At the top of most people's list of goals is normally the usual culprit: I want to be more productive and focused. I want to get more stuff done this year. So many of my girlfriends usually send themselves into a "life hack frenzy" – Googling every productivity solution known to mankind. This usually starts with a week of "results" and ends with a forgotten goal and a return to old habits. What if the key to maximizing productivity was rethinking our approach? While so many of us think we can hack our way to optimizing our output, we oftentimes forget about the bigger picture.
Productivity is a mindset. It's a lifestyle. It's part of the wellness journey. If we're open to finding the connections between productivity and our overall physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional states, defining and achieving "productivity" on an individual level doesn't have to be as difficult. Scroll through to learn how some of your favorite wellness enthusiasts approach productivity. They share their favorite strategies, tips, and techniques that can help you along your own journey to a better you!
Note: Answers have been edited for length and clarity.
Create Patterns & Lists.
Photo Credit: Lydia Hudgens
Courtesy of Jessamyn Stanley
Jessamyn Stanley, Yoga Teacher & Writer - @mynameisjessamyn
"If you don't take care of every piece of yourself, you won't be able to be all that you can be. I have patterns. In the morning, I wake up and make my bed. That's a core part of closing out the time that I was in my bed. Then I have time with myself, even if it's just five minutes of mindful breathing. I usually do some sort of yoga and meditation practice and another type of physical exercise, whether it's cardio, weight training…it has to be time that is not for anything else. It's something that grounds me in myself.
Being able to let it be fluid is a key part. I allow it to morph and change depending on where I am and how much time I have. There may come a day when the [situation will change] and before you know it, the pattern is gone. You can say, 'It's okay for it to be how it is today. It's okay for me to miss a day. Oh, I don't have my usual hour, I got 30 minutes, that's fine.' I'm not running a short race. I'm running the marathon of life.
I also believe in making lists so that you can see the things you're trying to accomplish. Put different sized things on the list so you can constantly be checking things off. Even if it's just a small thing – it's totally on the list. It's right next to the big thing. That makes the big thing seem more attainable."
"I'm not running a short race. I'm running the marathon of life."
Focus On Positive Energy.
Dade Shelby, Yoga Instructor & Trainer - @dade2shelby
"Everything is a journey. [Productivity] is something I'm always working toward. I never have it completely figured out. It's good to have a practice or routine that helps brings you back to where you need to be.
Daily, when I encounter bad energy, I never transfer that to the next place. If I have a bad morning and I'm headed to work, I sit in my car for a few minutes and breathe. I listen to music or sounds that will bring me back to a peaceful state. I meditate for three minutes to bring myself down and not bring bad energy from one place to the next.
[An activity like] yoga clears your mind. It's a non-impact way to start doing things. If physicality is the issue, it's a good intro back into that. Mentally, it brings you into a peaceful mindstate where you can think more clearly and get your thoughts straightened out. Spiritually, it brings you back to the source - whatever that source is for [you]."
Identify Your Triggers.
Photo Credit: Jasper Soloff
Courtesy of Emilia Ortiz
Emilia Ortiz, Bruja & Spiritual Advisor - @ethereal.1
"Identify what's causing you to be out of balance as an individual. When you are more balanced, you are able to function at a higher rate, perform better, and tap into your best qualities. Start with three (at most) that you want to address. Start with baby steps of working on your mindfulness in these areas of your everyday life. Figure out what is causing you to feel stressed or imbalanced so you can be more in the present, rather than be all over the place and focused on the past and future.
How do I best perform? I'm big on taking breaks and acknowledging when I need to take a break. I recognize that I do well under slight pressure but I don't do well when I procrastinate and put everything to the last minute. Recognize what your productivity rate is and what's best for you as far as lighting a fire under your ass and time frame. Accept and embrace that.
Don't listen to what everyone is saying about no distractions or needing background music to focus. Find your groove. You don't have to listen to what every guru has said. We're all telling you what has worked for us, but these things are guidelines. They don't have to be set in stone rules."
Recommended book: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
"Recognize what your productivity rate is and what's best for you as far as lighting a fire under your ass and time frame. Accept and embrace that."
Use Food As Fuel.
Courtesy of Tierra Burrell
Tierra Burrell, Holistic Health Consultant & Entrepreneur - @tierragoesgreen
"Food is the fuel. The same way technology gives us information. Food is our internal technology. Typically in the morning, people may grab coffee, bagel or bowl of fruit.
Think: what is nature's programming? The fruit is the only thing. Nature's programming helps your brain function. It also allows your creativity, cognitive health, and imagination to take place in beautiful ways without any of the business programming.
Drink water. Water is the filtration system of life. It's the system that the Earth runs on. It's important that we get in alignment with nature. In the mornings, get a big bowl of fruit, a big smoothie or a big bowl of oatmeal. What's the point of building a brand or getting your dream job if your health is deteriorating?
