Meditate, Innovate, Create – Why sitting in introspective silence ultimately increases productivity | Alternative Fruit
Being passionate about your project and leading from a position of strength can cause us to become too involved, too wrapped up, too off balance. Finding time to meditate is an essential tool for ensuring that our creative focus is positioned correctly. Emotions can blind us to the truth, what is staring us in the face can sometimes be missed when we're on a particularly different avenue. Meditation in the basic sense is the removal of the self from the mind. The intellect especially can be likened to a car. We get in, sit at the controls, and put our foot down. Off we go, thinking, imagining, comparing, wondering. So meditation aims to disconnect from this, it wants us to stop the engine and get out of the car. Visualisation and mind emptying techniques exist, each one has its own benefits. All kinds of meditation however have distinguishable benefits that cause us to be more effective, more productive, and more on target than if we go in head-first.
Meditation connects our mind to the rest of our body, it allows us to feel as well as emote. Our feelings are powerful indicators as the the social relevance and righteousness of our ideas where-as emotions tend to only relate to those who share the same precise opinion as yourself.
Mantra Meditations For Inner Peace - Online course
Meditation provides balance. We can become too focussed on what we're doing in this moment that we begin to neglect other important issues. We can begin to place too much value on one aspect of our work and forget to nurture the rest. When we meditate, we can find that we let go of many of these unbalanced thoughts that ultimately hinder us.
Meditation encourages better sleep habits. We all know the benefits of a good night's sleep. When we're rested properly, we are able to apply a lot more mental energy to our tasks. We're more keyed in with what we're doing. Because meditation helps us to quiet the mind, it really does help us to fall naturally to sleep.
Meditation improves our self-perception. When we're busy and in a doing phase of being, we can often find life becoming difficult. Everyone seems to put up their own walls and complaints that it can become toxic and volatile. We begin to see ourselves in the eyes of the wide world, and that's not right. We're so small in those eyes, insignificant and meaningless. When we connect with ourselves through meditation we start to discover our own importance and appreciate our existence more.
Theta Bineural Meditations Beginner to Advanced - Online course
Meditation helps us to be better around other people. We know how sometimes we are treated in ways that cause us distress or discomfort. We can learn about how not to behave from these experiences and meditation is really great to help with isolating the exact energies and angles that we found so antisocial.
Meditation helps us figure out who's important to us. We tend to find connections in life among many connection that seem to matter to us on a deeper level. From time to time we realise that a person's particular quality is one that compliments us naturally. When we find these people we can learn to deepen our connection by involving them more and including them in our ideas.
Meditation provides emotional strength. Rather than closing ourselves off to the raging ocean of the human sensuality, we dive right in. This can be hard for us, especially if we've been disciplined into not indulging in emotions and feelings. This is a bit like saying to someone not to indulge their eyes or their fingertips. When we dive into this essential part of our consciousness we learn to swim, some even learn to sail or surf.
Meditations for Busy Minds - Online course
Meditation boosts creativity. It opens up our mind to many principles and concepts that are too quiet to be heard when we're throwing our intellect around the room. Quietening the mind really does unlock a brand new tool-box of previous experience, lessons, and observations. Letting this occur naturally is part of it, there's no point in forcing the issue. Allow the bubbles to rise to the surface in their own time.
Learn how to create, record and then sell meditation guides and visualisations - Online course
You have creative vision, you see a solution to a problem and you want to make it happen. You're a leader, and one of the best kinds. You don't just demand the book version, you demand the fresh version, the best version. So how do you go about putting your power into action? You need to work on a handful of skills.
Clear Vision. No half-way house or roundabout idea. It's imperative that you can discuss your idea to high resolution, you need answers and test results. Prove to yourself that you know what you are aiming for and that it's worth achieving. Everyone who comes to you for help or instruction needs to get the same information. The ideals and methods of the team are rooted in your notion of how it's seen. You must have a precise template that ensures everyone knows exactly what they're doing.
