I recently wrote a blog post where I shared a few myths surrounding self-care – and there are definitely some big ones! Overall, people seem to have this idea about self-care that it’s really about pampering and bubble baths and candles and making yourself feel good at the moment. In reality, self-care is about long-term physical, mental, and emotional health.
Self-care and productivity are two of the topics I talk about most often here on Refined Revelry and while they may seem unrelated, there’s actually a STRONG correlation between the two, and self-care can have a serious impact on your productivity. Today, I’m sharing how practicing self-care can help you boost productivity!
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HOW TO USE SELF-CARE TO HELP YOU BOOST PRODUCTIVITY
Create a Morning Routine
For literally the longest time I would have sworn up and down that getting up early and having a morning routine does NOT count as self-care. Because, you know, getting up early sucks (can you tell that I’m not naturally a morning person??)
But I also constantly found myself getting frustrated with how chaotic my mornings were and the fact that I was constantly running late for work or forgetting important things.
Then I finally got around to reading The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, and I totally became a believer in the whole concept of a morning routine.
If you haven’t read The Miracle Morning (seriously go read it now), it’s a book where Hal shares his morning routine, the WHY behind starting it, and how it has allowed him to become crazy successful in his life.
After incorporating his morning routine (or at least parts of it) into my own life, I’ve noticed that I’m WAY more productive and WAY happier when I’m actually sticking to it (but yes I still sometimes fall off the wagon and go back to my crazy chaotic mornings). I accomplish a lot more in my day, partly because I start accomplishing earlier. But it also puts me in a mindset to accomplish more. It also reduces my stress levels like crazy because it eliminates all the stress I used to have in the morning, and starts my day off on a much better tone.
Also, this sort of goes back to the point I had made in the post I wrote about self-care myths. Self-care is NOT always relaxing. It’s not always pampering. Getting up early sucks. It doesn’t feel like self-care at the time. But sometimes self-care is about caring for your future self.
Get Plenty of Sleep
I really don’t even need to tell you guys how important proper sleep is for self-care and productivity, but I’m going to anyways. Because even though we all KNOW how important it is to get plenty of sleep, we still seem to make excuses for not getting enough.
When I’m having a week where I haven’t gotten enough sleep, I can feel it. I can feel my focus start to slip at work. I can also feel my emotional state slipping and I tend to get stressed, anxious, and upset more easily.
I have a hard time getting to sleep at a decent time. It seems that there’s just a neverending to-do list. I start working in the evening and before I know it, it’s hours later than I planned on going to bed.
One really good way to work on this is by setting a bedtime alarm for yourself. Make sure to set it for before you actually want to be going to bed, so you’re giving yourself time to wash your face, brush your teeth, and do anything else you need to do before going to sleep.
Make Time for Physical Activity
Exercise is one of the most important but also most overlooked forms of self-care. Many people probably don’t think of exercise when they picture self-care. It might not be relaxing and it might not feel like pampering. But what better way to care for your body long-term?
Not only is exercise obviously super good for you, but it’s also a great way to increase productivity. This is 100% true for me. First of all, I seem to always have killer ideas when I’m working out. Seriously, I have to keep my phone nearby to make notes for myself because that is when my best ideas come. It just gets my creativity flowing.
Physical activity is also great for keeping you alert and energized the entire day, which makes it WAY easier to focus and stay productive.
And even if exercise doesn’t sound like self-care to you, there are totally ways to work out without feeling miserable about it! Some of my favorite ways to get a workout in are hiking, biking, long walks, and yoga – and none of those even feel like working out!
Say No More Often
If you read this blog often, you’ve seen me say this a LOT. Plain and simple, if you want to have more time to focus on your own priorities and get more done, start saying no more often to others.
If you have a hard time saying no to people and are frequently making time for other people’s priorities, you might be giving away a LOT of your time – time you could be using to make progress on your own priorities.
Not only is saying no good for your productivity, but it’s great self-care as well because you’re eliminating the stress of constantly being at the beck and call of others. It’s amazing how draining this can be, and how much a difference on your happiness it can make to start saying NO to things that aren’t priorities for you. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote before: “If it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a no.”
Schedule Work Time and Relaxation Time
Keeping a schedule (and actually following it) is pretty much the ultimate way to create boundaries in your life and prioritize both productivity and self-care.
Sticking to a schedule is excellent self-care because you’re setting boundaries between work time and personal time. I know ahead of time which evenings I will and will not be working on my side hustle, and I stick to that. Seriously, I schedule ALL the tasks. I schedule when I’m going to be blogging. I schedule when I’m going to be cleaning. And if I’m spending the evening with a friend or my significant other, that night is blocked off for no work.
Likewise, following a schedule like this is great for productivity. It might seem counterintuitive to productivity to set limits on the number of hours in a week you work, but it’s actually GREAT for productivity. First of all, you’re ensuring you don’t burn out. If you spent every waking hour working, you WILL burn out. Scheduling an end time for yourself prevents that.
I also know that I will take as long to complete as a task as I give myself. If I give myself four hours to write a blog post, I can make it take four hours. But it doesn’t NEED to take four hours. By limiting your work hours, you’re pushing yourself to get things done in the minimum amount of time they need to take.
BEFORE YOU GO
As you can see, the connection between self-care and productivity is STRONG. Self-care isn’t always relaxing and frankly, it doesn’t always feel like self-care at the moment. But it DOES change your life for the better, including helping you to boost productivity!
I would LOVE for you to leave a comment and let me know how YOU use self-care to boost productivity, or what areas of self-care and productivity you’re struggling with most!
Make sure to head over to the Etsy shop to check out all the AMAZING notepads and printables that will seriously help you boost your productivity.
And don’t forget to sign up for my FREE Ultimate Productivity Toolkit that has all the tools you need to plan a productive day, week, and month!