megan’s fitness, her trainer doesn’t play around about pushing her to her limits. In the next set of her cardio moves, we see the Grammy-winning artist jumping rope and moving on to a combination of mountain climbers and lateral jumps over a speed hurdle.
“Right here, that’s when I realized: I’ve been saying my trainer’s crazy but I know he’s really, really crazy because he must think that I’m trying out for the Houston Texans or something,” she joked.
To finish her workout, Meg hit two more barbell exercises, one being a set of cleans with 10-pound weight plates on the barbell. She then closed out by doing lunges with the barbell racked on her shoulders.
Of course, the best way to close out a workout is to nourish yourself with a balanced meal. Meg showed off her delicious post-workout plate with salmon, a sweet potato, and assorted veggies.
With so much of her public life being shared on the internet, it’s nice to see her letting us in on her progress in a fun and motivating way. “I just want to be transparent with y'all. Working out hurts, but it’s really a mental thang, so go do it!”
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