Adaptability. Things change, people change, situations change. We can try and fight the tide or we can harness it for our own benefit. Long-lived projects and ideas are able to flow with the natural currents of society. Digging in your feet to shifting sands will see you buried. Ride the dynamics of society, if you don't like the way it's going then take the correct route to be heard. Imagine a sailing boat on the ocean, perhaps they want to go east and the wind is blowing north. What do they do? Probably adjust the sail so they are pushed in a north-east direction. It's the best they can do in the circumstances. Trying to row due east may be more accurate but it will cost a lot of energy.
Be Like Glue. Teams are made of individuals. These people will have their own strengths and weaknesses. A leader can sit between these people and work as a cohesive bond between them. Matching ideas and methods with skills and personalities takes understanding and courage. Diverse skill sets make great teams. Finding skills in every area, making use of cultural viewpoints, and ensuring all people are given consideration requires a diverse set of people.
Lift People Up. Weaknesses and blind-spots are opportunities for a person to learn and become enlightened. Rather than shaming or punishing someone for their short-comings, give them an opportunity to develop their personalities. Good team members are hungry for more training and more experience so be prepared to lift people up, provide them with friendly advice, educate them in the methods and techniques you know.
Be Inspirational. If you're the leader, if it's your grand vision that's being put into action then you have to radiate purpose. When people meet you they have to feel motivated and inspired to produce for you. When you can communicate your vision and nourish your team, stay cool in the rising tide, then motivation will probably be natural. Other things you can do is offer genuine rewards and compliments, discover who prefers the stick and who prefers the carrot then use them to their best effect.
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Life is chaotic, everyone has their own personal agenda that focusses on their personal future. We have to work together to get things done, so we organise ourselves in various ways. The law of the land is a system of organisation, we know how people are not allowed to behave so we feel more secure. We have a system of keeping the law in place, i.e. police and media, hard and soft power influence society into universally accepted organisations.
When we begin to turn our creativity into a business model, we have to think about how we want to organise our work, our day. Just like the law of the land, your creative business will need to have rules and systems that make sure things are done in a consistent and predictable ways. People like their businesses to be consistent and predictable. When we buy a pair of brand trainers, we predict their comfort, durability, street cred, and so on. If our predictions fall short, we feel cheated. So how will we organise our business ideas into something that works best? Here are four distinct organisation styles that you will no-doubt recognise in the world around you. Being aware of their individuality will help you to choose wisely when mirroring what you see is working.
Rising Star style organisation allows the whole group to function as one cloud. Many concepts and ideas are flung around and the ones that make the most 'noise' and get the most positive feedback are the ones that are taken further. This style of organisation likes to challenge the normals and invent new methods and ways of doing things. World changing inventions often come from this type of practice, however it is born from a sea of chaotic ideas that ultimately go nowhere. There is a lot of freedom in rising star style organisations, everything goes in and then we simply, “see what happens”.
Meritocracy takes this to a new level. This style of organisation pits people against each other. Rather than functioning as a cloud, individuals or elements of the organisation are single units who have targets and expectations. Instead of bouncing ideas around and simply seeing what happens, we have to see to it that each element or individual makes it. We motivate, challenge, train, push harder for results. This is stressful and can lead to mental breakdowns as well as physical loss of energy. The plus side is that every ounce of energy put in is invested in and machined into its most productive self.
Teamwork styles of organising have a common goal with one main idea. Everyone in the team knows their place with managers taking care of their employees. Communication is preferred in these groups, there's no target to compete with. It's a much less stressful way of running a top down business, where rewards come in the form of expertise and training. The whole team is seen as an individual unit with a set network of working parts. On the downside, individuals may not feel motivated to put in 100% all the time. If someone is always there to pick up after them, bad habits are easy to find.
Authority styles resemble government. They have routines and protocols. Everyone is expected to do their bit and by the book. Each action is accountable and everything is checked over by a string of quality controls. This style of organisation is heavy handed yet maintains excellence on every level. With an iron hand workers feel compelled to put in their all and to work honestly. It gets good results but is bloated and takes long periods of time to implement changes. With expensive overheads and slow adaptation to change, the excellence has to outshine these downsides.
