Does your daily routine feel like a grind? If so, it may be time to step back and look at things from another perspective. Some creatives call this mental hygiene. Do you leave enough time for mindfulness? What about playfulness?
“Our lives are most fulfilling when we feel passionate about our work and we find pleasure in simple things.”
Here are some empowering exercises that can help you be happy and stay motivated.
1. Use Motivating Triggers
When you have to buckle down and get work done, schedule it. Block those hours on the calendar. Free yourself from distraction and do a motivation ritual such as coffee and classical music or an energizing smoothie.
Getting up really early and attacking projects before sunrise is one of the most common motivators successful people use. Find a ritual that makes you feel inspired.
2. Acknowledge Progress
When our work is appreciated, we work harder. At the end of a long day, acknowledge a triumph, even if it is small. Write down what you did well today or something you learned.
The path to high achievement is made one step at a time. Tracking progress is an excellent way to maintain a healthy perspective.
3. Get Some Fresh Air
Living in Manhattan, I walk my dog around Central Park almost every day. The activity has become a valued part of my routine. A good walk can conjure creative energy or give us mental rest.
Experiencing a brief change of environment can positively influence our mental health. Often, when we are the least focused on a problem, the solution will suddenly come to us while we are doing something else.
4. Find Meaning in Tasks and Projects
When we appreciate how small tasks contribute to the big picture we value these tasks differently. Knowing the smallest actions will assist people or help achieve a larger goal makes doing those small things more enjoyable.
The difference between doing something because it has to be done versus doing something because you recognize the significance is a simple change of perspective that can go a long way.
5. Prioritize Sleep
When Thomas Edison encountered a problem, he would famously roll a few marbles in his hand as he nodded off in a chair. When he started to fall asleep, the marbles would fall out of his hands onto a tin sheet that would wake him. He claimed some of his most genius ideas came to him in this way.
There’s a reason why people use the phrase, “Sleep on it.” Sleep is a powerful tool. While we sleep we process what we’ve learned, and piece together important parts of our day. A good night’s rest can bring clarity and give us more mental agility to solve problems and pursue creative solutions.
While it is easy to be critical of ourselves, we need to appreciate the hard work we do and its positive impact. When we are passionate about our daily pursuits and set aside time to stretch our creative muscles, we can experience more fulfillment.
Identify your motivating triggers, appreciate little tasks, take a long walk, and you might be amazed by the ideas that come to you.
Originally published on Medium.
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