Use turmeric. It is anti-inflammatory and also a brain booster. It helps balance, mindfulness, thought process and productivity. If you're sitting in an office all day and don't get to move as you should, it's great to use turmeric for brain and joint health. It's great for prevention."
Photo Credit: Pete Schiazza
Courtesy of Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts
Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts, Educator & Yoga Teacher - @chelsealovesyoga
"A lot of people say hustle hard or keep going until you're exhausted. I personally don't believe in that. One of the first principles of the Yoga Sutra is nonviolence and non-harmony. You can use yoga as a way to keep from harming yourself in the process of trying to be and do everything that we want to do in this lifetime.
Yoga allows me to pause, reflect, and be quiet and listen to my own intuition. It allows me to reconnect with myself. I can feel connection to whatever is out of alignment in my life. I'm typically not in the best or most optimal space to create if I'm not feeling balanced within my life. It's a great way for me to do a self-check, especially if I am reaching a point of burnout or need to say no to someone who is asking me to do something that I want to do but don't have the bandwidth or the rest to make it happen.
I recommend Yoganidra by Tracee Stanley - which is a practice of going between meditation and deep relaxation. This is good if you are looking to use yoga as a deep relaxation tool.
My go-to posture is Shavasana aka "Corspe's Porse". It's one of the hardest postures because it's easy for us to get caught up in our day-to-day. Shavasana is a way to reconnect to how we're feeling and what's going on in our bodies, hearts, and minds."
Recommended: Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley
Set A Timer.
Photo Credit: Phil Provencio
Courtesy of Robyn Warren
Robyn Warren, Health Coach & Educator - @geekgirlstrong
"Sometimes I set a one hour timer for responding to emails, taking a break to play video games, or working on that big project that needs to be broken down into parts. Once that time is up, it is also time to move on. You can use a timer to dictate when you are allowed to check inboxes, texts, social media, etc. Try hacking your phone. Try putting time limits on certain apps, putting your phone on grayscale, and/or just putting it out of your reach."
Originally published on February 27, 2019
Featured image courtesy of Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts
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Rana Campbell is a Princeton University graduate, storyteller, content marketing strategist, and the founder and host of Dreams In Drive - a weekly podcast that teaches you how to take your dreams from PARK to DRIVE. She loves teaching others how to use their life stories to inspire action within oneself and others. Connect with her on Instagram @rainshineluv or @dreamsindrive.
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.
The Fall Equinox begins on September 23, 2023, and it’s time to embrace abundance, gain clarity, and know that you are worthy of your desires. The Fall Equinox marks the beginning of fall and the end of summer and is a turning point of the year, where things settle in and come to fruition. The energy that fall brings is one of harvest, but it is also one of release, letting go, and finding your ground. Coming from a summer of intensity, drama in love, and overall moving through a space of deep spiritual growth- now that fall is here, we are ready to decompress, dream, and enjoy that which we have created for ourselves.
What Is the Energy of the Fall Equinox 2023?
The energy this fall is opening up new doors of abundance and is a time of reaping your rewards in life. Fall begins at the same time as Libra Season, and a lot of these blessings have to do with love and the relationship developments that will be taking place over the next few months. With a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Libra occurring a few weeks after fall begins on October 14th, something enchanting is happening in romance right now. The scales are coming into balance, new beginnings are occurring, and clarity prevails.
Relationships over the next few months are about focusing on the gifts and gratitude you find in them and accepting where things need to change as well.
By the time winter begins, most of the planets that are currently in retrograde will be direct, and this signifies the change of pace that fall is bringing. This fall highlights Eclipse Season overall, and the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on October 28th will be a time of creating boundaries, honoring your values and energy, and closing a chapter in your life that doesn’t align. Financial worlds are growing and finding new ground, but with Jupiter still in retrograde in Taurus until December 30th, patience is needed here.
Over the next few months, give yourself the space to gain some new perspectives, make room for love, and grow in abundance.