The business style that works for you will no-doubt be a combination of these structures. Each element of your process will have a distinctive style which you'll fall into naturally. Now you are aware of the pros and cons, it will be easier to determine if you're on the right path. If you want to get a head start with marketing your creativity, here's a free course in sales.
Being creative can often make us feel high, our adrenaline and endorphins give us a buzz that helps us to express with passion. It's a good thing when used in the right way. Sometimes though, creatives like you and me can get carried away with our own reality and lose sight of sensitive issues. Art sometimes wants to upset people, art can upset people in a certain and premeditated way. This requires as much sensitivity as is needed to avoid upsetting people. Of course, we can't be responsible for the way people interpret what we have or do, however if we want to be successful then we need to think about what pains people have so we can avoid those things. Here are some great factors to consider when creating sensitively.
Care about your subject. It's not just another topic to wave your wand over, it's a real thing in a real world. Gain an holistic understanding of your subject and the people you are targeting with your ideas. We need to appreciate the fine points and understand how these are positively and negatively affected.
Don't be scary. Sounds obvious but think about it some more. You're a stranger, your work is new and different. People don't often take too kindly to strangers offering them strange things. The more normal and considerate we are, the more chance someone will give us their attention.
Feel the emotions of others. Again, we can't help have empathy and sympathy, however these things start from us. Listen to people more and instead of placing what our empathy feels in our mind, place what they are telling us they feel in our mind instead. It's usually much more accurate if we listen. Empathy is a result of our own mirror neurons imagining what it is like combined with subtle cues in body language and tone. It's not flawless and we're not all the same inside, we are all unique individuals.
Peer behind the masks. Some people pretend to be something they're not and often we can tell. Other times, we just always put our best foot forwards. This gives the impression we only have great feet. Of course this is not true, and if you look more deeply we can often see the other foot and the face behind the mask.
Be an introvert, for a bit. Spending our focus completely on the outside world gives us great people power. We feel active and part of the human machine. But we tend to not give anything much thought. When we're out there, doing our thing, we work on the assumption that our minds are made up and our knowledge is right. This changes when we go in on ourselves, we start to second guess, re-evaluate, and post judge. Once we allow this as a natural part of our personal growth, our creative output will reflect our learning.
Try not to be annoying. If something is annoying, people wont want anything to do with it. They'll roll their eyes and try to look like they're not interested at all. Everything from the wrong clothes to the wrong music can annoy the hell out of people. Noisy and obstructive environments all serve to stop someone from enjoying anything.
Nothing wrong with a night in. It doesn't have to be a party everyday, and your social circle can live without you from time to time. Back to the introvert advice, spend time away from the crowds and enjoy your own time.
Take your time with thinking. The first thing that springs to mind is often not as inventive and powerful as the next, and the next. The more we assess a situation or a problem, the more effective our ideas will become. Unless it's really urgent, put off decision making until you've given your mind enough time to really think about it.
Ruminate. Taking thinking to a new level, don't just think about something. Think around it, think about all the things that are to do with the subject. Really give the mind a whole picture with connected information.
Pay attention. The little cues going on behind the main event are just as important. The picture on the wall in the hall before the show for example. Every little detail has to be manicured and produced to reflect the spirit and the intent of what you have to offer.
We have all been there, sitting in front of a teacher who is explaining something. Unless the teacher is using all of their abilities to engage the class with exciting new toys to demonstrate what they mean, the chances are it'll be a bit dull. We usually appreciate the necessity for the lesson, we understand that we are better off knowing and so we put up with being bored. The thing is, our brains don't like being bored. In a purely neurological point of view, without the element of excitement and play, the brain is simply not at full speed.
It's been demonstrated by scientific means that doodling, or drawing random images, while listening to a lecture actually improves recall. We seem to remember the information better if we occupy the playful part of our mind. Maybe it's something to do with curbing the day-dream, by pinning the consciousness into the room on something within the context of learning, we prevent it from taking over and blinding us to the lecture.
Back in 2009, a psychologist called Jackie Andrade performed an experiment in which 40 people were tested for memory recall. They were given a rambling voicemail to listen to, and half the group were asked to doodle while listening. The benefits were clear, those who focussed their creative side on the simple activity had better information to repeat back to the examiner. They heard and then remembered more of the voicemail.
