Staying Mindfully Productive

Happy Mental Health Week everyone! During this time of uncertainty, you might be struggling with your daily routines and workflows. You may find that it’s tougher than usual to get through your to-dos and find the momentum to be productive. In honour of this week, here are some actionable tips on mindfully staying productive and how to take care of yourself while doing so.

Let your feelings be present 

It’s important to begin by acknowledging that we may not be at our peak productivity during this time. It’s alright to feel whatever emotions arise. Are you feeling irritable? Anxious? Lethargic? Notice these feelings, and monitor how or if they change throughout the day. If you find yourself being less productive at a certain time of day, do your best to use that to your advantage. Could some physical activity or a live meditation on our Facebook & Instagram pages to give you a boost? Remember the power of perspective, and look to the things you’re able to control. 

Find an outlet or creative hobby

This time of physical distancing might have given some of us extra time or space to do things we couldn’t before. Use this opportunity to find an activity that soothes or reduces stress. Have something to look forward to each day. This could be daily walks, reading, colouring, or picking up an old hobby. When working on this activity, do your best to give it all your attention, and bring the practice of mindfulness into it. How does the activity make you feel? Hone into the little details. This can give you momentum for the rest of your tasks.

Limit your electronics usage

You might find yourself increasingly reliant on your devices during this time, either for work or to check in on loved ones. By feeling obligated to keep checking our phones we end up distracting ourselves further. If possible, try limiting your device to certain hours. Either by putting away your laptop after finishing a day’s work, or no cellphones after 8:00 pm. This will also help to turn off work reminders throughout the rest of your day and give you time to deeply recharge and relax. 

Be mindful of your space

Being in the same space for work and leisure can be tough on your mind and dampen your motivation. If possible, try to go to the same designated space each day for work. Clear your workspace as much as possible so you’re not reminded of other tasks like nagging laundry or your freshly baked banana bread.

Schedule your downtime

Keeping a routine is imperative during this time. You might find it different from your regular routine, and that’s alright! Be gentle with yourself, and come to a schedule that is attainable. Be strict with the time you’re working, as well as the time you’re relaxing. If external motivators are helpful to you during this time, look to join a community hosting live activities and schedule your breaks around them. We’re hosting live meditations each day at noon, and we’d love for you to join us for your lunchtime break!

There may not be a lot in our control right now, but these actionable tips are things you may be able to focus on. We hope these tips help you have a productive week, remember to be gentle with yourself! 

Chetna Suri is a writer for the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and is working to connect more individuals to mindfulness-based practices. She’s a previous student of the MBCT, and MBSR programming. Since graduating from the University of Toronto she’s worked as a digital writer and is passionate about mental health advocacy. 

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