We have all been obsessed with productivity.
I can’t tell you how many online courses and master classes I’ve come across in the last several years teaching people how to be more productive.
We live in a digital age, where staying on task and avoiding distraction is harder to accomplish than our actual work. Everyone today is looking for some way to be more productive.
After doing some research, what I found was that being productive isn’t about doing more and more tasks. It’s really about doing fewer things and taking breaks to accomplish more in a smaller amount of time.
Now what I’ve learned is, these breaks can’t be taken whenever you feel like taking them. They have to be scheduled throughout your day.
Deliberate, Distraction-Free Focus
Let’s face it: Nobody can focus for eight hours straight. It’s simply not possible. You can’t maintain distraction-free focus for that long. That’s why taking breaks is so important. Even breaks that are just a few minutes long, can help you recharge and come up with new ideas.
You have to be proactive about taking breaks. Taking a break has to be structured and deliberate. A break is not supposed to be a distraction. It’s not a break when you’re on your cell phone and checking out your social media. That’s not a break.
I recommend you take a break every 45 to 55 minutes (for 15 minutes if you can afford it, 5 minutes if you cannot afford it, every hour). And what do you do in those 5 to 15 minutes? Research has shown that those who took short breaks to do some type of exercise, especially exercise that stretches their bodies and brains had reported greater productivity and wellbeing.
Why is this?
They were able to relax while they were stretching and they felt at ease after stretching. When you stretch your eyes, arms, legs, and feet, you get comfortable.
And doing Tai Chi consistently trains your brain to be loose and open. It trains your neurology to relax. It also trains your body support systems like your internal organs and glands to relax. It trains your intent to get the most out of every movement with a high degree of focused relaxation.
How does Tai Chi help?
Making The Most Out Of Your Moves
Tai Chi increases your physical stamina first and foremost. It strengthens your internal organs, glands, and nerves. It also strengthens your brain because when you work all day long, your brain uses up all of its glucose. Doing Tai Chi increases your physical stamina and thereby increases your energy. When you come back, you’ll feel recharged and ready to achieve greater efficiency at what you do.
Tai Chi increases your mental stamina. Exercise your mind’s ability to concentrate. Your mind needs to be nurtured and developed that way. When you do Tai Chi, you are fully engaged. You are fully aware and always focused on each movement.
This can be only achieved by relaxing your mind and letting go of anything extraneous to the task at hand. When you do Tai Chi, you are only doing Tai Chi.
Tai Chi increases your mental flexibility, not just your physical flexibility. These movements are not just physical, they’re also internal, which requires you to recognize where the movements are coming from.
Ask yourself: On what basis are these movements developing and how? Where are they coming from? What center or what point of origin are they coming from?
By practicing these movements, you become open-minded and therefore capable of adapting to rapid change. Once you understand where the movements are coming from, then you can adapt.
Tai Chi increases your calmness, awareness, and your inner balance. So becoming more relaxed enables you to see more possibilities, see more sides of an issue and deal with situations before they become problems.
In Tai Chi, you have left and right alternating movements. You have alternating up and down movements. You have alternating front and back movements as well. They are all going on at the same time. To coordinate these movements, you have to mentally focus, both internally and externally. You have to see what’s in front of you, but you also have to imagine and be aware of what is behind what’s in front of you.
You have to have that mental capacity to see the invisible.
Let’s take a break to do some Tai Chi so you can relax your nerves and make space for yourself. (Follow along with me on the video.)
1. Drop, take a step to the side, turn in and make some space.
2. Exhale, relax, and energize the fingers up in front of you.
3. Exhale, relax, and energize the fingers up again.
4. Relax back down, and exhale all the way.
5. Energize and turn.
6. Exhale, shift the weight, step and energize one hand up, and one hand down.
7. Exhale, one hand faces the other two, turn, step and energize.
8. Make your shape and make space for yourself.
By relaxing your nerves, you can begin to avoid excess neurological overload that slows down your ability to be creative and productive. Being overwhelmed can clog or block your neurological system and clearing the blockages creates a sense of internal space for you to solve all of your problems and get the job done.
Taking a break from a vexing problem can create enough internal space for you to come up with a solution out of nowhere. Think of a time when you were working on a real hard problem and you just stepped away from it for a little bit. Then you came back to it and all of a sudden you found a solution. Taking a break is making internal space for yourself.
Tai Chi allows your body and brain to make space.
What if you can get yourself in a creative mood and you can be more productive? What are some other ways you can soften your body and brain to get you going on a creative burst?
Follow me on YouTube to find more ways that you can create space for yourself and subscribe to my channel.