If we consider all the things we may imagine when in a school environment, the pressures and the strains of the high density of youth can be overwhelming. If you're like me, then the mind simply doesn't perform well with all the plethora of issues faced in such places. The continual input and emotional background noise in high-speed and authoritarian institutions is like a thick soup we have to cut through somehow every time. Doodling can actually help us to do that.
So remember that our mind is not simply a one river device, but it has many tributaries. If we want to focus on the main input then we have to put the tributaries to work on something that keeps us in the room. An engaging and exciting lesson of course has all the calling cards our mind will need but in the real world, it's simply out of the ordinary to constantly provide new stimuli.
Another great way to get past the distracting evnironment often associated with learning is to choose to study online. If you can manage your own time without much reminding then it can be really easy to acquire new professional or personal skills. Why not browse some digital courses now and see what you could learn?
Do you want to take your doodling to the next dimension? Try wire doodling! Here's a video tutorial.
Let's face it, no-one works in the creative industry unless they really want to. The bar is set far too high for the casual creative. It has to be a labour of love, fuelled by passion and desire to create. So when we get to be creative for a living, there are certain qualities we must learn if we want to stand a chance of staying at our post. There are many others who are just as eager as you are to have the job that you do, so when it comes to keeping it, we have to demonstrate that we're worth-while. Here are some things we can do to ensure that the boss, or your client base, knows that you mean business and are worth keeping around.
Be Prepared To Change Everything
The data never lies when it's gathered properly so listen to it. The client or the manager is your guiding light, so listen to them. When we're faced with the fact that what we've worked on for a long time has to change in order to improve the data or to please the person paying you, it's not easy. Letting go of something we've invested time and energy in means dropping all attachment to it. Some creative people think they know best and do what their intuition tells them without listening to the guidance first. We need to not do this if we want to remain a member of the professional creative industry.
Enrich Other People's Creativity
It's not all about you and your genius. We're all good at what we do, that's why we're here. So if someone else has a great idea, don't be jealous or competitive, just offer new dimensions, ask questions, be supportive and add your unique perspective. It's fine to let someone else be the one who had the idea, that's the seed planted, yet it takes an entire team to turn that seed into a crop we can harvest. It's difficult to put our light to one side and allow it to empower someone else's lantern. We have to be able to do it if we want to add the most value to our team. If you work for yourself, then it's your clients and your fan-base who make up the team. Without them, you'd not be where you are now.
Be Ready To Learn
No-one likes a know-it-all. If in doubt, say so, and if you don't know then go and find out. Simply ask, or if you're not keen on revealing ignorance in an infinite universe then google it when no-one's looking. Of course there's something you don't know, of course you need to learn new skills. We're not superhuman or paranormal, we're all just people who work hard. This means being hungry for knowledge, being ready to invest time and money in quality learning that provides you with more ability at work. Learn to earn. Take free courses from world class universities here.
It's Not About Money
We all need it, no-one is immune to the ravages of hunger or the bite of winter wind. It costs us money to exist in the world and there's no shame in wanting to make some. But there's also another reason you work in the creative industry. If it was only money then there would have been enough opportunities for better and less stressful work along the way. No, when we are in the creative industry it's because we have a passion for bringing new things into the world. We know that the world is not perfect and there are plenty of things that need to change. So we set about bringing that change, either through art where we encourage people to think and feel more, or through invention where we improve processes and devices in order to make people's lives better. We care about the world and its inhabitants, and that's why we want to give back.
Do you think you have what it takes? Comment with your thoughts. What other skills do we need?
Good ideas are everywhere, we all have them. What makes a good idea into a working tool depends on if it's seen through to its end. Often though, the good idea we had doesn't turn out to work in the way we thought it would. Sometimes, it seems like we've wasted time. This doesn't have to be the case though, there's always room for improvement and adaptations. A human being is adapted over years of evolution from really simple life-forms. So the same can be said for your idea, the basic ingredients to the working cell hasn't changed since the beginning. Once you get that right, it's away you go. Often it's not the idea that's at fault but it's how well it's being used, how 'in focus' the concept is, and how well it's being delivered. Effectiveness can be improved with all manner of things, testing and research will show areas for improvement for any project. There are some basic factors that we can apply to all of our innovative and creative agendas.