Your guidance this fall is to take those first steps toward the goals you have been pondering over this year. There is a Full Moon in your sign a week after fall begins, and you get the opportunity to enter this season with less baggage and more closure. You will possibly be starting a new position or working in a new field, and you need all the good energy to back you right now. Know that you can count on your skills and talents to move you further in life and that help will be there when you least expect it. This is a fall of abundance for you, Aries, claim it.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 29, Oct. 13, Nov. 13, Nov. 21
Patience, patience, patience, Taurus. You are creating something beautiful in the world right now, and the time it’s taken to get you here will all be worthwhile. Your guidance this fall is to nurture your world and your dreams and to bring more love and compassion to your life. You are preparing for a new reality but need some more time to dream it up and define that which you want for yourself and your future. The Full Lunar Eclipse happening this fall is occurring in your sign, and you are moving through some major closures in your life right now. This is a creative time for you, Taurus.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 28, Oct. 29, Nov. 6, Nov. 20
This fall is all about taking care of yourself and valuing your time and energy, Gemini. The way you see yourself and your life are coming up for review right now, and you are being urged to look at yourself in a better light. Your ruling planet, Mercury, goes retrograde for the last time this year on December 13th, just before fall ends, and this time is all about taking what you have learned and choosing better for yourself. You may be tested to be more confident or true to yourself right now and over the next few months, and it’s about owning your part in this life and standing up for what you want.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 25, Oct. 21, Nov. 20, Dec. 12
This is an abundant fall for you, Cancer. You have worked diligently on claiming the opportunities and new doors that have been opening for you, and you are feeling free to be your successful self. You are encouraged in your independence right now, and you have proven to yourself just how talented you are and how much you have grown. No major aspects are happening in your sign this fall, giving you the space to breathe, create, and receive your rewards. Happiness fills your world, and even though you still feel like you are just getting started in a sense, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the gifts that are presenting themselves today.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 13, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, Nov. 13
This fall is a turning point for you in love, Leo. New developments are taking place in your relationships, and you are being received especially favorably. This is the time to open your heart to growth and new possibilities and to get creative with what you are looking for right now. The Last Quarter Moon happening in your sign on November 5th will be a turning point for you this fall. Your unique charm and charisma are enough, and you attract many to you through your natural energy and love for life. Your ship is coming in this fall, and your heart is fulfilled.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 1, Oct. 31, Nov. 5, Nov. 14
Virgo, this fall is a blessing for the heart space. You are feeling in tune emotionally, and there is positive energy coming your way and into your love life. You have spent a lot of this year healing, forgiving, and finding your voice, and over the next few months, you will be creating the spaces you have been looking to enter in your life. Venus enters your sign for a month on October 8th, and there are some pleasant surprises in store for you during this time. Fresh starts are coming in for you, and spiritually, you are awakening to the gifts within you and in your heart. Your beauty is showing, and love is coming in for you this fall.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 25, Oct. 22, Nov. 5, Nov. 20
This fall is a new beginning for your financial world, Libra. Autumn begins the same day Libra Season does, and you have some extra motivation and energy within you right now. You are ready to put the action behind the intentions you have been setting for yourself financially, and this is a time of plans coming together and falling through to success. The more you stay focused and diligent, the more opportunities that can come for you right now. The first month of fall, the Sun is in your sign, and this is really the time to get things moving in your life, especially with a New Moon Eclipse in Libra on October 14th happening as well.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 27, Oct. 14, Oct. 30, Nov. 20
It’s all about the vision for you right now, Scorpio. You are focused on the future, your path ahead, and manifesting your dreams, and there is something passionate about the next few months for you. You may be taking some risks this fall as you test the boundaries on how far you want to go with something and what worlds are opening up to you now. Mars is in your sign from October 12th until November 24th, and life is exciting for you right now. You have your eyes on the prize and are ready to move forward toward the things that are lighting you up right now.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 12, Oct. 13, Nov. 6, Nov. 13,
This fall is about taking a leap of faith, Sagittarius. Your guidance over the next few months is to do the things that you would do if you knew you would be supported in doing them. Less self-doubt is needed now, as you are walking on new ground. You are moving towards personal healing you have been wary of from the beginning, and you are ready to let go of some energy that has been holding you back. Trust that once you decide on something, the universe instantly begins to make it happen for you. Your season begins on November 22nd, and it’s time to put yourself first more. Have courage in yourself this fall.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 8, Nov. 22, Nov. 24, Dec. 12
This fall is all about clarity for you, Capricorn. You are a wise soul, and you are owning this energy about yourself right now. Over the next few months, you will be developing spiritually, helping those who need your sound advice, and evolving in life. You have found a new sense of enlightenment and are enjoying the clear perspective that has been gained. Mercury goes retrograde in your sign on December 13th, right before fall ends, and this is when you will be feeling more tested to take the lead in your life and use your voice. Overall, fall 2023 is your time to surrender to the good within you and in your life, Capricorn.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 10, Oct. 23, Nov. 4, Dec. 1
Things are moving fast for you this fall, Aquarius. This is a successful, harmonious, and passionate time for you, as many opportunities come your way at once. It will be hard to settle down with all the energy flowing through your life over the next few months, as you have so much to do and so many people to see. Overall, however, this is positive energy that you have been looking forward to in your life, and everything is coming together and moving forward where it was once stagnant. Fall is giving you the closure and the opportunity to reinvent yourself and start on new, solid ground in your life.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 30, Oct. 31, Nov. 20, Nov. 28
Your guidance for fall is to have balance in your life. There is a lot of new coming in for you, but you are also working on letting go of what has fallen. You have grown in many ways this year, and financially, you have seen growth as well but may be feeling the weight of responsibilities this has come with now. To move through this season with the most grace, give yourself more time to rest, to be, and allow things to fall into place on their own. Saturn has been retrograde in your sign since June and goes direct this fall on November 4th, Pisces. This is your opportunity to see things more clearly, protect your energy, and feel more in tune with your internal guidance system.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 22, Nov. 4, Nov. 6, Dec. 12
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