Three Summer Tips to Improve Productivity: Unplug and Relax

In this three-part blog series Vanguard Public Affairs Senior Vice President for Operations, Katherine Erickson shares a few easy strategies to improve personal productivity. Following these three strategies can help you prepare for the challenges ahead.




TIP THREE: Unplug and Relax

Take time to disconnect. Whether it's turning your phone off at night, setting your phone to "Do Not Disturb" for a scheduled period, or posting an actual sign on your door—find a way to unplug yourself from the world. The constant influx of information can be physically and emotionally draining.

Have you ever stopped during the hectic moments of the day and actually listened to the amount of noise that is around you? The constant buzz of people, the message notification tones, television banter, computer noise, the hum of the lights, traffic outside, doors opening and closing and even the clicking of heels on the floor—it can get crazy sometimes. This sensory overload leads to stress. Sometimes the only way to get rid of distraction is to avoid social interaction of any kind. To reduce stress you must find time to unplug and relax. Find time to be alone. Too much stress kills productivity.

Put on headphones to cancel noise or listen to soft, relaxing music. Close your eyes and breathe. Follow this technique recommended by health experts from the University of New Hampshire:

Find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Visualize the air that you take into your lungs as being clean, fresh, pure, healing, energizing air. It has the power to cleanse, center, heal, and energize your body. As you breathe visualize it as it enters your nose or mouth travel through sinus cavity to the top of your head and down your spinal column to circulate throughout your body. As you exhale, visualize that the air leaving your body is dirty air symbolizing all of your stress and toxins in your body and mind. With each breath, fresh, cleaning, healing, air enters your body and dirty air is released with each exhale. Breathing creates calmness and assists in reducing stress.

Repeat this breathing for 5-10 minutes.

Use your summer to focus on improving your personal productivity and you will be ready to face any challenges coming your way in the New Year.

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