Efficient Time Management
Being in charge of a project means you have to do a lot of work. Some of this will be in depth and other bits will be basic yet essential actions. Managing time so that you're never too tired when you need to be awake, however, you get as much done as you can in the time given to yourself - is a matter of balance. It's not about cramming everything in, there is never any rush. We all make careless mistakes when rushing through our work. A relaxed attitude with a realistic routine makes sure that everything grows at a natural rate.
Suggested book: How to Be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do
It's a paradox when we want to achieve something but we doubt if we can. Sure, it might not happen the way we wanted it to and we don't know how long it will take, but we will get somewhere if we make an effort. If we take a step in a direction, we've changed our position already. The self-doubt we carry inside can manifest in the subtle language we use when communicating our ideas. We can let slip that we're not very good at such and such a thing, or we struggle with this actually quite essential life skill. Tell a life-coach and not your client.
Suggested book: Wire Your Brain for Confidence: The Science of Conquering Self-Doubt
We're not all as smart as you, and we've definitely not had as much experience of your ideas as you. We also haven't got time to read through lots of information unless it directly affects the product or service. If it's important for people to know three things in order for your project to be a success, then make it all about those three things. Write them down so that a child can understand, or someone who's not a native speaker. This way we don't leave anyone out.
Recommended read: Gravitas: Communicate with Confidence, Influence and Authority
Paint The Picture
Facts and figures work for some people, they tell a big picture story in numerical form. Other people though really need a visual aid. Use images and descriptions that describe the scene in which your innovation is functioning at optimum. Put the human experience into qualitative terms via pictures and scene setting and it'll be even easier for people to imagine for themselves how your idea will improve their lives.
Recommended read: An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols
You may enjoy reading Top Tips For Creativity That Counts
Being in the creative industry has all manner of pit-falls which can reduce how creative we are.
There is a lot of pressure from all sides to do things a certain way for particular reasons. Once we begin designing according to another person's plan then part of our creativity has been sacrificed. Sometimes it's a good idea to listen to and accept what a person is saying and other times it's a good idea to leave them to their opinions without taking them on board.
What we experience in life helps us to see new patterns and ways of applying our energy that make sense to us. If you are in the creative industry then you're also thinking about business sense. Inspiring people to pay for something artistic so you can eat makes it really attractive to take a tried and tested route. So where is the creativity? Finding a happy balance between doing what needs to be done and doing what has to be done is perhaps the most creative part of all. Here are some easy to do lifestyle suggestions that will ensure your creativity isn't starved out of you.
Why did you choose to be in the creative industry? It's a really difficult job to have because although not many decide to walk the path, many wished they did. This puts up a lot of opposition from day one, people become competitors even if they aren't making a living from creativity. We meet a lot of resistance. Making a living from creativity is difficult and it can be stressful, somewhere down the line, someone has to pay for it. When we forget that we actually enjoy this and we chose to do a job we enjoy for our own peace of mind, we can quickly become disheartened. Once this happens, we will stop being creative.
Have Creative Friends
So they might be competing with you in a crowded marketplace but that doesn't make them the enemy. We work better if we are content with being around other artists. We feed each other with ideas, when we don't preach at people or shame them into certain opinions, we actually learn a lot about life choices. Inspiration can't be forced. Having friends in the industry not only gives us access to creative minds in action, it also provides us with the potential to form cooperation concepts and loosely defined unions.
So learning how to do something prevents us from being creative in the first instance, maybe. Yet, if we learn something to a functioning level, as in to a point where we can actually make use of the knowledge in society, creativity is enabled. Wisdom isn't just a brain cap, preventing us from having novel ideas, it's also a powerful tool to allow us to take effective actions. These can all be used creatively to real effect.
