Archive for July, 2018

4 Ways to Get Some Midday Motivation

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

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Midday can be rough for people. Chances are you’ve been working for a few hours, you just ate some food and all you want is a nap. While some people can nap, I’m not one of them. I either sleep for seven hours or I don’t sleep. Period. Additionally, most people don’t have the luxury of taking a midday nap. The question then becomes, how to we get some midday motivation so we can get over the hump?

Meditate

Meditation is the next best thing to napping. Sometimes are minds just need a quick reset so we can lift the mental fog and refocus. There are some great apps you can use to find guided meditations specifically for focus. One of my favorites is the Calm app which has an entire series on meditations designed to increase focus and concentration.

Move your body

Another way to get some midday motivation is to get out of your chair and move your body. If you have a gym in your building like I do, you can hop in for a quick sweat session. If not, you can always find some fun music on Spotify and shake it out for a little while.

The idea here is that your mind will follow your body. If you give your body a quick jolt then your mind will wake up. While it’s not a long-term strategy, it does help when you’re trying to find some quick midday motivation.

Take a break

Sometimes we really just need a break in order to get some midday motivation. However, I notice that taking a break by watching YouTube videos is not helpful – at least not for me. That’s because I get sucked into a black hole and find it even more difficult to focus.

What does help me is going outside. For example, at the time of writing this, it’s currently a beautiful 70 degrees outside. The sun is also shining. I can take a quick ten-minute break on my balcony and just let the fresh air hit me.

(As a sidebar, sometimes I actually move my laptop out to my balcony. This keeps me awake midday when I’m starting to fall sleepy but know I can’t nap.)

Try the Pomodoro Technique

Some people, like myself, thrive under pressure. If I know I have to finish something by a certain time, it gives me a surge of energy and focus. For example, if I know I have to leave for SoulCyle around 5:45 PM, then I know I have to be done working by 4 PM.

Some days I actually have an appointment or engagement to attend, other days I don’t. For the days that I don’t, I trick myself into thinking I’m on a time crunch by using the Pomodoro Technique. This is when you give yourself 20 minutes to work and then a five-minute break. Each round is a Pomodoro and you continue the process until the task is complete.

Final Thoughts

While the afternoon slump is annoying, it can be overcome by giving yourself a jolt of midday motivation. Use the techniques to give yourself a little jumpstart the next time you find yourself falling asleep at your desk.

This article originally appeared in Calendar.

 

This article was written by Amanda Abella from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Chances are your inbox is a lot like that abandoned basket of stuff sitting in the back of your closet. You know it’s dying to be cleaned out (and is housing many hidden surprises), but the thought of tackling such a task is overwhelming. And who has six hours of free time to spare for something like that?

But organizing your emails doesn’t have to take all day—in fact, you can do it in just one hour if you set aside the time for it.

 

Minutes 1 to 10: Clear Out the Junk

Set a time for 10 minutes and just start mass deleting (or archiving) any messages you know you don’t need, like notifications from social media accounts, reminders for past events, confirmations for deliveries you’ve already received, newsletters you already read (or will never read), and emails that are no longer relevant.

You can make this easy by searching your inbox for common senders or subject lines (for example: LinkedIn notifications) and deleting a bunch of stuff at once.

 

Minutes 10 to 30: Create Folders and Labels

Now it’s time to organize the messages left that don’t need any action but that you need or want to keep.

There are as many folder systems as there are email users, but an easy one to try is making a folder for any topic or type of email that have several messages that relate to it. So, that could mean folders like: Receipts, Projects, Trips, and so on. You can always add and adapt folders as you learn what works best for you.

To speed this process along, you can even create a “To File Later” folder for anything that you’re at all unsure about and an “Unsubscribe” folder for anything you don’t want anymore. Tip: Those are great folders to sort through when you have five minutes between meetings.

Oh! And if you want to get even more organized, try some labels (called “categories” by Outlook) to add more info to your messages. You can have multiple labels on one email or even multiple layers of labels. So, that email in your “Trip” folder can have a main label of “New York 2018” and sub-labels of “Flights” and “Monday.”

 

Minutes 30 to 50: Use the Two-Minute Rule or Make a To-Do List for Emails That Need Action

The emails you’re left with now should only be ones that need action. If the action can be completed in less than two minutes, do it now. If you need more time to take care of the message, add it to your to-do list with a notification to remind you to actually do it. Then, archive the email to keep your inbox clear (you’ll still be able to search for it later)

If you’re just not a list maker, you can instead use Gmail’s new snooze feature to have the email show up in your inbox when you’re ready to handle it. Or, if you’re an Outlook user, the follow-up feature lets you do the same.

 

Minutes 50 to 60: Update Your Settings for Easy Maintenance

Congratulations on the world’s most organized inbox! OK, not the world’s most organized inbox—but your best inbox yet.

But don’t let the party go on for too long or you’ll find it filling up again. You can avoid this by setting up filters that’ll automatically sort your incoming messages so you don’t have to.

My favorite filter is for newsletters and offer emails I actually want to read but don’t always have time for right when they come in. Instead, I set up a filter in Gmail which sends them all to a “Read Later” folder. (Outlook has its own version of filters called “rules” that can do some heavy lifting for you.)

You might also consider setting up an auto-reply for your Gmail or Outlook when you won’t be able to reply to emails as quick as you usually would (like if you’re at a conference, working unusual hours, or on vacation)

And, to really fly through your messages, you can enable and learn some keyboard shortcuts for Gmail or Outlook.

After this clean up, you’ll be rid of that nagging feeling that you missed a message or that sinking feeling that you have to face a full inbox every morning. In fact, you might even be ready to move onto more advancing email organization such at taking advantage of the new Gmail, using Chrome extensions, or trying out this Inbox AI tool.

Or, on the flipside, if you find that you still have a lot of work to do—start setting aside 20 minutes every week to tackle these steps one at a time. Do that for a few weeks and you’ll find yourself with an inbox that actually makes your life easier.

 

This article was written by Kelli Smith from The Daily Muse and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.