Forget What You're Doing
We can become so tied up in our project that we begin to see the world only in terms of the project. We begin to 'project' the project onto everything around us, and this prevents us from seeing things in new and interesting ways. Sometimes we just have to put it all away and be someone else for the day. Often we have the best ideas when we are forced to adapt, when something happens that we didn't plan for or expect. These times won't happen very often if we're too focussed on one particular line.
Indulge In Arts
Surround yourself with the arts. Alternative Fruit is here for that very reason. Helping you to be more creative means providing continual inspiration. As well as the It's Good To Know blog, you can find other journals each with their own angle on creative inspiration. By seeing art made by others and acknowledging the ideas within them, we learn how to think about art in similar ways. We combine ideas and create an alchemy of concepts from the various things we see and enjoy.
Visit our homepage to see what inspiration is waiting for you.
Did you have a book boyfriend, or a book girlfriend? Someone we fell for in the imaginary part of ourselves that enjoys the freedom of our own instruction? Many of us did and still do. It's all part of the magic of losing ourselves in a really great book. Writers take a lot of care and effort to make sure their characters are believable, deep, and so human they could as well live next door. Think about yourself, all the many aspects to your life that make you part of the real story of life. There are so many factors about you that could find their way into the narrative. The thing is, if we don't know them technically, it can be near impossible to put our finger on them. Luckily, a lot of work has already gone into finding out the key points which we love to identify with. Include some if not all of these in your character design and you'll have people that readers will feel they really know.
Actually, who are they?
We all have an identity, something we call ourselves. What is it they do? What do they dress like and what music do they like to listen to? These things matter and conjure alll manner of predisposed stereotypes we can utilise. It's almost as if someone's already done the work for us in that regard.
How do they see the world?
Are they one of the angry sad types who find life a daily battle against higher forces or are they the excited happy type who leaps out of bed and gives thanks for everything they find? Most of us have a bit of both, we have to decide which is which for each person. Someone's world view tells us a lot about their past experiences and the types of decisions they will make.
What sort of people do they like?
Who are they attracted to, what do they admire, respect, and want to associate with? These things tell us a lot about how a person sees themselves and their values in life. Does it matter if their friends or loved ones do things in different ways or not? Which kind of people don't they like, who do they avoid?
How do they speak?
We all have different vocabularies and mannerism of speech. The things we talk about, the ways we say them, and the ability to put our thoughts and feelings across in different circumstances are all unique. This matters and when we write characters, we have to be aware of these opportunities for depth.
What makes them happy?
Sometimes people have guilty pleasures or obscure hobbies that we'd not normally ascribe to them. Knowing another level of personal pleasures can give yet another interesting dimension to an individual on paper.
Who do they turn to for help?
We all have a support network of sorts. Some of us have really big ones, others have small ones. Depending on how a person sees themselves in the world, a support network could be any number of things. Define this by having your characters turn to people for help sometimes. Who do they ask and why?
What is their intuition like?
We're all different. Our intuition and instincts vary depending on who we are, how we see the world, and what we think it is we want. Some of us shy away from danger, others go in head first. Some of us would not feel comfortable in an unknown place with unknown people, others would gladly do it everyday. When the phone rings, do they think oh no or oh yes?
What makes them imperfect?
No-one is perfect, it's a lie. The thing is we all have issues and unhelpful behaviours and psychology that get in the way of social harmony. Find these breaking points for our characters, what is their trigger, how do we get our character to do something completely out of character?
How to they make up for it?
So unless we're a psychopath, we all feel bad when our actions or words end up in the wrong place. It's not a nice feeling to know we are at fault and we have caused suffering for another person. How does our character feel this and then make amends? Do they take their time, summoning the courage, or do they go in full speed and bend over backwards to say sorry? Do they lose their cool?
How do they use this to become a better person?
The story has to have a progression and the characters have to find meaning in the text for themselves. How will their experiences in the story change their personality from the start to the finish? Can we see a gradual evolution of intention or perspective throughout the chapters?
Want to know more about character development? Try this short online course
Or how about using the Tarot deck to design your characters? Here's how.
We all tend to have the best intentions for our day's effort. We try to get as much done as feasibly possible, and maintain good relationships throughout. We're mostly all grown-ups, we are fully aware of our limitations and emotional background, so why do so many of us end up over-doing it, piling on the pressure, and ending the day a wreck? Sometimes our intentions are bigger than we are, and when this happens, we end up being in as many places as once doing a mediocre and frustrated job of it. It's not lazy to reduce your workload if it makes you more effective in the long run. Try these counter-intuitive techniques in your own life to see if they help.
Dilute The Diary. Three hours in the morning and five or six in the afternoon, then maybe another three after that and the day's over. No-one wants to be interrupted before 9am and after 9pm unless its urgent. It might be fashionable to scrawl all over the calendar and do as much as possible in the day however people are not routines and we often don't quite know how things are going to pan out. We don't really want to take the energy that's built up from person one to person two, there needs to be a pause to unwind, reset the mind, and allow a new personal experience. Give yourself a lot more time in between meetings and jobs, unwind, relax, do something unrelated.
Disciplined Break Time. We tend to plan our work time really well then switch off when it's time to stop. This stop time is actually time we could be using. We all need space to play computer games or read a decent book, maybe even sit in silence for a little while and let the world go by around us. Make sure that breaks are regulated and that you fill your spare time with tasks and activities that have a general purpose that goes into your desired end. Even if it's not really hard work, the little things all add up in the end.
Drink More. Water is like petrol for our engine. It makes the blood go around and delivers food and oxygen to our cells. We must drink regularly to remain at full effect. Our brains and bodies slow down when water is running low, even a tiny amount of dehydration can result in dramatic reductions in productivity.
Brace The Elements. Taking a cold shower or going out in just a t-shirt can really spark the body into being more active. Wake yourself up with a walk or a blast of fresh water.
Get A Good Soundtrack. The music we listen to is really important. It directly affects mood and productivity. Music that draws you in can reduce productivity where as music made for dancing to can do the opposite. It's been shown that white noise can help us to be more productive too. Maybe our favourite album is not a wise choice, but the stuff that all sounds the same from a distance will help keep a good work pace.
Tidy Up. Yes, the distracting piles of potential work and the stale glass of water need to go. Keep your space fresh and clutter-free. It's actually really important work to do this and it can take a day or two to get on top of if left for a while. Don't feel guilty if you need to do this! You'll work a lot better after.
Can't Sleep? Ride It! So you're wide awake at 2am and you don't know why. May as well bury your head in the work you need to do. It might even be just what you needed to finally fall asleep. It's not good to stay up late every night working hard but if your body is refusing to switch off then it's a good idea to make use of the extra energy.
Make Room For The Unexpected. Sometimes a kick start happens when we're taken by surprise. When our routine is challenged, when our ideas are made to look foolish, when we don't get the results we worked so hard for, when we discover our efforts are in vain, it can really shake up the bottle. That energy wants to make a mess of things but we know better. We can use it to make the necessary changes so that our hard work becomes more effective.
Exercise. Stand up and take a walk around, maybe even go to the park for half an hour. Switching from brain active to body active and back again can really help to maintain optimum effectiveness. It's not a break if it can be shown to be helpful to the over-all quality of work.
Work Around Hard Working People. We're all like the sun. We have planets who orbit us. These are the people we spend time with. They affect us, and we affect them. The people closest to us are the ones who have the most influence. Choose them wisely, surround yourself with people who give you a good feeling about yourself and life in general. Pick people who appreciate you for what you do.
Cut The Slack. This being said, there are connections we all have who don't do this for us. It's okay to simply feel this way and unsubscribe, reduce communication with, and move on from these people. It's not mean to be choosy about who you connect with, it's wise. If a person isn't your cup of tea then simply let someone else drink it.
Listen To Yourself. We have on days and off days. We have times when we do loads of work and times when it feels like a pain to do anything. Don't fight these days, accept the tidal effects of emotions, the body-clock, life's stresses and strife, do what you can when you can. Make the most of your on days and don't feel bad about the off ones.
Most of all, Have Fun. We always do a better job when we're happy. Be prepared to entertain yourself and your colleagues with pleasant natured humour and games. Nurture a fun and easy going atmosphere to de-escalate work related stress.
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